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The ‘Secret’s’ out on Roseville

City sponsors book club; renowned author comes to town for discussion
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Even with all the technological advancements of the 21st century and the Internet, books on tape and text messaging, sometimes there's still nothing better than curling up with a good book. And even better than reading a good book for many people is discussing the plot, theme and characters of that book with members of a book club. This is the fourth year the city of Roseville has sponsored Roseville Reads, One Book, One Community, a public book club offered once a year. This year our selection is ˜Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,' by Lisa See who is coming to Roseville to be part of our Roseville Reads book discussion on March 1, said Dianne Bish Roseville's recently retired city librarian. We've also read ˜To Kill a Mockingbird,' ˜Catcher in the Rye' and ˜The Pearl.' Bish said that although Roseville is in its fourth year of conducting a public book club, city-sponsored clubs have been in existence for years. The idea of Roseville having its own group came to fruition when Gina Garbolino was mayor. Gina was a strong proponent for the club and is a member of the One Book, One Community Committee, Bish said. According to Bish and committee members Rachel Delgadillo, Jamie Finley, Linda Simons, Myrna Wathen and Christina Richter, the yearly books are selected with the classics in mind and the opinions of the committee and what they feel are good books a person should read at least once in their lives. In addition, Richter, community relations manager at Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Roseville, uses her experience as a retail bookseller to help promote the Roseville Reads books with a variety of in-store specials. We've been partnering with the city, Richter said. Having author See be a part of this year's book discussion is an added bonus according to committee member Delgadillo who has been in correspondence with See for several months. With her visit to Roseville, she'll probably talk about the process of writing a book and answer lots of questions about the Snow Flower title, said Delgadillo. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, is a story about friendship, secret writings and the struggle the two main characters have to remain true to their friendship in 19th century China. The story discusses the constraints placed on women in this society where many women lived their entire lives inside, completely cut off from the world outside their own door. In addition to the March discussion and author visit, an online book club discussion will take place from Feb. 25 through March 1. According to Bish, online visitors will be able to read a portion of the book and write comments and ask questions about the book on the Web. For those readers interested in beginning their own book club or those clubs already in existence that are looking to add to their list of favorites, Roseville Public Libraries each offer book club kits that come complete with 10 copies of more than 60 titles and a list of questions for group discussion. The book kits are available for a six-week loan period. For those readers who enjoy perusing more than one book at a time, a monthly Mystery Book Club takes place at the Maidu Library. We have about 18 to 20 people who show up each meeting, said Linda Simons, Maidu librarian. It takes place the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. Coming soon to the Riley Library, a non-fiction club and a fantasy book club will soon be created. Although there are hundreds of genre to explore as a member of any book club, Richter said being a member of a book club offers a richer view of the world. The book becomes more colorful and discussions sometimes bring out aspects you might not have thought about, Richter said. I think being in a book club offers people a place to connect, Finley added. Bish concurs and said members of book clubs create a community of readers. It's not like surfing the Web, where individuals are not connected to anyone, she said. I think people need a sense of community, she said.