The Clark Library Book Club

Book club members used to reading ChicLit in their friends' family rooms can now step it up.  A new monthly book club at the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in West Adams offers a novel opportunity to discuss historical fiction in the stunning interior of one of West Adams preeminent estates.  Started in October in the historic North Book Room of the Clark Library, the Book Club gives the public a chance to lavish in the estate's fine molding and tapestries, while comparing contemporary literature to some of the rare books in the Library's famous collection.

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Clark Library Fellow Rebecca Munson developed the monthly reading series after she organized  a seminar for UCLA's English Department and recognized that the opportunity to compare contemporary fiction to 17th-18th century antiquarian books should be opened to a wider audience.  "I see the Book Club as a kind of public seminar for the friends of the Clark to socialize with one another and learn more about the collection," Munson told TNN.  For instance, in the first October meeting, the group discussed Peter Ackroyd's "Hawksmoor" then perused original editions of texts written by some of the real characters, such as John Locke.  

Slated for the December 18th meeting is Hilary Mantel's "Bring Up the Bodies," the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and recipient of the 2012 Man Booker Award.  Munson promises there are no exams and no prerequisites  -- just an interest in history, reading and fun conversation.  "We will spend time with spies and alchemists, witches and traitors, printers and players, and many famous figures in literary history," Munson notes in the library's blog.

The Book Club meets monthly at 4 pm at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron St., Los Angeles 90028, phone (323) 731-8529, www.clarklibrary.ucla.edu.

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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