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Reading the Western Landscape Community Book Discussion In Person and on Zoom

About the Community Book Discussion

The Arboretum Library’s book group explores the portrayal of western North American landscape in fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry, letters, graphic novels, etc.  The group generally meets the last Wednesday of the month in the Arboretum Library or out on the Arboretum grounds, pandemic, weather and sunlight permitting. When the weather is good and disease rates are low, the group meets outside in appropriate places in the gloriously, beautiful grounds of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden with appropriate social distancing and masking. Currently the group is meeting In Person at the Arboretum and on Zoom. Be sure to check the dates below for In Person dates and Zoom dates.

The group uses a modified version of the Shared Inquiry™ method developed by the Great Books Foundation.  The discussion is greatly enhanced if the chosen book of the month is read, although we welcome those who just want to listen. Let the host know you only want to listen. New participants are always welcome!

Click here to see the questions already asked for this year’s past books and check out the history of the book club by hovering on the tab and see all the previous years and books to explore.

For more information and to be added to the e-mail reminder list about the Community Book Discussion Group, please contact, Arboretum Librarian, Susan Eubank, at 626-821-3213 or Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org.  You must RSVP to Susan for the discussions you would like to attend.


June 23, 2021, 12:00 p.m. on Zoom

June 30, 2021, 7:00 p.m. in person at the Arboretum,

Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral translated and edited by Doris Dana. Baltimore : Hopkins University, 1979.

ISBN: 9780801812569

“…She was: attentive to the present, dominated by the conscience of her deeds and of the course that history takes, incapable of refusing the claims of those who suffer from hunger or thirst for justice and love… It would almost be impossible to distinguish between art and life or to say if there is more authentic poetry in her verses than in her acts. Everything she did, said, and wrote was in some way saturated with that poetic air, revealing the marvelous, if somewhat delicate balance between the ‘is’ and the ‘should be.’” — Margot Arce de Vazquez, Gabriela Mistral: The Poet and Her Work

“The work of the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in literature is translated with fine sensitivity. Each poem reflects the contained and tragically luminous spirit of this unique Chilean woman.”– Publishers Weekly


July 21, 2021, 12:00 p.m. on Zoom

July 28, 2021, 7:00 p.m. in person at the Arboretum

The Golden Age by Joan London. [North Sydney, N.S.W.] : Vintage Books, [2014].

ISBN: 9781741666441

August 18, 2021, 12:00 p.m. on Zoom

August 25, 2021, 7:00 p.m. in person at the Arboretum

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin; Lacey Lamar. 1st ed. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2021. 

ISBN: 9781538719367

September 22, 2021, 12:00 p.m. on Zoom

September 29, 2021, 7:00 p.m. in person at the Arboretum

The Annotated Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; Michael Patrick Hearn; E. W. Kemble (Illustrator), New York: Norton, 2001. Part 1

ISBN: 9780393020397

November 17, 2021 on Zoom

Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco by Judy Yung. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995.  

ISBN: 9780520088672

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