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April 3, 2012 > Hayward Public Library launches California Reads series

Hayward Public Library launches California Reads series

Submitted By Sally Thomas

The Hayward Public Library is launching a major community-wide reading series starting with a Read-a-Thon and Earthquake Lecture and Walking Tour on Saturday, April 7. The idea of the series is to: Read a Great Book, Discuss with a Book Group, Meet the Author, Act and Interact with the Community.

Join the Hayward Public Library throughout the months of April and May for a series of events that will provoke thought and discussion about community support and self-reliance during emergencies. During the month of April, we will explore the themes and stories in award-winning author Rebecca Solnit's book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster. May will feature author Christopher Phillips called the "Johnny Appleseed of Philosophy," whose latest book, Constitution Cafe: Jefferson's Brew for a True Revolution, illustrates the power and promise of democracy. A practical guide to preparedness for emergencies will follow on May 12.

California Reads is a new program of Cal Humanities developed in partnership with the California Center for the Book and the California State Library, providing a springboard to think about and discuss ideas that are critical to life in our state using thought-provoking books. The big idea is to stimulate a thoughtful reflection of, and lively discussion among, friends and neighbors, families and strangers about the past, present, and future of democracy. A grant from Cal Humanities, with support from the Friends of the Hayward Public Library, is sponsoring the Hayward Public Library's distribution of 500 free copies of A Paradise Built in Hell to community members, including local high schools and colleges.

If democracy is "people power," Rebecca Solnit argues in A Paradise Built in Hell, that power lies in individuals rather than institutions. Blending reportage and analysis, the book surveys natural and man-made disasters, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Halifax explosion in 1917, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the September 11th attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. Solnit contrasts conventional portrayals of negative human behavior and social deterioration in times of crisis with a much more positive view: that disasters can actually give us a sense of community and purposefulness.

Experience the transformative power of reading. Read the book. Meet the author. Put the ideas in the book into action in your town. Hayward Public Library's next "big read" will get you and your neighbors talking about the amazing communities that come together in emergencies, and how to harness that power to transform our lives for the better.

To request a free copy of A Paradise Built in Hell (while supplies last), call (510) 293-5239.

California Reads Events:
(All events at Hayward Main Library unless noted otherwise)

Saturday, April 7
11 a.m. - Noon
Volunteers will read the first section of A Paradise Built in Hell aloud on the library lawn. This section focuses on the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Those who would like to volunteer to read a page at this event, please contact Melesha Owen at (510) 293-5239.

Saturday, April 7
Hayward Earthquake Lecture, Discussion, and Walking Tour (begins at Library)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
California State University East Bay Professor Mitchell Craig will discuss the Hayward Fault and conduct a walking tour of seismic history in the downtown Hayward Area.

Monday, April 16
Book Discussion
A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 20
Book Discussion
A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Peet's Coffee & Tea
878 B St., Hayward
(B St. & Mission Blvd.)

Saturday, April 21
World Book Night
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Distribution of free books to new or returning readers. Bring a used copy of a book you have read and loved to pass on to someone who isn't a regular reader. For more information or to volunteer, call (510) 881-7700.

Saturday, April 28
Meet Rebecca Solnit
Author discusses and signs her book
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Wednesday, May 2
Meet Author Christopher Phillips
Discussion and book signing
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 12
Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) Training
Vital strategies to prepare and respond to emergencies and disasters. Led by Captain Thor Paulsen of the Hayward Fire Department.
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Hayward Main Library
835 "C" St., Hayward
(510) 881-7700
(510) 881-7980

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