Sep 302014

Joan Stevenson 

Who could forget November 14, 2009?  The opening of Lafayette Library and Learning Center!  It was the coming together of our community who had shaped a dream, funded it and built it.  The launch was unforgettable…with a parade and bands and activities and all the hoopla that it so richly deserved! And now 5 incredible years later on Sunday, November 2 from 11-3, A Literary Festival will take place to celebrate the anniversary with music and food, activities, workshops, and special guests.  Those guests will include author, Elizabeth Rosner (known for The Speed of Light, and reading from her new book Electric City, coming out in October), Joe Di Prisco (known for the Field Guide To The American Teenager, reading from his new book Subway to California), Marissa Moss (Mira’s Diary), Denys Cazet (Minnie & Moo) and others.

Calling all Book Clubbers!  The Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center have just announced the First Annual Book Club Swap! Imagine that, a place where book clubs can bring in a stack of their favorite reads, share ideas and learn what is going on with other clubs in our community!  So gather your book buddies and come to the Library Amphitheater at First Street and Golden Gate Way on Thursday, October 9 from 6:00 – 7:30.  Admission is $10 and includes the swap, wine and a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes.  Proceeds will benefit the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.  Please register online at  October was designated National Reading Group month by the Women’s National Book Association.  Check out this website for the 2014 selection of Great Group Reads:

My boys (now grown men) had a favorite Little Golden Book about Willie Woo Woo, a fire engine.  I even remember the line, “get out of the way I’m coming through, get out of the way, I’m Willie Woo Woo!”  Clear the way on October 9 from 12-1 for a special visit from Lafayette’s finest! Station 15 is bringing their fire truck for the kids to explore!  There is something very exciting about being up close and personal with a fire truck!

The Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation will host two events as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.  The first, October 16 at 6:30 is An Evening with Piper Kerman author of “Orange is the New Black” and Joe Loya author of “The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell” in conversation.  The unlikely pair were pen pals while each was in prison. They will share their personal stories and reflect on the writing of memoir.  On Thursday, October 23 at 6:30 we will hear a conversation between Malcolm Margolin, founder of an independent publishing house in Berkeley, and his biographer, Kim Bancroft.  Funny and provocative, The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin reveals the workings of a courageously unconventional enterprise run on beauty, passion, friendship, and joy.  To reserve your space:

On Monday, October 13 at 6:30 in the Community Hall the Commonwealth Club will gather a group of experts to address the question uppermost in our minds, “How long will the California drought last? The panel will include: John Coleman, President, Association of California Water Agencies, and Anthony Rendon, California Assemblyman (D-Lakewood); Chair, State Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. By studying tree rings and lake sediments, scientists have found that droughts were once typical in California and have been known to last for decades. This raises the question: Is this the beginning of a new normal?  Cost: $22 non-members, $12 members, $7 students with valid ID.  Visit for reservations.

November 6 at 7:00 the Friends will welcome a local author, Joe Di Prisco, to Sweet Thursday. He will discuss his new book, Subway to California.  By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Subway to California recounts Joe’s battles with his personal demons, bargains struck with angels, and truces with his family in this richly colorful tale that reads like great fiction.


I asked Ellen Reintjes, Friends President-Elect, what we might find on her night stand and I was awed at her reply.

“I’m currently reading “The Violin: A Social History of the World’s Most Versatile Instrument”, by David Schoenbaum.  I inherited my grandfather’s violin a few years ago and am taking lessons at Lamorinda Music.  To quote the inside of its jacket, this book combines “… the stories of its makers, dealers, and players into a global history of the past five centuries.”  I find it filled with “I didn’t know that” moments, humor, and even intrigue.

One last note from Ellen – November 12 WOW will host an Asian Art docent. More on that next month.


 September 30, 2014
Sep 272014

Come to the First Annual Book Club Book Swap on Thursday, October 9th from 6-7:30.  Book clubs can trade a stack of a favorite read, share ideas and meet other clubs in the community.  The Corner Book Shop will be open for guests to check out the used books and make purchase using a $2 off coupon.  The festivities will take place in the Library courtyard at the corner of Golden Gate Way and First Street.  Admission is $10 and includes the swap, wine, and a raffle ticket  for a chance to win prizes.  Proceeds will benefit the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.  Please register online at

 September 27, 2014
Sep 192014

by Joan Stevenson

Imagine this. You are ten years old and you discover that you have the ability to travel through time. Your magic Touchstone can whizz you to Rome or Paris. Incredible! Allow me to introduce you to Mira, a time traveler. Her diary, Bombs Over London by Marissa Moss is the selection for Lamorinda Kids Read during September. For as long as the supplies last, you can pick up your own copy at the library courtesy of the Friends of the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda libraries. Let the book spark your own imaginary trip through time. Where would you go and why? Write about your adventure and submit it to the time travel writing contest by September 22 and don’t miss the movie, “Back to the Future” on September 2 at 4:00. In addition, Penny Warner, author of “The Code Buster Club”, is coming to the Lafayette Library on September 26 at 4PM. Join us and learn how to break secret codes! Pick up the Mira’s Diary brochure when you collect your book and don’t miss out on any of the fun planned for September at Lafayette Library and Learning Center.

While the kids are exploring Istanbul in their time travel, their parents may be looking back as well and wondering what went wrong in their garden this summer. Contra Costa Master Gardeners will be in the Art & Science Center on September 16 from 6:30 – 8:00 for a post mortem. This talk covers common vegetable growing problems and how to correct them. You will also receive suggestions for which vegetables to plant for the most reliable results. Free event. To reserve please email

I have to admit my surprise in learning that the focus of Science Café was cheese! I am a true cheese lover so I will be there in the Community Hall on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM to learn how bacteria, enzymes and acids transform ordinary milk into more than 1000 varieties of cheese. Were you aware that cheese can be stored for months or even years? And, yes, there will be cheese sampling! $5 payable at the door. Register at Boxed meals will be available for pre-order.

Ellen Reintjes who wows us with (Wonders of the World) has the fall lecture series in place. You will notice a theme with the first two. Come on Wednesday September 17, 2014 at 2 pm in the Community Hall where you will be introduced to the Native American Collection of Roger Epperson from St. Mary’s Museum of Art. It features over 25 works including photography, etchings, drawings and paintings by esteemed artists. Roger Epperson was an East Bay Regional Parks Ranger for over thirty years who had a passion for California’s environment and a deep love of art. On Wednesday October 8 at 2pm in the Community Hall a docent from the deYoung Museum will introduce Lines on The Horizon: Native American Art. This collection spans more than 1,000 years of artistic creativity.

Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes Anthony Marra, author of “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” on Thursday September 25 at 6:30. Anthony Marra’s exquisite debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, describes the transcendent power of love in wartime. When first published in May 2013, it became an instant New York Times bestseller and later won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, and was long listed for the National Book Award. Tickets: $20/person
World traveler and popular presenter Frank Rainer returns for a special travel program entitled “Mad about Madagascaron Thursday, September 18 at 6:30. Hear all about Frank’s adventures in this fascinating environment. Except for island continents, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Wildlife there is unique with fascinating little lemurs that may jump as if dancing and even come to hop on your shoulder and beg as you breakfast at an outdoor patio. Free Program Register at

I asked our librarian, Vicki Sciacca, what we would find on her night stand. ”I am reading Subway to California by Joe DiPrisco.  It is a memoir written Mr. DiPrisco about his family’s transition to California prompted by a series of fascinating events in New York.  He will be our Sweet Thursday author for November and is a Lafayette resident! The book was recently released and is already in its second printing.” That will be a tale many of us can personally relate to!

Coming Soon: October 9 from 6-7:30 1st Annual Friends of the Lafayette Library Book Club Book Swap. Details in October.


 September 19, 2014
Aug 162014

by David Benioff

From: Francie Low

 August 16, 2014
Aug 052014

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Subway to California recounts Joe’s battles with his personal demons, bargains struck with angels, and truces with his family in this richly colorful tale that reads like great fiction.

Lafayette Library and Learning Center Community Hall
Free event; refreshments will be provided. Register at


 August 5, 2014
Jun 192014

The Friends of The Lafayette Library and Learning Center continues the docent lecture series with the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in San Francisco’s Presidio. The museum brings Walt’s legacy to life through innovative, interactive galleries featuring drawings, animation, movies, and music. For the young and the young-at-heart

Lafayette Library and Learning Center Community Hall
Free. Register at

 June 19, 2014