Book Club Books

Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the future King of France. Coming of age in the most public of arenas—eager to be a good wife and strong queen—she warmly embraces her adopted nation and its citizens. She shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is unable to give what she and the people of France desire most: a child and an heir to the throne. Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle, and apart from the social life of the court, she allows herself to remain ignorant of the country’s growing economic and political crises, even as poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge. The young queen, once beloved by the common folk, becomes a target of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court’s nobles, and the rest of the royal family are caught up in the nightmarish violence of a murderous time called “the Terror.”  With penetrating insight and with wondrous narrative skill, Sena Jeter Naslund offers an intimate, fresh, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this truly compelling woman that goes far beyond popular myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous change as real to us as the one we are living in now. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston...

First Fridays: Writing History with Laura Nelson

First Fridays continues on October 4th at noon with Laura Nelson.  Her lecture will explore Writing history. A hundred years from now, what stories will be remembered? How will people then know what life was like today? If you’re in New York or L.A. there are media giants recording the daily news. The national stories and international troubles are laid out in detail. But for small towns, in places like rural Montana, the only people telling those stories, the ones who care, are local journalists at small town papers. Laura Nelson leads a conversation about how journalists of the past to help historians understand the events, reactions, and stories that were important in a community and how journalists today write the history future generations will use to understand who they are. Laura Nelson is a freelance journalist currently writing a history of the state’s largest agricultural organization. She’s previously covered rural communities as an award-winning weekly newspaper editor and social media consultant. This event brought to you by a grant from Humanities Montana.  We appreciate all that HM does for our state and society....

BSBPL’s Speak Out Against Censorship

In honor of Banned Books Week, Butte Public Library is holding a Speak Out Against Censorship event on Thursday, September 26th at 6:00 pm on the first floor of the uptown branch. Librarians, educators, authors and journalist will all read a passage from their favorite challenged books.  This event is meant to highlight how libraries are at the forefront of your right to read what you want. Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of...

First Fridays: Profiles of African American Montanans

Our First Fridays series continues on September 6 at noon with “Untold Stories of Montana Minorities” by Ellen Baumler Newly emerging stories about the contributions of minority groups reveal a neglected aspect of Montana’s heritage. These stories open a dialogue about minorities in our communities, both past and present. African American, Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish pioneers helped anchor Montana in myriad ways. Each group made lasting contributions and left significant legacies revealing a state history as diverse and as compelling as its topography. The program offers a survey of all or one of these groups, highlighting the hidden histories of each and the roles they played, and continue to play, in building our communities. Ellen Baumler earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in English, classics, and history. She was the Montana Historical Society’s interpretive historian from 1992 until her retirement in 2018. She is an award-winning author of numerous books and dozens of articles on diverse Montana topics, and a 2011 recipient of the Governor’s Award for the...

Gardening Series: Seed Saving

Continuing our summer gardening series, John Wallace from NCAT will be here to demonstrate seed saving.  Seed or tuber saving is about saving part of your crop and reusing it the next year.  This allows for the continuation of successful plants instead of commercial purchasing of seeds every year.  It can aid in the success of a crop because only the plants that do well locally can be...