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'Joy Luck Club' open to discussion

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By Kirsten Laskey

“The Joy Luck Club” may be a work of fiction, but readers can uncover universal truths within its pages and may even glimpse aspects of their own lives in the story.The book has several themes, said Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan, library manager. The relationships between mother and daughter, wife and husband, and old and new generations are just a few.Because of its many themes, Kalogeros-Chattan believed it would be a perfect book to discuss with the community. “The book would speak to almost everyone in the community through any one of these themes,” she said.Additionally, a movie based on the book recently concluded the library’s book-to-film series.The novel is also a popular one, Kalogeros-Chattan said. During the film series, free copies of the books were available for people to pick up. For “The Joy Luck Club,” all the copies were taken, she said. Plus, all 13 copies of the book at the library are in circulation. “People are reading the book,” Kalogeros-Chattan said.The book discussion, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda at Mesa Public Library, will be informal and will cover whatever topics people are interested in, Kalogeros-Chattan said. Topics can include the book’s themes, its author, Amy Tan, or its writing styles.While there is currently no regular book club offered by the library, Kalogeros-Chattan said book discussions have been successful in the past. In November 2007, for instance, more than 30 people participated in the Big Read event, which celebrated Rudolfo Anaya’s novel, “Bless Me, Ultima.” “It was fun,” Kalogeros-Chattan said. “We thought we should try it periodically.”She encourages people to participate in the book discussion Thursday because, “I think it’s a great way for them to get to know their neighbors and it’s a lot of fun.”The library staff is also considering a program called, One City, One Book. In this program, everyone reads the same book and different activities, which focus on the book, are planned. Actually, Kalogeros-Chattan said, the library staff is interested in including Sarov, Los Alamos’ sister city, in the program.While the book-to-movies film series has wrapped up, a new series will begin March 6. Kalogeros-Chattan described the new series, which begins with “Limbo,” as movies people have probably heard of but not seen. Movies screen at 6 p.m. and are free.