New book club with historical twist opens July 25

For immediate release July 10, 2007


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Library today announced it has created a new book club featuring material with Iowa connections.

“Book Discovery” kicks off 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. July 25 at the State Historical Building, 3rd Floor, Classroom A, with a discussion about Phil Stong’s popular 1932 novel State Fair. The State Historical Building is at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Pre-registration is recommended, but not required, by visiting More information is available at 515-281-6897 or by email at

“This program offers history and literary enthusiasts an opportunity to get together and discuss books that define, reflect or capture the spirit and history of Iowa,” said Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The State Historical Library is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, which is a division of DCA.

“Book Discovery” will meet 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Following is the 2007-2008 Book Discovery schedule:

July 25, 2007
State Fair by Phil Stong
State Fair recounts the adventures of the Frake family at the Iowa State Fair in the late 1920s. Stong’s universal morality tale has much to reveal to anyone willing to read between the lines.

September 26, 2007
Splendid Solutions by Jeffrey Kluger
Many Iowans remember the fears around polio. This “All Iowa Reads” selection details Jonas Salk’s drive to find a vaccine and make it available to the public.

November 28, 2007
A Rural Community short story by Ruth Suckow
Suckow’s short story of an orphan who returns to his small, rural town.

January 23, 2008
In No Time At All by Carl Hamilton
Hamilton recalls the familiar trappings of country life between two world wars with a tinge of regret, commemorating their passing.

March 26, 2008
A Son of the Middle Border by Hamlin Garland
An autobiographical memoir, Garland recounts events of his Midwest upbringing, including his time in Iowa.

May 28, 2008
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Call of the Wild is a featured title of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “The Big Read” program. London’s Iowa connection is two-fold: he marched across Iowa with Kelly’s Army and honeymooned in Newton.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at


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