Whether your travel plans this summer involve an international excursion or something far less exotic, the Mill Valley Library wants to take you on a literary trip around the world.
In its latest foray into reading challenges, the library has launched a "Passport to the World" program, asking participants to read as many books set in or about different countries as possible.
The globally-tinged program, which kicked off earlier this month and runs through August 31, includes optional mini-challenges with such themes as “the Arab Spring” or “the Heart of Latin America” for ambitious readers.
For each country read, participants will receive an official "immigration stamp" to be entered
into a library-issued passport. Throughout the challenge, they will also receive tickets that will be used in one of several mini-raffles or a grand prize raffle to celebrate the program's culmination.
The challenge is bolstered by a host of related programming, including travel and cultural lectures, Spanish and Italian conversational language groups and screenings of films set in fantastic foreign locations.
“What’s unique about this program is that we’re coordinating a reading challenge with other complementary programming, which is something new for us,” Head of Reference Librarian Gail Jones says.
The Mill Valley Library’s 10-week Conversational Language Groups are already open
for registration. The Spanish Group meet on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and the Italian Group meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. The groups are open to individuals who know words and phrases and can speak in basic sentences.
The program’s lecture series include local author and artist Ellen Blonder, who will speak about her experience growing up as part of an extended Chinese-American family, and Jessica Theroux, a former culinary fellow with the Montalvo Arts Center and a freelance chef at Boulette's Larder. Theroux will discuss her time spent abroad in Italy, where she spoke with and learned to cook from several Italian grandmothers.
The Friends of the Library’s Monday Night at the Movies will also complement the Passport to the World programming with films set in foreign locations. In May, the Friends will show Marlene Dietrich films set in Morocco, Russia, and London. They will also show films about “China Before the Revolution” in June, “Three Films on South Africa” in July, and three “Welcome to Italy” films in August. Movies start at 7:30pm in the Creekside Room.
For more information about the Reading Challenge or any of the complementary programs, call 415-389-4292, x203 or visit the Library's website.