The Homestead Museum is full of books! Aside from historic books in our collection, we’ve got a well-stocked research library, as well as a lending library for volunteers. The largest “object” in our collection, the 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival house known as La Casa Nueva, even includes a spacious library sporting built-in bookcases residing within thick adobe walls. With all of this inspiration at hand, it is about time the museum launched a book club for lovers of history! Its name is The Edge, and it debuts in February.
The Homestead focuses on the history of the Los Angeles area from 1830 to 1930, so the scope of reading possibilities for the club is especially expansive. For 2015, reading choices are linked to selected themes beginning with the Roaring Twenties. Specific titles can be found on the Homestead’s website, but two of the three books focus on oil, a major natural resource highly exploited and impacting the Los Angeles region during this era; and Prohibition, a federal, constitutional mandate with extreme moral and economic consequences. In some respects on the lighter side, the third book uncovers a host of headline issues centering on 1927 including aviation, sports, politics, epic flooding, a bizarre murder, and the sizzling stock market.
Besides gathering to discuss these stimulating volumes with the aid of a spirited facilitator, participants, at each session, will be visited by a member of the museum’s curatorial staff who will share intriguing artifacts from the Homestead’s collection that directly relate to the subjects of the books. This is a special bonus certain to enhance the experience.
Additional themes for 2015 include exploring aviation (June, July, and August), and California water and waterways (October, November, and December). Historical fiction, biography, fiction, and history are all fair game for participant reading choices.
The Homestead is truly excited about launching The Edge, and we hope prospective club members can join us for all three meetings starting Friday, February 6, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Group size is limited to 15 persons, and the fee is $15. Meetings will be properly fueled with refreshments courtesy of the museum, but we do need you to have read the book ahead of time utilizing reading guidelines generated by the Homestead.
Thanks to our Public Programs Assistant (and voracious reader!) Craig Chyrchel for this contribution.