Owner Deb Horan has planned March activities at Booklovers’ Gourmet in Webster, in honor of the bookstore’s 27-year history. An independent bookstore, home to coffee drinkers, book clubs and artists, the shop was relocated to 72 East Main St. in 2020.
The celebratory events and featured giveaways will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 4 and 5. Horan has kept the store going during the pandemic with author signings, art exhibits, and open-mic readings.
“Exciting online events have always been part of the mix,” says Horan. During the COVID pandemic, she hosted a virtual book release for Dr. Brene Brown’s “Atlas of the Heart” and online conversations with the winners of “Writers of the Future, Vol. 36.”
Horan will also exhibit some of his own photographs in March, as part of the celebration. His exhibition is called “Nature by Design”. She was an active member of the Worcester-based women’s art group ARTXII, which organized and participated in regional and national exhibitions at galleries, universities and museums.
“Despite the challenges of running a business in these stressful times, or perhaps because of them, the store is busier than ever,” she said. Horan also expanded the store’s reach through various online efforts, including Bookshop.org, Alibris.com, and the My Must Reads app. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. See bookloversgourmet.com for more information.
Meg Wolitzer presents “Selected Shorts”
Novelist Meg Wolitzer (“The Female Persuasion,” “The Interestings”) is the new host of public radio’s long-running reading series, “Selected Shorts,” starting in March. Launched in 1985, the series features theater and film actors reading short stories by new and established authors. It is available as a podcast (npr.org/podcasts). The first episode she hosts, on March 3, will feature performers Joan Allen, Lynne Thigpen and Joanna Gleason. Authors whose works will be read in the first five episodes of Wolitzer include Lisa Ko, Rebecca Makkai, Amber Sparks and Edwidge Danticat.
The series allows listeners to hear authors and their works, read by actors.
Books of interest
•“Finding Dorothy” is a historical novel about MGM’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” by Elizabeth Letts. It focuses on Maud Gage Baum, wife of “Oz” author, L. Frank Baum. Letts fictionalized the story, but it’s based on Maud’s life from her early days of marriage in South Dakota, and goes on to tell the unknown story behind the film.
She went to Hollywood 20 years after her husband wrote the book, to make sure the plot was followed in the movie. Baum was also the daughter of a prominent suffragist. Judy Garland, the abused young star of ‘Wizard of Oz’, has also developed a relationship with Maud, who shares the sad facts of this child star’s life in Letts’ novel. Part biography and part novel, it’s safe reading. A Kansas City book club sent this tip to Read It and Reap.
• The Tidepool Bookstore at 372 Chandler St. has assembled a collection of books to mix with the Worcester Historical Museum’s March exhibition, “Pretty Powerful: 100 Years of Voting and Style.” The exhibition runs until March 31.
Book club events
• Joshua Hyde Public Library in Sturbridge will host another in his memoir series with Pat Conroy’s ‘A Low Country Heart’ at 1pm on March 8. At 6 p.m. on March 16, the Armchair Travelers Bookclub will discuss Tim O’Brien’s classic wartime story through a soldier’s eyes, “The Things They Carried.”
• Rachel’s Book Club at Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster requires registration on the library’s website for events. The next meetings will be at 12:30 p.m. on February 28 and 6:30 p.m. on March 1 to discuss Elizabeth Berg’s “open house”. Both meetings are about the same. Book or audiobook are available at the library. To register, call (978) 368-8923, ext. 4, or email [email protected]
• The biggest book club of all time takes on Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” in a 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Douglas Public Library on March 3. Intrepid library readers will discuss Christopher Wren’s “These Turbulent Sons of Liberty” at 6:30 p.m. March 8. On March 10 at 4 p.m., The Book Wizards will discuss “We Will Not Be Silent” by Russell Freedman.
• Off-Track Bookies in Lancaster will discuss Maggie O’Farrell’s ‘Hamnet’, an intriguing fictional look at the events surrounding William Shakespeare’s family life. See you on March 10 at 7 p.m.
NOW Book Club has scheduled “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman for its March 17 meeting at Tidepool Bookshop, 372 Chandler St. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. challenge stereotypes of older people. The writing is fine and witty. The members of the novel’s book club leave their meetings to try to solve a nearby murder.
Send book club selections and book suggestions from your club to [email protected] Read It and Reap is published on the second and last Sunday of the month. The deadline is two weeks before each publication.