Welcome to the Adult Services page of the Lower Providence Community Library website. Find upcoming Programs & Events, check out our Resources for Readers, and send us your recommendations for books, DVDs, and other materials you would like to have in the library. Also, please let us know if you have any ideas for programming. We would love to hear from you!
To register for programs, email Barbara Loewengart or call the library at 610-666-6640 for the Circulation Desk.
Classes for March: Mondays: March 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 5:45 – 6:45pm. Fridays: March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 from 3:15 – 4:15pm.
Taught by certified yoga instructor Kamini Patel. Bring a mat or a towel and a $5 donation. Funds provide books and supplies to children in India.Register For Adult Yoga
Classes in February: Wednesdays, February 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 1:30 – 2:30pm
Classes in March: Wednesdays, March 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 1:30 – 2:30pm
Gentle yoga for people with less mobility, led by certified yoga instructor Kamini Patel. Cost is $5/session. Funds provide books and supplies to children in India.Register For Chair Yoga
Classes for March: Mondays at 7:15pm., March 5, 12, 19 & 26
Please join us for FREE meditation sessions. Open to all levels. Bring your active mind and wear comfortable clothing. Taught by Roger Shaughnessy, YT-200.Register For Meditation Sessions
Monday, March 26 at 1:30pm. Wonder. Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. Rated PG.
Monday, April 9 at 1:30pm. 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO. Starring Frances McDormand. Rated R.
Monday, April 23 at 1:30pm. The Greatest Showman. Starring Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams. Rated PG.
Monday, May 7 at 1:30pm. The Phantom Thread. Starring Daniel Day Lewis. Rated R.
Come to the Movie Matinee and enjoy a free showing of a hit movie! This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.Register For Movie Matinee
Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. Evening Book Discussion meets at 7:00pm the 2nd Wednesday of each month, September through June.
The enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved.
Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.
Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together. (From the publisher.)
1. How is each child—Cal, Caroline, Holly, Jeanette, Franny, and Albie—affected by the divorce and neglect that results?
2. What does it mean to become a family again in the wake of divorce? How does each child grow to respond to the family difficulties?
3. In what ways are the siblings good for and to each other?
4. Bert believes that his divorce, all the difficulties for the children, and his marriage to Beverly were inevitable.
“We’re magic,” he says to her. In what ways might this be true? To what extent does romantic love justify their decision?
5. What influence did the time periods, especially the ’60s and ’70s, have on the behavior and decisions of the characters?
6. What’s added to the novel by the presence of Lomer, Fix’s first partner on the police force?
7. How does the ageing of the four parents—Beverly, Fix, Teresa, and Bert—affect their feelings and behavior regarding each other and the children?
8. Franny falls for Leon Posen because of “the brightness in him.” What might this mean? Why do you think Franny and Leo were willing to overlook their age difference?
9. As adults, Jeanette suggests to Albie, perhaps in jest, that they create a family therapy plan for Holly and their mother. What does it take to repair and rebuild family relationships after so much division and tragedy?
10. What do the various literary allusions (David Copperfield, The Return of the Native, The English Patient, T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock) bring to the novel?
11. After writing his novel based on the life stories of the siblings, Leon Posen says “it’s my book,” while Albie asks, “how did he end up with my life?” What are the ethical and legal issues of the situation? Should there be regulations for writing about others without their consent?
12. Fix believes, “There’s no protecting anyone…keeping people safe…is a story.” To what extent is this true? Why does he believe this?
13. Holly chooses meditation over medication as a way of dealing with her suffering and stress. In what ways is this a healthy response to her life? What of her mother’s question of whether it’s “a real life”?
14. Among other things, Holly is attempting to find inner peace. To what extent does childhood experience determine who we become? How can an unsatisfying or unhealthy self be transformed?
15. Beverly admits late in her life that “other people’s children are too hard.” What does she mean? In what ways is this true or not?
16. Discussing their difficult past, Holly says to Teresa, “you got through it.” What’s the value of this? In what ways does each character go beyond this to remake his or her life?
17. Bert and Beverly’s kiss sets everything in motion for a lot of people who had no choice in the matter. How does that single decision shape everyone else’s life?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)
September – The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
October – To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
November – News of the World by Paulette Jiles
December – 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
January – Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
February – Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
March – A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
April – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
May – Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
June – Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Monday, April 2 at 1:00pm
De-stress and get creative! Join in for a fun, relaxed afternoon with pencils and markers at our Adult Coloring Book Class. We have lots of beautiful coloring book pages to choose from. You’re never too old to color! All materials provided. For more information, contact Barbara Loewengart.Register For Coloring Book Class
Monday, April 16 at 1:00pm, we will be discussing Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames’s life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He “preached men into the Civil War,” then, at age fifty, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle.
Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father—an ardent pacifist—and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend’s wayward son.
This is also the tale of another remarkable vision—not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames’s soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten.
Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of our finest writers, a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will sooon part. (From the publisher.)
1. What was your perception of the narrator in the opening paragraphs? In what ways did your understanding of him change throughout the novel? Did John’s own perception of his life seem to evolve as well?
2. Biblical references to Gilead (a region near the Jordan River) describe its plants as having healing properties. The African American spiritual, “There Is a Balm in Gilead” equates Jesus with this balm. According to some sources, the Hebrew origin of the word simply means “rocky area.” Do these facts make Gilead an ironic or symbolically accurate title for the novel?
3. The vision experienced by John’s grandfather is a reminder that the Christ he loves identifies utterly with the oppressed and afflicted, whom he must therefore help to free. He is given his mission, like a biblical prophet. This kind of vision was reported by many abolitionists, and they acted upon it as he did. What guides John in discerning his own mission?
4. How does John seem to feel about his brother’s atheism in retrospect? What accounts for Edward’s departure from the church? What enabled John to retain his faith?
5. The rituals of communion and baptism provide many significant images throughout the novel. What varied meanings do John and his parishioners ascribe to them? What makes him courageous enough to see the sacred in every aspect of life?
6. One of the most complex questions for John to address is the notion of salvation — how it is defined, and how (or whether) God determines who receives it. How do the novel’s characters convey assorted possibilities about this topic? What answers would you have given to the questions John faces regarding the fate of souls and the nature of pain in the world?
7. Marilynne Robinson included several quotations from Scripture and hymns; John expresses particular admiration for Isaac Watts, an eighteenth-century English minister whose hymns were widely adopted by various Protestant denominations. Do you believe that certain texts are divinely inspired? What is the role of metaphor in communicating about spiritual matters?
8. Discuss the literary devices used in this novel, such as its epistolary format, John’s finely honed voice, and the absence of conventional chapter breaks (save for a long pause before Jack’s marriage is revealed). How would you characterize Gilead’s narrative structure?
9. What commentary does John offer about the differences between his two wives? Do you agree with Jack when he calls John’s marriage unconventional?
10. John describes numerous denominations in his community, including Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, and Congregationalists. What can you infer from the presence of such variety? Or does the prevalence of Protestants mean that there is little religious variety in Gilead?
11. What might John think of current religious controversies in America? In what ways are his worries and joys relevant to twenty-first-century life?
12. John grapples mightily with his distrust of Jack. Do you believe John writes honestly about the nature of that distrust? What issues contribute to these struggles with his namesake?
13. Discuss the author’s choice of setting for Gilead. Is there a difference between the way religion manifests itself in small towns versus urban locales? What did you discover about the history of Iowa’s rural communities and about the strain of radicalism in Midwestern history? Did it surprise you?
14. Abolition drew John’s grandfather to the Midwest, and the novel concludes at the dawn of the civil rights movement. In what ways does this evolution of race relations mirror the changes John has witnessed in society as a whole?
15. Is Gilead a microcosm for American society in general?
16. In his closing lines, John offers a sort of benediction to his son, praying that he will “grow up a brave man in a brave country” and “find a way to be useful.” Do you predict a future in which his hope came true? What do you imagine John experiences in his final sleep?
17. Robinson’s beloved debut novel, Housekeeping, features a narrator with a voice just as distinctive as John’s. Do the longings conveyed in Housekeeping and Gilead bear any resemblance to one another? How might John have counseled Ruth?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30pm. PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE.
A Different Kind of Book Club will focus on reading books with happy endings (romance, light fantasy, cozy mysteries and the occasional nonfiction). The group will meet the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. In March, the club will be discussing Naked in Death by J.D. Robb.Register For A Different Kind of Book Club
Monday, April 9 from 6:30 – 8:00pm.
Join writers in finding their voice through memoir writing. The group will use writing prompts, poems, journal entries and images to discover the compelling themes and stories that comprise a memoir. The Circle will share their writing and read aloud to each other. Suitable for writers of all levels and experience.Register For Memoir Writing Circle
Wednesday, March 28 from 10:30am – 12:30pm. PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE.
Learn the basic functions of Microsoft Word.Register For Microsoft Word Basics
Thursday, April 24. Schedule a 40 minute appointment at 10:00am, 10:40am, 11:20am or 12:00pm.
Do you have questions about Medicare? Need assistance with what Medicare options are available? Need to know what plan is right for you? Donna Uhler, a state-trained volunteer APPRISE counselor will discuss your Medicare questions with you. APPRISE is a program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and other agencies designed to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their Medicare and health choice options. APPRISE counselors are sponsored and supervised by RSVP of Montgomery County.Register For Medicare One-on-One
Monday, March 26 at 7:00pm. PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE.
Sheetal Wagh will show you how to create spring themed cards for you to take home. All materials provided. Registration required.Register For Spring Card Making
Thursday, April 26 at 6:30pm. PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE.
Living with Deer in Our Gardens: Many of us continually attempt to outsmart the white-tail deer who browse through our gardens all year long. This workshop will summarize some techniques to repel deer and provide plant selections that may be less appealing to them. Please bring any ideas that have worked in your own gardens, to share with the group.
Karrie Hontz is a Master Gardener from the Penn State Cooperative Extension of Montgomery County. She has been a Master Gardener for more than 15 years, and lectures throughout the county on various horticultural topics.Register For Deer Resistant Gardening
Thursday, March 22 at 6:15pm.
This informative workshop covers the basics of social security and reveals strategies for maximizing your benefits. This program is most beneficial to those between the ages of 58 & 67. Presented by John J. Crowley, MBARegister For Social Security
Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30pm.
Zero Waste Living, presented by Eve Puhalla, Ph.D., is a life-style choice that supports the elimination of trash and the adoption of practices that emulate sustainable natural life cycles.This presentation will focus on basic Zero Waste practices that you can easily implement in your home to begin the process of reducing the volume of trash you generate and make a significant, positive environmental impact.
Eve M. Puhalla is a graduate of Lehigh University, The University of Findlay, and Elizabethtown College. She has more than 25 years of educational experience teaching preschool through the graduate level and is the CEO/President of PIER, LLC, an educational consulting firm. Eve is a Penn State Master Watershed Steward who volunteers to conserve, restore, and enhance water sources and educate and support communities in watershed stewardship. Eve is a dedicated recycler and enjoys organic gardening, food preservation and canning.
Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30pm.
In this one night workshop, you can become comfortable working with your InstaPot. Learn some of the QUICK, great things you can do with this kitchen appliance. Bring a beverage and come hungry – there will be lots of samples, too!
Presented by Kitchen Wizards. Kitchen Wizards is a spinoff division of Kathy’s Just Desserts. Limited to 20 participants.Register For InstaPot Expert
Three session program: Wednesdays, April 18, 25 and May 2
Learn to make a small baby blanket approximately 30 x 30 inches. This is not a beginner class. You must have experience with foundation chain, chain stitch, single crochet, half double crochet. double crochet, and shell stitch. The instructor has used 5 Caron Simply Soft yarn (there is no dye lot to this product. 315 yards 288 meters 170 g 6 oz. (1575) yards – you should have some left over. You may use a different worsted weight yarn.
Materials needed: 6 balls of Caron or worsted weight yarn, around 1575 yards; Needle size I and a yarn needle.
Colleen Ochotny is a certified crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council. She has been teaching crochet for more than 5 years has been crocheting for more than 30 years. Limited to 10 participants.
Thursday, May 3 at 6:30pm.
When we stop obsessing about weight and food, it doesn’t mean we throw health and nutrition out the window. It just means measuring health in more authentic ways. It means shifting your search for guidance from outside yourself to inside yourself.
This introductory workshop will help you:
-Identify the roots of your beliefs about your body and food
-Appreciate the amazing workings of your body
-Understand why fat is your friend
Through gentle movement, guided journaling, meditation, and honest conversation, we’ll explore the landscapes of our physical bodies and emotional worlds; how they interact and how they are one in the same. It’s about accepting your body, but it’s about so much more.
Bring with you: water, a journal, a willingness to see, and an open heart. No yoga mat is needed. We’ll do some gentle movement in our chairs.
Beth Knudson is a certified yoga therapist who empowers her students to understand and appreciate their bodies. Her practices are for all levels of yoga experience and ability. She believes you can befriend your body, eat with love, and move like the miracle that you are. When you understand and appreciate yourself, EVERYTHING changes.Register For How to Quit Dieting and Get Way More Out of Life
Every Tuesday at 10:30am until 12 noon.
This is not a formal language instruction class, but is for individuals wishing to practice and improve their French language conversation skills. Native speakers are most welcome. We need you, too! Please register and we will notify you three days prior to each weekly meeting.Register For Cercle Francais
Join us each Thursday to play and learn the social and exciting game of Canasta. Newcomers and experienced players welcomed! For more information, email Barbara Loewengart.
Do you have a craft you enjoy, or are you trying to finish a project? Meet with other knitting, crochet, jewelry making and cross stitching enthusiasts. All crafts welcome. Bring your own supplies. Learn and share ideas. All are welcome! For more information, email Barbara Loewengart.