BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
With the beginning of a new year, new things are happening at the Hays Public Library (HPL). One of these new installations is a book club featuring an array of books and authors within the fantasy genre. The new book club is starting this month and will take place at 6:00 p.m. on the last Monday of each month in the Conference Room located at the HPL.
Public Service Librarian for the Adult section at Hays Public Library, Jessica Shields, explains, “the purpose of the Fantasy book club is to explore elements of what makes a great fantasy” and continues by giving readers some insight into what guests can expect from participation in the club.
“Through reading and exploring the wide range of the genre, we will delve into wonderful worlds of magic, mayhem, and the unknown to reveal the foundations of fantasy,” Shields said. “All in all, it is a place where fantasy readers can come together and discuss the inner workings of a fantasy world.”
She goes on to expand on the inner workings of this particular book club, saying each month, they will read a subgenre of fantasy and then get together to discuss the book, subgenre, and any other thoughts anyone wants to express related to the reading.
“Arguably the best part of this club [is] there is no sign-up needed and it is a come-and-go type event,” Shields said. “You do not need to commit to each meeting if you do not want to.”
As for which books are on the agenda and when, Shields also releases a Tiger Media Network exclusive for the complete list. The yearly lineup is as follows.
2023 Fantasy Book Club
- January – Gothic – Sabriel (Garth Nix)
- February – High Fantasy Romance – House of Earth and Blood (Sarah J Maas)
- March – Dystopian – Year one (Nora Roberts)
- April – Retelling – The Wrath and The Dawn (Renée Ahdieh)
- May – Children’s Chapter Book – The School for Good and Evil (Soman Chainani)
- June – Middle grade – Amari and the Night Brothers (B.B. Alston)
- July – Young Adult – Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)
- August – Adult Paranormal Romance – Dead Until Dark (Charlaine Harris)
- September – Arthurian – Once & Future (Rose Capetta)
- October – Horror – The Call (Peadar O’ Guilin)
- November – High Fantasy – Kill the queen (Jennifer Estep)
- December – Portal Fantasy – The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Alix E. Harrow)
In the case that members forget which book is featured in which month, there will also be flyers on HPL social media that include the monthly book information, and books of the month will be made available on the main floor on the HPL Book Club shelf.
Shields also mentioned the many benefits being a part of a book club holds and why the library focuses so heavily on sponsoring events such as these.
“As a library, we encourage people to read, and book clubs can make reading more interesting,” Shields said. “More importantly, as a community organization, we seek to inspire and engage our patrons. Having a group that shares your enthusiasm and encourages your reading passions creates connections, which in turn forms a stronger community.”
If anyone has any other questions specific to the Fantasy book club, Shields encourages them to contact her personally at email@example.com.
More general information on the HPL Fantasy Book Club and other upcoming events at the Hays Public Library can be found at their website https://hayslibrary.org/