Friends of the Library: From Italy to Russia

FOL planners and discussion members prior to the Leonardo Event

FOL planners and discussion members prior to the Leonardo Event

Dr. Alan Albarran

The Robson Ranch (RR) Friends of the Library (FOL) is not letting the pandemic get in the way of providing quality book discussions for the RR community.

On August 6, the FOL presented its first-ever virtual discussion, a biography of Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. The discussion was moderated by Tim Smith, a performing arts entrepreneur, and featured artist Claud Singer and engineer Joe Bono. Dr. Tom Lemke wrapped up the panel by wondering how Leonardo would have fit in here at Robson Ranch. We had good attendance and discussion, and several people who could not attend viewed the presentation on the cloud link made available after the presentation.

With Da Vinci behind us, the next FOL discussion could be themed “From Russia with Love.” No, we’re not reading about James Bond. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is our next selection for discussion. It tells the story of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, an aristocrat placed under house arrest by the Bolsheviks and forced to live in the attic of the Metropol Hotel for over 30 years. This book is many things, including a beautiful “love story”—love of country, love of friends, love of family, love between a man and a woman, and love of a vanished lifestyle. By the end of the book, many readers report having fallen a little bit in love with the count.

Mark your calendars to be with us on Thursday, October 15 at 2 p.m. for this discussion. We have another great panel lined up for this book. Mary Jo Skillings-Belding will bring her talents as a teacher and author as moderator. Pete Belding, a retired psychologist, will provide his perspective on adapting to “restricted” circumstances, something all of us can relate to over the past few months. Jane Scholz, a retired journalist and publisher, will focus on salient aspects of the story. As an antiques dealer, Michael Herzig gained a knowledge of Russian history that he will share with the audience. You won’t want to miss this discussion!

If you are not an FOL member, consider joining us today! The cost is $10 per person, and you can drop your check in a drop box at the library in the Creative Arts and Technology Center building. Be sure to include your email address and phone number on your check. Keep reading and stay healthy!