Library closed on Juneteenth

All locations of the Des Moines Public Library will be closed Wednesday, June 19 in commemoration of Juneteenth. We will reopen at the regular time on Thursday, June 20.

DMPL Book Clubs

DMPL Book Clubs

Join a book club at the Des Moines Public Library! All our locations have discussions each month. Check out the upcoming discussions below. Books may be picked up at the information desks of their respective libraries. Books & Bites books can be picked up at the Central Library.

To learn more about each book discussion, click "learn more".

Franklin Afternoon Book Discussion

Monday, May 13, 1 PM | Franklin Avenue Library

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today. ​

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Books & Bites

Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 PM | The Walnut (1417 Walnut Street)

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

In the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, home of the original 1692 witch trials, the 1989 Danvers Falcons will do anything to make it to the state finals—even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers.

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Book cover

 

 

South Side Book Discussion Group

Thursday, May 16, 2 PM | South Side Library

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. 

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The Secrets We Kept

 

East Side Book Discussion Group

Monday, May 20, 2 PM | East Side Library

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice—inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

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Book Cover

 

 

Forest Avenue Library Book Discussion Group

Monday, May 20, 6 PM | Forest Avenue Library

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala

In the small town of Shady Palms, Illinois, Lila Macapagal and her relatives run Tita Rosie's Kitchen, serve delicious Flipino dishes, and solve crimes on the side.

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North Side Book Discussion Group

Tuesday, May 21, 2 PM | North Side Library

The Air Raid Book Club by Annie Lyons

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett comes a heartwarming story of found family, love, and making connections through books set against the bombing of London during WWII.

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Read the Book. Watch the Movie with the book and movie cover side by side

 

The Varsity Cinema Book Club

Wednesday, May 29,  Movie Showing 6 PM, Discussion 8:30 PM | The Varsity Cinema (1207 25th St.)

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

This month, we will be reading the play The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, and watching the film 10Things I Hate About You by Gil Junger. Limited copies of the book will be available for checkout at the Central Library Pick-up Window starting the first of the month.

Learn More >>>

Ruffage cookbook cover

 

 

Virtual Cookbook Club

Thursday, May 30, 6:30 PM | Zoom

Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens

Join us from the comfort of your own homes and kitchens for a DMPL cookbook club that celebrates substitutions, creativity, sustainability and independence in home cooking. Prepare or use for inspiration one or more recipes from the selected cookbook for the month and come prepared to discuss triumphs and challenges.  

We try our best to select cookbooks that are accessible and feature recipes for all diets, experience levels, abilities and budgets. This month we will be cooking from Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens

Learn More >>>

Book Cover The Old Place

 

 

Franklin Afternoon Book Discussion

Monday, June 10, 1 PM | Franklin Avenue Library

The Old Place by Bobby Finger

A bighearted and moving debut about a wry retired schoolteacher whose decade-old secret threatens to come to light and send shockwaves through her small Texas town. ​

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Book Cover

 

Books & Bites

Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 PM | The Walnut (1417 Walnut Street)

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

Shannon Chakraborty, the bestselling author of The City of Brass, spins a new trilogy of magic and mayhem on the high seas in this tale of pirates and sorcerers, forbidden artifacts and ancient mysteries, in one woman's determined quest to seize a final chance at glory—and write her own legend.

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My Monticello Book Cover

 

 

Reading On The Margins Book Club

Thursday, June 13, 6:30 PM | Franklin Avenue Library

My Monticello  by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studying racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America.

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Book Cover

 

A Very Special Books That Will Change Your Life: A Nonfiction Book Club

Friday, June 14, 6 PM | Des Moines Art Center (4700 Grand Avenue)

Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility  edited by Rebecca Solnit.

This month, in a special collaboration with the Des Moines Art Center and their exhibit Hurricane Season: Caribbean Art and Climate Change (June 8 - September 22, 2024) we will be reading Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility edited by Rebecca Solnit.  We will meet at the Des Moines Art Center, tour the exhibit, and hold the discussion there afterwards.

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Last Summer at the Golden Hotel Book Cover

 

 

East Side Book Discussion Group

Monday, June 17, 2 PM | East Side Library

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the hotter-than-hot Catskills vacation scene. For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families presided over this glamorous resort which served as a second home for well-heeled guests and celebrities.

As the facilities and management begin to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together again to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden or is it too late?

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Book Cover

 

North Side Book Discussion Group

Tuesday, April 16, 2 PM | North Side Library

The Last Chance Library  by Freya Sampson

June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.

Learn More >>>

Book Cover

 

South Side Book Discussion Group

Thursday, June 20, 2 PM | South Side Library

Solito by Javier Zamora

A young poet tells the inspiring story of his migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this "gripping memoir" (NPR) of bravery, hope, and finding family.

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Coming Soon

 

Forest Avenue Library Book Discussion Group

Monday, May 20, 6 PM | Forest Avenue Library

TBD

Stop by the Forest Avenue Library and pick up a copy of this month's title at the desk. 

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Library Talk: Poverty in Iowa— Special Book Discussion

Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 PM | North Side Library

Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond

The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with other Iowa libraries and Uplift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot on a series of programs aimed at having important community conversations about poverty and its effect on Iowa.

For this special book discussion, will be reading Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond, in which the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of Evicted reimagines the debate on poverty, making a new and bracing argument about why it persists in America: because the rest of us benefit from it.

Learn More >>>

Varsity Cinema Book Club Read the Book Watch the Movie

 

The Varsity Cinema Book Club

Wednesday, June 26, Movie Showing 6 PM, Discussion 8:30 PM | The Varsity Cinema (1207 25th St.)

The Tempest by William Shakespeare / Forbidden Planet (Movie)

This month, we will be reading the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare, and watching the film Forbidden Planet by Fred M. Wilcox. Limited copies of the book will be available for checkout at the Central Library Pick-up Window starting the first of the month.

Learn More >>>

Coming soon

 

Virtual Cookbook Club

Thursday, June 27, 6:30 PM | Zoom

TBD

Join us from the comfort of your own homes and kitchens for a DMPL cookbook club that celebrates substitutions, creativity, sustainability and independence in home cooking. Prepare or use for inspiration one or more recipes from the selected cookbook for the month and come prepared to discuss triumphs and challenges.  

We try our best to select cookbooks that are accessible and feature recipes for all diets, experience levels, abilities and budgets. This month we will be cooking from TBD.

Learn More >>>