Saturday, September 22, 2018

Madera Reads Book Club

September 2018 

Madera Reads Community Book Club will meet for the final book discussion of Fahrenheit 451 on Saturday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Starbucks on Howard Road. Join us for a wonderful discussion.

October 2018

Madera Reads October book selection is the powerful  memoir,  "Men We Reaped"  by Jesmyn Ward.

Come read with Madera Reads.

“In real life, I looked at my father and mother and understood dimly that it was harder to be a girl, that boys had it easier. Here, boys could buy and ride motorcycles and come and leave when they wanted to and exude a kind of cool while they stood shirtless at the edge of the street, talking and laughing with one another, passing a beer around, smoking cigarettes. Meanwhile, the women I knew were working even when they weren’t at work: cooking, washing loads of clothes, hanging them to dry, and cleaning the house. There was no time for them to just relax and be.” ― Jesmyn Ward

Written by Francine

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Local Writer at Madera Reads Book Club

Madera  Reads Book Club met today for our July Book Discussion. In attendance was local author, Glenna Jarvis. It was wonderful to have a book discussion with the writer of the book present. The attendance of Jarvis provided  a deeper understanding and appreciation into the books  main characters. 

It was also interesting to discover that the town of Borden, which is where Sandmann is set, was once an actual place in Madera.  

Borden was located in the southeast area of Madera, near the Southern Pacific Railroad. Maybe it was once a thriving town; but today, any lasting traces of a bustling community have all but disappeared. The only thing that remains are a few headstones of deceased Chinese railroad workers.

Thanks to Jarvis, Borden is also the town where reporter, Hannah Monakee is living her best fiction life. I find it is absolutely wonderful that local writer Glenna Jarvis incorporated the town of Madera and its history in Sandmann.

Jarvis is an interesting person , filled with amazing and entertaining stories from her career as a crime beat reporter and time spent documenting and reporting on cases for the Madera Tribune that would make most close their eyes in fear.  

But just like Hannah Monakee, Glenna is not done reporting.

Jarvis followed up Sandmann with Free Fall- A Hannah Monakee Mystery.  All the delightful and tough characters from Sandmann make an appearance in the book, Detective Morales, Quint, and Oz.

So, if you're looking for a good read sprinkled with some local flair, The Hannah Monakee Mystery books are great place to start. Sandmann and Free Fall are available now on Amazon.

Madera Reads will read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in August. 
We welcome YOU to come read with us and discuss great works of literature together. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July Book Club Pick- Sandmann

Madera Reads Community Book Club's July pick is Sandmann, by local writer, Glenna Jarvis.  Ms. Jarvis is a former crime reporter for The Madera Tribune with over 15 years of experience in investigative journalism.  

Writers often write what they know. So, it is no surprise that Jarvis' debut novel introduces readers to crime reporter Hannah Monakee.

Monakee is a wide-eyed delightful character with a knack for piecing together a good story. Things take a dire turn, when Hannah finds out she may be the killers next victim. In a race to save her life and help find the killer, Hannah's investigative skills kick in. Sandmann is a thrilling read. It is filled with mystery and will keep you captivated and rooting for Hannah page after page.  

Madera Reads is so thankful that Ms. Jarvis is  local writer, hailing from the Madera area. This means that our book club will not only read and discuss Sandmann, but we are also fortunate enough to have Ms. Jarvis in attendance at our Book Discussion on  Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. (see attached flyer for more information)

We welcome all Central Valley readers to join Madera Reads for a book discussion of Sandmann. Come out and support local writers and their craft by attending Madera Reads Community Book Club.

For more information on the works of Glenna Jarvis and for information on where to purchase her novels follow the link provided.

Happy Reading

Written by Francine

Monday, July 2, 2018

Local Book Club, Sharing the love of Reading

In my local town of Madera, California, I, along with the Friends of Madera County Library have started a book club. The book club was started in February. Our name is Madera Reads Community Book Club. 

We meet once a month, sometimes two, depending on how long our book discussions last. We meet once at the Library and another, at a local coffee shop in the community.

I have been an avid reader my entire life. I hope that the book club helps to find local readers that want to read, fellowship and discuss great works of literature with their community, as well as highlight great writers.  Thus far, we have read some pretty great books. I've attached the flyers from past book discussions, in case you're interested in reading some of Madera Reads picks!

I highly recommend the following; February book was, Manana Means Heaven, by the talented and beautiful - Tim Z. Hernandez, March book was Idaho, a debut novel by Emily Ruskovich, and April book was, We the Animals, a haunting, gorgeous story written by Justin Torres (We the Animals is soon to be released as a motion picture).

Our last two books, May's book club choice, Here Lies Memory by Doug Rice and June's book club choice, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, I cannot get the characters out of my mind. I am working on short blurbs about all the books we have so far read. 

I encourage you all to share  your love of reading within your community. Start a local book club, find like minded people. Keep reading and a love for literature- ALIVE! 

Read and be Happy!

(559) 273-9627  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Local Poets You Should Read in April

April is National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate the month of poetry then by reading books from local poets. I have searched my bookshelves to find a few of my favorite Central Valley Poets.

We all love the classics. right? Homer, Akhmatova, Milton, Neruda, Yeats and so on, but what about the current poets. Today's poets are the names we will be reading in years to come. They speak to our generation and their immortalized words will always remind us of what the world was like today. I know the four books I've selected below will always remind me of a season in my life, a person, a moment during the 2000's that I will never forget.

For instance, De Luna's" Bent to the Earth", I purchased at Tower Records, Sacramento in 2006. At the time my seven-year engagement  was painfully coming to an end and oddly enough, so was Tower Records. I remember taking the book to our then home, and sitting on those dreadful baby blue couches when I read the stanza below and succumbed to the universal language of  loss.   

"There were no great truths
revealed to me then. No wisdom
given to me by anyone. I was a child
who had seen what a piece of polished wood
could do to a face, who had seen his father
about to lose the one he loved, who had lost
some friends who would never return,
who, later that morning, bent
to the earth and went to work."

Then there was the moment when my husband who is not a reader, read Chacon's "The Cholo Who Said Nothing", never having read a poem, much less an entire book of poetry, said to me, this book was so real and truthful to what it really feels like after losing a mother, with his Asian eyes full of sadness.

Or when at Toca Winery in Madera, when the song  Paloma Negra resonated between the walls of Marisol Baca's "Tremor" book release party, and in my hands I held Marisol's book, reading  the poem "Helena" and I thought to myself, life is so good, so, so good.  

Joe Rios wrote an amazing collection of Poetry with "Shadowboxing". Rios was editor of a college newspaper we wrote for in Fresno. He is one of the most original human beings I have ever met, and he is such a great writer. His book "Shadowboxing" should be on every bookshelf in the world.

Poetry emotionally charges the soul. When a poem is well written  it is like a bolt of lightning giving way to see and understand the world a little bit clearer. These four books of poems have done just that for me and I am sure they will for you also. I hope you grab a copy of each and let the words take you on a journey of  what life is like in the Central Valley. Create your own moments with Poetry!

Happy National Poetry Month!  


Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Power of Recommendation

In his most recent Netflix special, Dave Chappelle mentioned the name of a book and encouraged the audience to read it. This, he said, would help all understand why he removed himself from his popular FX comedy series.
The book Pimp by Iceberg Slim was first published in 1967 by Holloway House. Then, it was released in 1996 in Great Britain by Payback Press. Simon and Shuster picked up Pimp in 2011 and here it stayed.
Pimp had already been an underground favorite. Ice-T completed a documentary on the book in 2013, plenty of celebrities, rappers and comedians have raved about the book.
I read a book review on Pimp sometime around 2013.I intended to buy the book. I found a used copy at a used bookstore in Fresno’s Tower District. There wasn’t even an actual price on the book, and it was a “$10 bag of books” deal. I chose another book over Iceberg Slim’s Pimp. Now I totally regret that decision.
According to, Dave Chappelle’s recommendation has caused this decade old book to skyrocket to the top of the best sellers list. Ughh!
The book now sells on Amazon for $10 for new books up to $600, probably for a first edition or not one of the mass produced paperback books. I mean can you believe that??? A book like Pimp, for a book lover like myself, I would never want a new $10.61 book. It is the old, first edition, even the first edition Great Britain edition that would be worth collecting. Listen, the book has so bumped up in price that even a Kindle edition is freaking $11.99 and Simon and Shuster sells it for $15 bucks and some change.
Do you see the power of a recommendation? So if you were one of the lucky ones to purchase Pimp by Iceberg Slim early on, imagine what you could get for a first edition, hardcover from Halloway House. Search your mama’s and yo grandparents bookshelves…. and call me if you have the book.

(559) 273-9627

Friday, December 22, 2017

Social Media Friends Are The Best At Book Recommendations

 One of my social media friends posted a picture of a Sherman Alexie book with a caption underneath that read something along the lines of, “best writer alive”. Until that day, I had never heard of Alexie. But his name remained in my mind. While at The Paperback Trader in Redding, CA, I scanned the bookshelves for a gem and I found a Sherman Alexie book with a photo of two men punching each other. Immediately, I purchase The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fight in Heaven and read nearly half of it by the time I reach Modesto. I loved it. It is a wonderfully written book, with short stories that are magically told.

Soon after, I purchased Blasphemy.    

This purchase confirms that I had found a new favorite writer in Alexie. Blasphemy is a great book full of wonderful short stories. “Breakfast” is one of my favorites and is so short but packs the greatest punch of love, loss and parental guidance all in one and a half pages. Alexie is truly a magical storyteller. 

Then, last week while at the B&N bookstore in Fresno, I picked up You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, a memoir piece mixed with prose and poetry by Mr. Alexie. And, well, everything comes to a halt. Here is my review of, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me under the tab Memoir Reviews.

Happy Reading! 

By Francine!