32. Books & Beyond: Stephen King’s “11/22/63” the Focus of 5th Annual Barrington Reads Event, Underway Now!

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Logo for the 2015 Barrington Reads community reading eventIt’s been way too long since I’ve written a Books & Beyond post on behalf of the Barrington Area Library! Since we successfully completed our renovation project in 2014, we are busier than ever over at 505 N. Northwest Highway, and I’m amazed at how the months have flown by. Nevertheless, one tradition we began before the renovation is our annual community reading event, Barrington Reads (formerly called One Book One Barrington). This is our fifth annual Barrington Reads event. Events take place all month long, so it’s not too late for you to get involved!

365112263If you’re not familiar with the overall event: Barrington Reads takes place every February. The library encourages community members to read and discuss one particular book.

This year’s choice, 11/22/63,  is a tour de force combining historical fiction, science fiction, romance, thrillers, and magical realism, all conjured up by master storyteller Stephen King. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but in a nutshell: a mild-mannered, small town English teacher finds a wormhole back through time, giving him the potential to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I rarely read fiction, but when I started in on 11/22/63, I was hooked, and we know this book is going to make for great conversation at our book discussion gatherings.

So, read the book, discuss. But wait – there’s more! Adult Services Librarian Liz Kirchhoff adds to the experience every year by scheduling really wonderful related programming. So this year, there are lectures and presentations on JFK’s assassination, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, Beatlemania and popular music of the 50s and 60s, vintage clothing and make-up. It’s all free, you just need to register on our website: balibrary.org/barrington-reads.

Librarian Liz Kirchhoff poses with some famous friends as she prepares for the library's Family Sock Hop on February 13.
Librarian Liz Kirchhoff poses with some famous friends as she prepares for the library’s Family Sock Hop on February 13.

We like to have one really BIG Barrington Reads get-together for the whole community, and this year it is our Family Sock Hop on Friday, February 13! We have live music every second Friday of the month, and that evening we’re featuring the classic rock of Fast Eddie and the Corvettes. You can just come and listen, or you can really get into the spirit of this trip back through time:

  • Snap some old school pix in the photo booth (with some famous friends…),
  • make a craft poodle to decorate your skirt,
  • take a spin on the dance floor with help from Dancewerks, under the direction of Ellen Werksman featuring the dancers of Midwest Dance Collective and The Entertainers,
  • grab a free bag of freshly popped popcorn, a Coke, and the first 150 guests to arrive will receive a free, mini ice cream sundae;
  • or just sit back and enjoy vintage rock from those happy days.

Doors open at 7 PM, live music begins at 8 PM, and we ask that you register online as space is limited. This event is open to all ages, so bring your kids, grandkids, or your sweetie – after all, it is Valentine’s weekend.

If a sock hop isn’t your style, please consider joining us for a book discussion – how often do you get the chance to talk about a book with your neighbors or friends? – a thought-provoking lecture, or a hands-on make-up demonstration. You can see the full schedule and register online from the Barrington Reads home page.


Books & Beyond, is the name of our series here at 365Barrington.com about all the great stuff happening at the Barrington Area Library. CLICK HERE to review the library’s contributions published to-date at 365Barrington.com. The Barrington Area Library is located at 505 N. Northwest Highway in Barrington, Illinois.  For more information about library events, programs and resources, CLICK HERE to find the library’s Facebook page or visit their website at BALibrary.org.

Barrington Area Library Staff
Barrington Area Library Staff

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