Expand your library with System Staff Council

Hosted by SSC's Culture and Engagement task force, this is a social book club, where we'll read books of different genres and themes throughout the year. One of our goals is inclusion and accessibility, so we prioritize books available in multiple formats from various public library systems around Denver. 

If you're interested in reading a new book, or just want to come for the conversation, we hope you'll join us! 

This Quarter's Book:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant—and that her lover is married—she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters—strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis—survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. (summary from goodreads.com)





Q1 2024 Book


January 2024 Book:
Go as a River by Shelley Read

A stranger comes to town.

Colorado native Read sets her graceful debut novel in the small community of Iola, a town along the Gunnison River in the western part of the state. Iola, readers learn in the first pages, no longer exists: It was flooded when the Gunnison was dammed to create the Blue Mesa Reservoir. But in 1948, when Read’s tale begins, Iola is the home of 17-year-old Victoria Nash, who keeps house for her father, a peach farmer; an embittered uncle who uses a wheelchair because of war injuries; and her angry, vengeful brother. Her mother, aunt, and a beloved cousin were killed in an auto accident when Torie was 12, leaving each family member bereft and Torie resigned to the burden of caretaking. After her mother died, Torie realized, “the men expected me to slip silently into her role—to cook their meals, clean their toilet, wash and hang their soiled clothes, and tend to every last thing in the house and the coops and the garden.” She hardly leaves her family’s 47 acres except to go to town, where, one day, she notices a young man who attracts her attention as no one has before. He has tan skin, straight black hair, gentle eyes, and a dazzling smile. His name is Wilson Moon, and to Torie, he seems mysterious and exotic. He had been working in the coal mines, he tells Torie, and he had run away. Now, he’s looking for the local flophouse, where he hopes to find a room. Read delicately unfurls the growing attraction between Torie and Wil, set against the town’s vicious bigotry toward Native Americans. Their love is the “small fateful twist” that forever changes the trajectory of Torie’s life. With delicate precision, Read evokes both Colorado’s rugged wilderness and the landscapes of her characters’ troubled hearts. (summary from kirkusreviews.com)







Q4 2023 Book


October 2023 Book:
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise. (taken from britbennett.com)