Discussion Groups

Stammtisch German Language Group

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If you speak (any level of) German and would like to practice conversation, please feel free to join this group on the last Tuesday evening of each month at 7pm in the PA Room.

Topics of conversation vary, as does the level of fluency. We tend to informal and the intent is to support each other in improving our ability to communicate about all kinds of things. 

There is no cost to attend. Contact Jessica at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys 2014

Connected Histories Discussion Series
Sunday afternoons, 2 pm

Join us for discussions on readings that introduce a way of understanding the past in which Islam and the West are seen as products of a shared, cosmopolitan, and inextricably intertwined past. Register for the "Let's Talk About It" book discussions at the Reference Desk 215-723-9109, ext. 3.

Cathlyn Mariscotti (Professor of History at Holy Family College) will lead four of the discussions and Tom Kolsky (Professor of History at MCCC) will lead the March 16 discussion.

February 2: When Asia was the World by Stewart Gordon
February 23: The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili, 2011. (509.1767 Al-Khalili)
March 16: The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa
April 6: Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf
April 27: In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh

For more detailed information on these programs, click here to download our flyer.

Thursday Evening Book Discussion Group 2013-2014

1st Thursdays October through May, 7-8 pm

All are welcome. Please register at the Reference Desk

October 3: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, 2011

Set in North Korea, a young man becomes a threat to the dictator Kim Jong-il, and tries to get his wife and step children out of the country. Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

November 7: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, 2009

Ellis Lacey left Ireland and resettled in New York in 1951 to please well-meaning family members who remained in Ireland. Once in Brooklyn, she grieves. "She was nobody here," she thinks. "It was not just htat she had no friends and family; it was rather that she was a ghost in this room, in the streets on the way to work, on the shop floor....Nothing here was part of her."

December 5: The Butterfly Mosque by Willow Wilson, 2010

"Part travelogue, love story, and memoir, [this] is a brave, inspiring story of faith - in God, in each other, in ourselves; in the ability of relationships to transcend cultural barriers and exist above the evils that threaten to keep us apart." (from book cover) This is a Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys title.

January 2: In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh (1994)

The book contains two narratives. The first anthropological narrative revolves around two visits made by Ghosh to two villages in the Nile Delta, while he was writing his doctoral dissertation (1980-81) and again a few years later (1988). The second narrative, presented parallel to the first one, constructs a fictionalized history of 12th century Jewish merchant, Abraham Ben Yiju, and his slaves Ashu and Bomma, using documents from the Cairo Geniza. (Wikipedia) This Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys title will also be discussed on Sunday, April 27, 2 pm as part of the "Let's Talk About It" series.

February 6: Minaret by Leila Aboulela (2005)

Najwa's fall from wealth in Sudan to poverty in London "unfolds with the deliberate inevitability of a morality tale." Aboulela "describes the uncertainty and terror of {Sudan's] westernised elite in the 80s, and assembles a persuasive description of why a fundamentalist politics emerged..."  Aboulela descibes the heroine's "religious conversion and spiritual dedication. She succeeds brilliantly. This is a beautiful, daring, challenging novel." (Mike Phillips, The Guardian, June 10, 2005) This is a Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys title.

March 6: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2004)

"Set in the author's native Barcelona in the years after the Spanish Civil War, this gripping novel has the feel of a gothic ghost story, complete with crumbling, ivy-covered mansions, gargoyles and dank prison cells....this is just the sort of literary mystery that would have found favour with Wilkie Collins." (Daily Mail)

April 3: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar (2012)

"Umrigar creates four modern women who now run in different social circles, at different income levels, in different classes and even in different countries. But we can see how what they once were together informs what they are now apart. The variety and veracity that Umrigar brings to these women's lives is at the core of this novel, and the appeal to readers is very universal." (The Agony Column, Feb. 8, 2012)

May 1: The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012)

"In this haunting, powerful novel, Erdrick tells the story of a family and community nearly undone by violence. Using the quiet reflective voice of a young boy forced into an early adulthood following a brutal assault on his mother, Erdrich has created an intricately layered novel that not only untangles our nation's history of moral and judicial failure, but also offers a portrait of a community sustained by its traditions, values, faith, and stories." (National Book Foundation) 2012 National Book Award Winner, Fiction.

Indian Valley Photography Club

Join a group of people who love photography. Participate in a monthly photo assignment (if you wish). Photos from the assignment will be shown at the next meeting. We plan to have speakers, field trips, shared shows and shared photography information. Search for "Indian Valley Photography club" on Facebook.

No Photography skills needed.

All levels welcome.

Meets the following Tuesday evenings at 6 pm:

September 3

October 1

November 5

December 3