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'Leafing Through Time' Book Club Debuts at Isle a la Cache



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The library at Isle a la Cache Museum. (Photo by Chad Merda)

Isle a la Cache Museum is inviting nature-loving bookworms to sign up for a new club.

The “Leafing Through Time Book Club” debuts on Wednesday, January 22, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the museum. Two more sessions are set for February 26 and March 25. 

Sara Russell, an interpretive naturalist at the museum, said staff members were inspired by the comfy setting and beautiful views of the museum’s meeting room. 

“What is better than cozying up to great books in oversized chairs and occasionally looking out those huge picture windows at the amazing winter birds at the feeder,” she said. “It’s beautiful and restorative.”

Featured books will be fun as well as informative, and the topics will tie into the mission of the Forest Preserve District and the museum, Russell said.

“They’ll range from nature to cultural history to environmental impact,” she said. “Hopefully, some books will hit on all three.”

The first book to be featured in January is “Last Chance to See” by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.

“Adams is probably most well known for his comedy science fiction story, ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.’ But in this turn at nonfiction, where he tracks down severely endangered species, he is absolutely delightful. There are laugh-out-loud moments while, on the next page, pleas for conservation. It’s a short, easy read that you can fit in after the holidays.” 

February’s book is “The Last Voyageurs: Retracing La Salle’s Journey Across America: Sixteen Teenagers on the Adventure of a Lifetime” by Lorraine Boissoneault. 

“The descriptive title says it all,” Russell said. “Have you ever wondered how you would match up to some of the epic explorations of the past? These kids put themselves to the test, traveling from Canada through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico ... all by canoe, and often in the dead of winter! The writing is descriptive and makes you imagine you were on the trip with them.”

March’s book is “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. 

“Weisman’s narrative nonfiction asks us to envision what the Earth would look like if we suddenly disappeared,” Russell said. 

Most of the books will be nonfiction, but there could be some fiction selections as well, Russell said.

After the winter series, the book club will take a break for field trip season and will pop up throughout the rest of 2020 in June, August, and November. 

Russell said she is hoping that the book club ignites a new curiosity about nature and the preserves and a camaraderie among members. 

“We hope that people have fun, engage in our preserves, and find community with other people who love reading about nature and cultural history," she said. "Sometimes talking about a book makes you view it in a different light, which is great fun!”

The free book club is for ages 21 and older, and attendees are encouraged to bring wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverages of their choice. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required by the Tuesday before each session; call 815.886.1467. 

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