Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

During last month’s Online Book Group, one of our members recommended “The Music of Bees” and added that Roseburg Public Library should invite the author, Oregonian Eileen Garvin, to speak.

That is exactly what Outreach Services Lead Lydia Rathe did, and Garvin is set to talk about her debut novel on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. on Facebook Live at

As soon as Garvin was booked, I moved “The Music of Bees” to the top of my read pile, and I am so glad I did.

“The Music of Bees” is a heartwarming, contemporary novel set in Hood River, Oregon, and it focuses on the intersection of three characters who alternate narrating the chapters.

Alice is a 44-year-old widow and beekeeper, a loner who realizes just how lonely she is when she welcomes two young men into her life.

Those men are Jake, a teenager in a difficult home situation whose life has been further unmoored by an accident that left him paralyzed a year ago, and Harry, a 24-year-old felon who is newly arrived in Oregon to start over.

Alice, Jake and Harry bond over farm work, and beekeeping becomes a metaphor for the relationships they develop and nourish. Their commitment to the bees and one another is put to the test when a pesticide company threatens their work.

Copies of “The Music of Bees” are available through the library. Place holds on a physical copy of the book by logging into the library’s online catalog at with a 14-digit Roseburg Public Library card number; the default password is the phone number used to register the account.

“The Music of Bees” also is available as an electronic book and audiobook through the OverDrive (Libby) and cloudLibrary digital platforms.

Garvin’s visit is just one of the library’s book conversation programs for adults this fall.

Library staff is reading up a storm in preparation for the fall edition of our Friends at Five Virtual Book Exploration in partnership with Thrive Umpqua on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. Youth Services Librarian Aurora Ropp and I will recommend more than two dozen books, all published since May of this year.

The timing is perfect for those who want holiday gift giving ideas.

Our Author Discussion Group is taking a deep dive into the works of novelist, memoirist and essayist Joan Didion. Community members are invited to read any books by or about Didion and join in a conversation about their reading experiences on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Email me at for the link to the Zoom meeting.

Finally, Silent Book Group has been renamed Online Book Group while we continue to meet on Zoom. The group gathers virtually the last Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., and participants take turns talking about the books we have read over the past month. Email me for the link to the meeting.

The entire schedule of events can be found on the library’s website at For more information, contact library staff at 541-492-7050.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at or 541-492-7051.

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