We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, all donations are tax deductible (Tax ID: #94-2612557).
Donate to OCR on line | Donate directly to support Our Community Reads
Donate on line | To donate to our chapter please direct your gift to Aptos Chapter of Friends of SCPL
Become a member | When completing the form select Aptos as your favorite branch/chapter.
Contact us | To participate, ask Q's, and/or volunteer at events. We want to hear from you.
The selected book of the 2020 season, and themes in the book, were highlighted in a series of events: Films • Art Exhibits • Discussion Groups • Trivia Night • Guest Speakers • Story Times • and more. These events created a shared experience that increased appreciation for our community libraries and for our local bookstores; fostered pride in the varied experiences that our area offers; and the enrichment –– culturally, intellectually, and emotionally –– that comes from the joy of reading!
January 28 – Speaker Series: Evergreen Cemetery and the Chinese of Santa Cruz ~ In the midst of California’s Chinese Must Go movement, why did Santa Cruz’s Chinese view Evergreen Cemetery as symbolic of their commitment to their sacred traditions? And what motivated prominent pioneer men and women to stand up for the Chinese? Professor Traci Bliss — whose family donated the land — shares stories of resilience and humanity from her forthcoming book Evergreen Cemetery of Santa Cruz. Congregational Church of Soquel, Parish Hall, 4951 Soquel Drive, parking via Main Street — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30
January 30 – Toddler Time ~ Join Aptos librarian Rowan Rammer for 40 minutes of playtime followed by 20 minutes of books and songs. Toddler Time includes music, stories, rhymes, and fun for your child and you, as well as social time with other children and their caregivers. Let's play and learn together! Aptos Library, Youth Services Room — 10:00 AM
January 30 – Film Series: "Mao's Last Dancer" – hosted by La Selva Beach Library Friends ~ 2009 Australian film based on professional dancer Li Cunxin's autobiography. Taken from his family in rural China at the age of eleven to train in Beijing, he became a gifted dancer, but an invitation to perform in Houston led him to defect. Initially banned from returning to China, he eventually made a triumphant return to his native village. La Selva Beach Community Church, 26 Florido Ave. — 7:00 PM (Click here for map.)
Month of February – Display of wonderful, picture books for children of all ages! Books cover topics of Chinese culture, families, and historical events. “Although the young child has a limited sense of distance, size or time, they are immensely interested in what their world is like and how people live throughout the planet.” Curated by Julie Olsen Edwards, Director of Cabrillo College Children’s Peace Education & Anti-Bias Library. Click here for a full list of books.
February 2 – Speaker Series: The Five Branches of Chinese Medicine ~ Faculty member and Director of Admissions for Five Branches Institute, Dr. Eleonor Mendelson will share her knowledge of acupuncture and discuss the philosophy and practices of Chinese medicine. Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Drive — 1:00 PM (Click here for map.)
February 4 – Panel Discussion: Perspectives on Chinese History, Immigration, and Globalization ~ A lively panel discussion with three distinguished professors: Nick Rowell, PhD (Political Science), and Cherie Barkey, PhD (Chinese History), of Cabrillo College, and retired professor Robert Strayer, PhD, author of The Communist Experiment (2007). Rio Sands Community Room, 116 Aptos Beach Drive — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30. (Click here for map.)
February 6 – Trivia Night ~ Come show off your knowledge of Patriot Number One. County Supervisor Zach Friend is our Emcee and will conduct a lively evening. Book clubs are welcome! Food and drink will be available for purchase from a custom menu for our event. You may order drinks at the bar, and order food at your table between 6 and 6:45. The Trivia games will begin around 7:15 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the winners! Seascape Golf Club (under new management), 610 Club House Drive — 6:00 PM ~ RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org (Click here for map.)
February 6 – Film Series: "The Year of the Yao" – hosted by La Selva Beach Library Friends ~ This documentary chronicles Yao Ming's first year in the National Basketball Association. When he signed with the Houston Rockets, Yao became the first player from China to play in the NBA. La Selva Beach Community Church, 26 Florido Ave. — 7:00 PM (Click here for map.)
February 11 – Speaker Series: The Mysteries of Feng Shui Revealed ~ Feng Shui Master Madhu Brodkey reveals the secrets of the Chinese art of living through Feng Shui. Bring a rough floor plan of your home, indicating your front door, for use in an instructional exercise to learn the power centers in your home. Aptos Library Meeting Room — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30
February 18 – Patriot Number One Book Discussion ~ Inviting book groups and all readers! Dr. Enrique Buelna, Cabrillo College History Dept., will lead a lively discussion of themes from the book. His focus is on labor, civil rights, immigration, race and identity. His recently published book is titled Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice (2019). Rio Sands Hotel Community Room, 116 Aptos Beach Drive — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30. (Click here for map.)
February 20 – Aptos and Soquel High School Art & Poetry ~ Aptos and Soquel art students will show designs for a re-imagined book jacket of Patriot Number One, with both professional and ”audience choice” awards given. Original poetry and spoken word will be presented by AP English students. Come show your support for the young talent in our community! United Methodist Church, 221 Thunderbird Drive — 6:30 PM (Click here for map.)
Click here for photo gallery of students' artwork.
February 27 – Patriot Number One Author Talk ~ sponsored by the Friends of the Capitola Library ~ Author of Patriot Number One, Lauren Hilgers lived in Shanghai, China for six years, writing about topics ranging from tomb raiders in rural Henan Province to political scandals in Beijing. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Wired, BusinessWeek, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. Cabrillo College Samper Hall, 6500 Soquel Drive — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30 (Click here for map.)
February 29 – Walking Tour of Evergreen Cemetery ~ To solve a family mystery, professor/author Traci Bliss researched the history of Evergreen Cemetery. She tells of the people buried there — founders of Santa Cruz, 19th century feminists, and resilient Chinese. 261 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz — 10:30 AM — weather permitting. ~ RSVP required (Click here for map.) To learn more about Evergreen Cemetery click here.
March 1 – Chinese Arts, Culture, and Bao! ~ Master brush painter Robin Wang will demonstrate Chinese calligraphy and provide audience members with a take-home sample. Nick Hancock from Five Branches will show off his Kungfu moves, and interactive Chinese “guessing games” will be provided by our resident China expert! And did anyone mention dim sum? Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Drive — 1:00 PM (Click here for map.)
March 5 – Panel Discussion: The Migrant Experience, Past and Present ~ What is the experience of today’s Chinese migrants? How does it compare with historical migration? UCSC professors Grace Peña Delgado (History) and Nancy N. Chen (Anthropology) will discuss the historical and cultural contexts of migration and the exclusionary policies that shaped the experiences of Chinese migrants living in the United States. Moderated by doctoral candidate Bristol Cave La-Coste. Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos — 7:00 PM, doors open at 6:30 (Click here for map.)
To view the Calendar At-a-Glance click here and for inside pages: here and here.
For an easy print-at-home copy click here.
For photo gallery of events of the 2020 Season click here.
“A timely, informative book that offers a truthful account of the immigrant and exile experiences in the Chinese-American context.”
Want to know more?
Link to NPR story about Zhuang Liehong.
Link to NPR story: To Speak, Perchance To 'Dream In Chinese'.
Link to PBS Newshour series: China, Power and Prosperity.
Link to PBS series: The Story of China.
Link to Simon Winchester on The Man Who Loved China.
Link to Good Times: The Hidden Legacy of Santa Cruz's Chinatown
Link to Times Publishing Group: City Honors Historic Chinatown
To learn more about the Chinese Memorial Gate at Evergreen Cemetery click here.
For a list of additional resources click here.
To review OCR 2019 season click here
To review OCR 2018 season click here
For photo gallery of 2020 Season to date click here
For photo gallery of Art exhibit by high school students click here