Estes Valley readers have chosen Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Flight Behavior as the 2020 One Book One Valley. Sign up for January’s programs and book discussions.

by Cheryl Homan-Wendell, Program & Outreach Librarian

Contact us to be on the list for the next available copy of Flight Behavior. Then read and share it with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors in the Estes Valley. The project invites conversation–and opportunities to make new friends and acquaintances.

Kingsolver has written over a dozen books. Flight Behavior is one of her most compelling reads. It tells the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a restless housewife in Feathertown, Tennessee, who feels life is beyond her control. One day, on the mountain of her family’s property, she chances upon a forest in flames.

It turns out the colors she sees aren’t flames. They are legions of Monarch butterflies. Why the butterflies are there leads to a haunting discovery—and opens a pathway for Dellarobia to take control of her life. There is much that keeps us wondering at first—leading to a page-turning finale.

The story awaits you. In addition to the print version, it’s also available in digital book and audiobook formats.

Butterflies, and their insect relatives, will inspire many programs this January, including a January 11 visit to Westminster’s Butterfly Pavilion. We’ll also learn how to be ‘habitat heroes’ in our own backyards on January 28, with a presentation by Audubon Rockies.

Pest control options that avoid toxic chemicals will be discussed January 9 by a researcher from Colorado’s Department of Agriculture (hint: beneficial insects are the key). The Elementary School’s amazing bee exhibit is the locale for a January 22 program with Bill Ciesla, Forest Health Specialist at CSU, spotlighting a butterfly’s life and migratory cycles.

Two movies are coming to Reel Mountain Theatre’s big screens: the animated family movie A Bug’s Life (Sunday, January 5) and Flight of the Butterflies (Sunday, January 12), a beautiful documentary tracking hundreds of millions of butterflies to their remote hideaways.

At Craft Jam programs, we’ll make butterfly-engraved coasters in the Makerspace, using the Library’s laser cutter.

January includes two 90-minute Book Discussions: you can choose either January 10 or January 15. As in any year, the Library is a neutral convener, encouraging the reading of a shared book, while making no endorsement of its viewpoints. Those who like the book and those who don’t like the book are all important voices in this month of literary civic dialogue.

Kingsolver has said, “Fiction cultivates empathy for a theoretical stranger by putting you inside his head, allowing you to experience life from his point of view.” The author sent us a kind letter that she’s unable to visit due to prior commitments, yet we nonetheless have a robust month of activities.

The full schedule appears in the current Library Programs & Services Guide. Pick up a printed copy or click here to read online.

We thank the Library Friends & Foundation, whose donors and shoppers make One Book One Valley possible.

Join us—along with a few hundred million butterflies—as we think, imagine, and dream together, through the shared reading of Flight Behavior throughout our valley.