“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations."
― Henry David Thoreau in Walden
Friday, November 3, 2017
in the BelPres Sanctuary and Lobby
WHAT IS LITERARY NIGHT?
This is a once-a-year, uniquely-themed and inspiring presentation of classic literature, presented by two people who love to read — Scott & Christina Dudley. This year marks our 15th annual Literary Night, which began in 2003 when Library team members learned that Pastor Scott and Christina Dudley loved literature, and had received their Doctorate and Master Degrees in that field of study. They have taught writing and literature courses at Stanford University. Christina is a published author, and they are both articulate Christians. This annual presentation has been a favorite event for hundreds who enjoy this dynamic duo!
Child Care – Advance reservations must be made by Monday, Oct 30. For children ages 3 months through Grade 5, please contact email@example.com or call the church office (425) 454-3082 x3387. The Child Care Center is located on the 3rd floor of the main sanctuary building.
This year’s THEME: Historical Fiction and the Persistence of Culture
Fiction that is set in a bygone historical era usually says more about the contemporary culture of the author than of the characters in the story. Using these three books, we will explore issues like marriage, generational conflict, race, and politics. Sometimes these are better understood by examining them in the past – as a means to better understand our present circumstances.
They will examine these themes through this year’s literary titles.
BOOKS & SYNOPSES (Click on book title to view summary)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
It is a dark time for England. Four generations after the Norman conquest of the island, the tensions between Saxons and Normans are at a peak; the two peoples even refuse to speak one another’s languages. King Richard is in an Austrian prison after having been captured on his way home from the Crusades; his brother, Prince John, sits on the throne, and under his reign, the Norman nobles have begun routinely abusing their power. Saxon lands are repossessed, and many Saxon landowners are made serfs. These practices have enraged the Saxon nobility, particularly the fiery Cedric of Rotherwood. Cedric is so loyal to the Saxon cause that he has disinherited his son Ivanhoe for following King Richard to war. Additionally, Ivanhoe fell in love with Cedric’s high-born ward Rowena, whom Cedric intends to marry to Athelstane, a descendant of a long-dead Saxon king. Cedric hopes that the union will reawaken the Saxon royal line.
Unbeknownst to his father, Ivanhoe has recently returned to England disguised as a religious pilgrim. Assuming a new disguise as the Disinherited Knight, he fights in the great tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche. Here, with the help of a mysterious Black Knight, he vanquishes his great enemy, the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert, and wins the tournament. He names Rowena the Queen of Love and Beauty, and reveals his identity to the crowd. But he is badly wounded and collapses on the field. In the meantime, the wicked Prince John has heard a rumor that Richard is free from his Austrian prison. He and his advisers, Waldemar Fitzurse, Maurice de Bracy, and Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, begin plotting how to stop Richard from returning to power in England.
John has a scheme to marry Rowena to de Bracy; unable to wait, de Bracy kidnaps Cedric’s party on its way home from the tournament, imprisoning the Saxons in Front-de-Boeuf’s castle of Torquilstone. With the party are Cedric, Rowena, and
Athelstane, as well as Isaac and Rebecca, a Jewish father and daughter who have been tending to Ivanhoe after his injury, and Ivanhoe himself. De Bracy attempts to convince Rowena to marry him, while de Bois-Guilbert attempts to seduce Rebecca, who has fallen in love with Ivanhoe. Both men fail, and the castle is attacked by a force led by the Black Knight who helped Ivanhoe at the tournament. Fighting with the Black Knight are the legendary outlaws of the forest, Robin Hood and his Merry Men. The villains are defeated and the prisoners are freed, but de Bois-Guilbert success in kidnapping Rebecca. As the battle winds down, Ulrica, a Saxon crone, lights the castle on fire, and it burns to the ground, engulfing both Ulrica and Front-de-Boeuf.
At Templestowe, the stronghold of the Knights-Templars, de Bois-Guilbert comes under fire from his commanders for bringing a Jew into their sacred fortress. It is speculated among the Templars that perhaps Rebecca is a sorceress who has enchanted de Bois-Guilbert against his will; the Grand Master of the Templars concurs and orders a trial for Rebecca. On the advice of de Bois-Guilbert, who has fallen in love with her, Rebecca demands a trial-by-combat, and can do nothing but await a hero to defend her. To his dismay, de Boid-Guilbert is appointed to fight for the Templars; if he wins, Rebecca will be killed, and if he loses, he himself will die. At the last moment, Ivanhoe appears to defend Rebecca, but he is so exhausted from the journey that de Bois-Guilbert unseats him in the first pass. However, Ivanhoe wins a strange victory when de Bois-Guilbert falls dead from his horse, killed by his own conflicting passions.
In the meantime, the Black Knight has defeated an ambush carried out by Waldemar Fitzurse and announced himself as King Richard, returned to England at last. When Athelstane steps out of the way, Ivanhoe and Rowena are married; Rebecca visits Rowena one last time to thank her for Ivanhoe’s role in saving her life. Rebecca and Isaac are sailing for their new home in Granada; Ivanhoe goes on to have a heroic career under King Richard, until the king’s untimely death puts an end to all his worldly projects.
Summary courtesy of SparkNotes.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Sethe, a 13-year-old child of unnamed slave parents, arrives at Sweet Home, an idyllic plantation in Kentucky, operated by Garner, an unusually humane master, and his wife Lillian. Within a year, Sethe selects Halle Suggs to be her mate and by the time she if 18, bears him three children. After Garner dies, his wife turns control of the plantation over to her brother-in-law, the Schoolteacher, who proves to be a brutal overseer.
Schoolteacher’s cruelty drives the Sweet Home slave men – Paul D, Halle, Paul A, and Sixo – to plot their escape. A very pregnant Sethe packs her children, Howard, Buglar, and an unnamed daughter, in a wagon and sends them to safety with their grandmother in Cincinnati, Ohio, a free state. Before she leaves Sweet Home, Sethe confronts Paul D, who is shackled in an iron collar for his part in the escape attempt. Sethe then makes her own escape.
Sethe flees through the woods and, with the help of Amy Denver, a runaway white indentured servant, gives birth to her fourth child. Then, with the help of Stamp Paid, a black ferryman, she crosses the Ohio River into freedom.
Safely reunited with her mother-in-law, Babyt Suggs, and her children in Cincinnati, Sethe enjoys 28 days of contentment. Then one day Schoolteacher arrives to recapture Sethe and her children. To spare her children a return to bondage, Sethe slices the throat of the eldest girl, tries to kill her two boys, and threatens to dash out the brains of her infant daughter. The sheriff takes Sethe to jail and is condemned to hang. She leaves her cell long enough to attend her daughter’s funeral. Three months later, pressure from the Quaker abolitionist Edward Bodwin and the Colored Ladies of Delaware, Ohio offers Sethe her freedom. A gravestone inscribed “Beloved” to mark her daughter’s burial site is installed. Immediately, Beloved’s ghost makes itself known in Baby Sugg’s house at 124 Bluestone Road.
Sethe is granted a release from her death sentence but after leaving jail, she finds the black community closed to her. With the aid of Mr. Bodwin, she located work and manages to build a stable, though solitary life. Shortly after Baby Sugg’s death, Sethe’s sons leave home, unnerved by the presence of Beloved’s ghost.
Years later, after escaping a cruel Georgia prison and wandering North, Paul D. arrives in Cincinnati and reunites with Sethe. He immediately banishes the disruptive ghost from the house. The two former slaves attempt to form a family. Sethe and Paul D’s relationship is interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious young woman who calls herself Beloved, the same name that is on the headstone of Sethe’s murdered daughter.
Beloved quickly becomes a dominant force in Sethe’s house. She becomes the sole focus of Sethe’s life after Sethe realizes that this young woman is the reincarnation of her dead child. Drawing Sethe into an unhealthy, obsessive relationship, Beloved grows stronger while Sethe’s body and mind weaken. Sethe quits her job and withdraws completely into the house. With the aid of some female neighbors, Sethe escapes Beloved’s control through a violent scene in which she mistakes Bodwin for a slave catcher and tries to stab him with an ice pick. Beloved vanished and Paul D returns, helping Sethe rediscover the value of life and her own self-worth.
Summary courtesy of Cliff’s Notes
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Concerning the title: The Angle of Repose is an engineering term for the angle at which soil finally settles after, for example, being dumped from a mine as tailings. It seems to describe the loose wandering of the Ward family as they try to carve out a civilized existence in the West and, Susan hopes, to return to the East as successful. The story details Oliver’s struggles on various mining, hydrology, and construction engineering jobs, and Susan’s adaptation to a hard life.
Another view has to do with a typical construction of canals and the drowning of Ward’s daughter in a canal. Canal banks are sometimes simply piled mounds of dirt. Slanted walls of dirt are left at the angle of repose after the canal is built. Small disturbances to the dirt can cause it to slide down. Ward’s daughter fell into a canal and couldn’t climb out because of this.
Angle of Repose is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about marriage. It is told by a former college professor and historian who looks at his grandparents’ lives in search of a reason for the success or failure of a marriage.
Lyman Ward is confined to a wheelchair, for he suffers from a bone disease and has had to have his leg amputated. His wife left him while he was convalescing in the hospital. This has left him bitter and defeated. Lyman has moved into his grandparents’ home in an effort to go through his grandmother’s papers and write a novel about her life. She had a fascinating life as a writer and artist in the middle to late 1800’s. What starts out as a novel about her life turns into an examination of her marriage.
Lyman’s grandparents, Oliver and Susan Ward, had a difficult and troubling marriage, but stayed together for sixty years. Lyman looks at their lives and how they dealt with tragedy, infidelity, long separations, and jealousy, to come to an understanding about his own life. He is helped in his endeavors by a young college dropout who has left her husband because of his infidelity. Together, they look through his grandmother’s papers and learn about themselves, while Susan Ward tells her story through letters she wrote to her best friend.
Based on the correspondence of the little-known 19th century writer Mary Hallock Foote, the novel’s heroes represent opposing but equally strong strains of the American ideal. Susan Ward is refined, educated, and strong-willed. Her husband, Oliver, is a handsome adventurer of cruder habits, who brings a pistol when he comes courting, yet who is humbled in the presence of Susan’s sophistication. As we follow Susan on her first journey across the young country – “not to join a new society but to endure it” – we experience the West through the eyes of a true easterner, horrified at the lack of culture, the quickly fabricated cities, the dust, dirt, and heat. Susan eventually finds herself able to appreciate the raw beauty of her new surroundings, and is even successful in building comfortable homes for her family. Yet throughout her married life, she defines herself through her east coast roots, debating Oliver’s worthiness as a husband and provider, and assessing what she has given up in exchange for a life of adventure and uncertainty.
Summary courtesy of Wikipedia, Book Rags, & Penguin.
WHY DO SCOTT & CHRISTINA ENJOY LITERARY NIGHT?
As lovers of words and the Word, the Dudleys make it a mission in life to infect others with a love for books. They’ve dragged their children to Shakespeare festivals, tricked them into book discussions, and bribed one to read with promises of dim sum. After sitting through three versions of Hamlet (two on video and one live), their middle child was disappointed that no one at school had any reaction when he used his favorite quote in general conversation: “I die, Horatio.” (That same child stuck a dagger in his mother’s heart when she asked what he was reading in school, and he said, “Nothing. Reading is not how you get smart anymore.”)
All of which is to say, Scott and Christina soldier on in their possibly-losing battle, and they’re thrilled people continue to show up for Literary Night. This year they’ve chosen historical fiction for the evening’s theme, and the selected books range from one of the genre’s founding works, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, to Wallace Stegner’s ’60s intergenerational mash-up Angle of Repose, to Toni Morrison’s masterpiece Beloved. In Morrison’s case, African-American literature raises the question, what if the past can’t be held up for admiration and nostalgia?
The Dudleys hope you’ll join them again this year and, if you can find one, bring along a friend who still believes that Reading is how you get smart.
WHY WILL YOU LIKE LITERARY NIGHT?
Literary Night topic is timely, insightful, intriguing, scholarly, and uplifting. The Dudley’s interpretations use secular, worldly literature, as well as movie clips, to shed light on the human needs common to us all, and refreshingly point to spiritual themes and truths. This enjoyable evening leaves many attendees desiring more – more discussion, more time to hang out together, and a renewed desire to read books with new insight of seeing the presence – or perhaps absence – of our Creator God throughout the pages of literature.
Following their presentation, enjoy a time to engage in lively discussion with other attendees, peruse new Library resources on display, and enjoy a treat of a donut while sipping cider.
Sponsored by the BelPres Library Ministries team.
First Floor Welcome Room
Conveniently located near the main entrance to the church just off the Lobby in the Welcome Room. (Catalog #100-#241)
References & Theology Apologetics & Ethics Bibles Old & New Testament Studies Small Group Resources Psychology Fiction Worship CDs, DVDs & Audio Books Magazines Devotional Booklets (Our Daily Bread & Encounters with God)
Third Floor Upper Rotunda
Conveniently located next to the Sanctuary Balcony seating area and Child Care Center, just take the main staircase or elevator to the third floor. (Catalog #242 and above)
Children’s Books & DVDs Christian Living Christian Parenting Evangelism & Missions General Interest Science & Christianity Presbyterian & Church History Biographies
6:30 am – 10:30 pm
The library is open and available for use whenever the Church is open. The Library is staffed Sunday mornings as well as Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
These include Sermon series and featured topics. If you are unable to find a book on the shelf, please check the special displays.
BelPres Preschool Story Time
Christian stories, songs, and crafts 2nd Wednesday of each month October-June
10:30-11:15am 3rd Floor Upper Rotunda Library
A special program for toddlers and preschool children accompanied by an adult.
Summer Reading Adventure 2016 Kids’ Submissions
The Library is run almost completely by volunteer staff. You’ll see our Library Team in action on Sunday mornings from 10 am – 12 noon. If you are interested in helping out, please contact GetConnected, email the Library coordinator, or leave a message on the Library voice mail at (425) 454-3082, ext. 3399. Volunteer opportunities include:
- Research and resource support
- Website management
- Social media
- Library host/hostess
- Process new materials
- Repair materials
- Book, movie, and audio reviews
- Story Time
- Assist with publicity
Library Volunteer Opportunities
Be available for 30 minutes following one of the Sunday morning worship services to help welcome Library patrons to the Welcome Room or Upper Rotunda location, assist with their resource questions and needs, and encourage proper use of check-out procedures.
Write book reviews that will inform a potential reader of the purpose and contents of a book and encourage use of Library resources. The candidate should enjoy reading and writing and have excellent fluency in both, have a working knowledge of MS Word and an email program, and have good communication skills.
Assist with maintenance of the Library webpages in order to provide updated information and increase awareness of Library resources and ministries.
Create theme-based, creative, appealing displays of Library resources that will encourage our faith community and Eastside neighbors to utilize resources.
Read Christian stories and provide related crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers, ages 2-5. October – June, 2nd Wednesdays, from 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.
Encourage patrons to return overdue resources in a timely manner so that they may be made available to others.
425-454-3082 ext. 3399
The Library is staffed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:00-3:00 and on Sundays, 10:00-12:30.
Click below to discover resources to guide you in your Christian journey, inform your faith, and draw you deeper into relationship with Jesus.
Men’s Good Book Group
Meets: Wednesdays, 6:30-7:45 am, Welcome Room S-137
Contact: John Meisel firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Book Club
Meets: Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 pm, Welcome Room S-137
Contact: Linda Grundberg email@example.com
We meet at lunchtime, so bring a sack lunch if desired. We alternate between novels and
non-fiction and discuss all books from our Christian point of view.
Widow’s Fellowship Book Group
Meets: 2nd Thursday, 1:00-3:00 pm, S-224
Contact: Elaine Hendrickson firstname.lastname@example.org
Our group is a part of the Widows Fellowship group at FPCB. We meet once a month but not in the summer. We tend to read fiction, both current and classic, as well as books with religious themes, history and biographies. We try to look for God or the lack of God in all we read. Although we are part of the widow’s group, anyone who is interested is welcome to join us.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DESIRE TO DONATE TO OUR LIBRARY COLLECTION!
The Library is able to accept direct financial donations once a year during our annual Literary Night’s freewill offering.
Purchase of In-Kind Book Donations
- Any donation of purchased books may be made “in honor of” or “in memory of” and will have a bookplate included indicating such a gift.
- Purchases are encouraged through our local Christian bookstores: Harvest Logos in Seattle; Cokesbury or Family Christian in Kirkland; and Lifeway in Tukwila.
I Own Books I Want to Donate
If your item(s) meets the collection development criteria below, the Library Coordinator will consider adding the item(s) to our collection.
- Timeliness– published within the last 5 years, and not duplicating a resource currently in our collection
- Scope– the breadth of subject matter covered
- Relevance– to BelPres academic programs and Christian growth and development (general books that can be found in a public library are usually not part of our collection.)
- Appropriateness of content and format, and within evangelical reformed theology
- Literary or scholarly quality
- Physical condition– no underlining, highlighting, notes, yellowed or torn pages
Please do not leave any donations without first receiving permission from the Library Coordinator or designated library volunteer. All donations left that do not meet the above criteria will be put on the “Free Books” cart. Accepted donations become the property of BelPres and the Library reserves the right to dispose of unnecessary materials in any way it sees fit.
What makes us American? What holds us together as a nation? How does a person find his place in the American Dream? How do factors like race and violence affect our sense of belonging and what hope can we find for the future?
Receipt First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue 1717 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA 98004 Date donation received: ____________________ Donated by:_______________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________ Title of book(s):_____________________________________________ Date of receipt of donation____________________________________ Location of receipt of donation: Bellevue Presbyterian Church Authority to receive: Kandis Losh, Library Coordinator