Community Read

Community Read

2018 Community Read poster featuring cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Join us for the 2018 Community Read discussion of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

Shirley Jackson's deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family takes readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, macabre humor, and gothic atmosphere.

Six years after four family members died suspiciously of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and eighteen-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune—and manages to penetrate into their carefully shielded lives. Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods, resulting in crisis, tragedy, and the revelation of a terrible secret.

Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more—like some of her other fictions—as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normalcy itself.

Click to view previous Community Read selections.

The TCPL 2018 Community Read is made possible by the generous support of The Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library.

For more information, contact Tom Burns at tburns@tcpl.org.

2018 Community Read Partners

Downtown Ithaca businesses are partnering with TCPL for the 2018 Community Read. Be sure to visit our Partners during the month of October to sample treats, cocktails and other beverages inspired by We Have Always Lived in the Castle:

  • Bramble in Press Bay Alley is offering a special tea blend
  • Try Constance’s spice cookies at the Press Café
  • Treats and more available at the Alley Cat Café
  • Visit the Watershed for themed drinks and selfies with the book cover
  • Dewitt Mall merchants will be holding a We Have Always Lived in the Castle scavenger hunt
  • Green Street Pharmacy has a special themed soda
  • Give the Community Read signature cocktail at the Moosewood Restaurant a taste
  • Join us for “Monks and Friends” on October 4th from 6:30-8:00pm at Monks in the Marriott for samples of the Community Read-themed cocktail and other treats

 

Upcoming Community Read Events

Community Read 3D Cat Making!

October 23, 2018
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Registration
Library Branch: Tompkins County Public Library
Room: Makerspace
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, STEAM, Community Read, Makerspace
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 2
About this event::
Finished with this year's Community Read, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, but still feeling haunted? Join us to create your very own Jonas cat to protect you! Paint and assemble a laser-cut, 3D wooden cat model! Use your own...

YA Book Club

October 24, 2018
4:30pm - 5:30pm
Library Branch: Tompkins County Public Library
Room: Teen Center
Age Group: Teens (13-17)
Program Type: Book Clubs, Community Read
About this event::
Join us for our first YA Book Club meeting of the 2018-19 school year! We will be discussing the Community Read: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Teens can pick up a free copy of the book to keep from the Teen Services office or...
Library Branch: Tompkins County Public Library
Room: BorgWarner Full
Age Group: Adults, Teens (13-17)
Program Type: Community Read, Lectures
About this event::
Shirley Jackson was a master of the Gothic tale but she was also caught up in domesticity and child rearing.  Joan Brumberg explores women's social and economic lives in America in the 1940s and 1950s in order to capture the complicated cultural...

Community Read: Medicinal Mushrooms

October 25, 2018
6:30pm - 8:15pm
Library Branch: Tompkins County Public Library
Room: BorgWarner Full
Age Group: Adults, Teens (13-17)
Program Type: Community Read, Lectures
About this event::
Steve Sierigk, owner of Hawk Meadow Farm in Trumansburg, NY will be joined by Intern and Cornell student Isabel Gareau ('19) to present an overview of medicinal mushrooms. They will discuss mushrooms' importance in the realms of Traditional Chines...

Community Read: Death by Mushroom?

October 29, 2018
7:00pm - 8:15pm
Library Branch: Tompkins County Public Library
Room: BorgWarner Full
Age Group: Adults, Teens (13-17)
Program Type: Community Read, Lectures
About this event::
Presentation by Kathie T. Hodge, Associate Professor of Mycology Cornell University Mushrooms are truly wondrous things, but some of them sure do make a lot of trouble. This presentation is about the troublemakers - poisonous mushrooms. Mushroo...