2018 Galveston Reads Selection: January Events


“News of the World” by Paulette Jiles

The Galveston Reads Committee invites the public to participate in the programs and book discussions of its 2018 reading series. This year’s Galveston Reads book choice is “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles. Ms. Jiles will be headlining the schedule of events with a talk and book signing.

Galveston Reads is a popular volunteer-driven “One Community, One Book” program operating under the organizational umbrella of the Rosenberg Library. It provides an opportunity for all residents young adult through senior citizen to participate in a unique community wide discussion by reading and sharing views about the same book. In its 15th year, the Galveston Reads series promotes community involvement in Galveston, with a wide range of events, activities, and thoughtful discussions.

In “News of the World,” the aging itinerant Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver the young orphan to her relatives. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old once again has been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember — strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become — in the eyes of the law — a kidnapper himself.

The public can pick up a complimentary copy of “News of the World” at the Rosenberg Library while supplies last. The library also has the book available for checkout in hard copy, audio book, and electronic copies through Overdrive.

Program Schedule

The following programs are free and open to the public. Schedule subject to change:

Thursday, January 4th (6-7pm) – Discussion Leader Training – Rosenberg Library, Fox Room (4th floor) –  Join Dr. John Gorman for an introduction to the themes and discussion questions offered by “News of the World.” This program is open to anyone wanting to lead a discussion of the book. RSVP at or call (409)763-8854 ext. 140.

Thursday, January 18th (6pm) – Movie Night: “Little Big Man” – The Rosenberg Library, Wortham Auditorium (1st floor) – Join us for a movie night out. Popcorn and refreshments will be served.

Saturday, January 27th (10am) – Professional Storyteller Scott Bumgardner – Rosenberg Library, Fox Room (4th floor) – Scott Bumgardner, professional storyteller and cowboy poet, will regale us with Western tall tales and poems! Bring your children, your loved ones, or just yourself to hear this wordsmith at work.

Monday, January 29th (6:30pm) – Musical Event: “Alligator Handshake” – The Bryan Museum Conservatory, 1315 21st St. – Come on out and enjoy country western and swing music, brought to you by local band Alligator Handshake!

Saturday, February 3rd (10am) – Museum Show & Tell – Rosenberg Library, Fox Room (4th floor) – Museum Curator Eleanor Barton will display unique items from the library’s museum and archival collections related to “News of the World.”

Thursday, February 8th (7pm) – Student Panel – Galveston College, Seibel Wing, 4015 Ave. Q – Discussion led by Galveston College students. This discussion will be moderated by Dr. Shane Wallace, English professor at Galveston College.

Thursday, February 15th (pm) – Professor’s Panel – Galveston College, Seibel Wing, 4015 Ave. Q – Our popular Professor’s Panel will feature area educators who will offer their insights on “News of the World.” This program provides a great overview and reading guide to the book.

Tuesday, February 20th (7pm) – Author Visit: Paulette Jiles – Galveston College, Seibel Wing, 4015 Ave. Q – Come meet the author of “News of the World” and join in a conversation about the book!

Book Discussions

In addition to the programs detailed above, Galveston Reads will sponsor a number of book discussions. Stop by and join the conversation!

  • Monday, January 8th (6:30pm) – Moody Methodist Church, Robbie Farmer Memorial Library, 2803 53rd St.
  • Saturday, January 13th (10am) – Moody Methodist Church, Robbie Farmer Memorial Library, 2803 53rd St.
  • Wednesday, January 24th (12 noon) – Rosenberg Library, McCullough Room (2nd floor)
  • Saturday, January 27th (2pm) – Rosenberg Library, McCullough Room (2nd floor)
  • Tuesday, February 13th (7pm) – Texas A&M Galveston, 200 Seawolf Pkwy., Building 3007, Room 210
  • Wednesday, February 14th (7pm) – Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Galveston County, 502 Church St.

Galveston Reads would like to thank the Rosenberg Library, the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund, Friends of the Rosenberg Library, Texas A&M Galveston, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Galveston County, Robbie Farmer Memorial Library, The Bryan Museum, Galveston Bookshop, and Galveston College for their sponsorship and support.

If you cannot attend but would still like to volunteer, contact Dustan Archer, or (409)763 – 8854 ext. 140. Meeting attendance is not required to participate.

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