Putting ‘Music’ into words

For the third year in a row, Richmond Reads is abuzz.

Book discussions and other programs begin Wednesday for this year’s selection, “Music of the Bees” by Eileen Garvin.

“The Music of Bees” has been national reading club picks and recommended by a variety of publications. Garvin’s debut novel is a “Good Morning America” Buzz pick, A Good Housekeeping Book Club pick, IndieNext pick, LibraryReads pick, and is recommended by People, The Washington Post, Woman’s World, New York Post, BookRiot, Bookish, Christian Science Monitor, Nerd Daily, and others.

At the center of “The Music of Bees” is 44-year-old Alice Holtzman. She is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn’t turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren’t helping her feel better these days.

In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake – a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County – while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake’s interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.

Then there’s Harry, a 24-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice’s ad for part-time farm help, he’s shocked to find himself hired.

As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees - and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.

Here is the schedule of programs and events for the 2021 Richmond Reads:

n “The Music of Bees” Book Discussions — Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. or Monday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m.. Join the library for a discussion of The Music of Bees.” The only requirement to attend book discussion is to read the book. All discussions will take place at the library. No registration required.

n Richmond Reads Reel Discussions — Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. Join the library for a screening of “The Vanishing of the Bees” (2009), followed by a discussion. This documentary “takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee,” according to a description at the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). No registration required.

n Virtual Author Visit! — Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Author Eileen Garvin will visit from Oregon via Zoom. She will present a book talk and answer questions. Those who are unable to access Zoom from home are invited to watch the program at the library. Please register for either viewing option by calling (585) 343-9550 ext. 3 or at batavialibrary.org. Three winners will be randomly chosen from registered attendees to win a signed copy of the book. Winners or a representative must be able to pick up their prize from the library. Registration is required.

n Richmond Reads Review Contest — Write a review of “The Music of Bees” for a chance to win a copy of the book signed by the author and $50 to a local restaurant. All rules, information and the review form can be found at batavialibrary.org/richmond-reads or at the reference desk at the library. Firm submission deadline: 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. Submissions will be reviewed anonymously by the Richmond Reads Committee and two winners will be chosen. Winners or a representative must be able to pick up their prize from the library.

Copies of “The Music of Bees” are available for purchase at the library, and the library has plenty of copies to borrow.

For more information, call (585) 343-9550 or go to batavialibrary.org.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1