click to enlarge Steve Talbott talkes about homesteading during a meeting of the Lula's Library book group on Wednesday, Sept. 23, outside McConnell Mansion in Moscow. The group is reading "Four Girls On A Homestead," by Carol Ryrie Brink. Geoff Crimmin/Moscow-Pullman Daily News - GEOFF CRIMMINS/DAILY NEWS
Geoff Crimmins/Daily News
Steve Talbott talkes about homesteading during a meeting of the Lula's Library book group on Wednesday, Sept. 23, outside McConnell Mansion in Moscow. The group is reading "Four Girls On A Homestead," by Carol Ryrie Brink. Geoff Crimmin/Moscow-Pullman Daily News

By Annabelle Ady

For Inland 360

Inspired by Moscow’s literary history, the Latah County Historical Society has formed a book club to focus on regional authors and topics.

The book club, named Lula’s Library, held its first meeting Sept. 23. It is set to meet again Oct. 28 on the McConnell Mansion lawn to discuss “A Chain Of Hands” by Carol Ryrie Brink. The nonfiction novel by the late Moscow author reminisces on the people, places and events that inspired her books. 

Inland 360 spoke with Nancy Ruth Peterson, a volunteer at the historical society and one of the book club’s cofounders to find out more. 

What was the inspiration behind the name Lula’s Library?

Dr. William and Losina Adair were the second owners of the McConnell Mansion. They had a reputation of being literary and musical; their time in the house is remembered for its atmosphere of music and books. Lula was one of the five Adair daughters, so we chose her as our guiding star. 

What books will the group be focused on?

One of the things we discussed at our inaugural meeting was our focus. We will be reading history but the scope will be up to the group and their interests, but the feeling I got was that we would focus on regional history. We plan on doing an email survey so attendees can send in suggestions.

What is the next book you've selected? 

We have chosen another Brink book for October, “A Chain of Hands,” with vignettes of people in Moscow that Brink remembered from her childhood. This book is available for purchase or loan through the historical society.

What should attendees expect at the book club meetings? 

At our last meeting we had a guest speaker come in and talk about homesteading because our book was “Four Girls on a Homestead” and he came dressed as a homesteader. Then we discussed the book. We’re not sure if we will have a guest speaker every time but there may be times where attendees can share family history. 

Will books always be available through the historical society?

We will do our best to have them available, but this may not always be possible. 

click to enlarge Members of Lula's Library book group listen while Steve Talbott talks about homesteading on Wednesday, Sept. 23, outside McConnell Mansion in Moscow. The group is reading "Four Girls On A Homestead," by Carol Ryrie Brink. Geoff Crimmins/Moscow-Pullman Daily News - GEOFF CRIMMINS/DAILY NEWS
Geoff Crimmins/Daily News
Members of Lula's Library book group listen while Steve Talbott talks about homesteading on Wednesday, Sept. 23, outside McConnell Mansion in Moscow. The group is reading "Four Girls On A Homestead," by Carol Ryrie Brink. Geoff Crimmins/Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Who would you recommend this book club to?

Anyone who likes to read. We are looking forward to learning more about our history and exchanging ideas. 

Where will the group meet in October and winter months when it gets colder in order to maintain physical distancing during the pandemic? 

We hope to be able to meet at the McConnell Mansion as the weather cools. We can open both parlors and be distanced enough, we hope. We will also let our attendees give input on their preferred meeting days and times. We are looking at the possibility of finding a larger space for our meetings. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just that people are certainly welcome to join us. Our next meeting will be the fourth Wednesday in October but we will usually try for the third Wednesday of each month.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Lula’s Library Book Club.

WHEN: 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 28.

WHERE: McConnell Mansion lawn, 110 S. Adams St., Moscow.

COST: Free

OF NOTE: Attendees are required to bring their own mask, chair, snacks and beverages. Additional information at latahcountyhistoricalsociety.org.

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