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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500


Skirball Book Groups: Private Lives

In progress: Four groups offered, each with its own five dates and times; see detailed schedule


  • Registration is closed.


This winter, Skirball Book Groups explore stories that examine the bigness of small lives.

At each meeting, under the direction of a professional book group facilitator, participants learn about the author’s background and explore the book together, engaging in lively, stimulating conversation. Discussion questions are distributed in advance of each class session. Participants must read the book prior to each class session.


February 11, March 11, April 8, May 6, June 10
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (5 sessions)
This group is sold out.


February 18, March 18, April 22, May 13, June 17
1:00–3:00 p.m. (5 sessions)
This group is sold out.


February 12, March 12, April 9, May 7, June 11
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (5 sessions)
This group is sold out.


February 19, March 19, April 16, May 14, June 18
1:00–3:00 p.m. (5 sessions)
This group is sold out.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set in Germany during World War II, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking poetic novel is the story of young Liesel Meminger, a foster child who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing books. She shares the stolen books with her neighbors as well as a Jewish boxer who is hiding in her basement. The Book Thief is the winner of numerous awards, including the Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the Daniel Elliott Peace Award, as well as the basis of a recent major motion picture.


Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Carol Rifka Brunt’s moving literary debut tells the story of fourteen-year-old June Elbus, who is devastated by the loss of her uncle, a reclusive painter who made her feel uniquely understood. Soon, June makes an unexpected friend: her uncle’s longtime partner, Toby—the only other person who misses Uncle Finn as much as she does. Tell the Wolves I’m Home was named one of Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Novels of 2012.


The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
Many years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist, Claire Roth, who agrees to replicate the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show. Soon, however, Roth suspects that this long-missing masterpiece may itself be a forgery. A thrilling novel about secrets that lie beneath the canvas. Named as one of Boston Globe’s Best Crime Books of 2012.


The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
“The war tried to kill us in the spring.” So begins this powerful war novel, written by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers, about two young privates who do everything they can to protect each other from outside forces. As the war grinds on, and one of the men becomes increasingly disillusioned, the other young soldier must make choices he never imagined. Winner of the PEN/ Hemingway Award and the Guardian First Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award.


Dear Life by Alice Munro
This new collection of quietly seductive stories by eighty-two-year-old Canadian powerhouse Alice Munro tells of people who want to live beyond the strictures of their small towns, and who set out into the wide world in search of love, sex, drama, purpose, and meaning. The book also contains a rare and fascinating autobiographical piece. Munro is the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Instructor: Penelope Litt Saltsburg is a professional book group leader and former high school teacher with degrees in English, speech, and public relations. She has been affiliated with book groups for thirty years.

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