Helena book club plans Aug. 28 as first meeting

Published 10:47 am Monday, August 13, 2012

From left, Heather Halcomb Kirk and Kate Ward Bagley. (contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Who better to put together a book club in Helena than an English teacher with a long family lineage of bookworms?

“I just don’t remember not reading,” said Kate Ward Bagley, who grew up in the small cotton mill town of Lanett with an English teacher mother and a father who loved journalism but became a lawyer.

Bagley teaches ninth grade and 11th AVP English at Hueytown High School.

As we gathered on Harry Potter’s birthday — also the birthday of his creator, J. K. Rowling — Bagley admits she is a huge Harry Potter fan and read from her early days the Baby Sitters and Boxcar Children series. She has fond memories of her mother reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books aloud to her and her sister.

Bagley, who also paints oil dog and people portraits by commission, said she acquires a lot of used books.

“I find it so interesting to come across other people’s random notes or markings,” she said.

Currently, Bagley said she is in a Rick Bragg phase, drawn to his generational stories and memoir, “All Over But the Shoutin”. She also recommends Jason McCall’s book of poetry, Silver.

Heather Halcomb Kirk, another bookworm and coincidentally, PHS librarian, said she enjoys mysteries, adventure and romance. By nature of her job, she also reads YA/teen fiction.

Like many girls, Kirk read through the Nancy Drew series when younger. Today, she is driven to finish any book she starts, whether or not she likes it.

“I do love a book that will keep you guessing,” she said. She mentions Dystopian-themed “Delirious” by Daniel Palmer and “Divergence“ by Tony Ballantyne.

Kirk heads the Battle of the Books team at PHS, a voluntary reading incentive program that culminates in a competition held each April.

The first official monthly meeting of the Helena Book Club will be hosted by Heather Kirk at her home at 2521 Stonecreek Trail in Old Cahaba at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The (non-fiction) book choice is “The Devil in the White City”, by Erik Larson. For more information, Helena Book Club is on Facebook.


Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at labro16@yahoo.com.