Whaling Museum to launch new book club in February
The Whaling Museum & Education Center, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor has announced it will host a new book club beginning in February. Titled Beyond the Book, the book club will dive deeper into stories through connections with the museum’s historic collections.
The Whaling Museum invites adults to read at home and then join us at the Museum for book club discussions and educator-led talks that use the museum’s collection to make meaningful connections to the texts. In addition, registrants will receive a brief video at the start of the month presenting a discussion question and a highlight from the museum’s collection in relation to it.
“History offers readers the opportunity to relive so many adventures, stories, and experiences. Our museum ‘s 6,000-item collection can help bring a deeper level of understanding and relatability about the past. We are excited to expand our ongoing partnerships with nearby libraries to increase adult programming for locals,” said Nomi Dayan, Executive Director of The Whaling Museum.
The debut session will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23 and features the book Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy by Skip Finley. In perfect timing with Black History Month and African American Read-In Month, this book provides a fascinating look into the lesser-known lives of African American whaling captains and is the perfect segue to the museum’s new special exhibit, From Sea to Shining Sea: Whalers of the African Diaspora.
During the book club meeting a museum educator will guide the discussion and share special components of this exhibit relating to and expanding on the text from the book.
On Thursday, March 23, Beyond the Book will feature In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. This book details the loss of the whaleship Essex in 1820, the event which inspired the quintessential book Moby Dick.
Readers are invited to get up close with the heart of this story by exploring the museum’s historic whaleboat — the only fully equipped whaling vessel with its original gear on display in New York — which truly brings the book’s theme to light. An educator-led talk and discussion will leave readers with a clear understanding of what it means to live on a whaleboat for weeks, even months at time.
On Thursday, April 27, the book club will feature Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly. This book explores the golden age of piracy and the truth behind many pirate legends. The educator-led talk and discussion will highlight the life of Huntingtonian Enoch Conklin (1763-ca.1815) a privateer during the War of 1812 as well as a ship builder, sailor and captain. Artifacts relating to Conklin’s life will be showcased for participants to see and explore.
Each book club meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and is approximately 1 hour long. Coffee, tea and cookies will be served.
Beyond the Book club sessions are free for museum members and patrons of the museum’s partner libraries. All others may attend for $15 per session. Register at www.cshwhalingmuseum.org/bookclub. For more information, call 631-367-3418.
This article originally appeared in TBR News Media’s Prime Times supplement on Jan. 26.