Monthly Book Club

2022 HFPA Book Club

Maybe you’re a book lover looking to meet fellow book lovers. Maybe you’re not reading as much as you’d like and want to encourage yourself to pick up a book more often. Or maybe you have an interest in history and want to expand your understanding of how different themes fit into the story of Harpers Ferry.

The HFPA book club is a reading group, consisting of ten to fifteen association members per month, where we will read and talk about books based on the monthly NPS servicewide messaging themes which are designed to engage parks, NPS programs, partners, and the public across the country in shared messages which highlight the remarkable places and stories across the country. Each month's title will highlight the monthly NPS theme and a Harpers Ferry NHP theme, and the monthly meeting and discussion will focus on how the title relates to the stories that all collide in Harpers Ferry and the story of Harpers Ferry itself.

If you're interested in participating in any of our monthly book clubs, please register for below in order to secure a spot and receive additional details, meeting reminders, and the Discussion Questions and/or book related meeting activities. Book club participation is on a month-to-month basis, so be sure to register for the month that you are interested in participating in.


February Book Club Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington, D.C.
Sunday, February 27, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Our inaugural members-only book club!

The NPS theme of the month is: Black History Month: Black Health and Wellness. This theme considers activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well throughout American history and in our time, especially through self-determination, mutual aid, and social support initiatives. We’ll explore this history and ways that parks and public lands can play an important role in physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

The title for February is Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington, D.C. by Patsy Mose Fletcher: From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, African Americans in the Washington, D.C. area sought leisure destinations where they could relax without the burden of racial oppression. Local picnic parks such as Eureka and Madre's were accessible by streetcars. Black-owned steamboats ferried passengers seeking sun and sand to places like Collingwood Beach, and African American families settled into quiet beach-side communities along the Western Shore of Maryland. Author and public historian Patsy M. Fletcher reveals the history behind Washington's forgotten era of African American leisure.

March Book ClubStealing Secrets How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War
Sunday, March 27, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The NPS theme of the month is: Women's History Month: Providing Healing, Promoting Hope. This theme explores the role of women of all cultures in providing both healing and hope throughout history.

The clever, devious, daring women who helped turn the tides of the Civil War.

During America's most divisive war, both the Union and Confederacy took advantage of brave and courageous women willing to adventurously support their causes. These female spies of the Civil War participated in the world's second-oldest profession--spying--a profession perilous in the extreme. The tales of female spies are filled with suspense, bravery, treachery, and trickery. They took enormous risks and achieved remarkable results--often in ways men could not do. These are the bold, untold stories of women shaping our very nation. Stepping out of line and into battle, these women faced clandestine missions, treason, and death, all because of their passionate commitment to their cause.

These are the unknown Civil War stories you need to hear.

April Book Club | Selection from Foxfire Series
Sunday, April 24, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
This month we invite you to discover something new—an experience, place, story, opportunity.

The NPS theme of the month is: Something New to You. For April, the title was a choice between the series of Foxfire Books. The Foxfire Book was the first of a series of anthologies compiling articles from the magazine and focusing on the trades, crafts, and livelihoods of the Appalachian pioneers. Today, there are a dozen books in the Foxfire series as well as companion books covering everything from hog scalding to making wine.

May Book Club | Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears 100 Years of the National Park Service
Sunday, May 29, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

May is Get Caught Reading Month!

For our May meeting, the selected reading is: Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears 100 Years of the National Park ServiceProphets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears is the engaging and accessible story of the NPS that brings to life its history and characters. The result of extensive research, dozens of interviews with Park Service employees, and the author's own experiences at park units she visited all over the country, it's a highly readable history that connects the dots of past to present and will remind readers of the vast array of public assets administered by the NPS--resources which offer something for everyone and also need every citizen's support.

June Book Club | Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed
Sunday, June 26, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
From parks to trails, waterways, and so much more, June celebrates the great outdoors.

For our June meeting, the selected reading is: Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice. Motivated by a deeply rooted sense of place and community, Appalachian women have long fought against the damaging effects of industrialization. In this collection of interviews, sociologist Shannon Elizabeth Bell presents the voices of twelve Central Appalachian women, environmental justice activists fighting against mountaintop removal mining and its devastating effects on public health, regional ecology, and community well-being.
Each woman narrates her own personal story of injustice and tells how that experience led her to activism. The interviews--a number of them illustrated by the women's "photostories"--describe obstacles, lawsuits, and tragedies. But they also tell of new communities and personal transformations catalyzed through activism. Bell supplements each narrative with careful notes that aid the reader while amplifying the power and flow of the activists' stories. Bell's analysis outlines the interconnectedness of Appalachian women's activism and their roles as wives and mothers. Ultimately, Bell argues that these women draw upon a broader "protector identity" that both encompasses and extends the identity of motherhood that has often been associated with grassroots women's activism. As protectors, these women challenge dominant Appalachian gender expectations and guard not only their families, but also their homeplaces, their communities, their heritage, and the endangered mountains that surround them.

July Book Club | America 250: Advance Equality and Justice for All, Book TBA
Sunday, July 31, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
From parks to trails, waterways, and so much more, June celebrates the great outdoors.

August Book Club | NPS Birthday: A Year Older, An Inch Taller, Book TBA
Sunday, August 28, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
As the National Park Service turns 106 on August 25, take a look back on how parks have grown over the years. There are more than 400 national parks, dozens of community-based programs, and countless partners and friends. With so much to experience, we’ll highlight the history of the park service.

 September Book Club | Book TBA
Sunday, September 25, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

October Book Club | The Strange Story of Harpers Ferry
Sunday, October 30, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The title for October is The Strange Story of Harpers Ferry With Legends of the Surrounding County by Joseph Barry. Barry brings alive the characters of Harpers Ferry from his first hand accounts from 1840 to 1905. He tells how he lived among the townsfolk and he gives accounts of John Brown's Raid, the Civil War, the floods, and tales of the people who lived them.

November Book Club | Native American Heritage Month, Book TBA
Sunday, November 27, 2022 | 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
During National Native American Heritage Month, we will explore the heritage, culture, and experience of Indigenous peoples historically.