Do you listen to audiobooks and enjoy sitting back and letting someone else do the reading? The Santa Barbara Public Library System is pleased to welcome Santa Barbara writer and teacher, Max Schott, and his Lunchtime Stories for Grown-ups, every Wednesday beginning May 29, from 12:10 to12:50pm at the Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery. The Central Library is located at 40 E. Anapamu Street, in Santa Barbara.

Lunchtime Stories for Grown-ups is open to all ages, and participants are encouraged to enjoy their noontime meal while listening to Max read aloud. Asked what kinds of readings he has planned, he replies:

The stories I hope to read are by great writers who flourished mostly a long time ago, in worlds very different from the one we live in. It seems to me that the reason these writers–William Carlos Williams, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Doris Lessing, Hemingway, Faulkner, Jane Austen, Flannery O’Connor–are christened “great” is that they perform, time after time, the small miracle of making connections, emotional connections, between their world and ours. We read about the lives of their characters, and to our surprise, and often in spite of ourselves, are moved. Why is it that some writers move us and others don’t? I don’t know.

Max Schott was born in Los Angeles in 1935. Beginning when he was eleven, and continuing on to the age of thirty, Schott worked as a horse-trainer. After that, and after “a heavy dose of schooling from two terrific teachers,” Alan Stephens and Marvin Mudrick, Schott went on to teach in the Literature Program of the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. During much of this time, besides teaching and reading, he wrote. Four of his books have been published: a collection of short stories, Up Where I Used to Live; two novels, Murphy’s Romance, and Ben; and a book of stories and essays, Keeping Warm.

For a long time—he’s forgotten how many years—Schott, among many other volunteers, helped out at the Santa Barbara studios of the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic organization, where he especially enjoyed reading aloud. How will the Library lunch-time story-hour proceed? “Sometimes I’ll make comments along the way–for my own pleasure and in hopes of being useful. But my main plan is not to have too much of a plan and not to interfere unnecessarily. In other words, to read!” said Schott.

All Library programs are FREE and open to the public. For information about programs and services of the Santa Barbara Public Library System, visit the web site here.


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