Dear Friends,

I am excited to announce that the Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library will once again host a literary luncheon in 2022 with Melanie Benjamin as guest author! Tickets will go on sale beginning October 22nd to Friends members. Please see the flyer in this issue for more information.

If you have not renewed your membership yet, we ask that you do so this month. If you have never joined, please consider joining.

Some of you may have heard that long-time Friends board member Sara Benson has retired from the board. Sara served our community in various roles including Friends president, secretary, bookstore manager as well as serving on various committees such as heading the Celebration Reception the Friends hosted in March 2020 to inaugurate the new library. We, on the board, will miss her experience, direction and warm smile, however, she is still an active member.

Charlotte County continues to celebrate its centennial through various activities around town. Check the library website for activities and learn about the history of our county. For more detailed information, read Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County edited by James Abraham. Mr. Abraham’s book includes articles highlighting the events that shaped Charlotte County throughout the decades. Look for the article about the Friends! The book is available in the library or for purchase at various locations.

One of our community partners, Copperfish Books, is hosting a multi-author luncheon October 25th at F.M. Don’s restaurant. Some board members will be in attendance in order to represent the Friends and to answer any questions guests may have about our organization. Seats are limited, so visit the Copperfish website if you are interested or see their announcement in this issue.

Friends Always,

Renew Your Friends’ Membership

The Friends board has decided to reinstate membership dues for 2022 for both personal and business patrons. Additionally, only Friends members can purchase tickets for the 2021 Literary Luncheon.

You may use the personal membership application in this newsletter, pick one up in the Friends bookstore or download one from our website, Business patrons will be contacted by a member of our membership committee to renew, but you may also email the committee at

We appreciate your continued support!

Local Events

Copperfish Books is hosting a special event on Monday, October 25th, 2021. Four New York Times best-selling authors will speak to attendees and three will sign copies of their upcoming books during a brunch at F.M. Don’s. Each ticket includes three soon-to-be-released books by Kristi Woodson, Mary Kay Andrews and Patti Callahan as well as brunch. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library and some Friends board members will be at the event to answer any questions you may have about membership.

Visit to purchase tickets or for more information. You may also call the bookstore at 941-205-2560, visit them at 212 W. Virginia Avenue in Punta Gorda or email them at

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
Christmas at Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson


Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County Book Launch by Director Judi Beaumont

On the afternoon of June 9, 2021, a number of Charlotte County residents gathered at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association to attend a book launch of Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County, edited and published by James Abraham. Mr. Abraham describes the book as a labor of love to commemorate Charlotte County’s 100th Anniversary.

The book is 267 pages that Mr. Abraham describes as a cafeteria-style read so one can learn about the history at one’s own pace. It contains essays from other historians, community and elected leaders, a chronology by decade, and many full-color photographs, charts, maps and graphs.

One of the essays in the book was written by Friends board member Tony Farina and contains an excellent recitation of the history and community commitment of what is now the Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library, Inc.

Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County is available on Amazon, Copperfish Books or by contacting Mr. Abraham at (941) 258-4920. If you want additional information, please contact Mr. Abraham directly.

The BookPage Publication

The Friends have reinstated the library’s subscription to the BookPage. The BookPage is a monthly book review publication distributed around the country. The goal is to connect book lovers with their next great read. The BookPage reviews include all types of books from literary fiction, history, biography, romance and mystery. There are also author interviews and special features.

The Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library pay for the subscription, so look for this monthly publication at the library in a paper format and digitally on the Friends website at


Middle School Authors

Due to unforeseen circumstances, young adult author, Cecil Castellucci’s visit has been postponed. Cecil was scheduled to speak to middle school students this fall, but she has had to postpone the visit to a later date. We look forward to hearing from Cecil and will let everyone know when the students can hear from her.

Graphic novelist, Brenna Thummler, is still on schedule to speak to these students in February. Brenna writes both original novels as well as illustrating traditional stories into graphic novels such as Anne of Green Gables. This genre is very appealing to this age group and we look forward to hosting these authors in the coming months.

Book Review by Director Tony Farina

The thing about good literature is that it captures the imagination of all the people who read it. There are some classics out there like, The Little Prince, Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden, that children love and that adults remember so fondly, they read them again and again, no matter what the age on their driver’s license says. Writer and artist Brenna Thummler knows a thing or two about creating good literature that captures the hearts and minds of readers of all ages.

So, it makes sense that Brenna Thummler burst on the scene doing Andrews McMeel Publishing’s graphic novel adaptation of Anne of Green Gables only to follow it up with Barnes and Noble’s best book of 2018, her own creation Sheets. The follow up, Delicates, came out in March of 2021 and it too, is destined to be a classic.

While I don’t want to spoil anything here, just know that when you sit down to read Sheets and Delicates, both available in the library and on Hoopla Digital, you should be prepared for a few things. First, you will not want to stop reading. Don’t make any plans. Second, you will want to have some tissues handy. Finally, when you are done crying, you will want to start all over again so you can spend time with the beautiful art and colors all done by Thummler as well.

Thummler captures the middle school experience in such a beautiful way. She reminds us that growing up is tough and that even when kids are not alone, they feel alone. Adults often forget that what seems like a minor incident in the day for them, is actually a life-changing, earth-shattering moment in the life of a 6th grader.

Middle school is that time where we know what being grown up is supposed to mean, but we also know we just aren’t there yet. We push away those who want to help all while desperately wanting them to stay no matter what we say. We make bad choices. We learn what consequences are. Everything that middle school is, was and will be comes out of the pages of Thummler’s masterful books.

There is plenty of time between now and February before Brenna graces us with her presence by coming to talk to the 6th graders at the Punta Gorda Middle school. Start reading now so that maybe your eyes will be dry enough by the time she arrives.

Friends Present 2022 Literary Luncheon

New York Times Bestselling Author
Melanie Benjamin
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Isles Yacht Club, 1780 West Marion Ave, Punta Gorda
Doors open at 11 a.m., opening remarks at 11:45,
luncheon at 12:00, Presentation at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale to Friends members on October 22, 2021

Copperfish Books will be at the venue selling Melanie’s books and she will be available to sign copies.

To reserve your seats, submit this completed form, along with a check made payable to Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library, in person at the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library Bookstore, or by mail to: Friends of Punta Gorda Charlotte Library, 401 Shreve St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

Seating at tables of 8 is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment is required to make a reservation. There are no paper tickets. You will be given your seat assignment at the “check-in table” the day of the event. All paid reservations are final.

If you have questions, please call 941-661-6679 or e-mail


Library Programs

How-To Festival
Charlotte County Libraries and History presents the 2021 edition of their How-To Festival. Find the festival on YouTube or visit the library website under “special events” for a set of tutorials led by local experts in our community. Whether it’s how to do a basic yoga stretch, fillet a fish, or make a bird feeder, you’ll learn how to do just about anything.

History Comes Alive!
The library continues to celebrate Charlotte County’s 100 years by providing six vignettes of characters from Charlotte County’s past on the library’s webpage. Click on one of the pictures shown and learn about some people from our past.

If you would like to suggest programs or comment on current programming, you can fill out a comment card in the library or email library administration at

Our Condolences…

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Bette Albarran. Bette chaired several successful Friends fundraisers over the years and was active in the community. The Friends board has donated two books to the library in her memory.


Friends Bookstore Donations by Director Katie Mazzi

The Friends bookstore is open Monday through Saturday, 10:15 to 4 pm daily.

The bookstore sells donated fiction and non-fiction books that are new, nearly new and in good to excellent condition. We focus on books that we know our patrons are looking to purchase.

We have limited shelf space in the bookstore and very little storage space in the Friends office, so we have to be prudent in what we accept. Most hardback books older than 7 years don’t sell nor do any books that are yellowed and falling apart. Books that have been stored in garages, basements or attics will have dust mites, mildew and insects. Those books as well as any that are wet, smelly and dirty cannot be accepted.

I want to encourage you to go ahead and start sorting through your books and donate to the Friends those new and nearly new books that others want to read.

The bookstore does not sell textbooks, medical books, business course books, trade manuals, encyclopedias, old reference books such as out of date dictionaries, service manuals and computer books more than 2 years old. We should not nor do we sell the Advanced Readers copies of books that publishers send out ahead of the official publication date, intended to generate positive reviews for the book. There are times these books will be edited and even changed prior to the final printing.

From time to time someone will come into the bookstore and want to give us a very large donation that represents the clearing out of a home. We cannot accept donations like this since so much of what has been accumulated over the years won’t sell. It can be a difficult conversation to have with someone about this, but again, space is limited and having a knowledge of what sells helps us with these decisions. The key is to keep only those books you know you will and do read again. Otherwise, share them now while others are interested in reading them.

The Friends reserve the right to refuse any donation and we reserve the right to dispose of any donations that do not meet our acceptance guidelines or items that do not sell.

Shop & Donate with Amazon Smile

The Punta Gorda Friends of the Library can receive a small percentage of your purchases from Amazon through Amazon Smile. Participation in this program does not add anything to your bill; Amazon will just donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Friends. To participate, simply go to and make your purchases as usual. You will even be able to see how much of your purchases have been donated. We appreciate your support!