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Evening Book Club: Book Club

Schedule, discussion questions, book lists, author information, reviews, and more.

Contact Information

For more information regarding the Evening Book Club, please contact: Jaclyn Gomez at

Meeting Schedule

Next Meeting:

March 26, 2018, 7pm

March's Book:

Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt


Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

1. Did Mozart’s Starling change your view of starlings?

2. Do you find that the natural music around you (birdsong, wing, rain) affects your daily mood? In what ways?
3. Starlings are one of the most ubiquitous birds in North America, yet themajority of people cannot identify
them accurately. What common things in the natural world around your home do you think you regularly overlook or know nothing about? How might you cultivate deeper attention?
4. Were you surprised to learn about Mozart’s “potty mouth” and overt sex-talk ? Does it affect your opinion of him as a composer?
5. Haupt dispels the myths that Mozart received a “pauper’s funeral.” Did you have any other myths or preconceptions about the composer overturned by this book?
6. This book is a work of “creative nonfiction,” bringing literary language to topics like biology, linguistics,
and biography that are normally treated with a more traditional nonfiction approach. How does the writing style affect the way you respond to factual information?
7. Should birdsong be called music? Should avian vocalizations that demonstrate use/recognition of syntax be called language? Or should the words “music” and “language” be limited to human experience?
8. Do you resonate with the author’s sense that all animals can be called relations, or “kin?” If so, how does this kinship affect your daily life? Your politics? If not, where do you draw the line, and why?
9. Of course, most wild animals should not be kept indoors or domesticated.  But just for fun: If you could live
with any wild animal in your home, what would it be, and why? What might you learn from the experience?
10. What are the personal gifts that you feel most called to “sing back to the world?”

Book Summary

Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt


On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling who sang (an improved version of!) the theme from his Piano Concerto Number 17 in G to him. Knowing a kindred spirit when he met one, Mozart wrote "That was wonderful" in his journal and took the bird home to be his pet. For three years Mozart and his family enjoyed the uniquely delightful company of the starling until one fitful April when the bird passed away.

In 2013, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Crow Planet, rescued her own starling, Carmen, who has become a part of her family. In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely bond between one of history's most controversial characters and one of history's most notoriously disliked birds. Part natural history, part story, Mozart's Starling will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.

An Interview with the Author

Mozart's Piano Concerto No 17 in G major, K 453

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Do you have a suggestion for a book?

Is there a book you love that you would like to share?  How about a title that you've had on your "to read" list for a while?  Send an email to and you can join in the reading fun.