Watsonville Reads

Watsonville Reads is a community engagement program that aims to bring people together through the shared reading experience of books tied to a particular theme. This year’s Watsonville Reads theme is “Bringing Awareness to Japanese and Japanese Americans History, Culture and Heritage”. Watsonville Reads will feature book discussions, craft-making programs and writing workshops. 

We have selected two books that are representative of our selected theme and are intended to inspire and foster lively discussions: 

๐Ÿ“š “The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka  
๐Ÿ“š “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. 

We have the books available in English in our collection as individual copies at both the Main and Freedom Libraries or as part of our book club kits at the Main Library. 

Writing Palooza


Join us for Writing Palooza ~ a Writing Workshop with Victoria M. Johnson. Let’s gather to have fun with words. Dive in to explore three genres of writing. Learn tips, techniques, and secrets. Fire up your imagination as you have fun writing memoir, poetry, and flash fiction. Leave the workshop inspired with several new pieces of writing and tools to keep the words flowing. For beginners or pros this motivating class will energize you and set you on a path for writing enthusiastically and meaningfully. We're going to have a blast! 

Thursday, March 21st
1pm at the Main Library

This program will be presented in English and is intended for Teens & Adults. 

logo for the puppetry institute and text japanese shadow puppet workshop watsonville reads

Japanese Shadow Puppet Workshop


Have you ever wanted to learn about Japanese shadow puppets? During our Japanese Shadow Puppet Workshop participants will learn about the history of shadow puppets and will have the opportunity to construct a puppet. Supplies will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Monday, March 26th
6pm at the Main Library 

This program is for ages 8+ and families are welcome to attend.  

photograph of poet naomi helen quinonez and text poetry workshop watsonville reads

Poetry Workshop with Naomi Helena Quiñonez


Have you ever wanted to write a poem? As part of Watsonville Reads, we will be hosting Naomi Helena Quiñonez, a poet, educator and cultural activist, who will be facilitating a poetry workshop. 

Friday, April 12th
11am - 1pm at the Freedom Branch Library

Audience: Teens & Adults

paper lanterns lit by soft light on a dark night and text Lantern art workshop

Lantern Art Workshop


Join in the Watsonville Reads fun ~ We will be offering a lantern making workshop with third generation Japanese American artist Na Omi Judy Shintani. This lantern-making workshop focused on art as resistance. Space is limited and registration is required for this program. Please call the library (768-3404) to register. This is not a drop in program and the doors will close 5 minutes after the program starts. 

Saturday, April 13th
1:00-4:00pm at the Main Library

This program is for teens and adults and will be presented in English.

cover of book the buddha in the attic and text book discussion

Book Discussion of “The Buddha in the Attic”


Interested in participating in a book discussion? As part of Watsonville Reads, we will be hosting a book discussion of “The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka. We have the book available in our collection in English as an individual copy or as part of our book club kits.

Tuesday, April 16th
6pm - 8pm at the Main Library

This program will be presented in English and is intended for teens and adults.

image of book cover for hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet and text book discussion

Book Discussion of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” 


Interested in participating in a book discussion? As part of Watsonville Reads, we will be hosting a book discussion of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. We have the book available in our collection as an individual copy or as part of our book club kits. 

Tuesday, May 14th
6pm - 8pm at the Main Library 

This program will be presented in English.