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'Code Black' author to speak at Detroit Lakes Library Club's season opener

It's nearly fall and the Detroit Lakes Library Club is ready to host another season of books and music, and is seeing a jump in dues for the first time in many, many years.

When the Library Club was formed in 1907, the dues were set at $1.50. Years later they were upped to $2, and now they are increasing to $3.

Which other organization can say its dues have only gone up $1.50 in 102 years?

"They decided it was time," Librarian Mary Haney said.

With that $3 membership comes a postcard each month as a reminder of the meetings, and the remainder goes to support programming at the library.

With the exception of November and December -- due to the holidays -- the Library Club meets August through April, the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. in the library.

The first meeting though, held this year on Aug. 25, will be in Trinity Lutheran Church.

"We usually have more people than will fit in the library meeting room," Librarian Mary Haney said.

This month's featured author is Philip Donlay, who has written "Category Five," and more recently, "Code Black." The Minnesota author will be reading a portion of his new book, and will be available to autograph copies of the book. The books will also be offered for sale the day of the reading.

"There aren't too many books I can't put down,' Haney said. "I couldn't put it ("Code Black") down."

A pilot himself, Donlay's books' main characters are also pilots, a topic he knows well.

In "Code Black," pilot Donovan Nash is aboard a plane that has been involved in a midair collision with another airplane. He is faced with flying the damaged plane with no electrical power or instruments. His fiancée and an unlikely ally try to help rescue Donovan from the ground.

"'Code Black' is the story of a desperate rescue, heroism under fire, and the secrets even heroes must keep," according to Donlay's Web site,

In 2008, Donlay's thriller was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award.

"We were planning to have him a year ago because of the Minnesota Book Award," Haney said.

But an emergency interfered with Donlay's plans and he couldn't make it to Detroit Lakes, so he is scheduled for this year instead.

"He is so interesting just to e-mail with," Haney said.

She added that Donlay's work appeals to men and women. Everyone is welcome to the free book reading and signing on Aug. 25.

Jazz musician Bill Wilson will also be performing at the August meeting. Each Library Club meeting consists of a presentation and music.

Others scheduled to participate in the upcoming Library Club meetings are Jim Haney Jr. on Sept. 22. He will tell stories and sing songs pertaining to Irish culture. Haney plays with the band Poitin, which has played at Zorbaz and the Speak Easy in Detroit Lakes.

On Oct. 27, Annelee Woodstrom of Ada will speak about her book "War Child." She has also written "Empty Chairs," both memoirs.

"Come for live music and great speakers," Haney said. "It's a good opportunity to meet an author."