(Kansas City, Missouri) - The Kansas City Public Library is bringing a little winter heat, spotlighting broken hearts, bad romance, star-crossed lovers, and rancid relationships in its annual Adult Winter Reading Program - themed Love on the Rocks .
The two-month initiative is designed to encourage leisure reading among adults in a city that already ranks among the nation's top five in library usage, according to Central Connecticut State University's yearly analysis of the most literate cities in America. Annual program themes call attention to literary classics and overlooked gems.
Beginning Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the Winter Reading Program offers book discussions, film screenings, and other events revolving around dozens of suggested titles that remind us not every fairy tale ends happily ever after. It runs through March 20.
Love on the Rocks encompasses nonfiction, memoirs, historical fiction, young adult novels, classics, and fiction. Among 25 books on the suggested reading list are such well-known titles as Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, and Jeff Guinn's Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde.
Participants are encouraged to read five or more books from the suggested list or anything else of their choosing. Eight books have been selected for discussion groups that will meet at eight different Library locations starting Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Details are available at kclibrary.org/reading2015. Online discussions are scheduled, as well.
A series of Read It/Watch It sessions begins Sunday, January 25, 2015, offering screenings and discussions of films adapted from five of the suggested books. A separate series of film screenings, again featuring adaptations of suggested Winter Reading books, launched earlier in January and runs through March 28.
Two other special events are scheduled in conjunction with the program:
The Library's Bernard Norcott-Mahany joins a cast of local actors and entertainers Sunday, February 22, 2015, in An Afternoon of "Woemance."  The 2 p.m. presentation at the Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St., stages scenes of ill-fated romance from Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Homer's Odyssey, James Thurber's short story "A Couple of Hamburgers," and other familiar works.
The latest installment of the Library's popular series, Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III , spotlights Zora Neale Hurston on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. Kemper, the Library's director, holds a public conversation with the preeminent African American author as portrayed by longtime Johnson County Community College professor Carmaletta Williams. The 6:30 p.m. presentation at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. will be taped by KCPT-TV for later broadcast.
All Winter Reading Program activities are free. RSVP for the two special events at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407.
Additional information is available at kclibrary.org/reading2015 .