One of the most famous openings in literature is the beginning of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Because Tolstoy is one the supreme writers of all time, readers have tended to accept his claim about families as a kernel of aphoristic wisdom. Reader and essayist David P. Goldman, however, argues that Tolstoy got it exactly backwards: “…unhappy families are all unhappy in the same way. It is happy families that are different, because every child is radically unique, such that raising children is the one human activity that is sure to surprise.”*
Goldman’s riposte to Tolstoy brings to mind three reasons on why it is essential that we read literature throughout our lives:
- To gain new perspectives, to see the world through other people’s eyes.
- To “converse” with the great authors through engagement with their works.
- To understand ourselves better.
The mission of the Library Book Club is to encourage the reading of great literature by bringing members of the Regent and CBN communities together to enjoy the unique pleasure of reading and discussing books. For our eighth year, we have assembled a schedule of five classics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, four highly acclaimed contemporary works of literature, and one work of non-fiction. So we hope there’s something for everyone!
Library Book Club Schedule 2014 – 2015
|Month||Author||Title||Data & Time|
|September||Rudolfo Anaya||Bless Me, Ultima||September 25 at 12:00|
|October||Amos Oz & Fania Oz-Salzberger||Jews and Words (with guest
moderator, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman)
|October 30 at 1:00|
|November||Jane Austen||Pride and Prejudice (Dr. Susannah Clements, discussion moderator)||November 20 at 12:00|
|December||Alice Munro||Runaway (Dr. Susannah Clements, discussion moderator)||December 11 at 12:00|
|January||Patrick O’Brian||Testimonies: A Novel (Dr. Eric
Patterson, discussion moderator)
|January 29 at 12:00|
|February||Leo Tolstoy||Hadji Murat||February 26 at 12:00|
|March||Marilynne Robinson||Lila: A Novel (Dr. Michael
Palmer, discussion moderator)
|March 26 at 12:00|
|April||Haruki Murakami||After the Quake: Stories||April 23 at 12:00|
|June||Robert Louis Stevenson||Treasure Island (Dr. Peter
Fraser, discussion moderator)
|June 25 at 12:00|
|July||Louisa May Alcott||Little Women (Dr. Susannah
Clements, discussion moderator)
|July 30 at 12:00|
Time & Location
Unless otherwise posted, Book Club meetings take place at noon on the final Thursday of each month in the Library Conference Room. Check the events tab of our Facebook or Google+ page for confirmed dates and times. Tea and refreshments are served, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch.
Distance students and faculty welcome
Distance students and faculty may join our discussions via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing service. Here is the permanent link for all Library Hangout events: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.
*David P. Goldman, “Thanks, but I already have a novel,” Asia Times Online, January 29, 2013, Accessed July 18, 2013, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/OA29Aa01.html (accessed July 18, 2014).