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 piece of incontrovertible 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 tenth year, we have assembled a schedule of five classics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one acclaimed historical novel about the life of King David, a selection of modern Hebrew poems (our first foray into poetry), a history monograph, and a contemporary memoir. So we hope there’s something for everyone!
Library Book Club Schedule 2016 – 2017
Month Author Title Date & Time September Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord Sept 27 at 12:00 October John Allembillah Azumah The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa (Dr. Joseph N. Kickasola, discussion moderator) Oct 28 at 12:00 December Edith Wharton Ethan Frome Dec 9 at 12:00 January Shusaku Endo Silence Jan 31 at 12:00 February Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me Feb 27 at 12:00 March John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress Mar 31 at 12:00 April Yehuda Amichai The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, discussion moderator) Apr 21 at 1:00 June Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre June 30 at 12:00 July Elizabeth George Speare The Bronze Bow July 28 at 12:00
Time & Location
Book Club meetings usually take place at noon during the final week of each month in the Library Conference Room. The day of the week depends on the availability and preference of readers. To request a day, send an e-mail message to Harold Henkel (firstname.lastname@example.org). Check the events tab on the Library Facebook Group 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 are invited to join discussions via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing service. Here is the permanent link for all Library Hangout events: https:plus.google.comhangouts_eventc0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.
*David P. Goldman, “Thanks, but I already have a novel,” Asia Times Online, January 29, 2013, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/OA29Aa01.html.