We started a new book club in the Tobacco Valley. It’s called the Open Book Club because you don’t have to RSVP to attend. You just have to read the book and show up to talk about it at HA Brewery. Okay…so maybe there are a few more suggestions. You should show up by 2:00pm when it starts and only one person talks at a time. No doubt this is something many of us heard growing up (“Let them finish – don’t interrupt”). When there is a group discussion, listen to the person talking before adding your ideas.
Today was the first meeting and it did go well. People showed up and we had a great conversation. The book was Ivan Doig’s The Sea Runners which seemed like the ideal story to begin a new venture with. We set out without knowing exactly where we were going. No idea what we might run into. None of us knew who might be there to take part. Eight readers showed up for this first one – a hearty group to begin the adventure. At the end of the discussion, different individuals took on a month they will be responsible for. This means selecting the book and promising to be there for that month’s discussion.
This is an interesting community activity I hope other communities are trying. It might be easy to have a book club where we know each other well like an old shoe. Its comfortable. You know what to expect. But an Open Book Club where you aren’t really sure what the person sitting next to you thinks – helps push the envelope on communication skills. And perhaps it brings up ideas you hadn’t considered. The people at the table aren’t old friends you met with monthly for years, but whoever wanted to talk about Doig’s book this particular Sunday afternoon. One woman at today’s gathering brought a marine atlas so we could look at Canada’s western coastline to better imagine what the men faced as they canoed from Alaska to Oregon.
I already look forward to next month.
Feb 17: Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor by Hali Felt (Collins)
March 17: White Waters and Black by Gordon MacCreagh (Schloeder)
April 21: Utopia by Thomas More (Elrod)
May 19: Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship and Sacrifice by Adam Makos (Hvizdak))
June 16: The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow (Gill)
July 21: East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Hindle)