Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Since 1899

My previous post about Dr. Louise Nelson's Sourdough Starter prompted me to write a brief entry about our local book club. My dear friend June (happy 80th birthday, June--Eighty IS the new sixty) shepherded me into Booklovers in late 2007. I was secretly sort of intimidated at first as it includes a good many faculty and faculty wives, and yet I was in the throes of diapers and Dora and was really seeking some adult conversation with critical thought. I so appreciate and enjoy the intellectual curiosity and the smart wit of many of these women.

Booklovers is the oldest book gig in town, having begun in 1899--yes, you read that right, 1899. For those of you who know my love of history, you'll know that being a member of a 112-year old Book Club makes me downright giddy. (For those who are REALLY interested, the College has Archives of early Minutes, starting in 1901.) Super cool. ).

Booklovers is a bit unusual in that we don't all pick a book one week, all read it during the month and discuss it together four weeks later. Each year a program committee comes up with three topics, on which the group votes one for a theme for the year. 2008 was "Women: Fact and Fiction", 2009, "Hail to the Chief" Books by and about American Presidents", 2010, "A Book that Changed my Life", and upcoming in fall 2011, "The Dark Continent: Books Set in Africa" (No, I didn't choose that last one, but you can bet that I voted for it). (Other nominated themes that have not yet been chosen over the past few years: "New Economic Frontiers: A Tribute to Louise Nelson", Nobel Laureates Write: Works by Recent Prize Winners", "Utopias/Dystopias", and "Books by Margaret Atwood"). So we pick a theme and then each month, an individual member presents on the theme. According to the Archives, 1923's theme was "Studies in the History of Architecture." Dag that I missed that one!

Booklovers is one of the real joys of living in a college town--rich in tradition and century-old book clubs--for when I can't watch one more Max and Ruby or play one more game of Candy Land.

Ciao a tutti.

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