Winesburg, Ohio

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For this month we are reading Sherwood Anderson’s novel Winesburg, Ohio. We will meet again on Tuesday, October 24, the usual time and place. Here is the summary from Amazon,

In this moving collection of interrelated stories, Ohio-born Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) illuminates the loneliness and frustration — spiritual, emotional and artistic — of life in a small American town. Winesburg, Ohio subtly portrays as well a young writer’s coming of age, searching for love, yearning for a less stifling world.
Through the eyes of young George Willard, the inner lives of many of Winesburg’s inhabitants open to us. Before George leaves the community, we have learned much about his mother Elizabeth, his friend Helen White, his teacher Kate Swift and other Winesburg residents — the lonely, sensitive Dr. Reefy, the tormented Rev. Charles Hartman and the enigmatic Wing Biddlebaum among them.
Through Anderson’s art, their stories are woven into a powerful portrayal of community life, and, ironically, of the isolation its close atmosphere can engender. A great success on its first publication in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio profoundly influenced a generation of fiction writers with its deeply moving poetic realism. It endures as a classic portrait of American life.

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Poetry Night

We are meeting again on Tuesday, September 19 at 8:30 pm. We are reading poetry of Emily Dickinson and Wendall Berry. It should be a nice discussion from two poets of very different time periods.

See you then.

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The Friendly Persuasion

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We have been reading Jessamyn West’s The Friendly Persuasion, for the past two months. We will meet again on Thursday, August 17, 8:30 pm at my place. See you then.

Here is a blurb about the book from Amazon:

A quintessential American heroine, Eliza Birdwell is a wonderful blend of would-be austerity, practicality, and gentle humor when it comes to keeping her faith and caring for her family and community. Her husband, Jess, shares Eliza’s love of people and peaceful ways but, unlike Eliza, also displays a fondness for a fast horse and a lively tune. With their children, they must negotiate their way through a world that constantly confronts them-sometimes with candor, sometimes with violence-and tests the strength of their beliefs. Whether it’s a gift parcel arriving on their doorstep or Confederate soldiers approaching their land, the Birdwells embrace life with emotion, conviction, and a love for one another that seems to conquer all.
The Friendly Persuasion has charmed generations of readers as one of our classic tales of the American Midwest.

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Living Buddha, Living Christ

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For this month we are reading Living Buddha Living Christ by Thich Nhat Nanh. It is supposed to be very good, and since we haven’t read any philosophy in a long time, this should be good. We did not decide on a time to meet next so I will poll you all and we can decide on a time. Here is the summary from Amazon:

Buddha and Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other’s spiritual views and practices? 

Thich Nhat Hanh has been part of a decades-long dialogue between two great contemplatice traditions, and brings to Christianity an appreciation of its beauty that could be conveyed only by an outsider. In lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and he reawakens our understanding of both. “On the altar in my hermitage,” he says, “are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors.”

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Rilke’s Book of Hours

For this month we are reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours. I also highly recommend his “Duino Elegies”, particularly the first couple, then if you have time move on to the “Sonnets to Orpheus. ” It’s all really wonderful stuff.

We will meet next on the evening of April 19, 8:30 pm. Bring along what other books you have been reading to share with the rest.

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Reminder: Meeting tonight

Just a reminder that we will be meeting tonight at 8:30 to discuss Leslie Marmon Silko’s book Ceremony. Hope you all can make it. Feel free to bring a friend, some treats, and some good literature to share.

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Ceremony

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For this month we are reading Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Thirty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.

We will meet again Thursday, March 9, 8:30 pm. Hope to see you all there.

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