It’s quite fitting that our College-Rolando Library has a book discussion group for enjoyment and yes, learning — and so much more.
The second Saturday of each month, at 10 a.m., a group of avid readers gather to discuss the month’s chosen selection of mystery, history or any varied topics, maybe biographical or entertainment. There is no “membership,” nor fee, and anyone is welcome.
The group’s new leader, Sue Grant, has assumed her post after the previous four-year leadership of Joan Wood, who set up the master plan of book reservations and support from the library staff and still keeps in touch with the local book selections as she awaits starting a group in San Marina where she now lives. She adds that Grant, her right hand, was also helpful with details.
To acquaint newcomers to the book club, Grant said when she was living in Sacramento, she was invited to Ernstwhile Book Club, a group of professional women and admits they set aside a certain weeknight for meeting.
“It was ‘food for the soul’ and we took our book choices seriously,” she said. It was her job to develop a spreadsheet on all of the books that they had to read. Grant still has that spreadsheet and can use it for future reading adventures.
As to the joy of reading books and sharing their ideas about what they’ve read, Grant observes that some people keep those thoughts to themselves and that it is a “very personal experience.” She admits she is the opposite and believes, “we all have a lot of history and much to offer in the way of life experience. You mix that in with a good book discussion and you are a-home free.”
Here are some of the titles the group has read: “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “The Guernsey Library And Potato Peel Society” by Mary Schaffer, “Endurance” by Alfred Lancing, “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel Brown, and “Girl Waits with Gun” by Amy Stewart. Currently, the group is reading “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari.
“We shy away from nothing,” Grant said, “Technical reads improve brain plasticity, or so they say, and this one fits the bill.”
The yearly calendar includes a wide variety of books — most need to be published at least two years ago.
“For me, books are magical, an escape and a release, a way to connect with people and ideas otherwise unreachable, and to my delight, I have learned that there are many people [who] feel the same way that I do about books and they want to join a club,” she said.
—Audrey Matula is a member at large of the Friends of the College-Rolando Library.