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Great Books Discussion Group

The Great Books Discussion Group

meets at the Keene Public Library
September through May

(sponsored by the Friends of the Keene Public Library)

Welcome to the 28th year of our local Great Books discussion group!

blue bullet The group meets at the Keene Public Library (60 Winter Street) in the Trustees' Room on the second floor, which is accessible by elevator or stairway.

blue bullet Meetings are on Thursdays, starting at 6:30 pm and ending about 8:00 pm (no later than 8:30).   

Is NOT:     ... teaching    
                ... lecturing          
                ... imparting facts         
                ... forcing consensus        
                ... accepting authority      
But IS:     ... exploring
               ... questioning
               ... examing ideas
               ... inviting participation
               ... honoring diverse opinion

blue bullet A schedule of meeting dates and readings is below.  We take turns acting as discussion facilitator.

blue bullet We will continue to use readings from last year's anthology: Short Story Omnibus (order number ADU-BUS) available from The Great Books Foundation.  The cost is $32.95 plus $4.50 shipping.  We will also use the anthology Vital Ideas: Crime (order number ADU-VIC), available from The Great Books Foundation and costing $14.95 plus $4.50 shipping.  (If ordering both books, shipping is $4.50 total.)  To order, call 1-800-222-5870 ext. 2 (weekdays, 8 am to 5 pm, Central Time) and charge to your credit card.  A phone order usually takes a week or so to arrive.  You can also order online, or you can fax or mail an order (order forms are available at the circulation desk at the Keene Public Library).

blue bullet Some of the selections, but not all, can readily be found in other books.  Also, the Keene Public Library has a copy of each book available for loan.

blue bullet Great Books discussions are dedicated to a close reading and exploration of the text, facilitated by the leader.  The leader does not act as a teacher, but poses questions that lead to a shared inquiry into the text's meaning and relevance.

blue bullet If you would like to know more about the Great Books Reading and Discussion Programs in general, please visit their web site at To find out more about our local discussion group, please call Ardis Osborn at 352-2198. Copies of the reading schedule listed below are available at the library's circulation desk in the Great Books folder.

The group heartily welcomes new people to the discussion group,
and will be glad to answer any questions you have about it.

Hope to see you all on Thursday, September 4, 2014!


Reading (Readings with an asterisk are in Vital Ideas: Crime. Others are in Short Story Omnibus.)
Sept. 4, 2014 Edgar Allan Poe, "The Black Cat" (Ardis Osborn, facilitator)
Sept. 18, 2014 *David Simon, "Homicide"
Oct. 2, 2014 Katherine Mansfield, "Her First Ball"
Oct. 16, 2014 Isaac Bashevis Singer, "Gimpel the Fool"
Oct. 30, 2014 Lawrence Hall, "The Ledge" (Meeting scheduled for the Green Room, second floor of library)
Nov. 13, 2014 Peter is making a selection in the area of history/politics/human rights and will provide copies.  (Peter Espiefs, facilitator)
Nov. 20, 2014 *Julia Reed, "Lady Killers"
Dec. 4, 2014 Donald Hall, "Argument and Persuasion"
Mar. 12, 2015 Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno"
Mar. 26, 2015 *Jack London, "Pinched"
Apr. 9, 2015 Kim Church, "Bullet"
Melanie Rae Thorn, "Blind Fish"
Rachel Cusk, "After Caravaggio's Sacrifice of Isaac"
Apr. 23, 2015 John Updike, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth"
May 7, 2015 Rohinton Mistry, "The Collectors"
May 21, 2015 Jaime Hernandez, "Flies on the Ceiling" [graphic story]
June 4, 2015 Bring in a poem or prose selection (less than a page) that you find meaningful.  We'll each read our selection aloud and say something briefly about why it was chosen.  The group can discuss questions the selection may pose or comment on its ideas, imagery, language, etc. It's helpful if you can make copies of your reading to pass around.
June 11 or 18?? Potluck supper -- we'll vote on a date.

Last updated: 8/11/2012