Youth Display

Great Books Discussion Group

The Great Books Discussion Group

meets at the Keene Public Library
September through June

Welcome to the 29th year of our local Great Books discussion group!


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. Copies of the reading schedule are available at the library's circulation desk in the Great Books folder.

blue bullet Readings this year will be mainly from two anthologies: The World's Greatest Short Stories, ed. by James Daly (Dover Thrift editions, $4.50).  Order from Toadstool or your book source of choice; and Great Conversations 6 (order number ADU-GC6), published by The Great Books Foundation, $24.95 plus $4.50 for shipping.  Order from The Great Books Foundation, 1-800-222-5870, ext. 2 (weekdays 8 am - 5 pm Central Time).  A phone order usually takes a week 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 will have a copy of Great Conversations 6 available for loan. 

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, August 27, 2015!


Reading (Readings with an asterisk are in World's Greatest Short Stories. Others are in Great Conversations 6.) Links are provided for readings that can be found online.
Aug. 27, 2015 George Eliot, "The Lifted Veil" (Ardis Osborn, facilitator)
Sept. 10, 2015 Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
A.E. Housman, "The Carpenter's Son" [poem]
These two selections are from last year's book Vital Ideas: Crime.  They are widely available in other collections if you don't have this book.
Sept. 24, 2015 Jane Addams, "The Devil Baby at Hull House"
Oct. 8, 2015 *Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, "The Fortune Teller"
*Anton Chekov, "The Lady with the Toy Dog"
Oct. 22, 2015 Seneca, "On Tranquility of Mind"
Nov. 5, 2015 *Rainer Maria Rilke, "How Old Timofei Died with a Song"
Thomas Mann, "The Path to the Cemetery"
Nov. 19, 2015 Thomas Mann, "Mario the Magician"
Dec. 3, 2015 *Luigi Parandello, “Mrs. Frola and Mr. Ponza, Her Son-in-Law"
Virginia Woolf, "The Mark on the Wall"
Mar. 17, 2016 Karel Capek, "R.U.R."
Mar. 31, 2016 Mary McCarthy, "My Confession"
Apr. 14, 2016 Friedrich Nietzsche, "On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life"
Apr. 28, 2016 [Poetry -- to be selected]    (Gareth Williams, facilitator)
May 12, 2016 Mark Twain, "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg"
May 26, 2016 Deborah Eisenberg, "Holy Week"
June 9, 2016 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 16 or 23? Potluck supper -- we'll vote on a date.

Last updated: 7/30/2015