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Great Books Discussion Group

The Great Books Discussion Group

meets at the Keene Public Library
September through June

Welcome to the 31st year of our local Great Books discussion group!


The group meets at the Keene Public Library (60 Winter St) in the Trustees' Room on the second floor, which is accessible by elevator or stairway. 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).  NOTE:  These are the same two anthologies used last year, so discussion group members from 2015-2016 do not need to order new books.

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. Links are provided below for readings that are available online.

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 www.greatbooks.org. 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 7, 2017!


Readings this year will be mainly from The Great Books Reading & Discussion Program, Second Series. Copies of readings for the dates with a asterisk on the schedule will be passed out at preceding meetings.
Sept. 7, 2017 Plato, "The Crito"
Sept. 21, 2017* Katherine Mansfield, "Bliss"
Oct. 5, 2017 Aristotle, "Politics"
Oct. 19, 2017* Jhumpa Lahiri, "This Blessed House"
Nov. 2, 2017 Soren Kierkegaard, "The Knight of Faith"
Nov. 16, 2017 Euripides, "Iphigeneia at Aulis"
Nov. 30, 2017 Bible, "Exodus"
March 15, 2018 Herman Melville, "Billy Budd, Sailor"
March 29, 2018 Thomas Hobbes, "Origin of Government"
Apr. 12, 2018* Poetry [to be determined]
Apr. 26, 2018 John Locke, "Of Civil Government" 
May 10, 2018* Alice Munro, "Royal Beatings" & "Privilege"
May 24, 2018 Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"
June 7, 2018 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 14 or 21?? Potluck supper -- we'll vote on a date.

Last updated: 09/07/2017