Russell Literary Groups - Russell Readers

Transition Year
For the past several years, the Russell Readers have chosen various selections from anthologies assembled by the Great Books Foundation.  For the first month of 2016, we will be finishing up our Great Conversations 6 text, and then move on to 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories.  We will continue to use the Great Books discussion strategy, the “Shared Inquiry” method for our meetings as we have found this gives our group a positive platform with which to discuss significant writings.  We come from a variety of backgrounds and discuss important ideas and issues that have shaped civilization.  Our discussions are lively, probing and enlightening.  We challenge our own and others’ opinions in light of the text we are all reading.  The object is not one “right answer” but rather to examine questions raised in the readings, with reasoning informed by our diverse experiences. 
The “Shared Inquiry” method is a collaborative, question-driven method of learning that helps us read actively, pose evocative questions, and listen and respond effectively.  We examine the words and the possible ways to interpret the ideas and issues.  To this end, we follow these guidelines:

  • We read the selection before coming to the discussion.
  • We support our opinions by focusing on ideas from the reading.
  • We explore the ideas in the selection before going beyond them.
  • We listen to the opinions of others and respond directly to them.
  • We ask each discussion leader to begin the questions.

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories brings together wonderful selections from forty different authors.  We have selected eleven stories to be read and discussed for 2016.  The individual pieces are organized by decade and a general overview of the period is provided as well as where the authors were in their lives at the time they wrote the stories.  A brief biography of each author is also provided for perspective to the reader on what influences may have molded the author’s work.  Questions for discussion and for further reflection, however, are not provided and this will be something the group will determine how to handle.

Socrates wrote that the unexamined life is not worth living.  In these reading-discussions, we will examine many lives.

Join us! Call 860-573-2946 or email Chantal Foster Chantal.foster@comcast.net

For information on the Great Books Foundation:
http://www.greatbooks.org/, email agb@greatbooks.org, or call 800-222-5870.

Tuesdays, 6:30 - 7:50PM,
Second Floor Meeting Room

January 12- Meeting Room 3
R.U.R – Karel Čapek (from Great Conversations 6)

February 9
The Gay Old Dog – Edna Ferber

March 8
Babylon Revisited – F. Scott Fitzgerald

April 12
The Conversion of the Jews – Philip Roth

May 10
Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor

June 14
By the River – Joyce Carol Oates

July 12
Friends – Grace Paley

August 9
Displacement – David Wong Louie

September 13
If You Sing Like That for Me– Akhil Sharma

October 11
The Third and Final Continent – Jhumpa Lahiri

November 8
What You Pawn I Will Redeem – Sherman Alexie

December 13
The Semplica-Girl Diaries – George Saunders

In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. – Mortimer J. Adler

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