Norman Public Library
This month’s "Staff Selections" guest columnist is Theresa from the Norman Information Services Department. One aspect of her job that Theresa really enjoys is her work with the 3rd Saturday Book Discussion Group. This book group meets at the Norman Public Library on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10 am.
Theresa says she enjoys the discussion group because it provides her a deeper reading experience. She notes that each group member reads that month’s book through filters built from their unique life experiences. As a result the book discussion presents as many varied interpretations of the book as there are members present.
“Each month I come away from the discussion fascinated by what others discovered in their reading experience,” Theresa says. The 3rd Saturday Group reads books from across the library spectrum: teen books, adult novels, all genres of fiction, nonfiction and everything in between. Theresa says she considers that month’s reading selection a success if someone mentions that they would have ignored this book while browsing but they were glad they read it with the group.
Do you want to take your reading to the next level and to enjoy a group reading experience? There are five book discussion groups at the Norman Public Library. These groups meet at different times of the day and throughout the week. Check them out to find the group that best fits your reading schedule.
- Lit Lovers meet on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 6 pm.
- The 2ndWednesday Book Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 3 pm.
- Thursday Night Page Turners meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 pm.
- Brown Bags and Books meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at noon.
- The 3rdSaturday Book Groupmeets on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10 am.
Here are some of the book titles that have resonated with the 3rd Saturday Book Group:
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis – This was the group’s top read (and viewing) in 2011. We read the book, watched the movie and discussed both formats. The dual storyline of the evolution of a position on the football field complemented nicely the story of one player whose life benefited by that evolution and the family who helped him escape a dead-end environment. A great fall read that will be shared not only with other book club members but with spouses and teenage sons as well.
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant – This book generated lots of discussion in our group on the role of religious women in 16thcentury church life and the impact of societal changes on religious women today. The book offered an engrossing look into the lives of women in a convent during a time period ruled by men and the church.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Don’t let the heft of this book turn your group off from what is a thoroughly engaging story. The story takes place in a small village in 12thcentury England as the people of the town struggle with common human emotions, desires and the dream to build a cathedral. With a large cast of characters, the author deftly weaves multiple story lines into an all-encompassing view of village life and the trials, challenges and uplifting stories that comprised life in the 12thcentury.
Boomsday by Christopher Buckley - We read this satiric look at political life, in which the author skewers politicians of all stripe with equal ease, at the time of the 2008 presidential election. The story addresses generational issues and the direction of our nation’s fiscal future: themes that still resonate in our electoral races today. A fun and yet thought provoking read.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson - This is a charming novel with multiple angles to discuss: love in the later years, cultural differences and societal change, generational differences, American’s overseas… the list goes on. And while these themes echo throughout the novel, the tone remains light hearted and positive. This was an enjoyable book to read and made for a stimulating discussion.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - This nonfiction read takes place in Baltimore in the 1950s and offers insights into a discovery that medical research is still benefiting from today. The story revolves around the scientific impact of Henrietta Lack’s cancer cells yet the science of the story is well explained and understandable to the non-scientist reader. Themes in the book include the cultural differences between Henrietta’s poor African-American community and the medical profession of the period, the role of women in society and professional ethics.