Book Groups

I always wanted to join a book group. I love the chance to discuss books with people-it’s one of the job hazards of being a librarian. 

According to the newspaper, this month marks the fifteenth year of the Food For Thought Book Group at the Gering Library. Former librarian Sandy Strey held a book discussion of “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham during the Adult Summer Reading in 2007. People enjoyed it so much she made the discussion a monthly program. Through the years, Food For Thought has had several leaders. The only remaining founding members are Carol Enderle and Wanda Mowry. 

Each month from 8-15 people gather in the Library Community Room to discuss what they liked or didn’t like about a book, and what they learned from it. 

Louetta McHenry said, “I like the chance to read something I wouldn’t ordinarily read.” This is very typical of book group members anywhere. Another long time member, Peggy Fegler likes hearing other people’s perspectives about books.

If you are interested in joining or even launching your own book discussion group, start at the library. We have resources like interlibrary loan, general book questions and book suggestions that can help a new group get on its feet.

I have a list of most of the 180 books Food For Thought has discussed through the years. These books hit nearly every genre out there, from science fiction to nonfiction, including poetry, graphic novels, and children’s books.   

Book Club recommended books include “Ordinary Grace” and “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger. “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman was also popular.

Books that members didn’t like to discuss included short stories and books that touch topics that are too close to home for some readers. Some members really liked “The Dust That Falls From Dreams” by Louis de Bernières while others didn’t care for it at all.

Food For Thought has read each year’s One Book One Nebraska, with the exception of one year. In August, this year’s One Book One Nebraska Author Jonis Agee will be in Scottsbluff. She will be talking about “The Bones of Paradise”in a joint meeting of the library book groups.This author talk is open to the public, if you are interested.

The group enjoys in-person chats with authors. In the past few years, Craig Johnson and James Kimble have spoken to the group about their books. 

Carol Ackerman summed it up well. “I enjoy the Book Club because I get to meet new people.  I enjoy how each of us have such diverse thoughts and reactions to the same book that we all read.  Plus it introduces me to new authors and I find new genres of books I’ve never read before.

A doctor or a lawyer will generally ask you to make an appointment during work hours when you ask them for advice concerning their profession. A librarian will often be happy to talk about books with you outside of work. Try it and see!

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