By February 13, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

Getting Edgy

The Adult Reading Round Table ‘s Quarterly Literary Fiction Discussion Group is going to try something different for its upcoming spring meeting.  The group is planning to meet in a bar rather than at a library.  The reason for this change of scene relates specifically to the theme of the session — the participants will discuss an “edgier” book than they usually explore:  A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan.

This particular title was chosen as an example of the sort of literary fare regularly sampled by LitLounge, a group sponsored by two neighboring libraries in the Chicago suburbs, Skokie and Morton Grove.  LitLounge meets purposely at a nontraditional venue in hopes of attracting younger and/or more adventurous individuals.  Eclectic fiction and nonfiction titles are highlighted, most of which are more “out there” than the books the two libraries feature at their “regular” book discussions.  (Past titles explored by LitLounge include such fiction as The Hunger Games and Super Sad True Love Story and such nonfiction as Born to Run and Love is a Mix Tape.)

Originally LitLounge members were in the 20 to 30-something bracket, but then some more “mature” readers wanted to know if the programs were just for sweet young things, or could they join in, too?  So now the group includes some participants in their 40s and 50s.  The members also conduct an annual book swap (at holiday time) where they not only exchange books, but also talk about what they’ve read during the year outside of the group, indicating what they’ve enjoyed or haven’t.

At its spring session, the ARRT group wants to give its members a chance to learn about LitLounge while gleaning ideas for possibly replicating the concept in their own communities.  The main objective, of course, is to read and discuss Egan’s novel — something a little controversial in the LitLounge mold, in a typical LitLounge setting.  Fortuitously, the discussion will be led by the two librarians who created LitLounge.  And who knows, once the group has spent a couple of hours “out there,” chatting about the exploits of eccentric characters while tipping a glass of wine or beer, they may never want to go back to Libraryland and coffee and cookies.



About the Author:

Ted Balcom lives in Arlington Heights, IL and conducts workshops on leading book discussions, about which he has also published a book: Book Discussions for Adults: A Leader’s Guide (American Library Association, 1992).

1 Comment on "Getting Edgy"

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  1.' Shelley says:

    So it’s also for “sweet old things”?

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