Variety of opinion is favored at HCC

Book club

August 22, 2002

An interview with Marge Cangiano, leader of the HCC (Howard Community College) Book Club.

Who can join the HCC Book Club? Anyone can join. It's mainly members of either the faculty or staff here at the college, but we do have one or two members from outside.

How many members do you have? Right now, we have approximately 15. It's great. It makes for a real variety in the discussion. It's predominantly female at this point. We do have, I think, just one member who's male. Usually, I'd say, we have at least three-quarters of the group attending on a regular basis.

What book are members reading this month? This month, we're reading Love in the Time of Cholera [by Gabriel Garcia Marquez].

How did you come to choose it? At our last meeting of the year - we have our last meeting in May - and at that time, everyone brings up titles that they might be interested in reading ... and we pick and choose from that. We read predominantly fiction. We usually try to include a biography or an autobiography each time.

Are there any books that stood out as ones members especially enjoyed? Last year, we read In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. It was great. ... The characters and the setting and the moral dilemma that they faced. The strength of the characters and especially [our] being a group of women, I guess, with that book it led to a pretty lively discussion. ... It led to a more in-depth discussion of the lifestyle and experiences ... the hardships and situations. All the sisters [in the book] had different choices, and so it led to a discussion of "What would you do in that kind of situation?" [and] "Where your loyalties would lie?"

Is there a book most of the members did not like? They said Disgrace was a difficult read. Some of them are difficult reads because of the feeling of trying to realize that kind of pain or struggle [described in the book] bothers people. But it enriches our literary experience, and it puts us in touch with different cultures and lifestyles.

To join the HCC Book Club, contact Cangiano at 410-772-4975.

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