Seven years of good reading

Book club

Howard Live

December 18, 2003

An interview with Priscilla Pitts, facilitator for the Literature Book Group at Borders Books & Music.

How long has your group been meeting? We've been meeting since 1997. A bunch of us responded to an ad posted in the Borders monthly newsletter for people who might be interested in a literature group.

What are the selection guidelines for your group? Whatever we want to read. Most of the time, we read fiction. We've only read three books or so of nonfiction over seven years. We've done some of the old writers such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John O'Hara, plus current books such as Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian and Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. A woman who runs a horse farm, who was a friend of one of our members, came to that discussion and gave us some insight on the book.

What are you reading now? We're reading Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz.

How often do you meet? Once a month year round, but in December we meet at a member's house for a potluck dinner and conversation. The subject usually gets around to books. We choose our books at least three months ahead in case members are on vacation or business trips and want to take the book with them.

Over the years, what have been some of the favorites? The book that drew the largest crowd was in August 1997, that was Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. We had about 30 people. Usually we have about 10 to 14 people attend each month. Another book our group liked was Music & Silence by Rose Tremain. It's about a king who demands that his musicians be completely silent when they're not in his presence. We also enjoyed The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams. It's a real funny read.

What has kept your group together all these years? Everyone is basically a book lover. We haven't been stuck on one genre - we've been all over the literature spectrum. There are so many books and so little time to read.

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