In my nearly two decades of teaching literature and writing, I’ve noticed one troubling trend: teenagers and adults alike have been taught to believe that reading the “great books” of the literary canon is an elite activity, that great books are full of “hidden meanings” that they’re afraid they can’t find, that they’re outsiders looking in on something that doesn’t really belong to them. Nonsense!
The classics are for everyone. In a Great Readers, Great Books read, your book club will select that book you’ve always been wanting to read together, and I’ll lead the charge. We’ll start with minimal “scaffolding”–a few bits of information that will help you begin your reading. Then, on a schedule your group sets, you’ll read the book with support from me and each other on a private Great Readers, Great Books discussion board. There, you’ll be able to ask questions as you go, throw in ideas, share thoughts, express frustrations and get help.
We’ll finish up with a discussion of the book at your regular book club meeting: a fun, irreverent conversation about what challenged you, what piqued your interest, what maddened you, what inspired you, and what you think about the classic we’ve just read. Our conversation will include literary criticism and book reviews, historical and biographical insights, and attention not only to plot and character and theme but also to language and form.
Send me an e-mail to set up your Great Readers, Great Books read.