I meant to write this earlier this week, because I enjoyed this class so much. When I was an undergrad and also in my graduate work in New Zealand, I studied literature and so thinking about text is one of my favorite things. Book clubs seem such a wonderful way to take a love of reading good things and take all those thoughtful things we’re taught in English class into the rest of our life. I was in Hearts and there were four groups presenting. We began by talking about Hansel and Gretel and the presenting group gave us an ice breaker question of if we were such and such character what would we do differently? This was a good question because the Grimm version we read had many details that many of us didn’t remember and so we ended up talking about why some choices were made and what would change if this story were brought into the present.
The second group talked about two poems The Tiger by William Blake and Design by Robert Frost, each poem is looking at the beauty of predators and wondering who or what created them. Most of the discussion was around this idea of how do we talk about evil and just destruction in the world. Looking back on that talk after the horrible earthquake and tsunami, I find it even more relevant since the power of nature can be hard to comprehend.
The next group looked at a series of poem from the Card Catalog Poetry Archive by someone named Robin Harris. This discussion ended up being about the whys of the poems and what do card catalogs mean to us as librarians. We talked about how sometimes we can nostalgic for things that we haven’t even experienced but that nostalgia is still a key part of how people think about librarians. I want to go back and look over more of these poems since the medium of an old card seems to carry so much with it.
Last I presented Penelope to Ulysses, Heroide I with Kayla and I found where the discussion went interesting and unexpected. I don’t want to discuss too much here because the meat of it will go in our analysis, but I enjoyed all the connections we found to our world and the past. That really carried through all of the book clubs, how do we take what we read and move it beyond the page. I think this is the power of book clubs, they can find ways to connect reading to the lives of people who might not think about it. I know I read all the time and can’t imagine not reading, so for me knowing about something like this is a good way to show that talking about what you read isn’t something to be left behind in school.