January 13, 2012 at 12:42pm
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Book clubs are one of the last vestiges we have of formally engaging conversations for groups of strangers. You can discover a lot about a person by learning their opinions on any piece of art, but books prove to be especially revealing.
Take, for instance, King's Books' Banned Book Club in Tacoma - a monthly get-together in which people discuss, appropriately, books that have been previously banned in some capacity. Books covered in the past by the Banned Book Club include a wide variety of genres, ranging from young adult fiction (The Hunger Games), to humorous essays (Naked), to nostalgic relics of childhood (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) to classically controversial titles (Of Mice and Men, The Color Purple, etc.).
Exploring why some of these books have been banned - and what the reader thinks about the validity of the controversies surrounding these books - can be an eye-opening experience, and a quick way to get to know someone.
The Banned Book Club meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Tempest Lounge. This month's book will be Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
If you're into more non-traditional storytelling, King's Books also hosts a Graphic Novel Book Club, which meets the second Monday of every month at 1022 South on Hilltop Tacoma.
Unfortunately for minors, both meet-up spots are 21+.
If you're in Olympia, and in need of a good book club, a great place to start is Orca Books. While Orca hosts a number of makeshift book clubs, the store also has its own flagship reading group, Orcapod, which meets the second Sunday of every month.
Past titles discussed by Orcapod include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Way We Never Were (by Evergreen College professor Stephanie Coontz, by the way).
Orcapod is quick to advertise the possibility that Orca housecat (every book store needs one), Henry, just might spend some time on your lap while you talk about that month's selection. Sounds like a cozy way to spend a Sunday to me.
If you're a voracious reader, you could hit all three book club meet-ups in Tacoma and Olympia - food for thought.
[King's Books, 218 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.8801]
[Orca Books, 509 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia, 360.352.0123]
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