2019 Book Club
We, at gather here, are always looking to find ways to further engage with the community and to expand that community. In 2018 we started a Book Club with the help of community member, Barbara Elfman, called Knit Lit! and met each month to discuss books that were either about or featured knitting/weaving/sewing in their text. We explored biographies, graphic novels, and collections of essays on making.
In 2019 we are lucky to have librarian and maker, Jenna Wolf*, organizing and leading discussions each month. As many of you know, gather here is woman-owned and operated and we have dedicated time and resources to creating an inclusive space, this effort includes open events like book club. gather here’s emphasis this year is to focus on female authors who feature strong protagonists particularly around topics that include identity, ableism, activism, privilege, and ageism. In reading these texts, we hope to foster a deeper sense of empathy not only between the pages of a book, but in each other and the greater community at large.
Not only will we select some texts for the monthly meetings, but there will be open spaces on the calendar to allow for those who attend the group to have some agency in the choices we make as we read our way through the year. We hope that one or two of those selections will emerge from a meeting in April that will ask you: What are you reading? Why are you reading it? You tell us about some books you love, maybe even some books you hate, and as a group, we will use those to select a read in July.
Additionally, all monthly selections will be teased with the following format: what it’s about, why you might like it, and for fans of… so that you can gain a better sense of the book than just it’s cover art, it’s book jacket description, and a bit of blind faith.
We will also dedicate a bit of our group to talking about what you each want to be different in your reading life--what do you want to read more of? What do you think you need to read less of? Jenna will also talk to you about how she tracks her own reading life and keeps statistics--not only on the amount of reading time she is getting in or the number of books, but what kinds of authors she is reading and whether she’s seeking out books that will explore her own empathy bubble and break it open. Once you begin recording details about the books you read, you will be able to see what kinds of books you gravitate toward, what’s hard for you to explore, and maybe provide a window into where you’d like to read next.
So, do consider reading with us.
*Jenna Wolf is a library director at a boarding school just outside Boston by day, helping students discover their passions, do deep, meaningful, and well-rounded research, use cutting edge technology to tell their stories, and to inspire them to develop a reading life. As a member of Mvskoke Creek Nation, textile arts, beading, and other handiwork have always been intrinsic desires, and making, a way of life. She cares deeply about the art of indigenous peoples, and how that traditional work informs every aspect of her process and product. Prior to a career in librarianship, she was a political, crime, and music reporter, in both Boston and Washington, D.C. She lives in Boston with her partner, Sean, and their canine, Jack, and attends at least one rock gig a week. You can find her work at http://kraftworkinkitsch.com.
gather here is independently owned and operated. We’re part of a powerful community of craft artisans and busy bees who believe handcrafted, handmade goodness is for everyone.