Butler County Times Gazette
  • Discussion series to explore ‘Reader’s Choice’

  • The first meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. March 8. Kim Stanley will discuss “Holes” by Louis Sachar
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  • Augusta Public Library will offer a three-part book discussion series March through May entitled “Reader’s Choice.”
    Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place in the Community Room at 1609 State.
    The series is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council (KHC), a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program. KHC is furnishing the books and discussion leaders for the Augusta TALK series. For more information about KHC, visit www.kansashumanities.org.
     When Kansas readers were asked at the 2007 Book Festival in Wichita to declare their favorite book, the choices were diverse, but the top vote-getters shared some terrain familiar to Kansans. One story is steeped in family mythology, one in a father’s philosophy and one in shared familial knowledge that makes survival possible.  The vastness of space and the closeness of communities and families in these novels are familiar elements, but ultimately, each book underscores the resiliency of the human spirit, a theme that resonates with Kansans.
    The first meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. March 8.  Kim Stanley will discuss “Holes” by Louis Sachar. When Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention center, he discovers the lake is a vast dry bed where the inmates dig holes each day in the searing sun. The mystery of the Warden’s obsession with digging is gradually revealed as Louis Sachar weaves the story of Stanley’s incarceration with family myths of his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing  great-great- grandfather,” whose long ago actions set in motion a cosmic plan that determines Stanley’s fate.
    Kim Stanley chairs the Department of Modern Languages at McPherson College. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s liberal arts from St. Johns College at Santa Fe. She has won the Dean’s Teaching Award at the University of Texas, the Professor of the Year Award (twice) at McPherson and the Public Scholar Award from KHC.
    Stanley is a former member of the KHC board of directors and has been leading TALK discussions since 1992.
    The series continues with “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel on April 5, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee on May 10.
    To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact Carol Courtwright at the Augusta Public Library at 775-2681.
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