Sandra Aiken

Grangeville Centennial Library assistant Sandra Aiken shows the books that will be discussed for this winter’s Let’s Talk About It series. The first book will be Catch 22 and the group will meet Jan. 21 at The Gallery to talk about this novel.

GRANGEVILLE — It’s time to chase the winter blues away by laughing a little. How so? Grab a book and join the 2020 Let’s Talk About It discussion at the Grangeville Centennial Library.

Grangeville Centennial Library was again chosen to be a partner in the Let’s Talk About It program. The public discussion group will meet through April. Meetings are set for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 p.m., at The Gallery, 107 West North Street. Books are currently available for pickup at the library, 215 West North Street, Grangeville, and the first session is set for Jan. 21. Call 208-983-0951 to sign up.

“Our theme this year is ‘Humor and Satire,’” said library assistant, Sandra Aiken.

Readers will focus on difficult questions and themes and, with the help of a specific scholar for each book, will discuss that book in a group setting at The Gallery.

Meeting dates, books and scholars for 2019 include the following:

*Tuesday, Jan. 21, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (published 1961) with scholar Wendy Green.

Heller's novel tells of a World War II bomber who is frustrated by the world around him. It was banned in the town of Strongsville, Ohio, in 1972, because of language in the novel that was viewed by some as indecent. Scholar Green is the natural resource writer for the University of Idaho’s Rangeland Center. She has a degree in English from the University of Colorado. She spent 30 years in radio broadcasting and is also a freelance writer.

*Tuesday, Feb. 11, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (published 1813) with scholar Wendy Green.

Pride and Prejudice tells the story about a family of seven made of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters. In all, the novel is about how Elizabeth and Jane seek and find love without compromising their dignity, and with the full intention of marrying for love and not for financial gain.

*Thursday, Feb. 27, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (published 2000) with scholar Ron McFarland.

This collection of 28 short essays includes the title story where Sedaris writes of his experiences trying to learn to speak French in Paris. McFarland has taught several literature courses at the University of Idaho and served as Idaho’s first Writer-in-Residence in 1984-85. He is an author of several books, including a memoir.

*Tuesday, March 10, Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain (published 1893) with scholar Clark Draney.

Pudd'nhead Wilson is a Northerner who comes to the small Missouri town of Dawson's Landing to build a career as a lawyer. He was given the nickname "Pudd'nhead," and the town refuses to give him their legal work. He scrapes by on odd work and spends most of his time dabbling in scientific hobbies, most notably, fingerprinting.

Dr. Draney is an English professor at the College of Southern Idaho. He has also taught at Idaho State University and the University of Utah. He has a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in American Studies and a doctorate in rhetoric and composition and American literature. He lives with his family in Twin Falls.

*Thursday, March 26, Hope: A Tragedy (published 2012) by Shalom Auslander, with scholar Paula Coomer.

The book tells of a tragic character named Kugel who buys a farmhouse out in the country in a small city named Stockton where he and his wife and young son live. Soon after, his mother comes to live with them and soon after that, they find a mysterious person living in the attic of their new home.

Coomer is a writer who most recently penned the book Somebody Should Have Scolded the Girl. She is a longtime teacher of writing who has been a nominee for the Pulitzer, Pushcart and other awards. She lives in Garfield, Wash.

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