The Dewees Island Book Club is another example of what makes the community of Dewees unique and special. It’s run by volunteers and meets at Huyler House, usually on a Thursday night. Everyone is welcome: sometimes there are two or three generations in the room, and the group includes both men and women. Books are chosen in advance and proposed at the meetings, where one member volunteers to host and lead the discussion. I have found the meetings fascinating, because I learn such interesting things about my neighbors and friends that don’t come up in casual conversation. All ages and genders are welcome, and that certainly adds a richness to the discussion that you don’t find in some other book clubs. The host arrives early and gets out wine glasses, and everyone brings their own beverages and a heavy appetizer to share. The discussion leader prepares a few quick words of introduction to the book, or questions we want to pursue. Currently, the communications and scheduling are managed by Bubber McAlhany, and everyone on the island is welcome to participate. I asked Bubber about who was in charge of the book club, whether we stop during the summer months, and what he likes best about it, and here’s his answer:
It is under the auspices of our social committee and I took on the job of promoting it via announcements and trying to “cajole” folks into participating. We did stop last summer on the advice of participants but we do not have to as long as someone has a book suggestion and agrees to present it on a Thursday evening. What I like best is what I continually say, ” It encourages me to read books I may never have considered reading without our book club.”
Island resident Anne Saueracker agrees:
The Dewees Book Club provides very unique experiences. The group shares values that bring them to Dewees Island, but no matter what book is discussed, it is apparent that the group also has a vast and distinct store of experiences, travels and ideas. There is an endless curiosity that is evident in the non-judgmental sharing and discussion of these thoughts and stories, and at the end of the evening, we come away learning more about our neighbors, but more importantly we find new insights into ourselves.
The club indeed encourages me to read books I otherwise would never select on my own, and the discussion is always really educational!
The next meeting of the book club is May 22nd at 6:30 pm. The book is Children of the Wind, by Ed Sundt. Discussion led by Bob Drew.
If you really want to explore the subject, you can read any of the following (click link to the book at Amazon):
Thursday night (March 20) we met with author (and island owner) Jeffery Deal. The book is The Mark: A Novel of Dinka in the Time of War, and it’s a great read! Novelist Brett Lott describes it as “a harrowing and beautiful story of a young man in the Sudan, a Dinka tribesman set in the midst of unimaginable turmoil; it is genuinely frightening and genuinely revelatory.” Jeff’s experiences in South Sudan as an anthropologist and a physician have enabled him to write a book that transports you to Africa… don’t miss this! We will be meeting at Huyler House at 6:30.
Other recent books (click on any to read about them or order from Amazon):