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Bookclubs foster meaningful community, conversation & critical thinking

At best, a book club pushes its members to broaden their horizons and step outside of their comfort zone. A great book club encourages critical thinking and meaningful conversations among its members. Our bookclub here at Groundwork does this by bringing a variety of our community members together in a meaningful way to explore literature and ideas, outside of the usual work environment.

Facilitating community & conversations

Books are a wonderful way to facilitate interesting conversations about a wide variety of topics, and being part of a book club is a great way to get to know the members of your community. As book club and Groundwork member Marlissa Briggett says,

I love getting to know people and talking about books is such a good way to do that. Plus, we end up choosing books I wouldn’t read otherwise, which I usually end up really enjoying. And each time we meet, someone has an insight that is like a revelation to me. I think the members are making me a better reader!

Each month we pick a new book that we vote on as a group. So far we have read books dealing with a variety of topics, from an array of genres, from sci-fi to historical fiction, immigration to alien abductions! At each book club we each have space to talk about what we enjoyed most and least about the book, any themes we may have noticed, and what we felt particularly moved by.

Expanding our world view

Being part of any book club has the potential to expand ones view of the world. In our bookclub here at Groundwork we take that idea seriously when we are picking each month’s book and try to pick books that we may not read otherwise. As member Alanna Nelson says,

Two great treats that the Groundwork book group gives me: Reading new fiction (normally, I’m a non-fiction reader) and social connection (hearing what other members think.)

So far we have read five books and each has been remarkably different in style and subject matter. We have read books written by a variety of authors from many different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and experience. Our hope is to stay mindful of these factors and to continue to push ourselves to read new books that keep us thinking and discussing a wide variety of topics.

Groundwork bookclub July book, “Nightcrawling” by Leila Mottley.

Keeping it local

We purchase all of our bookclub books from a small, locally owned, Black woman run bookstore in Buzzards Bay. Groundwork member Marlissa Briggett introduced us to the local bookshop when she wrote a feature piece in her magazine, South Coast Almanac about Footprints Cafe and owner Stefanie Corbin in the holiday 2021 addition. When we started the bookclub in March of 2022, Marlissa suggested a book she had recently read that had been suggested to her by Corbin, “No Land to Light On” by Yara Zgheib. And what better way to support a new local business than by consistently purchasing our books there? It seemed like a win/win for everyone.

South Coast Almanac feature of Stefanie Corbin of Footprints Cafe.

If you, like us, enjoy reading and community, why not join a bookclub in your area? If you would like to be a part of our community here at Groundwork and join our member bookclub, we would love to have you. Happy reading!