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home : features : booktalk November 17, 2017

BookTalk April 2011
BookTalk: The CVT book group recommends anything by Barbara Kingsolver
The CVT book 
group recommends any book by 
Barbara Kingsolver. They recently read "The Lacuna."

The CVT Book Discussion Group began as a noon-hour conversation among people who work or volunteer at the Center for Victims of Torture. While there are 25 "members" on the Center's mailing list, generally five to 10 gather for their monthly, evening book discussion, either in homes or pubs or at the St. Paul CVT Clinic.

What book by a woman have you recently read?
"True Altitude," a play by CVT colleague, Denise Dreher. She had a reading at the Mill City Clinic in January. Book group members were sent the script and invited to the reading. A lively discussion followed about this intense psychological drama that explores the bonds of love, the limits of friendship and the fine line between life and death. The main character, Lee, is a fiercely independent pilot who is forced to give up flying when she begins to exhibit early signs of dementia. Haunted by the memory of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's, she desperately searches for a way to avoid the same fate.

What book by a woman would your group most recommend?
Any book by Louise Erdrich. The group looks for themes across her books and appreciates the history and Minnesota references. They find deeper meaning about life, love, politics and history in Barbara Kingsolver's fiction and nonfiction. They recently read "The Lacuna" by Kingsolver.

What questions have you discovered that incite the best discussion?
Any provocative question that moves around the room: Who was your favorite character? Were there any characters with whom you identified? What were the themes? Is this an allegory?

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How do you decide what to read?
Our tastes are eclectic and reflected in the books we have chosen to read together. We have tried a variety of methods for choosing the next book: consensus of those present; taking turns making recommendations; throwing darts (we have a considerable list of suggested readings!)

Tell us about your book group! 
For a list of questions to answer go to www.womenspress.com, choose AboutUs from the menu, then Writers' Guidelines, and then write to editor@womenspress.com.

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