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Discuss this….

The five finalists for this year’s One Book One Lincoln program will be announced Monday.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the selection committee, this year chaired by Donna Marvin and Mary Jane Humphreys.

In addition to reading many nominated titles, the committee discusses whether particular books offer enough in “meat” for discussion and consideration for the whole community.

This leads to an ongoing question about book groups–why are some books so great for promoting discussion, when other perfectly good books fall flat? I ran into my friend, Barb, at Leon’s this week, and this was the question on her mind, too.

A few years ago, as part of my Notable Books reading, I read Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.”  I loved the story, but put it down and didn’t think much more about it. Then, as I ran into more and more people who’d read the book, I couldn’t believe all of the different ways in which people thought about it, and wanted to talk about it.  And then I had plenty to talk about, too!  My theory is that the people in that book inspired opinion after opinion, and their intense interactions during the blizzard on the mountain kept us talking, and talking, and talking.

So…what books have you found to be great at promoting discussion?  Any books that YOU loved that fizzled when it came to kindling a conversation?

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