Library Committee News

by Katie Weiblen, Joanne Kendall, Victoria Tirrel
Originally published in the February 2017 issue of the 1666 Coffman Newsletter

At the February 15 Book Night, Coffman’s own Jean Larson will talk about her recently
published book, Hope on the Journey: Walking with Chronic Disease. This book
combines essays and poetry about caring for her husband Milt through a decades-long
journey with Parkinson’s Disease. It just recently arrived on the library shelves, thanks to a donation from Vic Cox. To complement Jean’s presentation, there will be brief reviews of one or two books on related issues.

We invite residents now to recommend book titles on living with chronic disease
and medical issues related to health care. We will compile a reading list to share on Book
Night. Titles you recommend should be given or emailed to Victoria Tirrel, #202,
victoria@victoriatirrel.com by February 18.

What’s next? Read on: As promised, book lovers, readers, and listeners-to-all-things-books are invited to a Book Night update meeting on Wednesday, February 22, at 3:30 pm in the Social Room. Ideas offered by community members will be fleshed out and volunteers for presentations noted. Those attending will review the resulting vision—format and content for future Book Nights—and offer any new ideas.

An important part of the discussion will involve addressing the challenges of
ensuring that a vital, creative Book Night will continue. That process now needs to
become more concrete and will depend on resident involvement—volunteer reviewers
and others who will agree to work on the logistics involved (scheduling, room
arrangements, microphone availability, and providing information for poster publicity).

Where did this vision begin? The December resident survey on views related to
Book Night provided a good indication of community thinking. Then, the January Book
Night featured three four-minute reviews by Shirley Ungar, Joanne Kendall, and Ed
Lotterman. Respectively, they reviewed Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture
Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barr Estabrook; three books by travel writer
Patrick Leigh Fermor, including A Time of Gifts; and The Last Fine Time and other works
by Verlyn Klinkenborg. Thanks to these reviewers for kicking off 2017 in style (and with
brevity).

The rest of the January Book Night involved a lively exchange of ideas about new
formats and themes moderated by Katie Weiblen. Discussion focused primarily on fiction
but all the ideas that emerged are relevant for other reading areas, such as history,
biography, and essay.

Victoria Tirrel then summarized ideas from the information gathering process, the
resident survey and that Book Night gathering. Since survey respondents indicated a
strong preference that the Book Night tradition continue, there will be Book

Night reviews scheduled from February through May. The promised update meeting is
now set for February 22 to unveil the plan that includes an ongoing focus on books in
both traditional and new formats for Book Nights. Many people stayed after the January
meeting to talk in small groups, a great sign that there is excitement about and energy for
Book Night’s future.

Book Night at 1666 Coffman is alive, well, and flourishing thanks to a community that
values the life of the mind it promotes!

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