Every year Houston Great Books hosts a day of workshops to help improve book group discussion and provide a chance for readers across Houston to meet! All sessions are open to the public and only require an RSVP to attend.
Bayou Bend Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center 6003 Memorial Drive (at Westcott Street) Houston TX 77007
Meet & Greet Doors open at 9:45 am Sign in, talk to old and new friends, and meet your HGB Councilmembers.
HGBC Membership Meeting 10 - 10:15 am Our brief official meeting of the Houston Great Books Council will begin with President Connie Lewis giving some opening remarks followed by a quick election of new and returning board members.
Morning Workshop A 10:15 am - 12:15 am
Understanding Shared Inquiry: How to Improve Our Book Discussion Skills led by Helen Cohen & Leigh Anderson
"Shared Inquiry promotes an intellectually stimulating interpretative discussion of a work—a group exploration of meaning that leads to engaging and insightful conversation. It helps participants read actively, articulate probing questions about the ideas in a work, and listen and respond effectively to each other. And it is based on the conviction that participants can gain a deeper understanding of a text when they work together and are prompted by a leader’s skilled questioning." from the Shared Inquiry Handbook
We will be using the short story "The Poor Relation's Story" by Charles Dickens to hone our discussion skills. This is a great workshop for people new to book discussion as well as for people with experience who want get back to basics.
A PDF of "The Poor Relation's Story" by Charles Dickens and the Shared Inquiry Handbook will be sent when you RSVP.
Morning Workshop B 10:15 am - 12:15 am
Discussion of Lone Stars by Justin Deabler partnering with Gulf Coast Reads led by Kristen Stewart & Wendy Wilkinson
Justin Deabler's Lone Stars follows the arc of four generations of a Texan family in a changing America. Julian Warner, a father at last, wrestles with a question his husband posed: what will you tell our son about the people you came from, now that they're gone? Finding the answers takes Julian back in time to Eisenhower's immigration border raids, an epistolary love affair during the Vietnam War, crumbling marriages, queer migrations to Cambridge and New York, up to the disorienting polarization of Obama's second term. And in these answers lies a hope: that by uncloseting ourselves—as immigrants, smart women, gay people—we find power in empathy.
This book will be read and discussed as part of the Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page. This is an annual regional reading initiative focused on promoting the simultaneous reading or listening to a selected title by those living along the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Find more at www.GulfCoastReads.org
Participants will need to procure the book on their own. Participating area libraries will have copies.
Lunch & Chat 12:15 am - 1:30 pm Lunch will be provided for anyone who attends both a morning and afternoon session and RSVPs by October 15.
Afternoon Workshop 1:30 to 3:30 pm
What’s Great about Great Books? led by Kent Guida and Eric Timmreck
"The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education" by Robert M. Hutchins was the first volume of the Britannica Great Books. In this essay he makes the case for liberal education based on reading and discussing great books.
"We have not seen our task as that of taking tourists on a visit to ancient ruins or to the quant productions of primitive peoples. We have not thought of providing our readers with hours of relaxation or with an escape from the dreadful cares that are the lot of every man...We are quite aware that we do not live in any time but the present, and, distressing as the present is, we would not care to live in any other time if we could. We want the voices of the Great Conversation to be heard again because we think they may help us to learn to live better now."
Join us for a discussion of this fine essay and its meaning for you, for our organization and for civilization. A PDF of the reading will be sent to you when you RSVP.