Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reading Liberally

Earlier this year I founded a local chapter of Reading Liberally, a national "book club" that is part of a larger organization called Living Liberally. (We have a social chapter in our area, too: Drinking Liberally.) The book club meets once a month (in a bar, just to make it even more fun) to discuss books of interest to liberals--not just books we agree with, but books that will help us understand important issues.

For January we're reading Founding Faith by Steven Waldman, co-founder of Beliefnet, about the real faith of our founding fathers and the real meaning of the separation of church and state. The basic premise--I'm not very far into it yet--seems to be that the Left and Right both misrepresent the religion of the founders and as a result don't fully understand what the wall of separation is all about. I think we'll have an excellent discussion. (January 27 at 6:30 pm at Irish Alley on Johnson Street in Staunton, VA.)

Over the year we've read a number of other books that brought us fine discussions: Agenda for a New Economy (David Korten), In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan), Half the Sky (Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn), Color Blind (Tim Wise), Mountains Beyond Mountains (Tracy Kidder), The Conscience of a Liberal (Paul Krugman), and Beyond Fundamentalism (Reza Aslan). It's been a great year in reading.

If you're interested in joining us, visit our Facebook Page or our website to sign up for notices.


Clifford Garstang said...

I should have mentioned, also, that participants in the "club" (there are no dues) get 20% off their purchase of the books at two local bookstores, The Sacred Circle and Bookworks. Just mention Reading Liberally.

Paul said...

I like this kind of event a lot but I live in England and it will be a while before I go to the US. I'd be interested to hear if there are any such events online.