What we're about

Life is short, and books take a long time to read, so let's make our reading count! This group is for you if you enjoy reading well-written novels, classic literature, history, philosophy, economics, science, science fiction, poetry, short stories, or plays. We will read a lot of the great works, both Western and Non-Western, fiction and nonfiction, that you see on various ranked lists, but we may do more recent works as well to mix things up. Everyone is welcome whether you are a professor or are reading a great work for your first time. We will discuss these books to enlarge our understanding of the ideas that shape the human condition, but our discussions will be casual and we won't take ourselves too seriously.

We will meet online via videoconferencing, so anyone around the world is welcome to join. (You can join our conference with a computer with a microphone and webcam, or your smartphone; If you prefer not to be on video, there is an audio only option too. Further details on the technology are provided in the event listings.) Generally, we will meet every two weeks but check the schedule for exact times. See you soon!

Upcoming events (4+)

ONLINE Book Club: Elements of Computing Systems by Nisan and Schocken Mtg 1 of 3

Hello all! We will meet online for a discussion of Chapters 1 thru 4 of Elements of Computing Systems (2nd Ed) by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken. Per the publisher, "The best way to understand how computers work is to build one from scratch, and this textbook leads learners through twelve chapters and projects that gradually build the hardware platform and software hierarchy for a simple but powerful computer system. In the process, learners gain hands-on knowledge of hardware, architecture, operating systems, programming languages, compilers, software engineering, and relevant algorithms and data structures. Using this constructive approach, the book introduces readers to a significant body of computer science knowledge and synthesizes key theoretical and applied techniques into one constructive framework. The outcome is known as Nand to Tetris: a journey that starts with the most elementary logic gate, called Nand, and ends, twelve projects later, with a general-purpose computer system capable of running Tetris and any other program that comes to your mind."

**NOTE: This is event is a bit of an experiment, as I've never posted a technical, project based book for the book club before. We have enough members now, though, that I think there's probably enough interest to host this book. Note that while having some programming experience would be helpful for reading the book, the book says no prior programming experience is necessary, so anyone is welcome to RSVP to this event if you're willing to put in the time. Also note that the project that you complete in reading the book is to build a computer through the free software the authors provide (you don't need to buy anything as the project is not to build a physical computer but a theoretical "software" computer.)

Because the book and project will take some time to complete, we will split the readings and meetings into 3 parts per below:

Monday 1/31/2022: Meeting 1 of 3: Chapters 1 thru 4

Monday 2/28/2022: Meeting 2 of 3: Chapters 5 thru 8

Monday 3/28/2022: Meeting 3 of 3: Chapters 9 thru 13

You can get the book in print here (be sure to get the 2nd edition): https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Computing-Systems-second-Principles/dp/0262539802/ And on Kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Computing-Systems-second-Principles-ebook-dp-B084V7R8PT/dp/B084V7R8PT/. There is also an optional, free accompanying online course here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/build-a-computer

In the interest of connecting directly with the text, staying focused and covering as much material as we can in the allotted time, we've found that reading excerpts live throughout the meeting is quite useful for facilitating relevant discussion. So please use the link below to contribute any excerpts you think are notable or question provoking: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kMwg1YDuwCNQboqvVl-y51gEoymTGytZzq5U81f9P50/edit?usp=sharing

Whether you are a long time reader, new to the hobby, or are something in between, all are welcome! The only requirement is that you actually read the entire book. The first 10 minutes will be a meet and greet. Then we'll start the book discussion which typically lasts 2 hours, though we do sometimes go longer if there's enough interest.

This meetup will be held virtually via videoconferencing. Also note that this event will be co-hosted with two other book clubs, to ensure that we get enough participants to get a vibrant dialogue going. At the same time we will limit RSVPs so the conversation doesn't become unwieldy.

ONLINE Book Club: The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich Meeting 1 of 6

Hello all! We will meet online for a discussion of Chapters 1 through 4 of The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich. Per the publisher, "The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over four decades. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, and one who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject." Per Library Journal, "Gombrich's venerable work has inhabited a unique niche, having been created specifically for newcomers to art. As his title indicates, he presents the whole of art history as a chronological narrative. Gombrich's voice is lively, opinionated, and almost conversational, yet his erudition shines through to make a book that is both accessible and informative. His premise, that the love of art, not the love of history, is the appropriate basis for its study is communicated directly with his irrepressible enthusiasm for certain masters and his passionate exasperation with 20th century nonobjective artists."

We will split the readings and meetings into 6 parts, meeting every 2 weeks on Monday, per below:

Monday 2/7/2022: Meeting 1 of 6: Chapters 1 through 4
Monday 2/21/2022: Meeting 2 of 6: Chapters 5 through 11
Monday 3/7/2022: Meeting 3 of 6: Chapters 12 through 15
Monday 3/21/2022: Meeting 4 of 6: Chapters 16 through 20
Monday 4/4/2022: Meeting 5 of 6: Chapters 21 through 25
Monday 4/18/2022: Meeting 6 of 6: Chapters 26 through 28

You can get the book in print here (Note we are reading the 16th edition published in 1995): https://www.amazon.com/Story-Art-H-Gombrich/dp/0714832472

In the interest of connecting directly with the text, staying focused and covering as much material as we can in the allotted time, we've found that reading excerpts live throughout the meeting is quite useful for facilitating relevant discussion. So please use the link below to contribute any excerpts you think are notable or question provoking: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JuMGUJJQ2apiT8WDzNSAj1AqhqjtTHTmYKj1z_y_rmk/edit?usp=sharing (Also since this is an art book, please post a hyperlink to high resolution image of the work the excerpt is discussing so we can all look at the art on our computers while discussing it.)

Whether you are a long time reader, new to the hobby, or are something in between, all are welcome! The only requirement is that you actually read the entire book. The first 10 minutes will be a meet and greet. Then we'll start the book discussion which typically lasts 2 hours, though we do sometimes go longer if there's enough interest.

This meetup will be held virtually via videoconferencing. Also note that this event will be co-hosted with two other book clubs, to ensure that we get enough participants to get a vibrant dialogue going. At the same time we will limit RSVPs so the conversation doesn't become unwieldy.

ONLINE Book Club: Ulysses by James Joyce Meeting 2 of 3

Online event

Hello all! We will meet online for a discussion of the SECOND third of Ulysses by James Joyce. Per the publisher, "James Joyce's astonishing masterpiece, Ulysses, tells of the diverse events which befall Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in Dublin on 16 June 1904, during which Blooms voluptuous wife, Molly, commits adultery. Initially deemed obscene in England and the USA, this richly-allusive novel, revolutionary in its Modernistic experimentalism, was hailed as a work of genius by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. Scandalously frank, wittily erudite, mercurially eloquent, resourcefully comic and generously humane, Ulysses offers the reader a life-changing experience."

Because the book is long and difficult to read, we will split the readings and meetings into 3 parts. Most versions of the book don't have chapter headings, so marking the readings will be done per below:

Monday 1/17/2022: Meeting 1 of 3: First third of the book; Pages 1 to 245 of the Oxford World Classics edition (until the line "William Humble, earl of Dudley, and Lady Dudley, accompanied by lieutenantcolonel Hesseltine, drove out after luncheon from the viceregal lodge.")

Tuesday 2/15/2022: Meeting 2 of 3: Middle third of the book; Pages 245 to 490 of the Oxford World Classics edition (until the line "Hold that fellow with the bad breeches")

Monday 3/14/2022: Meeting 3 of 3: Last third of the book; Pages 490 to 732 (the end) of the Oxford World Classics edition

You can get the book in print here: https://www.amazon.com/Ulysses-Oxford-Worlds-Classics-James/dp/0199535671/ And on Kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/Ulysses-Oxford-Worlds-Classics-James-ebook/dp/B006BAK9H2/

In the interest of connecting directly with the text, staying focused and covering as much material as we can in the allotted time, we've found that reading excerpts live throughout the meeting is quite useful for facilitating relevant discussion. So please use the link below to contribute any excerpts you think are notable or question provoking: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Z4Oz3iXIemRWYhNCoMzV9mEs73IW4YXBsDe38zEeSks/edit#gid=0

Whether you are a long time reader, new to the hobby, or are something in between, all are welcome! The only requirement is that you actually read the entire book. The first 10 minutes will be a meet and greet. Then we'll start the book discussion which typically lasts 2 hours, though we do sometimes go longer if there's enough interest.

This meetup will be held virtually via videoconferencing. Also note that this event will be co-hosted with two other book clubs, to ensure that we get enough participants to get a vibrant dialogue going. At the same time we will limit RSVPs so the conversation doesn't become unwieldy.

ONLINE Book Club: The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich Meeting 2 of 6

Hello all! We will meet online for a discussion of Chapters 5 through 11 of The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich. Per the publisher, "The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over four decades. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, and one who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject." Per Library Journal, "Gombrich's venerable work has inhabited a unique niche, having been created specifically for newcomers to art. As his title indicates, he presents the whole of art history as a chronological narrative. Gombrich's voice is lively, opinionated, and almost conversational, yet his erudition shines through to make a book that is both accessible and informative. His premise, that the love of art, not the love of history, is the appropriate basis for its study is communicated directly with his irrepressible enthusiasm for certain masters and his passionate exasperation with 20th century nonobjective artists."

We will split the readings and meetings into 6 parts, meeting every 2 weeks on Monday, per below:

Monday 2/7/2022: Meeting 1 of 6: Chapters 1 through 4
Monday 2/21/2022: Meeting 2 of 6: Chapters 5 through 11
Monday 3/7/2022: Meeting 3 of 6: Chapters 12 through 15
Monday 3/21/2022: Meeting 4 of 6: Chapters 16 through 20
Monday 4/4/2022: Meeting 5 of 6: Chapters 21 through 25
Monday 4/18/2022: Meeting 6 of 6: Chapters 26 through 28

You can get the book in print here (Note we are reading the 16th edition published in 1995): https://www.amazon.com/Story-Art-H-Gombrich/dp/0714832472

In the interest of connecting directly with the text, staying focused and covering as much material as we can in the allotted time, we've found that reading excerpts live throughout the meeting is quite useful for facilitating relevant discussion. So please use the link below to contribute any excerpts you think are notable or question provoking: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qFCcHMwq2GDeyVruEAToYcDdrbaB9O0TpVDhiRKZSNY/edit?usp=sharing
(Also since this is an art book, please post a hyperlink to high resolution image of the work the excerpt is discussing so we can all look at the art on our computers while discussing it.)

Whether you are a long time reader, new to the hobby, or are something in between, all are welcome! The only requirement is that you actually read the entire book. The first 10 minutes will be a meet and greet. Then we'll start the book discussion which typically lasts 2 hours, though we do sometimes go longer if there's enough interest.

This meetup will be held virtually via videoconferencing. Also note that this event will be co-hosted with two other book clubs, to ensure that we get enough participants to get a vibrant dialogue going. At the same time we will limit RSVPs so the conversation doesn't become unwieldy.

Past events (47)

Photos (48)