What we're about

The Sit Down & Speak Up Book Club meets up in Eugene, Oregon. Active members recommend books of interest to the group as a whole. Discussions are scheduled one or more times each month, with book titles chosen and announced about a month in advance. Allowing Meetup email notifications will keep you informed about book recommendations and discussion events.

There's no need to RSVP at Meetup if you've already done so at Facebook, as events are posted at both sites. Join us anytime a book interests you!

Group Description

The Sit Down & Speak Up Book Club is comprised of curious, critical, and compassionate conversationalists who read books and discuss their reading experiences, thoughts, and opinions, openly and respectfully.

Improvement of the human condition is of particular interest (e.g., progressivism; humanism; human rights; equal rights; gender equality; feminism; racial, social, economic & environmental justice, etc.).

During book discussions, we simply sit down and speak up, taking turns, round-table style (just pass or play). Diverse and divergent thoughts, questions, and opinions are wanted, and each voice is valued and heard.

Group Discussion Guidelines

• Listen attentively without interrupting others (a compassionate conversation allows for each speaker to complete his/her own thoughts, free from distractions and disruptions; kindly listen).

• Always speak kindly and compassionately (discourse is dependent upon disagreement; offer criticism in constructive ways that open a point up for discussion rather than disrespect).

• Take turns, being mindful of total talk time (everyone’s voice is valued and will be heard; be mindful of how often and how long you speak; a silent timer will be used to ensure equity).

• Keep the discussion relevant and on track (brief digressions are fine, as they allow us to share experiences that are relevant to the topic, but don’t sidetrack or derail the discussion).

If these guidelines are agreeable to you and you agree to follow them, please join The Sit Down & Speak Up Book Club.

Membership

Sometimes initial interest just doesn't lead to active engagement. Members who don't visit the group or view posts for three months, or have accumulated three discussion 'no-shows' will simply be removed from the group. Thanks for your understanding, and may you discover a "just right" book club.

Please be advised: This group has a strict no solicitation policy. Membership in the group for solicitation purposes is strictly prohibited. Members who market goods and/or services to other members, whether online via this Meetup group or in-person during events, will be removed from the group. If you are aware of any violation of this policy, please contact the organizer immediately.

Upcoming events (4+)

Discussion of How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith

Farmers Union Coffee Roasters

Discussion of How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
(336 pages; non-fiction/history/anti-racism/social justice)
Sunday, January 30, 2022 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM (Pacific Time)
Farmers Union Coffee, 152 W 5th Street, Eugene, Oregon

Please Note:
Répondez s'il vous plaît (RSVP) 'YES' ONLY if you will attend. Please change your RSVP from 'YES' to 'NO' if you cannot attend after all.

Book Blurb:
Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks-those that are honest about the past and those that are not-that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation's collective history, and ourselves.

It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving over 400 people on the premises. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola Prison in Louisiana, a former plantation named for the country from which most of its enslaved people arrived and which has since become one of the most gruesome maximum-security prisons in the world. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

In a deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country's most essential stories are hidden in plain view-whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods—like downtown Manhattan—on which the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women and children has been deeply imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought alive by the story of people living today, Clint Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark work of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in understanding our country.

Discussion of My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Farmers Union Coffee Roasters

Discussion of My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
(193-page novella; fiction; mother/daughter relationship)
Sunday, February 6, 2022 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM
Farmers Union Coffee, 152 W 5th Street, Eugene, Oregon

Please Note:
Répondez s'il vous plaît (RSVP) 'YES' ONLY if you will attend. Please change your RSVP from 'YES' to 'NO' if you cannot attend after all.

Book Blurb:
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of her life: her impoverished childhood in Amgash, Illinois, her escape to New York and her desire to become a writer, her faltering marriage, her love for her two daughters.

Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable. In My Name Is Lucy Barton, one of America's finest writers shows how a simple hospital visit illuminates the most tender relationship of all-the one between mother and daughter.

Discussion of Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Farmers Union Coffee Roasters

Discussion of Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
(272 pages; contemporary fiction/environment/mystery/Scotland)
Sunday, February 13, 2022 from 9:30-10:30 AM (Pacific Time)
Farmers Union Coffee Roasters, 152 W 5th Ave, Eugene

Please Note:
Répondez s'il vous plaît (RSVP) 'YES' ONLY if you will attend. Please change your RSVP from 'YES' to 'NO' if you cannot attend after all.

Book Blurb:
Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?

Propulsive and spell-binding, Charlotte McConaghy's Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves—if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.

Discussion of The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

Farmers Union Coffee Roasters

Discussion of The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray
(320 pages; contemporary fiction)
Sunday, February 20, 2022 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM
Farmers Union Coffee, 152 W 5th Street, Eugene, Oregon

Please Note:
Répondez s'il vous plaît (RSVP) 'YES' ONLY if you will attend. Please change your RSVP from 'YES' to 'NO' if you cannot attend after all.

Book Blurb:
Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist—of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply collects them. Aquamarine bottles, bright yellow crockery, deep Tuscan red pots (and the odd slow-cooker) take up every available inch of space in her house. Having suffered a terrible tragedy—one she staunchly refuses to let herself think about, thank you very much—she’s decided that it’s easier to love things than people. Things are safe. Things will never leave you.

But when a new family moves in next door with two young boys, one of whom has a collection of his own, Amy’s carefully managed life starts to unravel, prompting her to question why she began to close herself off in the first place. As Amy embarks on a journey back into her past, she has to contend with nosy neighbors, a meddlesome government worker, the inept police, and a little boy whose love of bulldozers might just let Amy open up her heart—and her home—again.

Quirky and charming, big-hearted and moving, The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton proves that it’s never too late to let go of the things that don’t matter...and welcome the people who do.

Past events (76)

Discussion of When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

Hideaway Bakery

Photos (13)

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