On the Same Page: Join a book discussion group at Reedsburg Public Library this year

Reedsburg Public Library staff

Reedsburg Public Library Assistant Director Kris Houtler will lead book discussion groups this year. (Submitted photo)

Joining a book discussion group is on many people’s “bucket list” but is often a goal not realized for a number of reasons: An inconvenient time of day, a lengthy drive, and most often, the discomfort of joining a group for the first time. Reedsburg Public Library can assuage all of those fears with its three different book discussion offerings each month, guaranteed to be convenient in time and place, with a welcoming atmosphere!

Reedsburg Public Library offers an evening book discussion, a cookbook discussion, and a morning book group monthly. The evening and cookbook book discussions are held via Zoom, and the morning group has a hybrid format, where participants can come in person or join online with the Zoom platform.

Assistant Library Director Kris Houtler facilitates the evening group, held on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. via Zoom. An eclectic mix of titles are chosen for each session, some recommended by members and others chosen by Houtler. Generally, she has not pre-read the book before the rest of the group, so the reading is fresh for all. Questions are provided but not followed to a tee, as participants share their impressions of the book. Says Houtler, “sometimes the fun is in the disagreement, and unexpected responses to the title.”

This lively, informal, and welcoming group appreciates the evening virtual format that accommodates their work schedules. The title for May 19 is “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane.

The cookbook discussion, also hosted by Houtler, meets via Zoom on the third Sunday of each month at 1 p.m., but will move to the third Monday at 6 p.m. in the summer. Participants make a recipe from the featured cookbook and share their cooking or baking experience from the book. No level of culinary proficiency is required! You may send in a photo of your creation to share with the group if you wish! The title for May 15, “The New York Times-Cooking No-Recipe Recipes” by Sam Sifton, promises the sharing of doable recipes!

The Morning Book Discussion group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. in a “hybrid” format allowing for both in person and online participants. The informal group, formerly known as Titles and Tea, is facilitated by Reference Services Librarian, Janet Gasser, and strives to read books from a number of genres, chosen from member suggestions and recommended lists. Again, the fun is in the sharing of impressions, and learning from others. The selection for May 24 is the memoir “Beautiful Country” by Qian Julie Wang.

All three book discussions will continue in the summer months, so cross “joining a book discussion” off your bucket list. Visit the library’s homepage at www.reedsburglibrary.org to sign up for the virtual formats. If you would like more information about the book discussions, call the Library at 608-768-READ or email info@reedsburglibrary.org.