Curl up with the Good Books Group |

Curl up with the Good Books Group

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

The longtime book group at the Park City Library is experiencing a new burst of energy. The group started meeting about 20 years ago, and since then readers have dabbled in the Utah Humanities series, the Great Books Group, Western literature and other genres. This year, the organizing committee decided it was time to revamp the group’s vocation.

The members put their heads together to brainstorm about what would draw in the Park City community, and the Good Books Group was born. The new discussion group will meet monthly at the Park City Library to chat about a selection of books ranging from collections of short stories to classics.

The group is open to all readers and there is no need to sign up in advance to join in. Participants may simply show up for the discussion in room 109 of the library from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

Kerry Kelly, a member of the committee of organizers who helped pare down the reading list, says that the selection spans non-fiction, biography, classics, and even children’s literature (a leisurely respite scheduled for the hectic holiday season). Each of the books, with the exception of Edith Wharton’s "House of Mirth," was published within the past five years and has won significant awards.

"Everyone made suggestions within the parameters," Kelly says. "We were looking for something a little more than bestsellers. We wanted something that someone had considered an exceptional book." The list boasts several Pulitzer Prize winners, selections from the National Book Critics Circle, a Pen/Faulkner award recipient and a Newberry pick.

At each of the discussions, a facilitator will be present to stimulate and focus conversations. "We’ve always had pretty lively discussions," says Kelly. And as an added bonus, chocolate will be provided at each meeting.

The Good Books Group kicks off its new calendar on Sept. 17 with a discussion of "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpha Lahiri, a book of short stories. Drop-ins are encouraged.

All of the books on the reading list are available in paperback and may be borrowed from the Park City Library or Summit County Library. The selections may also be ordered through Dolly’s Bookstore.

For more information about the Good Books Group, contact the library staff liason, Brian Hartman, at 615-5609 or

The Good Books reading list:

Sept. 17 "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri

Oct. 15 "The Nine" by Jeffrey Toobin

Nov. 19 "Out Stealing Horses" by Per Petterson

Dec. 17 "The Higher Power of Lucky" by Susan Patron

Jan. 21 "The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton

Feb. 18 "White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga

March 18 "Stanley, The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer" by Tim Jeal

April 15 "The Rest is Noise" by Alex Ross

May 20 "Citizen Vince" by Jess Walter

June 17 "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Murial Barbery

July 15 "Netherland" by Joseph O’Neill

Aug. 19 "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout

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