Feb 26 2021

Discussion Series Explores “Friends and Neighbors”

February 26, 2021, PARSONS, KS – Parsons Public Library announces a three-part book discussion series scheduled for March through May on the theme “Friends and Neighbors."    Space is limited to 25 and pre-registration is required.

“Of all possessions a friend is the most precious,” Herodotus stated. From Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to Jo and Laurie of Little Women, literature is filled with the stories of friendships. This series is about forging friendships in unexpected places and the changes (for better or worse) that these relationships bring to our lives.

The first discussion, scheduled for Monday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m., is on Five Skies, by Ron Carlson.  “And so their days ended with this regard for their tools and the days began, as they squinted over coffee, in the exhilarating open air knowing where the shovel was, the chain, the awl.’ Author Ron Carlson writes movingly about male friendships in a work selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read. This book is about three strangers, each with a scarred past, who come together for a summer to construct a motorcycle ramp over a canyon gorge in the Idaho Rockies. The foreman looks for a way around his grief after the sudden death of his wife; the project engineer seeks to overcome his guilt over the death of his brother in a poorly planned Hollywood stunt. They are joined by a runaway teen with a history of petty crime. Carlson chronicles how the trio immerse themselves in their work in search of salvation and become friends along the way. The majesty of nature is as much a character as the three men.

The discussion leader will be Randee Baty.  Randee is an English instructor at Labette Community College in Parsons. She received her master’s in English with an emphasis in Literature from Pittsburg State University. Randee's research interests include Arthurian literature, Detective novels and mysteries, Kansas authors, and Shakespeare. She joined HK TALK program as a discussion leader August 2018.  

Copies of the book are available for check-out.

The series continues with discussions on The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu (April 12), and A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman (May 17).  All book discussions will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the main area of the library.

The series is sponsored by the Humanities Kansas (HK), a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program.  HK is furnishing the books and discussion leaders for the Parsons TALK series.  For more information about HK, visit www.humanitieskansas.org.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St.  To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact the library at 620-421-5920.