A bunch of people, all over the United States, and some in Canada, are right now reading these 3 works, for Great Books Chicago, an annual spring event in Chicago:
1) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Penguin Classics edition)
2) Endgame by Samuel Beckett (published with Act Without Words 1 in a Grove Press edition)
3) Sorrow-Acre by Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen, the Out of Africa woman; published within Introduction to Great Books 2, Second Series, by the Great Books Foundation)
The people reading these works will gather in Chicago April 30-May 2 to discuss them, "shared inquiry" style, and attend various cultural events in the city, including the Steppenwolf production of Endgame, and I will be with them! Leading 2 of the discussions. Yay!!
I love this annual gathering in spring. It actually started before I left Chicago, during my last spring of teaching at DePaul, but I was too busy teaching and preparing to move to attend, alas. Instead, I have been able to come back as a discussion leader/participant since 2005 (I think?), having wonderful conversations with lovely people and seeing all kinds of things in the city, including the botanical gardens, theatre and ballet, and special programs at the Art Institute.
This year we are going to the Museum of Science and Industry, one of my favorite museums ever! Gadgets! Science! And, as the Great Books Chicago info & registration page reminds us, this museum was the Palace of Fine Arts in the World Colombian Exposition of 1893.
That page also reminds us that we can learn more about that world's fair, and the icky murders going on at the same time, in the book The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, also mentioned earlier in this "What are you reading?" project in this blog!
Previous years have taken readers on tours of the architecture of Chicago, the city's music, all sorts of wonderful adventures. I look forward to this year's adventure and its theme, "Difficult Gifts." Sigh....
When you sign up, the books and all tickets to event are covered by the fee; hotel & food are extra. If you are a reader who loves to talk about books with other book lovers, this is a marvelous spring-in-Chicago (a flowery place!) thing to do!