Kendal Book Group

Becky Skeen By Resident Becky Skeen —

I have always loved to read. In early childhood, I was immersed in the antics of the Bobbsey Twins and then graduated to the mysteries and romances of Judy Bolton and Beverly Gray. High School and college introduced the classics, including books by Dickens, Chaucer, Hemmingway and so many others. Even when married, having children and working full time, I found enough leisure moments to explore the offerings in the local library. Then in retirement we moved to Kendal at Granville and imagine my delight in finding an active and welcoming Book Group among the many activities available to residents!

A little history is in order. The Book Group was organized almost immediately after Kendal was founded. Sponsored by the Kendal at Granville Residents Association (KAGRA), the first meeting was held in March 2006, with discussion focused on James Michener’s Recessional. The group was open to all residents and coordinated by Eloise DeZwarte who continues to serve in that capacity to this day. While Eloise often has suggestions as to the next book to read, everyone is encouraged to suggest an author or book of special interest to them. All genres are welcome.

As in the early days, the Book Group meets every month with approximately 20 residents attending. The setting is very informal with everyone having an opportunity to join in the discussion, offer their insights, and express their opinions. The Granville library has been most helpful by providing 15 copies each month of the book being discussed through their consortium of Ohio libraries. Whenever possible these include large print copies as well as audio books. When we discussed Walden by Henry David Thoreau, we were delighted to have one of the Granville librarians join us.

The variety of books we read is especially appealing to me. This has encouraged me to open my mind to those I never considered of interest or never even had heard of, as well as rereading some of my old favorites.

We recently read The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Upcoming books include Huckleberry Finn, Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, David McCullough’s Truman, and John Irving’s Cider House Rules.

While I must admit that I continue to love my “light” reading of mysteries at night, I am also very appreciative of the members of our Book Group and the opportunity to share our thoughts and our love of all genres of literature.