One Book One County discussions focuses on history, plot, characters

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 11:03 am on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Book One County program features “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.”

A great book, by its very nature, is more enjoyable when shared with others. That’s the driving philosophy behind the One Book One County program, which got under way in mid-May with an opening ceremony at the M-TEC on Montcalm Community College’s Greenville Campus and continues at Thursday at 11 a.m. with a discussion at the White Pine Library in Stanton.

At that event — one of several similar events slated for upcoming months — this year’s book, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” will be deconstructed by readers under a moderator’s guidance.

Various aspects of character development, historical facts and some of the story’s more elusive plot points come under the moderator’s microscope in an effort to create a richer, more fulfilling reading experience.

According to Greenville resident Don Burns, whose wife, Maureen Burns, founded the One Book One County program in Montcalm County, the discussion groups are generally well-attended by local readers.

“Each session has a moderator,” Burns explained. “There’s not really a set program. They generally just talk about what they found interesting or didn’t understand. It’s like a book club discussing a book. They talk about the issues raised in the book and what various people think of them.”

One Book volunteer Shelly Springborn added that the discussions are an integral part of the One Book program and that not all of them are “official.” Some are held by small, area book clubs, library groups and other organizations.

“There are a number of these book discussions,” Springborn said. “The discussion coming up at White Pine Libarary is being moderated by Katie Arwood. She’s the one who actually recommended this year’s book. That’s how it got to be considered as this year’s selection.”

One Book organizers make sure the year’s selection is readily available throughout the county at all area libraries and several businesses, including Julie’s Coffee House in Greenville and various branches of Chemical Bank.

One Book One County Montcalm is sponsored by Chemical Bank, the Greenville Area Community Foundation, Stafford Media Solutions, the Montcalm Community College Foundation and MCC.
Participation in the program is free.

Additional discussion groups will be held on the following dates:

• Tuesday, Aug. 7, 6:30 p.m., Flat River Community Library, Greenville
• Thursday, Sept. 6, noon, Montcalm Community College’s Beatrice E. Doser Building, Room D305, Sidney
• Saturday, Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m., Winter Inn, Greenville
• Monday, Sept. 10, 1:30 p.m., Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library, Howard City
• Tuesday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m., Richland Township Library, Vestaburg
• Monday, Sept. 17, noon, Tamarack District Library, Lakeview
• Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1:30 p.m., Sand Lake Branch Library, Sand Lake
• Wednesday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m., Carson City Public Library
• Tuesday, Sept. 25, 6 p.m., Montcalm Community College’s M-TEC, Room M120, Greenville

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