Great Books Reading & Discussion Group
GreatBooksA dynamic, liberal arts education, for free at the public library!  Huntington Public Library's Great Books Reading and Discussion Group meets once a month to discuss works from a curriculum designed and published by the Great Books Foundation, an independent, nonprofit educational organization established in 1947 by University of Chicago educators Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer Adler. Its mission is “to empower readers of all ages to become more reflective and responsible thinkers.”  To register, please use the program code HMA302.  For more information, contact Tom Cohn at .

Upcoming Great Book Discussions

Great Conversations 3

Monday, April 24, 2017 · 7:00pm to 9:00pm · Auditorium

Register using code HMA302
“The Darling” by
Anton Chekhov (1860–1904)
. Chekhov, like Shaw, was a versatile man of letters who wrote both stories and plays. In “The Darling,” he offers a portrait of Olenka, a woman who loves Kukin, the theater owner, Vassily the timber agent, and Smirnin, the veterinary surgeon in succession. “She was always fond of someone, and could not exist without loving,” Chekhov writes.

Great Conversations 4

Monday, May 22, 2017 · 7:00pm to 9:00pm · Auditorium

Register using code HMA302
“First Snow on Mount Fuji,” by
Yasunari Kawabata (1899–1972)
.  Two former lovers, Jiro and Utako, leave their homes in Tokyo and take the train to a small town in the country where they talk through past traumas and spend the night together. “First Snow on Mount Fuji” explores themes of erotic relationships, the sensory world of nature, and the transience of human life found elsewhere in Kawabata’s fiction. In 1968, Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Japanese writer to receive this accolade.

Great Conversations 3

Monday, June 26, 2017 · 7:00pm to 9:00pm · Auditorium

Register using code HMA302
“The Lottery” by
Shirley Jackson (1916–1965)
. First appearing in the New Yorker magazine in 1948, this is the story of a June day in a small New England town as it prepares for a brutal annual ritual. Its surprise ending has sparked numerous interpretations. When asked about its meaning, however, Jackson is reported to have declared “The Lottery” to be “just a story that I wrote.” Indeed, it is the most famous ever published by this literary master of horror and the occult before her untimely death.

Kiss Me, Kill Me Book Discussion Group

Ordinary Grace

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 · 2:00 - 4:00 pm · Main Meeting Room

Register using code HMA165
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
.  In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alex Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead. Facing the prospect of retirement, or worse, his boss offers Leamas a unique opportunity for revenge and Leamas goes back into the fray under the guise of an embittered ex-agent. Using himself as bait, he sets out to trap the Director of the East German Intelligence Service.  Registration required. Open to all

Reconstructing Amelia

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 · 2:00 - 4:00 pm · Main Meeting Room

Register using code HMA165
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
.  When high-achieving, 15-year-old Amelia supposedly commits suicide after she is caught cheating, her single mother Kate, a litigation lawyer, is leveled with grief, but vows to reconstruct the pieces of Amelia’s life to find the truth and vindicate the memory of the daughter whose life she could not save.  Registration required. Open to all

Author Talks and Book Signings


Wedneday, February 22, 2017 · 7:00pm · Main Auditorium

Register using code HMA814
“Henry Alsberg: Driving Force of the New Deal Federal Writers’ Project” by Susan DeMasi
. Susan DeMasi presents her biography on journalist and social justice pioneer Henry Alsberg. She looks at Alsberg’s work as a pre-civil rights era human rights champion and provides close-up examinations of WPA ex-slave narratives, including photographs, and print and audio oral histories from the 1930s. During the 1920s, Henry Alsberg led the struggle to aid Jewish pogrom survivors in Eastern Europe and initiated the first major effort to assist international political prisoners. During the Great Depression, he directed the WPA Federal Writers’ Project, which employed thousands of writers and produced more than 1,000 publications from 1935-39. He recruited African Americans to help write their own history and gathered oral histories from former slaves. Some writers went on to storied careers. Alsberg’s friends included literary and cultural luminaries like Richard Wright, Emma Goldman, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and NAACP leader Walter White. DeMasi’s book will be on sale after the talk with 10% of proceeds donated to the Friends of Huntington Public Library. Susan DeMasi is a professor at Suffolk County Community College and an award-winning journalist, playwright, and screenwriter. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and other publications. Registration required. Open to all.


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