Serendipity, a reading group which meets monthly to discuss selected books as a part of BRTC’s lifelong learning emphasis, kicks off its twelfth year with its monthly luncheon meeting on Friday, September 23. The program typically lasts from 11:30 to 1 p.m. and includes text, music, and video components. Membership is open to interested adults who enjoy reading and discussing contemporary books, as well as getting to know new people. The program is sponsored and coordinated by Patti Blaxton, Director of Corporate and Community Education, and Jessica Bailey of the Office of Institutional Advancement. Serendipity is funded in part by the BRTC Foundation.
The book selection consists primarily of novels, with occasional historical non-fiction. They are designed to allow readers to encounter diverse people, places and cultures, according to Dr. Jan Ziegler, who, along with Bailey, presents the programs. Even so, the reading selections typically reflect themes that are universal, so that all members of Serendipity bring their own personal insights to the meetings, making for interesting exchanges of ideas, Ziegler added.
This year’s readings open with Kind of Kin, a story set in a tiny, churchgoing Oklahoma town where the townspeople struggle with their state’s new laws on illegal immigration, trying to find the right balance between obeying the law, the Bible, and meeting family responsibility. Other selections include World War II novels: one is set in France, one in a Japanese POW camp, and one in a Warsaw Ghetto; one book selection is an unabashedly tender love story; two are Pulitzer-prize winning works; another book introduces a “dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeon” whose life is transformed—twice—by a woman; and another takes a look at religious extremism.
“Some of these books, which were selected with input from last year’s Serendipity members, will make you laugh, some may make you shed a tear or two, but hopefully all of them will make you think about our world a little differently,” Ziegler said. The theme for the year, she explained, is a variation of one of the book titles, “The Light We Cannot See”
For more information about registration, contact BRTC’s Office of Corporate and Community Education at 870-240-4180 or email email@example.com