Category Archives: Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library

Books, Burgers,and Brews: The Circle by Dave Eggers

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I am a gazillion posts behind and I have so much to share!  Books Burgers and Brews has been going strong since October…  this was the idea of having a Book Club in a public venue and Friends of the Brainerd Public Library hosting this free event.  The vision was to bring non readers to books… while that is not exactly what has happened (it has been more people who can not find a book club, writers, other book club people…) it is still connecting people to books and really – isn’t that all I ever want?
~Sheila

The Circle made for a great discussion book.  The futuristic synopsis around a company (The Circle) that puts social media at the forefront…  where secrets are considered lies and transparency in all things has value.

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Our group that night was the largest yet.  We had 37 people at Prairie Bay and a good variety of ages… people that had grown up with social media of some sort being a part of their life, those who came by it later in life and those that have heard of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… but not really engaged or understood the draw.

What fascinates me about such a book is that I tend to lose how I truly feel about the book (I believe, I liked it).  Having lead book club discussions for so many years, I tend to focus on how the book will be for discussing and that is what excited me here.  Over all, those in this room did not love the book… but they loved the discussion it brought out.

What is the dangers of social media?
What is too much information? 
When are secrets a good thing?
If we are all 100% transparent, what is lost?  When do we just become desensitized to everything?
Is what is described in the book what is happening in our world today?
If so, is there a way to stop it?  Does the majority of the population want to?

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As always, Prairie Bay created a wonderful Literary Menu for us….  The Eye In The Pie and The Three Wise Men Melt both sounded so good… I ordered them both…  I was right they were delicious.

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And… as has become tradition… the drink special is one that Laurel and I always have to try.  This time there was two… the white wine that is mentioned in the book that Mae drinks… and a local beer that uses social media for promotions.

Once again… well played Prairie Bay.

Stay tuned.. later today I will post my review of the book The Circle.

 

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There Were Books… There Were Burgers… And There Were Brews (and Potato Vodka Too!)

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A few days back I shared with you the plans for a new event in our area, Books, Burgers, and Brews.  Our kick off event was this past Monday and I spent much of the day prepping the details and at the same time fretting about the details….

What is it about new things that makes me a mess of butterflies in my tummy?  I went over…. will they show up?  Will they talk?  Will they find the layout fresh, fun, and engaging….. will they find ME fresh, fun and engaging?  Will I be able to fill up two hours or will we end early?  Will they leave wanting to come again?

I need not have worried.  We had 21 attendees for this debut event.  I had a sign up sheet for those who wished to be notified of upcoming book selections and they almost all signed up.

Let me give you a little visual…

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We used power point so everyone could follow along easily with the format and the questions.   I showed a 15 minute interview with the author Andy Weir while everyone ordered their food and drinks and chatted.  Oh and speaking of the food and drinks…

 

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Our venue, Prairie Bay, made this awesome menu to go with our book discussion.  SO MUCH FUN!  I loved the Potato Farm and brought that home for Al.

 

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One of the tasty burgers…  the Potato Farm.

 

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NASA water was a fun prop.

 

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Some of the group who attended Books, Burgers, and Brews.

 

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Suggestions for future reads or attendees could write down their own ideas.

 

The overall night was a lot of fun.  We had a great discussion, and one guy who really did not like how the book was in journal entries and felt he did not need all the math and science info…. this different opinion than most of the other attendees was also fun as it added to the discussion.  A friend of mine in the group who really enjoys science fiction reads found that The Martian was overly light to be considered Science Fiction, where others in the room found it to be heavy on the science side.  In the end, I asked the group if they had the opportunity to write a three sentence synopsis on the back of the book what would it say.  I challenged the guy who did not like the book to come up with one and he did…  of course for the life of me I can not find his synopsis but it did have something to do with…

“The Martian…  all of the suspense and magical appeal of Harry Potter at Hogwarts with the addition of shit potato’s.”

 

Anyhoo… something like that – but it was funny – and really, isn’t that what makes a great discussion is the difference in opinions and how we all see things a bit differently when we read?

I would wrap this one up as a success.  It was good to see the group engaged in the discussion.  I think everyone spoke up at one point.  They enjoyed the food… and the little extras we put together.  At the end people thanked us for doing this and that is really what is was meant to be…. another way for The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library to reach into the community and build value in what we do and in what our local library can provide.

Next months selection – by vote of our attendees….

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That will give me the push I need to get this one read and find the little something somethings to make this one a great discussion.