Let’s Talk About It is the title of a book discussion series underway as a joint venture of the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library and the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society. It’s aptly named, according to folks who have participated.
The program brings scholars and community members together to talk about books with a particular theme; in this case, the topic is Tar Heel Fiction: Stories of Home. The N.C. Humanities Council provides the books and a scholar for each of the five sessions in the series.
Mount Pleasant Library branch manager Jackie Mills heard about the program last fall, in only her second week on the job. She approached the Friends of the Library about sponsoring Let’s Talk About It, and because Mills likes to network with other groups, invited the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society to co-sponsor. The groups jointly chose which book series to present, and take turns hosting the events and providing refreshments.
Esther Hauber, Friends of the Library president, said it is a goal of her group to bring the community together around books and reading. “We want the library to be a central part of our town,” she said.
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Robin McAllister of the historical society said Let’s Talk About It is a community outreach for the museum.
“We want people to see our new facility,” she said of Society Hall, where public events like this are held. And having attended the discussion on Lee Smith’s “Oral History,” McAllister can testify that the rousing conversation was enjoyable and that the books in the series are good.
Mills agrees, pointing out that no one should be intimidated by that term visiting scholars.
“Scholar does not mean it’s a formal thing,” she said. “It’s not like school; it’s interesting.”
Amber Pope, who also attended the discussion about “Oral History,” said the event was an opportunity to “talk with people I know about things we don’t normally talk about.” She said the discussion leader was great, guiding the conversation with questions, and encouraging dialogue and debate.
JoBeth Coia was at the first Let’s Talk About It session, and likewise found that group leader to be “interesting, informative and opinionated.” She gave good background information, Coia said, “some of the dirt you don’t usually get.”
Coia’s mother-in-law, Anne Coia, also found the discussion interesting. “It makes (the book) all that much better when you better understand it,” she said.
Everyone plans to continue attending the discussion series and hopes more people will join them.
There are two session remaining in this Let’s Talk About It series: 3 p.m. April 19 at the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society Museum, when the book will be “Ferris Beach” by Jill McCorkle, and 4:30 p.m. May 5 at the Mount Pleasant Library for a discussion on “I Am One of You Forever,” by Fred Chappell.
You can get more information, or a copy of either book, at the Mount Pleasant Library.
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com