Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 28, 2018—Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be September 28, 2018. We'll be discussing Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun.

Meeting Information:
Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
Small Meeting Room 
Date: September 28, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Address: 4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
Growth of the Soil, is a novel by Knut Hamsun which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. It follows the story of a man who settles and lives in rural Norway. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

August 31, 2018—"A House Divided" by Pearl Buck


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be August 31, 2018. We'll be discussing A House Divided, by Pearl Buck.

Meeting Information:
Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
Large Meeting Room (Small Meeting Room not available)
Date: August 31, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Address: 4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
A House Divided is the sequel to the novels The Good Earth and Sons, and it is the third book in The House of Earth trilogy by Pearl S. Buck. It centers on the third generation of Wang Lung's family, focusing particularly on his grandson Wang Yuan.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

July 27, 2018—Sons by Pearl Buck


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be July 27, 2018. We'll be discussing Sons, by Pearl Buck.

Meeting Information:
Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
Small Meeting Room (reserved for our group)
Date: July 27, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Address: 4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
Sons is the sequel to the novel The Good Earth, and the second book in The House of Earth trilogy by Pearl S. Buck. The story tackles the issue of Wang Lung's sons and how they handle their father's estate after his death. It deals mostly with the youngest son, who goes off to war. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

"The Good Earth," by Pearl Buck


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be June 29, 2018. We'll be discussing The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck.

Meeting Information:
Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
Small Meeting Room (reserved for our group)
Date: June 29, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Address: 4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
"The Good Earth" is the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

May 25, 2018—The Kreutzer Sonata, by Leo Tolstoy


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be May 25, 2018. We'll be discussing The Kreutzer Sonata, by Leo Tolstoy.

Meeting Information:
Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
Small Meeting Room (reserved for our group)
Date: May 25, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Address: 4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
The Kreutzer Sonata is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, named after Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. The novella was published in 1889, and was promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The work is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing his wife: in his analysis, the root causes for the deed were the "animal excesses" and "swinish connection" governing the relation between the sexes.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

April 27, 2018—Richard II, by Shakespeare

The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be April 27, 2018. We'll be discussing the play Richard II , by William Shakespeare.

Meeting Information:
          Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
                           Small Meeting Room
          Date: April 27, 2018
          Time: 7:00 pm
          Address: 4801 Main Street
                           Kansas City, MO

Description of Book: 
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry V. Although the First Folio (1623) edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it "The tragedie of King Richard the second."

Saturday, February 24, 2018

March 30, 2018—Luke, from the New Testament


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be March 30, 2018. We'll be discussing the book Gospel of Luke from the New Testament Bible.

Meeting Information:
          Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
                           Small Meeting Room
          Date: March 30, 2018
          Time: 7:00 pm
          Address: 4801 Main Street
                           Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
Luke is the first part of a two-volume work called Luke-Acts (our group's discussion will cover only the Luke portion). Scholars estimate that the most probable date for the composition of Luke-Acts is around 80–110 AD, and there is evidence that it was still being revised well into the 2nd century. According to Church tradition the author was Luke the Evangelist, the companion of Paul, but the scholarly consensus doubts this authorship because of the many contradictions between Acts and the authentic Pauline letters. 

Forty-one percent of Luke is similar to textual material found in the book of Mark, twenty-three percent shares "sayings of Jesus" that are common with Matthew, and thirty-five percent is unique to Luke. The portion of Luke taken from Mark has been expanded and the Greek grammar and syntax improved. Some passages from Mark, notably most of Mark Chapters 6 and 7, are eliminated entirely. Despite this, Luke follows Mark's plot more faithfully than does Matthew.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

February 23, 2018 — The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin


The next meeting of Great Books KC group will be February 23, 2018. We'll be discussing the book The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin.

Meeting Information:
          Location: Plaza Branch Kansas City Public Library
                           Small Meeting Room
          Date: February 23, 2018
          Time: 7:00 pm
          Address: 4801 Main Street
                           Kansas City, MO

Description of Book:
The Fire Next Time consists of two essays, both examining the problems faced by African Americans in the early 1960s. 
Themes explored by the book include: 
• Description of racial tension
• Examination of the ineffectiveness of religious faith
• Explanation of the limitations of intergenerational influences and relationships among both blacks and whites

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 26,2018—"Annals," by Tacitus

We will meet January 26 to discuss The Annals by Roman historian and senator Tacitus. The Annals is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14–68.

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: January 26, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm 

Click on "Comments" below to access notes by Bernard Norcott-Mahany.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Reading & Meeting Schedule for 2018

January 26 — Annals, by Tacitus
February 23 — The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
March 30 — Luke, from the New Testament
April 27 — Richard II, by Shakespeare
May 25 — The Kreutzer Sonata, by Leo Tolstoy
June 29 — The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck
July 27 — Sons, by Pearl Buck
August 31 — A House Divided, by Pearl Buck
September 28 — Growth of the Soil, by Knut Hamsun
October 26 — The Reivers: A Reminiscence, by William Faulkner
December 7 — Songs from the Slums, by Kagawa Toyohiko