Book group starts with a chilling classic novel


The “Contemporary Issues” group transitions to book-club format with the classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. One of the most influential books of the 20th century, this is where we get the ideas of “Big Brother [is watching],” “doublespeak,” “Thought Police,” and “Orwellian” (from the author’s name). It’s a frightening but gripping story of how the future looked from the perspective of 1948. You can find this book at any library and any typical book store.

We are hoping to discuss this book on a Saturday morning, at a restaurant or coffee shop not too far from church. Likely dates are January 16, 23, or 30. Please try to let Steve or Valerie Gruenwald know if you hope to participate, so we have some idea of how many people to expect. This does not commit you to showing up. Also let us know if you want help with getting a copy of the book, or transportation to the group, or especially if you have a suggestion for a meeting place.

We are still a “Contemporary Issues” adult education group, just changing our approach to how we explore issues. We’re looking for books that raise issues that might not come up in bible study or the liturgy, but have indirect relevance to ethics, spirituality, religious beliefs, etc. Future books may be fiction or nonfiction, serious or lighthearted. Participation in the discussion of one book does not mean you need to read others that may not interest you. A “starter” list of possible books to consider is at Feel free to make suggestions and to invite others to the group.

In the meanwhile, time and Christmas season permitting, our group will try to continue Sunday discussions of science and religion. We are now discussing the universe all of it from the point of view of modern physics. You do not have to know anything about modern physics or the universe to participate, and this discussion (but not the universe) will end when we are ready to discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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