MARIA SCACCHITTI ‘18
Over the span of the past semester, the global education department and those at Vernon and Doris Bishop Library have created a successful global book club.
According to library director Sarah Greene, the hopes of the club were to give the college community a better understanding of global and cultural issues.
“The library wanted to start a book club and I was talking to Jill Russell and Caitlin Murphy about how to expand the college community’s understanding of global issues, so it seemed like a perfect fit to partner on the book club,” Greene said. “I think literature is a fantastic way to really learn about other people and cultures. It allows you to experience that person’s life and circumstances and build empathy for other people.”
The books chosen for the book club centered around countries that Greene, Russell and Murphy thought the community would be interested in learning about and that were not commonly well-known, such as the life and culture of Saudi Arabia or South Sudan.
Caitlin Murphy, associate director of the department of global education, felt the book events at the library were quite successful in exposing the LVC community to global issues.
“We wanted to explore cultural themes, history and global challenges through literature,” Murphy said. “we thought a book club would be a great medium for such endeavors. We wanted to help our faculty, staff and students learn about the world through notable books.”
In the spring semester, the global book club met to discuss a number of books, but for Green and Murphy, on book outshone the rest: Their favorite book this semester was “Without You, There is No Us,” by Suki Kim.
“It was beautifully written and I knew very little about North Korea and it educated me a great deal on the country and its struggles,” Greene said.
“This book delved into life behind North Korean borders from the perspective of an undercover journalist. It was absolutely fascinating,” Murphy said.
The global book club came to a close this semester with “Devoured,” by Sophie Egan, who came to campus to speak as part of the Colloquium Series and was a guest speaker for the book club the week of March 27. The global book club had a great turnout this semester, and they plan on continuing it in the fall.