2017-08-31 / Editorial

The best company

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by Melanie Taylor Coombs

“My idea of good company ... is the company of clever, wellinformed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’ ‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”

– Jane Austen

There are times I look at my office space and hope that a messy desk is a sign of brilliance or an artistic nature. Unfortunately, in my case, it is just a lack of time. A couple months ago I decided to tidy the piles of papers and old folders stacked around my office and came across a poster dated 2007 that called for the formation of the McArthur Library Book Club. Ten years later the group is still going strong, meeting every three weeks to discuss books and enjoy “the best company.” Amazingly two of the charter members still regularly attend meetings.

To celebrate, the group initially decided to reread 2007’s first book selection, a mystery written in 1989 called “A Beautiful Place to Die” by Philip Craig. The title is too scarce for our large group so at the suggestion of a member we decided to find and read a book about a book club. After a bit of digging, I came up with “The Jane Austen Book Club,” written in 2004 by Karen Joy Fowler. This turns out to be the perfect choice because 2017 marks a milestone for Jane Austen as well as for our book club. This year is Austen’s bicentenary, i.e., her 200th anniversary. To celebrate both occasions we have created a programming line-up for all you Austenites out there.

 Friday, Sept. 8 at 2:30 p.m.: “Becoming Jane” (film screening). The young Jane Austen wishes to be a writer. Although she is offered many marriage proposals she accepts none until the mischievous Thomas Lefroy shows up.

 Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.: Book Club Anniversary discussion of “The Jane Austen Book Club.” Former and new members are welcome.

 Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 3 p.m.: “Pride and Prejudice” discussion. Several copies of Jane Austen’s classic work will be available at the front desk of the library.

 Thursday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m.: Jane Austen Tea and Craft Time. Come for a casual afternoon of coloring, crafts, conversation and Earl Grey.

 Friday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m.: Marrying Mr. Darcy card game. The object of the game is to marry and marry well. By selecting the best suitor for your character you can win a fabulous Austen-inspired prize. (Limited number of players, please contact the library to preregister.)

 Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.: “Pride and Prejudice” (film screening). Keira Knightley stars in this stunning adaptation of the classic novel.

McArthur Library’s wonderful book club is a group of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation. If you would like more information about book group or any of the programs at McArthur Library, please contact Melanie at 284-4181 or mtcoombs@mcarthur.lib. me.us. In the meantime, happy reading.

Melanie Taylor Coombs is adult services supervisor/ librarian at McArthur Public Library in Biddeford.

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