Book lovers generally love everything to do with books, from collecting them, to reading them, and almost always, talking about them. We need only hang out in a bookstore or scroll through the literary communities on TikTok or Instagram to see how much readers love talking about books! Because of that, we’re very excited to start an online book discussion group for our Fireside Industries publications!
The term Fireside Chats might call to mind cozying up before a fire with a blanket, a sleepy dog, and cup of tea to read (my favorite winter activity!). The term might also bring to mind President Roosevelt’s radio addresses between 1933-1944 where he spoke directly to the American people about policies and events of the Great Depression and World War II. When these broadcasts began, radio was a newer technology and the President used it to connect people. We can look at Zoom and other online video meeting services in a similar way. Especially over the last few years, a lot of our lives may have happened in these online video meetings. I’m excited to start an online book club and how it can connect us across space in an unprecedented way that allows more readers to participate.
For each Fireside publication (2 a year) we will meet online over Zoom for a discussion about a month after the book comes out to discuss it. There will be some guiding questions if we need them, but the conversation will mostly flow with what folks want to talk about.
Our first Fireside Chat will be about the spring release of Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. The paperback was released just this month. Our meeting will be Thursday, March 9 beginning at 7pm EST. You can purchase Even As We Breathe from our online store and register for the bookclub discussion on our events calendar.
As you read Clapsaddle’s book, here are some big questions to be pondering for our discussion on March 9th:
- Fireside Industries’ goal as a publishing imprint is to tell complex stories about Appalachia and rural America. How do you see this book adding nuance and complexity to our understanding of the region’s past, present, and future?
- Clapsaddle is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and is the first member to publish a novel. Considering the importance and impact of representation to people inside and outside of a group, how do we see the story filling in gaps in representation and promoting cross-cultural understanding?
- The story takes place within real history, at the Grove Park Inn and Resort in North Carolina, where political prisoners were held during World War II. What symbolic connections do you see between the real history of war, imprisonment, conflicts between nations and cultures, and fighting for survival, and the fictional characters and events happening within this real history?
Hope to see you there! I look forward to our discussion of this great book!