Monday, December 5, 2011

What we begin by reading...

"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."

~Henry David Thoreau

Read any good books lately?

2012 promises to be a most intense political year —what with the presidential election, a senate race that's looking like it will garner national attention, more contended state and local races than we've seen in a long while, and issues on every level as contentious and complex as they have ever been. We face big challenges and important decisions in the year just ahead. There will be no shortage of advertising spots for different candidates, or of sound bites and talking heads on the television news and loud voices on the radio. So much of that media is premised on our politics as a sort of spectator sport.

But none of that takes the real place of face to face conversation.

It's with that in mind that The Holliston Democratic Town Committee has set about forming our "Political Junkie Book Club" —we want to get people thinking and talking to one another, neighbor to neighbor, about issues that matter to them, about the change they want to see in our own community and in the country as whole —those things they would seek to keep and protect as well. In the coming year we are going to be gathering once a month to discuss noteworthy books on public issues and the political process. And like Thoreau says, we'll want to figure out how we "finish by acting" on what we "start by reading."

Our first meeting will be at the home of Judy and Bob Gagnon at 960 Washington Street, Thursday, January 26th at 7:00 pm.

The book we plan to discuss is "That Used to Be Us, How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back" by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. Here's what the New York Times said of this book:

'That Used to Be Us' is an important contribution to an intensifying debate, and it deserves the widest possible attention. ... As American politics looks increasingly dysfunctional, Mr. Friedman and Mr. Mandelbaum show great courage in casting aside conventional assumptions. Few readers will agree with every observation and argument in this thoroughly researched and passionately argued book, but all of them should find 'That Used to Be Us' compelling, engaging and enlightening."

In February we'll be discussing Washington Post Columnist, E.J. Dionne Jr's "Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right"

"This book offers an insightful look into the intersection between religion and politics, coming from a self-described 'progressive Catholic.' While he doesn't mince words in his criticism of the Religious Right, it is clear that he believes that people of faith still have a part to play in directing the moral compass of our society." ~Ann Fetters, The Wichita Eagle

Holliston DTC hosts these gathering, but all are welcome! Holliston's own Coffee Haven will stock "Political Junkie Book Club" books or you can purchase them on (use this link and a portion of the purchase goes to benefit Holliston Public Library).

Please consider joining us. You just might find yourself being 'compelled, engaged, enlightened' !

You can contact "Political Junkie Book Club" through the Holliston DTC website, or call Judy Gagnon with questions. 508-429- 9852 or email

1 comment:

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