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What is "Reading For Life"?

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     RFL at Austin Public Library began in 2021 as a collaborative effort to create community through a shared love of literature.  Lectures and podcasts were recorded based on discussions of classic literature.  The hope at the time was that a fresh look at some of the best loved classics would inspire new conversations.

     This program is structured like a book group, but one skillfully facilitated to maintain the richest possible dialogue among the participants and the source text. The core idea is that works of literature offer precious resources of energy and vision for the creation and sustenance of healthy communities.

     Reading For Life leverages this unique resource to grow community from the inside-out  - to link imaginations to imaginations in an ongoing conversation about the concerns we share and aspirations we harbor. It is educational and entertaining in the richest sense of both terms, a living classroom as wide and deep as our collective spirit can imagine.

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Our presenter:

Michael Verde

Michael is the enthusiastic presenter who will help facilitate our discussions. Along with an engaging personality, Michael brings to the table unique literary insights and brilliant observations.


Our host:

Julie Clinefelter

Julie is the the director of Austin Public Library in Austin, MN.

Lecture Events:


Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

America Fantastica by Tim O’Brien


 Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin

Pages of Book


 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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