Greene County Reads draws dozens for book discussions

Jan Scharingson leads discussion at the Rippey public library

More than 60 county residents participated in the Greene County Reads book discussions held April 20. Host libraries were Churdan, Rippey and Scranton.

Jan Scharingson, retired East Greene English teacher, once again led the discussions. Selected this year was “Fates and Traitors,” a historical novel set during the Civil War and centering on John Wilkes Booth.

At each discussion group, after 45 minutes led by Scharingson, author Jennifer Chiaverini joined the discussion via Skype. Chiaverini said the Civil War era is full of story ideas because of the stresses and divides between families and communities. She explained her process of research, creating writing a timeline of her story, filling in more historical details as needed, and then finally writing. She also answered questions, with many of them being about John Wilkes Booth and his first plot to kidnap, and then the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Paton-Churdan middle school teacher Amanda Tasler (back, left) took her students to the discussion at the Churdan library. They’re pictured with author Jennifer Chiaverini (via Skype) and Jan Scharingson.  | contributed photo

Greene County Reads is a project of the Greene County Librarians Association. It is patterned after All Iowa Reads, which was initiated by Iowa’s former First Lady Christie Vilsack, who wanted to give Iowans more to talk about than the weather when they met on the street.


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