'Books and Coffee' series returns for 40th season

2013-01-10T00:00:00Z 'Books and Coffee' series returns for 40th seasonTimes Staff Report nwitimes.com
January 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

VALPARAISO | Faculty members at Valparaiso University will review best-selling fiction and non-fiction works this spring through their annual “Books and Coffee” series, which returns today with a review of J.K. Rowling’s critically acclaimed “The Casual Vacancy.”

Randa Duvick, professor of foreign languages and literatures at Valpo, will conduct the review of “The Casual Vacancy” today, in the Community Room of the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources on Valparaiso University’s campus.

“I was very glad to have the chance to read “The Casual Vacancy” and am looking forward to presenting the book,” Duvick said. “While there are some real contrasts with Rowling’s Potter series—no witches or wizards, no Hogwarts—there are some very real continuities in terms of Rowling’s explorations of human relationships and human frailties, and an ability to present complex young characters, in this case, high-school-age characters who are at the center of the turmoil in this small town.”

Since its inception in 1974, “Books and Coffee” participants have gathered during the first eight Thursdays of the spring semester to bring some light and community fellowship to a few dark afternoons of the region’s bleak winters.

“The purpose is always the same: to provide the audience with a lively and learned review of a work of fiction or non-fiction currently in the public eye,” said Arvid Sponberg, professor of English at Valpo.

Reviewers typically discuss the books for about 40 to 45 minutes, before opening up to questions and comments from the audience. The reviews draw about 100 attendees, who often engage in a lively discussion while enjoying a cup of coffee and getting to know members of their community.

For information. call (219) 464-6010.

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