Reading in the rain?

When the weather turns gloomy, the literature offerings become especially popular
By John Nadeau | Nov 20, 2012

Guess what. We live in a community populated by lots of readers.

Want proof?

If the Creative Retirement Institute (CRI), the lifelong learning program at Edmonds Community College, has a legacy course, it is Fact and Fiction.

Since CRI began sponsoring classes in 1993, this course has been offered every term.

“We are not your average book discussion group!” asserts Edmonds resident Marge Young.

“Participants make their own reading choices, present brief reviews, and share their appraisals,” she says.

“This may not make us unique, but we’re certainly different from most groups, which require everyone to read and discuss the same book,” Young adds.

She and another Edmonds resident, Bev Christiansen, guide the discussions.

“The continued success of this literary round table makes a statement about our community and CRI,” says Bill Keppler, also of Edmonds.

He serves on CRI’s Board of Advisors and has been its chairman.

“To satisfy my curiosity, I looked at which classes seem to be the most popular in the different terms – fall, winter, and spring,” he says.

“Courses in current events, arts, and sciences always have substantial enrollments,” he notes.

“But when the weather turns gloomy, the literature offerings become especially popular.”

Hmmm…  Maybe it’s because the rain makes us want to visit different times and places even if they are in the pages of a book.

If you can relate to that, CRI has attractive options for you.

Some courses have a contemporary slant, like Crime Novels by Norwegian Authors. You’ll read four books, focusing not only on plot and character but also on the Norwegian people and culture.

Then, there are courses on timeless works, including Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

For those interested in biblical literature, there’s a course on the Parables of Jesus.

How about reading and discussing a couple of iconoclastic writers, Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hansen?

One off-the-beaten-path course deals with the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” a Mesopotamian masterpiece that may be the oldest known poem.

If that’s not esoteric enough, consider Medieval Women Mystics and Saints, which focuses on two types of religious women celebrated in English literature.

In the CRI tradition, there are many other offerings, ranging from science, psychology, philosophy, and history to fine art.

Not all subject matter is so serious. For a dash of frivolity, why not sign up for a class called Frank Sinatra, His Rivals, and Friends Sing the Great American Songbook?

Yes, the Northwest winter is typically long and dreary. But CRI is here to help you through it, whether you are a reader, participant, listener, or any combination.

For more information, phone 425-640-1830

Classes are open to everyone, regardless of educational background.


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