Central Texans gather for Kite Runner

By Lauren Piercey

Reading a book may be enjoyable, but sometimes being able to discuss it
with someone else can make all the difference in its impact.

The Central Texas Book Club sponsored by UMHB’s English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, will be hosting a discussion Nov. 23 over its fall selection
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

President of Sigma Tau Delta and junior English major Rachel Yubeta said, “Reading is a community undertaking. Literature is meant to be discussed
… to give us the ability to see the world through another person’s eyes. When a group of people come together to discuss what they learned, what they think the meaning is and whether this is true in our lives, I think literature then has the power to affect us as an individual as well as a community.”

Associate Professor of English Dr. Janene Lewis will lead the conversation
and has involved her world literature class.

“It is voluntary, and they will be responsible for the visual presentation and
advertising for it,” she said.

The novel was selected through suggestions from society members, officers
and faculty. Lewis believes the book was chosen for apparent reasons.

“It’s timely. It’s also a great character study,” she said.

The discussion will feature audience participation and a time for questions
and answers.

“I think we will start with a slide show that gives us information about the people of Afghanistan, the scenery in the book and introduce the people and culture, then follow with a 20-25 minute conversation about one or two themes in the book and fi nally a Q and A time,” Lewis said.

While the club will have its chat on campus, it strives to include those in the area.

“We try to make it community wide, make it more of a Belton community
event rather than just university,” she said.

Yubeta is happy with the novel choice. She said, “It manages to address the universal question: What does it mean to be a friend? What is redemption?
And how does one achieve it? The great part about it, though, is that it manages to ask these questions from the vantage point of a culture we do not completely understand.”

Through the club, the society hopes to include not only students and faculty, but those in the community.

“One of the goals that Sigma Tau Delta strives to achieve is to promote literacy in the community. The book club is our way of reaching out to students and faculty in hopes of engaging them in a conversation over literature,” Yubeta said.

She is still currently reading the book, but looks forward to the discussion and encourages others to get involved.

Sigma Tau Delta secretary, junior English and Christian ministry major
Krissy Nichols thinks the novel selected is important for understanding other cultures.

“It’s set in a part of the world that most of us don’t understand. I hope that
reading it will make me more sensitive to the issues in the Middle East,” she
said.

Nichols believes that books are more than just light reading.

She said, “Simply reading a book is only half of what literature is about. The
other half is understanding and discussing the books. Stories are supposed to be shared, and the book club is one way to accomplish that.”

The bookstore has Kite Runner on sale for $15, and the library has two copies available to be checked out.

The discussion will take place in Brindley Auditorium of York Science
Center Monday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.

For further information, contact Sandra Rodriguez at srodriguez@umhb.edu.

Author: The Bells Staff

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