Summer at the BWW is in full swing. And that means another annual Infinite Summer series is too. This series is, for me, a perfect example of what I love about the way we work here at the BWW, with programming driven by member ideas and the dedicated volunteers willing to make them happen. Last summer, we joined forces with Patrick Brownson, who’d been leading Infinite Summer (a summer-long guided reading of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest) for 2 years in Burlington. The initial group had so much fun together, we decided to extend the idea of a BWW literature reading series to an all-year affair. Members voted on which books to read each season (this year’s picks: Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend for the fall and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities for the spring). And now we’re a month into our second year of the BWW’s Infinite Summer series.
Here are a few thoughts from Patrick on how it’s going so far:
“On May 31st, we began the 4th annual Infinite Summer in Burlington. This is not the easiest club to be a part of—in that photo of our first meeting, the book is mostly being used to hold down the picnic blanket. Reading and digesting the whole novel is an enormous undertaking, both because of its sheer size and the weight of its subject matter. Nevertheless, we are entering 2016 with 8 dedicated readers who, at only 150+ pages, are already enriching my own reading. We’ve covered everything from the book’s horrendous and rampant drug use to irony and sincerity in American consumer culture to the genre-busting nature of Wallace’s masterpiece. I am so grateful that Burlington has produced so many thoughtful citizens with enough down time to help me get this thing read, and I can’t wait to see which way the conversations lead us.”
—Patrick Brownson, Infinite Summer workshop leader
You can also read another perspective on this growing group of dedicated readers from member Anna Carey. And if you haven’t had a chance to join yet, not to worry. We’ll have a new reading series in the fall—with the opportunity to help pick the book—and hopefully we’ll be kicking off yet another Infinite Summer next June!
Keep reading for more upcoming opportunities. Continue reading