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Photo of Allison McGhee

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Alison McGhee will share her ideas about reading and finding good books at the U's Community of the Book event on November 13.

Passion for the written word

From eNews, October 28, 2004

Alison McGhee has the power to grab you and not let you go, say fans of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author. In her debut novel, Rainlight, she talked about parents, children, and love. In Shadow Baby, she focused on unlikely friendships in a small town. McGhee, who has won two Minnesota Book Awards, is a writer, but when she puts down her pen, she a reader.

"I always carry a book with me so that when I'm waiting at the doctor's, or waiting to pick up my children, or at the dog park with my dog, I can read," says the U alumna. "A book is my constant companion."

Book lovers and readers, like McGhee, are gathering to celebrate their common passion in the full-day Community of the Book on Saturday, November 13. The annual event, hosted by the College of Continuing Education, gives like-minded people a place to discuss books that have moved them, exchange reading lists, and swap tips on picking good books. Children's and young adult literature is the focus of this year's event.

Advice from a book lover
On finding a good book:Take suggestions from people whose tastes jibe with your own, says Allison McGhee.

On finding time to read:"Maybe that half hour of TV could be replaced with half an hour of a good book," suggests McGhee. "When I eat my breakfast I always read the comics--hey, that's reading!"

McGhee will share the spotlight with Sarah Williams, Star Tribune book editor, and Karen Nelson Hoyle, director of the U's Children's Literature Research Collections. Each will read a favorite book and talk about others that have affected their lives.

Similar to a book club, the event is a way "that people can form connections with each other and give them that sense of community we all crave," says McGhee. "Being able to talk, or argue, about a work of literary art is a mind-opening experience."

The Community of the Book will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the Twin Cities campus in St. Paul. The cost is $100. To learn more or to register, see CCE book event or call 612-624-4000.

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