The readers

GREENFIELD — Reed Tarwater was upfront: No romance novels.

Since last fall, when he and a fellow church member formed a men’s book club at Bradley United Methodist Church, that’s remained true. The group has read a lot of history and biographies, recently discussing “Unbroken,” the story of Olympian and World War II pilot Louis Zamperini.

Zamperini’s faith is prominent of that story, but the book club does not always, or even often, choose religious works; though its members are Bradley members, Tarwater said anyone would be welcome at the club. Its next meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday in the church parlor on the northeast corner of the main floor.

Several churches in the area have book clubs. The works they gather to discuss are not always obviously Christian books, but “we’re always discussing them from a Christian perspective,” said Sharon Livingston.

Across town from the men’s discussion at Bradley (which also has a women’s book club), Livingston and other women in the Page Turners Book Club at Greenfield Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have met to discuss books since October 2012. They too have gravitated to some history and biography.

Livingston, a retired Eastern Hancock librarian, sees discussion of books, even secular books, as compatible with who the Disciples of Christ have been. She points to Disciples founder Alexander Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger journal and said he engaged great thinkers of his time.

“The Disciples tradition is an intellectual tradition,” she said.

And over the intellectual stimulation, social connections develop, food is shared and “They usually become groups of people who really care about each other and … become friends.

“We’re really a pretty tight-knit group.”

Author photo
Anne Smith is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at