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winter Message from Sara Cohen, President

Holiday greetings from Great Books.  It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is behind us and the tumult, joy and expectations for the holidays ahead are upon us.  We at the Tampa Bay Great Books Council are looking forward to our annual January conference on January 19 – 21st in St. Petersburg, FL.

Our topic for 2018 is LOOKING BACK THROUGH THREE VIETNAMESE NOVELISTS. We have rarely considered the views of the Vietnamese on the conflict that aroused so many of us here in the USA to activate, discuss, march, and fight in the war that domestically tore us apart as a nation.  Please plan on joining us.  Registration is almost full, so let us hear from you.


“The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or a seed.  It exists fully only in the act of being read; and it’s real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, and the seed germinates.” (Rebecca Solnit)



winter 2018 Great books announced

Registration for the Winter 2018 Great Books reading series in now open!

Two exciting Great Books Roundtable discussions – Rereading the Classic Works of Literature and Philosophy, Part II, and  Classic to Contemporary – start in February and run for 8 weeks.

Click here to view more information for each series and registration instructions.



reflections on the January 2018 Conference weekend

The Tampa Bay Great Books Council broke new ground with this year’s Great Books conference weekend which was held on January 19-21, 2018. The theme was:  Vietnam: Looking Back Through Three Vietnamese Novelists

The conference opened with OLLI-USF Humanities Coordinator Joseph McAuliffe giving a historical overview of the Vietnam era.  Attendees later enjoyed a group dinner of Vietnamese specialties.

The first book up for discussion Saturday morning was “The Sympathizer,” Viet Thank Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

The event concluded with more discussions and a prize raffle Sunday morning.

Click here for scenes from the opening discussions…

If you’re interested in attending the next Tampa Bay Great Books event, find us on Facebook or watch here details.


Are you interested in learning more about the “Shared Inquiry” method?  Are you curious what it takes to be a  Great Books Moderator?  Contact Great Books Council Member Barbara Brown at to begin the dialogue.







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For the past 12 years the Tampa Bay Great Books Council has provided a venue for book discussions, conferences, and other cultural events. Explore our site to learn more!