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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.



January 2018 Conference weekend

Registration is open for the January 19-21, 2018, Great Books Conference:  Vietnam: Looking Back Through Three Vietnamese Novelists

While geographically only slightly larger than the State of New Mexico, Vietnam will always have life-changing significance for American “Baby Boomers” and those within a few years of that population bubble.  Some Boomers fought there…died there…while others mounted their first political crusades domestically to end the conflict.  The American perspective on the Vietnam experience is well-chronicled, most recently in Ken Burns’ PBS series, “The Vietnam War.”

Seldom, however, have Americans paused to consider the conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese, and that is precisely the opportunity that awaits us in the Tampa Bay Great Books Conference Weekend on January 19-21, 2018:  “Vietnam: Looking Back Through Three Vietnamese Novelists.”

Venue for all conference sessions is the Hilton St. Petersburg/Bayfront. A Friday night  reception and Saturday luncheon are included in the conference registration fee, as well as copies of the three texts to be discussed:  The Sympathizer (the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Viet Thank Nguyen); The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam (by Bao Dinh); and Paradise of the Blind (by Duong Thu Huong).

All discussions will be led by moderators trained in the Great Books method of “shared inquiry.”

Deeply-discounted overnight accommodations ($160, single; $180, double) are available to conference registrants and should be arranged by contacting the Hilton at (727)-894-5000.

Conference registration fee is just $189; with an additional $79 fee for non-participating guests.  Further details and registration forms are online at the Tampa Bay Great Books website:  Or contact Patrick DeMarco ( for more information.

Click here for the registration form and all the 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!