Nearly forty fiction-lovers and their guests from across Florida and beyond gathered at the St. Pete Bayfront Hilton Saturday, January 26, 2019, for the first day of the 14th annual Tampa Bay Great Books Conference Weekend.

This year’s Conference theme was “Great Novels of the 21st Century,” with  Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead books selected for discussion. 

More than 1,165 pages of text (many of which are now adorned with sticky notes, handwritten margin observations, and enough yellow Day-Glo Highlighter ink to fill a small swimming pool!

After two discussions Saturday, attendees attended a group dinner  with a special performance by Nan Colton, playing the role of Virginia Woolf.  Nan’s portrayal of Virginia Woolf brought the crowd to their feet! Visit Nan’s website if you would like to see the 30 characters she performs.

The Tampa Bay Great Books Council ended its 14th annual Weekend Conference on what some would consider a “perfect reading day” – windy and rainy, with midday temperatures uncharacteristically in the 40’s!   Nearly forty participants and guests headed home after a final morning analyzing Marilynne Robinson’s epistolary novel, Gilead, led by moderators Patrick DeMarco and Judith Huge, followed by the traditional raffle for prizes donated by members of the Board of the Tampa Bay Great Books Council.

Photo gallery – Click on a photo to see a slide show of all the lovely photos and captions.