January 30, 2012
GREENE COUNTY READS
BOOK DISCUSSIONS ANNOUNCED
Greene County Reads, the annual county-wide book discussion, will be held Tuesday, March 27. This year’s selection is Ape House by Sara Gruen and is available to check out from any of the six public libraries in the county. County residents are encouraged to attend one of the discussions at the place and time that is most convenient: Paton at 9:00 a.m., Jefferson at 2:00 p.m., or Grand Junction at 7:00 p.m.
The discussions will be led by Jan Scharingson, retired East Greene high school English teacher.
This novel begins with the bombing of the Great Ape Language Lab, a university research center dedicated to the study of the communicative behavior of bonobo apes. The blast, which terrorizes the apes and severely injures scientist Isabel Duncan, occurs one day after reporter John Thigpen visits the lab and speaks to the bonobos, who answer his questions in sign language. After a series of personal setbacks, Thigpen pursues the story of the apes and the explosions for a Los Angeles tabloid. Meanwhile, as Isabel recovers from her injuries, the bonobos are sold and moved to New Mexico, where they become a media sensation as the stars of a reality TV show. (Source: paraphrased from a review in Publishers Weekly).
“This year’s selection will be a shorter and easier read. It will bring up some unique ethical and social issues and will be relevant to Iowa since the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines has been in the news since last fall when the benefactor withdrew his financial support. For now the bonobos will remain in Iowa but the facility will be used differently. I am looking forward to meeting many Greene county residents at our discussion.” says Scharingson.
These annual discussions are free, open to the public, and made possible by a cooperative project with the Greene County board of supervisors. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call your local public library.