LitClub:  Libro Forum
Punta del Este, Uruguay

club libro forum wd
club libro forum lg1 THEY CAME for the quiet and beauty of Punta del Este. They made friends, and their took lives root. But something was lacking. You guessed it: a book club

Tell us a little about yourselves.
There are aound 15 of us. We are "Rioplantenses," as many who live in Punta del Este are: this means we're originally from either Argentina or somewhere else in Uruguay.

Most of our group moved here in search of a quieter life and to be closer to nature. We range in age from 40 to our mid-70s.
When did your group begin?
In 2018. It all started with two people who had an idea. Nora recalls telling her friend Anita that one thing she missed about Buenos Aires was her reading group.

So we had the germ of an idea—Nora remembers—but we had no one who could organize a group and drive it. With a bit of digging, Nora adds, and a bit of serendipity, the two found Ana Laura—an author, teacher, editor and journalist.

Then Ana Laura (who already had a reading club but with different format and frecuency) wrote a proposal, selected books, made a flyer, and summoned people. From there the Libro Forum started to roll.

Where do you meet?
We meet in Ana Laura's Espacio Nous where she holds writing workshops, a film forum, and and other gatherings.

How do you select your books?
Ana Laura has selected the books from the beginning for two reasons: 1) this is a different reading club, one based on a thematic proposal, and 2) research on good literature that is not so well known in this area.

One of the problems is that Urugray is a small market, and very good authors don't always reach us. But she didn't want that to become a barrier to what we read.

As a result, Ana Laura looks for books from everywhere. We all help—and help each other—find them.

Plus, Gabriela from the bookstore, El Virrey of Punta del Este, always helps a lot in that search. When we can't get a certain book in paper to Uruguay, we turn to the ebook.

We are determined to reach the best literature in the world beyond what determines the Uruguayan market.

You've taken on big social themes.
Yes. Our first year we took a "trip" around the world … through books. We read authors who are important in their own countries but not well known in others.

We looked for authors who write specifically about their land and their people, starting in Africa (Nigeria) and ending in America (Uruguay).

What about 2019?
For 2019, we chose to focus on the "Other and the Self"—the relationship between the two.

It is an important subject, given the times we live in today. As Toni Morrison says in The Origin of Others, "There are no others. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. The Other is not something external, but remembered."

Tell us what you've read.
We read one book a month—though we meet weekly. Here's our recent list:

Things Fall Apart
The Thing Around Your Neck
Life in a Matchbox
A Whole Life
The book of Fate
The Hanging Garden
The Empty Speech

Any favorites?
Home by Toni Morrison (Volver, Spanish title): "For the wisdom of the women of the book," says Pedro. "For the style: simple but with very good descriptions and very agile writing," adds Anita.

Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel (La nieta del senor Linh, Spanish title): "Because it’s very comprehensive," says Susy.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe: "For the rescue of his people's past,"says Elsie.

In general, we agee: the books we enjoy the most have to do with the books themselves or because of the debate they generate.

Any rules?
Yes! Turn off cell phones, listen respectfully, and understand that hearing other views, even if (or especially if) we don't agree, is what enriches all of us.

Anything else you would like to leave us with?
It is a pleasure and an HONOR to join you. Thank you for inviting us to be part of the LitLoves line-up! Our contact email for any club in the world that wants to contact us (to exchange opinions about a book, to make a remote meeting by Skype, and so on…) is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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