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Turn over a new leaf with Bucks book discussion group


The Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group invites the public to its free, informal monthly meetings, which take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month during the academic year at the college’s Newtown campus.

Michael Hennessey, the literature professor who convenes the meetings, says group members come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a love of reading, and new readers are always welcome.

The first title for the new year is “Half-Witch” by John Schoffstall on Thursday, Jan. 9. The author will join the group to discuss his novel, which was chosen by NPR as one of the best books of 2018.

The fantasy novel follows young Lizbet Lenz, who is forced on a perilous journey to free her father from a dungeon where he was imprisoned by an evil tyrant. She seeks help from an unpleasant witch girl, Strix. As they journey through the mountains, on the run from goblins, powerful witches, and human criminals, Lizbet discovers, to her horror, that Strix’s magic is turning Lizbet into a witch, too.

The next title on the table is “Stoner” by John Williams on Feb. 13, followed by “Trust Exercise” by Susan Choi, winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, on March 12.

Next, the group will discuss “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project” by Jack Mayer on April 9. For the Thursday, May 14 meeting, the group takes on “The Topeka School” by Ben Lerner, named a Top 10 Book of the Year by the New York Times, Time, GQ, Vulture, and Washington Post.

Finally, the Book Discussion Group concludes the semester on Thursday, June 11, by delving into “Winter is Coming: Why Vladmir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped” by Garry Kasparov.

At the June 11 meeting, attendees will also suggest, discuss, debate and choose titles for the September to December fall meeting schedule.

Founded in 1988, the Bucks County Community College Book Discussion Group meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month from September to June in room 114 of the Rollins Center. The campus is located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown. For snow closing information, call 215-968 8000 or visit For information, contact Hennessey at 215-968-8164 or

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