Chicagoland book club: Rachel Jacobsohn's Socratic method
One thing to know about your book group: This is more literature seminar than coffee klatch. That's partly because the books are so challenging (“A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” by Marina Lewycka?) and partly because our leader, Rachel Jacobsohn, uses the Socratic method to help us extract and explore a book's themes. Some of the women have been in the group for 35 years, and that's why.

Authors we'd most like to meet: Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy.

Worst excuse anyone's given for not reading an assigned book: That they started it and didn't like the characters. When that happens, we all come to the book club anyway and are enlightened by Jacobsohn's skillful leadership of our discussion of the characters.

Average time we spend talking about a book before conversation swerves off into politics and family issues:
It doesn't. In the two hours we're together, we don't talk about families so any off-topic conversation is still about the book in some way.

What book is next:
“Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Five books we loved: “Out Stealing Horses: A Novel” by Per Petterson; “Small Island: A Novel” by Andrea Levy; “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth; “Blindness” by Jose Saramago and “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout.

Tell us about your book club at printersrow@tribune.com.

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