MacReaders celebrating 10 years of book club in January 2022.

In 2011, Emily P.G. Erickson ’08 wanted to join a book club for Twin Cities Mac alumni. The trouble was, no such group existed—so she started her own.

Now her creation, MacReads, is celebrating ten years with a blend of longtime regulars and newcomers who joined when the group moved online during the pandemic. “MacReads is absolutely the best of why I went to Macalester and why I love Macalester people,” says Kate Baxter-Kauf ’02, a member since the group’s third meeting. “It’s smart people in a room discussing something in depth and with feeling, knowledgeable about the subject and excited to dig in together.”

Intrigued about starting a book club where you live? We asked a few MacReads members for their advice:

“It’s tempting to pick current bestsellers, but your meeting will be limited to those who can go out and buy the book. One of the things that I really appreciate about Emily’s construction of MacReads is her focus on making sure that the books we read will be accessible, with numerous physical and/or e-books in local libraries.” —Sarah Dicks ’09

“Translation can be an issue when choosing foreign language books. The first time I chose a book for MacReads, I chose Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1924), a Russian dystopian novel. I didn’t realize that We had been translated into English many times, and the different translations give the reader a substantially different idea of the story.” —Everett Beek ’06

“Consider the MacReads model! Because it’s open to all alumni, we’ve had a core group of folks as well as others who come in and out based on their availability and interest. It’s great for keeping discussions interesting, always having enough people, and creating lasting relationships. And don’t be afraid to have a book club where everyone really does read the book.” —Kate Baxter-Kauf ’02

“Include people you don’t know. That’s how this group started. This was a big vision and kind of brilliant—there are so many commonalities between different classes over the years.” —Ken Iosso ’87

“A food theme related to the book for in-person gatherings is always enjoyable.” —Aimee Thostenson ’94

April 22 2022

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