Faithful Readers celebrate 100th book

News | April 29, 2021

On Thursday, April 8, the Faithful Readers book group met to read their 100th book as a group. Founded 1997, there are still many of the same members involved 24 years later. The 100th book was The Bible Salesman, by Clyde Edgerton. 

Created by Katie Hanson and Dave Crowe, the reading group is still going strong. On a typical night, prior to COVID, members would take turns bringing a dessert. Katie would set the scene, talking about the author and showing pictures. Then her husband, Dave, starts the discussion. 

Lori Dryg is an original member of the group and said new insights are what keep bringing her back.

“I always come away from this group with a different view of the book than when I came,” Lori said. “They bring out ideas that I never would have come up with. Very stimulating, but not threatening. Katie and Dave have done a terrific job.”

Another original member of the Readers, Jeanne Olsen, finds a broaden worldview and empathy from the discussions held by the group.

“Some books I liked more than others but every book or short story I learned something and to me, the core of Faithful Readers, is different from many book groups,” Jeanne said. “We don’t just read for entertainment. We read to help us understand history, and people who are not like us; and situations; and faith. Reading gives us more understanding and gives us heart. I can read their story, hear their thoughts, and, hopefully, if I’m attentive, I’m viewing humanity that I can empathize with and be more kind. That’s the reason I like this group so much.”

Jeanne had much to share about the 24 years of work Katie and Dave have put into the group. 

“How do you select 100 books?! I appreciated all of the books and I loved many of them,” Jeanne said. “The research Katie and Dave do about the author helps us to have a perspective of that author, where they’re coming from, their life experiences because that directly affects the understanding of the book.” 

Duane and Margaret Haas have attended since 2004 and Duane said it’s broadened his horizon on the types of books he now reads.

“Dave and Katie have introduced me to books I never would have picked up,” Dave said. “The Life of Pi is a perfect example. I am very grateful for their care and leadership.”

Future books for the 2021-2022 readings include Sing, Unburied by Jesmyn Ward, The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather, A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia Spencer, and The Abbey by James Martin. For more information about Faithful Readers, contact: Katie Hanson, katiehanson@augustana.edu or Dave Crowe, davidcrowe@augustana.edu.

2 Comments on “Faithful Readers celebrate 100th book”

  • martin & Harriet Marty

    May 1, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    We envy those who can take part in such a project.

    Just to show you that we pay attention: it is “Willa Cather,”
    not “Willa Carter,” my favorite book in its genre; I have an original autographed multi=volumed edition of Cather, smiling down on our breakfast table. My favorite remains “My Antonia.”
    Martin E. Marty, friend of your congregation. M.

  • Donna Schneekloth

    April 29, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    What a wonderful experience ! Nostalgic, heartfelt special memories fill my soul as I read this article. Dave and Katie were superb, nourishing, resourceful leaders. And the yummy food. . .

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