Open Discussion Project (previously Bridging the Divide)
The Book Club Formerly Known as Bridging The Divide
The club's goal is to foster dialog and better understanding between people with different political viewpoints and to provide a space for civil discourse on controversial or divisive topics. The book selections are also chosen to represent issues and viewpoints across the political spectrum. The aim of each discussion is to promote understanding ... “Ah, now I understand how they can think that!” ... rather than convince anyone of a particular point of view. We have two facilitators skilled at doing just that. The group meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm.
We will not meet in December and, in January, we'll head in a slightly new direction:
After following the progress of our book club, 3 organizations--the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Institute for Civil Discourse, and the American Booksellers' Association--have joined together to sponsor the Open Discussion Project. The national roll-out will start with 6 bookstores (including QRB) in 2019. The sponsoring organizations are offering their support by supplying trained facilitators, community outreach, and a forum for the participating stores to discuss best practices. There will be 4 specific changes that affect our meetings:
1. We've changed our name to the Open Discussion Project.
2. We will have 2 trained co-facilitators who will lead the discussions.
3. The discussion time will expand from 1 hour to about 90 minutes.
4. Starting with the January meeting we'll be meeting on the second Wednesday of the month rather than the first (this is due to our running into several conflicts with first Wednesdays at QRB).
Our premiere meeting as the Open Discussion Project will be an organizational meeting on Wednesday, January 9th, with our new facilitators, Lisa Finaldi and Patti Gillenwalter. We'll talk about goals, discussion guidelines, select topics and books for future meetings (please feel free to send me any suggestions in advance), and see a short and inspiring video featuring two people with very different views (I loved the video and them).
A huge thank you and heartfelt appreciation to Rob Christensen and Kory Swanson who took a leap of faith in joining this project from the beginning and serving as our moderators throughout our first 18 months. Both of them spent many hours and a lot of energy helping to choose books, reading the books and leading the discussions. We anticipate their staying involved and continuing their contributions.
Whether you've attended a meeting of Bridging the Divide or not, I hope you will join us for this new chapter.
2019 meeting dates
Jan 9: Organizational and planning meeting with new facilitators
Feb 13: Book selection to-be-announced
As with all of our in-store book clubs, participants receive a 21% discount on the discussion book; just let us know at the counter when you purchase it.
Shop our current and past selections below.
A New York Times Notable Book
The New York Times bestseller!
"An extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal...An important book for everyone in America to read." --Walter Isaacson,#1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs
Our personal and political worlds are rife with arguments and disagreements, some of them petty and vitriolic. The inability to compromise and understand the opposition is epidemic today, from countries refusing to negotiate, to politicians pandering to their base. Social media has produced a virulent world where extreme positions dominate.
The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home
New York Times Bestseller
In this “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review) social psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike.
From Kim Strassel-one of the preeminent political columnists writing today and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board-comes an insightful, alarming look at how the Left, once the champion of civil liberties, is today orchestrating a coordinated campaign to bully Americans out of free speech.
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Nonfiction
Named a Notable Book of the Year by
The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post
Though the scientific community largely agrees that climate change is underway, debates about this issue remain fiercely polarized. These conversations have become a rhetorical contest, one where opposing sides try to achieve victory through playing on fear, distrust, and intolerance.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility.
Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity.
Coming Apart - an acclaimed bestseller that explains why white America has become fractured and divided in education and class.
The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political Left, which casts international capitalism, consumerism, and the over-exploitation of natural resources as the principle threats to the planet, and sees top-down interventions as the most effective solution.
No topic is more polarizing than guns and gun control. From a gun culture that took root early in American history to the mass shootings that repeatedly bring the public discussion of gun control to a fever pitch, the topic has preoccupied citizens, public officials, and special interest groups for decades.