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Beverly Hills Public Library Programs and Events Great Books Discussion Group
Great Books Discussion Group

Beverly Hills Great Books Discussion Group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at the Beverly Hills Public Library.  Join the group to "engage in a spirited analytical discourse on those classic works that have endured throughout the ages."  This event is free and open to the public. 

Contact Gunnar Portanova for more information on this group (310) 273-5691 or email vportano@pacbell.net.  Visit and join their Meetup group on the Web

Many selections are available on the Web, e.g., see:  
Project Guttenberg
Google Books

Four Rules of Shared Inquiry Discussion of the Great Books Organization


1. Only those who have read the selection may take part in the discussion. If they aren't familiar with the selection, Participants are unable to understand or judge the validity of the ideas raised. They are also unable to help their fellow Participants find passages for evidence or discover ideas and meaning.

Participants unfamiliar with the selection are encouraged to read and prepare before participating. To allow them to participate before reading is to invite misunderstanding and ill-informed opinions. Consequently, discussion may be forced to slow down and cover facts rather than pursue ideas and interpretations.

2. Discussion is restricted to the selection everyone has read. When the selection remains the focus of discussion everyone can determine whether facts are accurately recalled or opinions adequately supported. Talking at length about personal experiences or other stories, books, or movies can prevent the group from making sense of the story at hand.

3. All opinions should be supported with evidence from the selection. Making sure Participants support their ideas with evidence ensures that they are thinking critically and independently. It promotes careful reading and a greater appreciation for literature.

4. Leaders may only ask questions, not answer them.  When the leader makes statements or answers questions, he or she becomes the judge of what the text means. In Shared Inquiry we want Participants to judge for themselves what the text means