By Garnette Arledge

Andes Books and literary services have several on-going groups as well as regular poetry and novelist’s readings. All events are free, everybody welcome. We are located at 295 Main Street, open every afternoon except Mondays.

 Jane Austen and Friends Book Group

The Jane Austen and Friends Book Group continues with Emma on November 20, following October’s book: Pride and Prejudice. The Austen group will also gather on Saturday, November 6, at 3:30 pm onward, for a marathon viewing of three versions of Pride and Prejudice, featuring Laurence Olivier and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Come compare the two performances and stay to scoff at the unnamed third actor. Mostly it’s general discussion, you need not re-read the books to attend. Come in when you can during the showing, no need to stay for the entire viewing race.

 Classics in Mind/Spirit

Our Classics in Mind/Spirit group spent September enjoying the writings of Roxbury native John Burroughs. Phyllis Galowitz, our able facilitator found many valuable John Burroughs books at the Andes Public Library.

From a Delaware County farm youngster who attributed his yearnings for nature to his Celtic mother, John Burroughs became a world famous author of nature essays. We seemed to be with him in his journey by canoe down the East Branch of the Delaware. Pleased, he stopped to pick the plentiful wild strawberries and secure cheese fresh from a farm, even though the owners were away, for he knew hospitality prevailed. He paddled, listened to the birds, waited out a quick storm under oak leaf shade, stopping frequently for trout fishing and to dine over his modest cook fire.

We visited Slabsides, his cabin on a woody hillside near the Hudson. “Life has a different flavor here”, Burroughs wrote in his Far and Near. “It is reduced to simpler terms; its complex equations all disappear.” The name “Slabsides” came from the rough bark-covered lumber strips used on the outer walls. “I might have given it a prettier name, but not one more fit, or more in keeping with the mood that brought me thither.”

The Classics in Mind/Spirit Book Group meets every Wednesday from 10:30 to noon at Andes Books. In October we read and discussed selections from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. Please call for November book title, as we have not decided on it yet. All welcome anytime.

 The ‘More Writing’ Group

From November 1st to 30th there is novel-writing frenzy at Andes Books. A project of (National November Writing Month), area and on- line hopeful novelists will compete for a prize (printed proof of rough draft) by writing 50,000 words, the length of The Old Man and the Sea and The Great Gatsby. As the not-for-profit sponsor says: No Plot, No Problem, just start writing, the story will come.

I did it in August, just to see if I could, along with a friend. We managed, amid much typing and laughter, to each turn out a mystery. It can be done, and she works full time at a demanding job, with an ill elderly parent. All I do is run a bookstore, never knowing when the front bell will summon me. As my late husband would say, “It was a blast.” On Saturday, November 28, NaNoWriMo authors will read from their works at 6 p.m. Well-deserved refreshments will be served.

To celebrate fall, why not write a novel? Come in; join the group writing away at the big center table of Andes Books any afternoon. We will break for lunch, coffee, chocolate, shopping, and write all day each November Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s your writing, so there’s no fee.

During December, enjoy the holidays then come back in January and begin the real work: rewriting and editing. ~

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