Since 2003, San Francisco's topical discussion group, Chatopic (as in "chat" on different topics), has had a simple format. A small group commits to reading a series of eight books over the course of a year. The group meets every six weeks to discuss the then-current reading, and after the discussion, commiserates over dinner.
It's fun, social, educational, and stretches the boundaries, since the books are hugely varied, often focusing on topics that group members would otherwise never develop a well-formed perspective on (if left to their own devices).
Plus, the make-up of the group is eclectic, ranging from techies to architects, stagehands to real estate developers and food wholesalers.
To give you some flavor, here's a sample of the readings from past Chatopics:
Chatopic 2010 is upon us, with this series including a charged analysis of the politics of Obama; a precis on better planning/outcomes via the lowly checklist; a post-mortem of the financial crisis from the inside; and a dissection of the rapidly changing state of American journalism, among other topics.
We are always on the lookout for new and interesting additions to the group; the more varied your perspective and life experience, the better.
We meet on Tuesdays @ 6:30PM, with the first Chatopic in the new series taking place on Tuesday, March 23rd.
If this sounds interesting to you, and you can commit the time to both reading and meeting, shoot me an email (click the About link on the upper left side of this blog).