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Dharma to host book club

Last Modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:31 PM

By Alex Onken / American Press

What began in October 2011 as a Facebook page for Felicite Toney-Carroll and some friends to discuss books has grown to become a book club that meets twice monthly at Dharma, 329 Broad St.

“We didn’t have a place to meet or have assigned readings,” Toney-Carroll said of the Facebook page. “It was just a place for us to share what we were reading and have people comment on it.”

The book club held its first meeting on Sept. 5, and Dharma owner Alyssa DiNatale said about 30 people attended — many of whom Toney-Carroll said were new to her.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Toney-Carroll said. “Actually, I didn’t know a lot of the people who showed up. A lot of my friends couldn’t make it, so I was kind of skeptical. It was a great way to meet new people.”

She said the group, which will meet again on Thursday, Sept. 19, assigns readings and allows for no SparkNotes shortcuts.

“If you don’t understand something, look it up,” she said.

The first reading for the next meeting is Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” which tells the story of a future in which books are outlawed and burned on site.

Toney-Carroll said she chose it for its readability and to coincide with National Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28.

She said she hopes to not just read novels, but to explore essays, short stories and comic books as well. She encourages people to read the book before watching a film adaptation of a novel.

DiNatale said the book club turnout impressed her.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” she said.

“It makes me realize that there are some smart, educated people who want to learn in this town. That was just the first meeting, I can only imagine how successful this is going to be.”

For more information on Dharma and the book club, visit
For information on Banned Books Week visit,

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