“New Year, New Me!” is what we usually say as we create our New Year’s Resolution list, ready for a fresh and productive start. It isn’t until a few days into said new year that we decide to have a bit of a cheat day on our little journey. Eventually, that cheat day has us breaking up with our resolutions… oops!
Wait, wait, wait! Bear with me! I’m here to tell you there’s hope for us yet!
A local business, Le Salon Literary Discussions, is the perfect solution for those making reading resolutions for 2022! With their Virtual Literary Salons held on the last Thursday of every month, you get to discuss the chosen book with other people, including the owner of Le Salon herself — who also has an MA in English literature, might I add — Marisa Hopp.
“Building on this interest in book-related gatherings, I had also been a part of a few book clubs over the years to satisfy my desire to engage with literature,” Hopp told us via email. “Unfortunately, often I found that I was the only one reading the book or that the term ‘book club’ became synonymous with dinner club or babysitting club. I wanted a book-focused discussion, and I began to wonder if others did too.”
Every month, Hopp holds virtual discussions on works of classic literature that usually have a deadline to work towards. Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s here to help us readers stay motivated to read. Additionally, you can pick up classic works at a local used bookstore or as an e-book, for a cheaper option.
Hopp starts every discussion with historical, biographical, and academic research about the novel and author. These discussions not only let you ask questions, but also hear how others viewed the story. Hopp has had participants from across Canada, the U.S., and even Brazil. I’d say that’s a pretty good way to make friends outside of where you live!
“Having participants from different countries has been a wonderful way to create connection in a time when we’ve been told to social distance and avoid international travel,” Hopp said. “One of the goals for Le Salon is to create a thriving international community of readers who can relate and learn from not only the books being discussed, but also from each other. I am a big believer that reading, even fiction, allows us to step into the experience of others, making us more compassionate. Expanding out from the content in books, by hearing and learning from the experiences of other people in other cities and countries, increases this understanding.”
If you ever want to read something outside of the talk-of-the-town book, Hopp has some options for you, from Russian translations to some of the first English novels.
And if you really want to show your commitment, you can also get three- and six-month memberships. It’s an auto-sign-up with no extra fees: Read whatever it is you’re reading, then click the link when it’s time to discuss.
View this post on Instagram
On January 27, Hopp will host a virtual meeting at 7:30pm EST, where she and others will be discussing Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. If you’re curious as to what will be the next hot topic, feel free to check out Le Salon’s website, where you can register for the February and March book meetings and get a sneak peek at what’s to come afterwards.
”Regardless of which type of reading resolution is set, attending a virtual literary salon will help readers meet them,” said Hopp. “There is an incentive to finish the book, with the schedule there is less pressure to figure out what to read next, you don’t have to do any of the coordination role with others, you get to meet new people, and you can finally read those classic novels you’ve been meaning to get to!”
Anyone who wants to try out Hopp’s virtual literary salon can do so with a 40% off code.