Announcing the SEAPAX International Book Club

Teamwork on planning our upcoming Peace Corps 50th Anniversary event at the Seattle Public Library has had a great catalyst effect: a previous idea for a book club has now become a reality!  The SEAPAX 50th Committee has drawn an enthusiastic group of RPCVs from all generations, including many newcomers to the group, among them Jennifer Simon Halai, (Turkmenistan ’03 – ‘04) ) who stepped up to serve as coordinator of the book club.  Jen, who happens to be a librarian by profession, loves books and talking about them, and is looking forward sharing thoughts with like-minded others each month.


Book club basics:

Launch: The first meeting will be one of the workshop sessions* at our March 20 event, with a discussion of Little Bee by Chris Cleave, a recent fiction title set in both Nigeria and England, which highlights the intersections of personal lives and global affairs. FYI, Little Bee is also the title that has been chosen for this year’s Seattle Reads program of the SPL’s Washington Center for the Book, which aims to get Seattlites all reading a common book by authors of diverse backgrounds.  Discussion materials on Little Bee will soon be posted on the SPL website. Author Cleave will be in Seattle in mid-May to discuss his work


Plan: The club will meet monthly, with flexibility around holidays and summer. In order that everyone interested can participate, Little Bee will also be the book to be discussed at the April meeting of the club, time and place TBA. The club will function on a cooperative basis. Each month, a different person will select and inform the group about the title, take care of making the meeting arrangements, and lead the discussion.  We are now seeking titles of books as well as members for the club.  You can help us get started by:

  • Submitting suggestions of dates, times, and places for book club meetings. Let us know if you prefer a weekend  (Sat. or Sun.), or a weekday evening, potential meeting spaces, including homes, as well as best time frame.
  • Submitting suggestions of titles, focusing on international and cross-cultural themes and authors, including, but not limited to RPCV authors.
  • Signing up to be a facilitator for a specific month

Sign up and send your ideas to Jen Simon Halai at: jensimon7(at)gmail(dot)com


How to get the book : Copies of Little Bee can be reserved on the SPL website, or from your local library system . This 2009 title can also be purchased from bookstores and online vendors, used copies are available.


Book discussion at Peace Corps: 50 Years of Promoting Service and Global Understanding on March 20, 2011.

*Due to space limitations in the library, the group is limited to 20 people and pre-registration is required. Please register by email to 50thchair(at)seapax(dot)org ; being  sure to include your name , email address, and  phone number.  Spaces will assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.