‘Best Book I Never Read’ Discussion Group Brings Together Books and Beer

Did you have every good intention of reading that novel your high school English teacher or college literature professor assigned but never quite got around to it? We’ve all experienced the same thing: time slipped away and the night before the exam, we scanned the CliffsNotes or watched the film adaptation.

A new program offered by Write On, Door County offers a second chance to read those novels without worrying about your grade point average. In collaboration with NexGen Young Professionals Network, the program is intended specifically for 20- to 40-year-olds. “The Best Book I Never Read” meets the first Thursday of every month, 5:30 – 7 pm. Meeting locations alternate between Starboard Brewing Company in Sturgeon Bay and Door County Brewing Company in Baileys Harbor. Discussions will be facilitated by Katie Smullen of Sturgeon Bay and Alissa Ehmke of Sister Bay. There is no fee for the program but participants are encouraged to purchase beverages from the host venues.

“One of the things I miss most about college classes is listening to other people talk – especially about books. So whether you’re more of a talker or more of a listener, I’d like all sorts at our discussions,” said Ehmke, assistant editor of Peninsula Pulse. Smullen, who works at United Way and is in the 2017 Leadership Door County class, agrees. “I miss the book club I started with friends in Beloit, so I’m thrilled to discuss great literature again with others while enjoying some excellent beer.”

A wide range of classic and contemporary fiction is presented in “The Best Book I Never Read.” The first book up for discussion in June is James Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners (June 1, Door County Brewing). Remaining books for the year are Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (July 6, Starboard); Kindred by Octavia Butler (Aug. 3, Door County Brewing); Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (Sept. 7, Starboard), To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (Oct. 5, Door County Brewing), 1984 by George Orwell (Nov. 2, Starboard), and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Dec. 7, Door County Brewing). A complete list of books and their descriptions can be found at

This program is an opportunity for younger, working people to get out of their routine and meet some new friends. The environment at both locations is casual and friendly and the beers are great. Participants don’t need a degree in literature to take part, just a willingness to discuss the books with others.

“Whether you love the book, hate the book, don’t understand the book, we want to hear about it!”

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