Newman book club in search of literary-minded members

By: Matthew Fowler, Staff Writer

The founders of a new book club on Newman’s campus called Overbooked say their goal is to read fascinating literature and engage in thought-provoking discussions.

Club founder Hope Strickbine said that she and her friends were inspired to create the club after watching the 2018 historical fiction film “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” The film is set in 1946 Germany-occupied Guernsey, an island in the English channel, and centers around a group of friends who develop strong bonds through good-natured discussions in the namesake society.

In keeping with the spirit of the film, the club gave its leadership positions medieval monikers. Along with the Overbooked Queen (Strickbine), the club’s positions are Knight of the Treasury, Scribe, Royal Advisor, and Spiritual Companion – filled by Hadassah Umbarger, Rebekah Strickbine, Michael Bradley and Amy Emerson respectively.

Although students started planning the club in the spring, its first meeting took place Wednesday, Sept. 13. Strickbine said it included a conversation about the Charles Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cities” and a discussion about how the club should best approach future book selections. Noting that student schedules are overbooked, the club decided it would explore literature that varied “language-wise, . . . pace-wise,” and, Strickbine said, “length-wise.”

The club will also explore different formats, including graphic novels and novelizations while still maintaining a focus on historic and modern classics.

Strickbine said potential members should not worry about the time commitment, as “reading is definitely not required” for participation in the club discussions and meetings.

“The goal is to introduce people to genres that they don’t read as often,” she said.

So far, the club has not selected its next read but suggestions will be assessed on their literary merit and their potential to stimulate “fun, good, interesting, random conversations,” Strickbine said.

Meetings will happen every third Wednesday – so the next club meeting will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 4 in the living room in the Sacred Heart Building basement.

Strickbine also said that the club is looking for a location to hold movie viewing nights that will allow the club to explore visual media related to the literature studied. These movie nights will take place Wednesday nights one week after the general meetings.

Students interested in the Overbooked club can watch the “NU Student Body” GroupMe for Overbooked meeting dates and locations or look for flyers posted on Newman University bulletin boards. They also can join the Overbooked specific GroupMe at

PHOTO: Courtesy photo