Discussion Series Explores Humor Writing

The Leavenworth Public Library will offer a three-part book discussion series in April, June and July on "That's Funny: Books That Make Us Laugh." Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place in the Library’s Jahn Room, 417 Spruce Street.
The series is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council (KHC), a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program. KHC is furnishing the books and discussion leaders for the Leavenworth TALK series. For more information about KHC, visit
The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. Dennis Etzel Jr. from Washburn University will lead a discussion of “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” by Bill Bryson. In this 1999 collection of essays written for a London magazine, Bryson wonders what modern America looks like to an American newly returned after twenty years in England. Though often bemused by surface absurdities (such as dental floss hotlines), Bryson is fundamentally both loving and appreciative of the core of American life.
Dennis Etzel Jr. is an instructor of English at Washburn University. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. Etzel joined the KHC TALK program as a discussion leader in 2012.
Laughter has made for some of the best reading since the time of the ancient Greeks. Books in this series explore through humor what it is to be human and what makes society tick. They challenge readers to see how humor reaches across time and place to highlight what we all share, together, as human beings.
Readers will enjoy discussing “The Egg and I” by Betty MacDonald on Tuesday, June 6 and “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” by Jean Shepherd on Tuesday, July 11.  
Registration is required for each discussion. To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact the Library at 913-682-5666 or e-mail