You don't want to miss this.

2024 Great Books Barbara McConnell Weekend at Asilomar

One of the major events of the year for the Great Books Council of San Francisco is the Spring weekend at the Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, California, named in honor of beloved Great Books leader Barbara McConnell. During the weekend there are discussions of poetry and works of nonfiction, drama, and fiction.

Join us at this uniquely beautiful retreat and immerse yourself in a weekend of provocative readings, engaging discussions, and in-person camaraderie!

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
View on map

Apr 12, 2024 06:00pm - Apr 14, 2024 01:00pm

$0.00 - $110.00

We'll kick off the Asilomar weekend with an evening of intense and challenging poetry discussions featuring works by UK poets Wilfred Owen and Virginia Woolf along with US poets Louise Glück and Thomas Centolella.

These poems will be provided as a PDF attachment with your registration confirmation so that you can easily print them.

On Saturday morning, we’ll continue with our non-fiction discussion—Virginia Woolf’s provocative and serious treatise on the prevention of war and the introduction of feminism, Three Guineas, is as relevant today as it was on the eve of WWII. From the New Yorker - If you are a woman or anti-war or both, read it!

Before dinner, starting at 4:30 pm, we will have a catered Meet & Greet where long-time bookies can welcome new attendees, and share experiences about their local groups, and best reads while enjoying local brews, bottlings, and a generous spread of snacks.

After dinner, we’ll continue with our fiction discussion. C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is a brilliant retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from her sister Orual’s perspective. His last and considered by many to be his most accomplished work brought new meaning, new depths, new terrors according to The Saturday Review.

Wrapping up on Sunday morning, our play this year is A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Written in 1879, it has been praised for its groundbreaking depiction of a woman’s personal struggle for independence and identity causing noted critic, James Huneker to write - That slammed door reverberated across the roof of the world.

Two-Step Conference Registration

There are two steps to the complete registration process. Step One is to register for the conference at rates from $0 to $110 a person. Step Two is to reserve either an Asilomar room including meals for $317.19 (single per night) or $210.38 (double per night). Additionally, there are a few offsite tickets available for $50.

Once you have completed Step One, you will be sent a link to complete Step Two. After completing both steps you will receive a confirmation email and details on how to acquire the readings.