JP Reads, first launched in the fall of 2012, is a community-wide literary celebration that joins together the Jamaica Plain (JP) neighborhood of Boston to read a single book by hosting an author talk, varied events and shared discussions addressing themes in the book. This year the volunteer Advisory Board, composed of Jamaica Plain residents with representation from JP’s libraries and community organizations, have chosen Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, winner of the 2012 Orange Prize for fiction. Miller worked as a teacher of Greek and Latin as she wrote the book. The novel, set in Greece, re-imagines Homer’s classic, The Iliad by exploring the love story between Patroclus and Achilles.
Last Sunday, JP Reads and Social Artists & Writers hosted the first-ever free Silent(ish) Reading Party at the Loring-Greenough House located on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. The Loring-Greenough House was constructed in 1760 by Commodore Loring and owned by the Greenough family from 1783 until 1924. The Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club purchased the house in 1924 and has remained the steward ever since. The Silent(ish) Reading Party was one of many social, cultural, historical and educational activities that has been hosted by the House since 2008.
All who attended the party were invited to enjoy the sunny window seats, cozy chairs and plush carpets in the historic house. Participants could bring any book they wanted to read though copies of The Song of Achilles, the Iliad, and related books on Greece and mythology were available. Everyone also circled through the kitchen at least once during the afternoon for a warm drink, some home-made treats and to ask a fellow book-lover, “What are you reading?”