A serving of soup, with book discussion for dessert, are on the menu every Thursday in May and June as part of the Books and Borscht series at the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, B.C.
“Over the past few years, we have had a number of authors publish books connected to the Mennonite story, but they were unable to have in-person book launches due to COVID,” says museum educator Jenny Bergen. “As the books are now a few years old, they aren’t book launches per se, so we are doing a Books and Borscht series where the public is invited to buy lunch in the café before joining various authors in our theatre for a book talk.”
On May 4, the theatre was nearly full to hear about Robert Martens’ book, Finding Home, and host Peter Andres remarked, “I am shocked to see a full house for telling about a book of poetry.”
Martens replied, “So am I!”
“Home means different things to different people,” said Martens, as he reflected on his Mennonite ancestors leaving their Russian homeland and how he found home growing up in the village of Yarrow.
An audience member commented that it is more meaningful to hear writers read their own work. Martens agreed that poetry is interactive, saying, “If you’re going to write poetry, you’re going to have to read it.”
More information on the Books and Borscht series can be found at mennonitemuseum.org/news. Attendees are asked to register beforehand. Those who register for the book talk will receive a free coffee when they purchase lunch and a 10 percent off voucher for the featured book.