OBA Book Club to Focus on ‘Legally Related’ Titles Set in Nebraska

“King of Broken Things,” a novel set in Omaha in 1919, is the first selection for the Omaha Bar Association’s new book club. (Theodore Wheeler)
David Golbitz
The Daily Record


To most people, “OBA” stands for “Omaha Bar Association. But, once every three months beginning today, it might as well stand for “Omaha Book Association,” as the OBA’s new book club gets underway.

“The OBA Book Club was a kernel of an idea batted around between Judge (Laurie) Smith Camp, an avid reader and history buff, and myself, an admitted bibliophile with stacks of books that are a quarter read,” OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers said.

After Smith Camp unexpectedly passed away last year, Sommers wanted to follow through on the book club as a way to honor her legacy. Smith Camp was the OBA president at the time of her death.

“I threw out four or five books I thought might be a good fit to spark discussion among local attorneys,” Sommers said, noting that Smith Camp offered about four dozen titles. “And, the thing is, I’m sure she had read them all.”

The book club is meeting initially via Zoom, but Sommers would like to see the meetings move into a physical space when it becomes safe to do so. The club is considering Inkwell, a literally-themed cocktail bar in Countryside Village, as a potential meeting spot.

The book club will focus on “reading things that relate in some way to the Omaha area, or Nebraska in general, and are what we can consider ‘legally related’ in some way,” Sommers said. The first book the club will discuss is “Kings of Broken Things” by Omaha native Theodore Wheeler, a historical fiction novel set against the backdrop of the 1919 Omaha race riots.

The book club is free and open to all members of the legal community and their invited friends. Those who wish to participate must register through the OBA website, omahabarassociaiton.com. A Zoom link will be emailed the week of each meeting.

Those who participate in the first meeting will be charged with selecting the book that will be discussed at the next meeting, which will be held quarterly.

A list of some of Smith Camp’s other selections appeared in the most recent issue of the OBA newsletter.


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