Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has joined with community groups to launch a book club focused on compassion, civility and an understanding of human diversity.

In announcing the launch of the Compassionate Book Club, Rothschild urges people to look on his mayoral webpage and “find a book club near you and join the discussion!”

Sacred Space, a nonsectarian interfaith community, is co-sponsoring this program with the mayor’s office.

The mayor helped select the first book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong, which is available at the Pima County Public Library and local bookstores.

Participation in the book club is free, with discussion agendas provided. Books can be checked out at Pima County Library branches and bought locally at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., and Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway.

“The book club’s purpose is to bring the community closer across traditional divides and grow our capacity for compassionate, civil relationships,” Teresa Cowan Jones, stated while announcing the effort. Cowan Jones is the executive director of Sacred Space.

“By inviting people to read and discuss together matters of personal import, we hope to provide a mechanism for trust building,” she said.

“Book clubs are a great way to bring the community together to discuss meaningful subjects and help people find common ground,” stated Rothschild, who participated in a Civility Book Club in 2016, led by Jones and Peter Woods, a Tucson counselor in private practice.

“This citywide book club is one way our community can act upon the Compassion Resolution, which restores compassion as a central civic ethic and which the City Council unanimously passed a couple of years ago,” the mayor said.