Wednesday, November 18, 2009

January 2010

The next book we've chosen to read is Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire-- Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do . How's that for a title?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Olive Kitteridge

The next book chosen is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It won the Pulitzer in 2009 and is recently out in paperback.

K's sister C's book club happens to be reading the same book - will our "sister book club" say hello and tell us what they thought?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A High Wind in Jamaica

The next selection is Richard Hughes' A High Wind in Jamaica.

It's got PIRATES!

I first heard about it in this review on NPR (careful, it's kind of spoiler-y)

Check out that cover art by Chicago artist Henry Darger!

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

August selection.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I, Robot

I, Robot is one of the books suggested for our next book club. I, Robot is a collection of short stories originally published in 1950 by Isaac Asimov. It is composed of nine stories:
"Catch that Rabbit"
"Little Lost Robot"
"The Evitable Conflict"
and is the place where Asimov introduced his famous "Three Laws of Robotics". (Can you name them?)

The other book is a TBD romance novel to be chosen by C.S. It's mostly for funsies, but C.S. is going to share a paper analyzing this popular type of fiction!

Book Club Guidelines

Some good advise is that you should set rules for your book club at the very beginning. We didn't do that, but, we're not much for rules. But, we did settle on the following guidelines:

  • Membership is currently closed. Sorry, teeming throngs, but, at around 8-10ish folks, our book club is just right. We're afraid any more will stretch our living rooms and our conversation too much. If we loose a member, we'll talk about adding a new one.

  • Guests. Guests are allowed if the guest-bringer has the permission of the host. The guest-bringer has the responsibility of telling the guest that they are not, in fact, a member.

  • Hosting. Hosting is not required by members, but, anyone is welcome to host.

  • Choosing Books. Books are suggested by members and then agreed upon in a consensus. We don't have a real method for this, but all members are welcome to suggest books.

  • Reading the Book. Obviously reading the book is a prerequisite for attending. If you haven't finished the last chapter because you ran out of time, that's ok - but, the purpose is to read and discuss the book of the month.

We can always revisit these if anyone wants to! Thanks, everyone!

For your amusement, I include these other uptight book club rules:
Book Club Rules and Standards (When you speak, please state your name.)
The Reading Club (show zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour)
Barely Literate Book Club (Spouses and significant others who are not book club members may sit quietly in the back)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ok! The next book!

Actually, the next book shall be Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen - suggested by our own K.H. It looks really interesting:
Imagine what it might be like to realize that the person you love is, in fact, not the person you love but a doppelgänger: or, what Leo Liebenstein coolly terms a "simulacrum" of his wife Rema at the outset of Atmospheric Disturbances. David Byrne's infamous cry that "this is not my beautiful wife" seems the most likely response, but Leo's reaction to this sea change takes unpredictable and dazzlingly plotted turns in the story that follows.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Next Book?

The last book club to discuss Chabon's book was lots of fun. Thanks for hosting, M.! The next proposed book is the new Pulitzer winner for fiction: Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout. Because no one had heard of it outside of this Pulitzer Nerd, please feel free to do a little research to see if it's something you're interested in reading. Here's a review from the NYT, but it was this review on NPR by Melissa Bank that really sold me - outside of, you know, winning the Pulitzer.

Other suggestions were Joan Didion's book of essays, After Henry, something by R. Bradbury (Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451?) or Let the Right One In, by John Ajvide Lindqvist and Ebba Segerberg. Feel free to leave your suggestions in comments or vote on the side - but let's decide soon for the next club meeting: May 29th!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maps and Legends

The next book for 'club is Maps and Legends, suggested by our own G.Z. It's a book of essays by Michael Chabon on (what else) books and genre writing, which sounds like the perfect follow-up to uber-genre noir novel The Big Sleep.

From Booklist:
Chabon declares, “I read for entertainment, and I write to entertain. Period.” But of course there’s much more to his vivid and mischievous literary manifesto in 16 parts than that. A writer of prodigious literary gifts, Chabon brings the velocity, verve, and emotional richness intrinsic to the best of short stories to his exceptionally canny and stirring essays. Musing over the various literary traditions he riffs on in his many-faceted novels, he concludes, “All novels are sequels; influence is bliss.” Chabon zestfully praises the many allures of genre fiction and celebrates writers, among them Vonnegut and Byatt, who infuse their fiction with “the Trickster spirit of genre-bending and stylistic play.”

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February Recap!

This weekend we discussed The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. The book got a mixed review, but, as usual, we had a great conversation. I have a review on Bookish, and, please, y'all should feel free to post your own in a new entry or comments!

There seemed to be a convergence of the minds that our next book should be a "hard-boiled detective story" - and thus we somewhat collaboratively agreed that we'll read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler next, ya see? It's the first in his Philip Marlowe series. Date: March 27th! Tip: I notice they have quite a few cheap copies on Amazon used.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Payback/History of Love

The book club for Payback was very successful! Everyone spare one seemed to really enjoy reading the book, and our lone objector was coming around by the end of our meeting (due to our enthusiasm or just peer pressure, I'm not sure...).

Next up is Nicole Krauss's The History of Love. Here's an interesting article on Krauss from NY Magazine... From the WaPo:
Even in moments of startling peculiarity, [Krauss] touches the most common elements of the heart. For Leo, obsessed with his death but struggling to be noticed, and for Alma, ready to grow up but arrested by her mother's grief, the persistence of love drives them to an astonishing connection. In the final pages, the fractured stories of The History of Love fall together like a desperate embrace.