November 28, 2010

New York Times Notable Books for 2010

The New York Times today online published its list of Notable Books for 2010.  The list includes new novels by authors we've read, including Per Petterson, Andrea Levy, and Louise Erdrich.

November 22, 2010

Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson - Jan. 3 - UPDATED with materials

Out Stealing Horses: A NovelWe'll meet at Connie's house.

Supplemental materials:

October 31, 2010

My Antonia, Willa Cather

My Antonia, Literary Touchstone EditionWe'll discuss My Antonia on November 22, 2010.  Host TBD.

Supplemental Materials:

October 28, 2010

Dracula on Kerri Miller

The New Annotated DraculaHere's the Midmorning show from 10/26/10 wherein Kerri Miller interviews Leslie Klinger, editor of "The New Annotated Dracula."

October 25, 2010

Slate for 2010-2011

Nov. 22: My Antonia, Willa Cather
Jan. 3: Out Stealing Horses, Per Paterson
Jan. 31: Madame Bovary, Flaubert
Feb 28: Little Bee, Chris Cleeve
Mar 28: A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
Apr 25: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
May 23: The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky
June 27: Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
July 25: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Aug 22: The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
Sept 26: I'm Not Scared, Niccolo Ammaniti

Here's how the pitching and voting went:

Madame Bovary - Julie, Katherine and Suzanne - so many votes we didn't count

General (First number is first ballot/Second number is run-off vote):
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Kathy (53)
Little Bee - Kerry (42)
Brothers Karamazov - Steph (36)
Alias Grace - Steph (34)
Out Stealing Horses - Kerry (33)
My Antonia - Gayle (26)
I'm Not Scared - Kathy (24)
Pillars of the Earth - Steph (22/31)
Cutting for Stone - Suzanne (21/15)
Zertoun - Julie (20/27)
Hunger Games - Connie (19/37)
The Dog Says How - Suzanne (16/17)
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Gayle (13/29)
Pass the Polenta - Suzanne (12/13)
The Farming of Bones - Gayle (10/23)
Founding Mothers - Gayle (8/5)
Kitchen Confidential - Katherine (7/4)
The Glass Castle - Ruth (4/?)
One Good Turn - Ruth (0/?)

September 27, 2010

Book Picking Night: Oct. 25 at Kerry's at 6:00

Start time will be 6:00 for BOOK-PICKING NIGHT, OCT. 25, 2010

We decided a few things tonight:

1) We'll start book-picking night at 6:00.  We are committed to arriving on time and getting right to the business of pitching so that we have plenty of time to pitch and select books. It's important to people to enjoy the pitching/deciding, so we won't rush through that.  If people need to leave before we're done, we won't bring a rushed conclusion to the voting.

2.) We'll have one slot designated for a classic.  No other slots will be designated this year.  Books pitched, but not selected, for the classics slot can be submitted for the general vote.

3.)  We'll keep the voting method the same.  Typically one person can get a book selected by applying all their pennies to a single book, so each person has the power to make sure we select a book of their choice.

4.) Going forward for the season, we'll be committed to arriving on time (6:30) and getting the book discussion started by 6:45 at the latest.

5.) As always:  if you send me the long lists of what you're considering pitching, I'll post info here, so people can investigate your books prior to book-picking night, if they are so inclined.

August 24, 2010

Olive Kitteridge, Sept. 27

Olive KitteridgeWe'll discuss Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, on Sept. 27 at Steph's.

Supplemental materials

August 11, 2010

Business: October is Book-Picking Month

October is BOOK-PICKING Month!  Be thinking about changes you'd like to see in our picking process.  I'd propose that we bandy about thoughts and ideas at the Aug meeting; then, at the Sept meeting, crystallize those into votable issues to make decisions.

P.S. 8/15:  I think we need an annual photo.

July 27, 2010

The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon: August 23

The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel (P.S.)We'll meet at Ruth's house.

Supplemental materials:
  • Chabon interviewed by Kerri Miller for Talking Volumes (2007) about YPU
  • Harper Collins Reading Group Guide
  • NYTimes review of YPU
  • Bio of Chabon from his agency, including links to all kinds of fabulous stuff, including articles and essays Chabon has written and interviews he's given.   
  • Wikipedia entry for Chabon, including this paragraph that I thought was interesting (emphasis added and footnotes omitted):
In a 2002 essay, Chabon decried the state of modern short fiction (including his own), saying that, with rare exceptions, it consisted solely of "the contemporary, quotidian, plotless, moment-of-truth revelatory story." In an apparent reaction against these "plotless [stories] sparkling with epiphanic dew", Chabon's post-2000 work has been marked by an increased interest in genre fiction and plot. While The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was, like The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys, an essentially realistic, contemporary novel (whose plot happened to revolve around comic-book superheroes), Chabon's subsequent works — such as The Final Solution, his dabbling with comic-book writing, and the "swashbuckling adventure" of Gentlemen of the Road — have been almost exclusively devoted to mixing aspects of genre and literary fiction. Perhaps the most notable example of this is The Yiddish Policemen's Union, which won five genre awards, including the Hugo award and Nebula award. Chabon seeks to "annihilate" not the genres themselves, but the bias against certain genres of fiction such as fantasy, science fiction and romance.
  • Definition of "noir":  2Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak settings.
  • Steph's blog post

June 29, 2010

An American Childhood, Annie Dillard: July 26

An American ChildhoodOur next book is An American Childhood by Annie Dillard.  We'll meet July 26 at TBD Gayle's.

Supplemental Materials

June 14, 2010

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski: June 28

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (P.S.)We'll meet at Julie's on June 28.

Supplemental Materials
Edgar Sawtelle: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Trudy Sawtelle: Gertrude, Queen of Denmark and Hamlet's mother
Claude Sawtelle: Claudius, King of Denmark and Hamlet's paternal uncle
Gar Sawtelle: the late King Hamlet of Denmark and Hamlet's father
Doc Papineau: Polonius, Lord Chamberlain
Glen Papineau: Laertes, son of Polonius
Almondine: Ophelia, daughter of Polonius
Tinder and Baboo: I think they're wrong about this parallel, but they list courtiers Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern (who were spies for Claudius)
Forte: Fortinbras
Essay: Horatio
Updated 6/22/10 to add Chicago Tribune review and Today Show interview.
Updated 6/23/10 to add Wikipedia links for Hamlet characters and forum discussion on Forte.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid

by Mohsin Hamid The Reluctant Fundamentalist 1 edition

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Small Island, Andrea Levy

Small Island: A Novel

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller

We'll meet at Julie's house to discuss A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.

The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell

The SparrowSupplemental materials:

The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)Info about The Audacity of Hope or Barack Obama:

Fidelity and Wendell Berry

Fidelity: Five StoriesInfo about Fidelity and/or Wendell Berry:

Wicked, Gregory Maguire

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the WestReading group guides for Wicked and other materials: