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Houston Montrose Great Books - Short Stories by Graham Greene

The Houston Montrose Great Books discussion group is affiliated with Great Books and meets at 6pm on the first Thursday of every month.  On Oct 3rd at 6pm, we will meet to discuss two short stories by Graham Greene.  See links below under the "Upcoming Selections" section where these stories can be accessed or downloaded.

Our location is in the downstairs conference room of The Houston Freed-Montrose Public Library at 4100 Montrose Boulevard, one black south of Richmond in the same shopping center as The Black Lab Restaurant.

Parking for attendees is available in a parking garage behind the Library.  You may have to take a ticket when you enter the garage but the attendant leaves at 7pm so you don't need to pay on your way out.

We love to have new members. We ask that you read the stories if you want to participate in the discussion but everyone is welcome to attend and listen whether they have read the selection or not. Call or email me if you would like more info.

We really focus on the book during the discussion but many of us socialize after the discussion at the Black Lab Restaurant next door (you don't need to move your car).  Join us!

Hope to see you soon!



p.s. Checkout the Houston Great Books Council website for more information about their annual membership meeting and discussion of two short stores.  See


Our main website info is at:
Our blog is at:
An archive of previous meeting reminders (and such) is at:
We are affiliated with Houston Great Books as reflected at:
And here is a guide to Shared Inquiry which is basically how we try to conduct the discussion.

======UPCOMING SELECTIONS===============

  • Oct 3 -Two short stories by Graham Greene 
    1.) THE DESTRUCTORS [publ 1954] 10 pages
    Available online at Despite its setting in post-World War II England, the story is universal in its reflection of human nature...includes many hallmarks of the author, most importantly that of placing people who have the capacity for good and evil in situations where they must make a choice between the two.

    2.)THE BASEMENT ROOM [pub 1936] 15 pages
    Available online at Story is told by a third person narrator about a seven-year-old boy Philip's traumatic experience in his childhood which influences the rest of his life till his dying hour at the age of sixty-seven.
    --Alice Leading Discussion

  • Nov 7 -GERMINAL by Emile Zola (publ 1885) 525 pages
    Often considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel – an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 1860s – has been published and translated in over one hundred countries as well as inspiring five film adaptations and two television productions.
    --Ruthie Leading Discussion

  • Dec 5 -BABYLON REVISITED (short story) by F Scott Fitzgerald (publ 1931) 20 pages
    Available online at:
    According to THE TELEGRAPH, one of the finest short stories in the English language. Written after the Great Crash, it is an intensely personal portrait of a man who has squandered his life. A tale of boom and bust, about the debts one has to pay when the party comes to an end.
    --Alice Leading Discussion

    Readings for 2014
  • January 2nd - will not meet because of holiday week

  • Feb 6 -MIDDLEMARCH by George Elliot [pub 1874] 832 pages
    Set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during the period 1830 through 1832. It has multiple plots with a large cast of characters, and in addition to its distinct though interlocking narratives it pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education. 
    [VERY LONG BOOK CATEGORY - Please take advantage of shorter reading during previous months and begin this book well in advance]
    --Marcella Leading Discussion

  • Mar 6 -THE STREET OF CROCODILES by Bruno Schulz (publ 1934) 160 pages
    The novel is split into thirteen chapters or stories, each of which focuses on a different part of the Polish city of Drogobych, or on an aspect of the authors childhood home life.
    Through a child's eyes, events, sensations, ideas and thoughts are conveyed with brilliant, dazzling imagery. Vivid, almost too-bright pictures are painted with words in a way that is both surreal, magical and ordinary.
    --Will Leading Discussion

  • Apr 3 -HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow (publ 1959) 352 pages
    A hilarious, often ribald story, it is also a profound look at the forces that drive a man through life. A grumpy, spoiled, acerbic, rich American in his 50's seeks to discover meaning and wisdom and fulfillment by leaving New York and traveling to Africa to live and commune with a primitive African tribe.
    --Will Leading Discussion

  • May 1 -THE SWIMMER (short story) by Cheever (publ 1964) 12 pages
    Available online at:
    The story is highly praised for its blend of realism and surrealism, the thematic exploration of suburban America, especially the relationship between wealth and happiness, as well as his use of myth and symbolism.
    --Alice Leading Discussion

  • Jun 5 -LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner (publ 1932) 480 pages
    In a loose, unstructured modernist narrative style that draws from Christian allegory and oral storytelling, Faulkner explores themes of race, sex, class and religion in the American South. By focusing on characters that are misfits and outcasts, he portrays the clash of alienated individuals against a Puritanical, prejudiced rural society
    --Ruthie Leading Discussion

  • Jul 3 -A GOOD SCENT FROM A STRANGE MOUNTAIN by Robert Olin Butler (publ 2001) 288 pages
    1993 Pulitzer Prize Winner
    With fifteen short stories, this book takes you into the ordeals about being a Vietnamese transplant to the US, specifically to New Orleans, The voices are young, old, and have a diverse background. The mix brings alive and humanizes this often misunderstood period of our nation's history.
    --Claudia Leading Discussion


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  • David

    My apologies, I wrote down the wrong time in my calendar, and just noticed it begins at 6:00 ! Won't make it this time, but looking forward to next month.

    October 3, 2013

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