We are reading 'Catch 22' by Joseph Heller

Hi all,

Our theme of 'manly books' led us to a classic: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.

The technical term:

A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules. Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over. One connotation of the term is that the creators of the "catch-22" have created arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power.

The book:

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.


This is going to be an interesting discussion.... politics, abuse of systems, absurdityof war and amongst everything human beings that try to survive.

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  • Susa

    Agree, great discussion. I loved how we meandered from the details of the book to the grand scheme of corporate life and ruthlessness of cab drivers in NY :-). A 'must read' to stay encouraged and speak up when rules don't make sense....

    May 19, 2014

  • Sue

    This was a great discussion and the food was good. And thank you to our organizers for being so organized in planning the next few meetups!

    May 18, 2014

  • Wendy

    Me too here. I will pass the meetup this time.
    Have a good one!

    May 18, 2014

  • Nadine

    So sorry for canceling on short notice! I had a busy week and made it through less than a quarter of the book. See you next month!

    May 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry for late notice, but I can no longer attend :( I have a family matter that must attend to.

    May 17, 2014

  • Susa

    Sorry for the late update of the invite!!! Hope that most of you got the news through the grapevine that we are reading Catch 22! Again apologies!
    Donte, valid comment! Please help us to bring more diversity for the next theme! We will decide theme and date on Sunday.

    1 · May 14, 2014

  • Sue

    Hi! Do we have a location for this yet?

    May 14, 2014

  • Sue

    That is true. Sounds like you have some book suggestions for future meetups.

    1 · May 12, 2014

    • Donte

      I do. So what is the current book we're reading? I would love to paticipate in the next discussion.

      May 13, 2014

    • Sue

      It's Catch-22, decided in a previous meetup.

      May 14, 2014

  • Donte

    This is a very compelling list. I am disappointed in the lack of diversity on this list. I don’t think that any of the authors are men of color. Richard Wright, Junot Diaz, Paulo Coelho, Chang-rae Lee?

    May 12, 2014

  • Anne

    Huh. Interesting list. Love, love, love Confederacy of Dunces. I haven't read it in a long time and would be happy to read it again. Did this group read The Master and Margarita? I joined my Washington book group right after they read it and was sorry I didn't get to read it. I think Bluebeard, Catch 22, and Dharma Bums would all be very interesting for our group. I'd be open to reading any Dostoevsky, Plato/Aristotle/Thoreau/Emerson, Brave New World, The Wealth of Nations, any of the biographies/autobiographies. I have no patience for Catcher in the Rye (I know - sacrilegious!) So many of these books are also movies so we can do a twofer if we choose one of them. Suzanne, how about the Raymond Chandler book? ;)

    April 23, 2014

  • Sue

    Ooh, a lot of classics in this list. I have read a few of them, let me comment on those I have strong feelings about :)

    Very very worth reading: 1984, Animal Farm, Brothers Karamazov, Atlas Shrugged. Read it and enjoyed, but so long ago that I don't remember much: Paradise Lost. I read it because it was an important-looking leather-bound book in the library :)

    Read it and found it a bit tedious: White Noise, Steppenwolf, The Naked and the Dead, A Farewell to Arms, All Quiet on the Western Front

    Have heard about it before and want to read: The Art of War, Leviathan, The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler), Crime & Punishment

    Not yet read but not really interested: Ulysses, East of Eden (I read the summary once on wikipedia and was insulted by the Cathy character ... my snap judgement was that such an unrealistic woman could only be portrayed by a man), Foucalt's Pendulum (I tried to read Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and failed to enjoy it... too esoteric)

    April 21, 2014

7 went

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