Well, I gave the poll a week in hopes of getting more votes...but too late, people, too late. The dye, it is cast.
The choice of the masses, well...handful, is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, winner of this year's Man Booker Prize.
I am actually quite excited, as I have been wanting to read this, but haven't yet (unlike several other titles I listed :). I am confident that we, who chose to take on this task, will feel like quite the literati once we've waded through the 800+ pages of this laureled novel.
Here's the NYT Book Review of it: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/books/review/eleanor-cattons-booker-prize-winning-luminaries.html?_r=0
Alrighy now! Poll is posted - please go participate in our literary democracy!
Seemed people liked the Lake Harriet idea so I am going with it! We can meet at the bandshell and then move up onto the grassy knoll to the north of the bandshell. Hell, maybe we'll even score picnic tables! (Bring blankets/towels/chairs in case we don't though.
There is a cafe there, Bread and Pickle with fries and hotdogs and ice cream and such. However, I encourage people to bring some potluck type things to share: chips, bread, cheese, salad, fruit, wine (can we drink in the parks here?!)...whatever says summer-time picnic to you.
If it rains...well, I still need to figure that out so stay tuned I guess.
I have some ideas for the June fiction (enumerated below) and am open to more suggestions - so pitch me. I will set up a poll next weekend (Sunday) with the 5-8 works that generate the most interest (or that interest me). So please - share your opinions, ideas and preferences!
Also, for location I am thinking a park - perhaps Lake Harriet? Picnic potluck, anyone? (Weather willing...)
You may notice that my suggestions below are a bit...thematic: post-apocalypse! I am just naming a few stars of this deep and dark genre - and not even my favorites...(The Road by C. McCarthy if you must know).
Of course, please feel free to suggest non-apocalypse related works. They will also happily be considered. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
"Russell Hoban's 'Riddley Walker' is that rare novel that can be loved by doomster geeks and literary readers alike. It's narrated in a language burnt to its rudiments by nuclear holocaust and revived into new forms by survivors in England who live as hunters, and who believe in a past that's half history, half myth." —Michael Helm
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
"In this postapocalyptic picaresque from Whitbread-winner Crace (for Quarantine), America has regressed to medieval conditions. After a forgotten eco-reaction in the distant past, the U.S. government, economy and society have collapsed... with crop yields and fish runs mysteriously dwindling, most are trekking to the Atlantic coast to take ships to the promised land of Europe...Heading east, naïve farm boy Franklin teams up with Margaret, a recovering victim of the mysterious "flux" whose shaven head (mark of the unclean) causes passersby to shun her. Their love blossoms amid misadventures in an anarchic landscape. Crace's ninth novel leaves the U.S. impoverished, backward, fearful and abandoned by history. Less crushing than Cormac McCarthy's The Road and less over-the-top than Matthew Sharpe's Jamestown (to name two recent postapocalyptos), Crace's fable is an engrossing, if not completely convincing, outline of the shape of things to come." Publishers Weekly The Children of Men by P. D. James
"The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race." Amazon
The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard
And for something less end-of-the-worldy (that I've been wanting to read):
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems.... It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.