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June, July and August Book Choices - Not Just Downtown NYC Book Club

From: rachel
Sent on: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 3:28 PM
Hi everyone -

I know the site sends automatic periodic reminders, but I thought I'd write to tempt you a little with our summer books so you can save the dates (and start reading)....

June 22nd @ 5pm: "Sunset Song", by Lewis Grassic Gibson

Regularly voted the favourite Scottish book of all time in its home nation. Young Chris Guthrie comes of age in the harsh landscape of northern Scotland, torn between her passion for the land, her duty to her family and her love of books, until the First World War begins and the landscape around her changes dramatically. The first novel in Gibbon's classic trilogy "A Scots Quair", "Sunset Song" marks the emotional and political changes that history and the coming of industrialization bring to Chris and the small farming community to which she belongs. Gibbon's book, an innovative display of passion and striking formal originality, blends Scots and English into an intense evocation of Scottish life in the early twentieth century. First published in 1932. [Link to reading guide is posted on the site]

(Note the later time for June and July)

June Meetup - Sunset Song (Lewis Gr?

July 20th @ 5pm: "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket", by Edgar Allen Poe

From Amazon:

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is Poe's only novel and his "greatest work" (Jorge Luis Borges).

Reading a newspaper account in 1836 of a shipwreck and subsequent rescue of two men on board, Edgar Allan Poe found the germ of the story he would develop into The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket--his classic gothic sea novel. Published in 1838, this rousing sea adventure follows a New England boy, Pym, who stows away on a whaling ship with its captain's son, Augustus. The two boys, who find themselves repeatedly on the brink of discovery or death, witness many hair-raising events, including mutiny, savagery, cannibalism, and frantic pursuits. It was Poe's unique genius, however, that he imbued the deliberately popular tale with such allegorical richness that discerning readers have been intrigued ever since and his literary successors have employed his motifs. With its rich use of biblical imagery and psychological insights, Poe's masterpiece has resonated throughout subsequent literary history, influencing major works by Melville, Verne, James, Nabokov, and others.

August 24th @ 12 PM: The Vagabond, by Colette

"This enchanting, sincere, and beautifully constructed novel....explores, with Colette's infinite patience and precision, the beating heart of woman in an age when love is not passionate romance nor tender dream but an abiding duel." --New York Times

Thirty-three years-old and recently divorced, Ren?e N?r? has begun a new life on her own, supporting herself as a music-hall artist. Maxime, a rich and idle bachelor, intrudes on her independent existence and offers his love and the comforts of marriage. A provincial tour puts distance between them and enables Ren?e, in a moving series of letters and meditations, to resolve alone the struggle between her need to be loved and her need to have a life and work of her own.

The paradoxes of great literature are those of human nature, and Colette is nothing if not human . . . Accessible and elusive; greedy and austere; courageous and timid; subversive and complacent; scorchingly honest and sublimely mendacious; an inspired consoler and an existential pessimist--these are the qualities of the artist and the woman. Its is time to rediscover them.

Hope I've tempted you - enjoy! As always, suggestions for locations and books are welcome (in particular any thematic locations would be appreciated!)

Happy reading - and hope to see you at a meetup soon!
(Not Just) Downtown NYC Book Club


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