Philly Book Club - all genres, downtown cafe Message Board › Book suggestions for November
Here are my suggestions from November.
1) Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac
Nobody writes about money like Balzac, and his classic chronicle of a young man from the provinces clawing his way to success in 19th century Paris, even as an older man is victimized by the same milieu, shrewdly captures the financial dimension of so much that goes on between people. The boarding house in which the two protagonists live is a microcosm of their world, and Goriot's treatment by his daughters would make Lear blanch.
Library copies are available as is a free ebook through Amazon or project Gutenberg
2) New Model Army by Adam Roberts
A giant has brought war to the fields and towns of England's heartland. When the British army brings in air support and deploys heavy weapons he simply melts away, only to form again somewhere else and deliver another devastating blow. He is called Pantegrel, and he is a New Model Army—a giant whose thoughts flow through countless wireless connections, whose intelligence comes from the internet and real-time camera updates, whose mind is made up of thousands of minds, each deciding what he will choose to do. He has chosen the joy of the fight, and his fury is truly democratic—he is me and you. This is a terrifying vision of a near future war as new technologies allow the world's first truly democratic army to wrest control from the powers that be. Taking advances in modern communication and the new eagerness for power from the bottom upwards, Adam Roberts has produced at once an exciting war novel and a philosophical examination of war and democracy. It shows an exciting and innovative literary voices working at the height of his powers and investing SF with the literary significance that is its due.
3) The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky
Bestselling author Kurlansky (Cod; The Big Oyster) provides a delightful, intimate history and contemporary portrait of the quintessential northeastern coastal fishing town: Gloucester, Mass., on Cape Anne. Illustrated with his own beautifully executed drawings, Kurlansky's book vividly depicts the contemporary tension between the traditional fishing trade and modern commerce, which in Gloucester means beach-going tourists. One year ago, a beach preservation group enraged fishermen by seeking to harvest 105 acres of prime fishing ground for sand to deposit on the shoreline. Wealthy yacht owners compete with fishermen for prime dockage, driving up prices. Fishermen also contend with federal limits on their catches in an effort to maintain sustainable fisheries. But while cod are protected from extinction, the fishermen are not. Some boats must go 100 or more miles out to sea—a danger for small boats with few crew members. Tragedies abound, while one, that of the swordfish boat Andrea Gail, documented by Sebastian Junger in A Perfect Storm, brought even more tourists to Gloucester
Library copies available
The Last Fish Tale