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Vancouver Unconventional Books Message Board › Books you'd like to read with a group

Books you'd like to read with a group

James M.
user 14454827
Group Organizer
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 1
Not all great books make great books to read with a group, imho. I think there's got to be enough obscurity or ambiguity. Heavily allusive books seem to be good. We tried Jorge Luis Borges stories, but never really to to 'lift-off' with any of them. Which surprised me.

I think Moby-Dick could work. Or maybe something by Georges Perec.

What would be your top picks for book group books?
James M.
user 14454827
Group Organizer
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 2
Well OK then, here're my top 10 suggestions (though not in 'top 10' order - that would be impossible); I reserve the right to come up with other lists:

1. William Gaddis, J R
2. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
3. Leslie M Silko, Almanac of the Dead
4. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (I know I already mentioned it)
5. Georges Perec, Life: A User's Manual
6. Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans
7. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
8. John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
9. Herman Melville, The Confidence Man
10. Louise Erdrich, Tracks
11. William Gaddis, The Recognitions

You didn't expect me to hold myself to 10, did you?

And just because I'm feeling argumentative, I'll add another couple:

12. Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative)
13. William S Burroughs, Junky

So, you can see a bit of a north american bias, among other biases.

Well, I enjoyed that! Don't you love a good list?

Feel free to add yours.
A former member
Post #: 2
I like to explore these authors:

Canadian :
Windley, David Bezmozgis and Neil Smith

Spanish language:
The Aleph (Argentina), Juan Rulfo - Short Stories (Mexico), Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) - Autumn of the Patriarch, one of my favourite Julio Cortazar - Hopscotch or anything (Argentina), Ángeles Mastretta - Arráncame la Vida (Mexico).

English :

Julian Barnes
Sebastian Faulks

A former member
Post #: 1

Here are some female authors from a variety of cultural/class backgrounds that we should consider (Just a few; I've got plenty more if you want. I stopped at the 'g's.). Please add to this list, too:

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

Elizabeth Bowen, any. Some suggestions are The House in Paris, The Heat of the Day and Eva Trout

Michelle Cliff, Abeng

Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of the Bones or Brother, I’m Dying

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist

And out of alphabetical order, I really like Zadie Smith. It would be fun to read her book "On Beauty" in tandem with "Howards End" by EM Forster. She describes it as an homage to Forster, and the parallels are quite fun to spot and also to consider.
A former member
Post #: 1
Ha! I found your not-so-secret list of books. I'm sad your other book group didn't do well with Borges. I would LOVE to give him a try. I've been getting into metafiction lately and he's kinda the dude when it comes to that. Maybe some others in the same style might spark some interesting conversation? These have all been on my want-to-read-so-bad list:

1. Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire (I'd also love to read Ada, or Ardor)
2. Cervantes - Don Quixote (Kind of a chunkster and a lot of you might already have read it, but I'm dying to read it!)
3. Umberto Eco - Foucault's Pendulum

And if we're going with shorter reads:

4. John Steinbeck - The Pearl
5. Edith Wharton - Ethan Frome
6. Leo Tolstoy - The Death of Ivan Ilych (A nice short Russian book just for you, Regi)
7. Gabrielle Garcia Marquez - Chronicle of a Death Foretold
8. Shirley Jackson - We Have Always Lived in the Castle
9. Thomas Pynchon - The Crying of Lot 49

And just for fun in case you guys ever want to try some classic sci-fi that's supposed to be pretty challenging:

10. Samuel R. Delany - Dhalgren
A former member
Post #: 3
My 11 reading suggestions du jour:

Delmore Schwartz "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities"
Nathanael West "Miss Lonelyhearts"
F. Scott Fitzgerald "Tender is the Night"
Kingsley Amis "Lucky Jim"
John Fowles "The Collector"
Saul Bellow "Humboldt's Gift"
Samuel Beckett "Murphy"
James Joyce "Dubliners"
Franz Kafka "The Castle"
Charles Dickens "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"
Louis-Ferdinand Celine "Journey to the End of the Night"

Oh, and "Don Quixote" is always an excellent choice!
A former member
Post #: 4
Joseph Conrad's "Victory" and Stendhal's "The Charterhouse of Parma" are two more books I've always wanted to read.
A former member
Post #: 5
Oh, and I remember now that James and I had talked about Tolstoy's "Hadji Murat", the greatest short story ever written.

So, I guess that brings it up to a total of 15 suggestions in my last three posts here!
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