What we're about

For all of you NYC folks 18 through 45-ish, this is an off-shoot of the "Tme Millennial Book Club". (You don't have to be a member of both.) This is for the hardcore reader who feels he or she wants to tackle some major works. We read books that have at least one edition that is at least around 500 pages, and can be twice as long. For over half a decade now, we've read fiction and non-fiction--variety is the spice of life. Since the books read can crack skulls with their bulk, we get together once every 2 months to give us enough time to git 'em done. If you're not intimidated, if you want to test your mettle, if you want to flex those mental biceps of yours, then step right up and join us Big Apple biblio-bruisers for the bookish fun you crave and deserve. It's time to kick ass and chew gum, and leave others in awe of our literary fortitude!

Here's a sample of our past selections:

"American Gods," by Neil Gaiman
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," by Betty Smith
"The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge," by David McCullough
"The Count of Monte Cristo," by Alexandre Dumas
"740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building," by Michael Gross
"Lonesome Dove," by Larry McMurtry
"It," by Stephen King
"Leonardo da Vinci," by Walter Isaacson
"The Godfather," by Mario Puzo

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"The Savage Detectives," by Roberto Bolaño

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The Chilean author has been dubbed "the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation" and compared to the likes of no less than Jorge Luis Borges. Those sorts of mountainous heights beg to be climbed by hardcore bibliophiles! The NYT has described this novel, his first long work, as "a novel all about poetry and poets" and "wildly enjoyable," so let's give this one a go per a member's suggestion, shall we?

From Goodreads:

New Year’s Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run.

The explosive first long work by “the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, Los Angeles Times), "The Savage Detectives" follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances.

A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolaño traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. "The Savage Detectives" is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.

"Dune," by Frank Herbert

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Arguably the greatest science-fiction novel ever written--and definitely a watershed moment with its publication--so much, from Star Wars to Game of Thrones, owes inspiration to this 1965 classic. The greatest names in science-fiction, fantasy, horror, political thriller, and literary fiction, have hailed "Dune" as a cherished masterpiece. With 19 book sequels and several film adaptations (the latest released in the latter-half of 2021), it is a force to be reckoned with in the literary universe. Considering our club's respectful penchant to read the first installments of landmark series, this novel is a natural fit in our schedule. Let us immerse ourselves in a time far, far away on a planet in another part of our galaxy!

From Goodreads:

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, "Dune" is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for...

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

"Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand

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Give yourself some extra time for this hefty tome! This title is suggested by some members who have always wanted to read it but need that extra oomph to actually do so. This novel has made numerous "best of" lists: It came in at #20 for PBS's recent Great American Read program; and been near the top of lists by the NYPL, Boston Library, Book of the Month Club, and Library of Congress, among others. It has also sold more copies within each subsequent decade since its 1957 publication. Despite all of that, it is also one of the most controversial and polarizing modern novels--the book seems to have something of a love it or hate it vibe. Well, are you ready to find out if you love it, hate it, or fall somewhere in the rarer in-between?

From Goodreads (lol, where the first reviews come in with the following ratings: 1 star, 5 stars, 1 star, 1 star, 3 stars, 5 stars):

Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad...to the lowest track worker in her train tunnels.

Published in 1957, "Atlas Shrugged" was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and her last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex.

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, "Atlas Shrugged" is a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller.

"Cloud Cuckoo Land," by Anthony Doerr

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One of the most talked about books during its publication, following after the monumental worldwide success of "All the Light We Cannot See", Doerr's CCL is said to share hints of David Mitchell's epic "Cloud Atlas". Needless to say, anticipation for a dynamic and enthusiastic discussion in our group seems to be solidly assured.

From Goodreads:

13-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

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"The Weight of Ink," by Rachel Kadish

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