What we're about

For all of you NYC folks in your 20s and 30s, this is an off-shoot of the "20/30 something 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 four years now, we've read fiction and non-fiction, since 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 biblio-biceps of yours, then step right up and join us Big Apple biblio-bruisers for the bookish fun you've always craved 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

Upcoming events (5)

"Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell," by Susanna Clarke

Online event

Another heavily-recommended tome for your pleasure! To continue our streak of mega-successful literary titans that have taken the reading public by storm, we delve into the deeply atmospheric world of Strange & Norrell. Encounter a story that has led to innumerable back-&-forths about what gives this weighty literary contender staying-power with much of its audience. Enjoy! From Goodreads: Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more. English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French. All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative-the very opposite of Mr Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington's army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different. For Mr Norrell, their power is something to be cautiously controlled, while Jonathan Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. He becomes fascinated by the ancient, shadowy figure of the Raven King, a child taken by fairies who became king of both England and Faerie, and the most legendary magician of all. Eventually Strange's heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens to destroy not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.

"Shantaram," by Gregory David Roberts

Needs a location

We had a poll for this one, and you chose "Shantaram" to wrap up 2020! It's one of those books that's constantly praised and whose sales doesn't seem to diminish over time. We're heading to the other side of the world for this adventure based in part on the author's life! From Goodreads: "It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. "Shantaram" is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas – this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.

"Native Son," by Richard Wright

Online event

A new year and a new batch of heavy tomes for us to sink our eyes and minds into! With our first, we'll be diving into the long-lasting, pivotal work of an influential author that was chosen by several members. Hope to see you out for what should be an engaging discussion!!! From Goodreads: Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

"The Stand," by Stephen King

Online event

This one's rather apropos considering the historic pandemic event we've gone through! One of the most referenced and read books since February 2020, here's your chance to dig into a King classic that weighs a ton that has made a ton of must-read lists, including PBS's Great American Reads. Get ready for a wallop! Just so you know, there is now an extended edition. From Goodreads: Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published. A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world's population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge--Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them--and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

Past events (28)

"A Game of Thrones," by George R.R. Martin

Online event

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