What we're about

Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities......this group is for anyone who wants to re-visit classics such as these or explore them for the first time. This group will also read some more contemporary fiction classics, books by living authors whose reputations for writing first class fiction are already very well established. This is a casual book club and anyone with an interest in classic fiction is welcome! This group will not be a formal affair with prepared questions, etc. Instead, we will have a free-flowing discussion about the selection over food and libations (if you so desire).

Upcoming events (3)

July Meetup: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Online event

Please join us in July when we discuss Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Image above: Picture of Marilynne Robinson

Location: ZOOM

We are now meeting once a month, usual last Tuesday of the month, online via Zoom until the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic ceases.

The discussion will start at the normal 6:30 PM time. Please sign in 5 minutes early so that we are all ready to start promptly on time. If you have not used Zoom before, I suggest you download it sometime before the meeting starts.

The organizer of this group owns the Picador Modern Classics hardbound edition of “Housekeeping” which is inexpensive, with small but very easily readable print, which is about the size of a pocket New Testament. Very handy.

https://www.amazon.com/Housekeeping-Novel-Picador-Modern-Classics/dp/1250060656/

https://www.target.com/p/housekeeping-picador-modern-classics-by-marilynne-robinson-hardcover/-/A-79718912

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250060655

This is the first of four novels that Marilynne Robinson has written. It is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother.

Excerpts from the first (1981) reviews of “Housekeeping”:

“Here’s a first novel that sounds as if the author has been treasuring it up all her life, waiting for it to form itself. It’s as if, in writing it, she broke through the ordinary human condition with all its dissatisfactions, and achieved a kind of transfiguration. You can feel in the book a gathering voluptuous release of confidence, a delighted surprise at the unexpected capacities of language, a close, careful fondness for people that we thought only saints felt … Miss Robinson works with light, dark, water, heat, cold, textures, sounds and smells. She is like the Impressionists, taking apart the landscape to remind us that we are surrounded by elements, that we are separated from one another, and from our past and future, by such influences … She knocks off the false elevation, the pretentiousness, of our current fiction. Though her ambition is tall, she remains down to earth, where the best novels happen.”

–Anatole Broyard (The New York Times)

“The title and the theme suggest an updated version of Little Women, but nothing could be further from the truth. The weird poetry of this book owes nothing to benign domesticity. It is a desperate spell cast against loneliness and desolation; and ‘house-keeping’ is a bitter irony, for though there is a house, in and around which most of the action takes place, no one manages to keep it in any ordinary sense of the word … Reduced to its bare bones, this is a story of alienation, failure and collapse—and there is no attempt to disguise the bare bones. Yet it is told in language of such radiance and clarity that the taste it leaves behind is of lyric grace, not desolation and squalor. The effect is extraordinary.”

–Graham Hough (The London Review of Books)

August Meetup: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Online event

Please join us in August when we discuss Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Image above: Picture of Joseph Heller

Location: ZOOM

We are now meeting once a month, usual last Tuesday of the month, online via Zoom until the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic ceases.

The discussion will start at the normal 6:30 PM time. Please sign in 5 minutes early so that we are all ready to start promptly on time. If you have not used Zoom before, I suggest you download it sometime before the meeting starts.

From the back cover of the Simon and Schuster paperback:

“Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy – it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.”

September Meetup: A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Online event

Please join us in June when we discuss A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Image above: From the 1988 movie version starring James Wilby, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anjelica Huston, Rupert Graves, Judi Dench, Alec Guinness

Location: ZOOM

We are now meeting once a month, usual last Tuesday of the month, online via Zoom until the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic ceases.

The discussion will start at the normal 6:30 PM time. Please sign in 5 minutes early so that we are all ready to start promptly on time. If you have not used Zoom before, I suggest you download it sometime before the meeting starts.

Evelyn Waugh [masked]), whom Time called “one of the century’s great masters of English prose,” wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.

“After seven years of marriage, the beautiful Lady Brenda Last has grown bored with life at Hetton Abbey, the Gothic mansion that is the pride and joy of her husband, Tony. She drifts into an affair with the shallow socialite John Beaver and forsakes Tony for the Belgravia set. In a novel that combines tragedy, comedy, and savage irony, Evelyn Waugh indelibly captures the irresponsible mood of the “crazy and sterile generation” between the World War I and World War II. – – – Absolutely delightful” – Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in the New York Times

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