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My dear ones – Is it SO difficult to send in a book suggestion? Just ONE? Are you just SO overextended that you can’t be bothered? Or is it that there are SO many overwhelmingly amazing titles that it is simply too, too taxing to choose the one? No worries—three of your clever cohorts stepped up—heartfelt thanks to Ann, Patti and Gigi. Okay—truth be told, I love you all anyway. But—to the matter at hand: With only four titles on deck we’ll dipense with the poll. Hmm…Wonder if many of you would summon the energy to vote? … just sayin’. But hey, it’s summer in the city—why needlessly complicate life? Four titles in the wooden bowl (photo proof would be attached if the Meetups gods permitted)—a good shakeup and … easy! Our June read is OSCAR AND LUCINDA by Peter Carey, 1988 “Carey is partial to eccentrics. Here, he provides a splendid array of cranks and monomaniacs — with two of them, the title characters, living out an odd and tender love story. Yet theirs is only the central plot in an astonishingly complex literary performance that moves between England and Australia in the 1860's. There are dozens of characters and at least five important storylines, two set in the Old World and three in the New. Mostly, though, this is a leisurely and witty fable about the two great enthusiasms of the 19th century — religion and science. Many great schemes were hatched to try to harmonize the two, and so it is here. Lucinda, an Australian heiress, consults Joseph Paxton, architect of London's Crystal Palace, and then she and Oscar, a clergyman, set out to erect a glass church — in darkest New South Wales. The whole book is also a literary parody. Here, the results are uneven, largely because Carey has made some errant choices. His first targets are Fielding and Sterne. But these were 18th-century writers who expressed the energy of a particular moment: the last gasp of Merrie Olde England, about to be submerged by piety, industrialism, and red plush draperies with ball fringe. Carey is off the mark here. He fares better when he begins to parody Trollope. His style then becomes more appropriate to the material; also less facetious and digressive. …writing that is far more often lucid and fine, beautifully drawn characters, and a remarkably clever narrative scheme.” Kirkus Reviews The New Orleans library has the ebook; Jefferson Parish has one hard copy. Online there are many low-cost hard and soft covers and the ebook as well. A b-level film exists, but come on folks…this is a ‘book’ group. Thanks to the spirit-bowl our July book is SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward. DEAR FRIENDS—PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT RSVP FOR THIS MEETUP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK AND ATTEND THE MEETUP. It’s not fair to other members to take a space that you do not use. Please be courteous and only RSVP if you will actually read and attend. Thanks.

The Columns Hotel

3811 St. Charles Avenue · New Orleans, LA


    Past Meetups (99)

    • Bullheart

    What we're about

    I like to read--a lot. I also like to spend time talking with interesting, congenial people about the books I read. And quite often, it is a lot of fun to pursue these conversations with a drink in hand. I'm not saying we should get plastered, but let's relax in a gracious New Orleans setting, knock back a few, and discuss books that matter. Just a note here--it should be fairly obvious but in case not--this group is for the 21 and over set. Sorry kids--your time will come.

    Among the books we've read: American Gods, The Movie Goer, The Awakening, The Tragedy of Arthur, Quiet Houses, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Nine Lives,The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Goldfinch, The Sense of a an Ending, The Master and Margarita, Sacre Bleu, Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Piano Tuner, The Satanic Verses, East of Eden, Await Your Reply, The Clearing, Pale Fire, To Kill a Mockingbird, Seasons of Ash, Jitterbug Perfume, Snow, Water for Elephants, Babylon Rolling, Midnight in Peking, The White Tiger, The Handmaid's Tale, The Broom of the System, The Help, Of Human Bondage, A Movable Feast, Mercy of Thin Air, Little Bee: A Novel, Cat's Cradle, The World That Made New Orleans, Tenth of December, The Last Madam, Leaving the Atocha Station, To the Lighthouse, A Canticle for Leibowitz, The Ocean at the End of Lane.


    1. Read a good book (chosen by vote--our tastes are literary but eclectic)
    2. Meet up
    3. Drink liberally (or not)
    4. Talk about it

    What else is there to say? We'll meet at The Columns on St. Charles Avenue once a month.

    I don't care how old you are, your race, gender, religion, or whatever, but I do hope you are willing to read beyond Dan Brown, Stephen King and romance. I hope you're willing to talk intelligently about books too. I've come to enjoy reading as a collaborative process because the discussion enhances my understanding to such a great degree.


    Because you miss college ... or didn't go to college but like to read good literature and stay up late talking about it ... Because you think language and ideas are important ... Because book clubs should kick ass.

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