What we're about

Come for the book. Stay to enjoy the group. We are a small community of  serious readers who, for seven years, have loved, loathed, and jousted  over some of the most intriguing fiction of the past four decades. We're an  opinionated crew; but always respectful. If you are smart and curious and  open to gaining new perspectives along with other smart, curious people,  then we want to meet you. Bonus: we boast probably the most democratic  mechanism for choosing books known to humankind. Check us out just to  see how it works.

We meet the 2nd Saturday of each month, at noon. We're online ongoing; eventually we'll hold some meetings in person too. Take part, become a regular, so you can have some say!  All ages, races, genders, et al., are welcome. Seriously. Join us!

Note: This group is for: readers who sign up for and attend the meetings.
This group is not for: those who join only to add the group to their list of 83 other groups and forget we exist.
When we say we'd like to meet you, that means-- Hey, we'd like to meet you!

Upcoming events (3)

There, There, by Tommy Orange **ONLINE EVENT**

Needs a location

Tommy Orange's wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle's death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American--grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.

The Yiddish Policemens Union, by Michael Chabon **Online Event **

Needs a location

For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half-forgotten in a backwater of history. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.

But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can't catch a break in any of their outstanding cases. Landsman's new supervisor is the love of his life—and also his worst nightmare. And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder—right under Landsman's nose...

At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

5
The Slynx, by Tatiana Tolstoya (translator, Jamey Gambrell) **ONLINE EVENT (?)**

It's been 200 years since the nuclear Blast, and what once was the city of Moscow is now the big village of Fyodor-Kuzmichsk (named after its current ruler, Fyodor Kuzmich, Glorybe...). The effects of radiation are on the borderline between terrifying and outright comical. The economy is sustained on hunting mice, and as far as cultural life goes, the scribes make handwritten copies of a mishmash of books (all supposedly written by Fyodor Kuzmich, of course) ...the dreaded red-robed Sanitars are omnipresent to take you away for the 'Healing' if you're found to be harboring a book from before the Blast.

Our hero is Benedikt and he is living in a post-apocalyptic world where food in general is scarce, and nearly everyone is exhibiting "Consequences" (deformities) as a result of the Blast event. His life takes an abrupt turn when he decides in a moment of starry eyed lust to ask the beautiful Olenka to marry him. Her family is wealthy and part of his new father-in-law's job is to track down old books. It is a life changing moment for Benedikt when he finds that his father-in-law has a room full of books; once Benedikt gets over his superstitions and begins to read, he is absolutely lost to the world of books. He becomes desperate when he realizes that he has... READ THEM ALL. His father-in-law, a few cards short of a full deck, dangles the prospect of liberating the books held by Fyodor Kuzmich, Glorybe.
(Jeffrey Keeten, GoodReads reviewer)

~~

Tatyana Tolstaya’s The Slynx reimagines dystopian fantasy as a wild, horripilating amusement park ride....The Slynx is a brilliantly inventive and shimmeringly ambiguous work of art: an account of a degraded world that is full of echoes of the sublime literature of Russia’s past; a grinning portrait of human inhumanity; a tribute to art in both its sovereignty and its helplessness....
The New Yorker

(This radioactive world is) a cunning blend of Russia’s feudal and Soviet eras (presented) with a Russian’s typically mournful optimism....Not for your average reader of futuristic tales, this belongs instead in all literary collections.
Library Journal

All in all, a peculiar, highly original work of fiction.... Jamey Gambrell deserves special praise for her English translation from the Russian in what must have been one of her most challenging projects.
(Glenn Russell, Goodreads reviewer)

Past events (78)

Little Eyes, by Samanta Schweblin --ONLINE MEETING--

This event has passed

Photos (93)