• July Meetup: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

    St Elmos Coffee Pub

    RSVPs for this meetup will open up on Sunday, June 23 at 8:00 PM. For our July Meetup, we will be reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It was first published in 2013 and it's 181 pages long. The Goodreads blurb: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what. A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

  • August Meetup: Machines Like Me

    St Elmos Coffee Pub

    RSVPs for this meetup will open up on Sunday, July 21 at 8:00 PM. For our August Meetup, we will be reading Machines like Me by Ian McEwan. This is his latest novel. It runs 306 pages. The GoodReads blurb: Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: what makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns of the power to invent things beyond our control.

  • Sept Meetup: A Summons to Memphis

    St Elmos Coffee Pub

    RSVPs for this meetup will open up on Sunday, August 18 at 8:00 PM. For our September Meetup, we will be reading A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor. The book was first published in 1986. It runs 209 pages. The GoodReads blurb: One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner A Summons to Memphis introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, residents, with the exception of Phillip, of Memphis, Tennessee. During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his older, unmarried sisters. They plead with Phillip to help avert their widower father's impending remarriage to a younger woman. Hesitant to get embroiled in a family drama, he reluctantly agrees to go back south, only to discover the true motivation behind his sisters' concern. While there, Phillip is forced to confront his domineering siblings, a controlling patriarch, and flood of memories from his troubled past. Peter Taylor is one of the masters of Southern literature, whose work stands in the company of Eudora Welty, James Agee, and Walker Percy. In A Summons to Memphis, he has composed a richly evocative story of revenge, resolution, and redemption and given us a classic work of American literature.