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New Meetup: November Book Club

From: Calvin R.
Sent on: Sunday, October 31, 2010 9:10 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for a ne{o}lit book club!

What: November Book Club

When: Tuesday, November 30,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Market Ave. Wine Bar
2521 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-WINE (9463)

OK Kids, Here are some choices for next book club-all sorta kinda new fiction.

Here is where the poll is at, so read what the books are about, and who wrote them, and vote at

Solar: A Novel by Ian McEwan, a major, important author type guy
When Nobel prize-winning physicist Michael Beard's personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster.

287 Pages from 2010

The Passport: Herta Muller
From Publishers Weekly
This English-language debut by a Romanian-born West Berliner is remarkable for its stylistic purity. Muller's angry tale of an ethnic German anxious to emigrate from his stultifying Romanian village is relayed in deceptively straightforward sentences ("Katharina had sold her winter coat for ten slices of bread. Her stomach was a hedgehog. Every day Katharina picked a bunch of grass. The grass soup was warm and good") that pile up in striking patterns (later, "the second snow came. . . . The hedgehog stabbed"). Intently focused prose animates the parochial town with its corrupt power brokers, gamey folk songs and a tree reputed to have eaten its own apples, as well as the problematic relations among the central character, his embittered wife and their nubile daughter, who, like her mother before her during the war, is forced to grant sexual favors to men of privilege.

96 Pages from 1989

The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming
Flaming's debut mixes time travel, historical grit and an alternate history of the American frontier in a romance with a fantastic bent. A contemporary antiques dealer, after coming across an old photo, unspools the story of Peter Force, newly arrived in 1900 New York from Idaho, as he joins a crew of laborers toiling in grim conditions to build the subway system. A chance encounter throws Peter into the path of Cheri-Anne Toledo, a troubled woman who claims to have traveled seven years into the future from the Lost Kingdom of Ohio, a small frontier kingdom over which her father reigned. Cheri-Anne's plight, and his feelings for her, drags them into the orbits of a crusty J.P Morgan and of dueling inventors Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla. As Peter and Cheri-Anne evade the powerful forces invested in Cheri-Anne, the moment when their lives and the contemporary narrator's intersects looms closer and closer, creating palpable suspense. The journey through the seedier side of New York's Gilded Age, with reprisal killings for labor agitators and nights spent in drunken dance halls, is an arresting contrast to classic time-travel themes. This is a real crowd-pleaser.

322 Pages from 2009

The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole by Stephanie Doyon
n the small, inbred town of Cedar Hole, mediocrity is the watchword. That's why Robert J. Cutler is such an anomaly. Bright and goodhearted, he becomes one of Cedar Hole's prime boosters, tirelessly raising funds for the local library. Although he is generally regarded as the town's leading citizen, not everyone thinks so highly of him. His wife, for one, who resents the time he spends on civic activities, and his childhood rival, Francis "Spud" Pinkham, who still smarts at the memory of being bested at the Lawn Rodeo contest. When Robert is killed in a traffic accident, Spud begins to think he will inherit Robert's mantle, especially after a spring discovered on his property turns him into a wealthy man. But for Spud, it's not a question of money; it comes down to deciding just what it means to be good. First-novelist Doyon turns a gimlet eye on people's failings, as exaggerated in the peculiar hothouse atmosphere of a small town, yet, surprisingly, her wryness gives way to poignancy in a novel that movingly explores the struggle to do the right thing.

384 pages from 2005

Home by Marilynne Robinson
Robinson's beautiful new novel, a companion piece to her Pulitzer Prize?winning Gilead, is an elegant variation on the parable of the prodigal son's return. The son is Jack Boughton, one of the eight children of Robert Boughton, the former Gilead, Iowa, pastor, who now, in 1957, is a widowed and dying man. Jack returns home shortly after his sister, 38-year-old Glory, moves in to nurse their father, and it is through Glory's eyes that we see Jack's drama unfold. When Glory last laid eyes on Jack, she was 16, and he was leaving Gilead with a reputation as a thief and a scoundrel, having just gotten an underage girl pregnant. By his account, he'd since lived as a vagrant, drunk and jailbird until he fell in with a woman named Della in St. Louis. By degrees, Jack and Glory bond while taking care of their father, but when Jack's letters to Della are returned unopened, Glory has to deal with Jack's relapse into bad habits and the effect it has on their father. In giving an ancient drama of grace and perdition such a strong domestic setup, Robinson stakes a fierce claim to a divine recognition behind the rituals of home.

336 Pages from 2009

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