Getting any reading done as a single mom has felt impossible, but this summer, after two years, I finally feel as if I can allot some time for reading again. I recently read Henry James’s The Other House and that showed me that I have the potential once more to finish a novel! So, I hope that you’ll join me in reading a short and strange novel from Anthony Trollope this summer entitled The Fixed Period, which has been on my list for a long while due to its nature as a dystopian piece of Victorian fiction in the key of Jonathan Swift’s satire in Gulliver’s Travels. We shall see how it holds up.
The Fixed Period is a seldom-read work from a prolific author, and I want to learn why! Join me in reading this summer’s pick and chime in with your thoughts on our discussion board.
Our next book will by Arthur Conan’s Doyle’s The Complete Sherlock Holmes (English, 19th century). This volume can be procured for free through the Amazon store, and includes:
Four novels, 5 books of 56 short stories.
1 A Study in Scarlet
2 The Sign of the Four
3 The Hound of the Baskervilles
4 The Valley of Fear
1 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
2 The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
3 The Return of Sherlock Holmes
4 His Last Bow
5 The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
I have chosen this book because I am brainstorming a new article about it, and I look forward to our discussion in the forums. See you there!
After a little hiatus from the book club we crawl in to 2015 with Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003, British).
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
I hope you will join us in discussing this novel in our forums at Goodreads.
Our November 2014 Book Selection is Charles Baudelaire’s collection of poetry The Flowers of Evil (French, 1857/1861).
“In the annals of literature, few volumes of poetry have achieved the influence and notoriety of ‘The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs dur Mal) by Charles Baudelaire (1821-67). Banned and slighted in his lifetime, the book that contains all of Baudelaire’s verses has opened up vistas to the imagination and quickened sensibilities of poets everywhere.”
Join us for a discussion of this text in our Goodreads group discussion forum.
Through October we read Leslie Marmon Silko’s Yellow Woman (Native American — Laguna Pueblo — 1997): a text with an essay that I have taught before in an undergraduate world literature course, and look forward to revisiting, especially as a whole work.
Bold and impassioned, sharp and defiant, Leslie Marmon Silko’s essays evoke the spirit and voice of Native Americans. Whether she is exploring the vital importance literature and language play in Native American heritage, illuminating the inseparability of the land and the Native American people, enlivening the ways and wisdom of the old-time people, or exploding in outrage over the government’s long-standing, racist treatment of Native Americans, Silko does so with eloquence and power, born from her profound devotion to all that is Native American.
Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit is written with the fire of necessity. Silko’s call to be heard is unmistakable; there are stories to remember, injustices to redress, ways of life to preserve. It is a work of major importance, filled with indispensable truths–a work by an author with an original voice and a unique access to both worlds.
I look forward to hearing about your experience reading Silko’s text! Feel free to let us know your thoughts in our Discussion Forum!
I have wanted to read Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada (1969, Russian) for a very long time and I am thrilled to feature it as the Literary People book selection for September.
Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov’s greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.
Join us in the reading of this controversial book and chime in with your thoughts on our club’s discussion boards at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/130927-literary-people