Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Mark

A&F Book Club

81 posts in this topic

Touching base, I'm about two-thirds of the way through A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and will be very curious to see what others think. Has anyone else started reading the book yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the middle of the third chapter right now. It's interesting so far, but too soon to make much of an analysis. I'm curious to see how the story develops from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, haven't been around since Christmas so just checking in. I haven't got my copy yet - it's supposed to be in today, so I'll have to check with the library later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea. I'm in! I've read the Eggers book before, so I'm hoping I can review chapters quickly, and still continue with the book I'm currently reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My copy's still not in. If you guys want to start the discussion, don't let me hold you up. I can jump in when the book arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start the discussion? Hmmm. What

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of us that, for one reason or another, are unable to participate in this round of the A&F "book club," I was wondering how many more "parts" there are to come. Would it be worthwhile to get the ball rolling in preparation for the second book or is there still too much to go of the current one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those of us that, for one reason or another, are unable to participate in this round of the A&F "book club," I was wondering how many more "parts" there are to come.  Would it be worthwhile to get the ball rolling in preparation for the second book or is there still too much to go of the current one?

Hey, gigi, it'd be great to have you in on the next round. (Or, if you're still able to pick up a copy of the Eggers' book, on this one.)

FWIW, we've posted up to part 5, and there are 11 parts total. However, the real meat of the book seems to have been in the first four parts, so I'm not sure how much discussion there'll be from here on out. I've been a bit remiss in my duties to keep posting new chapter discussions, partially because I couldn't get a copy of the book until Christian and Crow had really gotten the ball rolling. My reading has diminished a bit, along with my enthusiasm for the book, but I'm digging into it this week and hope to have it finished before it's due back on Feb. 15.

I'm all for starting a discussion about which book should be next, even if we don't actually get to the discussion for a while. Alan had mentioned 'American Jesus' by Stephen Prothero, and I've got a bunch on my waiting list that I could nominate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just throwing this idea out there for future consideration: How about a novel by Flannery O'Connor? I know she's pretty popular here, and folks might not want to reread (but how could that be possible?!?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just throwing this idea out there for future consideration: How about a novel by Flannery O'Connor? I know she's pretty popular here, and folks might not want to reread (but how could that be possible?!?).

An excellent idea. I recently participated in a discussion group that focused on Wise Blood, and it was an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. And I'm sure a discussion of The Violent Bear it Away would be just as beneficial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently participated in a discussion group that focused on Wise Blood, and it was an immensely rewarding and enriching experience.

Oooh, I'm jealous. I adore WB, though most critics and Miss O. herself thought TVBIA was her best. I'd be up for either novel (wishful thinking: or both!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love a discussion of either Wise Blood or Violent Bear it Away. I haven't read either since college, and then it was on my own, not for a class. I'd definitely be up for a re-read and some stimulating discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joining 5 chapters in?! Are you kidding? I've seen the size of this book!

As for Flannery O'Connor, I hadn't even heard of her until now. Well, there's a rule my friend introduced me to: if 3 different people mention something then you have to find out more about it. That it's come recomended by several people would definitely fit that general rule.

I was going to suggest Oscar & Lucinda by Peter Carey which is lazy of me as I just finished reading it. Was quite dense, though, and I would appreciate other perspectives on it. Still, all for being introduced to new stuff.

I've spotted that there's a collection of short stories by her in our library "A good man is hard to find : and other stories." Perhaps that would suit the nature of the discussion group well?

Perhaps someone could be kind enough to post brief synopses and we vote accordingly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gigi: If you search for Flannery O'Connor, you'll find several threads here that discuss her works (some films have also been made from Wise Blood and at least a couple of her short stories). You'll see the accolades she's received here. Wow, it would be awesome to help introduce her to you.

I'll be happy to post some info on the novels, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'll try to do justice to the novels. For the folks who have read these, forgive me if some of the details are fuzzy. I need to reread.

Wise Blood tells of Hazel Motes, a young man who's recently returned home from WWII to find that much of his old, familiar South has changed. In an attempt to rebel against the harsh religion of his mother, Haze heads to the city, determined to throw himself into as much sin as possible and to start his own church

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way I could participate this time is if I listen to the audio version of whatever book we select. But, to my shock, I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But, to my shock, I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be interested in either of the Flannery O'Connor novels. I have read Wise Blood but not The Violent Bear it Away. I would also be open to the book Alan suggested, depending on what we all decide.

I am also reading I am Charlotte Simmons, and am about halfway through it, so I would be up for discussing it at some point. I agree with Christian, it is very good. The characters are interesting, and the descriptions of university life are quite vivid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I searched for O'Connor and audio on Google and Amazon.com, and didn't come up with anything on audio. Could it be?

Re: Tom Wolfe. I'm looking forward to reading Charlotte Simmons at some point, too. Don't have time right now to search for the link, but Elisabeth Bumiller of the NY Times did a really silly column this week about President Bush secretly devouring Charlotte Simmons but leaving it off his official reading list. It was like a leering, high-school newspaper gossip column, speculating that Bush is reliving his frat boy days through Wolfe's book but doesn't want middle America to find out.

Also includes the rather stunning revelation (to me, anyway, although maybe I haven't been paying attention) that Wolfe is a big Bush supporter.

I picked up a copy of Wolfe's A Man in Full at a book sale recently; I'll throw that out there as another possibility for down the line. I suppose at some point (once we've posted all the Heartbreaking Work chapters?) we'll have to narrow the field of nominees and decide how to choose the next book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, gigi, it's a good thing you asked for brief descriptions.  wink.gif

I also want to say that I didn't mean to cut in line with these recommendations, especially since Alan's already recommended a book. Again, this is just for future consideration.

Thanks Diane. On the basis of those, I'd be edging towards Wise Blood or the short stories. I am pretty easy when it comes to recomendations though, and would similarly be willing to read whatever is voted on. I have to say though, following the Tom Wolfe discussion, I do dislike his writing quite intensely. I've read a few of his works and I find it a struggle to get to the end.

As for a process: how about everyone interested in participating submits a suggestion & short description and we vote accordingly? If there is nothing in particular that you want to nominate, you don't nominate but are free to vote and participate. Democratic enough? Practically feasible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend moving the vote outside of this particular subforum, putting it under the main literature forum, instead. Perhaps some people who might be interested in future selections aren't reading this thread because it's under the HWoSG forum, and anybody who's not reading that may not be checking in here. Just a thought....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another suggestion for the next book discussion: Shusaku Endo's Silence. If there's one book that I've read that rewards multiple readings, careful study, and thorough discussion, this is it. It has provided some immensely rich discussion for me in various offline communities, and I can say with some certainty that it would be excellent conversation fodder for this board, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd recommend moving the vote outside of this particular subforum, putting it under the main literature forum, instead. Perhaps some people who might be interested in future selections aren't reading this thread because it's under the HWoSG forum, and anybody who's not reading that may not be checking in here. Just a thought....

Seems like a good idea to me, too. The other day I forgot this was under HWoSG subheading, and had a hard time finding it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this vote happening? Where has it been "moved" to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing the vote's been put on hold until discussion of HWoSG is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0