Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh, man.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

Our last romance of the year is from the woman who may have started it all! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is our book for December 9. Hope to see you there!

It's the classic story of boy meets girl, boy annoys girl, boy becomes obsessed with girl, girl tells boy to forget about it...well, you get the idea. This plot has inspired many writers and filmmakers to create adaptations, homages, and pseudo-sequels, many of which are available at your local library.

And, for a change, we're actually doing a book that other book clubs do, too! Reading guides galore! Here are just a few if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

November 18 at 6:30, we'll be meeting to discuss the fantastic fiction of Jonathan Stroud! At least, we'll be talking about Book One of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Amulet of Samarkand.
When he was five years old, Nathaniel's parents gave him to the British government to raise as a magician, someone who would eventually rise to a government career and take his place as part of Britain's ruling class. When an adult magician humiliates him in public, Nathaniel enacts a revenge that uncovers a serious and dangerous conspiracy.

Some of my favorite fantasy fiction has been coming out of the Juvenile and Young Adult collections, lately, and I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of Bartimaeus!

Catch up

These are the last few books we've done:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Going Postal

July 8 is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, a personal favorite author of book-club-leader Beth! Here's a synopsis cribbed from

Arch-swindler Moist Van Lipwig never believed his confidence crimes were hanging offenses—until he found himself with a noose tightly around his neck, dropping through a trapdoor, and falling into...a government job?
By all rights, Moist should have met his maker. Instead, it's Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, who promptly offers him a job as Postmaster. Since his only other option is a nonliving one, Moist accepts the position—and the hulking golem watchdog who comes along with it, just in case Moist was considering abandoning his responsibilities prematurely.
Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be a near-impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office building; and with only a few creaky old postmen and one rather unstable, pin-obsessed youth available to deliver it. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, money-hungry Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical head, Mr. Reacher Gilt.
But it says on the building neither rain nor snow nor glo m of ni t...Inspiring words (admittedly, some of the bronze letters have been stolen), and for once in his wretched life Moist is going to fight. And if the bold and impossible are what's called for, he'll do it—in order to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every human being (not to mention troll, dwarf, and, yes, even golem) requires: hope.

Check out L-Space, a fantastic Terry Pratchett / Discworld web resource!

Are you intimidated by the gargantuan, sprawling nature of the Discworld series? Here's an amazing L-Space publication by Krzysztof K. Kietzman that explains it! It hasn't been updated to reflect Pratchett's newest book Making Money, which is a sequel to Going Postal.

This book club will be the last one that meets 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

The Mystery Book Club will be reading Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale next; and we'll discuss it on Tuesday, June 17.

This contemporary gothic tells the story of Vida Winters, a celebrated and popular novelist who has told her own story in various and contradictory ways throughout her long life. Now, as she nears the end of her life, she hires a reclusive young woman, Margaret Lea, to write her authorized biography. As Margaret sifts through Vida's half-truths and outright lies, she pieces together a compelling and disturbing story that may be the truth about Vida. In doing so, Margaret begins to understand the truth about Margaret, as well.

Here's a website with discussion questions.

Here's another!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

May 13: Dawn

We've come full circle! The Genre Book Club has been going for a quarter of a year, and we've cycled back to science fiction. Our next selection is Dawn by Octavia Butler, and is well worth your time. The library system has very few copies, so check it out now, before the mad rush. You think I'm kidding -- even though we haven't had a huge turnout for any of the clubs, the books out on display check out at an alarming rate.

Here is a blurb about Dawn, shamelessly cribbed from

  • In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened," she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever. Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction's finest writers.

Here is the SFWA webpage for Octavia Butler.
Here's the Seattle Post Intelligencer's obituary article.
Here's a great fan site; audio, video, interviews, more!
And here, at Feminist SFF & Utopia, is more of the same. This link is included for the "literary criticism" section, which cites several articles and books.

Dawn makes for an excellent discussion, so hope to see you there. Even if you can't make it to book club, try this book! Like all great science fiction, it is intelligent and thought-provoking.
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