Nye's Golden Book Club discussion

First meeting!

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message 1: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (chewthegristle) | 3 comments (I know I'm cross-posting this from the Facebook group, but the emotive is still the same.)

I have to say, first, that it exceeded my expectations. Animated discussion, and not just of books, but in topics in relation to books we had read (not to mention movie adaptations of books). I recall at one point at least three different conversations going on at once, and everyone bouncing from one to the next, with the cross-filtering of topics as well.

It was all agreed upon that meeting in person versus an "online" group was much more fulfilling, and overall had a wonderful time. I'm glad to have met everyone, and look forward to next month's meeting!


message 2: by Justina (new)

Justina It was really nice to meet you Shawn. :-)

I had a great time and I am really looking forward to the next meeting.

message 3: by Brixton (last edited May 14, 2009 09:24PM) (new)

Brixton | 10 comments Mod
(cross-posted with the facebook group for your convenience/confusion) ;o)

For those who couldn't/didn't make it to the first meeting:

We started the meeting at a table outside. Apparently there is some controversy about taking a booth during dinner hours; I will investigate further the possibility of reserving a booth for next time. We moved indoors just before dark, and stayed until midnight.

There were six of us most of the night-- I was impressed by people's punctuality!-- with a seventh arriving later. After the meeting, four of us went to U Otter Stop Inn for karaoke.

Some topics, running themes, and amusing things I recall:

+ A raging debate about whether or not David Bowie was born with two differently coloured eyes, or if the difference is an illusion caused by his paralysed dilated pupil. The latter possibility seems likely to be a conspiracy theory put forth to alter history by villainous wikipedia users, or perhaps even David Bowie himself just to mess with us for his own amusement—he was, after all, one of the first artists to recognise the internet’s potential for raking in the $$$. Why he had his teeth done came up later; our ideas were inconclusive, though we enjoyed imagining him in the throes of a mid-life crisis, despite being one of the richest men in England, married to a supermodel, and being DAVID BOWIE. We may not solve these critical issues for several meetings.

+ Contemporary writers and their apparent hostility toward apostrophes.

+ The wish to someday see again good stories told well, rather than crap books with high marketing potential. This of course leads to:

+ Chuck Palahniuk's dubious skill as a writer: the consensus seemed to be that he is a one-trick-pony whose surname has four acceptable pronunciations.

+ How the internet, entertainment media, and instant-access technologies are contributing to people's increasingly short attention spans (and therefore also Chuck Palahniuk's outrageously high book sales).

+ House of Leaves: One man's gimmicky crap designed to show off his CSCL degree, or the secret to the mysteries of the universe? And why the heck couldn't we remember the author's name?? (Because it's not very catchy: Mark Z. Danielewski)

+ The Vatican's relationship to Hitler (Shawn is reading Hitler's Pope, non-fiction, which sounds to be very informative).

+ Is the story of how the novel Frankenstein came to be more interesting than the novel itself?

+ A brief history of Romanticism as a German literary movement which demolished everything previously held sacred in narrative (fast-forward to the development of Freudian psychology), and how it was watered down and popularised into melodrama for mass-consumption by the French and English.

+ Dave Eggers: Why should his socks be of interest to anyone? (There were mixed feelings.)

+ There were several discussions throughout the night about books and their adaptations to film, as well as film's influence on how (probably even why) writers write these days. Those that I recall (or at times think I overheard) include: Frankenstein, No Country for Old Men, Oil/”There Will Be Blood”, Heart of Darkness/”Apocalypse Now”, Everything is Illuminated, and Into the Wild.

+ How The Grapes of Wrath became a beginner's cookbook. Why The Joy of Cooking is a really good history book.

+ Whether the name of the book club refers to the upholstery in Nye's, or the children's series of Little Golden Books, such as The Little Red Caboose, The Little Red Hen, Little Red Riding Hood, and Scuffy the (red) Tugboat. Quickly we realised our nation's children have long been subject to communist propaganda, and though we are divided as to whether Clifford the Big Red Dog is to be trusted, we are heretofore suspicious of anything which teaches kids to share.

+ Jenn read somewhere it is estimated that only 20% of the information posted on wikipedia is accurate; I wondered with amusement if she read that on wikipedia. Valeria invented "You read that on wikipedia" combined with the proper hand gesture as the new signal for "I can't hear you la-la-la"/"Talk to the hand" ;o)

+ How wikipedia is currently cheating Knut Hamsun of having invented stream-of-consciousness narrative with his novel "Hunger", published in 1890-- seven years before the wiki title holder, William Faulkner, was even born.

+ After a little bit of talk about the films "Cool Hand Luke" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", an unexpected, spontaneous moment of silence for Paul Newman was observed by all, which I thought was really sweet and touching *tear*

+ Announcement: A rep from Columbia Pictures wanted to know if our members would be interested in reading "Julie and Julia" in July and attending in August an advance, free screening of the film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. There is mixed interest in the book, but most were enthusiastic about seeing the film.

I'm sure I forgot many other fascinating things as well as that my recollections above are biased toward those whom I could hear best. I think we have a really interesting (and funny!) group of people here, and I look forward to seeing everyone again—and hopefully some new folks too!

message 4: by Justina (new)

Justina Excellent note-taking Brixton!

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