Baltimore Book Club (and friends!) discussion

18 views
Book Selection > 1 What book should we read?

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments What book should we read? add the books you want to read to the group and a sentence or two about why you think they would work for the group/ why you want to read them.

Here are the ones I added already:

The Overcoat - a short story by Gogol. I have read some of his other stuff. very funny and absurd.

The Dispossessed - Science fiction by Ursula Le Guin. all of her stuff is good I just haven't read this one yet.


message 2: by Andrew (last edited Apr 29, 2014 06:56AM) (new)

Andrew Novak | 3 comments The Dispossessed was one that came to mind for me too.

There's a science fiction book called Hello America by J.G. Ballard that might be a worthwhile choice. I've never been disappointed by Ballard and this story seems pretty relevant...

"Following the energy crisis of the late twentieth century, America has been abandoned. Now, a century later, a small group of European explorers returns to the now climatically mutated continent...populated [only] by isolated natives and the bizarre remnants of a disintegrated culture. The expedition sets off from Manhattan on a cross-country journey, through Holiday Inns and abandoned theme parks, to uncover a shocking new power in the heart of Las Vegas."

Lastly, I've always wanted to read the short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson, which was the basis for the movie They Live. I suspect this one won't interest those who aren't familiar with They Live though haha.


message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinutsugah) | 1 comments Yes to the They Live one!! I didn't even know it was based on a story, I'd love to read that. I also just really like the idea of book club short stories in general. I'm super down with sci-fi; that's a genre I barely know.

I've been wanting to read White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I've read her classic On Beauty and it was lovely. She writes about race but in the most nuanced way I've ever experienced...it's all wrapped up in family dynamics, pop culture (from various times and places), fine arts and literary allusion, and specific to different locales. I'd like to read more by her and White Teeth is supposed to be great.

For short stories, has anybody read CLR James? Pretty major Caribbean author from the 30s and 40s (I think that's the time). I had to read a couple of his stories in college and loved them but have never read more. Lots of culture collisions.


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Schriber | 1 comments I'm really game for whatever anyone else picks. I feel like I haven't read an entire adult book in forever so this will be fun!!


message 5: by Helen (new)

Helen Higuera | 2 comments I'm down for The Dispossessed. I love Le Guin too, and I haven't read that one either.

On the other hand, I'm totally down for a short story to ease back into this pleasure reading thing.

I don't have either of these though


message 6: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments Seems Like The Dispossessed is a winner?? Its only like 6$ or 7$ on amazon.

I'd also love to read one of the short stories you guys mentioned, maybe even before we start The Dispossessed. However, I'd rather not buy a whole book for just one short story. Maybe someone could find a PDF of one and just link it here?



The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia is a 1974 utopian science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, set in the same fictional universe as that of The Left Hand of Darkness. The book won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1974, won both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1975, and received a nomination for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1975. It achieved a degree of literary recognition unusual for science fiction works due to its exploration of many ideas and themes, including anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism, individualism and collectivism, and the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis.


message 7: by Helen (new)

Helen Higuera | 2 comments It's the same universe as The Left Hand of Darkness?! I'm so in.


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Eisenmeier (carpelibrumbooks) | 1 comments Andrew wrote: "The Dispossessed was one that came to mind for me too.

There's a science fiction book called Hello America by J.G. Ballard that might be a worthwhile choice. I've never been disappointed by Balla..."


Hello America does seem interesting.


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Novak | 3 comments Rad! Should we buy copies of The Dispossessed then? I like the idea of starting with a short story or two. In terms of my short story rec, Eight O’Clock in the Morning, I've included a link below. I can't really speak to the quality of this version, but it seems satisfactory at a glance. Anyway, if people wanna do this one, here it is...

http://www.whale.to/b/eight_o.html


message 10: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Novak | 3 comments On the note of short stories, I'm gonna throw this out there too. It's called El Sur and it's by Jorge Luis Borges. I've read it many times, but I'd love to discuss it with people. I've been raving about how I see it as a short, rudimentary version of the narrative from Breaking Bad and I think I'm offending a lot of people. Anyway, here it is...

http://dept.sfcollege.edu/HFL/hum2461...

Oh, and we're actually gonna all meet up in person at some point for discussions, right?


message 11: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments ordering my copy now :) I posted the dates for the dispossessed: may 15th- june 15th (we can change these if we need to)

Yeah I was thinking we could meet up like once a month after we finish each book.

If people want to we can meet up and discuss the short stories you posted. I plan on reading them both.

Also this story is longer than I expected but here is my recommendation:

The overcoat by Gogol - I havent read this yet but the main character, Akakiy Akakievitch Bashmatchkin, works for some government agency hand copying documents. He is the butt of a lot of jokes and his overcoat either gets stolen or destroyed? and he has to buy a new one but has no money. Gogol is normally pretty hilarious and deals with some interesting themes so I think it would be cool if we read it.

http://www.stjohnshigh.org/s/804/imag...

"We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky


message 12: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments Just realized I read Eight O’Clock in the Morning a few year ago! I remember loving it but ill need to reread it again. Thanks for posting! Now I want to watch the movie.


message 13: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments I tried to make everyone who has posted comments a moderator but the only person with a "verified email address" was sarah.


message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison | 10 comments also i think this is a better translation of the overcoat

http://ebooks.gutenberg.us/Coradella_...


back to top