Monday, February 23, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
In Multipurpose Room C
The March by E. L. Doctorow: In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant. Only a master novelist could so powerfully and compassionately render the lives of those who marched.
The author of Ragtime, City of God, and The Book of Daniel has given us a magisterial work with an enormous cast of unforgettable characters--white and black, men, women, and children, unionists and rebels, generals and privates, freed slaves and slave owners. At the center is General Sherman himself; a beautiful freed slave girl named Pearl; a Union regimental surgeon, Colonel Sartorius; Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a Southern judge; and Arly and Will, two misfit soldiers.
Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E. L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more--a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times. - Publisher
Monday January 26, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
In Multipurpose Room C
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust: In this opening volume of Proust's great novel [In Search of Lost Time, 7 books], the narrator seems at first to be launching a fairly traditional life-story. But after the prelude the narrator travels backwards rather than forwards in time, in order to tell the story of a love affair that had taken place before his own birth. Swann's jealous love for Odette, together with the comic antics of the Verdurins and the adoring members of their 'little clan', provide a prophetic model of the narrator's own love-relationships and peregrinations in salon society. All Proust's great themes - time and memory, love and loss, art and the artistic vocation - are here in kernel form.
Genre: Autobiographical fiction; Classics; Coming-of-age stories; Translations
Pace: Leisurely paced
Writing Style: Lush; Lyrical; Stylistically complex
Born: July 10, 1871
Birthplace: Auteuil, France
Died: November 18, 1922
Place of death: Paris, France
Proust remains the most celebrated French writer of the twentieth century. His masterwork, the seven-volume the novel À la recherche du temps perdu, or Remembrance of Things Past, broke new ground in its explorations of the nature of individual identity, its psychology of space and time, and its stylistic and thematic expansiveness. Proust's fiction and his criticism have helped widen the traditional perspectives of literary criticism.
December 2014 - Last Monday Book Club does not meet in December. We pick a long book to read during December and January and discuss it the last Monday in January.
Monday, November 24, 7:00 p.m.
In Multipurpose Room C
Description: The challenging , experimental novels of Irish author James Joyce are critically acclaimed for their clever manipulation of language, intimate psychological detail, and innovative literary techniques. These loosely plotted , character-driven stories offer vividly atmospheric portraits of early 20th-century Dublin, capturing everything from sordid and sensual details of urban revelry to existential doubts and metaphysical ruminations of intellectuals. Readers may need secondary literature to parse the subtle wordplay, richly textured allusions, and epic blocks of stream-of-consciousness narration -- perhaps a small price for understanding this sophisticated and highly regarded author. Start with: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Genres: Autobiographical novels; Coming-of-age stories; Modern classics; Psychological fiction; Short stories; Stream of consciousness fiction
Writing Style: Experimental; Lyrical; Richly detailed; Stylistically complex
Dubliners - In this collection of masterful stories, steeped in realism, James Joyce creates an exacting portrait of his native city, showing how it reflects the general decline of Irish culture and civilization.
Genre: Books to movies; Modern classics; Short stories
From Novelist database, accessed via GALILEO, 01 Oct 2014.
From Shmoop.com, accessed online at http://www.shmoop.com/dubliners/ 01 October 2014
Think of Dubliners as a pre-Internet version of Google Maps for Dublin, Ireland. For most of the last hundred years, if you wanted an interactive geographic experience of Dublin--the sights, the sounds, and especially the people--you couldn't do much better than read the fifteen linked short stories of James Joyce collection.
December 2014 - Last Monday Book Club does not meet in December. We pick a long book to read during December and January and discuss it the last Monday in January. The choice for January 2015 is Swann's Way by Marcel Proust.
Monday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
In Heritage Room Conference Room
Please note that the Last Monday Book CLub is meeting in a different location this month: Heritage Room Conference Room.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Dr. Montague, an investigator of psychic disturbances, extends an invitation to three young people to join him at Hill House, whose tragic history has made it unfit for human habitation, and where perhaps they can intensify the forces at work. Eleanor Vance, who had spent eleven years in caring for an invalid mother, is now alone in the world and unwanted- and she has had a poltergeist experience; Theodora is telepathic; and Luke Sanderson is the nephew of the present owner. During the days and nights to follow there are doors that close; drafts that chill; banging and scurrying noises- and writing on the walls. Mrs. Montague arrives- eager to launch a session with planchette and hoping for further materializations beyond these "decided manifestations". But Eleanor becomes increasingly disturbed and distraught; her hoped for close friendship with Theodora is brushed aside- as Theodora goes off alone with Luke; she is the most susceptible to the dark history of this house and attempts to imitate a tragedy in the past; and the story which begins as a spritely tour of the spirit world, ends on a note of real disequilibrium..... A tantalizing, suggestive reconnaissance where the phantasma of other worlds- and private worlds- reveal a disconcerting similarity, and Shirley Jackson's special following will find pause to wonder and admire. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1959)