December 1, 2016

Books We've Read So Far

“Writers we admire and reread are absorbed into the fine print of our consciousness, into the white noise of our thoughts, and in this sense, then can never die.” - Ian McEwan on the death of Saul Bellow
# 1 – Spring 1994 "19th CENTURY WOMEN AUTHORS"
with "Professor” Ann Huse
Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Awakening - Kate Chopin

#2 – Summer-Fall 1994 "MORE WOMEN AUTHORS"
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Woman Warrior - Maxine Hong Kingston
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
The Country of the Pointed Furs - Sarah Orne Jewett

#3 – Spring-Summer 1995 “AMERICAN AUTHORS”
Bastard out of Carolina - Dorothy Allison
A Worn Path - Eudora Welty
Why I Love at the P.O. - Eudora Welty
A Good Man Is Hard to Find - Flannery O'Connor
Good Country People -
The Artificial Nigger
Betsey Brown - Ntozake Shange
Native Son - Richard Wright
My Antonia - Willa Cather
Written on the Body - Jeannette Winterson

#4 – Fall – Winter 1995-1996 "SENSUALITY"
The North China Lover - Marguerite Dumas
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
The Immoralist - Andre Gide
The Vagabond - Colette
Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin
A Year in Provence ("GUYS") - Peter Mayle

#5 Spring-Summer 1996
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Animal Dreams - Barbara Kingsolver

Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane (Civil War)
Goodbye to All That - Robert Graves (WWI)
All Quiet on Western Front Erich - Maria Remarque (WWI)
A Testament to Youth - Vera Brittian (WWI)
The Caine Mutiny - Hermann Wouk (WWII)
Dispatches - Michael Herr (Vietnam)

#6 Fall-Winter-Spring 96-97 “AFRICA”
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
Out of Africa - Isak Dineson
The Joys of Motherhood - Buchi Emecheta
July's People - Nadime Gordimer
The Famished Road - Ben Okri
Middle Passage (GUYS)- Charles Johnson

#7 Summer-Fall 1997 “MEMOIRS”
The Liar's Club - Mary Carr
A River Runs Through It - Norman McLeod
An American Childhood - Annie Dillard
This Boy's Life - Tobias Wolff
Memories of a Catholic Girlhood - Mary McCarthy
King of the Hill - AE Hotchner
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt

#8 Winter - Summer 1998 “HISTORICAL NOVELS”
Midnight in Garden of Good and Evil - John Behrendt
Paradise - Toni Morrison
Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Jewel in the Crown - Paul Scott
Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
The Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron
The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells

#9 Summer – Fall 1998 “JEWISH LITERATURE”
The Shawl - Cynthia Ozick
The Dean’s December - Saul Bellow
American Pastoral - Philip Roth
My Name Is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok
The Assistant - Bernard Malamud
Einstein's Dreams (Clarksville retreat)- Alan Lightman

#10 Spring-Summer 1999 “ASIA”
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China - Jung Chang
Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
Some Prefer Nettles - Junichiro Tanizaki
Kitchen Banana - Yoshimoto
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Leave It To Me - Bharati Mukherjee

#11 Fall – Winter 1999-2000 ‘CANADIAN FICTION”
The Stone Angel - Margaret Laurence
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
The Beggar Maid - Alice Munro
Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Love of a Good Woman - Alice Munro

#12 Spring – Summer 2000 “NATIVE AMERICA”
Black Elk Speaks - John Neihardt
Yellow Raft Blue Water - Michael Dorris
Ceremony - Leslie Marmon Silko
The Man Who Killed the Deer (GUYS) - Frank Waters
House Made of Dawn - N. Scott Momaday
Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter
The Lake Dreams the Sky - Swain Wolfe
The Quiet American - Graham Greene

#13 Fall 2001 “ON OUR OWN”
Half a Heart - Rosellen Brown
Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver

#14 Winter – Summer 2001 "IRISH AUTHORS"
Debut of “Professor” Linda Gauthier
Dubliners - James Joyce
Woman Who Walked Into Doors - Roddy Doyle
House of Splendid Isolation - Edna O'Brien
The Last September - Elizabeth Bowen
Inland Ice - Eilis Dhubhne
The Van - Roddy Doyle

#15 Fall-Winter 2001-2002 “GOOD BOOKS”
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
Huck Finn - Mark Twain
To Kill a Mockingbird (“Moms”)- Harper Lee
Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Montgomery
Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

#16 Winter 2002
Farewell to Manzanar (Missouri selection) - Jeanne Wakatsuki

Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
SeaBiscuit (GUYS)- Laura Hillenbrand
A Room With a View - EM Forster
A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf

#17 Fall 2002 “SCIENCE FICTION”
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein
Time Machine - HG Wells
Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
Children of God - Mary Doria Russell

#18 Spring-Winter 2003 “MAGICAL REALISM”
Leaf Storm & Other Stories - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
House of Spirits - Isabel Allende
Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
A Wild Sheep’s Chase (GUYS)- Haruka Murakami
East, West: Stories - Salman Rushdie
Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
Balzac and the Little Chinese Mistress - Sijie Dai

#19 Fall 2003 – Winter 2004 “MYSTERY”
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie
The Alienist - Caleb Carr
Thus Was Adonis Murdered - Sarah Caudwell
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman - P.D. James
Devil in a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley

#20 Spring – Summer 2004 “CROSSROADS”
Mrs. Caliban - Rachel Ingalls
Life and Loves of a She Devil - Fay Weldon
Excellent Women - Barbara Pym
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
Blue Shoe - Anne Lamott
Dogs of Babel (guy thing)- Carolyn Parkhurst

#21 Fall – Winter 2004-2005 LOST & CONFUSED
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
One So Bad We Won’t Admit to Reading
Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott
Patron Saint of Liars - Ann Patchett

#22 Winter – Summer 2005 UNDERGROUND THINKERS
With new professor Dawn Fels
The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegurt
Beneath the Wheel - Herman Hesse

#23 Summer 2005 SUMMER OF FAULKNER
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
Light in August - William Faulkner

#24 Fall-Winter 2005-2006 INSIDE OUT
With new professor Kami Hancock
"The theme flips the phrase 'on the outside looking in'. In each work, the narrator is physically, psychically or socially detached. In addition, these are touchstone authors and texts on the themes of time, memory, and place. In a topsy-turvy way, these books are literary window peeping."

Sula - Toni Morrison
A World of Love - Elizabeth Bowen
Portrait in Sepia - Isabelle Allende
Jacob's Room - Virginia Wolf
Summer - Edith Wharton
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood

#25 Summer 2006 ISLAM
Minaret - Leila Aboulela
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

#26 Winter 2006 - 2007 FAMILY
History of Love - Nicole Krauss
Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
On Beauty - Zadie Smith
Three Junes - Julia Glass
The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards

#27 Summer 2007 - CANONICAL CLASSICS
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Lady Chatterly's Lover - DH Lawrence
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
Howard's End - EM Forster

#28 Fall 2007 VAMPIRES
Dracula - Bram Stoker
I, Vampire - Michael Romkey
Salem's Lot - Stephen King
Interview with a Vampire - Anne Rice

Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
Here is Where We Meet - John Berger
Running in the Family - Michael Ondaatje

The Gathering - Anne Enright
The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
The Sea - John Banville

The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
True Grit - Charles Portis (GUY THING)
The Wapshot Chronicle - John Cheever

"Historical fiction has long been a popular genre; it attempts to capture the manners and spirit of period with exacting detail. In particular, antebellum ('before the war' - usually references the American Civil War) fiction focuses the readers attention on not only the battle itself, but imagines the psychological and philosophical struggles of its protagonists. This series is a collection of novels that go beyond the battlefield to capture the struggles on the home front. While three of the novels are contemporary imaginings of the War Between the States, "Clotel" and "Little Women" capture the sentimentality and reality of the era. In a novel like "Clotel," though, we see an early example of sensationalism and myth-making with the fictional tale recounting the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. In reading "March" and "Little Women" back to back, we can discuss the private struggles of the March sisters, and the public battles and pain of the March patriarch. Each book leads us to further question the costs and merits of war." ~ Kami Hancock

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
March: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War by Howard Bahr
Clotel: Or, The President's Daughter by William Wells Brown

#35 Spring-Summer 2010 DEFINING HOME
"Is it the places from which we come, or the soil where we plant our roots that defines who we are becoming? These novels offer insight into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires." ~ Kami Hancock

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

"Sylvia Townsend Warner's novel, "Mr. Fortune's Maggot" is a portrait of an odd colonizer who becomes enraptured with his South Seas post. "Lord Jim" is another dark novel by Joseph Conrad; "Lord Jim" is told by the narrator Marlow and readers become entranced with deciphering the truth of Jim--"It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun." Erskine Childer's is credited with the first true spy novel. Set for the German Frisian islands in a yachting adventure with characters Davies and Carruthers , we are taken on an cruise of intrigue and transported to a time often forgotten. No sea-faring adventure is complete without two major authors: Melville and Hemmingway. Melville's portrait of sailor Billy Budd is a plot steeped in the battle between good and evil. Hemingway in "Old Man in the Sean" recounts the epic battle of wills and fight for honor in a modern world." ~ Kami Hancock

Mr. Fortune's Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (Guy Thing)
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

#37 Spring Summer 2011 CIRCUMSTANCES OF SELF
Awaiting description from Kami ...
The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
No Telephone to Heaven - Michelle Cliff
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

#38 Fall 2011-Winter 2012 THE AMERICAN WEST
Still awaiting session description from Kami
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Zeke and Ned by Larry McMurtry
Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
The Fruit of Stone by Mark Spragg

Guest Professor - Margaux Wexberg Sanchez
Shards: A Novel by Ismet Prcic

#39 Summer 2012-Winter 2013 Defining the Feminine
A comprehensive short list of books that have defined femininity. What is it to be feminine? What does it mean to be a woman? How have all the facets of the feminine combined and been disembodied over the past two centuries? We will begin with the contemporary "new woman" model as presented in Hunger Games. Next, we will trace these roots from early Victorian roots through Modernism to understand the growth and dissent involved in defining the feminine. ~ Kami Zoellner

Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
The Life of Charlotte Brontë – Elizabeth Gaskell
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole GUY THING
Studies on Hysteria – Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud, James Stratchey
The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
The Life of Charlotte Brontë – Elizabeth Gaskell

#40 2013-2014 Detective Fiction
(Books Selected by Kami Zoellner)
The Sign of the Four – Arthur Conan Doyle
Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
The Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom
The Round House – Louise Erdrich

#41 2014 Historical Fiction - Contemporary American
(Books Selected by Alanna)
The Maid's Version: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell
The Last Town on Earth: A Novel by Thomas Mullen
Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline

#42 2014 Historical Fiction - Global
(Books Selected by Ann A)
The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

#43 2014 Cult Classics
(Books Selected by Ann G)
Animal Farm by George Orwell (140 pages, 3 hours)
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (554 pages, 20 hours)
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (160 pages, 3 hours)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (332 pages, 11 hours)

#44 2015 Best Books (So Far) of 21st Century
(Books Selected by Ann A & Sharon)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (594 pages, 22 hours)
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (276 pages, 12 hours)
Fault In Our Stars by John Green (352 pages, 7 hours)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (432 pages, 12 hours)

#45 2015 Another Look Through African Eyes
(Books selected by Ann A & Sharon)
Gods Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane (248 pages, no Kindle, no Audible!)
Half a Yellow Sun by Ngozi Adichie (543 pages, 19 hours)
REREAD Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (209 pages, 7 hours)

#46 2015 Books About Smart Women
(Books selected by Mary)
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (368 pages, 14 hours)
Possession by A.S. Byatt (576 pages, 23 hours)
On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prasad (336 pages, no Audible)
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (515 pages, no Audible)

2016 Catching Up
Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf Length: 192 pages, 4hours on Audible
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Length: 440 pages, 18 hours on Audible

#47 2016 - Group Series 1
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
Length: 480 pages, 16 hours on Audible
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra
Length: 416 pages, 12 hours on Audible
Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Length: 528 pages, 22 hours on Audible
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Length: 224 pages, 5 hours on Audible, movie much recommended
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gwande
304 pages, 9 hours on Audible
Extra Credit When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese
The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt
Length: 771 pages, 32 hours on Audible
Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander
Length: 196 pages, 6 hours on Audible

#48 Late 2016 & 2017 - Group Series 2
Still Life by Louise Penny
Length: 473 pages, 10 hours on Audible or Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (movie version)
A Man Called OVE by Fredrick Backman
Length: 368 pages, 9 hours on Audible
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
Publication Date: 2016 Length: 336 pages, 9 hours on Audible
Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult
Publication Date: 2016 Length: 480 pages, 16 hours on Audible
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Publication Date: 1943 Length: 512 pages, 15 hours on Audible
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
Publication Date: 2015 Length: 384 pages, 13.5 hours on Audible
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (repeat)
Publication Date: 1996 Length: 325 pages, 11 hours on Audible

#49 Late 2017 - Group Series 3
GROUP FAVORITE: A Gentleman In Moscow
American Eclipse by David Baron
Publication Date: 2017 Length: 352 pages, 9 hours on Audible
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Publication Date: 2014 Length: 432 pages, 15 hours on Audible
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Publication Date: 2014 Length: 336 pages, 11 hours on Audible
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Publication Date: 1817 Length: 288 pages, 6.5 hours on Audible
The Beech Trees by Karen White
Publication Date: 2011 Length: 432 pages, 15 hours on Audible
A Gentleman in Moscow by Arnor Towles
Publication Date: 2016 Length: 480 pages, 18 hours on Audible
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Publication Date: 2017 Length: 368 pages (equivalent to maybe 150 pages), 7.5 hours on Audible

Special Christmas Books
2007 Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
2008 The Shack by William P Young
2010 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2011 The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
2012 What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
2013 Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
2014 The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion