Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PBR Book Club Makes the New Yorker and Reveals Our November Selection: The Return of Murakami!

First off, we're in the damn New Yorker (!!) today, online at least, thanks to our pal Gary Shteyngart, who recently partied with some of our members in KC and wrote about it in his tour diary.  It's a lovely little piece that discusses KC, the Liberty Memorial, and The Day After, and we're happy to be a small part of it.   Read it in full here but check out our cameo below:

"The members of Kansas’s P.B.R. (Pabst Blue Ribbon) book club show up. These are serious readers who guzzle beer while discussing books. They take me out for some quasi-artisanal brews and some more baby-back ribs, dripping with sauce. We talk about books and jobs and the strangeness of life in twenty-first-century America. I feel very close to all of them and happy for the company. I wake up the next day with my arms spread out across the bed like a hovering bird."

Next up, November's selection (chosen by Steve, as you might guess) is the new Murakami novel with the not-so-catchy title Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.  This will mark the first time the club has read two books by the same author, since we also tackled Murakami's massive IQ84.  This looks much shorter.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Selection: Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea

The book club member who chose Iris Murdoch's 1978 The Sea, The Sea for our October selection is...currently overseas.  But much of the book club seemed at least mildly interested in reading the book anyway...or too lazy to choose another, despite my earnest pleas for David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas 2 (actual title: The Bone Clocks).  Anyway, The Sea, The Sea appears to be about theatre, so that's cool by me.  Plus, I've sadly never read Murdoch's work, despite the fact that one of her novels was on my comprehensive exam list.  I'm glad there were no questions about that one!

Let's take a look at the original NY-Times review:

"[Murdoch's] stories, including this one, are marked by an uncommon variety and complication of incident; the reader is continually surprised and shocked by the abrupt appearances, disappearances and reappearances of characters, unexpected couplings and uncouplings, sudden shifts into bizarrerie, epiphanies of the spiritual and invasions of the demonic."

Not sure I've ever seen the word "bizarrerie" used before, but I dig it.  I'm also pretty sure there are no actual demons in this book. 

Let's get reading!

I'm hoping to snag this Penguin Classics edition: