Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November Selection: John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van

Oh, I'm hyped about October's selection (Abby's pick): the debut novel by "America's best non-hip-hop lyricist:" John Darnielle, of Mountain Goats fame.

Wolf in White Van was nominated for a National Book Award last year and the NY-Times book review calls it a "strange and involving novel...about alienation and despair and the search for meaning, which Sean finds in a postapocalyptic role-playing game he invents, turns into a business and administers in analog fashion, by exchanging letters with its players."

Perhaps we can partner up with Wonder Fair's Letter Writing Club in some fashion as we read this one?

And make sure to listen to A LOT of Mountain Goats' this month as you read.  Here's my favorite: "New Chevrolet in Flames."

 "...your mouth is sweeter
Than wine and has
A more complicated history
Than the American South."


Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Selection: Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower

"Butler's prose, always pared back to the bone, delineates the painful paradoxes of metamorphosis with compelling precision. In 1993, she published Parable of the Sower, a chronicle of low-rise dystopia set in the southern California suburbs of 2024."  (from The Guardian)

Remember when these posts were written by the people who chose the books? That probably made more sense.  Anyway, October's selection is Octavia Butler's 1993 The Parable of the Sower, so prepare to get your dystopia on once again!  It's the first in a two-part series by the legendary sci-fi writer, so perhaps we'll all get hooked and read both (although most members are currently engrossed in Elena Ferrante's four-book Neapolitan series).  Read those too.  And maybe that new Atwood novel about the sex-robots.

Unfamiliar with Butler's career?  Her New York Times obituary offers a good assessment of her life-and-work, including a list of "dystopian" jobs she once held, such as "potato chips inspector."

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