Thoughts about fiction choices
This is my month to suggest books for book club. We just finished reading Swerve. I have preordered The Every, a novel by David Eggers, but that doesn’t come out until Mid-November.
Our last book club fiction was The Alchemist. Discussion of a scene in that book strengthened my resolve to go on a multi-day bike ride in New York at the beginning of October. I feared not going because I feared I was getting out of the habit of biking.
Books for book club differ from my own reading
When I look back at my past reading lists, I think about why I want to read certain books. I ordered The Every because I felt The Circle, also by Eggers, was captivating. I liked Fractured Lands, by Scott Anderson. It deals with Middle East drama through the perspectives of some people living it. And Fractured Lands was a good follow up to Anderson’s book on T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence in Arabia. A book about Lawrence is a lot easier to read than Lawrence’s book, Seven Pillars.
Next week I’ll finish up Christ Stopped at Eboli, by Levi. I had left it in a friend’s car. Honestly, I’ve had a really tough time with this book (and even the movie, which I haven’t gotten through). A friend recommended it because he thought it was so great.
Once I finish Christ Stopped at Eboli, I will continue reading On Instructions of My Government, by Pierre Salinger.
My book club suggestions
Here’s how our book club chooses a book. One person proposes five books for others to vote on.
Books I suggested for our next selection were a combination of Midwest literature and interesting events. So my selections were Main Street (Lewis), Main Traveled Roads (Garland), Stoner (Williams), and Rock Island Line (Rhodes). My guess is that people will want to read either The Last Days of Night (Moore), or Doc (Russell).
I’m almost certain people will pick Moore’s book. It starts with a guy getting electrocuted in NYC.
I wanted to suggest a book by Stegner, like Angle of Repose or Big Rock Candy Mountain, but I don’t think people will have patience for Stegner. I tend to reread Stegner’s books, but they can be difficult to get into until you connect with the characters. Books by Rhodes and Lewis may also push the limits of their interest. I think Garland’s short stories would engage the group. I also thought about Driftless, by Rhodes. I suggested the The Rock Island Line instead of Driftless because of its connection to Philadelphia and SEPTA.
The image above
I took a photo last night on a walk from Mixto restaurant on Pine Street to the Walnut Street Theater where we saw Beehive. This digital rendering is based on the photo.