I’ve chosen seven books as candidates for our upcoming reading group. There wasn’t any particular criteria I used in selecting these candidates, but I did intentionally stay within the latter half of the twentieth century for two particular reasons: 1) For our first book I want a text that is more fun than challenging. 2) These texts shouldn’t require an abundance of historical background for a full understanding.
If this goes well the next batch will come from a more challenging time period that requires some additional research to fully appreciate. I’ll post these up, we’ll talk about them, and in the next day or so we can all vote on which book we’d like to read collectively.
And yes, there are several science fiction texts on this list. I like science fiction, but I feel like the academy, or at least the academies I’ve attended, fail to acknowledge the importance of science fiction in literary studies. So without further adieu, here’s the list:
Breakfast of Champions — Kurt Vonnegut
Shalimar the Clown — Salman Rushdie
The Gods Themselves — Isaac Asimov
Falling Man: A Novel — Dom Delillo
Stranger in a Strange Land — Robert Heinlein
Never Let Me Go — Kazus Ishiguro
War Trash — Ha Jin
So there you go; I hope you’re as excited as I am. Let me know what you think.
My first choice would be Breakfast of Champions. I have wanted to read more of his stuff (especially since I am much older than when I first read him). Shalimar the Clown next. I have read Stranger in a Strange Land, but I will read it again (This was a book that I read in High School, so I might have a different take on it now. “Never Let me Go” and “War Trash” look pretty good to me. I will probably keep all of these on a to read list.
This is my order of preference, but I will read anything
Excellent choices all, Mark. I’d be happy to read any of these (I’m a book slut: I’ll read anything).
Here are my rankings:
1 Never Let Me Go ”” Kazus Ishiguro
2 The Gods Themselves ”” Isaac Asimov
3 Stranger in a Strange Land ”” Robert Heinlein
4 Breakfast of Champions ”” Kurt Vonnegut
5 Shalimar the Clown ”” Salman Rushdie
6 War Trash ”” Ha Jin
7 Falling Man: A Novel ”” Dom Delillo
“Never Let Me Go” is in everybodies top 3. I am willing to give it a try, but I will yield to everybodies choice
Yeah, it looks like “Never Let Me Go” will probably be the one. I’ll give it until tomorrow to see if anyone else wants to weigh in, and then I’ll make it official.
BTW Mark, “book slut” is a term that I’ll be stealing from you. Just so you know.
I wonder if there is a 12 step for that.
I would also like to join and will check the local bookstores for it. If I’m out that will also be ok with me. I will join the second (or 3rd) one. No problem.
Ok, I’m good with reading the Kazuo Ishiguro book too. Will order from Amazon.