September 17, 2007
Book Club Challenge
All right, Snarketeers, the gauntlet is thrown: Help me come up with a theme and some nominations for readings for my book club.
Every month, one of my fellow book-clubbers is assigned to nominate three or four books. When we meet to discuss the past month’s reading, we choose one of the nominees for the next month. Being something of an oddball, I like to organize my nominations around themes. The last time, for example, my theme was “Masters of Humankind.” The books I proposed were No god but God (God), The Year of Magical Thinking (Death), The Time-Traveler’s Wife (Time), and Moneyball (Money). (The club picked The Time-Traveler’s Wife. The actual selection doesn’t make much of a difference to me, because I plan to read all the books I propose, and I did.)
The theme can be oblique, clever, or straightforward. (In the straightforward camp, for example, I’ve been considering the four elements — Cloud Atlas (Air), Snow (Water), American Prometheus or Dante (Fire), Coal: A Human History or Salt: A World History (Earth).) They can be either a prominent theme of the book or just a play on its title. We prefer books that have been out in paperback, and a nomination almost always goes unpicked if one of us has already read it. I aim for variety in the selection — memoir, biography, journalistic non-fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, social history.
So, whaddya say? Help me out?