Book club update: reading the classics

Our book club dove into the classics this spring-into-summer, and it was satisfying as all heck. Since Middlemarch is one of the longest books in existence, we divided it up between two discussions — reading the first half for one month and the second half for the next.

And then we chased it with some midcentury American lit, which made for a fine contrast. Here’s what happened, discussibility-wise… 

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Discussibility Score: 5

Because: We just couldn’t stop talking about these characters. And then we couldn’t stop talking about the way Eliot brought them to life. And the way we could identify with, or recognize, so many of the characters who walked through these pages. Eliot made us think, and feel, and wonder, and marvel. Magnificent book, magnificent discussions. And I’m confident the conversation will continue… 

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Discussibility Score: 3

Because: While we recognized that there was much we were probably missing and failing to appreciate about this book, none of us were motivated to research it to find out what we were missing. I liked the initial 5 pages (which everyone else disliked), and then from there I felt disengaged and confused and moderately annoyed. We all found the book irreverent and rather sad; and while we believe it probably is important, we didn’t really want to dig in. 

Next up: summer of science fiction / fantasy by authors of color. We’re starting with Wild Seed by Octavia Butler (whose book Kindred is one of my favorites)

What’s your book club reading this summer?

4 thoughts on “Book club update: reading the classics

  1. Susan Jackson Bybee

    I’m not finished with Middlemarch yet, but I still have the rest of 2019 to continue my every ten years game plan. Right now, I’m reading Susan Sontag. She loved Middlemarch, and hinted more than once that her marriage to Phillip Rieff was a Causabon/Dorothea thing. This should come out more in the biography about her, slated to be published in September.

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