Book Discussion, Anyone?

So, we’ve not done this in a while . . . anybody up for a book discussion series? Not one of the smarty-pant kinds we do around here regularly. But of a novel, poetry collection, etc.. If so, any suggestions? (Only about a month or so left of summer, so something of reasonable length and ambition would be nice, if we want to include the academically engaged/employed.)

Since I’m the one posting I’ll throw out the first suggestion: having recently read it, I’d love to discuss John Williams’ Stoner. It’s a pretty densely male novel, I admit, but the academic setting is appropriate to a lot of our interests here; and the sheer density of the masculinity, I find, is worth talking about. (I.e., I really want to write something about Williams’ portrayal of Stoner’s wife.)

UPDATE: Okay, a few of you have piped up, and a recurring comment has been “Stoner or Middle C would work fine.” (We apparently have the means available to get the latter to you, if it is chosen.) A few other books have been mentioned, but none of which have particularly interested me. So, there you have it. We’ll let this poll decide it for us.

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9 Responses to “Book Discussion, Anyone?”

  1. Robert Minto Says:

    As always, I would eagerly read and contribute and participate in something of that sort here. I would propose Middle C, but obviously this blog has already done its duty by Gass. I would have no objection to Stoner. Another possibility would be one / all of Iyer’s trilogy. Or we could do a book of short stories — that might be interesting. If people aren’t pre-tired of it (given the ubiquitous inane puffery of it), Tenth of December by George Saunders is one I intend to read anyway. But actually Stoner sounds wonderful. It’s on my list, rather low down, but could easily be moved to the top.

  2. Brad Says:

    I wouldn’t object to Middle C — but it’s also hardcover, and a good many would prefer not to spend the money on such. Similar story w/ Saunders’ collection.

  3. Robert Minto Says:

    Well there are, ahem, various routes around such problems in the age of mechanical reproducibility, routes I would be prepared to take for the benefit of any reading group members. But actually, I must say that after looking into it, Stoner is growing on me.

  4. Richard Says:

    I’d be very interested in discussing the portrayal of Stoner’s wife.

  5. Simon Angseop Lee Says:

    Stoner’s a fantastic choice, Brad. I read it earlier this month, and what a brilliant book it was. I’m reading Stegner’s “Crossing to Safety” now, which is proving to be a great follow up. Have you read that one?

  6. Brad Says:

    Simon, I have not. I’ve actually not read much of Stegner, period.

  7. ben Says:

    Stoner is wonderful so I’d be quite happy if that were the decision. (I happen to have Middle C lying around already so I wouldn’t object to that, either.)

  8. Brad Says:

    I’m letting the poll go one more day, so any late Middle C voters better get on it if they want to discuss it.


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