Friday, January 04, 2008

Book nerds unite!

Might there be any interest among Park Bench readers in starting a book club? And by book club, I mean a high-brow, intellectually snooty club that would cast aspersions and dirty glances at Oprah's Book Club, mostly out of jealousy because we're envious of her ridiculous wealth. (That last part might just be me.)

If there is an interest, I would suggest we could simply "meet" once a month in the old, abandoned Park Bench Yahoo group where we can post comments, sip tea, enjoy crumpets virtually and toss around the kind of three-dollar words and criticism we haven't been able to use since college.

Below are some ideas for a first club selection. Some of these are pulled from the New York Times Best Books of 2007 list, others are pulled from the Modern Library Top 100 Novels of All Time list and the last one is just because I like Anne Tyler. I'm going to put these in The Park Bench poll, so, if you're interested, please check out their Amazon links and vote for your favorite.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
A nerdy Dominican-American yearns to write and fall in love.

Falling Man by Don DeLillo
Through the story of a lawyer and his estranged wife, DeLillo resurrects the world as it was on 9/11, in all its mortal dread, high anxiety and mass confusion.

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
About a crazy poet, his crazier 999-line poem and the critic who studies it.

A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
Victorians in Italy. Mayhem (well, Victorian mayhem) ensues. If we read this one, we can pretend we're in Pam's Finer Things Club from "The Office."

Digging to America by Anne Tyler
A story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.”

Please comment below if you have any interest in taking part. Also, if any good club names come to mind, please share. I'm leaning toward The Bad-Ass Book Readers Brigade myself, but am definitely open to suggestions.


Anonymous said...

I'm in! Any of those suggestions would be satisfactory, although I've already read Room With A View.

Scrap Irony said...

I'm game. Any excuse to read literature with a group of intelligent people not under the mind control of Oprah definitely gets my vote.

As for names, perhaps something to do with being "textually active." I saw it on a shirt once and proceeded to giggle silently for at least five minutes.

Jessica said...

That might be fun! I'm a super slow reader, though this might encourage me to read more faster.

dr.gambit said...

sounds good...i'll play....btw, are any of you familiar with a radio program called says you! ???? it is out of wgbh in boston...liz, i think you'd really like it...let me know when you are around, i'll make you some cds of the shows... i'm all for the book group, the last one sounds the most interesting to me

Liz said...

Gambit, no I've never heard of that show. But if it's as good as "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," I'd love to hear it. I'd love a CD of it.

MalininGrl said...

I'm in! Sounds like fun!

Jen said...

I'm in. Anyone who eschews Oprah's book club is alright w/me! The Road was completely ruined for me once it was part of the "Club". Do you have any idea how difficult it was to get a copy w/out her seal of approval!

Mickie Poe said...

Of course I'm in but please don't ask me to pick a book! I'm terrible at choosing!

Anonymous said...

I would love to! That sounds like fun.
- Meredith

SFG said...

Naaahh, you just missed it. It should be the Bad-Assed Readers Busting In Everywhere.


Greenmuse said...

This idea is FULL OF WIN. I'm pretty much a lit whore, preference. Gimme a title and I'll stick my nose in it.

jenn said...

Oooh absolutely!

A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
Victorians in Italy. Mayhem (well, Victorian mayhem) ensues. If we read this one, we can pretend we're in Pam's Finer Things Club from "The Office."

Hee, that's EXACTLY what I thought. I hadn't even read that part of the entry (I subscribe to the LJ feed) when I saw the beginning of "Would you be interested in a high brow book club", and I was all, "FINER THINGS!" :) Can't wait to get this started!

Liz said...

I'm so glad so many folks are interested! We'll wait a few more days to see if there are any other people who want to join and then we'll make the book selection, which looks like it's shaping up to be a tight race! This should be a lot of fun.

Rachel said...

I'm here from LJ... is there a way we should go about signing up for this, other than subscribing to the RSS feed?

Thanks! *excited*

Liz said...

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for coming by from LJ! If you're not a regular reader and would like to be informed when we make the book choice and set up the Yahoo community, e-mail me at and I'll send you all the info. I'm going to wait just a day or two more to announce the book selection and then we'll be ready to go.

Hope you'll stop back again soon!