Though many of you are probably in the thick of “Fates & Furies”- at least I hope you are, as rumor has it that part one (Fates) is kind of a grind to slog through, but part two (Furies) makes it all the more worthwhile- it’s time to get voting for our spring “big book”.
See survey at the end of this post.
Your choices feature two classics and two of the most acclaimed books in contemporary fiction:
East of Eden (1953)
Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.
The Goldfinch (2013)
Theo miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. 773 pages
Infinite Jest (1996)
David Foster Wallace
Set in an addicts’ halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. 1088 pages
A Little Life (2015)
Four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way… Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude who by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome–but that will define his life forever. 720 pages
Take this survey when you are ready to make your decision. I will close the survey next Friday (Jan. 29).
The next book will be chosen by total points, based on your ranking order: 1st= 5 pts; 2nd= 3pts; 3rd=1pt; 4th= 0 pts.
Spring meeting is scheduled for May 26th.