Last night we voted to read The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
The next book club will be on Friday, April 13th.
Dave will be the host and Robert will be making the picks.
Here are the picks we will vote on for this Friday’s book club.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
(384 Pages) – The underground masterpiece of twentieth-century Russian fiction, this classic novel was written during Stalin’s regime and could not be published until many years after its author’s death. When the devil arrives in 1930s Moscow, consorting with a retinue of odd associates–including a talking black cat, an assassin, and a beautiful naked witch–his antics wreak havoc among the literary elite of the world capital of atheism. Meanwhile, the Master, author of an unpublished novel about Jesus and Pontius Pilate, languishes in despair in a psychiatric hospital, while his devoted lover, Margarita, decides to sell her soul to save him. As Bulgakov’s dazzlingly exuberant narrative weaves back and forth between Moscow and ancient Jerusalem, studded with scenes ranging from a giddy Satanic ball to the murder of Judas in Gethsemane, Margarita’s enduring love for the Master joins the strands of plot across space and time.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
(416 Pages) – A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami’s international following. Tracking one man’s descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.
The General in His Labyrinth by
Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (3rd Edition) by David Herbert Donald
(228 Pages) – David Herbert Donald, Lincoln biographer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, has revised and updated his classic and influential book on Lincoln and the era he dominated. When Lincoln Reconsidered was first published it ushered in the process of rethinking the Civil War that continues to this day. In the third edition, David provides two important new essays, on Lincoln’s patchy education—which we find was more extensive than even the great man realized—and on Lincoln’s complex and conflicted relationship to the rule of law. Together with a new preface and a thoroughly updated bibliographical essay, Lincoln Reconsidered will continue to be a touchstone of Lincoln scholarship for decades to come.
Next meeting: 6:30 PM Friday, March 9 @ Jim’s house 2696 Beech Circle, Longmont, CO 80503. Morgan is bringing the picks. Hopefully nothing depressing!!
We are discussing Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.
RSVP thingy coming…..
We selected Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search For Meaning. Our next club is on Friday, March 9th, I can’t remember where. Morgan will bring the picks for voting.
Just when I think his place might not be that hard to find for Bookclub Friday, he sends me this detailed set of directions, a map, and a secret password to get in. The password on the map is translated: “Ye intruders beware. Crushing death and grief, soaked with blood, of the trespassing thief.”
Attached is a crudely drawn map showing how to get to Quinn’s place from 75th (I imagine Siri will guide people just fine… But just in case):1) Turn from 75th onto Clubhouse Dr.-Coming South on 75th (i.e. from Lookout Rd) it’s the first right
-Coming North on 75th, if you get to Lookout Rd, you done gone too far friend.
2) Take first right from Clubhouse onto Buckingham
3) Turn right onto SPYGLASS CT, the street on the right as you are going around the bend.
4) Building L is the last one on the left.
5) Park in any parking spot that is uncovered, they are all for visitors
6) When facing building L in the parking lot there are two staircases between the garages. Take the staircase on the right and turn to the right (my place is tucked back up in there.)
7) If there are any questions let me know! My phone number is 303 877 7962.The menu is going to be beef stew, mashed potatoes, and some form of bread. Bring alcohol and any sides you like.
These are the books that we will be voting on this Friday.
RSVP you devils. 6:30 PM Friday, February 9 @ Quinn’s house, 7479 Spyglass Ct. L204, Boulder, CO 80301. Apparently it may be a little hard to find, so feel free to call me if you can’t get in. 720-474-2070 (Andrew)
Solaris (204 pages) – Lem – Fiction – The planet Solaris is almost completely covered with an ocean that is revealed to be a single, planet-encompassing organism. In studying the oceanic surface of the planet from a hovering research station several human scientists are, in turn, being studied by the planet itself, which probes for and examines the thoughts of the human beings who are analyzing it. Solaris has the ability to cast the secret, guilty concerns into a material form, for each scientist to personally confront. The ocean’s response to their intrusion exposes the deeper, hidden aspects of the personalities of the human scientists — while revealing nothing of the ocean’s nature itself. To the extent that the ocean’s actions can be understood, the ocean then seems to test the minds of the scientists by confronting them with their most painful and repressed thoughts and memories.
The ocean’s intelligence expresses physical phenomena in ways difficult for the protagonists to explain using conventional scientific method, which deeply upsets the scientists. The alien mind of Solaris is so greatly different from the human mind that attempts at inter-species communications are a dismal failure.
A Tale of Two Cities (341 pages) – Dickens – Fiction – The year is late 1775 and conditions are ripe for the “Reign of Terror” years of the French Revolution, during which 16,594 people are sentenced to death by guillotine. This story concerns French Doctor Manette, who is releaseed after an 18 year prison sentence in Paris so that he may live with his daughter, Lucie, in London. Even after they are living together in London, though, Mannette, Lucie, and Lucie’s husband remain entangled in the violence that is playing out in France. They all have to return to France for various motivations and while there, several people close to Manette, Lucie, and others are tried and executed by revolutionaries..
All The President’s Men (480 pages) – Woodward and Bernstein – Non-Fiction – Chronicles the investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from Woodward’s initial report on the Watergate burglary through the resignations of H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon Tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward’s secret meetings with his source Deep Throat whose identity was kept hidden for over 30 years. Gene Roberts, the former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the work of Woodward and Bernstein “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.”
Man’s Search For Meaning (184 pages) – Frankl – Non-Fiction – Memoir of Victor Frankl, a neurologist that lived through the Nazi death camps and his insights about spiritual survival in the face of incredible trauma. The book was written in 1946, shortly after he was liberated from the death camps. “We cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.” His philosophy in treating his patients is that man’s primary drive in life is not pleasure, but the discovery and pursuit of what we find meaningful.
The book intends to answer the question “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” Part One constitutes Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans.
According to a survey conducted by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, Man’s Search for Meaning belongs to a list of “the ten most influential books in the United States.”
My favorite movie is streaming on Netflix. Change your life tonight and watch it! Unless… “you don’t want no part of this shit.”