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Good news for readers of classics! The Davis-Kidd Classics Club will reform in the fall here at Parnassus Books! We will meet several times over the next year to talk about important, older books (generally published before 1960) that we either missed or want to revisit. Scroll down for upcoming dates and book selections!
"It's all about the book."
How rare is it to read 2 books in a row that are compelling, unputdownable, well-written yet very different from one another, and are not even out yet? I've been having this experience these past few weeks of "free reading", when I'm not reading for the current month's selection, my "time off" from book club meetings.
The first book I read is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. In it, Rachel, our girl who commutes to London by train, becomes very curious about a particular home she passes every day on the way to work. She fantasizes about the life lived in that house and the couple she sees having coffee on their patio each day. One day she sees the woman kissing someone other than her husband. When the newspapers announce the next day that the woman has gone missing, Rachel wonders about what she has seen. She begins to doubt herself due to her heavy drinking and blackouts...just how accurate is her memory? Should she go to the police to report this? Does that kiss mean anything? So begins this Hitchcockian thriller that may remind you of Gone Girl with its alternating narrators and psychological subtext.
The second novel is Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar. Set among the Bloomsbury group, the accurate representation of the various characters' voices, the unique format, and the plot all enthralled me. Two sisters--Virginia Woolf, the author, and Vanessa Bell, the painter--along with their brothers, Thoby and Adrian, have parts in the story alongside the likes of Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, and E.M. Forster. It focuses on the turbulent but loving relationship between Vanessa and her sister, who were, at the time, 2 single women in their twenties living together with their brothers in Edwardian London. I love stories about this unique, unconventional and influential group of people, the Bloomsburys. This story is told in diary entries, letters, telegrams and essays from the sisters, their suitors and friends, making it delightfully easy to read. For fans of literary fiction and Downton Abbey, it's a do-not-miss.
Both books are due out in January and will make great book club selections in 2015.
Here's hoping your holidays are happy ones and that you will make it a point to visit Parnassus Books in 2015!
Parnassus Book Club Selections
January - And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
February - Flora, by Gail Godwin
Parnassus Classics Club - The Professor's House, by Willa Cather
Parnassus book club meetings are free and open to anyone. Buy the book, read the book and join the discussion!
Kathy Schultenover, Book Club Coordinator