Read It Like Rory Book Club
Books Inc. Laurel Village
2nd Wednesday of Every Month
7 seasons, 154 episodes, 300 books...and counting. Who’s up for reading the canon according to the Gilmore Girls? Join us every second Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm and find out. Coffee provided, no scowl attached. This isn’t Luke’s.
September 2017 Selection: The "Wicked Pavilion" of the title is the Cafe Julien, where everybody who is anybody goes to recover from failed love affairs and to pursue new ones, to cadge money, to hatch plots, and to puncture one another's reputation. Dennis Orphen, the writer from Dawn Powell's Turn, Magic Wheel, makes an appearance here, as does Andy Callingham, Powell's thinly disguised Ernest Hemingway. The climax of this mercilessly funny novel comes with a party which, remarked Gore Vidal, "resembles Proust's last roundup," and where one of the partygoers observes, "There are some people here who have been dead twenty years."
August 2017 Selection: Like his National Book Award--winning United States, Gore Vidal's scintillating ninth collection, The Last Empire , affirms his reputation as our most provocative critic and observer of the modern American scene. In the essays collected here, Vidal brings his keen intellect, experience, and razor-edged wit to bear on an astonishing range of subjects. From his celebrated profiles of Clare Boothe Luce and Charles Lindbergh and his controversial essay about the Bill of Rights-which sparked an extended correspondence with convicted Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh-to his provocative analyses of literary icons such as John Updike and Mark Twain and his trenchant observations about terrorism, civil liberties, the CIA, Al Gore, Tony Blair, and the Clintons, Vidal weaves a rich tapestry of personal anecdote, critical insight, and historical detail. Written between the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and the electoral crisis of 2000, The Last Empire is a sweeping coda to the last century's conflicted vision of the American dream.
May 2017 Selection: The classic boyhood adventure tale, updated with a new introduction by noted Mark Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen and a foreword by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and The Republic of Imagination
In recent years, neither the persistent effort to "clean up" the racial epithets in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn nor its consistent use in the classroom have diminished, highlighting the novel's wide-ranging influence and its continued importance in American society. An incomparable adventure story, it is a vignette of a turbulent, yet hopeful epoch in American history, defining the experience of a nation in voices often satirical, but always authentic.
April 2017 Option #4: Emerging from the grit and stigma of poverty to a life of fairytale privilege under the wing of her aunt, the beautiful and financially ambitious Kate Croy is already romantically involved with promising journalist Merton Densher when they become acquainted with Milly Theale, a New York socialite of immense wealth. Learning of Milly's mortal illness and passionate attraction to Densher, Kate sets the scene for a romantic betrayal intended to secure her lasting financial security. As the dying Milly retreats within the carnival splendour of a Venetian palazzo, becoming the frail hub of a predatory circle of fortune-seekers, James unfolds a resonant, brooding tale of doomed passion, betrayal, human resilience and remorse.
April 2017 Option #3: After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie Farange finds herself shuttled between her selfish mother and vain father, who value her only as a means for provoking each other. Maisie--solitary, observant, and wise beyond her years--is drawn into an increasingly entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal until she is finally compelled to choose her own future. Published in 1897 as Henry James was experimenting with narrative technique and fascinated by the idea of the child's-eye view, What Maisie Knew is a subtle yet devastating portrayal of an innocent adrift in a corrupt society.
April 2017 Option #2: One of the great heroines of American literature, Isabel Archer, journeys to Europe in order to, as Henry James writes in his 1908 Preface, "affront her destiny." James began The Portrait of a Lady without a plot or subject, only the slim but provocative notion of a young woman taking control of her fate. The result is a richly imagined study of an American heiress who turns away her suitors in an effort to first establish--and then protect--her independence. But Isabel's pursuit of spiritual freedom collapses when she meets the captivating Gilbert Osmond. "James's formidable powers of observation, his stance as a kind of bachelor recorder of human doings in which he is not involved," writes Hortense Calisher, "make him a first-class documentarian, joining him to that great body of storytellers who amass what formal history cannot.
April 2017 Option #1: Christopher Newman, a 'self-made' American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde. Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage. When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes' past, he confronts a moral dilemma: Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge? James's masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners.
March 2017 Selection: In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister--a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, and equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different. This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. If only she had found the means to create, argues Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay, she takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give voice to those who are without. Her message is a simple one: women must have a fixed income and a room of their own in order to have the freedom to create.
February 2017 Selection: With classic simplicity and a painter's feeling for atmosphere and detail, Isak Dinesen tells of the years she spent from 1914 to 1931 managing a coffee plantation in Kenya.
January 2017 Selection: The second revision in sixty years, this sublime collection ranges over the verse, stories, essays, and journalism of one of the twentieth century's most quotable authors.
For this new twenty-first-century edition, devoted admirers can be sure to find their favorite verse and stories. But a variety of fresh material has also been added to create a fuller, more authentic picture of her life's work. There are some stories new to the Portable, "Such a Pretty Little Picture," along with a selection of articles written for such disparate publications as Vogue, McCall's, House and Garden, and New Masses. Two of these pieces concern home decorating, a subject not usually associated with Mrs. Parker. At the heart of her serious work lies her political writings-racial, labor, international-and so "Soldiers of the Republic" is joined by reprints of "Not Enough" and "Sophisticated Poetry-And the Hell With It," both of which first appeared in New Masses. "A Dorothy Parker Sampler" blends the sublime and the silly with the terrifying, a sort of tasting menu of verse, stories, essays, political journalism, a speech on writing, plus a catchy off-the-cuff rhyme she never thought to write down.
The introduction of two new sections is intended to provide the richest possible sense of Parker herself. "Self-Portrait" reprints an interview she did in 1956 with The Paris Review, part of a famed ongoing series of conversations ("Writers at Work") that the literary journal conducted with the best of twentieth-century writers. What makes the interviews so interesting is that they were permitted to edit their transcripts before publication, resulting in miniature autobiographies.
"Letters: 1905-1962," which might be subtitled "Mrs. Parker Completely Uncensored," presents correspondence written over the period of a half century, beginning in 1905 when twelve-year-old Dottie wrote her father during a summer vacation on Long Island, and concluding with a 1962 missive from Hollywood describing her fondness for Marilyn Monroe.
A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps, rough front, and luxurious packaging
Features an introduction from Marion Meade andcover illustrations byrenowned graphic artist Seth, creator of the comic series Palooka-ville
November 2016 Selection: Austen's hilarious early stories and sketches complete with her delightfully quirky spelling habits now collected in one volume, including "Lady Susan, the basis for Whit Stillman's feature film"Love and Friendship"starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny
Jane Austen's earliest writing dates from when she was just eleven-years-old, and already shows the hallmarks of her mature work. But it is also a product of the times in which she grew up dark, grotesque, often surprisingly bawdy, and a far cry from the polished, sparkling novels of manners for which she became famous. Drunken heroines, babies who bite off their mothers fingers, and a letter-writer who has murdered her whole family all feature in these highly spirited pieces. This edition includes all of Austen's juvenilia, including her "History of England" - written by a 'partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian and the novella "Lady Susan," in which the anti-heroine schemes and cheats her way through high society. With a title that captures a young Austen's original idiosyncratic spelling habits andan introduction by Christine Alexanderthat shows how Austen was self-consciously fashioning herself as a writer from an early age, this is a must-have for any Austen lover.
October 2016 Selection: The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under -- maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
September 2016 Selection: Written with a trenchant, sardonic edge, "The Group" is a dazzlingly outspoken novel and a captivating look at the social history of America between two world wars.
Mary McCarthy s most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as the group. An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings, they meet a week after graduation to watch Kay Strong get married. After the ceremony, the women begin their adult lives traveling to Europe, tackling the worlds of nursing and publishing, and finding love and heartbreak in the streets of New York City. Through the years, some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other's affairs, but all vow not to become like their mothers and fathers. It is only when one of them passes away that they all come back together again to mourn the loss of a friend, a confidante, and most importantly, a member of the group.
August 2016 Selection: The award-winning, nationally bestselling translation, by Lydia Davis, of one of the world s most celebrated novels
Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs in an effort to make her life everything she believes it should be. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, she takes drastic action, with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. In this landmark new translation of Gustave Flaubert's masterwork, award-winning writer and translator Lydia Davis honors the nuances and particulars of Flaubert's legendary prose style, giving new life in English to the book that redefined the novel as an art form.