Our reading schedule for winter term 2022/2023 has been decided and it is a mix of murder and mystery, family and fantasy, and—above all—love.
We kick things off on November 10, 2022 with a world-wide book phenomenon:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The 2018 coming-of-age and murder-mystery novel about marsh girl Kya sold millions of copies and has been successfully adaptated for the big screen. We want to know what all the buzz is about, what those crawdads are singing about, and as our club member Delia put it, “Delias need more representation, anyway.” Who can argue with that?
We have a ghostly Christmas on December 8, 2022 with an autofictional poet-to-poet conversation:
A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
This 2021 hybrid of poem translation, scholarly essay and feminist biography connects 18th-century Irish noblewoman Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill with 21st-century Irish author Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Ní Chonaill wrote a roaring love poem for her slain husband—Ní Ghríofa fell under both the poem’s and the noblewoman’s thrall. Will we, too?
The ghostly Christmas session is completed by an extravaganza that might just become a new annual tradition: a Secret Santa Book Swap! This is how it works:
- Everybody who wants to participate selects a book that they have read and want somebody else to enjoy, too.
- It must be originally written in English. It can be by any author, from any genre, from any time period. It can be second-hand or brand-new.
- It must be wrapped in paper and given a little written teaser that should not give away the title or author but only give the potential receiver a little hint at what sort of book it is and why it’s interesting.
- We will figure out who takes which parcel during our December session and enjoy the surprise unwrappings.
We start the new year on January 12, 2023 with a collection of short stories:
Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E. Kirby
The titular “shit” in this 2022 collection is what women in antiquity and modernity alike are dealing with in their everyday lives: being mothers, lovers, and entrepreneurs. Getting things but also their nails done. Minding their own business and being allowed to do so by everybody else—especially men. This promises to be a heated discussion about the book and about all it refers to.
We continue our schedule on February 9, 2023 with a coming-of-age classic:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The 1999 epistolary novel follows introvert but observant Charlie through his high school freshman year. As a well-known, world-wide online trader informs us, more than 10,000 readers have bookmarked Charlie’s assertion, “You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.” We will not be quiet—let’s discuss and understand.
This session is a double feature where we not only discuss Chbosky’s novel but also watch his 2012 film adaptation starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller.
We include a Valentine’s session on February 14, 2023 with a heart-warming graphic novel:
Heartstopper, Volume 1 by Alice Oseman
“Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love.” This simple, yet incisive formula forms the foundation of Oseman’s 2019 LGBTQ+ story that has not only become a best-seller but also been turned into a live-action Netflix series. Let’s spread some love in book club, too! Valentine’s is for everybody.
We wrap things up on March 9, 2023 with a fantasy family story:
Gallant by V. E. Schwab
The 2022 young-adult novel gives a voice and—what is even more important—a family to Olivia who grows up in an orphanage but discovers that she not only has a family but that this family has a legacy far beyond what she could have imagined. This promises to be a fanciful conclusion to this winter term.