100 Books Club.

I started this back in May, and here’s how it works.

Every month (though sometimes I skip a month or two if life gets weird), I read a new book from the Easton Press 100 Greatest Books collection.  Anyone who likes the idea is welcome to join in the discussion: for a month, for the duration, or something in between.

The discussions take place in two locations: via Twitter group-DM and on my brand new forums.  Either format has advantages and disadvantages; you’re welcome to use either or both.  If you make regular use of Twitter and want a quick back-and-forth, DM will be best.  If you want to write 4-paragraph essays, forums will definitely be better.  I’ll probably do some cross-linking between the two formats.

These discussions are open-ended, meaning that in October you are still welcome to chime in and talk about what we read in May or June.  When discussing a “current” book, we try to avoid discussing parts of the book that are ahead of schedule, in case there’s anyone left in the universe who’s unspoiled about the ending of Jekyll & Hyde or what have you.

Both academic commentary and gut reactions (“Wow, that character is a jerk”) are equally welcome – you don’t need any sort of background analyzing/discussing literature in order to join us.  I am not a college graduate, myself, so my own input tends to be more of the gut-reaction variety, though I do cheat by looking at Spark Notes and Wikipedia for stuff like symbolism and historical context.

I try to arrange the books into meaningful groups so that I can intelligently compare/contrast, but sometimes I’ll throw something random in there just for fun.  For example, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was necessary as a breather in the middle of our 19th century Russian novel phase, since there were five Russian classics in the set, most quite long.

This is a zero-pressure group.  I have set “deadlines” for myself just to motivate me, but you’re welcome to straggle in two months late and say, “Oh yeah, I liked that bit too.”  The more the merrier!

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