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May 30, 2005

Time Travel to Summer!

In a different time, we'd all read the classics. At least that's what I tell myself. So why not go back in time this summer and read a classic? I'm proposing we read a BIG BOOK and have the discussion go over two months - July and August.

I'd love to read Don Quixote - it's the 400th Anniversary of the book and Edith Grossman's acclaimed translation is now in paperback. Or maybe East of Eden? Bleak House? The Brothers Karamazov?

Tell me what you think of the idea and we'll make this a classic summer. Leave a comment, or send me an email.

Oh and yeah, the May discussion of The Time Traveler's Wife has begun. Thank you!

Posted by Knit One Read Too at 10:01 AM | Comments (31)

May 18, 2005

Runaway Winner!

Thanks for all the votes and comments.

The clear winner for the book discussion beginning June 27th is

Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

And don't forget the May Discussion beginning May 30th! See you there!

Posted by Knit One Read Too at 04:25 PM | Comments (6)

May 15, 2005


Here are the nominations for June's Discussion:

[Voting is below book descriptions. You can only vote once. Voting will close Wednesday, May 18th. Thank you!]

Choice #1: The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss
A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness.

Leo Gursky is just about surviving, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And though Leo doesn't know it, that book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that very book. And although she has her hands full — keeping track of her brother, Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wild — she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With consummate, spellbinding skill, Nicole Krauss gradually draws together their stories.

Choice #2: Herzog by Saul Bellow
A novel complex, compelling, absurd and realistic, Herzog became a classic almost as soon as it was published in 1964. In it Saul Bellow tells the tale of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by sending out a series of letters to all kinds of people. The letters in total constitute a thoughtful examination of his own life and that which has occurred around him. What emerges is not always pretty, but serves as gritty foundation for this absorbing novel.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Choice #3: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.

Choice #4: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner tells a sweeping story of family, love, and friendship against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, bringing to mind the large canvases of the Russian writers of the nineteenth century. But just as it is old-fashioned in its narration, it is contemporary in its subject-the devastating history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years. As emotionally gripping as it is tender, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful debut.

Choice #5: A Thread of Grace: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Set in Italy during the dramatic finale of World War II, this new novel is the first in seven years by the bestselling author of The Sparrow and Children of God.

It is September 8, 1943, and fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as it becomes overnight an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italian civilians trying to survive.

Mary Doria Russell sets her first historical novel against this dramatic background, tracing the lives of a handful of fascinating characters. Through them, she tells the little-known but true story of the network of Italian citizens who saved the lives of forty-three thousand Jews during the war's final phase. The result of five years of meticulous research, A Thread of Grace is an ambitious, engrossing novel of ideas, history, and marvelous characters that will please Russell's many fans and earn her even more.

[All of the book links lead to Powells, which has more information, including links to reviews.]

Vote Closed! Thanks!

Posted by Knit One Read Too at 08:35 AM | Comments (10)

May 01, 2005

Nominations for June's Book!

Our belated March/April book discussion officially starts today! That means we need to pick a new book.

This entry will serve as the nomination collection group. Leave your nominations for the book you'd like to discuss in June in the comments on this post. At the end of the week, I will put up a poll for voting with four or five choices. (I'll try to make it as democratic as possible when deciding on the polling options!)

So give me your titles everyone!

PS - Don't forget: Our discussion of The Time Traveler's Wife begins May 30th.

Posted by Knit One Read Too at 12:44 PM | Comments (23)