It’s going to be another great year of selections for the Civil Readers, with six great titles chosen, as always, after careful consultation with our members. This year I’ve mapped out all six meetings in advance so you can plan accordingly. Come to any or all the meetings for civil pints and lively discussion at what has been called by member Marty Daly “the most democratic book club in North America.”
Please note that all meetings take place from seven until nine pm on Mondays at the Civil Life.
The Circle by Dave Eggers.
Published just two years ago, The Circle is the 1984 or the Brave New World for our era. It tells the story of a bright young woman who gets to work at a powerful Internet company (think Google, Facebook, and Twitter rolled into one) whose benevolent founders want to use technology to improve the lives of everyone … except there’s a darker underside to the Circle.
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
Essays covering everything from tennis to television and the Illinois State Fair to a Caribbean cruise show Wallace was just as brilliant, funny, and engaging writing non-fiction as he was in Infinite Jest (one of the greatest novels of the last fifty years).
The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye
An arrogant European is shipwrecked off of Africa where he is forced to confront his preconceived notions as he travels with two young boys and a beggar in search of the king. The story is told in increasingly hypnotic, lush, impressionistic prose by a Guinean author who should be much better known than he is.
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Chilean-born Bolaño writes a telescoping and complex narrative focused on two poets in search of an older poet who has disappeared. Their decades-long odyssey is told from multiple perspectives and jumps back and forth in time. Bolaño called the work “a love letter to my generation.”
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
For those of you who think you hate poetry or cannot understand it, think again. This earthy, lusty work told with a powerful rhythmic drive is the birth of American poetry. It is as engaging and relevant as it ever was.
You’ll Enjoy It When You Get There by Elizabeth Taylor
No, not that Elizabeth Taylor. After years of neglect, this less-well-known Elizabeth Taylor is finally getting the recognition she deserves, especially for her exquisite short stories, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker. Nearly plotless, many deal with the daily activities of suburban housewives, but there is so much more beneath the surface.
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.