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Breaking Down the Literature Myth

Discussions on What Comprises a Worthy Waste of Time

A Book Discussion Group
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
The brain child of a handful of us. We wanted a place where we could read all those books our teachers hounded us with in school and discuss openly our thoughts and opinions without:
  • subsequently having to write five pages defending the opinion
  • being snubbed or vetoed by the literate elite (aka English Majors--yeah, I went there)

All things in good time
This is not a "hey, I just read a good book" suggestion community. We are a book club/dicussion group. There will be a list, there will be deadlines, there will be open discussions of the reading.

If you want to do a book that isn't already on the list, drop a comment here with title and author, and we'll tack it on and get to it whenever.

Anything goes
I'm not your teacher. I'm not going to stand behind the podium with my teacher's manual and tell you your perception of the book is wrong. That being said, do make sure you are clear, concise, and can back up what you're saying.

I'm not going to demand essays of anyone, but you do need to have clarification and reason for the argument. A single sentence does not constitute insight, nor in fact, does it constitute discussion. Any insight you may have about any aspect of a book--a character, a chapter, a scene, the book itself--should be at least a paragraph in length.

Be prepared
People think differently, people percieve things different; that is probably the most significant aspect of reading comprehension, no two people will be wholely in agreement on what the important details/facts/themes of a particular work are. Be prepared for that.

There's little to discuss in the end if we all agree on the same things. However, that does not mean I anticipate fights breaking out. Discussions/debates should be civil and held to a reasonable level of discord.

This community is not only for discussions on classic literature. If there's anything contemporary or anything within the realm of online, by all means, bring it up. We'll work it into the list.

The List (in no special order, just as I thought them up or added them in):
-And thanks to skylark97 for her patience and forethought in appending any necessary/relevant links to the titles.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Acabe
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol'
The Iliad by Homer
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Lord Ruthven by John Williams Polidori
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Arabian Nights by Hussain Haddawy and Muhsin Mahdi (maybe excerpts?)
The Canterbury Tales Maybe?
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Bhagavad Gita
Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Metaorphisis by Franz Kafka
The Roaring Girl by Middleton and Dekker

Short Stories

The Cask of Amontillado (plus others) by EA Poe
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Lady or the Tiger by Frank Stockton
The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs
The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
The Belkin Tales by Aleksandr Pushkin
To Build A Fire by Jack London
The Story of an Hour or Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Contemporary Fiction

Vertical Run by Joseph Garber
It by Stephen King
Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
American Gods by Neil Gaimen
Watchers by Dean Koontz
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
The Mermaid's Song by Marianne Willman
Sphere by Michael Crichton (or any of his, if someone has a pref)
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
Modred: Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg
Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Nightlife by Rob Thurman
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
She Unnames Them by Ursula Le Guin
Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Hood by Stephen Lawhead

Short Stories

Night Shift (or any other collection) by Stephen King*
Smoke and Mirrors(collection) by Neil Gaimen*
Strange Highways (collection) by Dean Koontz*
Once Upon a Rose by Nora Roberts and others*
The Faery Reel ed. Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow*
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Without Reservations by JL Langley

Manga/Comic/Graphic Novel
The Horrible Truth About Comics by James Kochalka

*Specific stories chosen from each

Schedule for the upcoming couple of months:

June 10 -- Short Story Interval: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

June 17 -- The Memoirs of Hadrian: Animula Vagula Blandula, Varius Multiplex Multiformis

June 24 -- Memoirs of Hadrian: Tellus Stabilita, Saeculum Aueum

July 1 -- Memoirs of Hadrian: Disciplina Augusta, Patienta