We’re happy to introduce the NWK Tumblr Book Club! (We asked, and you answered!)
After consulting with our brilliant books editor, we selected 5 titles from our “Best Summer Reads of 2012” list. Now it’s up to YOU to pick which of the 5 we read first. We’ll announce your pick later this week, and let’s plan to start reading next week (July 2nd)!
Here are summaries of the 5 books you can vote for:
Capital by John Lanchester
Trollopian, Dickensian, Balzacian—all should spring to mind when you pick up John Lanchester’s hefty new novel about near present-day London. Set on a typical (and dear reader, atypical in having a writer as gifted as Lanchester tell its story) London street (Pepys Road), he weaves a rich story about the financial collapse and its impact on financier and graffiti artist alike. We’re all connected by capital.
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
“Literary thinking relies upon literary memory, and the drama of recognition,” Harold Bloom once wrote. Shipstead’s first novel can be read as an unremarkable Harvard-tinted, golf-club obsessed WASP comedy about a—what else—wedding on a—where else—Cape Cod island. But read past that and it’s clear Shipstead is coming to terms with T.S. Eliot (quoted in the epigraph), Shakespeare, Arthurian legends (chapters include “The Castle of the Maidens” and “The Maimed King”), and other mythologies (“A Centaur” and “The Ouroboros”), and connecting it to the American Camelot. (Even the title “Seating Arrangements” brings to mind the round table.) This is ambitious, but if you grew up in New England, how many times have you sat on your beach chair with “The Once and Future King” and a biography of JFK, purling these mythologies in your sunned head?
The Red House by Mark Haddon
There’s a red house over yonder, and just as Jimi Hendrix splintered and exploded the blues while remaining exciting and accessible, Haddon, the author of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” has the same tendency on narrative. So it is that the story of Richard, a doctor who invites his sister’s family to stay at his vacation home, is told through the perspectives of eight different people, with almost each paragraph beginning with “Daisy wants happiness…” “Melissa tries to ring…” “Benjamin was crying…” At its best, it resembles a game of “Clue.”
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The rotation of the world begins to slow, and the end of days (at least, of 24-hour days) is written not only as the struggle for survival but also a terrible bummer when 11-year-old Julia tries to maintain her crush on hottie Seth Moreno. This debut novel might sound like a cross between The Lovely Bones and Lar von Trier’s film Melancholia, but the conceit is memorable and there are hilarious moments. “We were not required to squeeze our days into twenty-four little hours. No new law was passed or put into place. This was America.”
Gold by Chris Cleave
“Incendiary” and the mega-million bestseller “Little Bee” depended on the driving force of plot, and Gold is the same. But the story of three friends eyeing their last chance at a gold medal in track cycling at the 2012 Olympics (and a daughter battling leukemia) is told like one long episode of Law and Order, with each scene prefaced by a date and setting, even including the hilariously imagined “Death Star, 1:55 p.m.” and “Dagobah System, 12:55 p.m.” alternating with the heartbreakingly real “Pediatric intensive care unit, North Manchester General Hospital, 12:35 p.m.” Cleave is at last completely aware of his reliance of contrived events and emotions, just like in a television drama, and there need not be any shame in it.
, fill out this quick form
OR reblog this post with your pick! We’ll annouce your choice later this week and start reading next week (July 2nd)! Also, be sure to follow this Tumblr
to be a part of our cool-kids-who-read club! So many exclamation points!