Anybody ready for another Book Menage? I am!
If you've not joined us for a Book Menage before, what we typically do is read two books and then have some questions and discussion about them. How does this differ from a regular book club? Well, for one thing, nobody has to host it and clean their house. For another, we read two books. For a third, we dispense with library-esque book club rules like "Say something positive about the book first" or any of that kind of nonsense. Normally we also do this democratically, with me offering some book pairings and everyone voting for the books, but this time? We're shaking things up a bit.
At first I thought I might pick two books off the New York Times Notable lists, one fiction and one nonfiction, and quickly selected Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories, because I don't read enough stories and I definitely don't read enough NYTimes Notable books. So then I wanted to pick a book of essays, but there weren't any on the Notables list (I looked at the 2007 list too). Why don't essays get as much play as collections of stories? Hm. This seems to me an interesting question to explore, so I decided we had to read a book of essays. The choice? George Saunders's The Braindead Megaphone.*
Why don't we welcome spring with a book discussion? If we plan to discuss these books in the comments starting on Monday, March 23, will that give everyone time to read them? And, for an added twist, I thought after that, for anyone who lives in the vicinity of Madison, Wisconsin, we could get together in a coffee shop for further discussion of these books and reading in general. How exciting does that sound? I've decided that a) I need to meet more readers, and b) I like to hang out in coffee shops and it's harder to find excuses to do so once you're out of college.
So: to recap. The books are Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter and George Saunders's The Braindead Megaphone. The discussion start date is Monday, March 23. And after that? A reader's club meeting IRL? To be continued...
*Meant to say this earlier: Next time we'll go back to voting for the Menage pairing, I promise.