Future Book Suggestions

If you have any suggestions for books that we should read for book club please reply to this topic and maybe link to a review or two.

This essay collection looks interesting Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Cory Doctorow wrote a review that makes it sound great.

As these essays are threaded together by West into the tale of her adult life, she lays down a template for how to talk across deep divides to create dialogues with people who do bad things, but who are not, themselves, irredeemable. Her contributions to the fierce and awful debate about whether rape jokes are good comedy are a prime example of this. West’s essays and tweets about the subject – which asks comedians to confront great hurts they have thoughtlessly caused to many in their audience – led to her being conscripted as a spokeswoman, and then a hate-figure. Her response to the outpouring of threats and vitriol that followed was so stark and irrefutable that it actually changed the debate.

I don’t know if people are into history books. I think they can be an interesting change of pace. I’ve seen a couple of people plugging this 1177 BC book. It might be worth a look.

The Amazon review sez:

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the “Sea Peoples” invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did
most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades.
No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this “First Dark Ages,” Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age–and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

I’m trying this out as I think of reasonable ideas for books whenever I’m not at book club. Here are some suggestions the popped up while I was at the Lake Forest Park Third Place Books

While The City Slept (Seattle topic)
SPQR. Ancient Rome
Hillbilly Elegy or White Trash (I think they are similar so not both)
The Pigeon Tunnel (John LeCarre)
The Grand Hotel - classic from Victoria Baum

I would be interested.

Two history books in a row though?

Another suggestion I’ve mentioned before which I’d like to have reconsidered. We talk a lot about our love/hate relationship with dystopian fiction and we’ve read a few of those now but I think it’s much harder to write a realistic utopian novel.

I put forward Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson. It’s the third of a set of unrelated books set in three different future Californias. I’ve read a few of Robinson’s novels (his Mars trilogy and I’m currently reading the first of that California trilogy). I think he is not particularly good at plot and his characters are pretty good but not great. What he really is good at is interesting ideas. I think that probably makes him a decent candidate for a book club book. The risk is that part I mentioned about plot. I found his second Mars book to be a horrible slog as it is quite boring in parts. He spends 3 or 4 chapters with all the characters attending a conference and hammering out a declaration of principals or something like that. Ugh! An so many chapters of people just driving around Mars trying to get to where the action is. Not a page turner though, again, lots of interesting ideas and characters.

The treeeeeees!