Reading Group Roundup – August 2013

Left Bank Books hosts reading groups that are always welcoming to new members! If you have any questions or think you’d like to register your book group with Left Bank Books, please drop Jonesey a line at Here’s what our groups are reading this month. Pick up a copy for 20% off at either store, and join in the fun!

The Sex Lives of CannibalsSunday, August 11th, at 2pm in the Downtown store, join Jonesey and Reading the World as they discuss The Sex Lives of Cannibals by Maarten Troost: At the age of twenty-six, Maarten decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. This is his hilarious story.

Vermont PlaysMonday, August 12th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), Shane and his group, Read This Play, will be discussing The Vermont Plays by Annie Baker: “Circle Mirror Transformation,” which takes place in a summer acting class and alternates between theater exercises and moments between classmates, shares the 2010 OBIE Award for Best Play with “The Aliens,” which explores weighty topics of love and death through the easy banter of the slackers behind the local coffee shop. Also included is “Body Awareness,” set during Body Awareness Week at the local college, and “Nocturama,” in which a twenty-six-year-old Brooklynite returns to live with his mom and video game obsessed stepfather.

ValenciaThursday, August 15th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), the Lesbian Reading Group will be reading Valencia, Michelle Tea’s fast-paced account of her search for love and high times in the drama-filled dyke world of San Francisco’s Mission District. There’s the knife-wielding Marta, who introduces Michelle to a new world of radical sex; Willa, Michelle’s tormented poet-girlfriend; Iris, the beautiful boy-dyke who ran away from the South in a dust cloud of drama; and Iris’s ex, to whom Michelle turns when Iris breaks her heart.

Daughter of TimeTuesday, August 20th, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), Shakespeare Festival Reads will discuss The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey: Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to one of history’s most heinous villains – a king who killed his brother’s children to secure his crown? Grant determines to find out once and for all what kind of man Richard was and who, in fact, killed the princes in the tower.

Unreal LifeThursday, August 22nd, at 7:30pm in the CWE store (downstairs), the Gay Men’s Reading Group will be discussing The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov by Paul Russell, his novel based on the extraordinary life of the gay brother of Vladimir Nabokov: his stuttering childhood in the shadow of his brilliant brother, his opium-fueled evenings with his sometimes lover Cocteau, his troubled love life on the margins of the Ballets Russes and its legendary cast, and his isolation in war torn Berlin where he will ultimately be arrested, sent to a camp and die in 1945.

Bel CantoWednesday, August 28th, 12pm, in our Downtown store, Kris and the Novel Ideas reading group will discuss Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of a powerful businessman. It is a perfect evening – until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

Elizabeth CostellSaturday, August 31st, 4pm, in our Downtown store, the Writers Read group will be discussing Elizabeth Costello by JM Coetzee: After eight novels that have won, among other awards, two Booker Prizes, and most recently, the Nobel Prize, JM Coetzee has once again crafted an unusual and deeply affecting tale. Told through an ingenious series of formal addresses, Elizabeth Costello is, on the surface, the story of a woman’s life as mother, sister, lover, and writer. Yet it is also a profound and haunting meditation on the nature of storytelling.

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