Rockport Public Library
One Limerock Street, PO Box 8, Rockport, Maine 04856-0008

Wicked Good First Wednesday Book Club

with Jennifer Ruddy

We noticed newcomers to the area (and some of our regular library users) were asking about joining local book groups. In response to this need we decided to start a library book group of our own. Facilitated by long-time staff member, Jennifer Ruddy, the group met for the first time in November of 2006. We usually meet the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 in the Marine Room of the library. New members are always welcome.

 

Next meeting is...

Wednesday, July 3 @  6:30

 

July's book selection: 

March: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks

As always we welcome all interested readers to join us.

Call the library to reserve your copy at 236-3642.


At our June 4th meeting, the Wicked Good First Wednesday book group launched into a very animated discussion of what makes a book literature?. It proved to be a complicated question. We agreed that an old book, written in the 19th or early 20th century can be a classic but perhaps not qualify as literature. Literary fiction we concluded must be innovative.

We all agreed that J. M. Coetzee?s Waiting for the Barbarians is extremely innovative and unquestionably ranks as literature. His writing drew some comparisons to Kafka?s work. Coetzee, the Nobel Laureate in 2003, is South African.

The book's time, location and political circumstances aren?t specified. Most of the characters are nameless; a few have titles from their jobs or stations in the society. The possible locations we talked about included the 19th century wild west, a Nazi concentration camp and South Africa under apartheid.
 
Because of the nature of the story which includes scenes of brutal torture, many of our group found the book difficult to read, but we were all impressed by Coetzee?s beautifully mesmerizing prose. For a book of this subject matter to be so engaging and readable is rare.

The character known as the Magistrate tells the story in the first person: He has grown comfortable in an undemanding job overseeing a small outpost on the border of the ?Empire?. He gradually awakens to the barbaric treatment of innocent people by his government and begins to object to this brutality. We discussed who really were the barbarians of the book's title; who is truly guilty. Questions about symbolism in this novel also came up during our discussion - whether the Magistrate symbolized Everyman in his nature. We had some members suggest that the Magistrate could be considered Christ-like, pointing out his crucifixion at one point in the story.
 
Book group had mixed feelings about recommending Waiting for the Barbarians; it would certainly be with some qualifications due to the subject, but we felt strongly that the book is a remarkable work of literature that is both innovative and will stand the test of time.


Other titles we've discussed and recommend are:   

Month Title Author
     
June 2014 March Geraldine Brooks
May  2014 Waiting for the Barbarians J.M. Coetzee
April 2014 My Anotnia Willa Cather
March 2014 Amsterdam Ian McEwan
February 2014 Tinkers Paul Harding
January 2014 The Round House Louise Erdrich
December 2013 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan
November 2013 She's Not There Jennifer Finney Boylan
October 2013 Wild: from lost to found Cheryl Strayed
September 2013 Song of Achilles Madeline Miller
August 2013 Where'd you go, Bernadette Maria Semple
July 2013 The Intuitionist Colin Whitehead
June 2013 Interventions Richard Russo
May 2013 Chicken with plums Marjane Satrapi
April 2013 Angle of his repose Wallace Stegner
March 2013

Before You Know Kindness

Chris Bojhalian
February 2013 The Turn of the Screw Henry James
February 2013 The Secret Sharer Joseph Conrad
January 2013 Maisie Dobbs Jacqueline Winspear
December 2012 I, Robot Isaac Asimov
November 2012 The Imperfectionists Tom Rachman
October 2012

Cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulness

The Jungle Book

Alexandra Fuller

Rudyard Kipling

September 2012 The Tiger's WIfe Tea Obreht
August 2012 The Three Weissmanns of Westport Cathleen Schine
July 2012 Swamplandia! Karen Russell
June 2012 Mudbound Hilary Jordan
May 2012 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
April 2012 Birds in Fall Brad Kessler
March 2012 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Jonathan Safran Foer
February 2012 Old Filth Jane Gardam
January 2012 Land of a thousand hills Rosamond Halsey Carr
December 2011 The Lemon Table Julian Barnes
November 2011 The Lotus Eaters Tatjana Soli
October 2011 Miss Lonelyhearts
The Day of the Locusts
Nathaniel West
September 2011 A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan
August 2011 Book Group Movie Night  
July 2011 Tender is the night F. Scott Fitzgerald
June 2011 The Great house Nicole Krauss
May 2011 Acqua Alta Donna Leon
April 2011 Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet David Mitchell
March 2011 Half Broke Horses Jeannette Walls
February 2011 The Elephant and the Dragon Robyn Meredith
January 2011 The Thirteenth Tale Diane Setterfield
December 2010 The Things they carried Tim O'Brien
November 2010

Memoir of your choice or

The Sharper your knife the less you cry

Kathleen Flinn
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi
October 2010 All the pretty horses Cormac McCarthy
September 2010 Ship Fever Andrea Barrett
August 2010 Luncheon of the boating party Susan Vreeland
July 2010 Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
June 2010 Emma Jane Austen
May 2010 Sixteen Pleasures Robert Hellenga
April 2010 Cutting for stone Abraham Verghese
March 2010 Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
March 2010 The Farming of Bones Edwidge Danticat
February 2010 The Girl with the dragon tattoo Stieg Larsson
January 2010 A Short history of tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka
December 2009 Run Ann Patchett
November 2009 Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout
October 2009 Stern Men Elizabeth Gilbert
September 2009 Andorra Peter Cameron
August 2009 The New Yorkers Cathleen Schine
July 2009 A Small Island Andrea Levy
June 2009 The Gathering Anne Enright
May 2009 Peace like a river Leif Enger
April 2009 The Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
March 2009 Loving Frank Nancy Horan
February 2009 The Left hand of darkness Ursula Le Guin
January 2009 The Awakening Kate Chopin
December 2008 Breakfast at Tiffany's Truman Capote
December 2008 The Samurai's Garden Gail Tsukiyama
November 2008 Out Stealing Horses Per Petterson
October 2008 The Master Colm Toibin
September 2008 Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
August 2008 Madonnas of Leningrad Debra Dean
July 2008 Black Swan Green David Mitchell
June 2008 Atonement Ian McEwan
May 2008 Plum Wine Angela Davis-Gardner
April 2008 A chant to soothe wild elephants Jaed Coffin
March 2008 Don't let's go to the dogs tonight Alexandra Fuller

February 2008

On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan
January 2008 The History of Love Nicole Krauss
December 2007 The Piano Tuner Daniel Mason

November 2007

The Diana Chronicles Tina Brown
October 2007 The Language of Baklava Diane Abu-Jaber
September 2007 The House of Mirth Edith Wharton
August 2007 Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
July 2007 The Road Cormac McCarthy
June 2007 Broken for you Stephanie Kallos
May 2007 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
April 2007 Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky
March 2007  The Faith Club Ranya Idliby
February  2007  Leaving Mother Lake Yang Erche Namu
January 2007 Skinner's Drift Lisa Fugard
December 2006 Memory Keeper's Daughter Kim Edwards
November 2006 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

                           
                               



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