By Samantha Bryant; Covers by Nathan Kotecki
The First Monday Classics Book Club meets at the main library in Hillsborough the first Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Discussions are led and facilitated by local authors James Maxey, Nathan Kotecki, and Samantha Bryant. New members are welcome at any time. You can come to just a single meeting when the group is reading something that catches your eye, or come to them all. There’s a public facebook group as well where you can keep up with discussions and continue the conversation outside the confines of our meetings.
For 2016, the group has expanded its scope, trying to bring in more world literature and works by minorities while still maintaining a focus on classics: works that endure.
We’ll begin the 2016 season with If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. By far the most recent book we will have tackled, Winter’s Night is considered a postmodern classic.
In February, we’ll take on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. The 1937 novel is Hurston’s best known work and is widely praised for its wit and pathos.
In March, just as the daylight comes back, we’ll read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. As Conrad described it: “A wild story of a journalist who becomes manager of a station in the (African) interior and makes himself worshipped by a tribe of savages. Thus described, the subject seems comic, but it isn’t.”
In April, we’ll read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. The subtitle, A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, speaks to the gonzo journalism blend of fact and fiction that makes this work a landmark piece.
In May, We’ll read The Bridge on the Drina by Yugoslavian author Ivo Andrić. The back of the book says that Drina is “a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I.”
In June, we’ll read Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. The novel was Wharton’s twelfth and it won her the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, the first time the prize had been awarded to a woman author.
The first Monday in July is a holiday (Fourth of July), so we won’t meet that month. In August, we’ll read The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Many feel that this exploration of the relationship between happiness and money is his finest work.
We’ll collect suggestions for the second half of the year throughout our meetings and announce the selections in August. If you love classic literature or just want to give yourself an excuse to read all those things you’ve always meant to read, this is the book club for you. Come join us.