For our September book club, we went with books that will look good on the beach. We didn’t really, but we did pick two very recent novels that we thought would help us survive a summer without a book club! Both are a little longer than usual, but you’ll have two months to read it, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

30962053The Idiot
Elif Batuman

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

29906980Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders

The captivating first novel by the best-selling, National Book Award nominee George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven-year-old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War

On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body.

Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel – in its form and voice – completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace.

You can vote for your favorite summer read here

Pick our summer book club book
  • The Idiot 58%, 7 votes
    7 votes 58%
    7 votes - 58% of all votes
  • Lincoln in the Bardo 42%, 5 votes
    5 votes 42%
    5 votes - 42% of all votes
Total Votes: 12
July 3, 2017 - July 12, 2017
Voting is closed

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The Idiot
Lincoln in the Bardo

 

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Lincoln in the Bardo

 

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Author

Bored to Death book club is set up by two sisters who love to read and have nothing better to do than to start a book club.

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