Read Dangerously Book Club

  • Posted on: 30 November 2022
  • By: TanyaMills

Collage of Read Dangerously Book Club Cover Picks

"Literature can help rescue us in times of trauma...In an era when America has never been so divided and when onetime adversaries have become actual enemies, fiction, with its tendency toward empathy, understanding, and nuance, offers a path forward toward genuine engagement. To keep our democracy, Nafisi argues, the role of literature is vital. In the great writers of our time--from Toni Morrison to David Grossman to Ta-Nehisi Coates--she finds a tonic for a political environment with 'too much ideology and not enough discourse.'" (Taken from the front flap of Read Dangerously)

 

I have wanted to pave a way toward building bridges in our community and I believe this book club is one step in that direction. We all grew up with a certain set of beliefs, but how often are we willing to take a wider view and read outside our comfort zone? This book club aims to do just that, and we don't want to just present one way of looking at issues, either. All voices are welcome.

 

In 2023 when we first began this club, we met virtually, but we have since agreed to try and meet in person in 2024. If you are interested in joining this group, please email me at tanya@thebookbungalow.com or call the store at 435-619-8200 and ask to speak to the manager for more details.

 

 

If you scroll down to the bottom, you will find a link to download the 2023 inaugural book club list.

 

2024 READ DANGEROUSLY BOOK CLUB LIST

 

JANUARY - The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger (2022) | 400 pages | $18.00 – In the foment of Weimar-era Berlin, the Oppermann brothers represent tradition and stability. One brother oversees the furniture chain founded by their grandfather, one is an eminent surgeon, one a respected critic. They are rich, cultured, liberal, and public spirited, proud inheritors of the German enlightenment. They don't see Hitler as a threat. Then, to their horror, the Nazis come to power, and the Oppermanns and their children are faced with the terrible decision of whether to adapt (if they can), flee, or try to fight. Written in 1933, nearly in real time, The Oppermanns captures the day-to-day vertigo of watching a liberal democracy fall apart. As Joshua Cohen writes in his introduction to this new edition, it is "one of the last masterpieces of German-Jewish culture." Prescient and chilling, it has lost none of its power today.

 

FEBRUARY - Burn This Book: Notes on Literature and Engagement edited by Toni Morrison (2012) | 128 pages | $16.99 – Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book is a powerful collection of essays that explore the meaning of censorship and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves. As Americans we often take our freedom of speech for granted. When we talk about censorship we talk about China, the former Soviet Union, or the Middle East. But recent political developments—including the passage of the Patriot Act—have shined a spotlight on profound acts of censorship in our own backyard. Burn This Book features a sterling roster of award-winning writers offering their incisive, uncensored views on this most essential topic, including such revered literary heavyweights as Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, David Grossman, and Nadine Gordimer, among others.

 

MARCH - Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning by Elliot Ackerman (2020) | 256 pages | $17.00 – At once an intensely personal story about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the larger meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region, and the world, Places and Names bids fair to take its place among our greatest books about modern war. From a decorated Marine war veteran and National Book Award finalist, an astonishing reckoning with the nature of combat and the human cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

 

APRIL - The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (2020) | 448 pages | $18.00 – More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets. As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she reveals the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

 

MAY - Writing in the Dark by David Grossman (2009) | 144 pages | $19.00 - Profound essays on Israel, literature, and language from one of the country's most respected and best-loved voices. Throughout his career, David Grossman has been a voice for peace and reconciliation between Israel and its Arab citizens and neighbors. In these six essays on politics and culture in Israel, he addresses the conscience of a country that has lost faith in its leaders and its ideals. This collection includes an already famous speech concerning the disastrous Second Lebanon War of 2006, the war that took the life of Grossman's twenty-year-old son, Uri. Moving, human, clear-sighted, and courageous, touching on literature and artistic creation as well as politics and philosophy, these writings are a cri de coeur from a writer who has been, for nearly two decades, one of the most original and talented not only in his own country, but anywhere (The New York Times Book Review).

 

JUNE - Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (2013) | 240 pages | $16.00 – In one of the greatest American classics, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way that Americans understand themselves.

 

JULY - Persuasion by Jane Austen (2003) | 288 pages | $7.00 – Jane Austen's moving late novel of missed opportunities and second chances centers on Anne Elliot, no longer young and with few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she was persuaded by others to break off her engagement to poor, handsome naval captain Frederick Wentworth. What happens when they meet again is movingly told in Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, and a mature, tender love story tinged with heartache.

 

AUGUST - Herzog by Saul Bellow (2003) | 400 pages | $20.00 – This is the story of Moses Herzog, a great sufferer, joker, mourner, and charmer. Although his life steadily disintegrates around him—he has failed as a writer and teacher, as a father, and has lost the affection of his wife to his best friends—Herzog sees himself as a survivor, both of his private disasters and those of the age. He writes unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, revealing his wry perception of the world and the innermost secrets of his heart. In one of his finest achievements, Nobel Prize winner Bellow presents a multifaceted portrait of a modern-day hero, a man struggling with the complexity of existence and longing for redemption. Winner of the National Book Awards.

 

SEPTEMBER - If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1982) | 272 pages | $18.99 This book is a feat of striking ingenuity and intelligence, exploring how our reading choices can shape and transform our lives. Originally published in 1979, Italo Calvino's singular novel crafted a postmodern narrative like never seen before--offering not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together, the stories form a labyrinth of literature known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers pursue the story lines that intrigue them and try to read each other. Deeply profound and surprisingly romantic, this classic is a beautiful meditation on the transformative power of reading and the ways we make meaning in our lives.

 

OCTOBER - Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (2002) | 335 pages | $13.00 – This exquisite novel tells the story of one of the most compelling heroines in modern literature--Emma Bovary. Unhappily married to a devoted, clumsy provincial doctor, Emma revolts against the ordinariness of her life by pursuing voluptuous dreams of ecstasy and love.

 

NOVEMBER - The Blind Owl by Sadeq Hedayat (2022) | 112 pages | $14.00 – Sadeq  Hedayat's masterpiece, tells the story of a young pen-case painter and his heartbreak. Isolated and alone, he mourns the loss of a mysterious love while descending into recollections and dreams frosted over by opium and alcohol, and imbued with the images he paints: an old man, a cypress tree, a beautiful woman, a waterlily. In stark, lyrical terms, the puzzle of the pen-case painter's grief is slowly unveiled ... As inscrutable as it is universal, Blind Owl is the seminal work of Persian modernism, and one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

 

DECEMBER - The Ambassadors by Henry James (2008) | 544 pages | $11.00 – Concerned that her son Chad may have become involved with a woman of dubious reputation, the formidable Mrs. Newsome sends her 'ambassador' Strether from Massachusetts to Paris to extricate him. Strether's mission, however, is gradually undermined as he falls under the spell of the city and finds Chad refined rather than corrupted by its influence and that of his charming companion, Madame de Vionnet, and her daughter, Jeanne. As the summer wears on, Mrs. Newsome concludes that she must send another envoy to confront the errant Chad and a Strether whose view of the world has changed profoundly. One of the greatest of James's late works, The Ambassadors is a subtle and witty exploration of different responses to a European environment.

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 7:00pm
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Online via Zoom
St. George, UT 84770-4087
The Oppermanns By Lion Feuchtwanger, Joshua Cohen (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Lion Feuchtwanger, Joshua Cohen (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781946022332
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: McNally Editions - October 18th, 2022

Burn This Book: Notes on Literature and Engagement By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061774010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - September 11th, 2012

Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning By Elliot Ackerman Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780525559986
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 9th, 2020

The Testaments: A Novel By Margaret Atwood Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525562627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - September 1st, 2020

Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (Translated by) Cover Image
By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (Translated by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780312428600
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - September 1st, 2009

Go Tell It on the Mountain (Vintage International) By James Baldwin Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375701870
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 12th, 2013

Persuasion By Jane Austen, Gillian Beer (Editor), Gillian Beer (Introduction by), Gillian Beer (Notes by) Cover Image
By Jane Austen, Gillian Beer (Editor), Gillian Beer (Introduction by), Gillian Beer (Notes by)
$7.00
ISBN: 9780141439686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - April 29th, 2003

Herzog By Saul Bellow, Philip Roth (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Saul Bellow, Philip Roth (Introduction by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780142437292
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - February 25th, 2003

If On A Winter's Night A Traveler By Italo Calvino Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780156439619
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books Classics - October 20th, 1982

Madame Bovary By Gustave Flaubert, Geoffrey Wall (Translated by), Geoffrey Wall (Introduction by), Geoffrey Wall (Notes by), Michele Roberts (Preface by) Cover Image
By Gustave Flaubert, Geoffrey Wall (Translated by), Geoffrey Wall (Introduction by), Geoffrey Wall (Notes by), Michele Roberts (Preface by)
$13.00
ISBN: 9780140449129
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - December 31st, 2002

Blind Owl By Sadeq Hedayat, Sassan Tabatabai (Translated by), Sassan Tabatabai (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Sadeq Hedayat, Sassan Tabatabai (Translated by), Sassan Tabatabai (Introduction by)
$14.00
ISBN: 9780143136583
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - April 12th, 2022

The Ambassadors By Henry James, Adrian Poole (Introduction by), Philip Horne (Editor), Adrian Poole (Notes by) Cover Image
By Henry James, Adrian Poole (Introduction by), Philip Horne (Editor), Adrian Poole (Notes by)
$11.00
ISBN: 9780141441320
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - June 24th, 2008