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B&B Book Club

Welcome to the inaugural B&B Book Club!

Those interested in joining the book club should select a book to read jointly and serially, and be prepared to participate in discussions of the book as we progress through it. Once a book is selected, the discussion leader for that book will post a reading schedule consisting of a chapter or so each week. The discussion circle would then read the scheduled selection and comment and discuss, continuing through the book as though it were being published serially.

Below, I have put forth a few suggestions about which book we could start with initially. My approach would be to proceed through the selected book at the rate of about 10 pages per week.

There is no need to restrict the book club discussion groups to just a single such group. There could be several such groups going simultaneously, each with a different book selection, and with different participants in each group.

If you would like to sign up for a discussion group on one of the three suggestions I have put forth below, post in this thread along with your preferred book. Or suggest a book of your own. I would want to see at least 3 people sign up for one of the suggestions before the group would start.

Note that I have avoided the overly long ("War and Peace") as well as the overtly political ("Atlas Shrugged") in the suggestions below.

My personal selection from the list below is #3 ("A New England Girlhood"). I would think this book, an important source for early American childhood, might appeal to anyone who has or had children or, for that matter, anyone who grew up in America or elsewhere around the world.

Let's see if this idea has legs. Here are my suggestions

1) Willa Cather, "MY ANTONIA"

The story of a pioneer woman on a Nebraska homestead in the late 19th century. (Approx. 250 pages, allow 4-6 months)


Science fiction story of a mad scientist who attempts to turn animals into human beings on an isolated island. (Approx 100 pages, allow 10 weeks)


Autobiographical sketch of a young girl's experiences growing up and working in the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts in the early 19th century. This book is available as a free download at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2293/2293-h/2293-h.html (124 pages in the HTML version, allow 12 weeks)

August West

Moderator Emeritus
What a great idea. Thanks so much for doing this. I will respectfully pass for now but best wishes.
I'm in. I agree with all three choices.
Likewise, I'm good with any of the three suggestions (well, obviously, since I made them). Thanks for signing up and I'll give this thread about a week or so in order to determine which is the favorite.
I'm in for any of the three. I'd prefer the third as I did Ms. Cather to death in college, and have read The Island of Dr. Moreau a few times. However it's been a while for both of them so maybe it's time for a revisiting...
I'm in for any of the three. I'd prefer the third as I did Ms. Cather to death in college, and have read The Island of Dr. Moreau a few times. However it's been a while for both of them so maybe it's time for a revisiting...
On occasion, i re-read a book which I read long ago, with mixed results. Even one which, at the time of first reading, struck me as vitally significant (at least for my life at the time), can leave me wondering what I ever saw in it when I re-read it years later. And the opposite can also be true.

We now have 3 people committed to this, 2 of them with a preference for Lucy Larcom's reminiscences, and the third amenable to any of the original three suggestions. So it looks like this will at least get started, but I will wait 'til the end of the week to see if anyone else shows up before beginning.
So far there are three of us interested in the book club. Of those, two have expressed a preference for Lucy Larcom's reminiscences ("A New England Girlhood"). I will leave this open for a few more days to see if others might be interested and what their preferences might be.

Meanwhile, there is a nice article from the Spring 2012 issue of American Heritage which provides good background to the Lucy Larcom selection:

"Proud to Be a Mill Girl", American Heritage, v 62, #1 (Spring 2012)

Larcom features prominently in the article as she was one of the mill girls who, collectively, constituted "the nation's first industrial workforce".

Altogether, the book promises to be an interesting look at one person's experience of growing up in early nineteenth century New England. Her memoirs are still considered a primary source related to childhood in the early American Republic.
I am going to have to pull away from the group. My master's classes start on August 25 and while it might be edifying to read for pleasure, I must give a higher sense of urgency to the reading for which I am paying. Good luck.
I'm interested, but I have a full schedule at times (three kids, full-time job, etc.). I used to read all the time and have been meaning to start again. Maybe this will provide me some needed incentive. What the heck, I'm game.

I've read The Island of Dr. Moreau, but it was a while ago. I might benefit from re-reading it. I haven't read the other two. Any of the three will work for me.
I'm already a bit into Pride and prejudice. I think I'll be back into the fantasy world for a few books until I get back to another "classic" that is on my list. I was thinking a Shakespeare work like Midsummers Night Dream or The Tempest