X Meets Y Book Club 2010

Are you looking for something to read? Do you want to meet, discuss and have coffee at Starbucks with us? Then our X Meets Y Book Club is for you! This book club is for those that are 20- and 30-somethings. This club meets at the Starbucks outside the Bolingbrook Promenade, 699 E. Boughton Road the third Saturday of the month at 2 PM.

We started meeting  in January 2009.  Here’s a list of what we’ve read so far:

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

You may be wondering how we select our titles each month. Our members take turns suggesting titles that they are interested in reading and having the group read and discuss. We have found some of our favorite and least favorite books this way. Don’t let a book you don’t care for fool you, some times those are some of our best discussions as well! We’ve also read some non-fiction and may read a graphic novel in the future.

Our current selections for October – December 2010 are:

October 16: Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Klosterman, who has made a name for himself as an idiosyncratic pop-cultural commentator on rock music and sports, proves just as entertaining in his first novel. In or on the edge of nondescript Owl, North Dakota, live laid-back high-school football player Mitch Hrlicka, who stands out from his peers by being exceedingly normal; teacher Julia Rabia, who has fallen in love with buffalo farmer and Rolling Stones–exclusivist Vance Druid; and old Horace Jones, who mourns his wife and has a few painful secrets. Klosterman doesn’t follow them in a conventional narrative manner. Gifted with a superb ear for dialogue, a kind of perfect pitch for the way ordinary people talk, Klosterman is also capable of fine word-portraits of the three principals and the folks orbiting them in a town whose residents have nicknames like Vanna White, Bull Calf, Grendel, and Little Stevie Horse ’n’ Phone, and time exists on its own odd terms rather than those of the novel’s setting, the 1980s. Despite their eccentricities, or maybe because of them, one believes in these people and their often improbable yet always credible stories. Think of this as a literary relative of the movies Fargo and American Graffiti, sans the latter’s cruising Main Street and warm weather, with a poignant and tragic edge to it, conferred by a paralyzing and deadly blizzard in February 1984. –June Sawyers

Want to see more of  Chuck Klosterman’s other titles? Check his author pages on Amazon here and Goodreads here.

November 20: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

From Publishers Weekly

British journalist Hornby has fashioned a disarming, rueful and sometimes quite funny first novel that is not quite as hip as it wishes to be. The book dramatizes the romantic struggle of Rob Fleming, owner of a vintage record store in London. After his girlfriend, Laura, leaves him for another man, he realizes that he pines not for sexual ecstasy (epitomized by a “bonkus mirabilis” in his past) but for the monogamy this cynic has come to think of as a crime. He takes comfort in the company of the clerks at the store, whose bantering compilations of top-five lists (e.g., top five Elvis Costello songs; top-five films) typify the novel’s ingratiating saturation in pop culture. Sometimes this can pall: readers may find that Rob’s ruminations about listening to the Smiths and the Lemonheads -pop music helps him fall in love, he tells us-are more interesting than his list of five favorite episodes of Cheers. Rob takes comfort as well in the company of a touring singer, Marie La Salle, who is unpretentious and “pretty in that nearly cross-eyed American way” but life becomes more complicated when he encounters Laura again. Hornby has earned his own place on the London bestseller lists, and this on-the-edge tale of musical addiction just may climb the charts here. First serial to Esquire. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

December 18: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

From Booklist

After the glorious complexity of The Palace of Illusions (2008), Divakaruni, who also writes for young readers, presents a wise and beautifully refined drama. When an earthquake hits, nine men and women of diverse ages and backgrounds are trapped in an Indian consulate. Cameron, an African American Vietnam vet, takes charge, striving to keep them safe. College student Uma, who brought along The Canterbury Tales to read while waiting for clerk Malathi and her boss Mangalam to process her papers, suggests that they each tell an “important story” from their lives. Their tales of heartbreak and revelation are nuanced and riveting as Divakaruni takes fresh measure of the transcendent power of stories and the pilgrimage tradition. True, the nine, including an older couple, a young Muslim man, and a Chinese Indian grandmother and her granddaughter, are captives of a disaster, but they are also pilgrims of the spirit, seeking “one amazing thing” affirming that life, for all its pain, is miraculous. A storyteller of exquisite lyricism and compassion, Divakaruni weaves a suspenseful, astute, and unforgettable survivors’ tale. –Donna Seaman

One Amazing Thing was in the running for the possible Great Read selection this year.

So what better time than the chillier months to come join us for a cup of hot cider, coffee, tea or hot chocolate and discuss some books at Starbucks? Hope to see you this Saturday! In the meantime, You can find us on GoodReads!

-Sabrina S.

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2 thoughts on “X Meets Y Book Club 2010

  1. Just started Downtown Owl and am loving it! I actually needed some extra help finding reading material to keep me busy at home during recently ordered bedrest and printed out your reading list from GoodReads ti get some ideas! That site has the neatest comparison feature – Our tastes match 90% on the books that we have both read.

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