On Thursday, July 5, the Bookish Sort Book Club met to discuss The Sellout. Wow, did we have an interesting and lively discussion! Lisa had a list of well researched leading questions for us, but at times it was hard for her to get the floor. We agreed that it was a thought provoking and challenging book. I’ll insert below a review from Amazon that I could not find at the meeting to share. Quite appropriately, Lisa brought watermelon, oranges, and chocolate for us to enjoy. Thank you so much Lisa.
We added two more selections to our list. The coming attractions are as follows:
Date Title Author Leader
Aug 2 The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple Jeff Guinn Joyce
Sept 6 My Cousin Rachael Daphne du Maurier Guylene
Oct 4 Philomena: a Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search Martin Sixsmith Anne
“Literary Pot Luck” Nov 1. I am researching some Little Rascals DVD’s for this evening in addition to the usual quotes from each person related to the dish that they bring. Recall that one of the characters in The Sellout was a member of the cast.
Review of The Sellout from Amazon:
Rather than copy the other very astute reviews, let me just tell you how to read this book. It's challenging, and it doesn't always follow the standard dictates of plot, but you may enjoy it more if you know what to expect.
1) It's not a page-turning, finish-in-one-night kind of book. If you try, you'll miss out. I had to read it over several days, each session giving me a hundred things to think about.
2) When you get anxious for the plot to pick up, think of it as satirical standup, and read it like you'd listen to the comics to which Beatty's compared, namely Dave Chapelle. (If you're thinking of it as a novel instead of as satire, you can lose the thread of hilarity) When you're overwhelmed by the satire, think of it as a novel and try to piece together the experiences that make up Bonbon's character. It's hard to get hold of his character at times, and trying to summarize Bonbon Me's character is a (rewarding) reading experience in and of itself.
3) You may want to have google at hand so you don't miss out on the plethora (this word is on my mind after one particularly funny bit near the end), of cultural and historical references. You might know Plessy v. Ferguson and the scopes trial, but it would be hard, I think, to catch every reference, and the satire depends on them.
4) Yes, it's funny, but not in the LOL way as often as 'that so true it's painful' way. Reading the reviews, I expected to be chuckling every few pages. Instead I had a wry grin every few sentences. Don't let this deter you. The verbs come at the end of sentences so often that you really have to read it at a run if you don't want to lose the thread of what's going on, but I can guarantee the thread is worth catching. In the last few pages of the book, Beatty comes as close to speaking to you plainly as the author as he does in the entire novel, and what he had to say tied the its many disparate observations together perfectly.
If you would like to try some new title ideas you might want to try browsing NoveList, an eSource offered by the library. Go to ACLD's research page and select eSources then select Novelist. Log in using your library card number and PIN (4 digit birth year).
Appeal helps us determine why enjoy enjoy a book and whether a particular book will fit our style. Use the Novelist Appeal Mixer to create any combination of Appeal terms to find the perfect book. Access the Appeal Mixer from the Novelist homepage using the link under “I’m in the mood for book that are…” or by clicking the “Appeal” link under the Browse By drop-down in the top toolbar.
Using NoveList's new list, Book Club Best Bets under the Recommended Reads tab, you can find aid in selecting titles for groups. There are Book Discussion Guides found under Quick Links inside NoveList. They also offer great book club resources for Connecting to Readers Through Book Clubs.