Thursday, November 30, 2017

Weird & Wonderful- White Noise

For the November meeting of City Lit's Weird & Wonderful book club, we discussed White Noise by Don DeLillo.

Described by DeLillo as a comedy about "technology, fear, and death", White Noise follows Jack Gladney, the head of the "Hitler Studies" department at a small university. Along with his fourth wife, Babette, and their gang of children from previous marriages, Jack must unexpectedly flee from an airborne toxic event that threatens their town; the cloud only heightens their vague but powerful fears of death, and even after returning home things are pretty weird.

Pretty weird, variously surreal and comic: we had a good discussion of this, with a big group. Notes and possible spoilers below:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Think Galactic- Everfair

For the November meeting of Think Galactic, we discussed Everfair by Nisi Shawl.

An alt-history of the Belgian Congo with steampunk & utopian elements, the novel follows a fairly large cast of characters over several decades. Brief notes and possible spoilers below:

Weird & Wonderful- We Have Always Lived in the Castle

For the October meeting of City Lit's Weird & Wonderful book club, we discussed We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

A superb horror/psychological thriller, the novel follows the survivors (and perpetrators) of a terrible crime years later. Brief notes and possible spoilers below.

Chicago Nerds- Binti

For the November book discussion of the Chicago Nerd Social Club, we read Binti and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor.

The first two parts of a novella trilogy, these works follow the titular character, a mathematically-gifted young woman who is the first of her people to travel off-planet for education. Along the way, she becomes a kind of unintentional liason with the warlike Meduse; Binti: Home follows her first return to Earth.

Brief notes and possible spoilers below:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Think Galactic- Certain Dark Things

For the October meeting of Think Galactic, we discussed Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

We've had kind of mixed results for our "spooky October reads" for the last few years, and, while light, this novel about warring vampire clans in Mexico City was a fun read. Brief notes and possible spoilers below:

Chicago Nerds- Signal to Noise

For the October book meeting of the Chicago Nerd Social Club, we discussed Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Alternating between the 1980s and the early 2000s, the novel follows three friends in Mexico City who discover that their connection to music grants them magical powers.

Brief notes and possible spoilers below: