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Classic Re-Reads Book Club 2017
The Classic Re-Reads Book Club offers participants a chance to re-read those classics that they read -- or skipped reading -- in high school and college.  This time with no grades attached!  Join us for an informal discussion of these books that became classics for a reason.

The Classic Re-Reads Book Club meets the last Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM in the Grand Forks Public Library meeting room.

 Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen  Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen     January 25, 2017
      Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi.  She came to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories "like Scheherazade."  In Africa, "I learned how to tell tales," she recalled many years later.  "The natives have an ear still.  I told stories constantly to them, all kinds."

 The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham  The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham     February 22, 2017
      Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920's, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful, but love-starved Kitty Fane.  When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic.  Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.
 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque     March 29, 2017
      This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I.  These young men become enthusiastic soldiers, but their world of duty, culture, and progress breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.  Through the years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the hatred that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another - if only he can come out of the war alive.

 A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf  A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf     April 26, 2017
      A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf.  First published on October 24, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928.  While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Women and Fiction," and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction.  The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

 Night by Elie Wiesel  Night by Elie Wiesel     May 31, 2017
      Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps.  This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent.  And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.

 The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett  The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett     June 28, 2017
      In scene after memorable scene of Sarah Orne Jewett's fictional masterpiece, The Country of Pointed Firs, the Maine-born author recorded what she felt were the rapidly disappearing traditions, manners, and dialect of Maine coast natives at the turn of the twentieth century.  In luminous evocations of their lives - a happy family reunion, an old seaman's ghostly vision, a disappointed lover's self-imposed exile, and more -- Jewett created startlingly real portraits of individual New Englanders and a warm, humorous, and compassionate vision of the New England character.
 Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell  Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell     July 26 & August 30, 2017
      Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father.  When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly's quiet life - lovable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia.  The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.
 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes  Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes     September 19, 2017
      With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse.  In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life.  As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis.  The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance - until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration.  Will the same happen to Charlie?

 Dracula by Bram Stoker  Dracula by Bram Stoker     October 25, 2017
      A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written.  It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful.  But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written -- and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human.
 The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy  The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy     November 29, 2017
      In 1792, when the hated aristocrats were being mowed down in France by Madame Guillotine, an intrepid Englishman hid his identity under the nom-de-guerre of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and headed a band of twenty noblemen whose object was to save as many of the French aristocracy as possible.
 No meeting in December.


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