Book Club

Any sugestions for books, short stories or articles that we could read for our book club?

This might be the perfect venue for discussions on the whatever material we choose. That is, of course, some other people (cough, Grace and Larri, cough)post more frequently at this site.

I know everyone’s busy, but we could at least discuss some articles. If we choose articles on the net should make it easier as well.

34 Responses to “Book Club”

  1. Mitchell

    I have a suggestion. How about that new book by Paul O’Neil, President Bush’s treasury secretary? That was going to be next on my list anyway.

  2. Reid

    That’s a possibility, although I’m not as interested because how much stock do you put in his opinions given that he was basically fired by Bush.

  3. pen

    I’m interested in the Paul O’Neil book. They were talking about it on NewsHour last night. They interviewed Ron Suskind (sp?) the author as well as another Bush insider who is running for governor somewhere. They had diametrically opposed views of Bush as president and how things are run at the White House. It’ll dovetail w/ our conversations about bias in the media, too. I vote yes.

  4. Reid

    Here’s an article I would recommend reading and then discussing:

    Look in the archive section for the article, “What Will It Take To Fix Our Schools,” August 21, 2002 by Mary Anne Raywid.

    It’s a really well-written and insightful article, one of the best summaries of what’s wrong with schools and what should be done about it, even though I don’t agree with everything she says.

  5. pen

    Reid, I read the Ratwid article in the Weekly and I agree with you. I also don’t agree with everything she says, but it is a very concise and clear picture of what we can do to improve the current educational system in Hawai’i. I think some of her suggestions are very do-able and intuitively sound good.

    I also like that she approaches the issue from several different directions. This isn’t the type of problem that can be fixed by improving one or two things (i.e., simply increasing the budget or by creating all SCBMs). There are many layers to why we are in this current position and I believe she did a good job of dividing it into workable chunks and describing with some specificity how her proposed solutions would work.

  6. pen

    Hi gang! I know everyone is very busy (when are we not?); however, what do you think about returning to our origins and discussing a book we all read? We have sort of veered off into movies and magazine articles and the like, which is a good thing (and fun!), but I just wanted to put a feeler out if anyone is still interested (and by interested I really mean “willing to commit”). And of course, I inquire in the sweetest and most demure way possible. 😉

  7. Mitchell

    I’m with you, and I think you should choose the next book. Even if it’s Grass Soup.

  8. pen

    You know, Grass Soup was very good. But I can’t cast any stones as I still have not read Lonesome Dove.

    Anyone else care to weigh in about starting up again?

  9. pen

    You know, Grass Soup was very good. But I can’t cast any stones as I still have not read Lonesome Dove.

    Anyone else care to weigh in about starting up again? I believe we’re open to new members . . . if you are stout of heart! 😉

  10. Reid

    I think I have to wait until after the semester. I have too much school work to do, but after that, I’m game.

  11. Reid

    This past week I heard a report on npr about “chick lit,” and I would be interested in reading one of these books for a book club. Anyone else interested in this?

  12. pen

    Being a chick, this stuff is right up my alley. I’m in. Maybe we can read a “lad lit” book, too and do some comparisons. I’m fairly sure those books are pretty fast reads. Opinions?

  13. Reid


    Now that I’m done with school, I should have time. Why don’t you choose the books (one from each genre), and we can begin.

  14. Chris Magnusson

    I would like to do this one:

    Welcome to the Desert of the Real: Five Essays on September 11th and Related Dates
    by Slvoj Zizek

    I’ve heard GREAT things about this guy; this book is only about 100 pages, too. I will even have time this summer . . .

  15. Reid


    I’m interested in reading that one. I will read and discuss it with you even if no one else wants to. But are you interested in reading a novel in the “chick lit” and “lad lit” genres?

  16. Chris Magnusson

    Yes — I’ve just began to figure out what this genre is. Chicks, Lads, just tell me what to read.

    I’ll look for the Zizek book at the library this week . . . if I can find it I might just buy it.


  17. Reid

    I’ll look for the book, too.

    I know we’ve got at least two books, but I heard another book that might be interesting. On Talk of the Nation, they were talking to two editors from the Economist who just came out with a book on American Conservatism called, The Right Nation or something to that effect. The authors compare American Conservatism with the European form, and they also examine the roots of American Conservatism and offer insights into the reason for Conservatist nce in the U.S. currently.

    I think we should read a chick/lad lit book, and I’m planning to read the Zizek. Heck, if anyone’s interested in reading the book I just mentioned, I might do all three.

  18. Reid


    I got the Zizek book. Man, it’s pretty abstract language with a fair dose of Freudian (and Lacanian) concepts. I read about a third of the second chapter, and I’m pretty much in the dark. I’ll keep pressing on. Btw, Zizek refers to a lot of films, including, coincidently, 3:10 to Yuma, which I recently saw and reviewed here.

  19. Reid

    I picked up Bridget Jones’ Diary today. It looks like a fast read.

  20. Mitchell

    I’m buying the Clinton autobiography next week. Anyone interested in reading and discussing?

  21. Reid

    I’m interested, but that sucker is long. Mitchell, are you going to read Bridget Jones’s Diary with us?

  22. Mitchell

    I’m on chapter four of President Clinton’s book. It reads pretty easily and is mostly interesting. The President sure takes his time telling a story, though!

    How was the Bridget Jones discussion? Sorry I missed it. I guess I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t know we were all going to be reading it. I’ll jump on board for the next one.

  23. Reid

    It wasn’t a really long or lively discussion. It was a quick and entertaining read (almost like a sit-com novel). I think you would have found it entertaining. We can still start a thread and discuss it here. (I think Chris is planning to read the novel, too.)

  24. Reid

    Is anyone else planning to read Bridget Jones’s Diary? If so, I’ll wait until I start a thread on it. If you’re going to read the story, I think it would be cool if you watched the movie, too, if you haven’t already.

  25. Reid


    How’s the Clinton book? I just got it as a gift, so I guess I’m reading it.

  26. Tony

    OK. I know I’m not part of the book club, but would love to talk to some people about Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer. Anyone ever heard of it or read it?

  27. Reid

    Oh man. Tony, you’re in luck. Chris is a big Walker Percy fan. I have not read that one myself.

  28. Chris

    I’d read the Moviegoer again. I, as Reid said, LOVE Mr. Percy. I go back to school in 1 1/2 months, so let’s make it soon if it happens.

    His essays are great too. As is *Second Coming*, another novel.

    C h r i s

  29. Reid

    I would be interested in hearing you guys talk about Percy. Reading write-ups about him and his work, I thought he’d be someone I would like. I’ve only read Second Coming (the one you gave me, Chris), and I didn’t really get into it.

  30. Chris

    I think you’d like The Moviegoer better. It is tighter as a novel/story, and dang is it good. It’s about 1/2 the length of Second Coming, too: less investment.


  31. Tony

    Hey Chris-

    I was wondering how you came across Percy in the first place? Which of his books did you read first? Did you find yourself relating to Binx any?

  32. Chris

    I can’t quite remember; I think I was just fishing around for novels that had some kind of Faith concern, and the sly writing style and existential concerns of Percy appealed to me. I related somewhat to Binx. My wife just read it and REALLY related to him.


  33. Tony

    I really liked what Binx experienced in terms of the “compression” of time and how he almost sought out opportunities to experience that. I also liked that he acknowledged that hunger for meaning and purpose in strange moments. The Moviegoer was the first time I connected with a character in that kind of way.

  34. Reid

    Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War Against Terrorism by Anonymous

    I’m thinking reading this book based on the review I read in the recent Atlantic Monthly. Here’s an excerpt:

    Imperial Hubris, by Anonymous (Brassey’s). The best book on al-Qaeda, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes, was written before September 11, 2001. Published by a house specializing in military and intelligence titles, it failed to win a review in The New York Times and most other major newspapers and magazines (including this one). Written anonymously by the former head of the CIA unit devoted to assessing and tracking Osama bin Laden (the author remains a high-level counterterrorism officer at the Agency), the book is as penetrating as it is unknown. I learned of it last year, when a friend and former colleague, Bruce Hoffman (a terrorism specialist at the RAND Corporation, who now writes regularly for this magazine), assured me that it was unmatched. It appears that the anonymous author’s new book will gain the attention that eluded his first. It should. Although he’s repetitive and often intemperate, Anonymous presents overwhelmingly persuasive evidence to buttress a host of significant and controversial arguments.


    But Anonymous will draw the most fire for his cogent argumentsócontrary to both Democratic and Republican leaders who orate that Islamist terrorists hate America because of its freedom and valuesóthat al-Qaeda and the Islamic world hate this country because of its specific policies and actions, and that bin Laden’s war against America (which, Anonymous asserts, has made him the Muslims’ most admired figure) isn’t an act of rage; rather, it aims to alter those policies.

    You can also read some reviews that I found enticing at

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