December Book Group — December 15, 2015

Hello Book Lovers,

After a discussion at our last book club, we decided to change the book for the month of December to Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  After careful consideration, we realized that My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgard was a longer book than we originally thought.

In addition, we have moved the meeting a week later due to the holiday on December 8.

If there is still strong interest in reading My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgard, we will take that into consideration. Please email me ( with your thoughts on My Struggle and we will make a decision about whether it will be the book for our January book group.  If we do not have sufficient interest, then we will follow the schedule below.

As always, please email me ( with any ideas you have for future book clubs.

Next meeting of the book club:

Date:  December 15, 2016

Time:  3:30pm

Location: Manhattan Club Grand CafeCabildo 1792 (corner with La Pampa)

Book:  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

December 15, 2015

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.

January 12, 2016

The Harder They Come by TC Boyle

Set in contemporary Northern California, The Harder They Come explores the volatile connections between three damaged people—an aging ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, his psychologically unstable son, and the son’s paranoid, much older lover—as they careen towards an explosive confrontation.

On a vacation cruise to Central America with his wife, seventy-year-old Sten Stensen unflinchingly kills a gun-wielding robber menacing a busload of senior tourists. The reluctant hero is relieved to return home to Fort Bragg, California, after the ordeal—only to find that his delusional son, Adam, has spiraled out of control.

Adam has entered a relationship with a much older woman who is a right-wing anarchist.  As Adam becomes increasinly unstable, he kills two people and then runs into the woods resulting in the largest manhunt in California history.

As he explores a father’s legacy of violence and his powerlessness in relating to his equally violent son, T. C. Boyle offers unparalleled psychological insights into the American psyche. Inspired by a true story, The Harder They Come is a devastating and indelible novel from a modern master.

Empire by Niall Ferguson

February 16, 2016

The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to world domination ever achieved. By the eve of World War II, around a quarter of the world’s land surface was under some form of British rule. Yet for today’s generation, the British Empire seems a Victorian irrelevance. The time is ripe for a reappraisal, and in Empire, Niall Ferguson boldly recasts the British Empire as one of the world’s greatest modernizing forces. An important new work of synthesis and revision, Empire argues that the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain’s Age of Empire. The spread of capitalism, the communications revolution, the notion of humanitarianism, and the institutions of parliamentary democracy-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain’s economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity. Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new era of imperial power, based once again on economic and military supremacy. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.

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