Saturday, April 25, 2015

May 29 -- King Lear by Shakespeare

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: May 29, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

We will discuss the play King Lear by William Shakespeare.

King Lear is being performed this summer in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Southmoreland Park, June 16 to July 5, 2015. Our discussion will prepare you to better enjoy the performance in the park. 

The following description is from Wikipedia:
King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare in which the titular character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all.  Based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motions pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.

Friday, March 27, 2015

April 24, 2015 -- East of Eden by John Steinbeck


Our group will discuss the book East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: April 24, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

East of Eden is a novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, published in September 1952. Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck's young sons, Thom and John (then 6½ and 4½ years old, respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors.

The Hamilton family in the novel is said to be based on the real-life family of Samuel Hamilton, Steinbeck's maternal grandfather. A young John Steinbeck also appears briefly in the novel as a minor character.

According to his third and last wife, Elaine, Steinbeck considered it his magnum opus. Steinbeck stated about East of Eden: "It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years." He further claimed: "I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 27, 2015 -- Book of Esther from the Bible

Our next meeting is March 27, 2015. We will be discussing the Book of Esther from the Bible (Hebrew Scriptures).
This is our selection from the Bible for this year. The Bible is one of the influential sources of western literature.

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: March 27, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 27, 2015 -- Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Our next meeting is February 27, 2015.  We will be discussing the forty-four sonnets commonly referred to as Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: February 27, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Sonnets from the Portuguese was written from 1845 to 1846 and first published in 1850. It consists of forty-four love sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The poems largely chronicle the period leading up to her 1846 marriage to Robert Browning. The collection was acclaimed and popular in the poet's lifetime and it remains so today.

The text is available free on-line and Kindle.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January 30, 2015 -- "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King

Our next meeting is January 30, 2015.  We will be discussing the book Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King. 
Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: January 30, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Here's a link to text of Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King:
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Here's a link to an excerpt from "Parting the Waters" by Taylor Branch that discusses the writing of Letter from Birmingham Jail:
http://greatbookskcdiscussion.blogspot.com/2015/01/excerpt-from-parting-waters-by-taylor.html

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2015 Schedule

The books for the 2015 schedule are the following:
Jan 30 -- Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King
Feb 27 -- Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Mar 27 -- Book of Esther from the Bible
Apr 24 -- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
May 29 -- King Lear by Shakespeare
Jun 26 -- The Hamlet, Vol. 1 of Snopes Trilogy, by William Faulkner
Jul 31 -- The Town, Vol. 2 of Snopes Trilogy, by William Faulkner
Aug 28 -- The Mansion, Vol. 3 of Snopes Triology, by William Faulkner
Sep 25 -- The Nature of Things by Lucretius
Oct 30 -- Bhagavad Gita
Dec 4 -- Njáls Saga (part of Sagas of Icelanders)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Suggestions for 2015

New list of book nominations for the 2015 reading schedule arranged by category are at this link:
http://greatbookskcdiscussion.blogspot.com/2014/12/suggested-books-for-2015.html

Suggestions for books for our group's 2015 reading schedule can be seen at the following link:
http://greatbookskcdiscussion.blogspot.com/2014/12/book-suggestions-for-2015.html

I will add additional suggestions as they are received.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tim Thurman's List

Here is a LINK to Tim Thurman's list of favorite books.  Those of you who attended the October 31 meeting expressed interest in seeing the list.  The link opens to "Chapter 1: Prefatory Comments."  You can proceed to Chapters 2 and 3 by clicking on the appropriate links.

Monday, November 3, 2014

December 5, 2014 -- "Snow Country" by Yasunari Kawabata


Our next meeting is December 5, 2014.  We will be discussing the book Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: December 5, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM

Snow Country is one of the three novels cited by the Nobel Committee is awarding Yasunari Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. The novel established Kawabata as one of Japan's foreemost authors and is considered a classic work of Japanese literature.
LINK to Wikipedia Article about "Snow Country."

Our group will also select the books for next year’s meeting schedule. You are welcome to share your suggestions by commenting below or emailing Clif Hostetler at greatbookskc@gmail.com

The following links can provide you guidance regarding our selection process:

Friday, October 3, 2014

October 31, 2014 -- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


Our next meeting is October 31, 2014.  We will be discussing the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: October 31, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM

The following description of the book is from Wikipedia:

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York, and in 1959 in London. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a 37-to-38-year-old literature professor called Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores.
After its publication, Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature. The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious girl. The novel was adapted to film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne. It has also been adapted several times for stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed but failed Broadway musical.
Lolita is included on Time's List of the 100 Best Novels in the English language from 1923 to 2005. It is fourth on the Modern Library's 1998 list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century. It was also included in the 100 Best Books of All Time, compiled in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club.