January 10, 2013

Mary Marshall

'Binders Keepers' Begins New Chapter

The Samuel Cupples book club announces its upcoming book selections for the spring semester.

Binder's Keepers, the Historic Samuel Cupples House book club, invites SLU bibliophiles to join its monthly book club every fourth Thursday of the month for a lively book discussion led by University writer Elizabeth Harris Krasnoff. Doors open at 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be available, and there is no cost for admission but donations are accepted.

The book club has also chosen its book selections for February through May. Participants may read as many or as few of the books as they'd like. The selections for spring 2013 are:

Feb. 28: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de aplume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate — and not-so-articulate — neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. (Publisher's Weekly)

March 28: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

In 1851 Bishop Latour and his friend Father Valliant are dispatched to New Mexico to reawaken its slumbering Catholicism. Moving along the endless prairies, Latour spreads his faith the only way he knows — gently, although he must contend with the unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests and his own loneliness. Over nearly 40 years, they leave converts and enemies, crosses, and occasionally ecstasy in their wake. But it takes a death for them to make their mark on the landscape forever. (Virago Modern Classics)

April 25: The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia

Plascencia's mannered but moving debut begins with an allegory for art and the loss that drives it: a butcher guts a boy's cat; the boy constructs paper organs for the feline, who is revivified; the boy thus becomes the world's first origami surgeon. Though Plascencia's book sometimes seems to take the form of an autobiographical attempt to come to terms with a lost love, little of this experimental work — a mischievous mix of García Márquez magical realism and Tristram Shandy typographical tricks — is grounded in reality. (Publisher's Weekly)

May 30: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new — something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. (Amazon.com)

Note that for this event, participants are asked to see Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby in theaters beforehand, as the discussion will include the film.

To RSVP for any of the dates, contact Mary Marshall at 314-977-2666 or marshamc@slu.edu. All books will be available for purchase at the Saint Louis University Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and faculty and staff can purchase at a 10 percent discount.

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