The ABC – Hostile Takeover Edition

First things first: this shall not be a democracy. When it comes to book clubs, my model is closer to that of benevolent dictatorship.

Let me explain. This is Edmund Fitzgerald, and I’ll be taking over for this next upcoming Avocado Book Club. I’ve earmarked a brief period of time for you to run screaming in terror at this news, but then we need to get down to business.

Are we all good now? Okay. Well, I see no reason why this can’t be a perfectly productive experience for everyone involved. To those ends, I’m laying down some basic ground rules. You assent to letting me dictate the book selection process, and in exchange, I’ll agree to reduce my ranting about both transcendentalism and dadaism down to background levels.

So here’s the deal. With the last book club, the options for what book to cover were sourced from the comments section, but this time we’re going to try something a little bit different. I’d like to say I’m doing this because it’ll add to the Avocado Book Club experience, but the truth is that I’m a graduate student in the midst of writing a thesis, and time is unfortunately an object here. That’s why I’m planning on leading a discussion on a book that I’ve not only read before, but which I’ve also already developed a body of critical inquiry towards as a reader.

And then there’s one other factor that I’d like to consider. During our last book club, not everyone was able to keep up with the reading at the pace that was set. I’d also like to supplement discussion of whatever book we choose with further readings to provide context and historical background for the text. What I’m getting at is that in interests of providing depth to our discussions and not leaving people behind, I’m opting towards shorter fiction for this Book Club.

So here’s the rub. I’m providing a list of books which I’m willing to lead a discussion on, and you, my dear Avocado community, shall pick one for this Avocado Book Club. And how shall you do so? Well, it’s very simple. I will add separate comments with the name of each respective option in the discussion section below, and you will upvote those ones that you would be interested in covering. This is a select all that apply situation, so there is no limit to how many titles you can vote for.

You are welcome to bring up any other books as you wish in the comments, and to offer suggestions for future Avocado Book Clubs, or even to loudly and passively aggressively comment about which books aren’t featured on this list. Know however that irregardless of input from the peanut gallery, the setup for this book club shall remain as it is.

If you suggest a work for this current Book Club that isn’t on the list, then you shall be mocked.

The book list is as follows:

This Census-Taker by China Mieville
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell
The Drowned World by JG Ballard
The City of Glass by Paul Auster
L’Étranger (The Outsider) by Albert Camus
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

One final note. I’ve tried to offer a nice range of different genres, literary styles, and time periods. I’ll happily lead discussions on any of these, so please select whichever choice you most prefer. There are no caveats to any particular selection, but for one exception: the Albert Camus. If you make me talk about French absurdest existentialism, then I’m going to need donation of high-proof liqour from each and every one of you*.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m leaving to go scream into the void about transcendentalism, just to get it all out of my system.

* this is a joke, please feel free to pick Camus