As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April 2008--The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by Milan Kundera

Love, philosophy, and politics intersect in this innovative, challenging novel, set in Czechoslovakia during the Soviet era. Tomas, a doctor and prolific womanizer, falls unwillingly in love with the passionate (and monogamous) Tereza. Against the backdrop of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Soviet invasion, their story intertwines with that of Sabina, one of Tomas's other lovers, and one of her other lovers, as the four of them struggle with the burdens and rewards of intimacy. But Kundera reminds us, in so many words, that all the characters are his inventions, mere aspects of his own personality; his riffs on Beethoven, Nietzsche, totalitarianism, and love make this a uniquely revealing experiment in fiction.

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