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, June 26, 2008

June 2008--Cheri and The Last of Cheri

by Colette

You can almost smell the powder and perfume in Collette’s charming novels of Belle Epoque Paris. She tells the tale of Lea, a middle-aged courtesan just beginning to see the fading of her renowned beauty, and Cheri, her shockingly young lover. Delicate as a flower, Cheri is petulant and spoiled, but still manages to charm everyone around him. When the time comes for Cheri to marry a woman his own age, Lea lets him go without argument, but the loss hits her harder than she will admit. In The Last of Cheri, the title character returns from WWI to a society that has moved on without him and longs again for the comfort of Lea, his former love. But she has comes to terms with the passing of time while Cheri cannot. Witty and poignant, these novels transport the reader to the eccentric, rose-colored world of the 1920s and into the heart of Colette's often deluded, but deeply affecting characters.

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