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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

August 2009--Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Austen's last novel reflects a more sober, thoughtful view of love than her earlier work. The passions of her characters seem more subdued, the trademark wit darker and in places even bitter. Anne Elliot, the lone reasonable member of a prideful, silly family, gets a second chance at love when the naval officer she rejected eight years earlier returns to her life. Will the two of them find a way to get together? Of course they will, but as they wend their way to the inevitable happy reunion Anne has ample time to ponder their earlier mistakes and the treacherous nature of the marriage market. Austen herself, of course, never got her second chance at love, but perhaps in Persuasion she gives herself the happy ending she couldn't have in real life.

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