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.

Friday, March 19, 2010

April 2010--Zuleika Dobson

by Max Beerbohm

This satirical romance, written in 1911, doesn't seem to be well known today, but it ranks #59 on the Modern Library's list of the best 20th-century novels in the English language. Beerbohm, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, was primarily an essayist and caricaturist. Zuleika Dobson, his only novel, is the story of a devastatingly beautiful and brilliant young woman who takes Oxford University by storm, wreaking havoc on its community of rich, respectable, and generally very stupid young men.