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Announcing a new A.V. Club book club

In case you haven’t caught on, The A.V. Club is home to a fervently pro-reading, up-with-books crowd. To serve this crowd a little better, we plan to make some additions to the site over the next couple of months, expanding our book-review section and rolling out a couple of new features. First up, a new monthly book-club feature we’re calling Wrapped Up In Books.

How does it work? It’s remarkably simple. Each month, a member of our blue-ribbon panel of writers—Donna Bowman, Zack Handlen, Noel Murray, Leonard Pierce, Tasha Robinson, Ellen Wernecke, and myself—will choose a book to discuss. Four weeks later, we’ll reconvene to talk about the book in a series of posts, but not just among ourselves. We’ll be paying particular attention to points raised in the comments section and incorporating these in our discussion. Then, at the end of the week, we’ll be hosting a live chat about our selection. In short, we want to recreate the experience of a book club here at The A.V. Club. (Except for the wine and cheese; you’ll have to supply your own.)


But what kind of book club? Glad you asked: We developed this with the working title Classics 2.0, with the idea of focusing on recent classics as defined by, well, us. The name fell by the wayside because it sucked, but the goal remains the same: We want to shine the spotlight on books from the last few decades that at least one of us consider towering achievements. (Whether the rest of us agree remains to be seen, and will hopefully be part of the fun.) We’re limiting it, roughly, to books from the last five decades or so, with a particular eye toward books that might not already be recognized as classics, or might be known mainly for their cult following. In other words, something like Terry Southern’s Blue Movie is more likely to show up here than John Updike’s Rabbit Run.

Our first selection comes from Donna Bowman: (Drumroll…)

Geek Love, a 1989 novel by journalist, novelist, and boxing enthusiast Katherine Dunn.

We’re making this a mid-month affair, for look for the discussion to kick off Monday, May 11, which should give you plenty of time to catch up with the book. (I’ll be posting reminders between now and then, for those with short memories.) See you in a month when Wrapped Up In Books, an outpost of slow reading and deep appreciation in an increasingly hurried Internet world, kicks off for real.


Oh, and suggestions for future book-club choices are welcome in comments.

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