What to do? In an effort to conquer the remaining books on my list, I started a book salon with a few like-minded work colleagues. The concept is simple: instead of reading and dissecting one book, as in a book club, everyone selects whatever book they want that fits the theme of that month. The initial topics that I proposed revolved around my remaining should-reads: classic boys adventure, dystopian novels, quests, and Russian authors.
After a fabulous first discussion on quests (Moby-Dick, Don Quixote, The Road), this month’s salon was “Cherchez la femme!” and everyone chose books with eponymous heroines. Selections included Jane Eyre, Lolita, and Madame Bovary. I read two short works, both twists on classic tales: Mary Reilly is a retelling of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from the viewpoint of a maid in Jekyll’s household and The Penelopiad tells the story of Homer’s Odyssey through the eyes of Penelope and the twelve hanged maids. Both provide an interesting take on narrative viewpoint and the female perspective. You can see my reviews of both of these works at http://www.goodreads.com/sylview.
So far, both these themes have proved to be excellent jumping-off points for literary discussions and I eagerly await our next salon: Russian Roulette.
Please feel free to post your thoughts and questions on the book salon concept. What do you think would make a good theme for a book salon session?