Today's Mighty Oak

Post-University Book Club

After graduation, a group of us wanted to keep reading, so we formed the Post-University Book Club as a chance to get together once a month, discuss a book, eat and drink.  The only rule is that no one (who is present at the picking) can have read the book before.

The Untouchable by John Banville

A cold-war, spy novel.  Not bad, but a bit dense.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

A classic that we all made it through school without reading.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Local CMU professor presents his last lecture.  Amazing book.

Last Night at the Lobster¬†by Stewart O’Nan

I was the only one who like this, probably because of my years in retail.  The last day a Red Lobster is open happens to be during a snowstorm.

The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield

A good story, pretty good and ranked high on our list.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vognegut

I was not expecting the aliens.¬† Didn’t see that coming.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

Alternative history of the United States, and the only book every member has loved.

The Fuck Up by Arthur Nersesian

Not believable, and kind of strange.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

To coincide with the release of the first movie, we read this Sherlock Holmes novel.

Balzac and Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

Not bad, but a little strange.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

More about recipes and home renovations than anything else.  Not at all like the chick flick.

Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

None of us made it through this.  Very dense.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Not bad, but does not leave a lasting impression.

Bear v. Shark: The Novel by Chris Bachelder

We met over drinks to argue both sides of this book and got the bar staff involved as well.

Inferno (The Divine Comedy, book 1) by Dante Alighieri

Awesome to read, and fun to see what circle of hell I belong in.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell

A lot of fun to read, and we cussed it while watching episodes of Xena and Hercules.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Everyone else said it was too sad, but I liked it.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Really cool book, I just wish I had more time to listen to the podcasts.

The Abbey (e-Book only) by Chris Culver

Thankfully, we only paid about two bucks for this book, that’s pretty much all it’s worth.¬† A detective novel with a very immature main character.

A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe

The first of our international series (Ethiopian restaurant, Abay), although the nation this is set in is never revealed.

Kingdom of Make Believe: A Novel of Thailand by Dean Barrett

Universally reviled.¬† I couldn’t make it through this book it was that bad, everyone hated it.¬† Second in our international series (Thai Restaurant, The Green Mango)

Diary of a Part Time Monk by J. Wilson

Based on the blog of the same name, and the second half is basically a reprinting of the blog.  Third in our international series (German Brewhouse, Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh)

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Heavy handed and supposed to be “mystical Christianity.” ¬†I disliked it greatly, I felt it belittled the true loss of a young child.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

A fun mystery novel with a few unexpected twists.  Probably a good summer read.

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

Is it possible to white-wash the history of a fictional character? ¬†That’s what this felt like. ¬†The whole book tried way too hard to be relevant.

The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez

Back to our Cold War roots, although this was very dense, I didn’t have a chance to read much of it.

White Fang by Jack London

Better than I anticipated, and glad I finally read it.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Wasn’t that impressed, seemed a bit heavy handed with its “wisdom” it wanted to impart.

The Dovekeepers by Alice hoffman

A long and dense, but very good read.  Well paced and enjoyable throughout.

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