Welcome weirdos, maniacs, sinners, and scholars! We’ve collected your recommendations and put together the inaugural Solute Book Club Reading List and it is as fascinating and bizarre as anyone could have hoped for.
Casper got the ball rolling on this whole idea, and she’s also going to kick things off officially, introducing Right, Ho Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse on Friday July 16, and leading the discussion on it on Tuesday August 24.
Then pico will introduce Tropic of Orange by Karen Tei Yamashita on Thursday August 26th, and lead the discussion on Tuesday September 28th.
And then for October, ZoeZ will lead us in a discussion of the horror novel The Red Tree, by Caitlin Kiernan. And we should be monthly beyond that.
Exact dates will always be provided at least a month in advance in order to give you as much prep time as possible. And if anybody needs to make any changes, now is the time to do so. (We will of course accommodate changes later, but please try to give as much lead up as you can, so that we can have as little disruption as possible).
“I missed the sign up but have a book I’d like to cover”
Awesome. Just tell me, or better yet The Ploughman, and we’ll slot you at the end of the list. Likewise, once you’ve gone, you’re free to make another pick that we will slide in at the end of the list. This doesn’t need to be made immediately since we have over a year’s worth of books lined up, but from here on out, it’ll mostly be first-come first-serve, so don’t wait too long. However, we will still move people around to accommodate personal schedules or to occasionally do something like covering a horror novel for October or to mix in different types of books or types of authors if we feel we’ve got too much of the same thing in a row.[ed. note: You can contact us in the comments or via email at ploughmanplods [at] gmail]
“What should an introduction piece look like?”
An introduction piece can be as long or as short as you like. It’s a chance to set up the context that you want readers to take into the experience, which may be very involved or a complete blank slate. It’s also a chance to point people towards tangentially connected things, like other books in a series or tv/movie adaptations, that may come up in discussions. It’s also a chance to set up anything unconventional you want to do in the way you cover the book. (I’d like to discuss a few stories at a time when I cover Teatro Grottesco instead of one long discussion at the end, for example) When you’re discussion leader you have free reign.
This is also a good place to post any content warnings. But remember, some of these books will be new to the discussion leader as well, or will be revisiting something they haven’t read in a long time, so don’t take a warning or lack of warning as gospel.
The introduction pieces are also where we will handle the logistics and business of the book club. We’ll post the most up-to-date schedule there. We’ll help each other find copies of the books. We’ll coordinate anyone that needs to swap positions. And we’ll make any changes to scheduling or process if necessary. We want to run this in a way that works best for everyone, so don’t be afraid to voice any problems. I’m sure some adjustments will have to be made.
“What should the discussion pieces look like?”
Totally up to you. They can be personal. They can be analytical. They can be historical. They can be long essays or short discussion prompts. As discussion leader, your word is law and no man may dare criticize you. [ed. note: Yeah… we’ll see about that!]
“Just post the damn list already!”
(July/August) Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse (Casper)
(August/September) Tropic of Orange, Karen Tei Yamashita (pico)
(October) The Red Tree, Caitlin Kiernan (ZoeZ)
(November) If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler, Italo Calvino (Julius Kassendorf)
(December) Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith (Rosey Fingers)
(January 2022) Replay, Ken Grimwood (vomas)
(February 2022) The Book of J, Harold Bloom (wallflower)
(March 2022) Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery (Gillianren)
(April 2022) No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood (Ploughman)
(May 2022) Milkman, Anna Burns (essie)
(June 2022) City of Quartz, Mike Davis (Son Of Griff)
(July 2022) Clay’s Ark, Octavia E. Butler (Miller)
(August 2022) Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson (Clytie)
(September 2022) Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams (Drunk Napoleon)
(October 2022) Teatro Grottesco, Thomas Ligotti (Babalugats)