Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at SSBC!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at SSBC!

From episode 303: Depth Takes a Holiday
Daria – Could they make the holidays any more vulgar?
Jane – I hope so.
Daria – What?
Jane – The more debased they become, the less reason to celebrate them, and the less reason for my family to get together, until presto! I’m finally alone on Thanksgiving with a TV dinner.

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Wrap-Up: The Scarlet Letter

The-Scarlet-Letter-A“Yet one tomb-stone served for both. All around, there were monuments carved with armorial bearings; and on this simple slab of slate—as the curious investigator may still discern, and perplex himself with the purport—there appeared the semblance of an engraved escutcheon. It bore a device, a herald’s wording of which may serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow:—
“ON A FIELD, SABLE, THE LETTER A, GULES””

I love how that book ends! It’s so sad and beautiful, much like the rest of this wonderful novel. I hope you enjoyed revisiting this book as much as I have enjoyed it! When I read great literature like this, it gives me hope in our jaded, processed society that something so important and amazing has endured for hundreds of years.
Now on to the discussion questions!

Question #1 – What did you think of it?
Question #2 – What do you think Daria would have thought of the piece?
Question #3 – Are there any final, thoughts, themes, questions, etc. that you would like to discuss?

Our next book is going to be a little different for the book club. We will be venturing out of the classics and will be reading our first non-fiction selection, Backlash by Susan Fauldi.
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If you have any thoughts or ideas on the novels we are reading or our discussions, you may e-mail us at SickSadBookClub@gmail.com or follow us on twitter @SickSadBookClub

Intro: The Scarlet Letter

Our next book is a classic high school reading assignment. Honestly, I don’t know a single person who was not assigned to read this iconic and, in my opinion, amazing book in either tenth or eleventh grade English class. In fact, many of you may have also encountered this tale in your history or social studies (depending on how politically correct your school was) classes. This famous novel, published in 1850, has become one of our many cultural touchstones. There have been countless retellings and adaptations since publication, so many in fact, that there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the many works. I am of course talking about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter!
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As I look out the window on this typical grey fall day with the wind blowing the recently turned leaves onto the damp ground, I cannot think of a better time of year to visit the oppressive and hypocritical world of puritan Massachusetts! And who doesn’t love a tawdry little tale of naughtiness between the sheets 😉
This is, surprisingly, the first book on our list that I have actually already read. I hope you are looking forward to revisiting it as much as I am! The discussion questions will be posted on November 13!

Wrap-up: The Teachings of Don Juan

I just want to make a disclaimer. We, here at SSBC, do not advise going out into the desert and doing drugs with a crazy old man no matter how much enlightenment you think you will receive from the experience.
With that being said…Congratulations on finishing The Teachings of Don Juan! I hope I’m not alone in saying this, but I’m glad that is was a short read. I know that many people have gained spiritual and cultural enlightenment from this book; however, I do not seem to be one of them.
Now on to the questions!
Question #1 – What did you think of it?
Question #2 – What do you think Daria would have thought of the piece?
Question #3 – Are there any final, thoughts, themes, questions, etc. that you would like to discuss?

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Our next selection is a poem! In Memoriam by Lord Alfred Tennyson is the next piece we will be delving into here at the book club. The introduction will be posted sometime next week, so stay tuned!

Literary Podcasts

Obviously, we love books and reading! That is the whole reason we started this blog in the first place 🙂 With the use of the internet, there are many, many ways that you can access knowledge about writers and works of literature. I love podcasts! We have mentioned literary podcast on the blog before, namely Literary Disco. However, I wanted to give you a list of noteworthy podcasts that I have come across in recent weeks.

This is the podcast from the creator The Nervous breakdown. The host, Brad Listi, talks to authors and other literary people about their lives and writing experiences. Listi has an amazingly dry sense of humor and talks to a great variety of people.

Selected Shorts is the Public Radio International program that plays performances of short stories by Broadway and other performers. It gives you the feeling of being at a reading without going to the city. This one can get a little pretentious at times, but the performances are really well done.

Like I’ve said before, we have mentioned this one in previously blog posts. It is a favorite here at SSBC! The hosts talk about a selected book every episode and pepper in fun literary based games and discussions.

Those are just a few of my favorites. I hope you check them out! Are there any that you like to listen to that are not on the list? Give us a shout and share the knowledge!

Intro: The Teachings of Don Juan

don juan book coverOne of the best things about this blog (besides the amazing hostesses) is that we get the opportunity to read a lot of books that we would otherwise not be exposed. Our next book is The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda. This will be our first look into an anthropological memoir. Personally I have very little exposure to this genre so I’m delving into fresh territory. That is a refreshing position to be in for an avid reader!

This book appears in Daria in the episode “The Teachings of Don Jake” where Daria and her family go on a camping trip that goes awry.

Daria: We’re out in the middle of nowhere, nobody knows we’re here, we have no way to contact anyone, and our parents have gone insane.
Quinn: Yes.
Daria: [pause] This is really scary, Quinn.
Quinn: But why did they go insane?
Daria: Judging by dad’s woodland skills, I’d say it was the berries.
Quinn: It couldn’t have been the berries.
Daria: That’s what I think, because you ate the berries and you seem fine.
Quinn: (pupils becoming bigger) No, I mean because those weren’t the glitter berries.
Daria: Glitter berries?
Quinn: You know, the glitter berries! The ones that fill your mouth with beautiful sparkling glitter when you bite into them. Those are the ones that make you act weird. I mean until you spread your shimmering wings and fly away. Daria, you don’t have a mirror do you? I wanna check my makeup.
Daria: You’re not wearing makeup.
Quinn: I’m not?! Oh, no! [reaches down and rubs mud on her face]
Daria: Quinn, maybe you better take it easy for a while.

I've gone camping plenty of times with my family. Luckily, no one went crazy from eating glitter berries!

I’ve gone camping plenty of times with my family. Luckily, no one went crazy from eating glitter berries!

This is by far the shortest book that has been on the list so far (only about 150 pages, depending on your edition). It’s a pretty nice reprieve after the previous three heavy hitting books we just read 🙂 The wrap up will be posted on September 16 and be sure to check the twitter account for weekly reading assignments to keep yourself on track!
(Note: many editions come with the anthropological notes at the end. You don’t have to read these if you do not wish. Our discussion will be focused on the actual teachings part of the book. However, if anthropology is your drug of choice, go to town!)