Friday, January 20, 2012

Get Ready Novella Group

"The Bridge of San Luis Rey" was the January selection for the Newberry book group.  We did not get to nearly enough of what I wanted to discuss about this book so watch out Novella Group, I'm thinking this is going to be one of our books for 2012.

I wish this book was still assigned in school.  I don't think it is.  At least I did not read it in school.  It's from the 1920s so by the time I was in high school there were probably some more choices to assign. 

What a book.  The reason I would like others to read it is because I think it's a great book for cocktail party discussions.  I think that how you react to this book says a lot about you as a person.  The book provides a jumping off point for some pretty heavy discussions and thoughts.  But it's not so a thick tome - it's actually a very quick read and parts are funny.  I thought this, and others at Newberry did too, that it reads like a South American novel.  It has some characters that have lived long enough to experience some fantastical events.  (At one point you may think: "He's the most interesting man in the room"). 

The host for our discussion brought a first edition of "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" and it was wonderful to look at the original printing.  The edition we read had an afterward that talked about the book's publication and how the publisher tried to bulk up the page count with huge text, big margins and illustrations.  It's true!  But, now, as the Novella Group has found out shorter books still command a real book price. 

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