So, What’s on My Reading Schedule for September?

It seems my reading for the next month has already been determined by all my “book club” commitments. This is what’s on the agenda:

1.) There I Grew Up: Remembering Abraham Lincoln’s Indiana Youth (by William E. Bartelt)

This is the September book for the “Bookmama’s” bookstore’s discussion group. I have been to a couple of their previous discussions earlier this year (Fahrenheit 451 & Some Buried Caesar) but haven’t made it back lately due to scheduling conflicts. I spoke to Kathleen, the owner of the store, yesterday and she said that the author of this book will also be there, so I hate to miss an opportunity to discuss a book with the author present. This meeting will take place on Monday, September 13th, so I don’t have much time, but there is a three-day weekend between now and then… Also, I don’t even have a copy of the book yet, but I ordered it yesterday and Kathleen said I could pick it up next weekend. This book also fits into my Project: Civil War reading.

2.) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

This is my book club’s September book a and is actually one that I picked for us to read. (we take turns picking from a list of suggested titles by members of the club, but one cannot pick his own suggested book). Is is one of those books that, throughout my life, friends have suggested I read, saying “knowing you, I bet you’d really like this book,” etc. I’m skeptical but we’ll see. Someone said it sounds a lot like another book my club read (Illusions by Richard Bach) which I did not like AT ALL, so I am a bit concerned… I’ve downloaded this book already from Barnes & Noble and it’s not too long, so we’ll see.

3.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This will be a re-read for me (third time). My original book club back in the 90’s read it on my recommendation, and I read it myself for the first time in the late 80’s and was very pleasantly surprised, not knowing it wasn’t just a ‘monster book.” This book is the featured reading of a “Great Books” reading group on the north side of Indianapolis, a couple members of which I’ve met on my visits to the local chapter of the CFI (Center for Inquiry), an organization that promotes science and critical thinking. They have a weekly Sunday morning “coffee & conversation” at their location downtown on the canal, which usually features a lot of intimidatingly smart people. For the most part I just keep quiet and nod my head occasionally…

4.) Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut

One of my favorite “discoveries” this year is the soon-to-open Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in downtown Indianapolis. They actually have an all-Vonnegut book club that meets the last Thursday of the month (September 30th in this case). I visited them last week for their meeting on Slapstick (more on that later) and it’s a nice group of people, one of whom was a personal friend of Vonnegut(!) and another of whom knows mNy of the Vonnegut family through her work in establishing the memorial library.

That seems like a lot of reading (“required” reading, anyway) for one month, but I think I’ll be able to handle it, and it’s not any more than I’ve been averaging this year.

Well, that’s what’s on tab for Jay this month. What are you reading? Have you read any of these four? Anything I “need to know”…?

Sent from my iPad


  1. Dale Barthauer said,

    August 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    My daughter is reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe for school this year. I think I’m going to read them along with her. My son is reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I will probably re-read it with him. I read about a novel that just came out called Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. He was on the cover of Time this week or maybe last week as a result of this book. Thought I’d check it out. I think he was the author that blew off Oprah when she picked one of his other books for her book club.


  2. JaneGS said,

    August 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Good luck with that Sept reading. I just swapped my copy of Zen and the Art of MM via and don’t regret it one bit. I read it right out of college forever ago and did finish it but found the last third interminable. That said, you may love it!

    I’ve always wanted to read Frankenstein and picked it up a few years ago. Maybe this fall when I get in the “spooky reading” mood. I finally read Dracula a few years ago and simply loved it.

    I haven’t read much Vonnegut, but I’ve heard Jailbird is good.


  3. Falaise said,

    September 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I read Frankenstein a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially given the story of how it came to be written. I tried to read Zen and the Art of Motor Maintenance years ago but gave up pretty early on – not my cup of tea at all. That’s not to say that you won’t enjoy it!


  4. stentorpub said,

    September 7, 2010 at 6:40 am

    @Dale: what grade is your daughter in? Ivanhoe is prettly tough slogging through in spots (as I recall). Still a great book though – and you can’t go wrong with SWS…

    @Jane: I’ve started Zen ATAOMM now, and I am fearing I won’t like it. I also think I made a mistake in remembering that “many people have told me I’d like it” – I think I was thinking instead of The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy. Uh oh…

    I loved Dracula too, only wishing his “death” at the end would have been a little tougher for the gang to achieve. I remember thinking, “that’s it?”

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    @Falaise: this will actually be my third read of Frankenstein. I also like the backstory of how it came to be written and am continually amazed that Mary Shelley was so young when she wrote it.

    I’m finding Zen to be tough going early. I will see it through, though. I have never failed to complete a book club selection and don’t want to start now… 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my blog!


  5. May 29, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Jailbird is on my list as well. Must complete it sometime soon.


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