The Book Club: the final chapter (for now) 

This issue is a bit different from the others. Normally as we approach the end of the term and a well-deserved break, I would spend this “final” issue discussing novels I hope to read during our time off and summarize them. However, this issue is actually going to be more of a goodbye – not for forever, to clarify, but just for a while. I will be studying abroad in London during Winter Term, and therefore will be unable to provide you all with updates in “The Book Club” while I’m gone. Don’t fret though, dear readers, for once I’m back stateside in Spring Term, I’ll be able to tell you all about the books I hopefully read during my time away. I won’t lie, though – it feels odd to stick a pin in “The Book Club” for four months, as it’s been promptly updated every week ever since the Spring Term of my first year. Nevertheless, though I’m a bit sad, I hope that this break will provide me with some much-needed inspiration in order to spice up “The Book Club” with some new ideas and materials.  

That being said, I’m going to fall back to my old habits and now discuss some novels I’m hoping to read during my time abroad. Though, as I’ve determined myself to be a mood reader, I may soon change my mind and end up exclusively reading novels by Jane Austen to get me in that “British state of mind.” However, I’ll still share a few titles I may or may not get to during my time away from “The Book Club.” 

Starting off, one of the titles I’m looking forward to is “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. This book first came up on my radar as being a niche title within the dark academia genre, and though I was interested in it, it wasn’t super high on my list. However, my lovely partner suggested it since he remembered enjoying it when he read it in high school, and he hoped it could be something we talked about during a virtual “book club” date while we’re apart Winter Term. The story focuses on three students who attend an isolated boarding school called Hailsham and soon discover what the school actually is after they leave. It’s supposed to be a dystopian piece with an intriguing twist, and I think having a dark academia piece set in a science fiction-esque setting is definitely unique compared to most works in that specific genre. Overall, I think it’ll at the very least be a fun conversation piece to discuss with my partner during our virtual dates.  

Another book I’m itching to get to is “What Moves the Dead” by T. Kingfisher. It’s a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Similarly, it is a horror novel, and it centers around a retired soldier who goes to visit his friends, the Ushers. Upon arriving at their mansion, he finds it being consumed by fungal growths and strange animals. Meanwhile, his two friends are seemingly sick, as they’re overcome with fright, sleepwalking and speaking in strange tongues. I was itching to get this when it first came out in July, but it’s been difficult to get ahold of for the past few months. Luckily, since it’s been announced as a potential “Book of the Year,” we got some more copies in at Barnes and Noble and I was able to nab one. Though the season of all things frightful and spooky has gone by, I’m ready to lose myself in this potentially terrifyingly good piece. 

While this may be the final chapter of “The Book Club” for the next few months, I plan on continuing the column during Spring Term once I’m back from London, so stay tuned for what I have planned for the next few chapters. Until then, as always, I wish you all happy reading.