Classic Book Club

“Classic” books are classic for a reason – their literary excellence transcends passing fads, and they continue to engage readers generation after generation. If there are classics you have always meant to read “someday,” or if you read them in school before you were ready to appreciate them, now is the time to enjoy them with other adult readers.

Join the Classic Book Club in 2017 as we explore classic titles in genre fiction. These are books that were written for popular audiences, not scholars, but whose literary merit and entertainment value have stood the test of time. Throughout the year we will be reading classics books in romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.

Discussion groups will meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month. Anyone is welcome to attend any session, but advanced registration is required if you would like the library to reserve you a book. Register here!

Next Meeting: June 13, 2016

Theme: Science Fiction

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr

Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award, A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature—a chilling and still provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who was Leibowitz and why was he made a saint?
  2. Who is the mysterious old man who appears in all three sections of Canticle? In what way does his story mirror the legend of the Wandering Jew? Why is he chosen to reappear; in other words, what is the old man’s role in this novel?
  3. In what ways does this book parallel the real history of the “dark ages,” the Renaissance era, and the development of modern technology? How closely do Miller’s fiction and real history track? Do you need knowledge of history to appreciate his book?
  4. What does the phrase “Lucifer is fallen” signifiy in this novel?
  5. This book is 40+ years old. What relevance does it hold for today? How did you come away from this book—feeling hopeless…or hopeful?

Questions from LitLovers