Home > Challenges, Christie Agatha, Dark Eleanor, Marsh Ngaio, Orwell George, Čapek Karel > The #1936Club starts tomorrow – some reading suggestions

The #1936Club starts tomorrow – some reading suggestions

Tomorrow starts the #1936 Club co-hosted by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck in a Book. It lasts a week, from April 12th to April 18th.

I’m in with two books, Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie with clever Hercule Poirot and Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell with stupid Gordon. I should be able to post my billets about these two books in the upcoming week.

Incidentally, I’ve read two other books published in 1936 in the last four months.

In December, our Book Club had chosen War With the Newts by Karel Čapek, a stunning dystopian fiction. It’s an odd book, a strange patchwork of narration, board minutes, newspaper articles and other sources. It takes us to a fictional world where a population of working newts colonizes the world. It’s a humorous but serious declaration against the pitfalls of wild capitalism. If you haven’t read it, the #1936 Club might be the perfect time to do it.

In March, for Southern Cross Crime Month hosted by Kim at Reading Matters, I read Death in Ecstasy by Nagaio Marsh, a clever and entertaining investigation by Chief Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn and his journalist friend Nigel Bathgate. It’s a perfect read to spend an evening with a book and forget about the world. Readers of classic crime will have a great time with it.

I also would like to draw your attention to Return to Coolami by Eleanor Dark. According to its blurb, it is an emotional novel that explores the psychological impact of four people thrown closely together during the course of a (…) two-day motor car trip from Sydney, across the Blue Mountains to the country property, Coolami. I heard of it in January, when Bill at The Australian Legend hosted his Australian Women Writer Generation 3 Week. I haven’t read it yet (I might read it in the summer when Lisa organizes her Eleanor Dark Week) but I’ve read her Lantana Lane and really enjoyed her writing.

I realize that this billet reveals one thing: how dynamic is our corner of the bookish bloggosphere. Events are numerous, varied and remain a wonderful and friendly opportunity to discover new books or eventually read ones lying on the TBR. Many thanks to all the bloggers who take the time to host such events.

Happy #1936 Club!

  1. April 11, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Ha, sounds like you didn’t like the protagonist of Keep the Aspidistra Flying too much, then? Agree, he is so annoying. I’ll be reviewing War with the Newts, among others, which is… wow!


    • April 11, 2021 at 10:16 am

      I haven’t finished the Orwell (I’m 76% in, according to the kindle) and yes, Gordon is infuriating.
      War With the Newts is brilliant. Have you finished it? (maybe it’s a re-read for you, btw)


      • April 11, 2021 at 10:27 am

        No, surprisingly it’s a first-time read and I bought it especially for the 1936 Club. Loved it! (Have finished, but just need to think how to review it best)

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

          I’m looking forward to reading your review.


  2. April 11, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for the mention. I’m afraid my next ‘week’ is 1960-90 so it might be a while before Kaggsy’s mob catch up. I read the Orwell, Dark and Capek, but in non-review mode so not much sticks.


    • April 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

      The Club years are not chronological. You never know!
      How did you like this Dark compared to her others?


      • April 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm

        Dark seems a much more important modernist than I had realized prior to doing the groundwork for Gen 3. Over the years, I breezed through her early fiction as mildly interesting character studies while thinking more about A Timeless Land which is absolutely seminal in the study of Black-White relations in Australia. I am going to have to go back and re-read them all I think.


        • April 11, 2021 at 6:29 pm

          I’m curious about The Timeless Land but three volumes in English is quite a challenge for me.


  3. April 11, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Some nice choices there, Emma, and I’ll be interested to see your final thoughts on Stupid Gordon! 😀 And yes – we’re non-chronological, and so who knows what the next club year will be! 😀


    • April 11, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      I didn’t think it was possible but Gordon became even more stupid in the chapters I read after our Twitter chat. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. April 11, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve seen quite a few people say they’re going to read War With the Newts, which is great news. What a book. I never wrote about it.

    The other great novel of 1936 is Absalom, Absalom, and nobody’s gonna read that.


    • April 11, 2021 at 6:34 pm

      Faulkner. Yikes. Not my cup of tea.

      There’s also Mort à crédit by Céline and Journal d’un curé de campagne by Bernanos but it’s not my cup of tea either.

      I would have liked to read La passante du Sans-Souci by Joseph Kessel.

      And there’s also Gone With the Wind. Gallmeister has published a new translation which is apparently very good. It’s a long book, I need to be on holiday to read that, so maybe in the summer.


  5. April 11, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    War With The Newts is so good. I’m thinking about rereading it this week, but I’ve got Novel on Yellow Paper up first. Curious to see your thoughts on the Orwell, which I don’t remember that favorably…


    • April 11, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      War With the Newts is excellent, indeed.
      I’d never heard of Novel on Yellow Paper, so I checked it out. It sounds great too. 1936 was a very good year.


  6. April 11, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    I was really tempted to re-read Keep the Aspidistra Flying, but opted for new reads instead. I have finished two quite different books and I’m getting close to the end of the third. 1936 was a very good year.


    • April 12, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      Yes it was a very good year. I’m not sure I’d like to re-read Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
      I’m tempted to download La passante du Sans-Souci by Joseph Kessel. It sounds like a good opportunity to read it.


  7. April 12, 2021 at 1:38 am

    I’ve nearly finished Rebecca West’s The Thinking Reed. At first I thought it was a soppy novel about a Woman with Man Trouble but now I am laughing and frowning (sometimes at the same time) at the wickedness of her satire of a vacuous social circle.
    This is from the first lines of chapter nine:
    “SHE HAD said to Marc as they went down in the elevator, “I wish you had not had that cocktail sent up to our room, it is so necessary that you should keep your head,” and he had answered in the words which are never used by a completely sober man, “Nonsense, you know that it is impossible for me to get really drunk. I always know what I am doing.”


    • April 12, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      According to the quote, it sounds great! Such a manly answer by a man who’s used to getting drunk…
      Looking forward to reading your review. (I hope I won’t miss it, I’ve started a new job and I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment)

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 13, 2021 at 6:52 am

        Don’t worry, it will still be there when you have time for it, it’s not like a newspaper review that gets chucked out for recycling!


        • April 13, 2021 at 7:46 am

          True. I’ll have the mail in my inbox.


          • April 13, 2021 at 2:33 pm

            Good luck with work, it’s tough when there’s just no end in sight.


  8. April 12, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    I’m reading Lantana Lane right now and absolutely loving it! Her writing is wonderful and dynamic, especially the “action” sequences. I’d love to hear more about her other books and it she’s brilliant across the board.


    • April 12, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      Lantana Lane is great, isn’t it? I’m sure Return to Coolami is worth reading too.

      Liked by 1 person

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