Last month, Slate introduced our Audio Book Club as part of our regular podcast. Our discussion of The Year of Magical Thinkingby Joan Didion was a big hit with listeners. (And if you haven't read the book but plan to, you can always download the discussion whenever you're ready—it won't go stale.) The most frequent comment in our mail was: Do more please. What's the next book?
We're pleased to announce the next book is the novel Saturdayby Ian McEwan, which has just come out in paperback. I asked Meghan O'Rourke, Slate's culture editor and the leader of our book club, to explain why she and the other members chose Saturday:
Ian McEwan is a British novelist of extraordinary talent, with a body of work that is intriguingly varied. We chose to talk about Saturday in the book club because, in the first place, it was one of the first English-language novels to explore the post-9/11 political landscape in Britain (and, by implication, America), and, in the second, because it is a novel that polarized readers, who tend to love or hate it. When Slate invited staff members and contributors to name their favorite book of 2005, Saturday was named more than once.
Our club members will be meeting soon at a bookstore/cafe in New York for a wide-ranging and detailed discussion of Saturday, and we'll release a recording of their conversation on Wed., May 10, so you can listen in.
One note about last month's book club: A few readers understood "audio book club" to mean "audiobook club"—that is, a club to discuss audiobooks. Sorry for the confusion, but, no, we won't be critiquing the reading styles of the narrators on the CD versions of books. Still, if you prefer your ears to your eyes as an intake method, there is an audio version of Saturday available as well.