"Words, verse, and reading are the redeeming miracle of my life. Reading created the inner landscape, as Sam Shepard calls it. I would not be able to have put my own experiences into expression without the example of writers like Sheppard and Kerouac, poets like Wordsworth, and thinkers like Beckett.  Reading did not come easily for me as a kid. My mind held every resistance to it. I wish everyone patience and courage in the journey to literacy. I assure you, it is a worthwhile journey, no matter when it begins."  ~ Stephan Jenkins

Introduction

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Stephan's Book of the Month

JUNE 2003

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

Buy This Book!

 

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Discuss this book on the Book Club Message Board

old message board


Stephan's Book of the Month - MAY 2003

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece

by Paul Cartledge

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - APRIL 2003

Mrs. Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - MARCH 2003

Underworld

by Don DeLillo

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - FEBRUARY 2003

The Road to Mecca

by Muhammad Asad

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - OCTOBER 2002

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It

by Arthur Herman

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - SEPTEMBER 2002

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

by Dave Eggers

"I'm reading this book and I'm also reading the Koran.  I think Islam is very misunderstood.  I want to study it because we're over there bombing these people and we don't really know why.  I'm Episcopalian by birth but Islam is the simplest religion and I want to learn about it."  - Stephan 9/12/02

Buy This Book!

Stephan's Book of the Month - APRIL 2002

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

by JT LeRoy

Buy This Book

Stephan's Book of the Month - MARCH 2002

Filth

by Irvine Welsh

"filth by irvine welsh, the guy who wrote trainspotting is on my list to read, but i may not get to it so soon." ~ Stephan

Buy This Book

Stephan's Book of the Month - FEBRUARY 2002

Sarah

by JT LeRoy

"This book is a difficult, but amazing story about a male, gay prostitute. The writer is a fan of Third Eye Blind and we may work on a script together in the future." ~ Stephan

Buy This Book

Stephan's Book of the Month - JANUARY 2002

Theodore Rex

by Edmund Morris

Stephan's Book of the Month - OCTOBER 2001

 

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

by Mark Bowden

Stephan's Book of the Month - SEPTEMBER 2001

The Year 1000 : What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium

by Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger


Stephan's Book of the Month - AUGUST 2001

Scarlet and Black

by Stendhal


Stephan's Book of the Month - JULY 2001

The Canterbury Tales 

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Other suggestions for people who like to still do their homework outside of school:

Stephan is also reading In the Days of William the Conqueror by Eva March Tappan. This book is out of print so look for it in the library, used book stores, basements, attics, garage sales, etc.

And he's also reading a book about the History of Modern Design and some poetry. He plans to start reading Charles Bukowski soon.

Some picks by Bukowski:


Stephan's Book of the Month - JUNE 2001

Stephan is reading Goethe (roughly pronounced 'Ger-Tah'), but he didn't specify which book by Goethe. 

Here are some selections by Goethe:

Faust The Sorrows of Young Werther 

Goethe was a writer of romantic literature-- this is not to be confused with paperback romance novels that are of a completely different genre. The genre of romanticism explores dark and mysterious parts of the mind and psychology. There is usually death or some other tragedy and involves some torment resulting from a lost love or other kind of longing.

"This band thrives on friction, musically and lyrically. It's about the pull between things - even the happiest song on the record, 'I Want You', is about death: 'The village churchyard is filled with bones weeping in the grave...Send me all your vampires, I want you.' I've always liked the romantic literature that highlights the glory of life by focusing on mortality. That's something I relate to." ~ Stephan Jenkins

Other romantic writers:

Edgar Allen Poe
Lord Byron
John Keats
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Blake
Mary Shelley
William Wordsworth


Stephan's Book of the Month - MAY 2001

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran

Stephan is going to be the best man for Eric Godtland's wedding and he's reading this book to help him make sense of commitments and relationships. 
Many people think this is a biography of either Jesus or the Prophet Muhammad in poetry form, although Gibran contends that it is not about any prophet.


Stephan's Book of the Month - APRIL 2001

Understanding the Enneagram : The Practical Guide to Personality Types

by Don Richard Riso


Stephan's Book of the Month - March 2001

Pirates! : Brigands, Buccaneers, and Privateers in Fact, Fiction, and Legend

by Jan Rogozinski

 "i'm reading a history of pirates called PIRATES!"

Stephan's Other Recommended Readings:

On The Road  
by Jack Kerouac

Pride and Prejudice  
by Jane Austen

Ulysses 
by James Joyce, Morris L. Ernst

The Complete Works of Shakespeare 
by William Shakespeare

Jesus' Son 
by Denis Johnson

The Moral Animal : Why We Are the Way We Are : The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
by Robert Wright

The Art of Raising a Puppy
by New Skete Monks

The Trial
by Franz Kafka

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook
by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht


Introduction and Rules

The first rule about Stephan's Book Club is you don't talk about Stephan's Book Club.
Outside of this club, you don't talk about Stephan's newest recommendations, you don't talk about the 20% you got off at Amazon.com. 
My name is Ruby, some people call me Wooby, she's Jen, I call her G. When you encounter us, or other book club members at a concert, TV taping, or out back by the buses, you will say nothing about the Book Club
When you see us at the corner cafe indulging in the newest selection you may exchange a wordless knowing glance, recognizing us from our page-turning-raw fingertips and our fatigued eyes, our asses sore from sitting around reading all day. 
You will know each other by the 3eb shirts you wear and the passion you feel surging through your quasi-fascist, reading-based revolutionary consciousness.
You will read Shakespeare, Austen, Kerouac. You will learn which online bookstores carry the best discount and which neighborhood independent stores contain all the great hidden treasures. You will apply for a library card. You will know all this and more, but you will not talk about Stephan's Book Club.
The Second rule of the Stephan's Book Club is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT STEPHAN'S BOOK CLUB. You will spot each other at airports and hotel hallways. You'll be standing in the moshpit next to a book club member, but you will not talk about the Book Club.
The Third rule of Stephan's Book Club is if this is your first visit, you MUST READ TONIGHT. You will drive down to Barnes and Noble or log into Amazon and purchase the newest recommendation. You will dust off your library card and put it to good use.
You are here because, deep down, you want to read. You think you have what it takes to be one of us, but reading takes discipline. And it demands perseverance. You have to possess, from the gut, the willingness to commit to pages with words on it, one that may well take weeks in some cases. You will need all of these things, as well as an admiration for Stephan's own writings, a pencil to jot down thoughts in the margins of the book or in your own journal and and a mind to think with, if you expect to survive here.
We as visitors of this site have gathered together in glorious rebellion against the dehumanizing boy-band pop music consumer culture that insults our intelligence. We are here to fight back against a society that tells us that musicians must be airheads and their fans must be even more clueless. 
Now, which one of you thinks s/he's ready? Who wants to read first? 
We're just kidding, we just thought it's be fun to act like we're in the Fight Club for a few minutes.  hehe  We actually DO want you to talk about the Book Club.   And when you have some thoughts you'd like to share with other Book Club members, then
POST it in the Book Club discussion board


Jen's Recommended Readings:

Beach Music
by Pat Conroy
This book made me realize that my fucked up family situation was not one in a million.  I've never been so emotionally touched by a book until I read Beach Music.  Pat Conroy hails from the South, like me, and his writing style is very descriptive and captivating.

The Water Is Wide
by Pat Conroy

The Prince of Tides
by Pat Conroy

The Dharma Bums
by Jack Kerouac
After reading On The Road, I found myself addicted to Jack Kerouac's writing style and spoiled by his detailed descriptions of events.  He made me feel like I was a Beatnik lurking around the Bay Area pre-dot-com invasion with a hard on for mischief.

Book of Dreams
by Jack Kerouac

Desolation Angels
by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur
by Jack Kerouac

Left Behind (book 1 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
The Left Behind series definitely kept me busy in 2000.  I read them back-to-back and found myself forced to flip to the next page, even at 3am.  This series is about the Coming of Christ and how unbelievers are "left behind" to endure years of hell on earth as the Beast (antichrist) takes control.  A 21st century version of the Book of Revelations that will at least make you wonder about the God you've never seen.  Lights!

Tribulation Force (book 2 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist (book 3 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (book 4 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Apollyon: The Destroyer is Unleashed (book 5 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Assassins: Assignment--Jerusalem, Target--Antichrist (book 6 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

The Indwelling: The Best Takes Possession (book 7 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (book 8 in the Left Behind Series)
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
by Betty MacDonald
All of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books were my favorite as a child.  I always wished I could be at her upside-down house searching her cupboards for long-forgotten treasures.

Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Suess
This is the first book I ever read.  I was in Kindergarten and I taught myself to read with this book.


Ruby's Recommended Readings:

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

The Lorax 
by Dr. Seuss
words I live by

The Mating Mind
by Geoffrey F. Miller
Dr. Miller has a really convincing theory on why musicians tend to exhibit the most sexual prowess. You look at musicians in a whole new light after reading this one. 

Frankenstein 
by Mary Shelley
A beautiful and tragic story. If all you know about Frankenstein is those campy old movies, wipe your slate clean and be moved by this stunning piece of humanity.

The Poisonwood Bible 
by Barbara Kingsolver
yes Oprah convinced me to pick this one up but I don't regret it at all. She's one of the most gifted writers I've ever read.

The Great Gatsby 
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Autobiography of Malcolm X 
by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
by Jon Lee Anderson

The Ways of White Folks
by Langston Hughes

Happy Prince and Other Stories
by Oscar Wilde
I've never cried while reading a book before. NEVER. But this kiddie tale set me bawling so grab a box of tissues.


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