Book Discussion: The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (New York: Penguin Books, 2006; originally published in 1906. 464 pp) Upton Sinclair is an American author born in 1878. He wrote close to 100 books during his career and later unsuccessfully ran for Congress. Sinclair won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943 and died at the age of 90 in 1968. An Overview Upton Sinclair’s classic, The Jungle, highlights the poor working conditions of the meatpacking industry at the dawn of the 20th century. The principal character of the novel is Jurgis Rudkus, a recent immigrant from Lithuania seeking the American Dream in the outskirts of Chicago. Jurgis and his family find employment at a slaughterhouse but soon discover the deck stacked against them. The… Read More →

Book Discussion: Moby-Dick: or, the Whale

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale by Herman Melville (New York: Penguin Classics, 1992; originally published in 1851. 672 pp) Herman Melville was an American author best known for his work, Moby-Dick. A best-selling author with his first three books, Moby-Dick did not sell well and Melville’s popularity never returned. He died in 1891. *Spoiler Alert: We talk about the entire book here* A Sweeping Epic Melville’s sweeping epic details the story of Ishmael and the voyage of the whaling vessel, Pequod. The ship’s eccentric captain, Ahab, sails with a personal vendetta against a white whale, Moby-Dick, who is the source of Ahab’s missing leg from a previous sailing endeavor. Moby-Dick details the minutiae of whaling, the expanse of the open seas,… Read More →

Book Discussion: The Round House

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (New York: HarperCollins, 2012. 326 pp) Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. She is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and the National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother’s Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. A Crime, Unspeakable In the spring of 1988, a woman named Geraldine, who is living on a Native American reservation in North Dakota, is attacked. Her husband, Bazil, and son, Joe, find her in a car drenched… Read More →