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Books & Authors

Explore the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels at Midtown Carnegie Library

Have you resolved to make 2016 the year you read all those classics you've never quite gotten around to in the past? Perhaps you could use some support! We meet at the Midtown-Carnegie Library on the second Thursday of each month to discuss a book from the Modern Library's list of the 100 best novels published in the English language since 1900. Here's what we'll be discussing in the coming months:

 January 14: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

In nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret. Charlotte Bronte's novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has enthralled every kind of reader since its publication in 1847.

 February 11: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (#19 of the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels)

The nameless narrator of Invisible Man describes growing up in a black community in the South, being expelled from a Negro college, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of "the Brotherhood" and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force, influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce and Dostoevsky.

 March 10: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (#15 of the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels)

The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

 April 14: Deliverance by James Dickey (#42 of the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels)

The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. Then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

 May 12: Under the Net by Iris Murdoch (#95 of the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels)

Jake, hack writer, seeks out an old girlfriend, Anna, and her glamorous actress sister, Sadie. He resumes acquaintance with the formidable Hugo, whose 'philosophy' he once presumptuously dared to interpret. These meetings involve Jake in a series of adventures that include the kidnapping of a celebrity dog and a riot on a film set of ancient Rome. Jake longs to learn Hugo's secret—perhaps it is Hugo himself?

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