- anewscafe.com - https://anewscafe.com -

Now in Session: The Literary Minds Online Book Club’s Discussion of ‘A Long Way Down’

Wow. Where did this month go? To recap, we began May by honoring Mental Health Month as part of our Literary Minds Online Book Club, a collaboration with Shasta County Health and Human Services.

First we reviewed “Nowhere Near Normal,” by Traci Foust. I really enjoyed Foust’s writing, and gained a ton of insight about OCD, a condition I’d never taken seriously, probably because I hadn’t known someone with OCD … or didn’t think I knew someone with OCD.

So today we turn to the Literary Minds’ second book, “A Long Way Down,” by Nick Hornby. But first,  I want to remind your of a special event that happens 7 p.m. tonight at YAKS on Bechelli Lane. This will be our first time to extend the online portion of the book club to an in-person gathering where we can see each other, talk about the two books we’ve read this month, and also touch on the general topic of mental illness.

As excited as I am about seeing everyone tonight at YAKS on Bechelli Lance in Redding (where, btw, there will be refreshments), I am also nervous that I won’t see anyone, that I will be at YAKS with a few gallons of coffee and trays of treats, which, of course, I will eat. I guess this is my way of asking you to PLEASE join me tonight at YAKS. OK? Thanks. I feel much better.

I must say, I was attracted to the book’s premise: It’s New Year’s in London where four people have made their way to the  top of a 15-story building so they can jump and end their lives. I was also impressed with the book-jacket reviews, with such raves as, “A mordan, brilliant novel … ought to be required reading for writing students who want to know how to evoke one set of circumstances with its opposite; how to capture unspeakable pain and humore; how to suggest commaderie with trenchant, piss-all irony; how to turn a novel based on suicide into a cello suite about how to go on living.” – by The Boston Sunday Globe.

Pretty heady praise, for sure.

I’ll go first, and say that despite the book having some lofty reviews, I was not wild about this book. In fact, I’ve still not finished it. I couldn’t warm up to the characters. It must be just me. Or is it?

Readers, who are your thoughts about “A Long Way Down”?

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.