BTS Book Club

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What has Kim Namjoon been reading lately? Follow along with some of the top picks of the famous K-Pop star RM from BTS. 

For October, we read and discuss The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. We meet on Friday, October 22, at 3:30PM on Zoom. Register for link.

A novel about a man who finds himself transformed into a huge insect, and the effects of this change upon his life. This is a fantastic horror story about a hapless man who is turned into an insect. When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing — though absurdly comic — meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction.

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For November, we will be exploring When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. We meet on Friday, November 17, at 3:30PM on Zoom. Register for link.

…a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a nai⁺⁸ve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 

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For December, we read and discuss Almond: A Novel by Won-pyung Sohn. We will meet on Friday, December 17, at 3:30PM on Zoom. Register for Link.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He lives with his mother and grandmother above their used bookstore, decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say “thank you,” and when to laugh. When a shocking act of random violence shatters his world, it leaves him alone and on his own. Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae. After learning they have more in common than they realized, the two strike up a surprising friendship.

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