This morning, my mind and hands take up a new task that feels very familiar: researching and writing a quiz. A literary quiz, to be precise. As I remain wrapped in the warm glow of Gabriel García Márquez’s words, from the last pages of Love in the Time of Cholera, I am suddenly pulled to the computer. Because I suddenly realized these quizzes are a joy–simple and cheap to procure–and you may like them too.
I hereby vow to share the monthly quizzes I’ve been creating for the “West Seattle Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club with you, here on this blog. (I’ll even post the answers too!)
In a little while after it’s written, I’ll start with today’s, and then work my way backwards, on a daily basis, through all the books listed below, which we read during the months of covid-19 plague fears and lockdowns, back to March 2020 when we first met.
Because if there is one thing the reader realizes in finishing Love in the Time of Cholera, it is that lockdowns, however tedious and frightening, may give rise to new pleasures …
and all pleasures, like love, are meant to be shared.
(Like the dandelion-blowing woman from the Larousse publishing company, above, je sème à tout vent – I’ll sow [or throw] wisdom to the wind.)
The sooner, the better. You never know who might be waiting. And it’s never too late to start anew!
West Seattle Classic Novels (and Movies) book club reading list, March 2020-July 2021, titles read:
Jane Austen, Emma [March 2020]
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
Daphne Dumaurier, Jamaica Inn.
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Washington Irving, “Rip van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Charlotte Brontë, Villette
Iris Murdoch, The Green Knight
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Nella Larsen, Passing
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, film, dir. George C. Wolfe, adapted from play by August Wilson
Clarice Lispector, Family Ties
and Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez, for July 25, 2021.