bookclubbed

“Some of us remember book club, or as Aynsley called it, full-contact reading”

As a fan of Orphan Black and a proud English lit major, I’ve found a lot of the same themes and ideas in the show that I’ve seen in some of my favourite pieces of literature. There have been some blatant allusions, while there are other parallels that may have been entirely unintentional but are still interesting to explore. With that in mind, I thought it would be super cool to put together a cloneclub reading list made up of some really important literature that might spur some further thought in you on Orphan Black. It also might be a good next step if you want to continue with the ideas developed in Orphan Black and take the genre further. Also, everyone’s always looking for some good ol book recommendations right?

Below I’ve alphabetically listed some of the books of essential cloneclub reading. I’ve also included each book’s connection to Orphan Black and any analyses that have been written by cloneclubbers concerning it in the last little while. Each title also links to more info on that book if you’re curious and want to read up even more on it!

If there’s anything you think is worth adding, just message me and let me know! There are infinite corners of the literary sphere I’ve yet to uncover for myself, so if you’ve read something cool and see some connections, send them my way! The same goes for any analyses floating out there I may have missed. I’ll try to update this post regularly and keep a link to it off of my blog so y’all can access it. 

Cheers cloneclub, and happy reading! 

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1984: (George Orwell): Surveillance, societal oppression, deception, loss of identity; I could go on, but these are the makings and foundations of any good speculative fiction. Big Brother is watching, or shall we say, monitoring you. And did I mention that the clones just so happen to be born in 1984? This one’s important guys. (x) (x)

Angels and Demons: (Dan Brown) The interplay of science and religion is the main focus of this novel, so if the contrast between neolution and the proletheans is your thing, this would be right up your alley. A literal literary puzzle that makes for light, fun, summer reading.

Anthem: (Ayn Rand) Another classic dystopian novella that should be on anyone’s must-read list. Ideas of loss of identity, clones, dystopia, control of knowledge and advancement….all that good stuff.

The Bible: I’m not saying that you need to go out and read the whole bible, but there is a ton of really interesting origins to tropes and names in there that bears reading into. The whole idea of Rachel Leah and Jacob and the handmaids and fertility and bearing children….it’s extra yummy. Throw in all of that fish symbolism and then basically anything related to the proletheans and you have a wealth of knowledge right there.

Brave New World: (Aldous Huxley) Huxley station? Aldous Leekie? Eugenics? “It’s nice to make a friend in the brave new world”? Yeah, there are so many connections. Like, so many I can barely list them all. Read the book, and then go read about the connections and have your mind blown. (x)

Fight Club: (Chuck Palahniuk) First rule of cloneclub? Don’t tell anyone about cloneclub. That’s just a passing reference, but the thematic connections run deep. Identity issues, impersonation, personality disorder, narcotic addiction…all of that runs wild in this novel. Check out the book and not just the movie for an extra level of deep shit.

Frankenstein: (Mary Shelley) We see much of Victor’s innovation and ideals reflected in Neolution, as well as the monster’s search for identity reflected in the clones. Leekie says “to engineer, divine” briefly when rehearsing his speech in 2x01, and that’s the exact view Victor takes, resulting in nothing good. By the end of season 2 I’m sure even more parallels will become apparent.

Her Fearful Symmetry: (Audrey Niffenegger) MIRROR TWINS. Jacq, who is credited as the queen of the mirror twin theory has said this is the only other book she’s found with mirror twins in it. That alone should spark our interest. (Mirror twin discussion (x))

Leda: (Aldous Huxley) Yes, Huxley wrote a collection of poetry titled after the Greek myth our entire overarching origin story seems to have ties to. If you combine Huxley and poetry and Greek mythology, you’re bound to get something great, and this is just the greatest. (x)

Never Let Me Go: (Kazuo Ishiguro) Clones who have their entire lives dictated by an overarching power. Need I say more? The parallels here basically write themselves.

Oryx and Crake: (Margaret Atwood) Explores genetic engineering, divine creation, the morality of science, self-directed evolution; basically everything we’ve come to know and love about neolution. Also there may or may not be clones.

Song of Myself: (Walt Whitman) We were all pleasantly surprised to see a fraction of a second of binary flash at the end of one of the first OB teasers we got back at the end of February. When that was translated, it was revealed to be a line from this poem. Further, the next seven teasers released all that week contained more lines from various sections, prompting a massive cloneclub uproar and sudden enthusiasm for poetry. (x)

The Children of Men: (P. D. James) fertility, identity issues, power struggles, societal control….Yet another staple of any good dystopian reading list.

The Handmaid’s Tale:  (Margaret Atwood) Tons of symbolism of fertility, women’s rights to their bodies, control of creation of life, religious manipulation, indoctrination, identity issues, feminism, and oh, did I mention that the protagonist’s daughter was taken from her? (x) (x)

 

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Awesome reads for the casual geek monkey!

These are the types of books Cosima might give to one of her sisters (or her brother!) if they expressed an interest in a particular topic. I’ve picked out a few I’ve read in the last few years to make up this list!

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: A 500 page ‘cliff notes’ of all the sciency things humans have been getting up to. It covers everything from evolution to particle physics and does so in a highly entertaining way. 

Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne: A good look at the modern supporting evidence for evolution. 

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking: Yoouuu’ve probably heard about this one! For me it was a huge mental stretcher (I have to say I did not come away from this book with a complete understanding of what he was saying). It left me in complete awe that a human mind could sit down and work this shit out. 

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin: Another evolutionary book with a focus on human evolution and where some of our fancy physical features come from based on fossil record findings etc. 

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean: The periodic table, a history. Looks at the elements and the people surrounding their discoveries. Very interesting!

Stiff: The curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach: Could not make this list without a Mary roach title. She writes the best non fiction books. Try her books. TRRRYY THEM! Don’t like morbid? Maybe try Packing for Mars. Where was I? Oh right Stiff! This book basically looks at what ‘jobs’ a body can get once it’s passed on. Humorous and fascinating. 

Black Culture Book Club September 2013: Twelve Years a Slave

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Twelve Years a Slave (Originally published in 1853 with the sub-title: “Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana”) is the written work of Solomon Northup; a man who was born free, but was bound into slavery later in life.

To choose our book for September, we used a reader poll over in the community, and @SirChazR suggested we read Twelve Years a slave before the movie starring Chiwetel Ejiofor is released.

 

Schedule

We’re giving you two weeks to get your hands on the book and read the first 10 chapters. We’ll post the first discussion on Monday, September 16th, and then every Monday for the remainder of the month. We’ll announce the October selection a week or so before that one starts up.

Details

The discussions will take place over twitter on Mondays at 9PM with the hashtag #bcbookclub

and threads on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ZellieImani until we get enough members to create our own group/page.

 

 

 

 

Northup’s account describes the daily life of slaves in Bayou Beof, their diet, the relationship between the master and slave, the means that slave catchers used to recapture them and the ugly realities that slaves suffered. 

What: Story of the kids of Perdidio Beach, as they deal with the disappearance of adults from the town, an inability to leave the town and the fact that some of them are developing supernatural abilities.

Why: Cool storyline, amazing female characters (and gay characters in later books) and people with superpowers.[x]

Introducing: The Young Adult Book Club

Hey everyone! After great thought and suggestions I’ve decided to start a book club, open to anyone and everyone who is willing to join. It’s labeled the young adult book club simply because that’s mostly what I read but I’m open to anything and the books will venture out of this category from time to time.

There’s no rules to join, you don’t need to be a certain age.

This book club is still in the process of being created, I have a blog up but it’s not completed but I suggest you go follow it as it’ll have all of the book club updates!

The book club will be under construction until sometime in August, right now I’ll just be working on getting members and completing the blog. After that there will be a poll put up with a selection of books you can vote for, the highest amount of votes will become our first book of the month! (for faster readers or people that already have the books needed, I’ll also have a separate 2 week discussion with a different book) 

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I’ll have more information about the book club on the blog when I have it completed: http://theyabookclub.tumblr.com/

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If you’d like to join:

  • reblog this (let’s get the word out)
  • send me a message saying ‘YA book club’
  • I’ll reply with a join link
  • feel free to introduce yourself once added to the group
  • leave suggestions for books to be added to our first poll

I’m super excited for this to get started, don’t be afraid to suggest any type of book!

please send all questions and/or suggestions regarding the young adult book club to: http://theyabookclub.tumblr.com/