We all have them. The books we always meant to read. The ones that got away. The ones that call out to us, begging to be discussed.
Well, good news! The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and the Reading Group Center are pleased to announce How Have I Not Read This?, a new virtual book club.
Each month, with the help of our authors and editors, we’ll select a timely and topical book from our publishing library and invite you to read along. We will be partnering with booksellers and librarians for this endeavor, and we encourage you to buy or borrow from those partners when possible. We’ll also have book club materials posted here on the Reading Group Center to enhance the discussion and enliven your reading experience, so be sure to check back.
Monthly discussions will be capped by a live, virtual Zoom event featuring some of your favorite authors in conversation. Join the discussion at the event, and by using #HowHaveINotReadThis!
How Have I Not Read This? promises to highlight timeless selections that engage with our current moment. The inaugural selection, in partnership with legendary San Francisco bookstore City Lights, will be Albert Camus’s The Plague, with a virtual event on May 5 at 7 p.m. EDT featuring Emily St. John Mandel, Laura Marris, and Alice Kaplan in conversation and responding to readers’ questions. More than seventy years after its original publication, The Plague has become a national bestseller and was recently hailed in the Los Angeles Times as “a redemptive book, one that wills the reader to believe, even in a time of despair.”
Browse full details below, and welcome to the club!
Your friends at the Reading Group Center
• TUESDAY, MAY 5. Register here and add to your calendar.
• DIGITAL DOORS: 6:45 p.m. EDT (Be the first to submit a question/participate in chat.)
• EVENT START: 7:00 p.m. EDT (or shortly after once all are checked in)
• NOTE: This is a virtual event that will be hosted on Zoom—you will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing and sufficient Internet access. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL’s latest novel, The Glass Hotel, is currently on bestseller lists nationwide. Her previous book, the National Book Award finalist Station Eleven, is itself one of our best looks at humanity before and after a pandemic.
LAURA MARRIS is currently translating a new edition of The Plague to be published by Knopf in 2021. In The New York Times on April 16 she wrote: “I still hope that books from the past can be a kind of serum for the future, as Camus intended his novel to be. He knew that his book would be needed again, long after his death, in a context he couldn’t predict or imagine.”
ALICE KAPLAN, Yale University’s Sterling Professor and chair of the Department of French, was quoted by NPR on April 1: “I never imagined I would be teaching this novel in the midst of an epidemic…. I never imagined I’d need to give a trigger warning for teaching Camus’ The Plague…. People are saying in the French press, what do you absolutely need to read in this time? You need to read The Plague. Almost as though this novel were a vaccine—not just a novel that can help us think about what we’re experiencing, but something that can help heal us.”