CapRadio Reads

CapRadio Reads is a book club and online reading community, hosted by Capital Public Radio. Moderator Vicki Lorini and host Donna Apidone encourage you to participate in person or on the website.

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The Goldfinch

June 2015 book selection

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

June 3, 2015 | Vicki Lorini

Our meeting to discuss The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, is sold out, but you can have your own meeting with friends who have read the book and share ideas.

What would your discussion sound like?  You might want to ask the group what their idea of a "Dickensian" novel is and whether The Goldfinch fit that description. Were the characters in this book all well defined? I have, quite by accident, been reading novels lately that have stolen art as part of their theme. We will be talking a little about that in our meeting, and you could do the same.

However, and wherever, you discuss this book, I hope you enjoy the conversation, and please sign up early next time. Join us at our table, and add your thoughts to our always lively discussion.

If you have a reservation, I'll see you on Tuesday for our conversation about this amazing work of art.

May 27, 2015 | Vicki Lorini

Having read this magnificent (in my opinion) several months ago, I now have the opportunity to research different aspects of the book. I find reading reviews after having read a book fascinating.  Highly regarded newspapers, The New York Times and the Guardian in London can differ wildly on some and totally agree on others.  In this case they, along with NPR, agree The Goldfinch is a must read. I even found a great review written by another fairly well known writer, Stephen King.  So why is the talk all about the "failure of this too lengthy, Dickensian" story?

Well, it turns out, according to one article, it's our fault. Apparently, the world of the literary critic and its rarified atmosphere is being threatened.  No longer are there a snooty few reviewers who can guide our literary taste.  Now there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of people who can obtain access to books before they are published, read them and then dare to have an opinion. What's more, with the Internet in general, and Goodreads in particular, lots of people can read our opinions. It turns out, in this case, we, the lucky pre-reading public, loved this book. How then can the reviewer of old make a statement? They agree to disagree! Some  of them are just uncomfortable letting the "masses" determine what is literature.

Here's a secret from one of the masses. I don't determine what is literature, or even what is a well written book. I determine what I enjoy, and what I think you will enjoy. I hope I guessed right on this one, but if I didn't, I think it will make for an even more interesting conversation. 

Hope to see you when we do sit down to discuss Donna Tartt's book, The Goldfinch, on Tuesday, June 9th at 6 p.m. at Capital Public Radio.

May 20, 2015 | Vicki Lorini

When Donna Tartt was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature last year, the committee called The Goldfinch "a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart."

The committee was correct. Tartt's book also stimulates discussion, and that is what we will have on Tuesday, June 9th at 6 p.m. when we meet to talk about The Goldfinch. I know this is a very long book, and to get through it in a month, when you may have another thing or two to do, is a big deal, but I think you will find it time well spent.

If you read this book, just getting to know the narrator and focal character, Theo, will have been worth it. He is not always likable, and he does some very stupid things, but ultimately he is a decent sort in a world populated by some pretty un-decent folks. His father comes to mind immediately. What a terrible guy. Or is he? And then there's Boris. I will leave you with this, so you have more time to catch up on your reading. 

See you on June 9th.

May 13, 2015 | Vicki Lorini

CapRadio Readers have been waiting a long time for The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, and it's finally time. This book has received worldwide acclaim, and even some criticism, but everyone's talking about it. 

The Goldfinch, last year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, centers around 13 year old Theo Decker and his misadventures after he is injured in a terrorist attack at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. After the smoke clears, Theo, on the advice of a dying victim of the bombing, takes the painting by Fabritius called The Goldfinch and leaves the museum with the only thing he has that will remind him of his late mother.  There begins our journey.

Please join us in reading this outstanding book, and then come to our discussion.  We'll meet at Capital Public Radio on June 9th at 6:00 pm to drink a little wine, eat some snacks and talk about The Goldfinch.  Hope to see you there.