Friday Morning Bookclub

September 16, 2010

Homer & Langley: Voted One Of The Best Books Of The Year

Filed under: Homer & Langley,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 10:33 am

We were lucky enough to be one of the first to read E.L.Doctorow’s Homer & Langley, and now, according to the Random House Newsletter it has been named one of the best books of the year by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The St Louis Post-Dispatch, The Kansas City Star and Booklist! On a scale of 1-5, The Friday Morning Bookclub gave Homer & Langley 4 omelets. Although it did not make our top 10 list, it was not far behind. It was a shocking  story about the reclusive Collyer brothers who lived in a Fifth Avenue brownstone cluttered with newspaper, old furniture, trash and filth. You name it, they had it! Check out our earlier posts for some incredible pictures.


April 18, 2010

Trivia 110

Filed under: Homer & Langley,Trivia — susanbright @ 9:25 pm

In what book that The Friday Morning Bookclub read, will you find an explanation of the “Theory of Replacements”?

We welcome all answers and comments. Use our book list as a reference!

Thank you Jean. Homer and Langley by E.L.Doctorow is correct! Homer and Langley is based on the lives of Homer and Langley Collyer, two reclusive, eccentric and wealthy brothers who lived in a Fifth Avenue Brownstone. According to Langley’s Theory Of Replacements, “Every­thing in life gets replaced. We are our parents’ replacements just as they were replacements of the previous generation.”

A police inspector in the Collyer house in 1947, New York Times

October 14, 2009

Grey Gardens

Filed under: Homer & Langley,Movies — susanbright @ 9:05 pm

During our discussion of Homer & Langely, several people  were reminded of the movie Grey Gardens, the story of Little Edie and Big Edie Bouvier Beale, relatives of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. This 2009 movie, stars Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore and is available on HBO.  Grey Gardens Won 6 Primetime Emmys. For more info check this out.

September 24, 2009

E.L. Doctorow was interviewed today on the Diane Rheme Show.

Filed under: Homer & Langley — janinefrier @ 3:18 pm

I caught part of this interview today and it was very interesting.

The link below should take you to today’s programs and next to this listing, is a link to listen.

E.L. Doctorow: Homer and Langley (Random House)

September 17, 2009

Friday Morning Bookclub Gives Homer & Langley 4 Omelets

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Homer & Langley,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 9:44 am

Amazon readers agreed with us and gave Homer & Langley 4 stars

Barnes and Noble readers gave Homer & Langley 3 1/2 stars

I’m sure everyone will agree that this was a good choice for a Book Club book and led to an excellent discussion!

September 15, 2009

New York Times Book Review

Filed under: Homer & Langley — janinefrier @ 11:24 am

Here is a review of Homer and Langley from this week’s New York Times Book Review.

September 13, 2009

September’s Meeting

Filed under: Homer & Langley,People of the Book — susanbright @ 5:04 pm

September’s meeting was a great success. It was  nice to get everyone together again after our short summer break. We had a wonderful turnout and an informative discussion on both Homer & Langley and People of the Book.   Everyone seemed to really enjoy both books and we found a lot to talk about. Over coffee, bagels and oatmeal, we put together an interesting list of discussion questions  for Homer & Langley, to be submitted to Random House. The questions will be submitted late Monday, so if you have any suggestions please let me know ASAP!  Also, don’t forget to “Rate The Book” below so we can update our book list. It is a great resource for our readers.

Homer & Langley Discussion Questions

1. How different would the life of the Collyer brothers have been if Homer, the sensible one had retained his vision.  Would Homer have become the caretaker?

 2. On page 74 you will find the passage: “Langley. I  said. Am I your shadow? In the darkness I listened. You’re my brother, he said ”.  In actuality, who was who’s shadow, and what does it say about their relationship?

 3. Homer had several occasions to develop a relationship with a woman. Langley even commented about his brother’s affinity for the ladies. Why did Homer choose to remain single and live with his brother?

 4. Did the brothers actually love each other?

 5. Was it a misguided sacrifice that Homer gave up his life for his brother? How responsible is one for their siblings?

 6. If the Collyer’s parents had not died how would their lives have been different ?

 7. What part did the park play in the brother’s lives?

 8. In what ways does the concept of “crossing boundaries” or “opposites” present itself as a recurrent theme?

 9. Was Langley a genius? Are we really all replacements?

 10. Was Jacqueline Roux real? If so, did she ever return after their first meeting when she “saved” Homer’s life?

 11. As is often the case in historical fiction, the author has taken liberties with known facts about the Collyer brothers lives, notably their birth order (in reality, Homer was the elder brother), the timing of their parents death (the sons were in their 30’s and 40’s), the circumstances surrounding Homer’s blindness (it occurred as the result of a stroke he suffered in adulthood), and Homer’s musical skills (Langley was the musician). Why do you think E.L. Doctorow made these changes, and how does it affect the dynamics between the two brothers?

 12.The story of the Collyer brothers was reminiscent of the movie Grey Gardens, the story of Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother (Cousin and Aunt of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis). They too were recluses, lived in squalor and were isolated from the world. Do life circumstances which cause bitterness and despair justify the eccentric actions of the characters?

 13. Do you think Homer has options when Langley returns and the household is basically intact and financially secure? At what different junctures could Homer have chosen a different path?

 14.  Why would Homer who was portrayed as educated and artistic, intuitive, understanding, and really “seeing of the world” have gone along with Langley’s theories and world views?

September 11, 2009

Homer and Langley

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Homer & Langley — Esther @ 8:57 pm

Collyer_012_-_April_2,_1947After our extensive discussion this morning on “Homer and Langley” , I thought that this article would be of interest:

September 10, 2009

Rate This Month’s Book!

Filed under: Homer & Langley,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 8:10 pm

All votes are welcomed!  Let us know what you think!

Fall For The Books Festival

Filed under: Homer & Langley,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 12:59 pm

More than 130 authors will be appearing at the 2009 Fall for the Book Festival including E.L. Doctorow, author of this month’s book Homer & Langley. E.L. Doctorow  will receive the 2009  Fairfax Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts and read from Homer & Langley, Thursday September 24th at 7:30 pm at Concert hall, Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA. All events are free, so check  this out if you are interested in attending.

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