Who else wants to read literature and philosophy with people all over the world?
Book Oblivion Members make up a dynamic community of readers with exclusive access to live online mini courses taught by seven different instructors.
Members are welcome to pick and choose which conversations they want to participate in. All courses are interactive and welcome participant interaction. We sequence these conversations throughout the year so that anyone desiring to read all 19 books can participate in each conversation if they dedicate themselves to reading around 20 pages a day.
If participants are unable to attend the live online talks, they will still have a chance to learn more about the book by watching the recording which will be available within 48 hours of the live event.
The community forum continues the conversation all month long.
Below you will find an overview of what we offer followed by a reading schedule.
HIMALAYAS OF LITERATURE
Stephen L. Russell is adding two new texts to the Himalayas of Literature Course series this year: The Golden Notebook and Under the Volcano. We will spend two months on each book and dedicate two live talks to discussing these difficult works. Aside from these works, Stephen will lead the Book Oblivion community through two other works by contemporary writers, Alice Hatcher and Anna Burns. Stephen never shies away from a challenging read and his joy of the craft is evident in every conversation. He has the wisdom and empathy necessary for guiding readers through difficult narratives while offering depth and complexity in his instruction.
|January 11||The Wonder That Was Ours||300|
|March 21||The Golden Notebook||320/640|
|April 18||The Golden Notebook||640|
|September 12||Under the Volcano||200/397|
|October 10||Under the Volcano||397|
Critical Theory & Philosophy
Jessica S. Manuel will add five new titles to the Critical Theory and Philosophy Course series this year. Last year’s reading list centered on myth while this year will explore space from a handful of literary theorists and philosophers. Readers will discuss the phenomenologies of space from the perspectives of Simone Weil, Maurice Blanchot, Gaston Bachelard, D.W. Winnicott, and Henri Lefebvre. Jessica reads theory with a sense of wonder and celebrates a synthetic approach to reading. Her ability to connect one thinker to the next is dizzying at times but opens up the text in radical ways.
|January 25||Gravity and Grace||214|
|May 30||The Poetics of Space||255|
|August 29||The Space of Literature||279|
|October 24||Playing and Reality||214|
Reading Beyond Murakami
Noah Blacker will lead our conversations in Reading Beyond Murakami by guiding readers through four of Murakami’s novels that fall into the genre category of realism. This year’s titles include Norwegian Wood, South of the Border, West of the Sun, Sputnik Sweetheart, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. We will explore narrative theory and the intersections of trauma and literature with an emphasis on memory, metaphor, and the unconscious. Noah’s background in trauma studies and gestalt therapy offers a fresh perspective on the Murakami’s characters we know and love.
|February 8||Norwegian Wood||296|
|April 4||South of the Border, West of the Sun||190|
|June 27||Sputnik Sweetheart||229|
|November 7||Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage||308|
Theory & Theology
J. Ryan Garner will lead our Book Oblivion Community in Theory and Theology by focusing on small sections of the Ivan Strenksi Reader, Thinking About Religion. Together we will examine how religion operates as a socializing force. Religious practices—with or without a formal deity—constitute dwellings, habits, and binding symbols. These organizing forces will help us appreciate the prevalence of religious practice rather than dismissing it as esoteric fantasy. Ryan teaches philosophy and theology at the college level and will offer careful instruction to help readers discern the delicate nuances between theological ideas and their impact of literary, critical, and cultural theories.
|February 22||David Hume, Baruch Spinoza, James Frazer, Bronislaw Malinowski, Mircea Eliade||Select Readings|
|July 25||Rene Girard, Clifford Geertz, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Talal Asad||Select Readings|
|Nov 21||Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, William James, Michel Henry||Select Readings|
Science & Technology
Bruce Manuel will offer Book Oblivion two conversations in the areas of science and technology this year. With a posture that is far more playful than pedantic, he will focus on two popular introductory physics books, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by the beautiful writer, Carlo Rovelli, and The Little Book of String Theory by Steven S. Gubser. Bruce’s passion for physics is fueled by an insatiable curiosity for understanding how the world works. His ability to articulate difficult concepts in simple terms uniquely equips him to lead these conversations. Fear not – this is not your high school science class.
|March 7||Seven Brief Lessons on Physics||88|
|August 22||The Little Book of String Theory||179|
Writing & Creativity
Helena Mariposa will lead two conversations on the intersections of culture and the craft of writing to help our Book Oblivion Community focus on creativity. We will read Lewis Hyde’s wildly popular, The Gift, and David Shields creative manifesto, Reality Hunger. Our Book Oblivion community has largely focused on reading as input for the last three years and we are hoping to move toward reading as an act of creating. All artists – including writers, painters, readers, filmmakers, teachers, and anyone in between – will delight in the beauty and inspiration we tap into in these conversations on writing and community.
|May 2||On Creativity||194|
Joe Greenwell has helped lead our community through Marcel Proust’s beautiful novel In Search of Lost Time for the last two years. Once we read through the seven volume novel, we plan to start over with live talks. This year Joe will continue to use his knowledge and expertise of modern literature to enhance our understanding of the James Joyce masterpiece, Ulysses. Joe has a gift for breaking down complex prose into easily comprehensible nuggets and does so with eloquence and humor. Planned as a sixteen week course, Ulysses will span four months and include four live talks.
Book Oblivion 2020Enroll now and read with us all year long.
- 26 Live Online Talks
- 19 Different Books
- 7 Passionate Instructors
Join our Book Oblivion Community
2020 Reading Schedule
Frequently Asked Questions
Book Oblivion is a global online community of readers who are passionate about literature and philosophy. We trace the way ideas connect to each other and over time through reading literature, philosophy, art, and rhetorics. Many of us are academics gone rogue. We are here to nerd out over books and ideas, ask questions, and grow intellectually.
Participants enroll from all over the world, including the United States, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, and more. Most participants are college graduates, but this is not a requirement. Several participants are retired, some are working professionals, others are graduate students, or some are stay at home parents. The only requirement is a humble, intellectual curiosity and a desire to connect with others over books.
Live talks happen on Saturdays from 4:00-6:00pm Eastern Time. Anyone unable to attend live will have access to the recordings within 48 hours.
Jessica launched Book Oblivion with a desire to rescue books from oblivion and return them to the center of culture and conversation. We work really hard to create space and time for these conversations to take place and are often one of the only intellectual outlets for our participants. One of the greatest gifts of this community is given when participants move geographic locations. Despite relocating every aspect of their lives, they maintain the community connection with participants in Book Oblivion.
Conversations take place in English, but we have participants reading in languages from all over the world. Discussions on translation choices make things really interesting.
Jessica receives book lists from each instructor and arranges the readings for the year based on several factors, including participant feedback, accessibility of each text, and the overall schedule. Each instructor leads discussions based on their passions, expertise, and familiarity with the authors, books, or subjects.
Our book selections focus on several themes:
- Critical Theory and Philosophy
- Himalayas of Literature
- In Search of Lost Time
- Reading Beyond Murakami
- Reading With Wonder
- The Craft of Writing
Participants can join for $29/month or $297/year.
You can enroll by becoming a Book Oblivion Member and you can cancel at any time. You’ll click on Join Now and decide if you want to enroll monthly or yearly.
You can join our newsletter to find out more about Book Oblivion and receive updates on our reading community.