Posts Tagged ‘into the wild’

Men's Book Club Summer Reading List

This post is mostly for my readers who are men in the Twin Cities, but if you’re having fun with a book club where you live, dear reader, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

For the last three months, I’ve been leading a new men’s book club at my local church and what follows is my Craigslist ad. Email me if you want to join.

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Our new men’s book club is growing and we’re inviting you to join us. Our members are currently men between the ages of 29 and 75 who enjoy getting together for coffee, snacks, and good discussion of great books. We’ve set up our summer reading list and schedule and hope you’ll contact us.

Join us on the third Monday evening of the month at 7:00pm at Excelsior United Methodist Church (881 3rd Ave. Excelsior, MN 55331). Any man ages 18 and up is welcome to join us whether they’re reading their first or their fiftieth novel, and regardless of whether they’re members of the church or not.

Our Summer Reading List:

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
Discussion on Monday, June 22 @ 7:00pm

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Discussion on Monday, July 20 @ 7:00pm

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Discussion on Monday, August 17 @ 7:00pm

Our Past Selections:
May, 2009 – Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
April, 2009 – The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
March, 2009 – The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Please email me to let me know if you plan to attend or if you need a copy of the books ($10 apiece).



And the winner of the "Dead of Winter" contest is…

Ryan, a.k.a. frombytherivertrash!

Congratulations to Ryan for winning our “Dead of Winter” contest. You can read his winning entry here. Ryan will receive a copy of the movie tie-in cover edition of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and fits-right-in-your-backpocket edition of To Build a Fire and Other Stories by Jack London.

Thanks to everyone who entered our third and final contest for 2008 at We have more on the way for 2009 and would love to hear from you about your experience with our contests. What works for you? What could we improve on? What would you like to see for next time, in terms of prizes?

Keep writing,


Our "Dead of Winter" contest is almost over

Just a mid-week reminder of our latest contest…

If you haven’t been entering the Scrawlers “Dead of Winter” contest this week, you still have a few days to post your stories and comments before the 11:59pm deadline this Friday night. We’re giving away a copy of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and To Build a Fire and Other Stories by Jack London to one lucky Scrawlers writer.

Will it be you?


Your Friday Recommendation #31

Today’s recommend is for you to take part in our latest contest over at Full details are at the website, and here’s a copy of the email that went out to members today. Not a member yet? Signing up is free and safe. On to the contest email:

Scrawlers wishes you a safe and relaxing holiday season, as well as the spare moment to get some writing done. As the snow falls here in Minnesota and as the semester break comes for many young writers, winter is definitely on our minds and we hope you’ll enter our new “Dead of Winter” contest.

We’re giving away a copy of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild and Jack London’s To Build a Fire and Other Stories to one lucky Scralwers writer. Krakauer’s nonfiction novel tells the tale of young Chris McCandless who abandoned his family, bank account, and freshly-earned college degree for a life on the road. The novel culminates in Chris’s journey into the Alaskan wilderness in a story that is equal parts man vs. nature and man vs. self. Jack London’s greatest short stories, fiction or otherwise, are based on his real-life adventures in the Yukon, and the writer served as an inspirational figure to Chris McCandless. Read the short stories that inspired Chris to go on his Alaskan journey and feel the freezing cold of this collection of snowy stories.

Both Into the Wild and To Build a Fire and Other Stories are perfect reading material for those who want to stay indoors on a chilly, snowy evening and are quick enough reads that they can be finished during the semester break. This week at Scrawlers, enter for your chance to win the “Dead of Winter” contest.

Please visit the contest page for entry details:

We’ll announce the winner on Saturday, December 20, 2008. Good luck and get writing!


Barry & Nate

Choosing a novel to teach II.

I’ve solved my dilemma from last week, mostly due to a deadline. Book orders were due last Friday, and I’ve decided to go with Into the Wild. The parallels between the researched, journalistic approach Krakauer takes is simply too similar to the explanatory synthesis the students will be writing earlier in the semester to pass up. I think it would be good to show them a good example of the kind of writing they do in class; so much for the “When are we ever going to need to know how to do this?” argument. Plus, I believe time watching the film in class will be time well-spent, and the book is, simply, a good read. Krakauer uses solid prose to inform the reader, letting the McCandless story’s themes shine through at all times.

I stopped by the book store the other day, fully intending to pick up a new copy of the book featuring the film poster on the cover. However, I arrived to find that version side-by-side with the version I have. Paging through a copy of each, the pages are identical so I don’t need a new book, myself. That saves me $10 and it’s a helpful time saver, considering how much annotating I’ve done in my copy! It’s also helpful for students – they can pick up a copy of either cover, and the chances of finding it on-the-cheap used have officially gone up.

The class will likely read and analyze the book in mid-March, if you care to read it on your own and discuss it here, dear reader.


Choosing a novel to teach.

12.06.2007 1 comment

I plan to teach a novel in my Introduction to Composition section next semester as the basis for a literary analysis essay. My plan is to read and discuss a novel as a class to the point that students should have so much information at their fingertips, writing a literary analysis essay should be a snap. Basically, if students do the reading, participate in discussion, take notes, and make the connections, they should have a solid essay. My book order is due soon (like, now) so I need to finalize my novel choice within the week. I’ve narrowed my choices down to this list:

Animal Farm by George Orwell, 128 pages.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, 272 pages.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, 224 pages.

These three remain from a narrowed down list of eight; I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Animal Farm uses clear metaphors and symbols, yet many students have already read this in high school. I haven’t read it in a while, but I believe I have plenty to say about it. Likewise, The Things They Carried is often read in high school, but the collection of short stories / chapters aids the story’s accessibility and it’s a great read. Into the Wild intrigues me because it’s journalistic nonfiction style reminds me of the first essay my students will write, an explanatory synthesis. This essay asks the student to work with multiple sources and organize by idea, much like this novel does. Plus, the film is phenomenal and, I feel, worth taking class time to watch and discuss.

I polled my Introduction to Creative Writing students on the list of eight today, and the two which got the most votes were Into the Wild and The Catcher in the Rye, which I haven’t read and I’ve decided I’m just too busy right now to properly prepare for the course. Consider this my official polling of you, dear reader. Which do you see working in a college composition classroom?