Book choice for October

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf [suggested by Lisa Taylor]

front cover

This novel is an extraordinarily poignant evocation of a lost happiness that lives on in the memory.  For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever.

The most autobiographical of Virginia Woolf's work, "To the Lighthouse" is based on her own childhood experiences, and while it captures the intensity of childhood longing and delight, it also explores the shifting complexity of adult relationships, marriage and the changing class structure of its time.

(Review from

Virginia Woolf was born on January 25, 1882 in London, as the daughter of Julia Jackson Duckworth, a member of the Duckworth publishing family, and Leslie Stephen, a literary critic and the founder of the Dictionary of National Biography.  Woolf was educated at home by her father, and grew up at the family home at Hyde Park Gate.  Her mother died when she was in her early teens.  Stella Duckworth, her half sister, took her mother's place, but died two years later.  Leslie Stephen, her father, suffered a slow death from cancer.  When her brother Toby died in 1906, she had a prolonged mental breakdown.  Following the death of her father in 1904, Woolf moved with her sister Vanessa and two brothers to the house in Bloomsbury, which would become central to activities of the Bloomsbury group. [read the rest of this entry on the online literature website.] As always, there's also a Virginia Woolf Wikipedia entry.


Shortlisted for this month

Breakfast at Tiffany's [suggested by Lisa Jones]

Breakfast at Tiffany's


With her blond hair, upturned nose and black dresses, Holly Golightly is a sensation wherever she goes.  Her apartment vibrates with parties as she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike.  Yet she never loses sight of her goal - to find a place like Tiffany's that makes her feel at home.

(Review from

About the Author

Truman Capote, best known for his extravagant, celebrated, and outrageous lifestyle as much as his famous works Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, reached a level of success few writers, celebrities, and socialites dream of.

Capote's professional career exploded with the literary acclaim of several short stories published in Mademoiselle and Harper's Bazaar and his first novel Other Voice, Other Rooms.

Shortly after critical acclaim for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, Capote hosted his famous Black and White ball in NYC.  This was the height of his social climb and he soon began his descent into drugs, alcohol, and reclusivity as his friends sharply rejected his thinly veiled portrayal of them in Answered Prayers.  Read More...

Truman Capote on Wikipedia.

(Siobhan FitzMaurice's suggestion has been held over to next month)

Previous Months' Book Choices

September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006