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Swann's Way

The Intimidating Book Club attempted to read In Search of Lost Time in its entirety

Spoiler: We made it through Swann's Way and In a Budding Grove

For some devoted enthusiasts, 2022 was a year focused on time. But not just any garden variety sort of time. Rather, the type of time that preoccupied some readers last year was described in terms so rich, so carefully detailed, that it read like a literary brocade (were such a thing to exist). It was the type of time that was excruciatingly baroque -- at least in style, if not in era. It was a type of time that is an all-absorbing, exhausting, long, and terribly precise affair. Indeed, time of this sort has daunted, if not outright defeated, many people over the years.

MLK Library

MLK Library Literary Book Club

A monthly book club in downtown DC

Are you interested in contemporary fiction and nonfiction? Are you looking for a book club that meets in downtown DC? Look no further, and come join us at the MLK Library Literary Book Club.


Proust Discussion Group

In Search of Lost Time

For more information, please contact This group will serve as moral support for individuals hoping to finish the entirety of In Search of Lost Time. Either we know someone who's only read the first couple of volumes of In Search of Lost Time and just gave up, or we're one of them. No shame in that at all. Now is a chance to get to the finish line with other like-minded folks determined to say, "Why yes indeed, I've read the entirety of In Search of Lost Time!"

August Wilson Flyer

August Wilson: American Century Cycle

Please join us virtually for a ten-week series where we will read and discuss plays written by renowned playwright  August Wilson. We will focus specifically on his American Century Cycle of ten plays, and read one play per week during this series. Raymond Maxwell, a member of the August Wilson Society, will facilitate. Please read each play before attending each session. To register, please contact The syllabus is as follows:

Proust flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: In Search of Lost Time

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

Overview of The Intimidating Book Club Intended for those who have always wanted to read that one classic novel of gargantuan proportions but never did (or didn't finish). This group will read a notoriously lengthy book widely considered a classic, section by section, and meet monthly at 6:30 p.m. ET for a minimum one-hour discussion that may last through 8 p.m. Together, we'll get to the finish line. One word at a time.

International Booker Prize flyer

International Booker Prize: A reading discussion group

Please join me and others as we read and discuss novels that have won the Booker International Prize! We will meet virtually every other month at 6:30 PM ET beginning August 9, 2022. Meetings may last one to one and half hours. The first series will focus on winners from 2016-2018. Tuesday, August 9, 2022 The Vegetarian by Han Kang Translated by Deborah Smith

Shakespeare Society

Shakespeare Society: The Romances

The Shakespeare Society is a monthly Shakespeare reading and discussion group. We meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. We intend to read and discuss every single Shakespeare play in series-order, grouped in several series reflecting his tragedies, comedies, problem plays, romances and histories. There is no preferred edition. The West End Neighborhood Library's adult services librarian will facilitate the discussion. The group will continue to meet virtually. Please email for additional details.

The Brothers Karmazov 1 flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books 7-9

When intoxication and confessions intertwine, results can be mixed -- but, honestly, results usually aren’t good. With inhibitions lowered, you may accidentally-on-purpose reveal to your stamp-hating compatriots that you’ve been an ardent philatelist all along.

The Brothers Karmazov 1 flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books 10-11

Are eyeglasses Satanic? Surely not! But perhaps the narrator in The Brothers Karamazov thinks so.

The Brothers Karmazov 1 flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books XII-Epilogue

We devoted and sometimes not-so-gentle readers of The Intimidating Book Club are neither too proud nor afraid to ask ourselves the hard questions while we do our reading: Why is War and Peace so long? What is George Eliot’s real name? Isn’t Don Quixote super annoying?