Noe Valley Voice April 2013

Bookmark This: Clubs at Phoenix

By Heather World


What do James M. Cain, George Eliot, and Saul Bellow have in common? Not much, except that all are chosen authors for the newly formed Phoenix Book Club at Phoenix Books, 3957 24th St.

Open to all, the group meets next on Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. to discuss George Eliot’s Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. Published in 1874, the complicated story of a young woman in a small town was written under a pen name by a woman, Marian Evans, and is considered a classic in English literature.

“That’s one of those books we’re all supposed to have read,” said Mei Levenson, the store’s manager. “Because it’s so dense, it’s good to have a group to help you along.”

Like each selection, the book was chosen by one of the store’s five employees. Each has different tastes, which means if someone is not interested in this month’s book, next month’s book might appeal. May’s selection is Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow.

“It’s going to reflect the taste of the people who work here,” Levenson said. “I thought it would be a great way to get the neighborhood to know us.”

Anyone is welcome to come, regardless of whether the book has been read. Hearing a discussion of a book might be a good way for a reader to decide whether or not it’s worth reading, she said.

The store already hosts two book clubs organized by members of the community. Bookends is geared toward children in grades 3 to 5, and there is another for adults interested in classic literature.

For more information on all three clubs, visit or call 415-821-3477.