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Big Book Club's "What the Whale!"

Arlington VA Public Library

Arlington VA Public Library is reading "Moby-Dick" this summer, and we're going to have a seriously good time while we do it. Each week on the podcast, librarians Jennie, Megan, Pete and special guests will discuss the reading, drop pop culture references, and ask or answer questions that come up during the Sunday discussion.

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In chapters 71-86, no amount of action could keep us from feeling sedated by the seemingly endless chapters on phrenology... Although maybe all of Moby-Dick would improve if read like a jazz poem?

Chapter 79: The Prairie - read like an experimental jazz poem by the Mob-Dick Big Read project

Before Dave Malloy's new musical Moby-Dick makes its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University in December, the American Museum of Natural History will present staged excerpts from the production.

"Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick" by Richard J. King - publication date October 2019

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In discussing chapters 42-59, we mentioned "The Card Turner," a YA novel by Louis Sachar.

Also, giant squid are scary, Fedallah's whaleboat crew are eerie, and and Melville is not subtle.

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As a special post-Moby-Dick bonus, Jennie and Megan previewed the new book, "Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick," and interviewed author Richard King by phone from his home in Mystic, Connecticut.

Rich's book does a great job of putting Moby-Dick in context, with lots of maps and photos. And for anyone who might fear that King's style would take after his subject matter, the writing is is compelling and accessible, and we suspect that it may become required reading for anyone tackling Moby-Dick in the future...

Rich mentions the website "Melville's Marginalia" during the podcast.

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