NOTE: Central Library will close at 5 pm Thursday, October 18, for the Kalamazoo: An Evening with Notables program. Normal hours resume Friday.

Classics Revisited


Dates, Location

  • Third Thursday of every month (September to May)
  • 7 pm - 8 pm
  • Central Library, Boardroom (3rd floor) 
  • Phone 269-553-7839 for more information

“Reading and re-reading the best books of all time.”

“Literature is the question minus the answer.” —Roland Barthes 

Join these book-besotted local librarians for a lively discussion about favorite classics, both modern and old standards! 

Learn more:

2015-2016 Schedule:

The History of Tom Jones - September 17, 2015 by Henry FieldingThe History of Tom Jones - September 17, 2015  
Fielding, Henry
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by the English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. The novel is both a Bildungsroman and a picaresque novel. First published on 28 February 1749 in London, Tom Jones is among the earliest English prose works describable as a novel, and is the earliest novel mentioned by W. Somerset Maugham in his 1948 book Great Novelists and Their Novels among the ten best novels of the world. Totaling 346,747 words, it is divided into 18 smaller books, each preceded by a discursive chapter, often on topics unrelated to the book itself. It is dedicated to George Lyttleton.Though lengthy, the novel is highly organised; S. T. Coleridge noted that it had one of the three great plots of all literature. It was received with enthusiasm by the general public of the time; some critics including Samuel Johnson took exception to Fielding's "robust distinctions between right and wrong". Tom Jones is generally regarded as Fielding's greatest book, and as a very influential English novel. [Wiki]
Kim - October 15, 2015 by Rudyard KiplingKim - October 15, 2015  
Kipling, Rudyard
Rudyard Kipling's Kim is the tale of an Irish orphan raised as an Indian vagabond on the rough streets of colonial Lahore. Young Kimball O'Hara's coming of age takes place in a world of high adventure, mystic quests, and secret games of espionage played out between the Russians and the British in the mountain passages of Asia. Kim is torn between his allegiance to the ascetic lama who becomes his beloved mentor and the temptations of those who want to recruit him as a spy in the "great game" of imperial conflict. In a series of thrilling escapades, he crisscrosses India on missions both spiritual and military before the two forces in his life converge in a dramatic climax in the high Himalayas. Published in 1901, after its author had permanently moved away from India, Kipling's masterpiece is marked by a maturity of perspective on the land of his birth, combined with breathtakingly brilliant descriptions of the fascinating lost world of the British Raj. Kim has enthralled generations of readers both by the exuberance of its storytelling and its vital and unforgettable portrait of the India of bazaars and sacred rivers, holy men and rogues, ancient customs and colonial society. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Babbitt - November 19, 2015 by Sinclair LewisBabbitt - November 19, 2015  
Lewis, Sinclair
Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt was influential in the decision to award Lewis the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930. The word "Babbitt" entered the English language as a "person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards". [Wiki]
Selected Poetry - December 17, 2015 by John KeatsSelected Poetry - December 17, 2015  
Keats, John
'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'
Palace Walk - January 21, 2015 by Naguib  MahfouzPalace Walk - January 21, 2015  
Mahfouz, Naguib
Palace Walk (Arabic title بين القصرين) is a novel by Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, and the first installment of Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy. Originally published in 1956 with the title Bayn al-qasrayn (lit. Between the Two Palaces), the book was translated into English in 1990. The setting of the novel is Cairo during and just after World War I. Palace Walk is the first book of the Cairo Trilogy, set in Cairo, Egypt. It begins in 1917, during World War I, and ends in 1919, the year of the nationalist revolution. The book's Arabic title translates literally into 'between two palaces' - a phrase which highlights the cultural and political transition Egypt experienced at this time, developments brought into focus by the lives of the el-Gawad family.