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Big Book Club's "What the Whale!"

Our Mission: To read really big books, talk about them online, and cheer each other on when necessary.

Each week librarians Jennie, Megan, Pete and Alex ask and answer questions that come up during our online Sunday night discussion, drop pop-culture references, talk to guest experts, and more.

Previous books: War and Peace (summer 2018); Middlemarch (winter 2019)

The Big Book Club is a production of the Arlington Public Library, Arlington Virginia

Aug 22, 2019

And so we come to the conclusion of our voyage... was the destination worth the ride? Opinions vary...

Palate cleansers:


Aug 13, 2019

The gang's all back in town again! In this week's discussion of chapters 102-121, we contemplate biblical history and prophecy, and Megan solves the meaning of Moby-Dick once again.

Want to listen to an early version of The Pacific, from the Moby-Dick musical? Visit Dave Malloy's website.

Read a review of the Moby-Dick...


Aug 8, 2019

This week, half of Arlington is on vacation, so Jennie and Pete set sail on their own. The two cover chapters 87-101, discussing the unpleasant topics (racism, whale slaughter) and the absurd (Stubb's nose, the ineptness of whale ship captains.) And with no co-hosts, there's no one to stop them from making...


Jul 23, 2019

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...


Jul 18, 2019

This week we tackled the most action packed reading yet, chapters 60-70, in which we encountered bloody whale killing, racial stereotyping, and ugly power structures.

Palate cleansers: