Armchair Adventure Book Club: Good Morning, Midnight

banner image for event

6:30 PM
Monday, January 23, 2023
Tempe Public Library
3500 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282
Ironwood Room

Hosted by Tempe resident bibliophile Tracy Sobers

The Book: Good Morning, Midnight, a novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton. 272 pages.

Good Morning, Midnight was adapted to into the movie "The Midnight Sky", directed by and starring George Clooney. There will be a "watch party" the day before the book club meeting, where some of us will gather to watch the movie.

"A remarkable and gifted debut novel" (Colson Whitehead) about two outsiders - a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to Earth - as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed.

What to Bring? You do not need to bring anything. Simply read the book, OR listen to the audio book, OR watch the movie (or any combination thereof), before attending the meeting. It can be useful if you bring your physical or digital copy of the book.

Who? This is a fun book club event that men and women from the neighborhood potluck list are invited to, along with everybody else who is interested.

Fun Book Club: This will be the fifth meeting of this very-new book club. We had so much fun at the first four meetings, with wonderful, fascinating discussions with great neighbors and new friends. If you like books or films or interesting discussions... or simply want to have fun meeting new people, I highly recommend RSVP-ing for this event.

You should be able to check out a physical or digital copy of this book from Tempe-area public libraries. The movie is currently available online, streaming through Netflix and available through other services. An audio book is also available.

Also: This author will be appearing at the Tucson Festival of Books, which will be held on March 4 and 5, 2023. The book club is planning a trip to attend the festival as a group.

Book club organizer Tracy recommends this review, from: ; An excerpt from this review is below

The Earth goes silent.

There is no bang, no debris cloud, no chaos.

Augustine, who elected not to be on the last plane out of the Arctic Circle, is strangely contented. He has never really cared for the rest of humanity. He has always been lost in his own brilliance and focused on his astronomy career, which took off like a meteorite, but now at 78 years old, he isn’t really sure if he has achieved all he was meant to achieve. ”His work ethic was strong, his ego engorged, his results groundbreaking, but he wasn’t satisfied. He had never been satisfied and never would be. It wasn’t success he craved, or even fame, it was history: he wanted to crack the universe open like a ripe watermelon, to arrange the mess of pulpy seeds before his dumbfounded colleagues. He wanted to take the dripping red fruit in his hands and quantify the guts of infinity, to look back into the dawn of time and glimpse the very beginning. He wanted to be remembered.”

He seduced women. He made women fall in love with him. It became a game for him. He played hot and cold and felt even more empowered over their desperate efforts to get him back. ”It was a thrill just to exist. There were control rooms full of humming equipment, enormous telescopes, endless arrays. There were beautiful women, college girls and townies and visiting scholars, and he would’ve slept with them all if he could have.”

There is, after all, only so much time in a day.

For most of us, if we were at the Arctic Circle or floating along in space and suddenly lost all contact with the rest of humanity, we would probably have a moment of panic or maybe even a complete meltdown. Augustine’s reaction was more along the lines of... huh, interesting. Of course, after being too high in the stratosphere his whole life to have relationships, beyond his physical needs, this isn’t that much different from his normal life, except things are quieter. He can focus.

Well, except some moron left their eight year old daughter behind.

How could this happen? Just at the moment he thought he was completely free, a cable snakes out from the ground snagging him, keeping him tethered to the Earth. He is angry. He was so close.

The other story we are allowed to follow is of Sully and her fellow astronauts on their way back from an exploration of Jupiter. ”The receivers were picking up the murmurs of space all around them, from celestial bodies millions of light years away---it was only Earth that wasn’t saying anything.”

The silence is deafening.