September 2017 - The Last Neanderthal, by Claire Cameron


(Jennifer D.) #21

So looking forward to having you join us, @Ceil_Hook.

(Jennifer D.) #22

As we are approaching the first of September, I thought you might like to read this brief interview with author Claire Cameron. The written excerpt in the below link is spoiler-free, but the interview itself, it you decide to stream it, may contain spoilers. So just be careful there if you like to avoid spoilers.

(karenbrissette) #23

okay, i’m on board. i’ll grab the book in the next couple of days and try to be a good book-grouper!

(Jennifer D.) #24

awesome, @karenbrissette!! thank you for trying to make it work!! :slightly_smiling_face:

(DubaiReader) #25

Well, it’s 1st September already, here in Dubai :slight_smile: But I’ll wait in the wings for this to be officially opened. Meanwhile I’ll take a look at the Claire Cameron interview posted above.

(Jennifer D.) #26


Yes, we are here on EST… your enthusiasm is greatly appreciated, @DubaiReader!

(Jennifer D.) #27

Welcome to our September book club!!

We hope you will join us for a month of great conversation!

As a reminder:

Each week, I will post new questions to help along with our discussions. But please know my questions or prompts are not to act in any restrictive way – everyone is free to comment or ask questions at any time. In fact, the more people who actively participate, the better the book club will be for all participants. :blush:

On the schedule for this week:

01 - 09 September: Through end of Chapter 7

As Labor Day is September 4th, our first “week” on the schedule makes allowances for the holiday.

I would like to request that we all be respectful of spoiler information. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the novel that is beyond the schedule, please use the “hide details” function. If you click on the wheel icon in the formatting bar, you should see this option. It will cause any selected portion of a comment to look like this:


nothing to see here, just testing!

One tip: in order for the ‘hide details’ to work properly, the text you wish to protect should be on its own line and not within other text.

We hope you will be keen to join in with us as we read The Last Neanderthal.

If you have any questions at all, please ask!!

Happy reading!! I can’t wait to dive into this book later today!


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #28

Cannot believe we’re here at September 1st already! Will pull this down from the shelf and get reading!!

(Jane D) #29


Happy September!
I ‘cheated’ and started reading yesterday and I am sure I will finish our first ‘week’ of reading today. I may have trouble stopping! I am enjoying it already.

Happy reading everyone!

(DubaiReader) #30

Has everyone joined me for September now?
I’m not seeing the question prompts??

So, can I ask, what do you all think about the author’s technique of stopping the narrative to explain stuff about Neanderthals etc?

(Jennifer D.) #31

Hi @DubaiReader – the questions will be posted next Sunday. We allow time each week for people to read what’s scheduled for those dates.

Many people will just be starting the reading today, but chat will develop as we get further along.

If you would like to look at our past discussions to get a feel for the process we have tried so far, here is our May thread:

We also have a general thread, if you would like to offer suggestions on the book club idea:

(DubaiReader) #32

I see!
I assumed you would begin chatting on Sept 1st.
Next Sunday, goodness, that’s ages away!
I’ll have forgotten it all by then :wink:

(Kim@Time2Read) #33

Yay! It’s September 1st! I started reading this morning. Didn’t get too far yet, but I’ll pick it up again tonight…or more likely tomorrow morning. Going out to celebrate a birthday tonight!

(Well…it looks like I replied to the wrong post… :grimacing:)

(Jennifer D.) #34

Awesome!!! I am so happy you are able to join us this month, @Kim.

(Jennifer D.) #35

Not to worry – I provide summaries to help with our memories! :wink:

(karenbrissette) #36

the calendar caught me mid-book! i’m going to race to finish the one i am reading now in order to break into this here neanderthal, but i will definitely be caught up by next sunday.

(Jennifer D.) #37


that calendar was totally sneaky this month!!

(Jennifer D.) #38

A couple of spoiler-free questions just to kick into things with this novel!

  1. Did you have much knowledge of this book before it was selected for our book club read in September?

  2. Do you have any expectations going into this story?

  3. When you read fiction, do you appreciate extra content such as a family tree, maps or a glossary? Can you think of other novels you have read that included such extras? Did this add to your reading experience?

  4. The story begins with an epigraph, quoting george eliot:

Our deeds still travel with us from afar,
and what we have been makes us what we are.
George Eliot, Middlemarch

When you read this, what did/do you think??


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #39

I just cracked this open just now - looking forward to it. I received an advanced reading copy, so this has been on my shelf waiting for a wonderful opportunity like this to read it. :slight_smile:

Cameron has written a note to booksellers at the beginning where she explains how she used recent scientific discoveries about the Neanderthals to build the story. (Basically based on 2010 discovery, we had sex with Neanderthals, so we aren’t evolved from them - we’re close cousins.) So…George Eliot’s quote is very fitting now after reading this Author’s Note. (I hope the image can be expanded to read?) (And swoon - a Middlemarch quote - really, really need to read this one too!) :blush:

I’ve been looking forward to reading this since it first came out, but I honestly don’t really know toooo much of what it’s about, so I’m looking forward to see how it unfolds as we go along!

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #40

I hope the uploading of the author’s note is an enhancement and not anything that would spoil it? I don’t think it’s included in the finished copies, which I kind of see as a shame?