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#51168 - 07/06/00 08:43 AM The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Well, tomorrow our discussions of Gardens in the Dunes will start, so I think we should also be starting to read the next book soon, which means we should pick one.

I know a couple of people were gung-ho on House of Leaves, but I took a look at it, and even in paperback it's really quite expensive: $20 U.S., $30 Canadian. That's a lot more than I'm comfortable with for the Chicklit Book Club selections. I'd really prefer to keep it under $15 U.S., $20 Canadian, which I think has to be the upper limit. I'd like to see the selections stay well under those limits, if possible. (But if any of you want to start a thread devoted to a discussion of House of Leaves, by all means, do so.)

If I'd paid $30 for Gardens in the Dunes I'd be pretty mad right now, especially with the poor editing in the edition I bought. I'm not too thrilled about having paid $20 for it.

So: suggestions for the next Book Club selection? The first one I'll throw out is Anne Lamott's Hard Laughter, which will probably be a really nice change of pace from what we've just read. I know some people here are interested in Anne Lamott's writing. But please, post your other ideas and suggestions here.

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#51169 - 07/06/00 10:58 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
juliegrace
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From bn.com about Hard Laughter:

The author's first novel is set in a small Northern California town of trust-fund radicals, dream consultants, and average folks named Aurora, Zapata, and Karma.

There's other stuff about the book, but this sentence alone got me interested. I've always heard good things 'bout Anne Lamott.

(and, I just want to add that I'm glad I went to the library for Gardens in the Dunes!)

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#51170 - 07/06/00 02:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
beangirl
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Thanks for your concern about cost - Deborah. I am pretty dedicated to using my local library and was pleased to be able to get Gardens in the Dunes through interlibrary loan. I'm not sure if I'd buy a book for the book club or not (I'm super broke).

I haven't read Anne Lamott's Hard Laughter, but a "change of pace" would be good. I've been reading short-ish books lately and could recommend Martha Grimes' Train Now Departing (two novellas of similar theme, kind of exploring dynamics of casual friendship) or - I don't remember the author - The Pollen Room (which was touted as a coming of age story - I found it dissassociated (no other word for it) but compelling). Further down the road, for people who like plant themes, I recommend Autobiography of my Mother by Jamaica Kincaid. My first two recommendations are *short* probably less than 150 pages each.

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#51171 - 07/06/00 07:18 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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beangirl, I am hoping people can get the books through libraries or from friends as well, which is one of the reasons I don't want to focus on brand new books, but in the event that people can't, and want to participate, I don't want the books to be prohibitively expensive. Frankly, I think publishers have quite a nerve asking $30 Cdn. for a paperback novel, even if it's a thick one. I can't remember the last novel I read that I would say is worth that much. (As you can probably guess, I'm not one of those people who buys hardcover fiction, at least not new.)

Edited to add: The Kincaid book sounds good, but after Gardens in the Dunes, I don't think I want to read about plants for a while.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited July 06, 2000).]

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#51172 - 07/07/00 03:22 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Sars
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Would a Susanna Moore selection be too obscure for folks to get at the library? I'd like an excuse to reread either In The Cut or The Whiteness Of Bones. They've both been out at least five years.

Just a thought.

(Edited to say that they're both out in paperback now, I believe; I know TWOB is.)

[This message has been edited by Sars (edited July 07, 2000).]

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#51173 - 07/07/00 10:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
alvild13
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Are we concentrating on literary fiction, or do you want us to suggest just any high quality book -- say, nonfiction or stuff usually regulated to genre places. As said in the other thread, many "sf" book are really really good, and not all that scientific, and might lend themselves to the book club -- say, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis or Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. And if we're considering nonfiction, I'd really like to read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.

Some paperbacks on my to-read list we could maybe do:
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (I'm assuming the sexuality wouldn't be a problem on this sight)
Fleur de Leigh's Life of Crime by Diane Leslie
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
the Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbon

Um, that's plenty of suggestions, I'm thinking.

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#51174 - 07/09/00 04:16 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
neverever
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I'd really like to read something by Edwidge Danticat (I think I spelled that right) - I've heard great things about her, and she has a couple of books out now. They should be able to be found at a library, and all the paperbacks of hers are listed at less than $20 Canadian on www.indigo.ca.

Also, Choose Me by Evelyn Lau (Canadian!) is a book of short stories that's supposed to be really great - I bought the book ($17.95 Canadian at Chapters) a while ago and haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

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#51175 - 07/10/00 10:49 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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I'd like to suggest The Archivist by Martha Cooley. It has been sitting on my shelf unread for a long time now. I think I need a push to read it. It looks like a novel that everyone in this group would like.
It's about a man, who is a librarian in charge of safe-guarding a bunch of T.S. Eliot's letters and a young woman poet who is very interested in those letters. It is about their relationship, and well, T.S. Eliot's poetry, and life in postwar New York City.
It's Martha Cooley's first novel also.

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#51176 - 07/11/00 01:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
idlewild
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I could go for just about any of the books listed thus far, with the possible exception of In the Cut.

I'll second Cold Comfort Farm, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Hard Laughter, and The Archivist.

And I'll throw out some other possibilities:
The Island of the Colorblind, by Oliver Sacks
The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, by A.S. Byatt
Becoming Madame Mao, by Anchee Min

Of those three, Min's book is the only one available in hardback only.

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#51177 - 07/11/00 02:23 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
alvild13
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I'd rather not go with The Archivist; I read it recently and it didn't do anything for me.
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#51178 - 07/13/00 08:06 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
50ftqueenie
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I'm keeping my mouth shut on this one. I feel like a total slug for suggesting Gardens in the Dunes-- I've tried, believe me, but I just could not get into that damn book. The only consolation I have is that I bought if for $6.00 (hardback) at half.com and can probably sell it back for more than I paid. Sorry, everyone! The next time I make a suggestion it'll be for something that I'm at least vaguely familiar with...
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#51179 - 07/13/00 11:14 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Scout
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Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace.

This is from the Chapters website:

An original and exciting debut, set in 1990 Cleveland, where a bewitching heroine who works for a screwed-up publishing firm is caught up with her not-so-hot lover/boss, her grandmother--who has just run away from her nursing home--and her pet cockatiel, whose verbal banter makes him a target for religious fundamentalists.

Girl With Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace.

This is also from the Chapters website:

It's often said that writing good short stories is infinitely more difficult than writing good novels. That's hard to imagine when reading David Foster Wallace's spellbinding tales. The way his stories flow from the page you hardly notice that you're reading: the characters and situations are so real it's as if they spring, fully formed, from his mind into yours. The stories in Girl with Curious Hair include gems of characterizations that range from Lyndon Johnson to punk nihilists to young Republicans. As he twists words, people and events around you see the world from a completely different angle: so much so that when you emerge you won't recognize your surroundings.

Both are recommended by an avid reader/writer/english student with great taste.

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#51180 - 07/13/00 01:24 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Edwidge Danticat is an excellent writer. The Farming Of Bones might make a good book club choice. I'll second Tipping The Velvet and add another vote for The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down.

If we can choose non-fiction, I'd like to put Dave Egger's A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius on the list. . . or am I the only one that still hasn't read it?

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#51181 - 07/13/00 02:32 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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50ftqueenie, don't feel bad about Gardens in the Dunes; how could you know it was a bit of a dog? I'm not sorry I read it, although I'm not too happy about paying $20 for it! We picks our books and we takes our chances.

There have, as usual, been so many good suggestions for the next book. Having just read Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris, I'd love to read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. She's a wonderful writer and Spirit sounds like a fascinating book.

A lot of people seem to be interested in Edwidge Danticat, and I have heard good things about her writing. I admit to having some hesitation since she was an Oprah choice, and while I don't believe that automatically invalidates an author (far from it), I do think that many of the authors she chooses end up getting a disproportionate amount of attention. I'm hoping the Chicklit book club will try to choose authors that perhaps are not so well-known, not so ubiquitous. But if the majority really want to read Danticat, we can certainly do that.

Kivrin, the Dave Eggers book would definitely be of interest, but I'm pretty sure it's only available in hardcover, which makes it a little too expensive for us right now. We can definitely put that one on the "when it's issued in paperback" list.

I also subscribe to a mailing list at Tipworld called "Books You Might Have Missed" and saved this description of a book by Dodie Smith called I Capture The Castle which I thought might be of interest to the book club:

Smith may be best known for her beloved children's tale 101 Dalmations, but her own favorite work, featuring a 17-year-old protagonist, was written for adults. I Capture the Castle, originally published in 1948, has recently been reissued. Cassandra Mortmain is the teenaged daughter of a formerly famous writer who ensconces his children in a crumbling castle and leaves them to fend for themselves daily while he potters secretly in his study. Despite her mixed feelings about the impact of her father's profession on her family, Cassandra, too, wants to be a writer. After she's given a journal, she records her family's lives in some of the most delightful and amusing passages you'll ever read. Author Susan Isaacs is thrilled with the novel's new life: "I Capture the Castle is finally back in print. It should be welcomed with a bouquet of roses and a brass band. Ever since I was handed a tattered copy years ago with the recommendation 'You'll love it,' it has been one of my favorite novels. Cassandra Mortmain is one hell of a narrator, offering sharp wit, piercing insight and touching lyricism. She is a heroine we readers wish we could be, a young woman it is impossible not to adore."

I'd be interested in reading Lorrie Moore, too.

Other possibilities:

Angela Carter's Saints and Strangers

Elizabeth McCracken'sThe Giant's House

Anyone interested in the novels of Jean Rhys or Ivy Compton-Burnett?


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited July 13, 2000).]

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#51182 - 07/13/00 02:59 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
cat
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Ivy Compton-Burnett yes (I've read & liked Brothers and Sisters); Jean Rhys not so much.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is really wonderful and very discussable, I think.

Lots and lots of the other stuff suggested here sounds great, too.

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#51183 - 07/15/00 12:40 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
L8sleeper
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I read "I Capture the Castle" a few months ago. I really enjoyed the book. Also, it's a quick read. It's basically written in the form of journal entries--but there is a lot of dialog. The characters are interesting and the book is well written. While reading the book on the bus I was approached--on a few occasions- by women who had read the book in the 50's and remembered it fondly.
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#51184 - 07/19/00 10:30 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Okay, I've decided what our next selection will be: it's Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

I got it from the library yesterday and I was practically in tears just reading the preface. I think this will be a wonderful book to read and discuss. I'd like to suggest that we start discussing it on August 15th. I suspect, because it is a work of literary journalism about a major cultural clash, it should be an interesting counterpoint to Gardens in the Dunes.

I'd also like to suggest that we choose a few books at a time, and set up a schedule so we can get more books read and not lose too much precious reading time to trying to decide which ones to read next. (Also, knowing the selections a few months in advance will allow people to keep an eye out for these titles at used bookstores, or to place a hold on the book at their local library, or get it through interlibrary loan if necessary.) So here's my proposed list and schedule (and keep in mind, none of this is written in stone and it can be changed if the deadlines seem unrealistic or other books are suggested that we get excited about):

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Anne Fadiman) - to be discussed starting August 15

Hard Laughter (Anne Lamott) - to be discussed starting September 15

The Whiteness of Bones (Susanna Moore) - to be discussed starting October 15

I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith) - to be discussed starting November 15

The Farming of Bones (Edwidge Danticat) - to be discussed December 15

Cold Comfort Farm (Stella Gibbon) to be discussed January 15

The Map Of Love (Ahdaf Soueif) to be discussed February 15

(I just saw this last title yesterday at a bookstore and thought it looked very promising.)

Again, none of this is written in stone. I will always be open to your input on the Book Club.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited July 19, 2000).]

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#51185 - 07/19/00 11:28 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
50ftqueenie
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Good selections, Deborah; a little bit of everything. The discussions should be fascinating.

I didn't know whether to start a new topic on this or not, but for those of you who shop for books online, here are some coupon codes that can save you a little moolah.

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Buy.com-- Free shipping through 7/21: use code 80278158.

Buy.com-- New customers can save $10 on purchases over $30. Use code 80220128. That one expires 10/31.

Incidentally, these coupons don't have to be used just for books...

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#51186 - 07/19/00 08:46 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
ElectroCute
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You just made my day deborah. I actually got The Spirit Catches You... from the library yesterday because everybody kept saying how good it was. And here I was worrying that the next selection would be something my library doesn't have. (Because I refuse to buy any book that I haven't read; its like buying a car before you test drive it as far as I'm concerned.)
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#51187 - 08/22/00 01:32 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Psycholica
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I don't have a suggestion, just an observation. The Whiteness of Bones by Susanna Moore is currently a special order at Amazon.com and takes 4 to 6 weeks to ship. Barnes and Noble lists it as being out of print. So maybe that one should be put off until it comes back into print.
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#51188 - 08/24/00 02:39 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Psycholica, thanks for the tip about The Whiteness of Bones. It's too bad, but we should probably put that one off for a while. We can just move all the other selections up a notch, or we can discuss which book we'd like to insert in its place.
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#51189 - 08/26/00 11:52 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Psycholica
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Thanks, deborah. I was a bit worried that others would insist we continue with it and just get it from the library. I just really hate our local libraries and don't frequent them. The books tend to be badly beaten, sometimes missing pages, sometimes very marked up, and I just can't deal with that. It's hard enough for me to buy used books for university. I'd rather buy the book and take my chances.
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#51190 - 12/02/00 02:18 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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It's time to start fielding suggestions for the next few selections for the main book club. We have two more to go before we run out, so please put your two cents in soon! And since we've only done one non-fiction book in the first six months of this site's existence, let's have suggestions for both fiction and non-fiction choices. Please re-read the guidelines contained in this thread before making recommendations.

I'll reiterate my interest in reading West with the Night by Beryl Markham.

I look forward to reading your suggestions and ideas!

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#51191 - 12/03/00 09:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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I've made a list of non-fiction and fiction that I'd like to read sometime so I'll go ahead and post it here and see if anyone seconds my selections. Here goes~~

Fiction:
The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean
Kalimantaan, by C.S. Godshalk
Swimming In The Congo,by Margaret Meyers
Anil's Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje
The Ground Beneath Her Feet, by Salman Rushdie
The Book Borrower, by Alice Mattison
The Last Life, by Claire Messud
Gut Symmetries, by Jeanette Winterson
Art and Lies, by Jeanette Winterson

Non-Fiction:
Manifesta, by J. Baumgardener and Amy Richards
Cunt, by Inga Muscio
The Professor and The Madman, by Simon Winchester
Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Baby Precious Always Shines: Selected Love Notes between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Memoirs of a Beatnik, by Diane Di Prima

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#51192 - 12/08/00 11:45 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Bear Moderator
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The Ground Beneath Her Feet isn't great, I'm afraid...I don't even think it would that interesting to discuss.

Cunt is okay, although a bit sad - she seems to think that she's the first feminist to use the word. And the fact that she wrote an entire book about 'cunt' as a concept and never once mentioned Germaine Greer is inexcusable, considering the fact that Greer not only wrote a famous essay called 'Lady Love Your Cunt' but also edited the 'Cuntpower' issue of Oz magazine which featured an amazing article about female sexuality and reclaiming the word cunt which was a million times sharper and smarter than Muscio's entire book. But I think the book would be fun to discuss. As would Ex Libris - quite perfect for this site!

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#51193 - 12/08/00 12:55 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
pinkvodka
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o/t
Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief is non-fiction.
end o/t

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#51194 - 12/10/00 03:35 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Oh. I thought it was a novel based on real events. I stand corrected then.

I definitely think that Ex Libris should be on the list.I love the cover of this book.
I'm all for more non-fiction and essays as I will choose fiction every time over the other unless I am pushed a little.

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#51195 - 12/12/00 12:02 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hula
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I've been wanting to read Ex libris. I think another non-fiction that could go on the list is Natalie Angier's Woman.
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#51196 - 12/13/00 08:39 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ex libris is part of an upcoming Book Bundle so we'll have the chance to discuss that book there. It is a fantastic book, though, and I urge everyone who likes this site to read it.
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#51197 - 01/02/01 05:53 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
sunflow
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Would anybody else be interested in reading Zadie Smith's White Teeth? It is definitely the critic's darling right now, and I'm curious to see what all the fuss is about.
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#51198 - 01/03/01 09:10 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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sunflow, is it out in paperback yet? If not I think it's probably a more expensive than I want to include in the Book Club (see the first post above). If it is in paperback, I would like to include it.
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#51199 - 01/03/01 04:36 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
sunflow
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Shoot - I forgot all about that. I don't know when it's coming out in paperback.

Slightly OT, does anyone know of any good resources to find out which books are coming out in paperback in the next couple of months?

Back OT, I'd also be interested in mixing up the types of books read - non-fiction, and some different genres. Maybe Kivrin's favorite suggestion, Doomsday Book? Or should genre fiction exist in its own book club?

And, as soon as this move is over and I'm settled in LA, I'll be sure to catch up on all the book club reading on which I'm constantly behind so I can actually participate in the discussions.

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#51200 - 01/03/01 05:22 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Ooh, much as I love Doomsday Book, I think it'd be too lengthy for a Book Club choice...not to mention that the genre it springs from is not everyone's cup of tea.

How about something by Jeanette Winterson?
I've been wanting to read Written On The Body for awhile now.

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#51201 - 01/06/01 01:03 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Catness
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Kivrin:
How about something by Jeanette Winterson?
I've been wanting to read Written On The Body


Oh Kivrin, might I possibly warn you away from this book? I was way into Winterson when this first came out and bought a copy directly. This is one of the few books I can say I have begun reading and never finished. I was so frustrated with the overheated prose and too-sly pronoun game she played, that when I spilled coffee on the book, I never went back to it after leaving it pressed between two large, heavy art books. Of course, your mileage may vary.

It's a shame, because she is such a clever and talented writer. This book was written during a time when she was extremely full of herself.

That said The Passion by her was fantastic, and I've highly recommended it several times over the years.

(The Doomsday Book rocked, as does anything by Connie Willis.)

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#51202 - 01/06/01 02:22 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Thanks for the heads-up, Catness. I've only read Oranges... and that was about 15 years ago.
I received The PowerBook from my husband for Christmas and thought I'd fill in my Winterson gaps. (I tend to do that with authors--read the entire lot.) I'd still like to choose one of her novels as a Book Club choice. Other authors I thought of are Hilary Mantel and Claire Messud.

Also wondering, is anyone interested in reading Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies as a non-fiction selection?

I like sunflow's idea of a separate Club for genre fiction. Science-fiction anyone?


[This message has been edited by Kivrin (edited January 06, 2001).]

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#51203 - 01/06/01 08:50 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Catness
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Kivrin:
(I tend to do that with authors--read the entire lot.)


So do I. Reading Map of Love right now, I'm already making mental notes to read her other books.

Winterson, IIRC, had quite the reputation for being an enfant terrible in England--calling herself England's greatest living writer and all. Written on the Body was rumored to be about her real life affair with her editor's (or publisher's) wife. It was all so terribly scandalous.

 Quote:

I like sunflow's idea of a separate Club for genre fiction. Science-fiction anyone?


Sci-fi or Spec-fic book club? I'm so there.

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#51204 - 01/09/01 12:54 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Psycholica
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I second Kivrin's suggestion of Traveling Mercies for a bit of non-fiction. It's an extremely well written and thought provoking walk through religious beliefs.

I was going to suggest something else by Susanna Moore since The Whiteness of Bones is out of print, but then I read the description of In the Cut and figured it might not sound too appealing to others. However, My Old Sweetheart and Sleeping Beauties don't sound too bad. Anyone read either of them and have a suggestion?

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#51205 - 01/12/01 10:44 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Since we've already done one Anne Lamott book, and since I hope to include Travelling Mercies in an upcoming Book Bundle, I'd like to leave that for now. I definitely agree with the recommendation, though; it's a good read.

Also, I saw that White Teeth is out in paperback, but it's $25 Canadian! Come on! I just can't stomach the idea of paying that much money for a paperback novel. Ridiculous. Obviously someone believes they can get that much for it, based on its popularity in hardcover, but I'm not willing to pay it and I'm not willing to ask book club participants to pay it, either. I think my limits are already on the liberal side. Anyway, I'll move up the White Teeth thread that was started quite a while ago, so that if anyone wants to discuss it there, they can.

I have a rough list of books for the next six months; any other last-minute suggestions before I post it?

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#51206 - 01/13/01 01:19 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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I have two.
Bellwether by Connie Willis.
The Wood Wife, by Terri Windling

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#51207 - 01/14/01 01:49 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Val
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Sure I'm new, but I'll suggest anyway. Anything by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, my current favorite author. Arranged Marriage is my favorite, a collection of short stories. They are, for the most part, about Indian woman struggling with tradition and modern society, both in Indian and America.
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#51208 - 01/14/01 04:21 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ah, God. So many books, so little time.

It is really hard to decide which books to choose. Now, after having cut out the suprising number which exceed the financial limits I've set (which is the only reason we're not doing, for example, The Orchid Thief, 'cause I'd really like to do that one) and those which are out of stock or otherwise not readily available for some reason, I've got a list that will take us through May.

Bellwether by Connie Willis - to be discussed starting February 15

The Woman Who Walked into Doors - by Roddy Doyle - to be discussed starting March 15

The Professor and the Madman: a Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester - to be discussed starting April 15 (how can you resist a title like that?

A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee - to be discussed starting May 15

I think these are some meaty choices; I hope they will give us lots to discuss. Some of the themes covered by these books include domestic violence, human stupidity, madness, and Korean "comfort women," among other things.

Thanks to all of you for the many excellent suggestions you made. I feel bad for all the books I had to leave out this time around, and I just wish it was realistic to do two or three or four times as many books. This thread will stay open to take suggestions for the future.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited January 14, 2001).]

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#51209 - 01/15/01 08:16 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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 Quote:
Bellwether by Connie Willis - to be discussed starting February 15


Yay! exclaims Kivrin, jumping up and down wildly.

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#51210 - 01/15/01 10:33 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Kivrin: I thought you might feel that way.

For anyone who knows Connie Willis as a sci-fi/spec-fi writer, and wonders why I seem to have veered off into genre fiction, worry not. What I've read about this book makes me think that it doesn't really fall into that category. I'm basing this on the reactions of fans who were expecting something in the same vein as her other work, and had their expectations confounded by Bellwether. But the general word is that it's very good. (Kivrin: I hope I'm right on this...please let me know!)

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#51211 - 01/16/01 04:02 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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You are. It is good. It's such an amusing and entertaining book. What it is really, is a social satire exploring why humans follow trends, with a whole lot of other interesting stuff, including chaos theory, thrown into the mix. It's a good choice for this group, especially after our discussion about "Oprah's sheep"! I do think everyone will thoroughly enjoy reading this one.
It's an easy read also. And, it just might lead more people to Connie Willis, a brilliant writer IMHO.

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#51212 - 01/21/01 02:08 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Catness
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 Quote:
Originally posted by deborah:

Bellwether by Connie Willis - to be discussed starting February 15

The Professor and the Madman: a Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester - to be discussed starting April 15 (how can you resist a title like that?


Yay! Connie Willis! Yay! I just turned one of my friends on to her, I've got her reading Impossible Things because she couldn't find The Doomsday Book. I am so looking forward to re-reading this book, I haven't had anybody to talk to about Ms Willis.

And Yay! again on the OED book. I bought this the moment it came out, I'll enjoy re-reading this too.

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#51213 - 02/07/01 03:55 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
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I ran out to the bookstore and bought Bellwether and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I could get caught up before discussion starts. I couldn't put down the Connie Willis, and now am feverishly waiting for discussion to start. For such a short book, there certainly is a lot to talk about, isn't there?!
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#51214 - 03/19/01 11:12 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Would anyone have any major objections if I switched the next two books? I haven't been able to get The Professor and the Madman yet, and I already have A Gesture Life. If everybody's already into the book that was scheduled, we'll leave it that way, but if it's all the same to everybody, I'll switch them. Please post and let me know.
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#51215 - 03/20/01 02:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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deborah, I'm fine with that. I haven't bought either of them yet. I have seen A Gesture Life on Remainders tables in hardcover for about $4 US. Think I'll go scoop up a copy.
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#51216 - 03/20/01 09:08 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
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I'm fine with that too, as I've already got Chang Rae Lee but not the other one.
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#51217 - 04/09/01 03:01 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
SarahJanet
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Ooh, that would be great for me. Professor and the Madman is in my stack of to-read books, but with finals coming up I just don't have time to get it done in time for next week, but I'd love to read it. Is this actually what's happening, then?
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#51218 - 04/09/01 04:21 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Yes. A Gesture Life first, then The Professor and the Madman.

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited April 09, 2001).]

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#51219 - 05/04/01 12:39 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Good grief, it's time to pick some more books. Where does the time go?

Entertaining any and all suggestions (but please keep price guidelines in mind -- $20 Canadian, $15 U.S. maximum)...

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#51220 - 05/04/01 05:38 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
LauraT
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Hi, I'm new, and my list may unintentionally ignore the criteria that these books must fit under, but here are some of the books that I have on my to read list that I would love to discuss w/ others:

About a boy - Nick Hornby
True history of the Kelly gang - Peter Carey
Pigs in heaven - Barbara Kingsolver (is this genre?)
Indiana gothic - Brock Pope
Home & exile - Chinua Achebe
In the blue house - Meaghan Delahunt
Miss Garnet's angel - Salley Vickers

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#51221 - 05/04/01 10:35 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Can't resist a list...

Let's do read West With The Night if you are still interested, deborah. I just bought it at a library book fair, along with a 1st edition copy of The Splendid Outcast. Here are others I'd like to read:
Kalimantaan--C.S. Godshalk
A Change of Climate--Hilary Mantel
The Last Life--Claire Messud
The Vintner's Luck--Elizabeth Knox
Temples of Delight--Barbara Trapido
Anil's Ghost--Michael Ondaatje
Let It Come Down--Paul Bowles
My Life on a Plate--India Knight
Thirty Nothing--Lisa Jewell
Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee--Meera Syal

Okay. That's enough from me, eh?

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#51222 - 05/06/01 11:38 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
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Ching Shih


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I'm a little overwhelmed, can't think what else to add (I'll try later, maybe after this month since book deadline is looming), but I would like to second the Michael Ondaatje. I've never read any and I really want to.
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#51223 - 05/07/01 01:33 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hula
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(ot to Fishdreamer - if you've never read any Ondaatje, don't start with Anil. In my opinion, it's not his best nor his most accessible.)
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#51224 - 05/08/01 02:42 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Ooh, ooh! We could read In the Skin of a Lion, Ondaatje's finest! Cerebral, haunting, poetic...sigh.
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#51225 - 05/12/01 08:12 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
L8sleeper
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I'd definitely like to read West with the Night. Let It Come Down looks interesting also.
I'd like to suggest Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel. It's been on my bookshelf for months now. At $14 US it may be pushing the book club money limits though.

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#51226 - 05/13/01 09:49 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Okay, here's what I've worked out for the next few months, after checking out book prices and availability:

Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel - to be discussed starting June 15 (just in time for Father's Day)

Arranged Marriage by Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni - to be discussed starting July 15 (this is a collection of short stories, for a little change of pace)

West with the Night by Beryl Markham - to be discussed starting August 15

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje - to be discussed starting September 15

I'm really looking forward to reading all of these!



[This message has been edited by deborah (edited May 13, 2001).]

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#51227 - 08/09/01 08:50 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Wow, it's already time to start thinking about the next slew of books. As always, I am entertaining suggestions from all of you (per the guidelines of price/availability described in this thread). Fire away!
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#51228 - 08/09/01 04:29 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
L8sleeper
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Here are a few book suggestions:
An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender. It JUST came out in paperback. (US $12) It's about a girl who's obsessed with numbers.
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. I read this when it first came out in hard cover and loved it. It recently was released in paperback -- I don't know the cost though. It's about a young girl and her famiy , their strange talents and obsessions. She discovers she has a talent for spelling and becomes obsessed with words.
(Wow, my OCD is showing with this list)
Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles is always on my list.
I know we just did a book of short stories but how about Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker.

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#51229 - 08/17/01 08:55 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Good suggestions, L8sleeper. I've wanted to read Bee Season for ages so I'm glad to hear it's out in paperback. And I've heard lots of good comments about it. I'm making that the next book after In the Skin of a Lion.

The Bender book sounds good, too. I'm going to ask for more suggestions before I make any more selections but I wanted to get going on the September/October choice since I know some people like to plan their reading far in advance and/or need time to order the book or get it from the library.

I'm happy to see that Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World by Claudia Roth Pierpont is finally out in paperback; it was one of the first suggestions ever made for the book club when Chicklit first started, but it was only available as a big expensive hardcover at the time. Is there still interest in this one?

More suggestions?

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited August 17, 2001).]

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#51230 - 08/17/01 06:03 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Yes.

The Inn at Lake Devine -Elinor Lipman
Blue Angel -Francine Prose
White Teeth -Zadie Smith
The Mineral Palace -Heidi Julavits
The Ladies Auxiliary -Tova Mirvis
The River King -Alice Hoffman
No Great Mischief -Alastair MacLeod
The Sooterkin -Tom Gilling

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#51231 - 09/25/01 11:24 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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I've got to pick the new few books pronto...I'm entertaining further suggestions as always.
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#51232 - 10/08/01 09:27 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Okay, guys, sorry to be so late in getting the next bunch of books listed, but things have been crazy for the last month, as everyone knows.

Here we go:

Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World by Claudia Roth Pierpont - to be discussed starting November 15

The Ladies Auxiliary* by Tova Mirvis - to be discussed starting December 15

White Teeth: A Novel by Zadie Smith - to be discussed starting January 15 (Yes! You've been asking for it for ages and now it's finally available in a paperback edition under $20 Canadian!)

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson - to be discussed starting February 15 (an unconventional love story for Valentine's Day)

* This one is one dollar over the Canadian limit for book club selections but I felt strongly enough about including this one to make an exception.

I'm excited about all of these and hope you guys will be too.

Also, I've started putting the year in the thread titles, because sometimes old book club threads get bumped up (which is fine, always happy to see more discussion of books we've already read) and I don't want newer users to get confused about which book we're currently reading.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited October 08, 2001).]

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#51233 - 10/08/01 08:52 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Those all sound wonderful, deborah!
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#51234 - 11/11/01 04:42 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ria
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While reading through here to find the latest selections, I saw that someone suggested Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius wayyyyy up this thread, but the idea was nixed because it was only available in hardback. The book is now available in paperback--I bought it in June for $14 U.S.--so maybe we could add it to the list now.
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#51235 - 11/12/01 07:37 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ria: Yes, I noticed that too. I'll consider it in the next round of selections. (I've heard approximately equal amounts of raves and gripes about this book, although I think more of the gripes are directed at the author and his allegedly unpleasant personality than at the book itself.)

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited November 12, 2001).]

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#51236 - 11/27/01 11:32 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ria
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I know we´ve got books picked out to last us until February, but I´ve got a special request for y´all. You see, I live out of reach of English language bookstores and mailing services, so my only chance to buy books between now and next August will take place over the Christmas holiday.

So... can we start discussing what we want to read next year and extend the list 3 or 4 more months? Please?

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#51237 - 12/21/01 09:39 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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So let's do Ria a solid here...I know most of you have probably turned your minds off for the holidays, but come on...the poor woman lives in a place where she can't get any (English-language) books! Suggestions, as always, are welcomed, encouraged, wanted...

While I'm at it: are there people who wish the book club would only do fiction selections? I have a strong (overwhelming) preference for nonfiction so I do tend to include such books, but the majority of books we've done are still fiction. Not that I necessarily think we can support another book club around here, but would people rather have two main book clubs, one each for fiction and nonfiction? I sometimes think this would be preferable. I don't know how many people tend to read mostly one or the other, and how many people tend to divide their reading matter more equally among the two.

Any other suggestions or ideas or comments?


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited December 21, 2001).]

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#51238 - 12/26/01 08:55 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ria
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I'll go ahead and jump in and make my own suggestions . A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius has been suggested several times, and is definitely full of things to discuss. I'd also suggest The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant, a book about the one and only daughter of the patriarch Jacob (he of the 12 sons). It's a fascinating book, and paints a very interesting picture of Old Testament life and women's role in it. I would love to hear Deborah's take on it, especially.
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#51239 - 12/27/01 09:49 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Ria: Those are both good suggestions, and I know the Eggers book is in paperback now and so is the Diamant one. (Although I just checked the Canadian price of The Red Tent and it's still a couple of dollars over the limit.) I also know there are about a million holds on the latter in the local public library systems and I assume the situation is similar elsewhere, so I doubt a lot of people will be able to get it from a library (at least not without months of waiting).

Ria (assuming you're still in North America and you can still get your hands on these books), I'll commit to definitely doing the Eggers book -- I'll schedule it in sometime in the next few months -- and if you were going to buy the Diamant book anyway, go ahead; I suspect that as with White Teeth, a less expensive paperback version will be issued in less than a year. As soon as there's a less expensive version we'll do that one.

Also, I started a thread about Jose Saramago's books in the Bookworm, and was wondering what people think of reading Blindness for the book club? Too bleak?

And still welcoming other suggestions...

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited December 27, 2001).]

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#51240 - 12/27/01 01:10 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hula
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Re fiction vs. non-fiction: My reading tastes are almost exclusively fiction but I've totally enjoyed the non-fiction we've read here. So I vote that we keep the reading club a mix of both.
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#51241 - 12/27/01 03:33 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ria
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Saramago would be good. I could even get him in Spanish. It would be interesting to read a book in one language while the rest read it in another.

Y'all are so nice to me. Gets me all choked up.

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#51242 - 01/07/02 03:16 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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 Quote:
Re fiction vs. non-fiction: My reading tastes are almost exclusively fiction but I've totally enjoyed the non-fiction we've read here. So I vote that we keep the reading club a mix of both.


Me too. Sorry it took so long to respond to this, but I'm with hula. I'll gladly read more non-fiction, but it doesn't come as naturally to me as the reading of fiction.

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#51243 - 01/07/02 04:05 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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I vote we keep it a mix. I have too many books to read as it is (is that even possible?!), so adding another club would overwhelm me.
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#51244 - 01/15/02 02:26 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Okay, I've got to make some choices and fast. We'll do the Eggers book, as promised, and I think we'll do the Saramago book.

I'm wondering whether there's interest in reading any of the following:

Lynn Coady's Play the Monster Blind?

Katherine Dunn's Geek Love?

Amy Tan's The Hundred Secret Senses?

Lynda Barry's Cruddy? (might be interesting to do an illustrated book)

Ann-Marie Macdonald's Fall on Your Knees?

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America?

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God?

Still taking other suggestions...




[This message has been edited by deborah (edited January 15, 2002).]

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#51245 - 01/15/02 03:45 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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All my limbs are up for Geek Love- I've read it numerous times and don't know enough people who have. I think it's so bizarre and one of the only books I've read that ever shocked me. That said, perhaps many people wouldn't enjoy it. But if anyone wants to discuss it, my thoughts are ready to fly!
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#51246 - 01/15/02 04:04 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Faria
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I would be up for Nickel and Dimed, have heard really good things about it. Also, Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of my absolutely most favorite books. I think it would go over well here. Lots of things to discuss with it as well.
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#51247 - 01/15/02 04:44 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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I remember really liking Geek Love when I read it, about 15 years ago. I'd be interested in re-reading it. It's not for everyone though. It's fairly dark and disturbing.
Nickel and Dimed has been on my list for awhile now. Fall on your Knees too. Every review of it I've ever read has been favorable.

deborah, are you interested in making A Fine Balance one of the future discussions?

As far as non-fiction reads, I've the following ideas:
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden
When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

[This message has been edited by Kivrin (edited January 15, 2002).]

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#51248 - 01/16/02 10:17 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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About the suggestion for Cruddy, deborah, it's actually a novel and I don't think there are any illustrations. It's very dark and disturbing as well... VERY DARK. I love Lynda Barry's stuff, but this is a definite change for her.
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#51249 - 01/17/02 01:32 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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I would really like it to be something funny and happy, because I'm having a hard time with anything else still. But if I'm the only one, then go on and read what you want.
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#51250 - 01/17/02 09:46 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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I'm with you fishdreamer. I'm going through a lot of stuff now too, and my concentration is still low.
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#51251 - 01/18/02 10:26 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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And I was coming here to suggest two more non-fiction heavies:
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison and American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana

Lately it seems I'm in the mood for layered, textured complexities, the type of novels or memoirs that make you pause and question what it means to be human, etc...I want difficult books, but not too depressing.
I've been through a lot of intense life-changing times lately also but my mind is craving the challenge of difficult reads. It's a weird feeling for me. I live in genre fiction much of the time.
Suddenly, I want the discipline of reading intricately written prose. I think of it as therapeutic.

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#51252 - 01/20/02 05:42 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ananda
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I'd love to see Geek Love on the list. I come across that book all the damn time, but I haven't actually read it yet, and this would be a good excuse. Cruddy's wonderful as well, but, yes, rather dark.

As for suggestions, maybe The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay? I'd like to see what others thought of that. And what's the policy on older books? It seems like most of the choices are fairly contempary, and I'm not sure if this is just a trend or if it's intentional.

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#51253 - 01/20/02 03:36 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
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American Chica sounds interesting. I don't mind heavy, it's depressing I'm having trouble with. Delving into something with some heft and things to chew on wouldn't be a bad idea. I like books that make me think. Stories about how awful people can be to each other are on my "avoid" list right now, I don't need any more reminders.

I didn't mean to suggest that we start reading Georgette Heyer or something.

Suggestion (so I'm not just chiming in with what NOT to read): The Fig Eater by Jody Shields. It looks pretty interesting. And when Sarah Bird's latest book comes out in paperback, I'd love to do it. The Yokota Officer's Club.

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#51254 - 01/21/02 09:18 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Great suggestions, everybody! Thank you.

Generally, the choices for this book club tend to be from the 20th century, as pretty well everything before that tends to fall under the purview of the Classics book club, and the selections also tend to be non-genre fiction, as we also have a Genre Fiction Book Club. But I'd love to see more choices from decades other than the 90s -- Cold Comfort Farm and I Capture the Castle were two older choices that I thought were really enjoyable.

The other main parameter is price: I strive to keep it under $15 USD/$20 CDN. (Although, with the current exchange rate, I really should raise that to about $25 CDN.) That, unfortunately, rules out a lot of books, but I just don't feel right choosing more expensive books. (Am I being unreasonable in being a stickler about this? Let me know.)

(Choosing more older books, ones which can readily be found used, would be a way to help keep the cost of participating more manageable.)

I guess there's another parameter: I tend to avoid any book Oprah's chosen, not because I think her choices are awful (though no doubt some are), but simply because by virtue of being an Oprah book, those novels are going to get plenty of attention, and there are many other authors who deserve our attention too. So I try to pick non-Oprah books. (But I almost wish she hadn't picked A Fine Balance, because I'd love to do it...but she'll get the book more attention than I ever will, and I'm happy to see the book receive it.)

I'll announce the next slew of books in the next couple of days. I haven't finalized the list because I'm struggling with the "mood" thing: I know I'm overly attracted to dark, difficult books, and lighter, funnier stuff doesn't even always register on my consciousness. And I didn't want to list six months of difficult reading. I'd love to find more things like Cold Comfort Farm. What about A Confederacy of Dunces? Is that as funny as I hear it is? Am I the last person on the planet not to have read it?

Suggestions for lighter, funnier stuff eagerly welcomed.

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited January 21, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited January 21, 2002).]

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#51255 - 01/21/02 10:29 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Ananda
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Thanks for the recap of the bookclub guidelines, deborah. I'd like to say that I'd love to see Confederacy of Dunces on the list, as I've been planning to pick that up. I understand it does a really good job of portraying New Orleans without romanticizing it, which is something I'd be interested in.
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#51256 - 01/21/02 07:05 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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I'll second a vote for Kavalier and Clay or one of Chabon's earlier novels for that matter. I loved Wonder Boys.

deborah, I'd not worry about the "mood' issue too much. We do have plenty of lighter novels on the agenda in the Genre Club. I don't think I've ever read A Confederacy of Dunces either--or if I have, it was long ago, back in my college days.

How about Shopgirl by Steve Martin? Not something I'd particularly choose, but everyone I know who has read it, has really liked it a lot.
I'd be interested in reading something by Charles Baxter. I read The Feast of Love in my offline book club and it made for a great discussion.
Ooh, how about Midnight's Children by Rushdie? I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read it.
Well, I'm never at a loss for suggesting books, am I? I'll stop now before you end up re-writing your entire list!

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#51257 - 01/22/02 01:23 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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I haven't read Confederacy of Dunces yet either.

Would LM Montgomery fit into this club? Something other than the ones we all know (Anne, Emily, and Valancy)? I don't know how easy they would be to find, or even if anything else would still be in print. Research time.

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#51258 - 01/22/02 10:20 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
bonster
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 Quote:
Lately it seems I'm in the mood for layered, textured complexities, the type of novels or memoirs that make you pause and question what it means to be human, etc...I want difficult books, but not too depressing.

Kivrin, I know you said that you read Geek Love years ago and it is dark and disturbing, but I think it fits your criteria - it will certainly make people pause and question. I think it's more twisted than depressing (a hearty second to lex's "bizarre" comment), and funny too. It's got all the big themes: family, love, cult behavior, trying to change people... I think I liked it better than A Confederacy of Dunces, which is good too... oh, and add me to the list of Shopgirl fans.

I'd be up for Midnight's Children as I too have never read it (bonster hangs head in shame), and Nickel and Dimed is on my list because I love Barbara Ehrenreich.

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#51259 - 01/22/02 03:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Ehrenreich wrote one fiction novel that I remember reading quite a long time ago, called Kipper's Game. It was a fairly complex techno-thriller as I recall.
I read Dunn's earliest novels when I was a teenager. Truck was my introduction to her writing. (Truck, taken from the word trucking--as in "keep on trucking!" It's so dated now!) Geek Love is the more well-written book, but I do have fond memories of the other.
Anyway, off topic blathering. I'll stop now.

[This message has been edited by Kivrin (edited January 22, 2002).]

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#51260 - 01/23/02 04:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hula
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In response to Deborah's query about the $ cap on book club books - I think it's a good idea. It would suck if participation in the book club was dictated by cost. That said, I have zero dineros to spend on books right now (SOB!) but I usually manage to get book club books out of the library for free. (Well, free if you don't count my overdue fines.)


Edited to clarify that I meant human participation in the book club should not be restricted because of costly books, not that book participation in the book club should not be restricted because of cost. Like that clarified anything...I hope you know what I mean.

[This message has been edited by hula (edited January 23, 2002).]

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#51261 - 01/31/02 09:43 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
hopechaser
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I am curious to know when the next group of books will be announced. As someone who lives on a fairly strict budget, it would be nice to know as soon as possible so that I can start stalking the second-hand bookstores!
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#51262 - 02/06/02 11:47 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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A million apologies for taking so long to get this list together. I had a list for the next six months and somehow managed to misplace it, and since I hadn't memorized which six of the seventeen or so that were most compelling me, I had to start over (and re-check prices, the most annoying part of making up the list). There were so many I had to leave off due to price -- I really wanted to do Blindness and Generica and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada for example -- and even so, I've made a couple of small compromises on price in the following list. However, while there are a couple that are a dollar or two over the Canadian limit, there are several books here that have been out for years and years and that I hope people will be able to get secondhand or from a library, to help balance things out.

I also tried to avoid too many dark, depressing books, though, as I've said, that seems to be the only fiction I really gravitate to (another reason to omit Blindness, and the reason that Cruddy is not on the list). And Oprah just picked Fall on Your Knees, damn it (two Canadians in a row! What gives?) so I decided to pass on that one, though I loved it and thought it would be great for us to discuss. I also very much wanted to do Geek Love but it seems to be widely unavailable, much to my chagrin.

Also, to make up for taking so damn long, I've made up a list that will take us to December.

Anyway, without further adieu:

When I Was Puerto Rican - by Esmeralda Santiago - to be discussed starting March 15

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole - to be discussed starting April 15

Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier - to be discussed starting May 15

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - to be discussed starting June 15

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - to be discussed starting July 15

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers - to be discussed starting August 15

An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender - to be discussed starting September 15

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich - to be discussed starting October 15

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie - to be discussed starting November 15

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott - to be discussed starting December 15

I hope this looks good to most of you. It's really a lot harder to choose a list than it probably appears.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited February 06, 2002).]

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#51263 - 02/06/02 02:28 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
cat
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deborah, for some reason I haven't really been participating in the book club, but this list makes me really want to! It's extremely inspiring (and I've been having trouble finding things I want to read lately--not usually a problem for me, so it feels very strange). Yay!
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#51264 - 02/06/02 05:35 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Awesome list, Deborah!
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#51265 - 02/06/02 08:10 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Faria
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Deborah,
This looks like an awesome list! Can't wait to get into reading these.

Thanks : )

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#51266 - 02/07/02 12:22 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hopechaser
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I concur, this is an incredible list. I can't wait!

deborah - I too was dismayed that Oprah selected Fall on Your Knees as the next victim in her quest to have every great contemporary novel stamped with her seal of approval. I was sooo looking forward to discussing the book as I consider it to be one of the best Canadian novels ever written. Oh well, c'est la vie!

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#51267 - 02/07/02 01:08 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
JaneLouise
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I'd like to add my dismay to Oprah's selection of "Fall on Your Knees," though maybe it will bring about big bucks for Ann-Marie MacDonald. I thought it was a beautiful novel.

In the category of great recent Canadian novels, there's still "Fugitive Pieces" by Anne Michaels that doesn't have the Oprah stamp...

[This message has been edited by JaneLouise (edited February 07, 2002).]

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#51268 - 02/11/02 11:22 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deputman
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Thanks deborah, it all looks so good, I want to go home and start reading RIGHT NOW. Who needs works when words will fill them?

Especially pleased to see Their Eyes Were Watching God a favorite that always makes this Floridian homesick. I can't wait to discuss it with everyone.

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#51269 - 02/13/02 08:04 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Emma
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Inspired list! Looking forward to it...
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#51270 - 02/16/02 01:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Psycholica
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I had been trying to stay out of this thread due to my lack of funds, a direct result of trying to buy a house.

I'm glad I looked because I already have four of the books in the list, which means I may be able to afford a couple of the books that I don't have. Woo hoo!

I'm looking forward to getting back into the book club.

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#51271 - 09/25/02 09:09 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
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Good God, the year's nearly over and soon it will be time for me to post the 2003 list.

Start posting your suggestions, please. And if you're fairly new to the site or the book club, please read (or re-read) this thread so you're familiar with guidelines about price, availability, etc. Thanks!

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#51272 - 09/25/02 12:58 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
BasBleu
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One book suggestion: "Disgrace" by J.M. Cotzee. It's a slim novel that follows the story of a South African Communications professor. David is fired from his job after becoming involved with a student and he goes to live with his adult daughter in a remote, rural area of South Africa.

The writing is incredible but definitely not an easy read as the story is filled with a lot of sadness. Still, I think this is one book that could lead to lots of discussions.

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#51273 - 09/25/02 02:59 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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OK, I feel a bit out of place suggesting anything, seeing as I have read a grand total of TWO ChickLit Book Club books since I arrived here a few months ago... but here goes. (But I'm trying! I'm trying!)

Our Lady of Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen
From indigo.ca: On a Monday morning in April, a middle-aged writer goes into her living room to water the plants and finds a woman standing in front of the fig tree. The woman is wearing a navy blue trench coat and white Nikes and carries a small black suitcase on wheels. She is the Virgin Mary. Invited to stay for lunch, Mary explains that, after 2,000 years of petition, adoration, and travelling, she is tired and needs some R&R.

I wouldn't mind reading some of the previously-suggested books such as After Long Silence or Shopgirl, and wouldn't mind rereading books to discuss them with the chickliterati i.e., No Great Mischief or The Hundred Secret Senses.

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#51274 - 09/25/02 06:06 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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I have a few ideas.

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif
(A.S.'s book is about 800 pages long though. Maybe it could be split into two months?)

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#51275 - 09/26/02 07:33 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
BasBleu
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Kivrin, I second your choices of Year of Wonders and Slammerkin.... Read those books this year and thought they were interesting/fascinating. Lots to discuss in both!
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#51276 - 09/26/02 12:44 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BasBleu:
Kivrin, I second your choices of Year of Wonders and Slammerkin.... Read those books this year and thought they were interesting/fascinating. Lots to discuss in both!


I second your seconding, BasBleu.. I have both of these books on my 'to read' list!

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#51277 - 09/26/02 12:58 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
blithe spirit
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Kirvin -- I second your choices for Bel Canto and Slammerkin, both of which have been on my "to read" list for a long time.
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#51278 - 09/26/02 02:46 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
shrew
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I hestitate to post suggestions since I haven't been participating in the Book Club up to now (looking forward to jumping in with Nickel & Dimed, though!) That said, I'd chime in for Kivrin's suggestions for Slammerkin and Bel Canto. Both are sitting on my "to read" shelf right now.

[This message has been edited by shrew (edited September 26, 2002).]

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#51279 - 09/26/02 04:10 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Well. I'm speechless.
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#51280 - 09/26/02 10:24 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
setara
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Although I have been lurking around for a while now, and even posted in a few threads, I have not been participating in the bookclub discussions, but I was hoping to do so, and I trust you all will not mind the couple suggestions I have.

The first one is “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”, by Sijie Dai. I read it because a friend who lives in France, where it was a bestseller, mentioned about it to me. The author witnessed first hand the Cultural Revolution in China, and as the principal character in the book, was sent to be “reeducated” in a pheasant’s village. The book though is not a heavy, analytical and not even political one, but tell the story of two friends and their survival among the villagers, and their infatuation with the tailor’s daughter, which they introduce to the great classics of literature, trying to impress her. I don’t want to tell much; afraid to give the book away, but I really thought it was a book that book lovers would like to read.

Anyway, now my second suggestion is not a specific book, but an author. What if we read something by Timothy Findley, as a kind of homage to him? I actually just finished “Pilgrim” and loved it. I would re-read it for a discussion. It is over 500 pages long though, and I don’t know if it may be too long for the bookclub. I am planning to read more of Findley’s work, and would read anything else you all may be interested in reading.

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#51281 - 09/27/02 09:09 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
bonster
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Reviving some older titles and chiming in to agree with recent suggestions:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Midnight's Children
The Fig Eater
Geek Love
Falling Angels
Bel Canto
Slammerkin
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

and how about:
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
sheesh, why don't we read The Blue Castle? That is, re-read and discuss it...

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#51282 - 09/27/02 03:28 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Angiv
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How about Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith by Gina B. Nahai. This is purely because I've been wanting to read it for ages, and found a copy for just £1.50 a couple of weeks ago.
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#51283 - 09/29/02 07:54 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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I've got a non-fiction recommendation. I haven't read it, but it is something I really do want to read. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd.
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#51284 - 09/30/02 09:46 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
swimmyfish
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I'd like to recommend Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser. It's an excellent non-fiction book, about franchises and their effect on America. It popped into my head last night, while i was finishing up Nickel & Dimed, and would make a good companion to N&D, even if not chosen as a book club selection.
According to Amazon, it is available in paperback, for 13.95 (although Amazon will sell it to you for 8.37). That's U.S. dollars, by the way - it didn't say anything about Canadian.

edited, because there is a world of difference between hardcover and paperback.

[This message has been edited by swimmyfish (edited September 30, 2002).]

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#51285 - 09/30/02 11:25 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
blithe spirit
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Fast Food Nation is out in paperback in Canada. I bought a copy recently but haven't read it yet although I'd love to, and from what I've heard about it, it would probably be lots of food for thought, although we may lose our appetites for awhile.
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#51286 - 10/01/02 01:02 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Freyatheo
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suggestion: Stolen Lives:Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir.

I haven't read it yet, but it comes highly recommended. I just picked it up based on two rave reviews by friends.

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#51287 - 10/09/02 08:24 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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Another late suggestion:
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

It's a slightly hesitant suggstion because what if people hate it? That would suck. Not that you're not entitled to your opinion, but ... in any case, I'd love to discuss it with you all.

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#51288 - 10/15/02 08:53 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Lady Di
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Freyatheo:

I have read Stolen Lives, it was sad, but good. I don't like the way they do things over. It was a good read. I think its in paperback about $12.95. I think

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#51289 - 10/16/02 01:45 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
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I haven't made up the 2003 list yet, but I wanted to say that Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin will definitely be on it, so if anyone wants to grab it at a sale, ask for it for a gift, or put it on hold at the library, I promise we're doing that one.

I'll try to have the list ready for early November.

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#51290 - 10/16/02 08:13 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Sweet Potato
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I second the vote for Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.

I'd also like to see anything by V.S. Naipaul or Ian McEwan's Atonement on the list.

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#51291 - 10/16/02 12:23 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
setara
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Hi Deborah, if it is not too late, I also wanted to put my vote in for Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”. He is a Brazilian, like myself, and I guess I am maybe biased because of it, but I think this book is great.
But I also thought of another book, a non-fiction, I forgot to mention earlier: “A Fortune-Teller Told Me” by Tiziano Terzani. It is in paperback now, and is quite interesting.


[This message has been edited by setara (edited October 16, 2002).]

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#51292 - 10/17/02 12:45 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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I have suggestions!

The Fig Eater by Jody Shields
Bel Canto
Stolen Lives
Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks? (been dying to read this for ages and would love to have company)
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (it is out in paperback now)
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
The Virgin of Bennington by Kathleen Norris (another one I've been meaning to pick up for ages)
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks

A mix of fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, and things I don't know what they are.

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#51293 - 10/19/02 07:19 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
Angiv
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Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea is fantastic. I was attracted to it because I'm a Math geek, but it's also got a lot of interesting stuff about history, philosophy, and religion. Go on Deborah, give me an excuse to read it again!
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#51294 - 10/24/02 02:26 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Manne
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I don't what's wrong with me, since I haven't read (or even heard of) any of the suggested books... \:\/

But there's a book which I would absolutely love to discuss. I've tried to get friends to read it but for some reason they refuse
Anyway it's "The Gate to Women's Country" by Sheri S. Tepper. It's a fantasy novel that deals with feminism in one of it's extremest forms.

I read it and was just facinated. I think/hope you will be too.

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#51295 - 10/25/02 12:32 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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Manne, that is one of those books I read over and over and over again. I never thought to suggest it here, but it might be a great choice. Tepper writes powerful women, and while it's fantasy I'd still say her characters are real people. This particular one is a warning about where we're headed and probably very timely. So I'll second that one.
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#51296 - 11/18/02 11:38 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hopechaser
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Can't believe it has been a year already! A few suggestions for the list:

Naked - David Sedaris
Excessive Joy Injures The Heart - Elisabeth Harvor
The Republic of Love - Carol Shields

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#51297 - 12/04/02 06:59 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
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hopechaser, thanks for the nudge about Elisabeth Harvor's book. One of her sons is actually a friend of mine and I've been in touch with her via e-mail -- maybe I could get an interview or some other comments out of her. I do know she's very busy, though.

So much for having the new list up for early November. I'm working on it, though, and hope to have it very soon. Still entertaining suggestions!

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#51298 - 12/06/02 11:54 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
setara
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Deborah if, as you say, you are still entertaining suggestions , I have one more.

What about a taste of “children’s literature”? It seems from the thread on the bookworm that there are quite a few chickliterati who enjoy this kind of literature. Anyway, my suggestion is The Giver , by Lois Lowry. But I also would second your choice for other titles in this category.

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#51299 - 12/07/02 09:43 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
e-ray
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I just wanted to jump right in and second the suggestion of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.
Everyone I've given it too has loved it. It is such a well-researched and engrossing tale. I simply cannot praise it enough.

Also, I think a "children's" book would be a great idea and would like to suggest The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It's one of those books everyone should read at some point in their lives.

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#51300 - 12/11/02 03:04 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Okay, after much deliberation and checking of prices and availability, I've finally got the 2003 book club list ready. Many excellent suggestions had to be left off due to price, unfortunately, and some due to availability. There are eight novels and four nonfiction books this year (I prefer nonfiction by far, myself, but it seems most people prefer to read fiction -- however, since some of you are resolving in the "New Year's Readolutions" thread to read more nonfiction, I included one more such title than I think I normally do. (If there were ever enough interest I would love to have two totally separate clubs, one fiction and one nonfiction, but I don't think our numbers are large enough to sustain that situation yet. How I long for the day!)

I tried to balance the list between newer and much older titles, but it leans a little more to the new than I would like. Next year I'll try for more older ones. There's a little bit of almost everything here -- memoir, spec-fi, historical fiction, romance, mystery, humour, even a bit of magic realism, I think, and plenty of chewy nonfiction -- and I hope everyone'll find something to be excited about or challenged by.

Here it is:

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (discussion to begin January 15)

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery (discussion to begin February 15)

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (discussion to begin March 15)

Excessive Joy Injures the Heart by Elisabeth Harvor (discussion to begin April 15)

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers (discussion to begin May 15)

Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks (discussion to begin June 15)

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (discussion to begin July 15)

The Gate to Women\'s Country by Shari S. Tepper (discussion to begin August 15)

Complete Stories of Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, Colleen Breese (Editor), Mikki Breese (Editor), Regina Barreca (Introduction) (discussion to begin September 15)

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife (discussion to begin October 15)

A Border Passage: From Cairo to America—a Woman\'s Journey by Leila Ahmed (discussion to begin November 15)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (discussion to begin December 15)

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#51301 - 12/11/02 03:16 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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Looks good, deborah!

I've only read one of these (The Blue Castle, of course!) but had two on my 'to read' list.

Thanks for putting this together for us.

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#51302 - 12/11/02 03:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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Thanks, Steph!

For anyone who seeks out a copy of The Blue Castle and is put off by the horrible cover art one is likely to encouter, please, please, please just trust me on this: the book really is good. Just try to ignore the cover art. I'll definitely understand if you don't want to be seen reading it in public, but give the book a chance.

Also, Elisabeth Harvor's son is an old friend of mine and I've corresponded with her a bit by e-mail; I'm hoping she might have time to drop by when we read her book.

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#51303 - 12/11/02 03:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
blithe spirit
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Excellent list Deborah. Three of these have been sitting on my shelves for quite some time waiting to be read -- I will now tackle them with glee. And I'm looking forward for an excuse to re-read The Blue Castle.
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#51304 - 12/11/02 04:08 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
TraceyB
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DL Sayers! Connie Willis! Dorothy Parker! Whee!
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#51305 - 12/11/02 04:44 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
runs with scissors
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You know you're a compulsive book buyer when you realize you have a few of the selections at home, unread. *grin*

Excellent selection, Deborah!

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#51306 - 12/11/02 05:00 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
SusyQ
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Okay--I may have to finally make time for the Book Club. I've already read one of these (Tepper) and at least 3 others were on my to-read list. Yay!
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#51307 - 12/11/02 05:05 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Fiammetta
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Woo-hoo! I have 6 of those books already. I don't even have to reread The Blue Castle, Strong Poison, or To Say Nothing of the Dog, what with knowing them by heart and all. But of course, I probably will.
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#51308 - 12/11/02 10:29 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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This list has something for all of us. Thanks, Deborah. It's obvious you put a great deal of thought into these selections. And Yay! for including science-fiction. I do promise to read the nonfiction, and I'm excited to finally read D. Sayers and D. Parker, both who have been on my must-read list forever.
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#51309 - 12/12/02 02:13 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
SusyQ
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I was just at the library tonight picking up another book I had on hold and ended up bringing home To Say Nothing Of The Dog and The Blue Castle. Whee!
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#51310 - 12/12/02 10:14 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
setara
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Great list, deborah! I am looking forward to read them all.
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#51311 - 12/12/02 12:59 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
hopechaser
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You have outdone yourself Deborah! This is a great list with lots of variety. I'm one of those people who is making efforts to read more non-fiction so when you decide to start that club, count me in!

(I'm so excited that one of my suggestions actually made the list \:D .)

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#51312 - 12/20/02 02:23 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
studio1
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I may actually come out of book club lurkdom for this! (February, March and September, especially)
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#51313 - 01/08/03 05:26 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
studio1
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This is probably an inane question that I could solve for myself if I would just GET to a bookstore, but is there a big difference between The Complete Short Stories of Dorothy Parker and The Portable Dorothy Parker?

Going by logic, the Portable sounds like it would be, well... portable, and thus cheaper and prbably shorter. But I don't want to think "Ah, I'll just get that one, it probably has most of the same stuff" and then miss out on some short story gems that weren't included.

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#51314 - 01/10/03 04:11 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
angela
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The Portable Dorothy Parker doesn't include all of the short stories that are in The Complete Short Stories of Dorothy Parker, but it does have a lot of her poetry, articles, and book reviews that aren't in the other book.
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#51315 - 02/12/03 12:38 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lauriegilbert
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I just want to say how excited I am about Gate to Women's Country being on this list. i read it for school last year and would love to engage in another discussion on it. Great choice!!
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#51316 - 03/29/03 09:55 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
rustee
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Two possible NF choices:

Gift from the Sea (stages of a woman's life) ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock and Finding Myself on a Farm (city to country living transition) ~ Jeanne Marie Laskas
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#51317 - 04/03/03 12:53 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
JetGirl
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I'd love to do either Atonement or The Corrections.

ETA: Wow, I didn't realize how far in advance the books had been selected. Any chance of this squeezing in for October?

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#51318 - 09/19/03 02:13 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
meera
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If it's not too early, I have a suggestion for the 2004 book club - it's NF, Saffron Sky by Gelareh Asayesh. It's a memoir by an Iranian American woman - there're lots of interesting political details scattered throughout, but the reader is mostly left to make her own conclusions. It easily fits into the feminist and Middle Eastern-American canons.
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#51319 - 09/19/03 10:22 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
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May I suggest Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein.

Sample editorial review on Amazon.com:
In Dark Cities Underground, American Book Award winner Lisa Goldstein reveals and explores the connections among the worlds of Narnia and Never-Never Land, the Wind in the Willows and Wonderland, myth and legend. But don't read Dark Cities Underground as an escapist secondary-world adventure; that will lead to disappointment, because this novel is about the nature and meaning of otherworlds, and not about disappearing into them. This fine modern fantasy is also about archetypes, childhood, growing up, loyalty, immortality, death, and love.

What about:

Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson
The Wild Swans - Peg Kerr
The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford (this was a "Better Together" selection with Cold Comfort Farm a little while ago on Amazon.com)
Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Letham
Cherry - Mary Karr
Sarah Canary - Karen Joy Fowler ($21 Cdn.)

Echoing past suggestions:

Bel Canto - Ann Patchett ($22 Cnd., but used copies are fairly widely available)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon (also $22 Cnd.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all are at or below the suggested maximums of $15 American and $20 Canadian (sources: Chapters.ca and Amazon.com).
Canadian trade paperbacks seem to have edged up in price recently. Would a increase in acceptable price of one or two dollars be ok? Thoughts on this?

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#51320 - 09/20/03 11:33 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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Bel Canto was a great book, and I would really love to select The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay as a book club book.
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#51321 - 09/20/03 06:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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 Quote:
May I suggest Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein.
Selena-- Oh, I have this, and I never got around to reading it and was about to put it into the recycled books pile. Hmmm...better put it back on the bookshelf for now!

We did Cold Comfort Farm here as a bookclub read once upon a time ago.

Lex--I think Bel Canto would be a good choice.

JetGirl--I haven't read Atonement yet. I think it would make a good book club read.

Unless by Carol Shields might work well also.

I'll be thinking of others--because I do love a list--and report back shortly.

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#51322 - 09/20/03 11:54 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Sarah Kathryn
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I'll second anything by Carol Shields--I'm on The Stone Diaries and enjoying it, and I'd love to read more of her work. I'd also love to read Ann Patchett's Bel Canto.

Other suggestions (mostly that I haven't read):
Moon Tiger or anything else by Penelope Lively
Happy All the Time or anything else by Laurie Colwin
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai
Obasan by Joy Kogawa
Paula by Isabelle Allende (okay, this one I've read and I love it; it's her memoir and a lot more.)

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#51323 - 09/22/03 08:09 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
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It's never too early or late for suggestions. Always taking suggestions. Thank you.
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#51324 - 09/22/03 01:52 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
JaneJ
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I would love to discuss Unless or Life of Pi.
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#51325 - 09/22/03 07:03 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
lackey2
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I also would like Atonement as a choice! I have it and haven't read it. Other titles:
The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich,
Ahab's Wife by Sara Jeter Naslund,
The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears,
The Coffee Trader, by David Liss

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#51326 - 09/29/03 12:47 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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While we are thinking of suggestions for the next book selections, keep in mind the paperback/hardcover rule. It could very well be that a book you choose now will become available in paper by mid-year, so offer it as a suggestion anyway--as a possible Fall/Winter read. As a general rule, paper editions publish about one year after the initial hardcover edition.

I am wondering what the interest level is with these books:

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe
Middlesex by J. Eugenides

I haven't read any of them, but I think they'd make good discussions.

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#51327 - 09/29/03 09:00 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
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And that rule, for newcomers who maybe didn't read the first post in this thread, is this:

The book should be out in paperback, preferably throughout the English-speaking world (and I guess elsewhere if possible), and to quote from Deborah's post on p.1:
 Quote:
I'd really prefer to keep it under $15 U.S., $20 Canadian, which I think has to be the upper limit. I'd like to see the selections stay well under those limits, if possible.
Keep that in mind as you're thinking of possibilities.

Kivrin, I have no input on any of those. Middlesex seems to be popular, but I haven't heard of the other two.

I'd be interested in something science related, like William Calvin's How Brains Think: Evolving Intelligence Then and Now. Or maybe The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life by Evan Harris Walker. But that may just be me and my current curiosity kick, I don't know if anyone else is interested. If we want something a little less esoteric, there's Steven Pinker's books. (And yes I am one of the ones who suggested next month's Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea...)

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#51328 - 09/30/03 11:56 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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I would advise against Middlesex. Though it is an interesting read, it's insanely long (over 700 pages) which may be daunting for some people.

I read the entire book and then wasn't sure if I liked it or not.

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#51329 - 09/30/03 12:25 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
BasBleu
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Kivrin:
I am wondering what the interest level is with these books:

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe
Middlesex by J. Eugenides

I haven't read any of them, but I think they'd make good discussions.[/QB]
I second the suggestion for Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros! I have to admit I haven't read it either but I've read almost all of her other books and think she's a wonderful writer.

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#51330 - 09/30/03 07:58 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
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I would be interested in reading Happy All The Time, Unless, and The Physics of Consciousness. I would like to read Middlesex--if it was chosen, maybe it could be followed by a really short book.

I didn't like Antonement or Obasan. I found them boring. I can see how each of them could provide good discussion, though.

Has anyone read The Alphabet Vs. The Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain? It looks like it might make an interesting non-fiction read.

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#51331 - 09/30/03 09:39 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
graceless
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Well, yes, Middlesex is quite long, I found it to be a quick read. But I would love to read about what others think about it more in depth. Or we could all read The Virgin Suicides if want to read something short by Jeffrey Eugenides.
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#51332 - 10/01/03 07:53 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
lackey2
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Sorry I suggested mostly hardcovers earlier; thanks for reminding me that the selections should be in paperback. I'm still interested in Atonement.
Also, how about Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook has Gone Before, by Tony Horwitz? ("Part Cook biography, part travelogue, and very much a stroke of genius" according to one review.)
And/or, for a Steven Pinker book I would be interested in The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. I read half of it years ago and fully intend to read the rest of it someday.

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#51333 - 10/02/03 12:36 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Actually, lackey2, The Coffee Trader is the only brand new hardcover. The Erdrich one will be out in paperback in February, so it is a good possibility still, and the others are in paper.

Have you, or has anyone else read [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0804119120//qid=1065115783/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-6378793-1805645?v=glance&s=books&vi=reviews[[i]A Conspiracy of Paper[/url] by David Liss? I had it recommended to me by a bookseller in a Mystery bookshop once (around the time of my reading Sarah Waters), but I never got around to reading it. Might be a good one.

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#51334 - 10/02/03 03:26 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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Random thoughts...

-Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey by Alison Wearing.
-The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby.
-Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover.
-Maybe something by Nobel-prize-winner by J.M. Coetzee? I believe that Disgrace has been suggested before, but I'm open to anything.
-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon might be out in paperback next year ... could be interesting.
-Neil Gaiman? (Or am I the only one who isn't already completely addicted?)

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#51335 - 10/02/03 06:53 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
lackey2
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I read A Conspiracy of Paper and at the time I enjoyed it, but it hasn't stayed with me. I would be interested in rereading it. I haven't read Disgrace, or anything by that author, and I'm curious.
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#51336 - 10/03/03 10:08 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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I read Disgrace years ago, and think it would make an excellent book club discussion book. The author of the book, J.M Coetzee, just won the Nobel prize a few days ago.
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#51337 - 10/03/03 11:14 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
BasBleu
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Chiming in with StephA and lex on Disgrace. I think I've suggested that book before and I still think it's an impressive book. To me it was one of the most profound stories I've read and it has stayed with me ever since I read it. I think it would make a great selection as it can be discussed on so many levels.
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#51338 - 10/26/03 03:11 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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Okay. Deborah has made the official announcement, and I am entertaining more suggestions immediately! Think global. Think contemporary literary fiction. Feel free to post genre fiction ideas. Oh, I'll definitely have a science-fiction/fantasy/mystery selection on the list.

I am thrilled to be doing this, but let me tell you, choosing the books is one intense process!

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#51339 - 10/26/03 07:24 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
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Kristen Lavransdatter... ;\)

Oooh, genre books! My suggestions:

Galveston or Mockingbird by Sean Stewart
Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes
Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling
A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright
The Sibyl in her Grave by Sarah Caudwell

I would like to read some more Jonathan Carroll.

I would love to suggest Tam Lin by Pamela Dean or The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy but they're listed as "Temporarily Unavailable to Order" on the Chapters website.

StephA, I would be up for trying some Neil Gaiman.

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#51340 - 10/26/03 07:24 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
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Double post.
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#51341 - 10/26/03 09:31 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Mistral
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I'd love to read Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio for the book club, because I'm dying to discuss it with someone, and no one I know has read it or is likely to! Although I suppose it might be a controversial selection, since it's about evolution (and theories that are controversial in evolutionary biology circles, too)...but it was nominated for the Hugo Award, and I found the science easily understandable.
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#51342 - 10/27/03 11:40 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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Ooh, I'd love to read Tam Lin as well. (Thought I was the only one on earth who hadn't!)

And Mistral, I've read Darwin's Radio. It sounds like you really liked it! (I really didn't.)

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#51343 - 10/27/03 12:37 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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 Quote:
Kristen Lavransdatter...
Let's field this one over to the Classics club perhaps? ;\)

 Quote:
I would love to suggest Tam Lin by Pamela Dean or The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy but they're listed as "Temporarily Unavailable to Order" on the Chapters website.
And, Tam Lin is showing up as Out of Print on Amazon, yet available on Amazon UK. I'm not sure how reliable Amazon is though. Sometimes, I discover a book they've determined Out of Print is actually at my local bookstore. Tam Lin would be a fun one to discuss though. I'll look more into its availability.

Edited to add:

Post funny book suggestions too. I'm all for deep literary discussions, but we need to counterbalance that with some purely entertaining books.
Any interest in Pam's book, Why Girls Are Weird? Or perhaps something by Marian Keyes?

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#51344 - 10/27/03 03:06 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Catness
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According to the Borders site, which is now partnered with Amazon, Tam Lin is available. But then B&N lists it as "unavailable." So who knows?

It's a very good book. Perhaps if you put it much later on the year's schedule, some of us could scour used bookstores for copies? Or if that won't work or fit into our stipulations for book club choices, it could be an offside discussion as used copies get shipped around the world. Heh.

I'd like to read more mysteries. Dorothy Sayers didn't really do it for me last time (no offense); I loved Sparkle Hayter's books and I've been waiting forever for the fifth book to come out. It'd be fun to get a horror novel on the list too.

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#51345 - 10/27/03 03:37 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
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I'd love to read Pamie's book, and I super-duper-love Marian Keyes, and would love to see more people exposed to her. Last Chance Saloon is one of my all-time favourites. Sushi for Beginners is set in the world of magazine publishing ... that might interest some folks here.
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#51346 - 10/27/03 06:01 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
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I really liked Why Girls are Weird and I've enjoyed both of the Marian Keyes books I've read.

If we wind up doing Tam Lin I've got an extra copy to give away.

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#51347 - 10/28/03 12:51 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
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About Marian Keyes--I was thinking of Sushi For Beginners but at the moment, there's no paperback edition available in the U.S....Angels yes, Sushi, no.
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#51348 - 10/28/03 02:30 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
Ching Shih


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That surprises me, as Angels is newer than Sushi.
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#51349 - 10/29/03 06:40 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


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Just wanted to mention that someone is supposed to be reviewing Why Girls Are Weird for the Paper Jam section, so there should (eventually) be a discussion on that anyway.
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#51350 - 10/29/03 01:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Bear Moderator
Ching Shih


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If a Marian Keyes book is chosen, I could probably get in contact with her and ask her to answer any questions; I've met her plenty of times through work stuff, and she is absolutely lovely and told me to always come to her if I needed any quotations from a writer! In fact, I told her about Chicklit(.com, not the genre, obviously) ages ago, so maybe she's checking us out...
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#51351 - 10/29/03 03:14 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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 Quote:
Just wanted to mention that someone is supposed to be reviewing Why Girls Are Weird for the Paper Jam section, so there should (eventually) be a discussion on that anyway.
Okay. Thanks for letting me know, deborah.

Bear--You are the envy of many a Chickliterati! That would be great.

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#51352 - 11/01/03 02:57 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
L8sleeper
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
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How about Good Omens? It's funny and it's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Any Neil Gaiman book would be good - I've got a large unread pile. I need an excuse to bump them up on my reading list.
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#51353 - 11/01/03 04:00 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Good Omens is on the list of possibilities, but it's battling things out in my head with Christopher Moore's Lamb at the moment...I don't think we can do two irreverent God books in one year...heh. So, we'll see.
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#51354 - 11/05/03 06:05 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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And, the winner is...

After much contemplation, I've put our reading list together. I'm quite happy with the selections, and I hope you all are too.

All book discussions will begin on the 15th of each month.

I've noted paperback publication dates on the three books still only available in hardcover. They should become available to us in paperback editions two months (or more) prior to their discussion date.

If, for unforeseen reasons, they aren't, or if their (paperback) cost is not within our price guidelines, do not fear. I have fine alternative selections in mind!

As we head into summer, and it seems like Tam Lin is just impossible for some of you to find, let me know, and we'll change August's book.

Without further preamble, here are the 2004 Book Club selections:

January: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore

February: The True Sources of the Nile, by Sarah Stone

March: Caramelo, by Sandra Cisneros

April: Set This House in Order, by Matt Ruff (2/04 paper)

May: Unless, by Carol Shields

June: A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry

July: Hotel Paradise, by Martha Grimes

August: Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean

September: The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory

October: The Good House, by Tananarive Due (8/04 paper)

November: Away, by Jane Urquhart

December: Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (5/04 paper)

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#51355 - 11/05/03 08:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


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Oh yay, Kivrin, that looks like a great set of books! I almost picked up Caramelo yesterday, will have to go back and grab it. And way to start the year off with a funny book in the dark cold times for us in the northern hemisphere. Does Lamb count as beach reading?
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#51356 - 11/06/03 09:03 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
blithe spirit
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Love the list Kirvin -- thanks for including so many great Canadian authors. I've read many of the choices, but I'm looking forward to re-reading them and discussing them.
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#51357 - 11/06/03 09:21 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
Ching Shih


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Excellent list! I've read some and look forward to reading others \:\)
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#51358 - 11/06/03 09:26 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
goovie
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/14/01
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Loc: chicago, il

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That's a great list--books I've read and enjoyed this year, and books I've been meaning to check out for far too long.
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#51359 - 11/06/03 12:31 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
TraceyB
Ching Shih


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Yay, Christopher Moore! Tombo and I started Lamb a couple of days ago, and I've almost hurt myself laughing.
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#51360 - 11/06/03 08:34 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Selena
Ching Shih


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Wow. I love this list. Thanks for putting it together for us, Kivrin!

I've read four of these and six of the rest were already on my TBR list. I've had A Fine Balance kicking around unread for ages now.

I'm so happy.

ETA: I still have an extra copy of Tam Lin that I think I can handle parting with ;\) . It's yours for the cost of shipping. My e-mail is in my profile. Please post here if you are going to be e-mailing me so that I don't miss your request. Thanks.

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#51361 - 11/06/03 09:15 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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 Quote:
I'm so happy.
Whew...me too, says Kivrin, wiping the sweat from her brow...

The whole book choosing thing is way more difficult than it would appear. I'm glad I chose well. Thank you all for your very supportive selves! I'm looking forward to each and every book. ( Selena--I've only read four of them too!)

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#51362 - 11/07/03 11:24 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
BasBleu
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/29/03
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Wow! What a great list Kivrin. Thanks for all of your hard work on putting that together. I'm just so excited as most of the books were already on my "to be read" list.
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#51363 - 11/10/03 10:41 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
StephA Moderator
Ching Shih


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Kivrin, the list looks great! I'm really looking forward to reading these!
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#51364 - 11/18/03 07:02 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Affilare
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 10/14/03
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That looks like an absolutely fantastic book selection. I've been wanting to pick up Lamb for a while now, and this is an excellent excuse. I'm so excited that it's first on the list!

(And anyone can join in on these book club discussions, right?)

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#51365 - 11/18/03 07:08 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
Kivrin Moderator
Ching Shih


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Wow. You all are so great. Thanks for the praise. I love it. I made the list with all of you in mind.

Affilare--yes, anyone can chime in on the book club discussions. And that goes for the Classics, and the new Nonfiction clubs also. Just check the starting discussion date because that will vary from club to club. In the Book Club, we'll start discussions mid-month.

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#51366 - 09/15/04 01:21 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


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As I said in the Nonfiction Club thread: September is almost half over, and pretty soon it will be time to announce the selections for the 2005 Fiction Book Club. So now's the time to start making your suggestions for next year's list. Thanks!
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#51367 - 09/22/04 10:37 PM Re: The next Book Club selection
lex
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I want to recommend that we read "The Island Walkers" by John Bemrose. It was short listed for the Booker and possibly the Giller, and well, it just looks quite interesting. Chapters info
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#51368 - 09/23/04 06:38 AM Re: The next Book Club selection
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


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Since we used to have one club that mixed fiction and nonfiction selections, and now they're separate, I think this thread may be a little confusing to newcomers. With StephA taking over the fiction club for 2005, this seems like a good time to start a new thread just for fiction suggestions. So I'm going to close it now. I'm sure StephA will check this thread over for suggestions, but please put forth your ideas in the new thread. Thanks!
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