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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
Ching Shih


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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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Ching Shih


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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
Ching Shih


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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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Registered: 06/03/00
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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
Ching Shih


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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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