Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for February 2013!
The category for this month is:
Canada & the U.S.A., as chosen in the poll
This month is a two-part process:
The first part begins with a one-day poll to determine the region we will use. It is multiple choice and you may choose as many options as you like when voting. This voting is separate from your nominations. There are no nominations during the poll, only voting. I will not vote in the poll, and if there is a tie, I will break it.
As soon as the poll is over and the region is determined, then the second part (nominations) starts and you can begin nominating like normal. This will run for three days until February 5. We no longer aim for a certain number of fully nominated works; rather, we now only aim for a certain length of time for nominations (three days).
Nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region.
-Regions are named in the poll and colour-coded on the map. Region names are generalities and not exact.
-If a country or territory is too small to show regional colour on the map, it will be part of the region closest to it physically and culturally. If you are unsure, just ask.
-I had help making the regions list that was much appreciated.
-Previously chosen regions currently ineligible:
Central Asia, East Europe & Russia
Once the poll is over and nominations begin:
In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs four nominations - the original nomination plus three supporting.
Each participant has four nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.
To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.
What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!
The floor is now open!
Nominations are now closed. Final results are:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - Fully nominated
Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock - Fully nominated
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington - Fully nominated
In favour - issybird, paola, fantasyfan, sun surfer
Of the many books by Canada’s most celebrated humorist, none has received more acclaim than his brilliant, caustic treatment of the glittering rich who gather at the Mausoleum Club on Plutoria Avenue.
Today, Leacock’s pointed satire of the privileged class, and their social abuses and pretences, retains every ounce of its freshness and bite. An undisputed comic masterpiece, Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich reveals a depth of compassionate criticism rare in Leacock’s writings.
Written in 1914, it's in the public domain and available here at MR; free audio version at LibriVox.
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway - Fully nominated
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - Fully nominated
In favour - fantasyfan, sun surfer, Bookpossum, Billi
Here's the Amazon review:
Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington's Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders, including Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his ascendance from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. From that position, Washington reigned as the most important leader of his people, with slogans like "cast down your buckets," which emphasized vocational merit rather than the academic and political excellence championed by his contemporary rival W.E.B. Du Bois. Though many considered him too accommodating to segregationists, Washington, as he said in his historic "Atlanta Compromise" speech of 1895, believed that "political agitation alone would not save [the Negro]," and that "property, industry, skill, intelligence, and character" would prove necessary to black Americans' success. The potency of his philosophies are alive today in the nationalist and conservative camps that compose the complex quilt of black American society.
It's in the public domain
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - Fully nominated
In favour - paola, caleb72, Synamon, Hamlet53
Wang Lung, rising from humble Chinese farmer to wealthy landowner, gloried in the soil he worked. He held it above his family, even above his gods. But soon, between Wang Lung and the kindly soil that sustained him, came flood and drought, pestilence and revolution....
Through this one Chinese peasant and his children, Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life, its terrors, its passion, its persistent ambitions and its rewards. Her brilliant novel beloved by millions of readers throughout the world is a universal tale of the destiny of men.
Published in 1931
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - Fully nominated
In favour - issybird, Billi, sun surfer, Bookpossum
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.
It doesn't seem to be available as an ebook but it is easily available from The Book Depository in paperback--published by Penguin as part of Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics
at a reasonable price and free delivery world wide. fantasyfan has always found them excellent, quick, and reliable.
In favour - Hamlet53, Synamon, caleb72, Bookpossum
The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. For it he won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for novels and it was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignity, and a future.
It's available as an ebook.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - 3
In favour - paola, Hamlet53, fantasyfan
Catch-22 is a satirical and somewhat historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from different characters' points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot.
The novel follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, and their attempts to keep their sanity in order to fulfill their service requirements, so that they can return home. The phrase "Catch-22", "a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule," has entered the English language.
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker - 1
A Separate Peace by John Knowles - 3
In favour - sun surfer, Bookpossum, orlok
Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.
"A masterpiece." - National Review
"A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written." - The Observer
Rabbit, Run by John Updike - 2
In favour - orlok, Billi
It's 1959 and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, one time high school sports superstar, is going nowhere. At twenty-six he is trapped in a second-rate existence - stuck with a fragile, alcoholic wife, a house full of overflowing ashtrays and discarded glasses, a young son and a futile job. With no way to fix things, he resolves to flee from his family and his home in Pennsylvania, beginning a thousand-mile journey that he hopes will free him from his mediocre life. Because, as he knows only too well, 'after you've been first-rate at something, no matter what, it kind of takes the kick out of being second-rate'.
Finnie Walsh by Steven Galloway - 1