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Old 08-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Post The MobileRead Literary Book Club September 2011 Nominations

Help us select the work that the MobileRead Literary Book Club will read for September 2011.

The nominations will run through August 27 or until FIVE works have made the list.

Final voting (in a new poll thread) will begin by August 27, where the month's selection will be decided.


The category for this month is:

Non-Fiction


In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs FIVE NOMINATIONS (original nomination plus four others).

Each participant has three nominations. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third, fourth or fifth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a work, please try to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.

Please keep in mind the differences in nominations between the general book club and this one - only five works will make the final list here, and a work needs five nominations to make the final list here.

What is literature for the purposes of this book club? A well-regarded work. Often (but not always) it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed, has a deeper meaning, makes one think. 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, post it and ask. This is an educational (and enjoyable) process for us all.


The floor is now open to nominations!
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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I'm nominating People of the Abyss, Jack London's account of living among London slumdwellers at the turn of the last century. It's a deeply effecting, highly shocking tale and influenced Orwell among others. It's in the public domain, so the price is right.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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I'll second People of the Abyss.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'm nominating People of the Abyss, Jack London's account of living among London slumdwellers at the turn of the last century. It's a deeply effecting, highly shocking tale and influenced Orwell among others. It's in the public domain, so the price is right.
I'll provide the third for this. I wonder if this helped inspire Orwell to write The Road to Wigan Pier?

I'd also like to nominate In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.
Spoiler:

If all Truman Capote did was invent a new genre--journalism written with the language … more »and structure of literature--this "nonfiction novel" about the brutal slaying of the Clutter family by two would-be robbers would be remembered as a trail-blazing experiment that has influenced countless writers. But Capote achieved more than that. He wrote a true masterpiece of creative nonfiction.


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Old 08-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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I'll fourth People of the Abyss.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:55 PM   #6
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I nominate Insurgent Mexico by John Reed. It is the account of a journalist/socialist traveling with Pancho Villa in 1913 Mexico. It is in public domain and available at Google books if you want to look it over. I haven't read it but I did read his account of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 which was fantastic.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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I will nominate two works to be read together as one nomination: Letters by Heloise and Pierre Abelard and Historia Calamitatum by Pierre Abelard. I group them because they are relevant to each other and are both rather short.

Quote:
The story of Abelard and Heloise remains one of the world's most celebrated and tragic love affairs. Through their letters, we follow the path of their romance from its reckless and ecstatic beginnings when Heloise became Abelard's pupil, through the suffering of public scandal and enforced secret marriage, to their eventual separation.
Letters are their letters to each other, while Historia Calamitatum is Abelard's autobiography of sorts.

ETA - To give a little more context: They lived in eleventh and twelfth century France, and Abelard was a promising intellectual of noble descent while Heloise was a nun with a renowned intellect.

Last edited by sun surfer; 08-22-2011 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:19 AM   #8
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I nominate In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson. I just downloaded this from the library and am eager to read it. It looks very good, and this is from the same author as Devil in the White City, which was also excellent.

Amazon Blurb:

In the Garden of Beasts is a vivid portrait of Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, brought to life through the stories of two people: William E. Dodd, who in 1933 became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime, and his scandalously carefree daughter, Martha. Ambassador Dodd, an unassuming and scholarly man, is an odd fit among the extravagance of the Nazi elite. His frugality annoys his fellow Americans in the State Department and Dodd’s growing misgivings about Hitler’s ambitions fall on deaf ears among his peers, who are content to “give Hitler everything he wants.” Martha, on the other hand, is mesmerized by the glamorous parties and the high-minded conversation of Berlin’s salon society—and flings herself headlong into numerous affairs with the city’s elite, most notably the head of the Gestapo and a Soviet spy. Both become players in the exhilarating (and terrifying) story of Hitler’s obsession for absolute power, which culminates in the events of one murderous night, later known as “the Night of Long Knives.”
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
I nominate Insurgent Mexico by John Reed. It is the account of a journalist/socialist traveling with Pancho Villa in 1913 Mexico. It is in public domain and available at Google books if you want to look it over. I haven't read it but I did read his account of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 which was fantastic.

Ten Days that Shook the World
is indeed a great book. I read that as assigned reading for a course in Russian history my freshman year in college. Then again when the movie Reds came out in 1981. Curious as to why you did not consider nominating that book?

So I'll second this one. A great uncle of mine was actually in the U.S. Army (cavalry) at that period and was part of the expedition under Pershing that chased Pancho Villa around northern Mexico for a while. I'd love to learn more about him [Villa].

Last edited by Hamlet53; 08-23-2011 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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I'll third Insurgent Mexico.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
I will nominate two works to be read together as one nomination: Letters by Heloise and Pierre Abelard and Historia Calamitatum by Pierre Abelard. I group them because they are relevant to each other and are both rather short.



Letters are their letters to each other, while Historia Calamitatum is Abelard's autobiography of sorts.

ETA - To give a little more context: They lived in eleventh and twelfth century France, and Abelard was a promising intellectual of noble descent while Heloise was a nun with a renowned intellect.
I will second your choice sun surfer. It makes a very demanding reading, we studied some of it in high school. It is high high high. It is about love, sin, women elevated by men (it is very much out of our times), so it is very interesting. We all could learn from it. If chosen, I will read it. Gutenberg carries it. I have a great synthesis by Duby, the great French medioevalist. Alas, I have it in French and in Italian.

Last edited by beppe; 08-24-2011 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Duby, not Dufy. iPad is really tricky
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:58 PM   #12
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gosh, it is tough this time. With my first nomination I'll fifth "People of the Abyss". Then a question, I presume Marguerite Yourcenar's "Memoirs of Hadrian" does not qualify as non fiction?
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:09 AM   #13
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gosh, it is tough this time. With my first nomination I'll fifth "People of the Abyss". Then a question, I presume Marguerite Yourcenar's "Memoirs of Hadrian" does not qualify as non fiction?
Oh but it is a fantastic book. I read it ages ago in Italian, I would happily reread it in French now. Please let's accept it as a choice. If it is accepted, I will second it.
I wonder if it exists as ebook.

I checked, it does not exist as an ebook. Next week I'll go to the Fnac in Nice and buy the pbook. Thank you Paola.

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Old 08-24-2011, 07:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
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gosh, it is tough this time. With my first nomination I'll fifth "People of the Abyss". Then a question, I presume Marguerite Yourcenar's "Memoirs of Hadrian" does not qualify as non fiction?
My call would be that this is more in the historical fiction category. It's up to sun surfer though. I don't feel strongly about it at all.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:33 AM   #15
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I'm going to fourth Insurgent Mexico. Like those above, I read Ten Days That Shook the World with enjoyment.

As for Hadrian, it's a book I've meant to read for decades, so an incentive would be a good thing! I think that non-fiction is non-fiction, though, and we don't have many windows for it. So while I'll read it happily, if sun surfer says no perhaps we could nominate it in a more appropriate month?
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