Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-08-2012, 11:14 PM   #1
sun surfer
in this great future
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,753
Karma: 16636444
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: ipad mini & sony 950
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

This is the MR Literary Club selection for December 2012. If you've already read it or would like to read it, feel free to join in the conversation at any time!

Availability -
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
B&N (US)
Kobo
Inkmesh e-book & audiobook search


So, what are you thoughts on it?



Last edited by sun surfer; 12-08-2012 at 11:30 PM.
sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,941
Karma: 9626616
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Sony 350, T2; KPW2; iPad Mini Retina; Nooks
Here is a link to information about the village of Eyam upon which the story is based. Sorry, I'm on a mobile so I couldn't do a proper link, but I liked this background info and wanted to share. I recommend if you are a "no spoilers" person then wait until you are about halfway through the story before you read about Eyam so it doesn't take away some of the surprise if you are unfamiliar with the real town.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyam#mw-mf-search
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #3
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 825
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
Thank you.
I'll follow your advice and wait a bit before I read it.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 825
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
I've finished the novel and I think that my comments in this paragraph are general enough so as not to need spoiler protection. I'll use them for those following--espcially the contentious final paragraph. I really enjoyed about 90% of the book. For many of the experiences described in Eyam, Geraldine Brooks drew heavily on anecdotal oral history to describe events in the village. She also did considerable research on the effects of the Plague and its physical and psychological effects on people from 17th century sources. the result is a remarkably vivid picture of the town and its population. The rector Michael Mompellion is partially based on the actual rector of the time, William Mompesson. But the central interest of the novel lies with the narrator who is generally effectively delineated by Brooks.

Spoiler:
This focalising character and narrative voice is Anna Frith and in nine-tenths of the novel she is a compelling character. She had a very interesting blend of a practical nature, the ability to learn and use effectively practical skills--such as midwifery and herbal remedies--with an academic bent {she learned quickly how to read, learned Latin and even Arabic--this last perhaps a step too far for believability} along with a deeply introspective spiritual nature and a love of Nature.

Where I personally think this novel goes badly--disastrously--wrong is in the contrived final 10%. It seems that when Brooks had to take her character out of the plague-ridden Eyam she didn't know what to do with her and made up a denouement which--far from being a satisfactory resolution--really (IMHO} moves into melodrama and then gets her shipped off abroad. I feel that Anna's character in that final section loses a great deal of its meditative and reflective beauty.

Did anyone else feel this way?

Last edited by fantasyfan; 12-22-2012 at 03:23 AM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,753
Karma: 5274946
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
I've finished the novel and I think that my comments in this paragraph are general enough so as not to need spoiler protection. I'll use them for those following--espcially the contentious final paragraph. I really enjoyed about 90% of the book. For many of the experiences described in Eyam, Geraldine Brooks drew heavily on anecdotal oral history fore vents in the village. She also did considerable research on the effects of the Plague and its physical and psychological effects on people from 17th century sources. the result is a remarkably vivid picture of the town and its population. The rector Michael Mompellion is partially based on the actual rector of the time, William Mompesson. But the central interest of the novel lies with the narrator who is so effectively delineated by Brooks.

Spoiler:
This focalising character and narrative voice is Anna Frith and in nine-tenths of the novel she is a compelling character. She had a very interesting blend of a practical nature, the ability to learn and use effectively practical skills--such as midwifery and herbal remedies--with an academic bent {she learned quickly how to read, learned Arabic and even Latin} along with a deeply introspective spiritual nature and a love of Nature.

Where I personally think this novel goes badly--disastrously--wrong is in the contrived final 10%. It seems that when Brooks had to take her character out of the plague-ridden Eyam she didn't know what to do with her and made up a denouement which--far from being a satisfactory resolution--really (IMHO} moves into melodrama and then gets her shipped off abroad. I feel that Anna's character in that final section loses a great deal of its meditative and reflective beauty.

Did anyone else feel this way?
Fantasyfan, thanks for the spoiler, as I only started yesterday and have read just about 20%. Only thing I'd say, I am not buying that the narrator is an almost illiterate maid: but I got over that, though, and I am enjoying the novel so far!
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 06:23 AM   #6
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,753
Karma: 5274946
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
Spoiler:

Where I personally think this novel goes badly--disastrously--wrong is in the contrived final 10%. It seems that when Brooks had to take her character out of the plague-ridden Eyam she didn't know what to do with her and made up a denouement which--far from being a satisfactory resolution--really (IMHO} moves into melodrama and then gets her shipped off abroad. I feel that Anna's character in that final section loses a great deal of its meditative and reflective beauty.

Did anyone else feel this way?
definitely: and it is a pity, for this part could have been used to explore issues of doubt, failed leadership and surrounding issues. In terms of the plot itself, there are a few more details that irked me, but I'd rather wait until others have finished not to spoil it for them.

More in general, however, I am afraid I really did not like the novel one bit. Beside the point I already made, I have to disagree with you as I found the characters really lack any subtlety whatsoever: they are roughly cut, and if they are good they are almost godly so, while if they are nasty they are devilishly so. I must be missing something, as this was a best seller, but obviously what is working for other people is definitely not working for me
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,941
Karma: 9626616
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Sony 350, T2; KPW2; iPad Mini Retina; Nooks
I had previously read People of the Book in 2008. I gave it 3/5 stars. I remember at the time wondering why so much hype about this author. In other words, I was not that impressed. I thought the overall plot of that book was okay but that it wasn't as well-written as other books in that historical/enigma thriller genre that was popular at the time. Reviews said not to base your whole opinion of Brooks on that book so I voted for Year of Wonders because I wanted to give her writing another try given the positive press and awards she has received.

My verdict is that I did enjoy Year of Wonders much better than People of the Book. The writing was indeed of higher quality. I have not read much about the Plague so the topic was fresh to me, and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. However, the ending really disappointed me. It went off in such a wild direction that I didn't see coming! There were other alternative endings that I think would have been more profound and could have explored the after-effects of the plague in the village once they are no longer in self-imposed quarantine and life resumes its new, altered normal.

Spoiler:
Brooks was a Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. If you read the interview at the link below, then the third question addresses how she was impacted by observing the lives of Muslim women in the Middle East and Africa who were experiencing crises of war or famine. My guess is that she felt so passionately about this subject that she wanted to incorporate this experience into the book and draw parallels with Anna's reaction to the Plague.


The Penguin edition that I read had an introduction written by Brooks and an interview with her that I found very insightful to her research and process of writing the book. This material is available on the Penguin website at the following link.
http://www.us.penguingroup.com/stati...f_wonders.html
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
caleb72
Indie Advocate
caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
caleb72's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,710
Karma: 14627223
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kindle
OK - I just finished.

I liked the book, but not quite as much as I thought I would.

I think it was a worthwhile experience, as I enjoyed the small diorama of a world I didn't know much about. The interplay between Puritanism, early medicine, witch-hunting/superstition and plague was quite fascinating to me. I enjoyed the main character to a large extent because she was my observer. I saw everything through her eyes and thus was grateful to her. However, I'm not really sure I really got to know Anna throughout this story.

I think Brooks created a cool distance between myself and the characters of this book. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but it meant that I struggled to have any emotional response to characters or situations throughout the story. One of the reasons I was interested in this book was that I thought a very well-written book in a plague setting would be an immersive and emotional experience, but I didn't ever develop that level of commitment here.

That said, I did really enjoy the "slice of life" aspect of the book. The miners, the preacher, the terrible back-stories, the harshness. And I still found that I could admire Anna even if I didn't really connect with her.

About the ending. I agree that it was a bit "out there". However, it did make me think that I would rather enjoy a story like this as its own novel - the English miner's wife, escaping the plague and living in a Muslim community so far outside her experience.

So in the end, I was very interested in this novel as a depiction of a village beset by plague. The setting and the references to practices, attitudes and behaviours were all quite well written and fascinating. However, the actual characters and story didn't capture me as much as I believe it should have given the content.
caleb72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
caleb72
Indie Advocate
caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
caleb72's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,710
Karma: 14627223
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kindle
The lack of discussion on this book is a sad indictment on the selection. I obviously nominated an absolute clunker for December's book club read.

In my defence, I really did think this book was going to be fantastic.
caleb72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 03:22 AM   #10
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,753
Karma: 5274946
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
The lack of discussion on this book is a sad indictment on the selection. I obviously nominated an absolute clunker for December's book club read.

In my defence, I really did think this book was going to be fantastic.
or it could be that December is a busy month!
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 04:07 AM   #11
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 825
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
The lack of discussion on this book is a sad indictment on the selection. I obviously nominated an absolute clunker for December's book club read.

In my defence, I really did think this book was going to be fantastic.

You're being far to hard on yourself. I'm delighted that you chose this book which I never would have otherwise read. And I think that it was worth reading and had many memorable sections.

December is just a difficult month to find the time to read, reflect and compose--at least for me.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 01-07-2013 at 04:14 AM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
One-hit Wonders elemenoP Reading Recommendations 37 07-09-2012 06:42 AM
Historical Fiction Kingston, W.H.G.: The Mines and its wonders.V1.13 January 2012 crich70 Kindle Books 0 01-13-2012 11:03 PM
Other Non-Fiction Ballantyne, R. M: The Ocean and its Wonders. V1. 3 Oct 2010 crutledge Kindle Books 0 10-03-2010 06:00 PM
Science Fiction One Hit Wonders DoctorOhh Reading Recommendations 23 11-22-2009 01:03 PM
One wonders what they were thinking VillageReader News 2 10-12-2007 10:11 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:19 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.