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View Poll Results: What should our June category be?
Science Fiction 12 46.15%
Fantasy 10 38.46%
Non-Fiction 9 34.62%
Modern Literature (Written within past 10 years.) 9 34.62%
Biography/Memoir 10 38.46%
Lottery (Version 2—winner provides selection to vote on.) 8 30.77%
Free For All 8 30.77%
Young Adult 9 34.62%
Humor 7 26.92%
Award Winners 14 53.85%
Classical Literature (Published at least 25 years ago.) 10 38.46%
Historical Fiction 10 38.46%
MobileRead Authors 7 26.92%
Splatterpunk 3 11.54%
Indie 6 23.08%
Adventure which has nothing to do with travelling 3 11.54%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:59 PM   #16
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I can't decide if this is silliness for the sake of being silly, or contention for the sake of being contentious, but it doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Everyone (yes, everyone) knows that biography/autobiography/memoir is non-fiction.

Let the standard be what reasonable people understand a category to comprise and let it go.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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I like the idea of Award Winners and nominating off-the-wall award winners from oddball award categories. It's a lot more fun and interesting. Doesn't have to be the worst type categories. But there should be some interesting categories out there.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I can't decide if this is silliness for the sake of being silly, or contention for the sake of being contentious, but it doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Everyone (yes, everyone) knows that biography/autobiography/memoir is non-fiction.

Let the standard be what reasonable people understand a category to comprise and let it go.
Agreed.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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Award Winners out in front which is nice. I've got a challenge this year to read at least 10 prize winners in 2013.

I've got a suggested reading list of award winners for my own challenge that I would be much obliged if we chose from for our selection.

I have Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, Bram Stoker Award, Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Graoully d'Or, National Book Prize, British Fantasy Award, Edgar Award, John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Carnegie Medal in Literature, Miles Franklin Literary Award, Philip K. Dick Award, Gold Dagger Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award and Newbery Medal all covered for your convenience.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I can't decide if this is silliness for the sake of being silly, or contention for the sake of being contentious, but it doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Everyone (yes, everyone) knows that biography/autobiography/memoir is non-fiction.

Let the standard be what reasonable people understand a category to comprise and let it go.
Agreed by me also.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #22
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Award Winners out in front which is nice. I've got a challenge this year to read at least 10 prize winners in 2013.

I've got a suggested reading list of award winners for my own challenge that I would be much obliged if we chose from for our selection.

I have Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, Bram Stoker Award, Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Graoully d'Or, National Book Prize, British Fantasy Award, Edgar Award, John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Carnegie Medal in Literature, Miles Franklin Literary Award, Philip K. Dick Award, Gold Dagger Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award and Newbery Medal all covered for your convenience.
Can't trust the Man Booker Prize any more. They made Cloud Atlas a finalist which it certainly did not deserve.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:00 AM   #23
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Can't trust the Man Booker Prize any more. They made Cloud Atlas a finalist which it certainly did not deserve.
I still think the Man Booker is worth including, though I have some sympathy for your view after Ian McEwan won it for Amsterdam, which was a risible storyline. Very much a political decision, as they couldn't agree between two other preferred books, I believe.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #24
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Let the standard be what reasonable people understand a category to comprise and let it go.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:08 AM   #25
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I still think the Man Booker is worth including, though I have some sympathy for your view after Ian McEwan won it for Amsterdam, which was a risible storyline. Very much a political decision, as they couldn't agree between two other preferred books, I believe.
Man Booker is maybe the worst major award given. The judges have no idea what comprises a good book an a lot of time they award for reasons beyond the book being worthy.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:39 AM   #26
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I think the Booker is a lot more interesting than the Pulitzer, which is generally a schlockfest. But both are too driven by popularity (Hillary Mantel didn't deserve it for Bring Up the Bodies) and politics--which is why I don't love Awards as a category.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:37 PM   #27
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I think the Booker is a lot more interesting than the Pulitzer, which is generally a schlockfest. But both are too driven by popularity (Hillary Mantel didn't deserve it for Bring Up the Bodies) and politics--which is why I don't love Awards as a category.
I didn't vote on Award Winners because I've read enough Award Winning books to know they didn't deserve the award. A lot of the awards are a (like you say) popularity contest and not an about how good the writing.story really is.

There's a poll on Goodreads for the best covers and up at the top of the list is Twilight. That just goes to prove that a lot of these awards are nothing more then a popularity contest that doesn't take into account the merit of the book.

But if awards wins, let's find some out there awards and nominate some out there books just because we can.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #28
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Can't trust the Man Booker Prize any more. They made Cloud Atlas a finalist which it certainly did not deserve.
Wouldn't that kill the Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards as well. Your ability to cherry-pick facts is astounding.

I've had pretty reasonable success with the Man-Booker prize selections I've read. I can definitely agree with your sentiment that many books are not that enjoyable from prize winners. My wife and I have a joke when we're at the book store that the littel silver and gold circle stickers on books mean guaranteed boring.

I did enjoy Paddy Clark, Ha Ha Ha and The White Tiger as winners of the Man-Booker prize.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #29
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I think the Booker is a lot more interesting than the Pulitzer, which is generally a schlockfest. But both are too driven by popularity (Hillary Mantel didn't deserve it for Bring Up the Bodies) and politics--which is why I don't love Awards as a category.
Actually part of that makes me read a title every now and then. I read Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian partly because of the kerfuffle over his winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. The other reason was I needed an 'X' author.

Part of me thinks if Award Winners wins, the group should read the short list for the Pulitzer from last year when no one won. I'm curious to see what I think of the list of books.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:10 PM   #30
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I didn't vote on Award Winners because I've read enough Award Winning books to know they didn't deserve the award. A lot of the awards are a (like you say) popularity contest and not an about how good the writing.story really is.
Awards are "someone liked this book well enough to recommend it." Usually, "a group liked this book well enough to recommend it." Sometimes the group claims to like books of a specific literary quality; sometimes they don't. Book awards are, by their nature, popularity contests; it's just that some of them claim to be popular with certain people of specific, supposedly discerning, tastes.

If those tastes don't match yours, the award is meaningless. The Pulitzer tells me that a book fits some set of qualifications for "literary excellence;" it doesn't tell me I'll enjoy reading it, nor that my life will be improved thereby. The Hugo award tells me that I'll probably enjoy reading the book, regardless of whether it's "well-written" by the standards the Pulitzer team uses.

I know I'd probably enjoy any book that's won a Rainbow Award. I might even nominate one. I know that the odds of it getting second-and-thirded would be very low, and the odds of it getting voted in as the selection are beyond negligible--not because MR readers don't trust the quality of the award, but because most of the readers here don't have a strong interest in LGBT-themed books. Likewise, recommendations from the ENnies are unlikely to get selected.

I would love the Award Winners category to avoid the larger, well-known awards like Pulitzer and Man Booker, and seek out smaller, oddball awards to say "here's something that you probably have never heard of, and wouldn't normally consider trying, but it did win an award so you know at least someone thinks it's good."

And whether or not the books from those awards get selected, we'd be able to discuss them and recommend books that might not come up on other topics. Most of the Rainbow Award books fit under "romance;" some are science fiction; some are mysteries--they could get nominated other months. The ENnie winners are in a niche industry that's hard to define; it often straddles the line between fiction and nonfic. (Is a gaming manual fiction or not?) Still, The Investigator's Guide to Occult London might be an interesting read even to people not interested in the RPG aspects.
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