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View Poll Results: Canada & The U.S.A. Vote • February 2013, Multiple Choice
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 14 63.64%
Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock 5 22.73%
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington 5 22.73%
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 10 45.45%
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck 5 22.73%
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies 6 27.27%
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 9 40.91%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-05-2013, 04:43 AM   #1
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Canada & The U.S.A. Vote • February 2013

Help us choose the February 2013 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The poll will be open for two days.

The vote is multiple choice. You may vote for as many or as few as you like.

A discussion thread will begin shortly after a winner is chosen.

In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day non-multiple-choice run-off poll. In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all of its initial nominations first.


Select from the following works:


Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Spoiler:
.


Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

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.


Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Spoiler:
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


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Spoiler:
.


The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

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


Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

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.

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Fift.../9780141186153


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:

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.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:09 AM   #2
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I really would have liked to vote for all! Great selection.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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Yes, a great list. I do hope that Lolita takes it, but voted for a couple others that would be preferred secondary choice.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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I voted for Lolita but any of the others would be fine.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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I don't think Lolita needs my help in this vote, so I've voted for 3 that I would prefer reading over Lolita. Who said you can't have strategic voting in multiple choice.

I doubt the strategy will work though. We're probably still going to be reading and Lolita, and I'll still look forward to discussing it with everyone.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
I don't think Lolita needs my help in this vote, so I've voted for 3 that I would prefer reading over Lolita. Who said you can't have strategic voting in multiple choice.

I doubt the strategy will work though. We're probably still going to be reading and Lolita, and I'll still look forward to discussing it with everyone.


Or as that great American Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over."
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
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Or as that great American Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over."
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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yes, great selection: well I had to support Lolita, and I did love Fifth Business, but I am going to be travelling, and can't risk taking it from the library. I've stuck to classics I haven't' read yet, but any book would make me very happy this month.
]
By the way, at least on the UK site, Grapes of Wrath is available on Kobo for less than £3, here.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
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I voted for Lolita for reasons previously discussed, and also for Fifth Business - another really interesting-sounding book and author I didn't know - thanks issybird!
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:28 AM   #10
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Wow! I didn't realise how far I was going to be set back to read Lolita. I don't think I can bring myself to pay $12 just to read this book. However, I've sourced a copy in my local library, so if this is the book we're reading, I'll duck down this Saturday and pick it up. Hopefully it's still available.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:48 AM   #11
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I voted for Lolita for reasons previously discussed, and also for Fifth Business - another really interesting-sounding book and author I didn't know - thanks issybird!
Same as me, plus The Grapes of Wrath, as I've never actually got round to reading it , despite knowing a lot about it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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Those whose familiarity with Grapes of Wrath comes from the film, starring Henry Fonda, should be aware that the film while illustrating the struggles of Depression era poor, is much more upbeat and less critical of American capitalism of the time that Steinbeck wrote of than the book. The ending in particular is very much more optimistic than the book. I actually read the book in high school before viewing the film for the first time.

I am just surprised that so many people have never read The Old Man and the Sea. It is such a short (~130 pages) and simple story. Major:


Spoiler:
Old man goes fishing in a small boat. Old man catches a marlin too large to bring into the boat, so old man leaves the marlin in the water tied to the boat. Sharks eat the marlin while old man sails back to port.

Last edited by Hamlet53; 02-06-2013 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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I've read The Old Man and the Sea. The Grapes of Wrath has been on my list to read for a while. It got my vote. Leacock got my vote as well. I've read some winners of an award named for Mr. Leacock, but never any of his books.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #14
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I've read The Old Man and the Sea. The Grapes of Wrath has been on my list to read for a while. It got my vote. Leacock got my vote as well. I've read some winners of an award named for Mr. Leacock, but never any of his books.
If you would like to sample Leacock, here's a short humorous essay from Literary Lapses which gives an idea of his style. It's called "A, B, and C The Human element in Mathematics". It's especially effective for those {like myself} who suffered through the anguish of the "story problem".

http://www.online-literature.com/ste...ary-lapses/40/
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #15
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^Thankss for the link. I have read that before, but I don't usually count reading a short piece as having read an author. Unless of course they are known for short stories and I read a collection. He's important enough that I'll read at least a full book by him at some point.
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