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Old 10-16-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
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November 2009 Book Club Nominations

Help us select the next book that the Mobile Read book club will read for November 2009.

The nominations will run through Oct 23.
Voting (new poll thread) will run for 5 days starting Oct 23.

(I started the thread a bit early this month as some people wanted to get an earlier start. Or, the thread can run a bit longer to try to get a decent selection.)

Book selection category for November per the "official" club opening thread is:

November 2009
Classic

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a pool at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations.


Official choices each with three nominations:

The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. Al the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Most peoples' knowledge of this probably comes from the 1960s musical, which I'm sure we've all seen innumerable times. The novel, though, is a VERY different beast, and definely written for an "adult" audience. It contains some wonderful writing, and has some unforgettable characters - Oliver himself, of course; Fagin, who runs a gang of child thieves and prostitutes, the professional criminal, Bill Sykes and his girlfriend Nancy, and many more. This is a wonderful, unforgetable book, which everybody should read at least once in their life. I commend it to everybody.

The Picture (or Portrait) of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Spellbound before his own portrait, Dorian Gray utters a fateful wish. In exchange for eternal youth he gives his soul, to be corrupted by the malign influence of his mentor, the aesthete and hedonist Lord Henry Wotton. The novel was met with moral outrage by contemporary critics who, dazzled perhaps by Wilde's brilliant style, may have confused the author with his creation, Lord Henry, to whom even Dorian protests, 'You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.'. Encouraged by Lord Henry to substitute pleasure for goodness and art for reality, Dorian tries to watch impassively as he brings misery and death to those who love him. But the picture is watching him, and, made hideous by the marks of sin, it confronts Dorian with the reflection of his fall from grace, the silent bearer of what is in effect a devastating moral judgement.

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Phileas Fogg rashly bets his companions £20,000 that he can travel around the entire globe in just eighty days—and he is determined not to lose. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, the reserved Englishman immediately sets off for Dover, accompanied by his hot- blooded French manservant, Passepartout. Traveling by train, steamship, sailboat, sledge, and even elephant, they must overcome storms, kidnappings, natural disasters, Sioux attacks, and the dogged Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard to win the extraordinary wager. Combining exploration, adventure, and a thrilling race against time, Around the World in Eighty Days gripped audiences upon its publication and remains hugely popular to this day.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edward Abbott
A fascinating science-fiction story with some biting, funny satire of Victorian society, Edwin Abbott's Flatland still has a lot to say about modern life, mathematics, people, philosophy and our perceptions of reality. The story takes us to a two-dimensional world where all the inhabitants are flat geometric shapes, and who are all firmly convinced that "length and width" is all there is. But one enterprising shape discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, which leads to speculation about a fourth dimension - and that changes everything.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
In her most playful and exuberant novel, Virginia Woolf writes the "historical biography" of Orlando, a young boy of nobility during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. A wild ride through four centuries, the novel shows Orlando aging, magically, only thirty-six years between 1588 and 1928. Even more magically, he also changes from a man to a woman.
Orlando enters the book as an Elizabethan nobleman and leaves the book three centuries later as a liberated woman of the 1920s. Along the way this most rambunctious of Woolf's characters engages in sword fights, trades barbs with 18th century wits, has a baby, and drives a car. As she explores Orlando's life, Woolf also explores the differing roles of men and women in society during various periods.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

Last edited by pilotbob; 10-24-2009 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:56 PM   #2
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Reading Recommendation

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Available legally free from Gutenberg.org as an ebook. Also in libraries and secondhand bookstores. First published 1925, its themes are very relevant today. Here's a sentence about it from wikipedia:

The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
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I nominate The Oregon Trail, by Francis Parkman. This is the true story of a trip West in the US, published in 1847-49 in a magazine. Parkman is one of the best American writers and historians; when you combine his talents with the controversy and adventure of a trip through dangerous Indian territory, along with Parkman's irreverant, almost flip attitude and his marvellous eye for detail, you have a classic that will not be forgotten.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:05 AM   #4
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Did we decide on "what's a classic"? We had talked about it being anything at least 50 years old and still popular enough to be in print from a publisher. Thoughts?
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by peajayar View Post
The Trial by Franz Kafka

Available legally free from Gutenberg.org as an ebook. Also in libraries and secondhand bookstores. First published 1925, its themes are very relevant today. Here's a sentence about it from wikipedia:

The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority.
I second this.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:36 AM   #6
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I nominate The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Amazon says: Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
I nominate The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Amazon says: Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism.
Seconded
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
I nominate The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Amazon says: Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism.
Ok well I have just joined the Book Club - so I'm new here.

I third this (if I can as a new member). This is one book on my list of "I want to read".
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:35 AM   #9
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Did we decide on "what's a classic"? We had talked about it being anything at least 50 years old and still popular enough to be in print from a publisher. Thoughts?
We don't need to "define" it. We all recognise what is and is not a classic when we see it .
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #10
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I would like to nominate "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.

Most peoples' knowledge of this probably comes from the 1960s musical, which I'm sure we've all seen innumerable times. The novel, though, is a VERY different beast, and definely written for an "adult" audience. It contains some wonderful writing, and has some unforgettable characters - Oliver himself, of course; Fagin, who runs a gang of child thieves and prostitutes, the professional criminal, Bill Sykes and his girlfriend Nancy, and many more.

This is a wonderful, unforgetable book, which everybody should read at least once in their life. I commend it to everybody.
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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The novel, though, is a VERY different beast, and definely written for an "adult" audience. It contains some wonderful writing, and has some unforgettable characters - Oliver himself, of course; Fagin, who runs a gang of child thieves and prostitutes, the professional criminal, Bill Sykes and his girlfriend Nancy, and many more.
Is this the one with the kid that dies scarfs, and he goes and works for a mortician at the beginning? If so, I just couldn't get into it.

BOb
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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I'd like to nominate "The Picture (or Portrait) of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde.
Quote:
Spellbound before his own portrait, Dorian Gray utters a fateful wish. In exchange for eternal youth he gives his soul, to be corrupted by the malign influence of his mentor, the aesthete and hedonist Lord Henry Wotton. The novel was met with moral outrage by contemporary critics who, dazzled perhaps by Wilde's brilliant style, may have confused the author with his creation, Lord Henry, to whom even Dorian protests, 'You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.'. Encouraged by Lord Henry to substitute pleasure for goodness and art for reality, Dorian tries to watch impassively as he brings misery and death to those who love him. But the picture is watching him, and, made hideous by the marks of sin, it confronts Dorian with the reflection of his fall from grace, the silent bearer of what is in effect a devastating moral judgement.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #13
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I'd like to nominate "The Picture (or Portrait) of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde.

Since that's on my to-read list, I'll second it!
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #14
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I would like to nominate "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.

Most peoples' knowledge of this probably comes from the 1960s musical, which I'm sure we've all seen innumerable times. The novel, though, is a VERY different beast, and definely written for an "adult" audience. It contains some wonderful writing, and has some unforgettable characters - Oliver himself, of course; Fagin, who runs a gang of child thieves and prostitutes, the professional criminal, Bill Sykes and his girlfriend Nancy, and many more.

This is a wonderful, unforgetable book, which everybody should read at least once in their life. I commend it to everybody.

And since I'm committed (or committable) to reading and/or re-reading all of Dickens works I'll second this one as well.
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:52 PM   #15
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I do think a classic is a book that has or will endure over time. And to that end, I do feel a classic does not have to be an old book.
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