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View Poll Results: April 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote
Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart 6 10.53%
The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French 5 8.77%
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobsen 3 5.26%
The Night Life of the Gods by Thorne Smith 4 7.02%
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole 9 15.79%
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr 6 10.53%
Naked by David Sedaris 2 3.51%
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 3 5.26%
The Diaries of Adam and Eve (also called extracts from Adam and Eve's diary) by Mark Twain 5 8.77%
Hal Spacejock #1 by Simon Haynes 14 24.56%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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April 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote

Help up choose a book as the April 2011 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on April 20th. Select from the following books.

There are now 10 fully nominated books.

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart [obs20, JaneD, Asawi]
Inkmesh search
Spoiler:
Description: The author of two critically acclaimed novels The Russian Debutante"s Handbook and Absurdistan Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America"s dysfunctional coming years-and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink. In a very near future-oh let"s … more »say next Tuesday-a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don"t that tell that to poor Lenny Abramov the thirty-nine-year-old son of an angry Russian immigrant janitor proud author of what may well be the world"s last diary and less-proud owner of a bald spot shaped like the great state of Ohio. Despite his job at an outfit called Post-Human Services which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn"t it? Lenny"s from a different century-he totally loves books (or "printed bound media artifacts " as they"re now known) even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books Lenny loves Eunice Park an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. After meeting Lenny on an extended Roman holiday blistering Eunice puts that Assertiveness minor to work teaching our "ancient dork" effective new ways to brush his teeth and making him buy a cottony nonflammable wardrobe. But America proves less flame-resistant than Lenny"s new threads. The country is crushed by a credit crisis riots break out in New York"s Central Park the city"s streets are lined with National Guard tanks on every corner the dollar is so over and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Undeterred Lenny vows to love both Eunice and his homeland. He"s going to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability in a world where single people can determine a dating prospect"s "hotness" and "sustainability" with the click of a button in a society where the privileged may live forever but the unfortunate will die all too soon there is still value in being a real human being. Wildly funny rich and humane Super Sad True Love Story is a knockout novel by a young master a book in which falling in love just may redeem a planet falling apart. From the Hardcover edition. (from Kobo)


The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French [JSWolf, DixieGal, Hamlet53]
Amazon | B&N | Kobo |BooksOnBoard | Sony
It's also available at some libraries in the US & Canada via Overdrive.
Spoiler:
From Booklist
If revenge is a dish best served cold, then Marylou Ahearn’s feelings for Dr. Wilson Spriggs should, after 50 years, be just about frozen. But at age 77, Marylou realizes she’s running out of time if she wants to make Spriggs pay for his role in a 1950s covert government medical-research project that gave unsuspecting pregnant women like herself a radioactive cocktail that resulted in the premature cancer death of her eight-year-old daughter. Discovering that Spriggs now lives in Florida with his daughter and teenage grandchildren, Marylou abandons her Memphis home, moves to Spriggs’ neighborhood, and adopts the persona of Nancy Archer, best known to B-movie fans everywhere as the infamous “50-Foot Woman.” Marylou/Nancy’s mission is to kill Spriggs, but the reality is that she’s just a nice little old lady, not an overly large woman with super powers. Instead, she decides to wreak havoc upon the lives of Spriggs’ family, to hilarious, and often sobering, ends in this broadly comic, yet essentially heartfelt, absurdist satire. --Carol Haggas


The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobsen [SensualPoet, edbro, lila55]
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Spoiler:
Originally Posted by Overdrive Library Blurb
He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one... Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results. Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it.


The Night Life of the Gods by Thorne Smith [GA Russell, SensualPoet, arkietech]
Inkmesh search | MobileRead's Patricia Clark Memorial Library uploaded by BenG lrf - Mobi - IMP
Spoiler:
Description: <snip> a selection from CHAPTER 1 - CRITICIZING AN EXPLOSION: The small family group gathered in the library was only conventionally alarmed by the sound of a violent explosion—a singularly self-centred sort of explosion. 'Well, thank God, that's over,' said Mrs Alice Pollard Lambert, swathing her sentence in a sigh intended to convey an impression of hard-pressed fortitude. With bleak eyes she surveyed the fragments of a shattered vase. Its disastrous dive from the piano as a result of the shock had had in it something of the mad deliberation of a suicide's plunge. Its hideous days were over now, and Mrs Lambert was dimly aware of another little familiar something having been withdrawn from her life. 'I hope to high heaven this last one satisfies him for this spring at least,' was the petulant comment of Alfred, the male annexe of Alice. 'I've been waiting and waiting and waiting,' came a thin disembodied voice from a dark corner. 'Night and day I've been waiting and expecting—' 'And hoping and praying, no doubt, Grandpa,' interrupted Daphne, idly considering a run in her stocking and wondering what she was going to do about it, if anything, and when would be the least boring time to do it if she did, which she doubted. 'Alice,' complained Grandpa Lambert from the security of his shadows, 'that baggage has no respect for her elders.' Stella, femininely desirable but domestically a washout, made one of her typical off-balance entrances. It started with a sort of scrambled hovering at the door, developed this into a mad dash into the room, and terminated in a tragic example of suspended animation somewhere in the immaculate neighbourhood of Mrs Alice Pollard Lambert. 'Been an explosion, ma'am,' announced Stella in a deflated voice. 'Mr Betts says so.' 'Now all you need to do is to fall dead at our feet to make the picture complete,' remarked Daphne. 'Yes, Miss Daffy,' said Stella brightly. 'And if Mr Betts says there's been an explosion,' Daffy continued, 'then there must have been an explosion. Betts is never wrong. You go back, Stella dear, and thank him for letting us know so promptly.' 'But, Miss Daffy, what shall we do about it?' asked Stella, vainly looking for some light to guide amid the encircling gloom. 'About what, Stella?' asked Daffy. 'This explosion, miss,' and Stella extended her hands as if she were offering a young explosion for the inspection of Daphne. Thorne Smith's rapid-fire dialogue, brilliant sense of the absurd, and literary aplomb put him in the same category as the beloved P. G. Wodehouse. The Night Life of the Gods--the madcap story of a scientist who instigates a nocturnal spree with the Greek gods--is arguably his most sparkling comedic achievement. Hunter Hawk has a knack for annoying his ultrarespectable relatives. He likes to experiment and he particularly likes to experiment with explosives. His garage-cum-laboratory is a veritable minefield, replete with evil-smelling clouds of vapor through which various bits of wreckage and mysteriously bubbling test tubes are occasionally visible. With the help of Megaera, a fetching nine-hundred-year-old lady leprechaun he meets one night in the woods, he masters the art (if not the timing) of transforming statues into people. And when he practices his new witchery in the stately halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art-- setting Bacchus, Mercury, Neptune, Diana, Hebe, Apollo, and Perseus loose on the unsuspecting citizenry of Prohibition-era New York--the stage is set for Thorne Smith at his most devilish and delightful.<snip>(from Amazon.com)


A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole [Hamlet53, Hoyt Clagwell, VioletVal]
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Spoiler:
From Kobo:A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once."So enters one of the most memorable characters in American fiction, Ignatius J. Reilly. John Kennedy Toole's hero is one, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures" (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).Ignatius J. Reilly is a flatulent frustrated scholar deeply learned in Medieval philosophy and American junk food, a brainy mammoth misfit imprisoned in a trashy world of Greyhound Buses and Doris Day movies. He is in violent revolt against the entire modern age. Ignatius' peripatetic employment takes him from Levy Pants, where he leads a workers' revolt, to the French Quarter, where he waddles behind a hot dog wagon that serves as his fortress.A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece that outswifts Swift, whose poem gives the book its title. Set in New Orleans, the novel bursts into life on Canal Street under the clock at D. H. Holmes department store. The characters leave the city and literature forever marked by their presences Ignatius and his mother; Mrs. Reilly's matchmaking friend, Santa Battaglia; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levy Pants; inept, bemused Patrolman Mancuso; Jones, the jivecat in spaceage dark glasses. Juvenal, Rabelais, Cervantes, Fielding, Swift, Dickens their spirits are all here. Filled with unforgettable characters and unbelievable plot twists, shimmering with intelligence, and dazzling in its originality, Toole's comic classic just keeps getting better year after year.Released by Louisiana State University Press in April 1980 and published in paperback in 1981 by Grove Press, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Turned down by countless publishers and submitted by the author's mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today, there are over 1,500,000 copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages.


The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr [SensualPoet, GA Russell, DiapDealer]
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Spoiler:
Description: "His best book", Esquire wrote of Kurt Vonnegut?s 1959 novel The Sirens of Titan , adding, "he dares not only to ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it." This novel fits into that aspect of the Vonnegut canon that might be classified as science fiction, a quality that once led Time to describe Vonnegut as "George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded … more »into one writer ... a zany but moral mad scientist." The Sirens of Titan was perhaps the novel that began the Vonnegut phenomenon with readers. The story is a fabulous trip, spinning madly through space and time in pursuit of nothing less than a fundamental understanding of the meaning of life. It takes place at a time in the future, when "only the human soul remained terra incognita ... the Nightmare Ages, falling roughly, give or take a few years, between the Second World War and the Third Great Depression." The villainous and super rich Malachi Constant is offered a chance to journey into the far reaches of outer space, to eventually live on the planet Titan surrounded by three beautiful sirens. There is the proverbial "small print" with this incredible offer, which Constant turns down, setting in motion a fantastic chain of events that only Vonnegut could imagine. The result is an uproarious, freewheeling inquiry into the very reason we exist and about how we participate and matter in the scheme of the universe. The Sirens of Titan is essential, fundamental Vonnegut, as entertaining as it is questing in search of answers to the mysteries of life. As a work of fiction, it is a sure leap, in terms of craft, over his first novel Player Piano . His writing here is pared down, more concentrated and graceful, richly in the service of his remarkable ideas. Vonnegut summons greatness for the first time in The Sirens of Titan , where the search for the meaning of existence looks and sounds like a kaleidoscopic dream but leaves the reader with a clear and challenging answer. (from eBooks.com


Naked by David Sedaris [sun surfer, Asawi, DixieGal]
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Spoiler:
Description: Hip radio comedy fans and theater folks who belong to the cult of Obie-winning playwright/performer David Sedaris must kill to get this book. These would be fans of the scaldingly snide Sedaris's hilariously described personal misadventures like The Santaland Diaries (a monologue about his work as an elf to a department store Santa) seen off-Broadway in 1997. In a series of similarly textured … more »essays, Sedaris takes us along on his catastrophic detours through a nudist colony, a fruit-packing plant, his own childhood, and a dozen more of the world's little purgatories. Sedaris (Barrel Fever, LJ 5/1/94) has fashioned a funny memoir of his wonderfully offbeat life. To call his family "dysfunctional" would be enormous understatement and beside the point; Sedaris's relatives and other companions become vital characters on the page. We see his mother serving drinks to the string of teachers who want to discuss her son's compulsions to lick light switches and make high-pitched noises. We travel with Sedaris and his quadriplegic hitchhiking companion, listen to his foul-mouthed seat mate on a long bus trip, and accompany the author on a hilariously self-conscious visit to a nudist colony. Sedaris's humor is wickedly irreverent but not mean. Traveling with him is well worth it for the laughs and his generous human sensibility. Highly recommended.?Mary Paumier Jones, Rochester P.L., N.Y. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. (from Amazon.com)


Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons [seagull, issybird, sun surfer]
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Spoiler:
Description: " Quite simply one of the funniest satirical novels of the last century." -Nancy Pearl NPR"s Morning Edition The deliriously entertaining Cold Comfort Farm is "very probably the funniest book ever written" ( The Sunday Times London)-a hilarious parody of D. H. Lawrence"s and Thomas Hardy"s earthy melodramatic novels. When the recently orphaned socialite Flora Poste descends on her … more »relatives at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm in deepest Sussex she finds a singularly miserable group in dire need of her particular talent- organization." Quite simply one of the funniest satirical novels of the last century." -Nancy Pearl NPR"s Morning Edition The deliriously entertaining Cold Comfort Farm is "very probably the funniest book ever written" ( The Sunday Times London)-a hilarious parody of D. H. Lawrence"s and Thomas Hardy"s earthy melodramatic novels. When the recently orphaned socialite Flora Poste descends on her relatives at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm in deepest Sussex she finds a singularly miserable group in dire need of her particular talent- organization. (from Kobo)


The Diaries of Adam and Eve (also called extracts from Adam and Eve's diary) by Mark Twain [spellbanisher, lila55, issybird]
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Spoiler:
Here is an excerpt:
Adam:
"TUESDAY.--Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls-- why, I am sure I do not know. Says it LOOKS like Niagara Falls. That is not a reason, it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that same pretext is offered--it LOOKS like the thing. There is a dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it "looks like a dodo." It will have to keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.

Eves:

When the dodo came along he thought it was a wildcat--I saw it in his eye. But I saved him. And I was careful not to do it in a way that could hurt his pride. I just spoke up in a quite natural way of pleasing surprise, and not as if I was dreaming of conveying information, and said, "Well, I do declare, if there isn't the dodo!" I explained--without seeming to be explaining-- how I know it for a dodo, and although I thought maybe he was a little piqued that I knew the creature when he didn't, it was quite evident that he admired me. That was very agreeable, and I thought of it more than once with gratification before I slept. How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it! "


Hal Spacejock #1 by Simon Haynes [caleb72, JSWolf, snipenekkid]
http://www.spacejock.com.au/index.html
Spoiler:
I found the below on http://www.spacejock.com.au/HalSpacejockSeries.html:

Quote:
<snip>
Who is Hal Spacejock? Everyone knows a character like Hal Spacejock - he's the guy who plugs a 12-volt lantern into a mains socket and burns his house down. He's the guy who does his own plumbing and floods the neighbour's house. He's the guy who visits three stores to save a few bucks on a hammer, then blows a hundred and twenty on a laser-guided tape measure with built-in bottle opener.

In short, Hal's your regular, everyday guy. He just happens to have a two-hundred ton spaceship, and he's none too flash with the controls. <snip>

From Amazon (paperback): Editorial Reviews
Review
... a winner for almost anyone who can read. -- Specusphere Oct 2005

Fast, funny, quirky, enthralling comedy adventure; not just a genre parody but a well-made story in its own right. -- Tom Holt

The quirkiest genre satire to hit bookshelves since Terry Pratchett's Discworld. -- West Australian, 17th Oct 2005
Product Description
A perennial loser, Hal Spacejock borrowed heavily to fund his intergalactic cargo business. His loyal customers evaporated after several highly publicised mishaps, and mounting bills have confined him to planet Lamira, a mining colony with the vibrant, up-and-coming economy of a rubbish tip.

Now the finance company is despatching heavies to all points of the compass, desperate to track Hal down and extract money and/or vital organs. Meanwhile, on a nearby planet, a wealthy businessman needs a freelance cargo pilot for a suicidal cargo mission. Ideally, he wants a desperate, debt-ridden loser . . .

Last edited by dreams; 03-25-2011 at 03:23 PM. Reason: added to the Hal Spacejock spoiler
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:10 AM   #2
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BC loses Guaranteed Win!
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First one to get two votes wins!
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:27 AM   #3
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What a tough choice! There are a couple there that I will read wether they win or not.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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I only vote in the event of a tie... but I'm routing for Hal Spacejock. That will scratch both my funny bone and my SF itch in one go.

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Old 03-25-2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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I voted for Hal. I'll be reading it regardless of the vote.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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I voted for Hal Spacejock, since I already read confederacy of dunces 3 times lol.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
"I am at this moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip."
— John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)


The above quote is why The Confederacy of Dunces should win!
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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i'm still pretty new to the book club scene and what not but saw that hal spacejock is on the list and wanted to put my vote it. hope to chime in with something useful but if not i'll be able to read what everyone else thinks. thanks !
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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I voted for Super Sad True Love Story, but all you voting for the Spacejock made me curious so I just bought it because it was discounted.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:00 PM   #10
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Something Wicked This Way
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Hmm! Tough call. I've already read Confederacy of Dunces more than once, so even though I would recommend it to all who have not read it, I will not vote for it as I would rather take the opportunity to read something new. Like I said a lot of promising titles here. One other I have read, cross that off, and two others do not appeal to me at all.

So people are really saying that Hal Spacejock #1 is a comedy? The spoiler information does not make it seem any different than a typical science fiction novel. What the hell, I'd like to see a winner become apparent as soon as possible. I can read most of the others apace.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
<snip>
So people are really saying that Hal Spacejock #1 is a comedy? The spoiler information does not make it seem any different than a typical science fiction novel. What the hell, I'd like to see a winner become apparent as soon as possible. I can read most of the others apace.
I will add to the spoiler for this book. I found the below on http://www.spacejock.com.au/HalSpacejockSeries.html:

Quote:
<snip>
Who is Hal Spacejock? Everyone knows a character like Hal Spacejock - he's the guy who plugs a 12-volt lantern into a mains socket and burns his house down. He's the guy who does his own plumbing and floods the neighbour's house. He's the guy who visits three stores to save a few bucks on a hammer, then blows a hundred and twenty on a laser-guided tape measure with built-in bottle opener.

In short, Hal's your regular, everyday guy. He just happens to have a two-hundred ton spaceship, and he's none too flash with the controls. <snip>
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #12
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Well, I didn't vote for Spacejock, since I really don't care much for SciFi. I do like a good laugh though and I got curious, so I went and bought it and will be reading it anyway.

If it makes me laugh it's $1.99 well spent, if it doesn't, no big deal!
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
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My husband was unimpressed by the Hal Spacejock sample chapters he read two of them). I just read the first one this afternoon, and have yet to form an opinion. It wasn't great (funny) but it wasn't horrible either.

My 2nd choice, however, cost more than I'd like to pay. I find 12.99 to be expensive, especially for an e-book (and no I do not buy hardcovers either).

So as of right now, I don't know what to vote for, but I'd hate to miss out on the book club two months in a row.

Decisions...decisions...
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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I'd like to recommend The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson. It won the Man Booker prize for 2010 -- the first such "humour" winner in the literary category in eons.

The Guardian, Independent and Telegraph did reviews of it in late summer. It's probably available as a public library ebook, too.

But for classic humour / satire fiction, Kurt Vonnegut is arguably on his own planet. So that's why The Sirens of Titan may appeal -- his second novel, written at the end of the Eisenhower era and published in 1959. There's a fine composite interview with Vonnegut in the Paris Review of Books worth a read. But, if you are looking for excuse to introduce yourself to Vonnegut, or reread this classic, here's your chance!

So one recent and one classic choice ... what are you waiting for? Vote!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:02 AM   #15
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I had a hard time deciding between four of them: Naked, Cold Comfort Farm, Radioactive Lady or Confederacy Of Dunces. They all look good in their own way.

Naked is a great and funny book, but after reading up on some reviews I decided to go with another. I am a fan of melodramatic and melancholic classics (speaking of which, I recently saw the new Jane Eyre film and it's fantastic), so it intrigued me to hear of a book lampooning them.

In fact, I went ahead and bought it because I was too curious and (harumph!) there were no previews anywhere. The stupid nook preview contained the forward! So now I'm already a few chapters into Cold Comfort Farm and am enjoying it. I've already laughed out loud a few times. The oddest thing about it is that it's technically science fiction, since it's set slightly in the future from when it was written and some characters occasionally have some advanced technology.
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