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Old 06-07-2014, 04:16 AM   #136
paola
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
But just as the main club is registering complaints that it's lit club lite, a reqirement to nominate first here might result in a slate full of best-sellers! And they might be chosen!
we definitely don't want that! I don't want the club to be "closed" to others, but I am very very jealous of the literary aspect of it. It is opening my horizons every month, and I don't want to give that up.

So, yes to an entry cost - I had ccowie in mind (I have not checked, but I think s/he nominated first), whom I did not know before he joined us, but this is probably a very particular case.

I agree that eliminating "void" votes would not be too much trouble, perhaps we could have an "enforcer" rotating each month so as not to burden sunsurfer.

And I should add: I am very glad we are having this discussion!
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:08 AM   #137
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I have to admit, I was surprised by the popularity of The Thirty-Nine Steps in May. With the analysis given by Bookpossum it makes a little more sense to me now. I think I mentioned in the run-off vote that my continued support of it was more selfish than promotional - it was on my TBR pile. Under Western Eyes looked like a better selection for the Literary Club, and I wasn't really concerned when my selection didn't win because of that.

I don't always read the selection each month if I didn't vote for it and there are reasons for that: availability, cost, lack of interest etc.. If I vote for something that wins I try to slot it into my reading so that I can participate, though there have been one or two occasions in the past where that didn't eventuated despite my intentions.

I won't be participating in June, not because I think the selections were bad, but more because I wasn't particularly interested in the theme of the books presented. I recently read All Quiet on the Western Front and although these books take a very different and refreshing perspective, Remarque's was enough for me for the time being. I'll probably still follow the discussion though.

As for the proposed changes, I don't have much to add except that I hope whatever we decide does not take away from the aspects of this club that I find valuable - that we're informally exploring the literary landscape together and that we're doing so in an open-minded and mutually respectful way.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #138
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In the last time I'm guilty of participating in the polls but rarely contributing in the discussions too, but this is mostly a time problem. I seem to read a lot slower and when I finally finish the book all the wise things have already been said! But I'm nevertheless reading all the books, so perhaps there are some other "silent" readers out there too.

But in general, I think the May must have been an exception and I don't realise it as a problem if some "foreign" voters influence the outcome of the voting. Normally our selection is thus that almost every book of it is worth reading, so I didn't care too much from who the votes came.
Billi, I'm sure you read more quickly in English than I could ever do in German! I wish I had your fluency. I hope that you are right and that people who vote do actually read the book that is selected.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:31 AM   #139
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... As for the proposed changes, I don't have much to add except that I hope whatever we decide does not take away from the aspects of this club that I find valuable - that we're informally exploring the literary landscape together and that we're doing so in an open-minded and mutually respectful way.
I couldn't agree more, and I do hope that my initial comments about the vote were in that spirit. They were certainly intended to be.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Billi View Post
In the last time I'm guilty of participating in the polls but rarely contributing in the discussions too, but this is mostly a time problem. I seem to read a lot slower and when I finally finish the book all the wise things have already been said! But I'm nevertheless reading all the books, so perhaps there are some other "silent" readers out there too.
.
Despite good intentions, I've missed out some months, and without a good excuse (I have borrowing privileges at the local university and availability has never been an issue); it's mostly down to poor time management. In other words, I screwed up. That said, we all can tell the difference between the kibbitzers and the players.

I can only echo Bookpossum's comment about those of you for whom English is not your first language. Sam Goldwyn's two words apply to my ability to participate in a book club on that basis: im-possible.

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I don't want the club to be "closed" to others, but I am very very jealous of the literary aspect of it. It is opening my horizons every month, and I don't want to give that up.
Absolutely. As with everyone here, finding something to read is not a problem for me, but I largely read what I know, or can think up, at any rate. I have been incredibly enriched by the books I've read here outside my own particular parameters.

Quote:
I had ccowie in mind (I have not checked, but I think s/he nominated first), whom I did not know before he joined us,
ccowie is indeed a very valued partcipant! We wouldn't be having this discussion if those who voted for the loser, or some of them, had been interested enough in the club to participate.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:19 PM   #141
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Yes, I too am delighted that ccowie has joined us and it would be great if we could attract some more genuine members.

I agree with paola and issybird in the way the club selections have broadened my horizons. I have lots of books waiting to be read, but I am always interested to read a work by an author new to me and/or a work that gives me some insight into a culture other than my own. Some I enjoy more than others of course, but I find it is always worthwhile, because I find the discussions we have are an important part of the enriching experience.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:42 AM   #142
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Thanks all. It's very nice to feel welcomed. I sent a few private messages to club members regarding my interest and they were very helpful with providing info regarding how the club operates and then I just jumped right in. I likely should have provided some kind of introduction, but wasn't sure if that was necessary.

I simply love reading, but have suffered from not being able to talk enough with others about what I'm reading. Most of my friends are not readers and I don't have the time for joining reading clubs that actually meet.

I've found that over the years I've read primarily prize winners or nominees, based largely on reviews. It's a bad habit because. . . well, it's just a bad habit. I have really appreciated the book suggestions here and the discussions. I've also really appreciated others sending links to author and book backgrounds. This month's winner is a prime example of a book I would never have read were it not for this club. I'm only about 60 pages in, but I'm loving this book and look forward to people's thoughts.

By the way, my name is Chris, I'm male, I'm old but still a hockey player (not a great way to develop reading buddies) and most of my career has been dedicated to Restorative Justice work. It's great to be here!
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:34 AM   #143
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Everyone should feel free to jump in! And share as much or as little as they like. That said, it's always nice to feel I "know" someone a bit.

I always enjoy your comments and reviews in the what I'm reading thread. My own feeling about prize winners is that while the more obscure prizes generally go to worthy books, the main prizes seem more to validate "popular" books, especially middle-brow books masquerading as high-brow, and are driven by sales. You've brought to my attention a couple of awards I'd not known, thank you.

And you ain't seen nothing yet! We've all seen exponential increases in our TBRs as a result of this club.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:44 AM   #144
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I'll second all of that. My TBR means I have to live until about 150 at the present rate of reduction!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:34 PM   #145
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The categories poll for the next cycle is now up!
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:14 PM   #146
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As the month winds down, so too does our period for changes. I’m going to try to cover everything not yet resolved in this post, which includes the subjects of us asking mods/admins for help, vote restrictions, time periods, and categories for the next twelve months.

First, asking for help.

We do have help “behind the scenes”, so to speak, so we’re not an island without “green”.

Second, restricting votes.

I’ve bandied the pros and cons about and have come to the conclusion of leaving things as they are. I understand the concern - I’ve had it myself - but I don’t think it warrants stricter rules.

I could go into a long explanation of the difficulties such a move might engender and if there is enough of a clamour for details then I may, but for the sake of brevity I won’t now as I think most of the reasons are clear enough.

Suffice it to say, a good vote in my opinion is an honest single vote cast by someone interested in literary works, after having given consideration to all the options, without private strategy discussion, willing to read along with the club and perhaps hopefully participate in discussion as well. On these counts I hope for the best from all voters.

If we have a The Thirty-Nine Steps or an A Diary without Dates win a month despite most regulars voting for another, I think that we can gracefully make it through, though so far that hasn’t happened, and I think as things are now it will happen seldomly if ever. However, the idea is a good one and I will keep the option open to implement at any time should strange days come upon us.

Third, time periods.

There weren’t enough opinions given on the subject and it’s not something that would affect us for years to come except for possibly seeing a large group of periods continue to receive few votes each time the category comes up. But, that’s enough and so I’ll add my opinion that I’d also prefer those periods streamlined. Seeing as there has been no one clamouring to keep them as they are, we will condense them and so our next Time Period month will include the new option of BCE-1500 to replace the oldest three. (if I remember by then…)

And finally, categories for the next twelve months.

The poll was a success and now we have six great categories to go with our rotating months. Here is our schedule for the next year:

July 2014- Short
August 2014- Rotating
September 2014- Biographies & Memoirs
October 2014- Rotating
November 2014- Region
December 2014- Rotating
January 2015- Poetry
February 2015- Rotating
March 2015- Contemporary
April 2015- Rotating
May 2015- Time Period
June 2015- Rotating

I want to give a warm thanks for the thanks I’ve gotten for running the club and for the support of the club that’s kept it happily chugging along. Here’s to a great year of reading ahead!
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:17 PM   #147
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Sunsurfer, thank you for all the work you have put into the club.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:04 PM   #148
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Yes, thank you very much from me too, sun surfer.

I quite understand your preference for leaving things as they are with the voting. Maybe we just need to be a bit more vigilant about the books that we nominate so that we can feel relaxed about whichever book is selected, even if there is some fly-by voting.

And I agree it's a good idea to collapse the early time periods into one.
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