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View Poll Results: Which classic shall we read for September’s discussion?
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy 5 23.81%
Hiroshima by John Hersey 9 42.86%
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 4 19.05%
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux 8 38.10%
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke 7 33.33%
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 6 28.57%
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling 7 33.33%
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lewis Wallace 3 14.29%
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 13 61.90%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-26-2016, 11:50 PM   #1
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September 2016 Book Club Vote

September 2016 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the September 2016 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on September 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Goodreads | Amazon US / Audible / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US
Print Length: 512 pages
Spoiler:
Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.


Hiroshima by John Hersey
Goodreads | Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Audible (1) / Audible (2) / Kobo Ca (1) / Kobo Ca (2)
Print Length: 135 pages
Spoiler:
From the blurb for one of the Kobo editions in the UK:

Hiroshima is John Hersey's timeless and compassionate account of the catastrophic event which heralded the coming of the atomic age. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author went to Japan, while the ashes of Hiroshima were still warm, to interview the survivors of the first atomic bombing. His trip resulted in this world-famous document, the most significant piece of journalism of modern times. "Nothing that can be said about this book," The New York Times wrote, "can equal what the book has to say. It speaks for itself, and in an unforgettable way, for humanity."

From the Kindle UK description:

"The room was filled with a blinding light. She was paralysed by fear, fixed still in her chair for a long moment. Everything fell.'

2015 is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, when, on 6 August at 8.15am, an atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city, killing one hundred thousand men, women and children in its white fury. John Hersey's spare, devastating report on the attack was first published in the New Yorker in 1946. Written in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it chronicles what happened through the eyes of six civilians who survived against the odds. It is a classic piece of journalism, and a defining moment of the nuclear age.


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Goodreads | Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / Kindle | Amazon US / Amazon US (Restored) / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US
Print Length: 166 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

One magical night, the Darling children — Wendy, John, and Michael — are visited by two mischievous denizens of Neverland, an island of the imagination where pirates prowl the Mermaids’ Lagoon and fairies live so long as children believe in them. Peter Pan and his loyal, lightning-quick companion, Tinker Bell, have come for Peter’s shadow, captured the previous night by Nana, the children’s Newfoundland nanny. The pair leaves not just with the shadow, but with Wendy and her brothers, as well, whisking them away to Neverland to join the Lost Boys in their war against the evil Captain Hook.

J. M. Barrie created the character of Peter Pan to entertain a young family he regularly met in Kensington Gardens. Over the course of two novels and a play, he turned a whimsical idea into one of the most cherished literary characters of all time.


The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Goodreads | Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / Kindle | Amazon US
Print Length: 270 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

There is a ghost in the Paris Opera House. Singers, dancers, and stagehands have all seen him lurking in the shadows of the set, and each describes his face differently. Some say it is on fire, others that it is bare bone, and a terrified few say that he has no face at all. Outsiders dismiss the stories as theatrical superstition, but soon the phantom will reveal himself—and the Opera will never be the same.

A crew member is found hanged, and every denizen of the theater is quick to blame the phantom. More deaths follow, until the phantom is forced to make himself known in the most spectacular manner possible. But when the mysterious ghost begins to admire a beautiful singer, it is the beginning of something magnificent: a love story as heartfelt and tragic as any opera ever staged.


2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Goodreads | Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo Ca
Print Length: 324 pages
Spoiler:
Arthur C. Clarke has been the presiding genius of science fiction for almost fifty years. His works include the ground-breaking and profound CHILDHOOD'S END, RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA and EXPEDITION TO EARTH. Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe.On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong, horribly wrong.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Goodreads | Amazon UK / Amazon US / Google Play / Kobo US / Overdrive / Sainsbury's UK
Print Length: 180 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!


Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
Goodreads | Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Kindle (1) / Kindle (2) / ePub (1) / ePub (2)
Print Length: 162 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

First published in 1897, Captain Courageous tells of the high-seas adventures of Harvey Cheyne, the son of an American millionaire, who, after falling from a luxury ocean liner, is rescued by the raucous crew of the fishing ship We’re Here. Obstinate and spoiled at first, Harvey in due course learns diligence and responsibility and earns the camaraderie of the seamen, who treat him as one of their own. A true test of character, Harvey’s months aboard the We’re Here provide a delightful glimpse of life at sea and well-told morals of discipline, empathy, and self-reliance.


Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lewis Wallace
Goodreads | Amazon US (1) / Amazon US (2) / Barnes & Noble (1) / Barnes & Noble (2) / Kobo US
Print Length: 544 pages
Spoiler:
From the inside flap:

General Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur vividly reimagines the mighty Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity. The saga of Judah Ben-Hur's spiritual journey from slavery to vengeance to redemption is both a vivid historical adventure and a powerful story of one man's religious awakening. As Blake Allmendinger writes in his Introduction to this Modern Library Paperback Classic, "Ben-Hur has endured for more than one hundred years because it offers something for everyone. The story of the Jewish hero Ben-Hur, his conflict with the Roman warrior Messala, and his conversion to Christianity at the foot of the Cross, combines adventure, sentimentality, athletic spectacle, and religious devotion."


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Goodreads | Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Kindle | Amazon US / Audible / Kobo US / Overdrive Audiobook (1) / Overdrive Audiobook (2) / Overdrive eBook
Print Length: 82 pages
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Heart of Darkness has been considered for most of this century as a literary classic, and also as a powerful indictment of the evils of imperialism. It reflects the savage repressions carried out in the Congo by the Belgians in one of the largest acts of genocide committed up to that time. Conrad's narrator encounters at the end of the story a man named Kurtz, dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:28 PM   #2
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Well, from the early voting, it appears we have a very broad range of support for this month's nominations. That's encouraging, and hopefully we'll have a lovely runoff with lots of final choices. Of course, I'm personally hoping we choose Hiroshima. I'll be listening to the Ed Asner reading of that regardless of the outcome. Just as soon as I finish my current mindless twaddle.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
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I find it funny that my favourite book from childhood (when I could choose my own books) and my most loathed book from my teenage years (when books were forced upon me) are both on that list.
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #4
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I find it funny that my favourite book from childhood (when I could choose my own books) and my most loathed book from my teenage years (when books were forced upon me) are both on that list.
Hmmmm. I'm guessing Charlie and Heart, respectively.

I'm completely uninterested in Charlie. It didn't exist when I was of an age to find it interesting, and I just can't get excited now. OTOH, I somehow missed having Heart of Darkness enforced on me, and there's a very good audio book version, with narration by "Frederick Davidson" (real name, David Case), one of my all time favourite narrators.

Other good narration choices, by the way, include Far from the Madding Crowd, Hiroshima, Captains Courageous (which I read for the first time about a year ago), and Peter Pan (either Jim Dale or Donada Peters).
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:49 PM   #5
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And of course one of the books that I have wanted to read for a long time. A classic science fiction.
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:19 PM   #6
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It's time to vote for the Ommpa-Loompas. And the only book you'll find them in from the list is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:52 PM   #7
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No, let's try not reading a children's book for our Classics month. Instead, can I suggest the seminal work by John Hersey, Hiroshima. This is the 70th anniversary of it's printing in The New Yorker, and it's a short, but powerful work that we can have a good discussion with. Really, folks, even though I would read Hardy's Heart of Darkness, I can't say I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:23 PM   #8
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Hmmmm. I'm guessing Charlie and Heart, respectively.
For the win!
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:48 PM   #9
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Not likely to participate in discussion so I won't vote. I've got a list of books of higher priority that is so long I'd have to live another six decades to get through. I do thank CRussel for bringing Hiroshima to my attention though. It's short enough that I hope to read it in the near future. There is also a more straight up scientific and ahem cold blooded account here that is reasonably short and fascinating in its own way.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true

The other titles all would be second reads, except the Hardy novel. Tess of the d'Urbervilles satisfied a life time need for Hardy for me. What's with all the children's books?
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:01 PM   #10
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You're welcome, Hamlet53, I hope you find it interesting and stimulating.

The whole point to Hiroshima is that it isn't cold-blooded and scientific, but rather a very personal account of the effects on individuals who survived. As told directly to John Hersey who went to Hiroshima "while the ground was still warm". I neither need nor want to read the cold blooded scientific facts of a nuclear bomb -- I grew up understanding those all too well. What interests me, and the reason I nominated Hiroshima, is the story of people. When I read, whether fiction or non-fiction, it's almost always about the people or characters that keeps me interested and reading.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:16 PM   #11
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No, let's try not reading a children's book for our Classics month....
I agree. Unless it's Peter Pan. I'm curious to see how the original differs from all the later versions.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:19 PM   #12
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No, let's try not reading a children's book for our Classics month.
The satire in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is brilliant. I've always thought that Dahl's books were really aimed at adults.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #13
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The satire in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is brilliant. I've always thought that Dahl's books were really aimed at adults.
The lyrics in the Ommpa-Loompa's songs was aimed at adults.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:40 AM   #14
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The satire in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is brilliant. I've always thought that Dahl's books were really aimed at adults.
Pig definitely is for adults only. I found it a bit horrifying.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:58 AM   #15
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Interesting vote this time. I am a little surprised to see Heart of Darkness in the lead, I haven't read it but isn't it one that many people are forced to read in school? That tends to leave a bad taste behind.

Three tied for second right now - Hiroshima (non-fiction account of the aftermath of using the bomb), 2001: A Space Odyssey (science fiction with a movie that is more well known than the book), and Captains Courageous (coming of age on the high seas) - all of which are very different from each other.

I suspect Hiroshima doesn't have more votes because of US availability, it doesn't appear to be available from the Amazon US Kindle store at least.

Side note: I probably won't get the selections thread updated for about a week due to other issues. Should be updated before next month's nominations start though.
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