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View Poll Results: Vote for your choice.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 7 9.59%
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton 5 6.85%
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole 5 6.85%
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré 13 17.81%
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 10 13.70%
Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse 11 15.07%
Storm Front by Jim Butcher 7 9.59%
Hyperion by Dan Simmons 8 10.96%
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 7 9.59%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-20-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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January 2012 - Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the January, 2012 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. This month we will begin two-tiered voting. The poll will be open for 4 days, followed by a 3 day run-off poll between the two* top vote getters. We will start the discussion thread for this book on January 20th.

January is the one month we have no nominations because the winner is chosen from among the runner-ups from the previous 11 months (Feb.-Dec.). 1984 by George Orwell (May's runner-up) is disqualified because it was the August 2009 Mobile Read Book Club Vote winner, and Storm Front came in second in two months. That leaves us with 9 selections. All voting this month will be visible.

Official choices for the January Runner-Up Selections:

(Feb) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Inkmesh Search
Spoiler:
Plot summary from Amazon:

Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighborhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down. Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity, as misconceptions and hasty judgments lead to heartache and scandal, but eventually to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. In this supremely satisfying story, Jane Austen balances comedy with seriousness, and witty observation with profound insight. If Elizabeth Bennet returns again and again to her letter from Mr Darcy, readers of the novel are drawn even more irresistibly by its captivating wisdom.


(Mar) Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
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Spoiler:
This book is meant to be a companion to "Heretics," and to put the positive side in addition to the negative. Many critics complained of the book called "Heretics" because it merely criticised current philosophies without offering any alternative philosophy. This book is an attempt to answer the challenge. It is unavoidably affirmative and therefore unavoidably autobiographical. The writer has been driven back upon somewhat the same difficulty as that which beset Newman in writing his Apologia; he has been forced to be egotistical only in order to be sincere. While everything else may be different the motive in both cases is the same. It is the purpose of the writer to attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it. The book is therefore arranged upon the positive principle of a riddle and its answer. It deals first with all the writer's own solitary and sincere speculations and then with all the startling style in which they were all suddenly satisfied by the Christian Theology. The writer regards it as amounting to a convincing creed. But if it is not that it is at least a repeated and surprising coincidence. Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a British author, philosopher, and Christian apologist. He wrote a number of influential religious works including THE EVERLASTING MAN and ORTHODOXY. He was also an accomplished fiction writer, penning the acclaimed FATHER BROWN series of mysteries. This unexpurgated edition contains the complete text, with minor errors and omissions corrected. (from Amazon.com)


(Apr) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
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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.


(Jun) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
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Alex Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last -- but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done. In le Carré's breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.


(Jul) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
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Spoiler:
Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin's magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin's stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction. (from Borders)


(Aug) Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse
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Spoiler:
Black Rain is centered around the story of a young woman who was caught in the radioactive "black rain" that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. lbuse bases his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust; the result is a book that is free from sentimentality yet manages to reveal the magnitude of the human suffering caused by the atom bomb. The life of Yasuko, on whom the black rain fell, is changed forever by periodic bouts of radiation sickness and the suspicion that her future children, too, may be affected. lbuse tempers the horror of his subject with the gentle humor for which he is famous. His sensitivity to the complex web of emotions in a traditional community torn asunder by this historical event has made Black Rain one of the most acclaimed treatments of the Hiroshima story. (From Amazon.com)


(Sep/Oct) Storm Front by Jim Butcher
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Spoiler:
Description: My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there.With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, … more »Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters. (from Audible.com)


(Nov) Hyperion by Dan Simmons
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Spoiler:
From the Publisher
On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.


(Dec) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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Spoiler:
Amazon.com Review
Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:

Quote:
She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.
Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. (Simon Leake Review from Amazon.com)


* Should the first vote produce a 3-way or more tie for first place, or 2-way or more tie for second, the second poll will have more than two choices.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 12-22-2011 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Added footnote.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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Such an interesting array to decide from. I went with the one already on my TBR list for 2012, A Game Of Thrones; it'd be nice to read and discuss it with the book club.

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January 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote
Let's do the time warp again!
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:01 AM   #3
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2012!

ETA: Beaten by seconds.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:02 AM   #4
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So far the open vote has resulted in one vote apiece for two-thirds of the nominees.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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That was a rather easy choice for me.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:17 AM   #6
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It was easy for me, too. I'm not interested in Storm Front or Hyperion, so I voted for the only one I haven't read of the other nominees.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:44 AM   #7
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I must be in a some sort of reading slump or something, because I can't seem to muster any enthusiasm over any of the books. Really odd!
I did vote anyway.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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^I've read almost nothing over the last two weeks. It was a nice break from the pace I was setting for myself. Next year I'm going to be slow in my reading. I'm not sure how the book I voted for will fit into my challenge, but I'm researching to see if it will throw me off pace.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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In the case of a potential 9-way tie what happens?

And I'm still disappointed that American Gods couldn't be a runner-up from the runner-ups entry into this. It would be fun to see how many years it could go and would have gotten my vote.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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In the case of a potential 9-way tie what happens?
That is a good question. As it stands now, we have 4 at the top.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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In the case of a potential 9-way tie what happens?....
There was suppose to be a footnote about that. It has now been added to the first post.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #12
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*Sigh* You guys are determined to make me spend money on one of these books, aren't you!?! Of the 3 that I own, there is one that I really don't want to read (actually my husband owns that one, but you get my point). If any of the others win, that takes money away from my getting specific books for my series challenge! *pout*.


Note: In case it is not clear, I am complaining and pouting in jest. I do not actually believe that there is a conspiracy to "empty my pockets".
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:55 PM   #13
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I checked it out and the one I voted for could be an easy substitution. Ibuse for Irving, both published in the same decade.

I love it when a plan comes together.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
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What an interesting selection! I absolutely LOVE a couple of the books. Interested in a couple others maybe...interesting to see what will come of this poll.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
All voting this month will be visible.
How do you see who voted for what?

This was not an easy decision for me as there were 3 entries I was trying to choose between, and the one I chose caused a 5 way tie.
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