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View Poll Results: Vote for the book to read for September.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson 19 45.24%
A Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia Edwards 23 54.76%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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Book Club September 2012 Run-Off Vote

September 2012 Mobile Read Book Club Run-Off Vote

Help us choose a book as the September 2012 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club by voting in this run-off poll. It will be open for 3 days, and all MobileRead members are invited to participate. The vote this month will be hidden.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on September 20th. Select from the following Two* Choices:

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Inkmesh
Spoiler:
Bill Bryson is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, "...how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." This is, in short, a tall order.To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.“Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose. We learn what the material world is like from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy and at all the levels in between... brims with strange and amazing facts... destined to become a modern classic of science writing.” THE NEW YORK TIMES“Bryson has made a career writing hilarious travelogues, and in many ways his latest is more of the same, except that this time Bryson hikes through the world of science.” PEOPLE“Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent... a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world’s biggest story.” SEATTLE TIMES“Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable.” SIMON WINCHESTER, THE GLOBE AND MAIL“All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations.” NATIONAL POST"Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can’t help but enjoy his writing, for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind.” OTTAWA CITIZEN“Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned.” WINNIPEG FREE PRESS (from CyberRead)


A Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia Edwards
Inkmesh / MR Library upload by HarryT - Mobi/prc / ePub / BBeB/LRF
Spoiler:
In the winter of 1873–1874, accompanied by several friends, Edwards toured Egypt, discovering a fascination with the land and its cultures, both ancient and modern. Journeying southwards from Cairo in a hired dahabiyeh (manned houseboat), the companions visited Philae and ultimately reached Abu Simbel where they remained for six weeks.

Having once returned to the UK, Edwards proceeded to write a vivid description of her Nile voyage, publishing the resulting book in 1876 under the title of "A Thousand Miles up the Nile". Enhanced with her own hand-drawn illustrations, the travelogue became an immediate bestseller.

Edwards' travels in Egypt had made her aware of the increasing threat directed towards the ancient monuments by tourism and modern development. Determined to stem these threats by the force of public awareness and scientific endeavour, Edwards became a tireless public advocate for the research and preservation of the ancient monuments and, in 1882, co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) with Reginald Stuart Poole, curator of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. Edwards was to serve as joint Honorary Secretary of the Fund until her death some 14 years later.

With the aims of advancing the Fund's work, Edwards largely abandoned her other literary work to concentrate solely on Egyptology. In this field she contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, to the American supplement of that work, and to the Standard Dictionary. (from Wikipedia)

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 08-29-2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Fix Inkmesh link. (Thanks & a tip of the hat to John F.)
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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I've voted for A Thousand Miles Up the Nile because I have already read the Bryson (second time this month I have already read a bookclub winner, and I am assuming A Short History of Nearly Everything will be the winner).
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Is the poll supposed to be public (while voting)?
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by John F View Post
Is the poll supposed to be public (while voting)?
No. It isn't, is it? Here are the options I checked:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Poll options 29 Sep 12.PNG
Views:	140
Size:	50.8 KB
ID:	91485

The first poll should have been hidden as well, but there was a conflict in my notes. Next year, I hope we can go for all hidden or all viewable. This is too confusing.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
No. It isn't, is it? Here are the options I checked...
Sorry, I guess I took the initial wording too literally:

"Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected."

and skipped over the "votes are hidden until the pole closes.

Quote:
The first poll should have been hidden as well, ...
I think that's what also threw me off.

Quote:
Next year, I hope we can go for all hidden or all viewable. This is too confusing.
Why wait, just make all the votes open from now on.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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I voted. Let's hope it wins cause it sounds like the more interesting book.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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I also voted for the book I have not read.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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I voted for the one that was already on my TBR. I really don't need to add to it, it's too long already!
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #9
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I voted for the one that was already on my TBR. I really don't need to add to it, it's too long already!
Absolutely the same here, although I suspect we both voted for different books! Like in the "round" before I gave my vote to "A Thousand Miles up the Nile".
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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I voted for the book that wasn't a collection of middlebrow science essays, for the simple reason I'd rather read essays on science by actual scientists.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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I voted for the book that wasn't a collection of middlebrow science essays, for the simple reason I'd rather read essays on science by actual scientists.
So I take it then you'd rather read about someone playing at the beach with her pail and shovel.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #12
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Although I voted for the "collection of middlebrow science essays," it would be equally fine if A Thousand Miles Up the Nile were chosen. I'm sure Harry has done an exceptional job proofing it. Although a travelogue may not sound like the most interesting of subjects, I recall first reading Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau when I was (approximately) 12 years old. I thoroughly enjoyed Thoreau's many diversions as much as the log of his trek through Cape Cod. His discussion of the psychotropic properties of Jamestown (Jimson) Weed was a trip (in more ways than one).

Since these areas have been irrevocably (or nearly so) changed by the hand of man* and the passage of time, century-old travelogues evoke both nostalgia and melancholy.

* and woman!
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:09 AM   #13
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I voted for "A Thousand Miles up the Nile", as I did in the first round.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:36 AM   #14
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I voted for "A Thousand Miles up the Nile", as I did in the first round.
Ditto
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:45 AM   #15
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I voted for "A Thousand Miles up the Nile", as I did in the first round.
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Ditto
Ditto
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