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Old 11-20-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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December 2012 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
December 2012 Nominations


Help us select the next book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for December, 2012.

The nominations will run through midnight EST November 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The first poll will then be posted and will be open for 4 days, followed by a 3 day run-off poll between the two* top choices.

Book selection category for December is:

Classic

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.

* In case of a first or second place tie in the first voting poll, the run-off poll may have more than two choices.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / B&N / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. The best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932, it was an influential factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935).
The novel of family life in a Chinese village before World War II has been a steady favorite ever since. In 2004, the book was returned to the bestseller list when chosen by the television host Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's Book Club. The novel helped prepare Americans of the 1930s to consider Chinese as allies in the coming war with Japan.
A Broadway stage adaptation was produced by the Theatre Guild in 1932, written by the father and son playwriting team of Owen and Donald Davis, but it was poorly received by the critics, and ran only 56 performances. However, the 1937 film, The Good Earth, which was based on the stage version, was more successful.


(2) Crime and Punishment by F.M. Dostoevsky
Amazon UK / Amazon US (free) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: LRF
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia: "Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of evil. Written at fever-heat, Crime and Punishment is considered by many as the first of Dostoevsky's cycle of great novels, which would culminate with his last completed work, The Brothers Karamazov, shortly before his death."


(3) Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: EPUB / LRF / PRC
Spoiler:
From "Wikipedia":

"Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero", commonly known as "Quo Vadis", is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Quo vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?" and alludes to a New Testament verse (John 13:36). The verse, in the King James Version, reads as follows,

"Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou can not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards."

Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero around AD 64.

Sienkiewicz studied the Roman Empire extensively prior to writing the novel, with the aim of getting historical details correct. As such, several historical figures appear in the book. As a whole, the novel carries a powerful pro-Christian message.

Published in installments in three Polish dailies in 1895, it came out in book form in 1896 and has since been translated into more than 50 languages. This novel contributed to Sienkiewicz's Nobel Prize for literature in 1905.

Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis. The most famous movie is the Hollywood production "Quo Vadis" filmed in 1951.


(4) I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Amazon (US) / B&N / BooksOnBoard / Kobo / Sony
Spoiler:
The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.


(5) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: PRC / Gutenberg EPUB / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Dymocks Australia / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Set against the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome tells the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and her cousin, the enchanting Mattie Silver. In the playing out of this short novel's powerful and engrossing drama, Edith Wharton constructed her least characteristic and most celebrated book. In its unyielding and shocking pessimism, its bleak demonstration of tragic waste, it is a masterpiece of psychological and emotional realism.

(1911 Pulitzer).


(6) Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Amazon / Inkmesh / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Goodreads: Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora Poste, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, and becomes enmeshed in a web of violent emotions, despair, and scheming, until Flora manages to set things right.


(7) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: PRC / Project Gutenberg
Spoiler:
It has a wonderful theme of family and charity, making it a good read for the holiday season.


(8) The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
No links provided.
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Muriel Spark’s timeless classic about a controversial teacher who deeply marks the lives of a select group of students in the years leading up to World War II

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.


Also:

"A perfect book." - Chicago Tribune

A short classic novel about an eccentric Edinburgh teacher who inspires cultlike reverence in her young students.

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

And they do. But one of them will betray her.


(9) Flush by Virginia Woolf
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: IMP / LRF / PRC / EPUB (in the Complete Works)
Spoiler:
It is a quasi-biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, written from the perspective of her cocker-spaniel! Looking at the world with bewildered eyes, he never quite understands what is happening to him. I am not a fan of dogs, usually, but this story broke my heart. Being a much easier read than some of her other writings, it serves a great introduction to Virginia Woolf. I have only read this in a translation so far, so I’d like to give the original a try.


(10) Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: EPUB / IMP / LRF / PRC
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
Left penniless after his feckless father's death, young Nicholas Nickleby has no choice but to make his own way in the world. For the sake of his mother and sister, he is forced by his hard-hearted uncle to take a post as an assistant master at Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, run by the cruel and tyrannical headmaster, Wackford Squeers. But this is only the beginning of Nicholas's adventures in this most entertaining of Charles Dickens's novels. We follow the progress of Nicholas and his slow-witted companion Smike on their travels and encounter a supporting cast of delectable characters including the rambunctious Crummles theatre company and their talented performing pony, the dastardly Sir Mulberry Hawk, the delightful Mrs. Nickleby, the preposterous Kenwings, and many more. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by his criticism of cruelty and social injustice, but is above all one of the greatest comic masterpieces of nineteenth-century literature.


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 11-22-2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Thru post 71
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #2
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Wondering if a particular book is available in your country? The following spoiler contains a list of bookstores outside the United States you can search. If you don't see a bookstore on this list for your country, find one that is, send me the link via PM, and I'll add it to the list. In addition, if members let me know that an ebook is unavailable in a particular geographic location, I'll note it in this post, right beside the Inkmesh search for that particular book.

Spoiler:
Australian
Angus Robertson
Booktopia
Borders
Dymocks
Fishpond
Google

Canada
Amazon. Make sure you are logged out. Then go to the Kindle Store. Search for a book. After the search results come up, in the upper right corner of the screen, change the country to Canada and search away.
Google
Sony eBookstore (Upper right corner switch to/from US/CA)

UK
BooksOnBoard (In the upper right corner is a way to switch to the UK store)
Amazon
Foyle's
Google
Penguin
Random House
Waterstones
WH Smith


Nominations

*** The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck [caleb72, Synamon, BelleZora]
Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / B&N / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. The best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932, it was an influential factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935).
The novel of family life in a Chinese village before World War II has been a steady favorite ever since. In 2004, the book was returned to the bestseller list when chosen by the television host Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's Book Club. The novel helped prepare Americans of the 1930s to consider Chinese as allies in the coming war with Japan.
A Broadway stage adaptation was produced by the Theatre Guild in 1932, written by the father and son playwriting team of Owen and Donald Davis, but it was poorly received by the critics, and ran only 56 performances. However, the 1937 film, The Good Earth, which was based on the stage version, was more successful.


*** The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark [sun surfer, issybird, drofgnal]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Muriel Spark’s timeless classic about a controversial teacher who deeply marks the lives of a select group of students in the years leading up to World War II

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.


Also:

"A perfect book." - Chicago Tribune

A short classic novel about an eccentric Edinburgh teacher who inspires cultlike reverence in her young students.

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

And they do. But one of them will betray her.


*** Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens [John F, Billi, sun surfer]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: EPUB / IMP / LRF / PRC
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
Left penniless after his feckless father's death, young Nicholas Nickleby has no choice but to make his own way in the world. For the sake of his mother and sister, he is forced by his hard-hearted uncle to take a post as an assistant master at Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, run by the cruel and tyrannical headmaster, Wackford Squeers. But this is only the beginning of Nicholas's adventures in this most entertaining of Charles Dickens's novels. We follow the progress of Nicholas and his slow-witted companion Smike on their travels and encounter a supporting cast of delectable characters including the rambunctious Crummles theatre company and their talented performing pony, the dastardly Sir Mulberry Hawk, the delightful Mrs. Nickleby, the preposterous Kenwings, and many more. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by his criticism of cruelty and social injustice, but is above all one of the greatest comic masterpieces of nineteenth-century literature.


*** Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz [Hamlet53, Billi, issybird]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: EPUB / LRF / PRC
Spoiler:
From "Wikipedia":

"Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero", commonly known as "Quo Vadis", is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Quo vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?" and alludes to a New Testament verse (John 13:36). The verse, in the King James Version, reads as follows,

"Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou can not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards."

Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero around AD 64.

Sienkiewicz studied the Roman Empire extensively prior to writing the novel, with the aim of getting historical details correct. As such, several historical figures appear in the book. As a whole, the novel carries a powerful pro-Christian message.

Published in installments in three Polish dailies in 1895, it came out in book form in 1896 and has since been translated into more than 50 languages. This novel contributed to Sienkiewicz's Nobel Prize for literature in 1905.

Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis. The most famous movie is the Hollywood production "Quo Vadis" filmed in 1951.


*** Crime and Punishment by F.M. Dostoevsky [orlok, Billi, BelleZora]
Amazon UK / Amazon US (free) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: LRF
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia: "Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of evil. Written at fever-heat, Crime and Punishment is considered by many as the first of Dostoevsky's cycle of great novels, which would culminate with his last completed work, The Brothers Karamazov, shortly before his death."


*** Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton [Synamon, issybird, Kevin8or]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: PRC / Gutenberg EPUB / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Dymocks Australia / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Set against the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome tells the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and her cousin, the enchanting Mattie Silver. In the playing out of this short novel's powerful and engrossing drama, Edith Wharton constructed her least characteristic and most celebrated book. In its unyielding and shocking pessimism, its bleak demonstration of tragic waste, it is a masterpiece of psychological and emotional realism.

(1911 Pulitzer).


*** I, Robot by Isaac Asimov [JSWolf, John F, Moe The Cat]
B&N / BooksOnBoard / Kobo / Sony
Spoiler:
The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.


* Don Juan by Lord Byron [Spinnenmonat]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:
Don Juan is a satiric poem[1] by Lord Byron, based on the legend of Don Juan, which Byron reverses, portraying Juan not as a womanizer but as someone easily seduced by women. It is a variation on the epic form. Byron himself called it an "Epic Satire" (Don Juan, c. xiv, st. 99). Modern critics generally consider it Byron's masterpiece, with a total of more than 16,000 lines of verse. Byron completed 16 cantos, leaving an unfinished 17th canto before his death in 1824. Byron claimed he had no ideas in his mind as to what would happen in subsequent cantos as he wrote his work.


*** Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons [RoccoPaco, BelleZora, Hamlet53]
Amazon / Inkmesh / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Goodreads: Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora Poste, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, and becomes enmeshed in a web of violent emotions, despair, and scheming, until Flora manages to set things right.


*** Flush by Virginia Woolf [pynch, Synamon, sun surfer]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: IMP / LRF / PRC / EPUB (in the Complete Works)
Spoiler:
It is a quasi-biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, written from the perspective of her cocker-spaniel! Looking at the world with bewildered eyes, he never quite understands what is happening to him. I am not a fan of dogs, usually, but this story broke my heart. Being a much easier read than some of her other writings, it serves a great introduction to Virginia Woolf. I have only read this in a translation so far, so I’d like to give the original a try.


*** Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [Bookatarian, RoccoPaco, fantasyfan]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: PRC / Project Gutenberg
Spoiler:
It has a wonderful theme of family and charity, making it a good read for the holiday season.


** The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K.Chesterton [fantasyfan, caleb72]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: IMP / LRF / PRC
Spoiler:
This is probably Chesterton's best-known novel. It is a wild, surreal, Kafka-esque work which differs from Kafka in that it shows that the apparently whirling chaos actually does have a centre. About.Com describes this classic as

" . . . a book caught up in the question of whether it places itself inside or outside of the sphere of its narrative chaos, yet at the same time a book perfectly content to lose itself in that chaos and, borne by the momentum of its own energy, to keep upping the narrative and metaphysical ante until the end--no matter the cost."

"The story is told within a frame of 'real life' opening with a grim and lurid sunset in Saffron Park where the hero, a poet named Gabriel Syme, has come to a social discussion group . . . He meets another poet, an anarchist, who has an intelligent sister. The two poets argue . . . then as they leave the meeting to walk home, they fall into a wild adventure upon which hinges the fate of London."

The novel involves "sword fights and a mad chase across . . .London, . . . a love story" and blends "the format of an adventure/detective story. . . "

From The Outline of Sanity by Alzina Stone Dale

It's a remarkable allegory loaded with remarkable ideas.


** Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [drofgnal, fantasyfan]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
No spoiler provided.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 11-22-2012 at 10:28 AM. Reason: thru post 71
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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I nominate The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck. It's a modern classic as it was first published in 1930.

It only recently became available in ebook form for the first time and is also available in some libraries through Overdrive.

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Good-Earth/book-m3zeSaHDs0W8g9cMSLDRkQ/page1.html?s=1OqNy_4zlUSQj98hE8chDA&r=1
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-...=9781453263563
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Earth...the+good+earth
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Good-Ear...3420155&sr=1-1

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. The best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932, it was an influential factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935).
The novel of family life in a Chinese village before World War II has been a steady favorite ever since. In 2004, the book was returned to the bestseller list when chosen by the television host Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's Book Club. The novel helped prepare Americans of the 1930s to consider Chinese as allies in the coming war with Japan.
A Broadway stage adaptation was produced by the Theatre Guild in 1932, written by the father and son playwriting team of Owen and Donald Davis, but it was poorly received by the critics, and ran only 56 performances. However, the 1937 film, The Good Earth, which was based on the stage version, was more successful.
I don't know if 1931 constitutes classic - more a modern classic I guess. But I'll let nominations/voting take care of that.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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I'll nominate The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Quote:
From Amazon:

Muriel Spark’s timeless classic about a controversial teacher who deeply marks the lives of a select group of students in the years leading up to World War II

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.


Also:

"A perfect book." - Chicago Tribune

A short classic novel about an eccentric Edinburgh teacher who inspires cultlike reverence in her young students.

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

And they do. But one of them will betray her.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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I don't know if 1931 constitutes classic - more a modern classic I guess. But I'll let nominations/voting take care of that.
I thought the hard rule was that it had to be out of copyright in Life + 50 countries?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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I'll nominate Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. From Amazon:

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Left penniless after his feckless father's death, young Nicholas Nickleby has no choice but to make his own way in the world. For the sake of his mother and sister, he is forced by his hard-hearted uncle to take a post as an assistant master at Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, run by the cruel and tyrannical headmaster, Wackford Squeers. But this is only the beginning of Nicholas's adventures in this most entertaining of Charles Dickens's novels. We follow the progress of Nicholas and his slow-witted companion Smike on their travels and encounter a supporting cast of delectable characters including the rambunctious Crummles theatre company and their talented performing pony, the dastardly Sir Mulberry Hawk, the delightful Mrs. Nickleby, the preposterous Kenwings, and many more. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by his criticism of cruelty and social injustice, but is above all one of the greatest comic masterpieces of nineteenth-century literature.
A nice, long read for the holiday season.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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Withdrawn, see below.

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A nice short, 110 pages, read for a busy holiday time.
This was last year's winner for December.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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This was last year's winner for December.
Oops, I didn't know that.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:34 AM   #10
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I will nominate Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1905 for this and other epic novels. This book is in the public domain with with ebooks available in German and English here at MR. From HarryT's description of the book:

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Another great Hollywood "blockbuster", but how many have read the book?

From "Wikipedia":

"Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero", commonly known as "Quo Vadis", is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Quo vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?" and alludes to a New Testament verse (John 13:36). The verse, in the King James Version, reads as follows,

"Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou can not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards."

Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero around AD 64.

Sienkiewicz studied the Roman Empire extensively prior to writing the novel, with the aim of getting historical details correct. As such, several historical figures appear in the book. As a whole, the novel carries a powerful pro-Christian message.

Published in installments in three Polish dailies in 1895, it came out in book form in 1896 and has since been translated into more than 50 languages. This novel contributed to Sienkiewicz's Nobel Prize for literature in 1905.

Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis. The most famous movie is the Hollywood production "Quo Vadis" filmed in 1951.
Yes, a Christian theme (not inappropriate for December), but having read it years ago I can say it is also an entertaining novel about the court of Nero at that time in history. Even atheists can enjoy.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
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I'l nominate Crime and Punishment by F.M. Dostoevsky (someone will probably tell me it was nominated or won recently...), as I have been meaning to read it for a long time, and just need that nudge to get round to it.

Amazon UK
Amazon US (free)

Couldn't find it on MR, surprisingly.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:01 PM   #12
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What is the definition of a classic for the purpose of this book club?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #13
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I'l nominate Crime and Punishment by F.M. Dostoevsky (someone will probably tell me it was nominated or won recently...), as I have been meaning to read it for a long time, and just need that nudge to get round to it.

Amazon UK
Amazon US (free)

Couldn't find it on MR, surprisingly.
No it has not been chosen before. It is available at MR, as an LRF file. This is the Constance Garnett translation.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #14
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What is the definition of a classic for the purpose of this book club?
We really need to establish this. My personal idea of a classic is a combination of age and significance. The problem there is that what might be significant to one, may not be to others. If I were to pick a set of classics, my list would come from my high school English classes and the Barnes & Nobles Classics collection.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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What is the definition of a classic for the purpose of this book club?
Awaiting JSWolf in five, four, . . .
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