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Old 05-20-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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June 2013 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
June 2013 Nominations


Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for June, 2013.

The nominations will run through midnight EST May 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for June is:

Award Winners

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.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon
No links provided.
Spoiler:
It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (the oldest literary prize in Britain). From Amazon:

Quote:
A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.

In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's reminiscences about childhood and the beginning of World War I are channeled through young George Sherston, whose life of local cricket tournaments and fox-hunts falls apart as war approaches and he joins up to fight. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved.


(2) The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

“The single best work of fiction published in 2012 . . . The book’s cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.”—The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

Praise for The Orphan Master’s Son

“A daring and remarkable novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak.”—San Jose Mercury News

“This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.”—The Washington Post

“[A] brilliant and timely novel.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master’s Son must now be added.”—The New Republic

“A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love.”—Vogue


(3) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

From the Sony Reader Store:

A riveting tale of the great cultural "swerve" known as the Renaissance.

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius-a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.


(4) The Tea Lords by Hella Haasse
Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Booktopia AU
Spoiler:

Her internationally acclaimed Magnus opus "Heren van de Thee" was translated to ‘The Tea Lords’ in 2010. It is a historical novel set in the Dutch East Indies of the 19th and 20th century, based on a trove of documents and letters deposited in the Netherlands by the heirs and relations of the book’s characters.

The Tea Lords, published in the Netherlands in 1992 and well rendered into English by Ina Rilke, is Haasse's first appearance here for 15 years. It is one of her largest-scale exercises in fictional sympathy: a portrayal of three generations of Dutch colonial experience in the East Indies, and altogether more forgiving than Multatuli's classic 1860 novel, Max Havelaar, which sweepingly denounced his country's abuses. (Multatuli appears in Haasse's narrative as a distant cousin-by-marriage and is given fair, if mocking, treatment for his vanity and egotism, especially where women were concerned.)
Haasse's intention in The Tea Lords is not to slay the monster of colonialism again, but to seek out a representative family's story – a product of its time rather than its greediest architect or blackest sheep.


(5) Among Others by Jo Walton
No links provided.
Spoiler:
It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award (from wiki).
Quote:
... Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment. ...


(6) More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
No links provided.
Spoiler:
More Than Human is about a gestalt organism--the next step in human evolution. It concerns a group of people with extraordinary mental and psychic powers who "blesh" (blend + mesh} together so as to form a single entity. The book explores the development of this entity and the nature and morality of such a being. Beautifully--even poetically--written, it is often considered to be Sturgeon's masterpiece.


(7) The Giver by Lois Lowry
No links provided.
Spoiler:
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.


(8) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. From Goodreads


(9) American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Winner of the 1997 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

From Barnes & Noble:

For a man who insisted that life on the public stage was not what he had in mind, Thomas Jefferson certainly spent a great deal of time in the spotlight--and not only during his active political career. After 1809, his longed-for retirement was compromised by a steady stream of guests and tourists who made of his estate at Monticello a virtual hotel, as well as by more than one thousand letters per year, most from strangers, which he insisted on answering personally. In his twilight years Jefferson was already taking on the luster of a national icon, which was polished off by his auspicious death (on July 4, 1896); and in the subsequent seventeen decades of his celebrity--now verging, thanks to virulent revisionists and television documentaries, on notoriety--has been inflated beyond recognition of the original person.

For the historian Joseph J. Ellis, the experience of writing about Jefferson was "as if a pathologist, just about to begin an autopsy, has discovered that the body on the operating table was still breathing." In American Sphinx, Ellis sifts the facts shrewdly from the legends and the rumors, treading a path between vilification and hero worship in order to formulate a plausible portrait of the man who still today "hover[s] over the political scene like one of those dirigibles cruising above a crowded football stadium, flashing words of inspiration to both teams." For, at the grass roots, Jefferson is no longer liberal or conservative, agrarian or industrialist, pro- or anti-slavery, privileged or populist. He is all things to all people. His own obliviousness to incompatible convictions within himself (which left him deaf to most forms of irony) has leaked out into the world at large--a world determined to idolize him despite his foibles.

From Ellis we learn that Jefferson sang incessantly under his breath; that he delivered only two public speeches in eight years as president, while spending ten hours a day at his writing desk; that sometimes his political sensibilities collided with his domestic agenda, as when he ordered an expensive piano from London during a boycott (and pledged to "keep it in storage"). We see him relishing such projects as the nailery at Monticello that allowed him to interact with his slaves more palatably, as pseudo-employer to pseudo-employees. We grow convinced that he preferred to meet his lovers in the rarefied region of his mind rather than in the actual bedchamber. We watch him exhibiting both great depth and great shallowness, combining massive learning with extraordinary naïveté, piercing insights with self-deception on the grandest scale. We understand why we should neither beatify him nor consign him to the rubbish heap of history, though we are by no means required to stop loving him. He is Thomas Jefferson, after all--our very own sphinx.


(10) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Amazon US / Barnes and Noble / Chapters (Canada)
Spoiler:
A collection of short stories that won the Pulitzer and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award in 2000.

GoodReads.


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 05-22-2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Through post #48
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:40 PM   #2
Nyssa
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Posts: 5,607
Karma: 62034347
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Gen)
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


* The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje [John F]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
It won the Booker prize for fiction in 1992.

With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II....

Available at libraries everywhere. For example:

http://search.overdrive.com/ti/0848c...ondaatje-ebook


*** The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson [sun surfer, Bookpossum, Hamlet53]
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

“The single best work of fiction published in 2012 . . . The book’s cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.”—The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

Praise for The Orphan Master’s Son

“A daring and remarkable novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak.”—San Jose Mercury News

“This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.”—The Washington Post

“[A] brilliant and timely novel.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master’s Son must now be added.”—The New Republic

“A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love.”—Vogue


*** Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon [issybird, Bookpossum, fantasyfan]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (the oldest literary prize in Britain). From Amazon:

Quote:
A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.

In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's reminiscences about childhood and the beginning of World War I are channeled through young George Sherston, whose life of local cricket tournaments and fox-hunts falls apart as war approaches and he joins up to fight. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved.


*** Among Others by Jo Walton [John F, fantasyfan, medard]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award (from wiki).
Quote:
... Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment. ...
A Guardian review can be found here.
Quote:
Walton's fairy folk – ugly, uncivilised, unpredictable – as experienced by teenage narrator Mori, are superbly realised


*** American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis [WT Sharpe, medard, Dazrin]
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Winner of the 1997 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

From Barnes & Noble:

For a man who insisted that life on the public stage was not what he had in mind, Thomas Jefferson certainly spent a great deal of time in the spotlight--and not only during his active political career. After 1809, his longed-for retirement was compromised by a steady stream of guests and tourists who made of his estate at Monticello a virtual hotel, as well as by more than one thousand letters per year, most from strangers, which he insisted on answering personally. In his twilight years Jefferson was already taking on the luster of a national icon, which was polished off by his auspicious death (on July 4, 1896); and in the subsequent seventeen decades of his celebrity--now verging, thanks to virulent revisionists and television documentaries, on notoriety--has been inflated beyond recognition of the original person.

For the historian Joseph J. Ellis, the experience of writing about Jefferson was "as if a pathologist, just about to begin an autopsy, has discovered that the body on the operating table was still breathing." In American Sphinx, Ellis sifts the facts shrewdly from the legends and the rumors, treading a path between vilification and hero worship in order to formulate a plausible portrait of the man who still today "hover[s] over the political scene like one of those dirigibles cruising above a crowded football stadium, flashing words of inspiration to both teams." For, at the grass roots, Jefferson is no longer liberal or conservative, agrarian or industrialist, pro- or anti-slavery, privileged or populist. He is all things to all people. His own obliviousness to incompatible convictions within himself (which left him deaf to most forms of irony) has leaked out into the world at large--a world determined to idolize him despite his foibles.

From Ellis we learn that Jefferson sang incessantly under his breath; that he delivered only two public speeches in eight years as president, while spending ten hours a day at his writing desk; that sometimes his political sensibilities collided with his domestic agenda, as when he ordered an expensive piano from London during a boycott (and pledged to "keep it in storage"). We see him relishing such projects as the nailery at Monticello that allowed him to interact with his slaves more palatably, as pseudo-employer to pseudo-employees. We grow convinced that he preferred to meet his lovers in the rarefied region of his mind rather than in the actual bedchamber. We watch him exhibiting both great depth and great shallowness, combining massive learning with extraordinary naïveté, piercing insights with self-deception on the grandest scale. We understand why we should neither beatify him nor consign him to the rubbish heap of history, though we are by no means required to stop loving him. He is Thomas Jefferson, after all--our very own sphinx.


*** The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt [WT Sharpe, Hamlet53, issybird]
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

From the Sony Reader Store:

A riveting tale of the great cultural "swerve" known as the Renaissance.

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius-a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.


*** Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami [Hamlet53, desertblues, HomeInMyShoes]
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. From Goodreads


*** The Tea Lords by Hella Haasse [desertblues, issybird, sun surfer]
Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Booktopia AU
Spoiler:

Her internationally acclaimed Magnus opus "Heren van de Thee" was translated to ‘The Tea Lords’ in 2010. It is a historical novel set in the Dutch East Indies of the 19th and 20th century, based on a trove of documents and letters deposited in the Netherlands by the heirs and relations of the book’s characters.

The Tea Lords, published in the Netherlands in 1992 and well rendered into English by Ina Rilke, is Haasse's first appearance here for 15 years. It is one of her largest-scale exercises in fictional sympathy: a portrayal of three generations of Dutch colonial experience in the East Indies, and altogether more forgiving than Multatuli's classic 1860 novel, Max Havelaar, which sweepingly denounced his country's abuses. (Multatuli appears in Haasse's narrative as a distant cousin-by-marriage and is given fair, if mocking, treatment for his vanity and egotism, especially where women were concerned.)
Haasse's intention in The Tea Lords is not to slay the monster of colonialism again, but to seek out a representative family's story – a product of its time rather than its greediest architect or blackest sheep.


*** More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon [fantasyfan, desertblues, poohbear_nc]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
More Than Human is about a gestalt organism--the next step in human evolution. It concerns a group of people with extraordinary mental and psychic powers who "blesh" (blend + mesh} together so as to form a single entity. The book explores the development of this entity and the nature and morality of such a being. Beautifully--even poetically--written, it is often considered to be Sturgeon's masterpiece.


*** The Giver by Lois Lowry [VioletVal, sun surfer, caleb72]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.


* Timescape by Gregory Benford [JSWolf]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
1980 BSFA Winner
1980 Nebula Winner
1981 Campbell Winner
1981 Locus SF Nominated

Quote:
1962: a young Californian scientist finds his experiments spoiled by mysterious interference. Gradually his investigations lead him to the shattering truth that scientists from the end of the century are using subatomic particles to send a message into the past to try and avert disaster.


* Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor [caleb72]
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
2011 World Fantasy Award winner.

Quote:
An award-winning literary author presents her first foray into supernatural fantasy with a novel of post- apocalyptic Africa.

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue.

Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny-to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture-and eventually death itself.


*** Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri [HomeInMyShoes, Synamon, medard]
Amazon US / Barnes and Noble / Chapters (Canada)
Spoiler:
A collection of short stories that won the Pulitzer and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award in 2000.

GoodReads.


* The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente [HomeInMyShoes]
Amazon US / Barnes and Noble / Chapters (Canada)
Spoiler:
The Mythopoeic Award is awarded for outstanding works in the fields of myth, fantasy, and the scholarly study of these areas.

The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente is the first of two books. It's long, over 600 pages. It's not the easiest read. But if you love myth and folklore and aren't afraid of phrases that aren't easily digested then you would probably enjoy this book. It was one of my favourite books I read in 2011.

The two books won the award in 2008.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 05-22-2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Through Post #50
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
John F
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I'll nominate The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

It won the Booker prize for fiction in 1992.

A blurb:

Quote:
With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. ...
Available at libraries everywhere. For example:

http://search.overdrive.com/ti/0848c...ondaatje-ebook
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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I nominate The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, which just won the Pulitzer for Fiction.

Amazon US
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From Amazon:

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

“The single best work of fiction published in 2012 . . . The book’s cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.”—The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

Praise for The Orphan Master’s Son

“A daring and remarkable novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak.”—San Jose Mercury News

“This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.”—The Washington Post

“[A] brilliant and timely novel.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master’s Son must now be added.”—The New Republic

“A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love.”—Vogue
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Is someone going to start a thread to keep up with the library links?
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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I'm nominating Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon. It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (the oldest literary prize in Britain). From Amazon:

Quote:
A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.

In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's reminiscences about childhood and the beginning of World War I are channeled through young George Sherston, whose life of local cricket tournaments and fox-hunts falls apart as war approaches and he joins up to fight. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved.
The novel is available at all the venues for under $10 and it's couponable at Kobo. However, a new edition of the trilogy with a forward by Paul Fussell is being released on May 28 for $9.99, so it's probably worth restraining your enthusiasm for another week.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:50 PM   #7
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I second Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man and leave the other two for the moment.

I'm sure others will help get The English Patient up, and I need to check whether I can borrow the Adam Johnson here.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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Yes, I can get it from my library, so second The Orphan Master's Son.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #9
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I'll third Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon

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Old 05-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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I'll nominate Among Others by Jo Walton. It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award (from wiki).

a blurb from Amazon:

Quote:
... Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment. ...
Available at libraries everywhere*.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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I'll nominate Among Others by Jo Walton. It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award (from wiki).

a blurb from Amazon:


Available at libraries everywhere*.
I've read that. Very good well worth reading.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:55 PM   #12
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Oh, this looks good: sex, dark humor, murder, and it's the winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather by Jincy Willett.

From Amazon:

Quote:
Book Description
Publication Date: October 20, 2003
Winner of the National Book Award, the long-awaited novel from the author of the acclaimed collection, Jenny and the Jaws of Life, is an unusual and wonderful novel that is somehow able to be at once bleak and hilarious, light-hearted and profound.

It's the story of two sisters. Abigail Mather is a woman of enormous appetites, sexual and otherwise. Her fraternal twin Dorcas couldn't be more different: she gave up on sex without once trying it, and she lives a controlled, dignified life of the mind. Though Abigail exasperates Dorcas, the two love each other; in fact, they complete each other. They are an odd pair, set down in an odd Rhode Island town, where everyone has a story to tell, and writers, both published and unpublished, carom off each other like billiard balls.

What is it that makes the two women targets for the new man in town, the charming schlockmeister Conrad Lowe, tall, whippet-thin and predatory? In Abigail and Dorcas he sees a new and tantalizing challenge. Not the mere conquest of Abigail, with her easy reputation, but a longer and more sinister game. A game that will lead to betrayal, shame and, ultimately, murder.

In her darkly comic and unsettling first novel, Jincy Willett proves that she is a true find: that rare writer who can explore the shadowy side of human nature with the lightest of touches.
$3.99 at Amazon.


This sucks. Found it by searching Amazon for award winners. The TITLE of this book is Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather. It did not win the National Book Award. Withdrawn.

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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Here are a couple of Pulitzer Prize winners I'd like to nominate:

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis
* 1997 National Book Award for Nonfiction *
AmazonUS / Barnes & Noble / Sony Reader Store
Quote:
From Barnes & Noble:

For a man who insisted that life on the public stage was not what he had in mind, Thomas Jefferson certainly spent a great deal of time in the spotlight--and not only during his active political career. After 1809, his longed-for retirement was compromised by a steady stream of guests and tourists who made of his estate at Monticello a virtual hotel, as well as by more than one thousand letters per year, most from strangers, which he insisted on answering personally. In his twilight years Jefferson was already taking on the luster of a national icon, which was polished off by his auspicious death (on July 4, 1896); and in the subsequent seventeen decades of his celebrity--now verging, thanks to virulent revisionists and television documentaries, on notoriety--has been inflated beyond recognition of the original person.

For the historian Joseph J. Ellis, the experience of writing about Jefferson was "as if a pathologist, just about to begin an autopsy, has discovered that the body on the operating table was still breathing." In American Sphinx, Ellis sifts the facts shrewdly from the legends and the rumors, treading a path between vilification and hero worship in order to formulate a plausible portrait of the man who still today "hover[s] over the political scene like one of those dirigibles cruising above a crowded football stadium, flashing words of inspiration to both teams." For, at the grass roots, Jefferson is no longer liberal or conservative, agrarian or industrialist, pro- or anti-slavery, privileged or populist. He is all things to all people. His own obliviousness to incompatible convictions within himself (which left him deaf to most forms of irony) has leaked out into the world at large--a world determined to idolize him despite his foibles.

From Ellis we learn that Jefferson sang incessantly under his breath; that he delivered only two public speeches in eight years as president, while spending ten hours a day at his writing desk; that sometimes his political sensibilities collided with his domestic agenda, as when he ordered an expensive piano from London during a boycott (and pledged to "keep it in storage"). We see him relishing such projects as the nailery at Monticello that allowed him to interact with his slaves more palatably, as pseudo-employer to pseudo-employees. We grow convinced that he preferred to meet his lovers in the rarefied region of his mind rather than in the actual bedchamber. We watch him exhibiting both great depth and great shallowness, combining massive learning with extraordinary naïveté, piercing insights with self-deception on the grandest scale. We understand why we should neither beatify him nor consign him to the rubbish heap of history, though we are by no means required to stop loving him. He is Thomas Jefferson, after all--our very own sphinx.
<><><>
And the second is...
<><><>

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
* 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction *
* 2012 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction *
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Quote:
From the Sony Reader Store:

A riveting tale of the great cultural "swerve" known as the Renaissance.

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius-a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #14
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I will nominate Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. This won the Tanizaki Prize for 1985. An obscure award perhaps? Not in Japan where it probably means more than the Pulitzer Prize or the Man Booker Prize.

Spoiler:
A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. From Goodreads


Kindle ebook

Barnes & Noble ebook

Free Library of Philadelphia ebook
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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I will third The Orphan Master's Son

I will second The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
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