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View Poll Results: What Non-Fiction Book Should We Discuss in July?
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden 12 29.27%
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer 9 21.95%
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 6 14.63%
A Night to Remember by Walter Lord 15 36.59%
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool 7 17.07%
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark 10 24.39%
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch 9 21.95%
Gulp by Mary Roach 12 29.27%
Faust in Copenhagen by Gino Segrè 6 14.63%
Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna 15 36.59%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
crich70
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Next April 15th will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Granted, it's only my opinion, but with all the interesting books that have been nominated, I fail to see the fascination with yet another account of a story that's been done to death.



That does sound interesting. Of course, I would rather one of the books I nominated or seconded wins (The True Believer, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, or Gulp), but I would also be quite happy with that choice.
Actually it will mark the 102nd anniversary of the sinking. The Titanic sank on April 15 1912.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #17
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Actually, I kinda agree with you. A Night to Remember, while important and groundbreaking when it came out, is just a chestnut now. Certainly it can't advance our understanding of what happened and in fact some of it's been disproved. I loved it as an adolescent and I have zero interest in revisiting it now. Good read, but ultimately kind of schlocky. IMHO, of course.

On the other hand, new treatments of historical incidents, of which we have several from which to choose, I find endlessly interesting and illuminating. Just because something happened in the past, doesn't mean that it's not relevant today; again, several choices fall under this rubric.
I'm not saying books about the past cannot be relevant or interesting. But it just seems we get a lot of nods to books written or set in the distant past. It would be nice to have at least one month where we get no nods to books from or about the past. I don't think it should be that hard to find current/modern books for just one month.

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Don't get too excited, though--Gulp does nothing for me.
For me, none of the other books do anything for me. The only other book nominated (not by me) that I would have liked to have read is Bossypants. But that didn't get a third nod.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #18
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Actually it will mark the 102nd anniversary of the sinking. The Titanic sank on April 15 1912.
Oh, no! It's worse than I thought! Time to get this headline off the front pages! (Must have been a couple of slow news centuries. )
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #19
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...Don't get too excited, though--Gulp does nothing for me.
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...For me, none of the other books do anything for me. The only other book nominated (not by me) that I would have liked to have read is Bossypants. But that didn't get a third nod.
You really should consider supporting The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer. It may be old, but it's not dated by any means. From Communism, Nazis, and religious and popular movements his own day to modern political and religious movements in ours, Hoffer remains as relevant as ever. Not that he was dismissive of religion; he considered the religious fanatic and the angry village atheist to be two sides of the same coin. And while in the current political climate in the U.S. some of his observations may seem more directed at Republicans than Democrats, President Dwight Eisenhower considered Holler his favorite author and not only recommended the book but gave copies of it to friends.

As for Bossypants, I read it, and while it's okay, it's nothing to write home about.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:44 PM   #20
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How is Eric Hoffer as an author?
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #21
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How is Eric Hoffer as an author?
Excellent. Unpretentious. Clear and precise. He really is a good author and a joy to read.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #22
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Next April 15th will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Granted, it's only my opinion, but with all the interesting books that have been nominated, I fail to see the fascination with yet another account of a story that's been done to death.
The reason that "A Night to Remember" is regarded as an important book is that it's really the last - and "definitive" - book based on eyewitness accounts. The earlier books didn't do nearly as thorough a job; the later books did not have access to the wide range of survivors that Mr Lord did. It really is a wonderfully gripping account that makes you ask "what would you have done in that situation?" I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #23
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I would have liked Fanny & Stella to have won, as it sounds fascinating (so I'll read it anyway), but I'm happy with A Night to Remember. Agreed that it is a topic done to death, but I for one only know about it from the TV programmes and films I've watched - I'm certain there are reams of information I have no clue about, and eyewitness reports will be very interesting to read, IMO.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #24
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The reason that "A Night to Remember" is regarded as an important book is that it's really the last - and "definitive" - book based on eyewitness accounts. The earlier books didn't do nearly as thorough a job; the later books did not have access to the wide range of survivors that Mr Lord did. It really is a wonderfully gripping account that makes you ask "what would you have done in that situation?" I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Hallelujah! I managed to get Harry to make a campaign stop here!

Truth is, Harry, it may be the best and most definitive book on the Titanic in the history of ever, but the topic just doesn't get my juices going. Now a book about what Jane Austen might have eaten and Charles Dickens might have known on the other hand sounds right up my alley!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #25
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I would have liked Fanny & Stella to have won....
What do you mean, "would have"? There are still 3 days left in the voting. Call your friends! Canvass the neighborhood! Get out the vote! The future of democracy is in your hands!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:04 PM   #26
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Dickens is much over-rated in my view .
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:06 PM   #27
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Hallelujah! I managed to get Harry to make a campaign stop here!

Truth is, Harry, it may be the best and most definitive book on the Titanic in the history of ever, but the topic just doesn't get my juices going. Now a book about what Jane Austen might have eaten and Charles Dickens might have known on the other hand sounds right up my alley!
But we'd be better off with Gulp so you can learn what happens to the food that Jane Austen ate.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:06 PM   #28
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Dickens is much over-rated in my view .
If you were British, you wouldn't feel that way.

Oh, wait...



...never mind.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #29
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Dickens is much over-rated in my view .
Yep, he sure is. But then, so are books on the Titanic.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #30
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What do you mean, "would have"? There are still 3 days left in the voting. Call your friends! Canvass the neighborhood! Get out the vote! The future of democracy is in your hands!
For some reason I thought the vote was over...

Come on all you Fanny lovers .
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