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View Poll Results: Bookpossum Vote • October 2013, Multiple Choice
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail 5 35.71%
Lantana Lane by Eleanor Dark 5 35.71%
Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan 5 35.71%
All That I Am by Anna Funder 6 42.86%
The Secret River by Kate Grenville 9 64.29%
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf 6 42.86%
Timepieces by Drusilla Modjeska 2 14.29%
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton 5 35.71%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #1
sun surfer
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Bookpossum Vote • October 2013

Help us choose the October 2013 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The poll will be open for three days.

The vote is multiple choice. You may vote for as many or as few as you like.

The Rotating nominator (this month - Bookpossum) may not vote in the poll.

A discussion thread will begin shortly after a winner is chosen.

In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day non-multiple-choice run-off poll (where the Rotating nominator again may note vote). In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved by the Rotating nominator.


Select from the following works:


Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

On a country property a man named Holland lives with his daughter Ellen. Over the years, as she grows into a beautiful young woman, he plants hundreds of different gum trees on his land. When Ellen is nineteen her father announces his decision: she will marry the man who can name all his species of eucalypt, down to the last tree. Suitors emerge from all corners, including the formidable, straight-backed Mr Cave, world expert on the varieties of eucalypt. And then, walking among her father's trees, Ellen chances on a strange young man who in the days that follow tells her dozens of stories set in cities, deserts, faraway countries...

Eucalyptus is both a modern fairy tale and an unpredictable love story played out against the searing light and broken shadows of country Australia.

'You will never forget what is at the heart of this book - one of the great and most surprising courtships in literature.' -- Michael Ondaatje.


Lantana Lane by Eleanor Dark
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

Eleanor Dark's last book, a beautifully observed study of life in a small town. 'We have lived round the corner from the world, with not even a signpost to betray our whereabouts... and if the treasure we have accumulated makes no show upon our bank statements, neither is it subject to income tax.'

Lantana, bushy and massive, is Australia's most uncontrollable tropical weed. Inland from the Pacific coast, where the pineapple plantations grow, sprawls the lantana in all its luxuriance. Here, too, putting up constant fight against the weed, is the small farming community of Lantana Lane. Though they stoutly declare that farming means drudgery, misery, penury, monotony, bankruptcy and calamity - that it is, in short, a mug's game - they are all firmly and happily wedded to the land, and therefore, naturally, to the lantana. From Aunt Isabelle, part-pioneer, part-Parisienne, to Nelson the one-eyed kookaburra, each of the Lane's inhabitants makes their own inimitable contribution to this engaging and witty portrait of community life.


Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

Beneath a waterfall on the Franklin, Aljaz Cosini, river guide, lies drowning. Best by visions at once horrible and fabulous, he relives not just his own life but that of his family and forebears. In the rainforest waters that rush over him he sees those lives stripped of their surface realities, and finds a world where dreaming reasserts its power over thinking. As the river rises, his visions grow more turbulent, and in the flood of his past Aljaz discovers the soul history of his country.

Richard Flanagan's 1994 debut about a mythical Tasmania dazzled readers around the world, and is now recognised as one of the most powerful and original Australian novels of recent decades.

'Very, very beautiful' -- Baltimore Sun.


All That I Am by Anna Funder
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

The gripping first novel by Anna Funder, the acclaimed author of Stasiland, based on a true story. All That I Am, is moving and beautifully written, equal parts a love story, thriller and testament to individual heroism. It evokes books like Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise, Bernard Schlink's The Reader and William Boyd's Restless - intelligent, powerful novels that appeal to a wide audience.

'When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. The wireless in the living room was turned up loud, but all that drifted down to me were waves of happy cheering, like a football match. It was Monday afternoon . . .'

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it's 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller's story arrives on Ruth's doorstep, their shared past slips under her defences, and she's right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.

Based on real people and events, All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places. Anna Funder confirms her place as one of our finest writers with this gripping, compassionate, inspiring first novel.


The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. As Thornhill stakes his claim on a patch of ground by the Hawkesbury River, the battle lines between the old and new inhabitants are drawn.

Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.

'There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers … A book everyone should read. It is evocative, gracefully written, terrible and confronting. And it has resonance for every Australian.' -- Sunday Mail.


Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

In the 1840s, a ship’s boy cast ashore in northern Australia is taken in by Aborigines. Sixteen years later he steps out of the bush and inadvertently confronts the new white settlers with their unspoken terrors. A picture of Australia at the time of its foundation, focused on the hostility between early British settlers and native Aboriginals. It is essentially the story of a boy caught between both worlds – the civilised and the primitive.


Timepieces by Drusilla Modjeska
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

'There used to be a tradition that when a cabinet-maker finished his apprenticeship, he'd make a miniature chest, or cabinet, as a gift for his master... Unlike cabinet-makers, writers rarely have a single teacher, and when they bow to those they've learned from, it'd be no tribute to make a perfect example of their work, even if it were possible.'

The desire to write. The art of memoir. Finding a place to write. First love. The Englishness problem. A love of art. Fiction today...

With her customary elegance and deftness, Drusilla Modjeska explores these issues and more in a liberating new collection of essays. Some have been previously published, most are new; but all offer a fresh and personal perspective on writing and life by one of Australia's most popular authors.


Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
Spoiler:
From Kobo:

From separate catastrophes two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives again from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts. Tim Winton's funny, sprawling saga is an epic novel of love and acceptance.

Cloudstreet is a celebration of people, places and rhythms which has fuelled imaginations world-wide.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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That is a very engaging selection, Bookpossum. I voted for the three that look especially interesting to me, but I am certain that all of them would be interesting reads.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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really difficult to choose!
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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It's a run away, three of three voters have chosen the same one!

As I expect, the early leader will probably fall back.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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Enjoy the selection very much, great, Bookpossum!
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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I've already read The Secret River and would enjoy a discussion of it. From the rest of the list the book that grabbed me from the description was All That I Am. When I looked on Amazon, it turns out that I bought it for free back in February (thanks mitford13), so check your library everyone, you might already have it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
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This is quite exciting to watch from the sidelines!

Thanks for all your kind comments, and of course I shall be happy, whichever one wins.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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I'll happily read whatever is selected although I'm hoping that one of the more mystical stories is chosen rather than one of the "saga-esque" ones.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #9
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Whichever wins, I'm looking forward to the book club having an Australian October spring read.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:33 AM   #10
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If anyone is interested, I did a search of the availability of the various books in the UK Amazon store. Only three have no Kindle edition. They are:

Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
Timepieces by Drusilla Modjeska

All of these are available in inexpensive paper back. The first from Book Depository--which ships quite quickly, postage free, internationally:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Euca...ent=Eucalyptus

and the others are easily obtainable from Amazon.

So whatever is chosen it looks like a good month!

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-02-2013 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
I've already read The Secret River and would enjoy a discussion of it. From the rest of the list the book that grabbed me from the description was All That I Am. When I looked on Amazon, it turns out that I bought it for free back in February (thanks mitford13), so check your library everyone, you might already have it.
Thanks for that. I have it also, but had forgotten.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #12
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So many good ones to choose from, but I've only voted for the ones I currently own this time around.

The Secret River
All That I Am

Great job, Bookpossum.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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Voted for three, but would be happy to read any of the nominations. I hope Death of a river guide will win.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #14
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Thanks Bookpossum for enlightening me about a set of books that I had never heard of. In fact all the authors are new to me. I just picked three that seemed like I would enjoy the most.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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I'm shocked that I voted for three books and they are all in the top three vote getters, well one is tied for third.

I just requested all three from my library so I can get started quickly after the vote.
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