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View Poll Results: Which books would you prefer for the December 2013 MobileRead Book Club selection?
Dubliners by James Joyce 17 43.59%
The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie 13 33.33%
The Unreal and the Real, Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Vol. 2 by Ursula K. Le Guin 5 12.82%
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 9 23.08%
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury 10 25.64%
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling 12 30.77%
Tales From the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald 11 28.21%
10 Wonderful Short Stories to Read For Free Online by various authors 9 23.08%
Limits by Larry Niven 6 15.38%
Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan 6 15.38%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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December 2013 Book Club Vote

December 2013 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the December 2013 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on December 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

Dubliners by James Joyce
Feedbooks (ePub-Kindle-PDF) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Kindle / epub (Complete works)
Spoiler:
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.

The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They center on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity. -- Feedbooks


The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie
Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Books
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to William Morrow Paperbacks. The inimitable Christie intrigues, surprises, and delights once again with The Mysterious Mr. Quin—a riveting collection of short stories centered around the enigmatic Harley Quin, whose unpredictable comings and goings are usually a good indication that something is about to happen…and rarely for the best.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
...Each chapter or story involves a separate mystery that is solved through the interaction between the characters of Mr Satterthwaite, a socialite, and the eponymous Mr Quin who appears almost magically at the most opportune moments and disappears just as mysteriously. Satterthwaite is a small, observant man who is able to wrap up each mystery through the careful prodding and apposite questions of Quin, who serves as a catalyst every time the men meet.

In Agatha Christie's Autobiography, she claims that Quin and Satterthwaite became two of her favourite characters....


The Unreal and the Real, Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Volume 2: Outer Space, Inner Lands by Ursula K. Le Guin
Amazon US
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

For fifty years, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ursula K. Le Guin’s stories have shaped the way her readers see the world. Her work gives voice to the voiceless, hope to the outsider, and speaks truth to power. Le Guin’s writing is witty, wise, both sly and forthright; she is a master craftswomen.

This two-volume selection of almost forty stories taken from her eleven collections was made by Le Guin herself, as was the organizing principle of splitting the stories into the nominally realistic and fantastic.

Outer Space, Inner Lands includes classic stories “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” and “Nine Lives” (both of which have been reprinted more than twenty times); Tiptree Award winner “The Matter of Seggri”; Nebula Award winner “Solitude”; and the secret history “Sur,” which was included in The Best American Short Stories.

Le Guin’s stories range from somber (“Small Change”) to hilarious (“The First Contact With the Gorgonids”), from fairy tales (“The Poacher”) to the quiet end of the world (“She Unnames Them”).

Stories in this volume were originally published in venues as varied as Amazing Stories, Playboy, Universe, The New Yorker, and Omni.

Companion volume Where on Earth explores Le Guin’s satirical, political and experimental earthbound stories. Both volumes include new introductions by the author.

The Unreal and the Real is a much-anticipated event which will delight, amuse, and provoke.


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / ePub (Omnibus)
Spoiler:
Containing a fascinating variety of stories, from narratives by Holmes himself to a meeting with his brilliant brother and the climactic and seemingly fatal meeting between Holmes and the criminal mastermind Moriarity, this volume sealed Holmes' immortality as a literary figure.


The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Google Play (AU) / Kobo (US)
Spoiler:
The Illustrated Man is a 1951 book of eighteen science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury that explores the nature of mankind. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people.
The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame device of "the Illustrated Man", a vagrant with a tattooed body whom the unnamed narrator meets. The man's tattoos, allegedly created by a time-traveling woman, are animated and each tell a different tale. All but one of the stories had been published previously elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts for the book's publication.
The concept of the Illustrated Man would later be reused by Bradbury as an antagonistic character in Something Wicked This Way Comes, the tattoos coming to represent the souls of sinful victims of a mysterious carnival.


The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / Kindle
Spoiler:
Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( /ˈrʌdjəd ˈkɪplɪŋ/ RUD-yəd KIP-ling; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift"Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( /ˈrʌdjəd ˈkɪplɪŋ/ RUD-yəd KIP-ling; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift"

MOWGLI'S BROTHERS
KAA'S HUNTING
TIGER! TIGER!
THE WHITE SEAL
RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI
TOOMAI OF THE ELEPHANTS
HER MAJESTY'S SERVANTS
PARADE-SONG OF THE CAMP ANIMALS


Tales From the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub (Complete Works) / Kindle / lrf
Spoiler:
"Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) was Fitzgerald's second collection of short stories, and it contains some of the best examples of his talent as a writer of short fiction. Often overshadowed by his major novels, Fitzgerald's short stories demonstrate the same originality and inventive range, as he chronicles with wry and astute observation the temper of the hedonistic 1920s. In 'May Day' and 'The Diamond as Big as the Ritz', two of his greatest stories, he conjures up the spirit of the age; in other stories he adopts a variety of forms - parody, a one-act play, fantasy - with unrivalled versatility. 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', a tale of a man living his life backwards, features among the 'Fantasies"


10 Wonderful Short Stories to Read For Free Online by Various Authors
Flavorwire
Spoiler:
No spoilers provided.


Limits by Larry Niven
Phoenix Pick (Scroll down)
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Here is an extraordinary mix of fantasy and science fiction from one of the masters of science fiction, Larry Niven.

The stories in this collection include some collaborations with authors such as Jerry Pournelle (Spirals) and Steven Barnes (The Locusts), as well as stories written by Niven himself.

Larry Niven’s credits include the award-winning Ringworld series, his “Known Space” novels and the Man-Kzin anthologies. His collaborations with Jerry Pournelle include such titles as Lucifer’s Hammer, Inferno and The Mote in God’s Eye.


Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan
Amazon US
Spoiler:
From Publishers Weekly:

If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Yan (The Republic of Wine; Red Sorghum) has the ability to examine his society through a variety of lenses, creating fanciful, Metamorphosis-like transformations or evoking the numbing bureaucracy and casual cruelty of modern governments. The title novella of this collection of eight tales chronicles the story of old Ding, whose 43 years of dedicated service to the Municipal Farm Equipment Factory have earned him the honorific Shifu, or master worker. Despite this praise, Ding is abruptly laid off one month before his retirement. After contemplating his options including setting himself on fire in protest Ding decides to go with a more entrepreneurial approach, converting an abandoned bus into a cottage-for-hire for lovers. As an old man getting his first taste of capitalism, he serves as a symbol for many of those facing struggles in modern China. Another entry, "Man and Beast," a leftover piece from Mo's Red Sorghum saga, evokes some of the horror of Japan's wartime treatment of China, while "The Cure" demonstrates the hatred and desperation China inflicted upon itself during the Cultural Revolution. Mo abandons the realistic mode for "Soaring," in which a new bride takes flight like a butterfly, though the violence with which she's brought back to earth proves that not every fable features a happy ending. This collection brings together stories written over the past 20 years and feels more like a random buffet than a carefully planned meal. Still, it provides a useful introduction to one of China's most important contemporary writers.

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Old 11-25-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
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What a great variety this month.

Speaking of variety, I'm not thrilled that "10 Wonderful Short Stories" is a list composed by a random article writer on a site I've never heard of. That said, I think the idea of nominating a mixture of authors was a really good one and despite its origins, this list seems to be very interesting and full of great writers, so I'd be more than happy to give it a go. The only one I've read, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", is excellent, and I think this collection could really give us an interesting discussion thread all around.

On the other hand, I left off voting for the Sherlock Holmes collection even though I'd be interested in reading it, and I hope it'd be better than A Study in Scarlet. But seeing as the latter was a winner this year in this club, I'd rather something other than Holmes for this month.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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I'll read anything on this month's list except for the Joyce. The 10% of Ulysses that I read left a permanent bad taste in my mouth. The only way I'd ever consider reading any more Jame Joyce would be if I ran into some of my old buds from the sixties who offered me some high quality LSD. At least then I'd have a shot at understanding him.

Yes, I know Dubliners is suppose to be different, but "Once bitten, Twice shy."
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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I'm really hoping to see The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie win the vote. The enigmatic Mr. Harley Quin is one of the most mysterious characters in all of fiction.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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Joyce, of course.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
I'll read anything on this month's list except for the Joyce. The 10% of Ulysses that I read left a permanent bad taste in my mouth. The only way I'd ever consider reading any more Jame Joyce would be if I ran into some of my old buds from the sixties who offered me some high quality LSD. At least then I'd have a shot at understanding him.

Yes, I know Dubliners is suppose to be different, but "Once bitten, Twice shy."
Dubliners is quite different. I started it once, but found the first few pages so dull I gave it the toss. I might just be done with that era of writing in general.

I am twice bitten, forever shy when it comes to sinking any more of my time into Joyce. I also think Joyce is a better choice for the literary club as opposed to the regular book club. But that's just my opinion and obviously not with the majority.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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For those who think Joyce has nothing to say, or nothing to say that's reasonably accessible, I'd recommend John Huston's wonderful last film, The Dead, based on one of the stories in Dubliners.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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It is an interesting list of books this month. There are some writers I hesitate to read; actually two on the list.
Fitzgerald is one of them and the other is James Joyce; I tried to read Ulysses 3x but never got into this book.
I read several of Fitzgerald, but never came to like or am intrigued by his actors. And there has to a challenge in a book, I think.

I voted for Agatha Christie's The mysterious Mr. Quin, as for some reason I never read this one and I read all of her books, or so I thought. ('They came to Baghdad' is one of my favorites).
Then Ursula K. Le Guin's The real and the unreal. I enjoyed her Earthsea books a long time ago.
I am rather intrigued by the 'Chinese Kafka' or Shifu, as I like Kafka very much, so I voted for You'll do anything for a laugh.

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Old 11-26-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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Yes, I know Dubliners is suppose to be different, but "Once bitten, Twice shy."
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Like sun surfer, I hadn't come across that site before and am certainly going to read the stories on offer. However, I voted for Joyce, Le Guin, Kipling and Fitzgerald. I'm unsure whether I can get hold of the Christie or not at this stage - still investigating.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:36 PM   #11
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Congrats. Joyce made it.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Dubliners is the one book in the list I refuse to read.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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You can't do that Mr Wolf since it's officially voted as the book of the month.

I already read the first story today, The Sisters.

An Encounter will follow this night.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
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For those who think Joyce has nothing to say, or nothing to say that's reasonably accessible, I'd recommend John Huston's wonderful last film, The Dead, based on one of the stories in Dubliners.
Indeed! This is a luminous, brilliant, magnificent film .... the photography of the falling snow is unforgettable .... and the actors bring Joyce's words alive ....
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medard View Post
You can't do that Mr Wolf since it's officially voted as the book of the month.
Actually, I can since I never nominated and/or voted for it. What I plan on doing is reading a different book for a different book club. The book is To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. It's for a local SF book club I belong to.
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