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:
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.
It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (the oldest literary prize in Britain). From Amazon:
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.
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
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.
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.
It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award (from wiki).
... 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.
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.
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.
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 prototype device is also only 6.8mm (0.27 inch) thick and weighs 385g (13.6 ounces) -- perfect for slipping into school bags. There's 4GB of on-board storage (with a microSD slot to increase that) and WiFi, which Sony plans to use for sharing notes with those who didn't make it to class on time. With WiFi off, the rechargeable battery inside is expected to last for three weeks of solid learning. These specs are for the prototype, of course, so after the late-2013 field trials at three Japanese universities.
Knowing Sony, I am sure it would cost a leg to buy if it ever comes out.
There's a blog post here from Tor that talks about the affect (or lack thereof) of ditching DRM.
The title of the thread gives away the ending, but I'll quote a salient section of the post anyway:
We had discussions with our authors before we made the move and we considered very carefully the two key concerns for any publisher when stripping out the DRM from ebooks: copyright protection and territoriality of sales. Protecting our author’s intellectual copyright will always be of a key concern to us and we have very stringent anti-piracy controls in place. But DRM-protected titles are still subject to piracy, and we believe a great majority of readers are just as against piracy as publishers are, understanding that piracy impacts on an author’s ability to earn an income from their creative work. As it is, we’ve seen no discernible increase in piracy on any of our titles, despite them being DRM-free for nearly a year.
I hope more publishers ditch their DRM schemes, and I also hope sellers of other media take notice. I dream of the day I can buy a video file from any service and play it on any device without first stripping the DRM.
That's about $45-yikes! I guess we can take it that their much vaunted launch in the UK has not been a rip roaring success. Hardly surprising however as outside of the 'trade' no one has ever heard of them.