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Old 05-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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Post The MobileRead Literary Book Club June 2011 Vote

Help us choose the June 2011 selection to read for the inaugural month of the MobileRead Literary Book Club! The poll will be open for three days.

We will start the discussion thread for the selected work on June 17th and a thread for July's nominations will be created five days later on June 22nd. I will start the threads, but the discussion thread may have a "discussion leader" if one volunteers. Everyone can post whatever thoughts they wish on the month's selection, but the discussion leader's goal will be to continue the dialogue in a thought-provoking direction with discussion questions and the like.

Unlike pilotbob with the general book club, I will vote in this poll. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off poll. In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all five of its initial nominations first.

Select from the following works:

On The Beach by Nevil Shute
After the war is over, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards on the winds, gradually poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from the United States and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.

“The most haunting evocation we have of a world dying of radiation after an atomic war.” — The New York Times

“The most shocking fiction I have read in years. What is shocking about it is both the idea and the sheer imaginative brilliance with which Mr. Shute brings it off.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“A novelist of intelligent and engaging quality, deservedly popular. . . . Nevil Shute was, in brief, the sort of novelist who genuinely touches the imagination and feeling.” — The Times (London)

Seven Japanese Tales by Junchiro Tanazaki
Seven Japanese Tales represents aspects of Tanizaki's prose art between 1910 and 1959. The four short stories have a strong concern with abnormal psychology. He tells of a tattoo artist who is obsessed with the desire to decorate the body of a supremely beautiful woman; a city man who is struck with terror when obliged to ride trolley cars. There is a study of the emotions of a schoolboy thief, and an account of a young man exhausted by months of passion for his mistress. The three longer tales, written in his maturity, tell the story of a famous blind woman who teaches the samisen and the koto, and of a pupil who becomes her lover. When she is disfigured by some unknown enemy, her lover blinds himself. There is an account of a young man's erotic confusions between his dead mother, his stepmother and his wife. Finally, a blind man tells of the ambitions and stratagems, loves and cruelties during the feudal wars of sixteenth-century Japan.

A Question Of Upbringing by Anthony Powell
Book 1 of A Dance To The Music Of Time

A Question of Upbringing (1951) introduces us to the young Nick Jenkins and his housemates at boarding school in the years just after World War I. Boyhood pranks and visits from relatives bring to life the amusements and longueurs of schooldays even as they reveal characters and traits that will follow Jenkins and his friends through adolescence and beyond: Peter Templer, a rich, passionate womanizer; Charles Stringham, aristocratic and louche; and Kenneth Widmerpool, awkward and unhappy, yet strikingly ambitious. By the end of the novel, Jenkins has finished university and is setting out on a life in London; old ties are fraying, new ones are forming, and the first steps of the dance are well underway.

"Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. His admirers are addicts, let us face it, held in thrall by a magician."—Chicago Tribune

"A book which creates a world and explores it in depth, which ponders changing relationships and values, which creates brilliantly living and diverse characters and then watches them grow and change in their milieu. . . . Powell's world is as large and as complex as Proust's."—Elizabeth Janeway, New York Times

The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. Full of pungency and wit, this luminous work is Bulgakov's crowning achievement, skilfully blending magical and realistic elements, grotesque situations and major ethical concerns. Written during the darkest period of Stalin's repressive reign and a devastating satire of Soviet life, it combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with incident and with historical, imaginary, frightful and wonderful characters. Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published until 1966 when the first section appeared in the monthly magazine Moskva. Russians everywhere responded enthusiastically to the novel's artistic and spiritual freedom and it was an immediate and enduring success.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Anne Elliot, heroine of Austen's last novel, did something we can all relate to: Long ago, she let the love of her life get away. In this case, she had allowed herself to be persuaded by a trusted family friend that the young man she loved wasn't an adequate match, social stationwise, and that Anne could do better. The novel opens some seven years after Anne sent her beau packing, and she's still alone. But then the guy she never stopped loving comes back from the sea. As always, Austen's storytelling is so confident, you can't help but allow yourself to be taken on the enjoyable journey.

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-27-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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