Thread: MobileRead April 2013 Book Club Vote
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:25 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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April 2013 Book Club Vote

March 2013 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the April 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 multiple-choice: you may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

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

(1) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
No links provided.
No synopsis provided.

(2) The American Senator by Anthony Trollope
No links given, but issybird says, "Available here at MR; if people don't want to convert to ePub it's also available at Manybooks. Free audio at LibriVox."
From Wikipedia:

[I]t is notable for its depictions of rural English life and for its many detailed fox hunting scenes. In its anti-heroine, Arabella Trefoil, it presents a scathing but ultimately sympathetic portrayal of a woman who has abandoned virtually all scruples in her quest for a husband. Through the eponymous Senator, Trollope offers comments on the irrational aspects of English life..... Through his often-tactless remarks in conversation, through his letters to a friend in America, and through a lecture in London titled "The Irrationality of Englishmen", he comments on British justice and government, the Church of England, the custom of primogeniture, and other aspects of English life.

(3) A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
No links provided.
From Amazon:

Richard Hughes's celebrated short novel is a masterpiece of concentrated narrative. Its dreamlike action begins among the decayed plantation houses and overwhelming natural abundance of late nineteenth-century Jamaica, before moving out onto the high seas, as Hughes tells the story of a group of children thrown upon the mercy of a crew of down-at-the-heel pirates. A tale of seduction and betrayal, of accommodation and manipulation, of weird humor and unforeseen violence, this classic of twentieth-century literature is above all an extraordinary reckoning with the secret reasons and otherworldly realities of childhood.

"This brilliant, gorgeously written, highly entertaining, and apparently light-hearted idyll quickly reveals its true nature as a powerful and profoundly disquieting meditation on the meaning of loyalty and betrayal, innocence and corruption, truth and deception." - Francine Prose, Elle

"During one snowy day, I read the whole book in one gulp. It was remarkable, tiny, crazy. I felt just like I did as a kid. ... A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes is like those books you used to read under the covers with a flashlight, only infinitely more delicious and macabre." - Andrew Sean Greer, All Things Considered, NPR

“Cross a wacky seafaring adventure--Conrad gone awry via inept piracy--with an exploration of the consciousness of a child as radical and insightful as that provided by Henry James in What Maisie Knew, and you have A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes....By turns funny, ironic, and brutally sad, this is a complex and astonishing novel." - Sue Miller, Barnes and Noble Review

-Included in Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

(4) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
No links provided.
The Age of Innocence won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize.

(5) The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
No links provided.
From Amazon:

American novelist and short-story writer, poet, translator, classical music composer, and filmscorer Paul Bowles has lived as an expatriate for more than 40 years in the North African nation of Morocco, a country that reaches into the vast and inhospitable Sahara Desert. The desert is itself a character in The Sheltering Sky, the most famous of Bowles' books, which is about three young Americans of the postwar generation who go on a walkabout into Northern Africa's own arid heart of darkness. In the process, the veneer of their lives is peeled back under the author's psychological inquiry.

"It stands head and shoulders above most other novels published in English since World War II." - The New Republic

"[The Sheltering Sky] is one of the most original, even visionary, works of fiction to appear in this century." - Tobias Wolff

-Included in Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
-Included in Time's 100 Best English-Language Novels Published Since 1923

(6) A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Mobi / Mobi Omnibus / ePub Omnibus
From Wikipedia:

The story begins in 1881, where Dr. Watson runs into an old friend, Stamford. Due to a leg injury sustained in the Anglo-Afghan War, Watson was forced to retire and is now looking for a place to live. Stamford mentions that an acquaintance of his, one Sherlock Holmes, is looking for someone to split the rent at a flat at 221B, Baker Street, but cautions about Holmes' eccentricities.

Stamford takes Watson to the local hospital's lab where they find Holmes experimenting with a reagent for haemoglobin detection. Holmes explains its significance in convicting criminals based on bloodstains. Then, upon shaking Watson's hand, deduces that the Dr. has seen military action but waves off the question of how he knows. Watson broaches the subject of their mutual flat-mate search. At Holmes' prompting, the two review their various shortcomings to make sure that they can accept living together.

After seeing the rooms at 221B, they move in and grow accustomed to their new situation.

Watson is amazed by Holmes, who has profound knowledge of chemistry and sensational literature, very precise but narrow knowledge of geology and botany; yet knows little about literature, astronomy, philosophy, and politics. Holmes also has multiple guests visiting him at different intervals during the day.

"There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."
A Study in Scarlet, Chapter 4: "What John Rance Had to Tell"

(7) Animal Farm by George Orwell
No links provided.
ANIMAL FARM is a short novel that can be read in a single two-hour sitting. The name seems to imply a children's novel, indeed the words are simple enough, but the satire is thick on every page. This novel is a companion to Orwell's equally famous novel, NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. Both are essential reading.

Absolutely essential.

Animal Farm is the most famous satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism. Published in 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era. Orwell, a democratic socialist, and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Joseph Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVD during the Spanish Civil War.

The book was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best English language novels (1923 to 2005) and was number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th Century Novels.

The novel describes how a society's ideologies can be manipulated and twisted by individuals in positions of social and political power, including how a utopian society is made impossible by the corrupting nature of the very power necessary to create it.

(8) The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek

(9) All Men Are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir
No links provided.
'All Men Are Mortal' is a captivating exemplum of the existentialist credo. A beautiful and accomplished your actress revives a downcast stranger at a French resort. He becomes thoroughy attached to her at first and confides a terrifying truth; he is immortal. At this point, the power in their relationship shifts. She can think of nothing greater than having her performances remembered forever. She, too, will then become immortal. But having been resuscitated into enjoying life again, this former medieval ruler starts breaking free from her grasp and all notions of morality.

(10) The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Mobi / Mobi
No synopsis provided.
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