Thread: MobileRead November Book Club Vote
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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November Book Club Vote

November 2013 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the November 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 November 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Patricia Clark Memorial Library
An Amazon blurb:

The Count of Monte Cristo, widely considered to be Dumas' magnum opus, is a work that no lover of literature can afford to miss.

All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Amazon UK / Amazon US
This is arguably the greatest anti-war novel ever written. Told from the perspective of a German soldier, one soon becomes part of the universal human tragedy that caught up all those whatever their nationality. The book is a powerful and moving cry that is relevant yet.

From Wikipedia:

"All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.

The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in the German newspaper Vossische Zeitung and in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, The Road Back, were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. It sold 2.5 million copies in 22 languages in its first eighteen months in print."

Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner
Amazon (US)/Kobo
Going to the Dogs is set in Berlin after the crash of 1929 and before the Nazi takeover, years of rising unemployment and financial collapse. The moralist in question is Jakob Fabian, “aged thirty-two, profession variable, at present advertising copywriter . . . weak heart, brown hair,” a young man with an excellent education but permanently condemned to a low-paid job without security in the short or the long run.

What’s to be done? Fabian and friends make the best of it—they go to work though they may be laid off at any time, and in the evenings they go to the cabarets and try to make it with girls on the make, all the while making a lot of sharp-sighted and sharp-witted observations about politics, life, and love, or what may be. Not that it makes a difference. Workers keep losing work to new technologies while businessmen keep busy making money, and everyone who can goes out to dance clubs and sex clubs or engages in marathon bicycle events, since so long as there’s hope of running into the right person or (even) doing the right thing, well—why stop?

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by José Saramago
Amazon (US)/Amazon (UK)/Amazon (CA)/ B&N (US)/Kobo or Kobo/Google Play (AUS) or Google Play (AUS)
Excerpt from The Collected Novels (Omnibus of Saramago's works):
A deft psychological portrait of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man of this earth.

From Goodreads:
This is a skeptic's journey into the meaning of God and of human existence. At once an ironic rendering of the life of Christ and a beautiful novel, Saramago's tale has sparked intense discussion about the meaning of Christianity and the Church as an institution.

From Wikipedia:
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (original title: O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo, 1991) is a novel by the Portuguese author José Saramago. A fictional re-telling of Jesus Christ's life, it depicts him as a flawed, humanised character with passions and doubts. The novel garnered controversy with some critics, especially among the Roman Catholic church, accusing Saramago of possessing a "substantially anti-religious vision"., and The Wall Street Journal's columnist Stephen Schwartz, accusing him of being one of the "fanatical pope baiters". It was also praised by other critics as a "deeply philosophical, provocative and compelling work".

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Amazon (US)
From Amazon:

This classic novel, the basis for the Oscar-winning 1964 film of the same name, vividly portrays the complex and multifaceted friendship between a young Greek intellectual and Alexis Zorba, a sixty-year-old swashbuckling Romanian-born Greek whose bullish charm and self-professed excellence as a chef, miner, and musician immediately draws the young man to hire him as a foreman in an ambitious new mining venture in Crete. Though the two men disagree on much, their conversations will open the young man’s eyes to a world that bears little resemblance to the one he thinks he knows from his books. Suffused with the colorful atmosphere of the Mediterranean and the sly wisdom of its unforgettable title character, Zorba the Greek has found its way into the hearts of readers around the globe.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Amazon US
“The Dinner,” the newly translated novel by the Dutch writer Herman Koch, has been a European sensation and an international best seller. (...)The success of “The Dinner” depends, in part, on the carefully calibrated revelations of its unreliable and increasingly unsettling narrator, Paul Lohman. Whatever else he may be, likable he is not. There is a bracing nastiness to this book that grows ever more intense with the turning of its pages. It will not please those who seek the cozy, the redemptive or the uplifting. If you are such a reader, you may stop right here. (NY Times)
An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives -- all over the course of one meal.

It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse -- the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy. (

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
No links provided.
It's a quite short and harrowing tale describing life in the Gulags from the perspective of the poor soul in the title. I feel that it's one of the most moving accounts of how a person can adapt in and under extremely hostile environments and regimes.

White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia by Jacek Hugo-Bader
Amazon (UK)
From Amazon:
This is the story of a journey like no other, as Jacek Hugo-Bader makes his way across Siberia, from Moscow to Vladivostok, in the middle of winter. Travelling alone in a modified Russian jeep, he traverses a continent that is two-and-a-half times bigger than America, awash with bandits and not always fully equipped with roads. Along the way, Hugo-Bader discovers a great deal of tragedy, but also plenty of dark humour among the reindeer shepherds, nomadic tribes, the former hippies, the shamans, and the followers of some of the many arcane religions that flourish in this isolated, impossible region.

The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hidayat
Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. / Bookworld Australia
From Amazon:

The story is narrated by a young man, a painter of miniatures, whose name is never given. He feels an overbearing need to recount an experience he went through that has shattered his whole existence. A beautiful woman, an old man and a cypress tree are the recurring motifs...

Recognized as the outstanding Iranian writer of the twentieth century, Sadegh Hedayat is credited with having brought his country's language and literature into the mainstream of contemporary writing. The Blind Owl, long considered a classic and often compared to the works of Poe, chillingly recreates the labyrinthine movements of a deranged mind...

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
OverDrive (US)/OverDrive (Non-US)/Amazon (UK)/Amazon (CA)/ Google Play (AUS)
Overdrive blurb:

... Set in modern day Moscow, Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. ...

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 10-22-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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