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Old 09-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #1
issybird
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Vote for October 2018 Out of This World: Otherwhence


Let's select the book we'll read and discuss in October 2018!

We love new participants. We're happy for you to vote, but we'd like to request that you not vote unless you plan to join the discussion whatever the selection, in the interest of a vibrant conversation.


This is a poll. Vote for as many books as you'd like. Questions? FAQs | Guidelines Or just ask!

Choices:

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
$US6.99, $C9.99, $A12.99, 5.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus's potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda...
336 pages

Stargazing by Peter Hill
Amazon UK - 6.17 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Kobo UK - 6.83 | Kobo AU $12.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasures of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, "In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolor. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country."

Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style.
292 pages

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard, based on J. M. Barrie's play of the same name
Amazon U.S. $7.34 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo U.S., $8.69 | Kobo CA $9.89 | Hoopla, Scribd, Overdrive, RB Digital
Spoiler:
Quote:
Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.
272 pages

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK 4.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | OverDrive, Audible
Spoiler:
Quote:
The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the aging and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing 55 fictitious cities that are narrated by Polo, many of which can be read as parables or meditations on culture, language, time, memory, death, or the general nature of human experience.

Short dialogues between Kublai and Polo are interspersed every five to ten cities discussing these topics. These interludes between the two characters are no less poetically constructed than the cities, and form a framing device that plays with the natural complexity of language and stories. In one key exchange in the middle of the book, Kublai prods Polo to tell him of the one city he has never mentioned directly—his hometown. Polo's response: "Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice."
182 pages

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
Public Domain
Spoiler:
This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance its tired ghost. The family -- which refuses to believe in him -- is in Wilde's way a commentary on the British nobility of the day -- and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde's, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance. . .
126 pages

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Amazon US $2.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
SOME STORIES CANNOT BE TOLD IN JUST ONE LIFETIME.

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message."

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
417 pages

Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke
Amazon US $7.75 | Amazon CA $7.99 | Amazon AU $10.55 | Kobo US $8.09 | Kobo CA $8.69 | Kobo AU $10.88
Spoiler:
Quote:
Living in the ten-billion-year-old city of Diaspar, Alvin is the last child born of humanity, and he is intensely curious about the outside world. But according to the oldest histories kept by the city fathers, there is no outside world—it was destroyed by the Invaders millions of years ago.

One day, Alvin finds a rock with an inscription seemingly meant for him: “There is a better way. Give my greetings to the Keeper of the Records. Alaine of Lyndar.” This cryptic message takes Alvin on a quest to discover humanity’s true past—and its future.

Originally published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, Against the Fall of Night is a rich and intensely poetic vision of a distant future that’s sure to delight fans of Clarke and science fiction as a genre.
120 pages

The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime #1) by Jasper Fforde
Amazon US $4.99 | Amazon UK 0.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Amazon CA $4.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
It's Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.

But Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary remain unconvinced, a sentiment not shared with their superiors at the Reading Police Department, who are still smarting over their failure to convict the Three Pigs of murdering Mr. Wolff. Before long Jack and Mary find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with beanstalks, titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of international chiropody.

And on top of all that, the JellyMan is coming to town . . .
383 pages

Last edited by issybird; 09-08-2018 at 02:36 AM.
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