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Old 03-28-2017, 01:21 PM   #361
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Looking forward to your noms bfisher!
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:09 PM   #362
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Great - thank you bfisher! I'll ask for your list on the first or thereabouts, allowing for time differences.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:55 PM   #363
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From bfisher:

Here is my list:

Elizabeth Taylor - Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
Spoiler:

No, not that Elizabeth Taylor, this Elizabeth Taylor - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizab...ylor_(novelist)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._the_Claremont
The Goodreads description:
On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs. Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies—boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs. Palfrey strikes up an unexpected friendship with Ludo, a handsome young writer, and learns that even the old can fall in love.




Michael Ondaatje - The Cat's Table
Spoiler:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...he-cat-s-table
The Goodreads description:
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England – a ‘castle that was to cross the sea’. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly ‘Cat's Table’ with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another, ‘bursting all over the place like freed mercury’. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner – his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever.

As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding – about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were ‘free of the realities of the earth’.

With the ocean liner a brilliant microcosm for the floating dream of childhood, The Cat’s Table is a vivid, poignant and thrilling book, full of Ondaatje’s trademark set-pieces and breathtaking images: a story told with a child’s sense of wonder by a novelist at the very height of his powers.





Sylvia Townsend Warner - Lolly Willowes
Spoiler:

Readers of H Is For Hawk may remember the reference to Sylvia Townsend Warner as the biographer of T.H. White; Macdonald quotes her reaction to being confronted with the effects of White - “I have never felt such an imminent haunt”. Lolly Willowes was her breakout book - and the first Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...Lolly_Willowes
Goodreads description:
In Lolly Willowes, an ageing spinster rebels against her role as the universal aunt, at everybody's beck and call. How she escapes all that "—to have a life of one's own, not an existence doled out to you by others", is the theme of this story.





Hisham Matar - In The Country Of Men
Spoiler:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...Country_of_Men
The Goodreads description:
Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman's days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father's constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mother's increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasn't he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters? Why did he lie? Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand-where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his father's cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friend's father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television.






George Orwell - Burmese Days
Spoiler:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9650.Burmese_Days
The Goodreads description:
Set in the days of the Empire, with the British ruling in Burma, this book describes corruption and imperial bigotry. Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Dr Veraswami, a black enthusiast for the Empire, whose downfall can only be prevented by membership at an all-white club.





Jocelyne Saucier - And the Birds Rained Down
Spoiler:

As close as you can get to having two hosers frying bacon on a campstove and drinking beer

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...ds-rained-down
The Goodreads description
Tom and Charlie have decided to live out the remainder of their lives on their own terms, hidden away in a remote forest, their only connection to the outside world a couple of pot growers who deliver whatever they can’t eke out for themselves.

But one summer two women arrive. One is a young photographer documenting a a series of catastrophic forest fires that swept Northern Ontario early in the century; she’s on the trail of the recently deceased Ted Boychuck, a survivor of the blaze. And then the elderly aunt of the one of the pot growers appears, fleeing one of the psychiatric institutions that have been her home since she was sixteen. She joins the men in the woods and begins a new life as Marie-Desneige. With the photographer’s help, they find Ted’s series of paintings about the fire, and begin to decipher the dead man’s history.

A haunting meditation on aging and self-determination, And the Birds Rained Down, originally published in French as Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was the winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie, the first Canadian title to win this honour. It was winner of the Prix des lecteurs Radio-Canada, the Prix des collégiens du Québec, the Prix Ringuet 2012 and a finalist for the Grand Prix de la ville de Montréal.



Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March
Spoiler:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...Radetzky_March
The Goodreads description:
"The Radetzky March charts the history of the Trotta family through three generations spanning the rise and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Through the Battle of Solferino to the entombment of the last Hapsburg emperor, Roth's intelligent compassion illuminates the crumbling of a way of life."
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:56 PM   #364
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Thanks bfisher - looks to be a very interesting list. Over to sun surfer to put up the voting thread.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #365
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Great list bfisher!

And thanks Bookpossum; I'll have the voting thread up soon.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:09 PM   #366
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Who would like to take their turn selecting the nominations for the upcoming rotating month in June?

Previous nominators for this series:
February fantasyfan
April bfisher

The only requirements for the month's selections are that they are literary, that none have been the monthly selection of either book club yet (nominees can be previous nominees though) and that they number at least four. That’s it, pretty simple.

Spoiler:
You can find the list of previous selections of the Literary Book Club on the first page of the thread The MR Literary Club: Welcome, Information and General Discussion. You can find the list here

The list of previous selections of the general Book Club can be found in a thread called Book Club Selections List. You can find the list here.

If you want the background to how this works, see the first page of this thread here.

And any questions, just ask!

Last edited by Bookpossum; 05-19-2017 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 05-25-2017, 07:36 PM   #367
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Okay, I shall take the June spot, and ask myself for the booklist on the first.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:11 AM   #368
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Okay, I shall take the June spot, and ask myself for the booklist on the first.
It does simplify the communications
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:55 AM   #369
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Very interested to see your nominations, Bookpossum! Just don't forget to be around to answer yourself when you ask yourself for your list.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:07 PM   #370
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Yes, I shall try to pay attention and respond promptly!
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:23 PM   #371
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I'm being really prompt, as we have a big family celebration tomorrow, which will be a bit distracting. So here is my list - a mixture of books on my TBR list, and some I would like to revisit. I hope there are some items of interest there for you all.

Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim
Spoiler:
Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that “there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.” Kingsley Amis’s scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics with whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy.

More than just a merciless satire of cloistered college life and stuffy postwar manners, Lucky Jim is an attack on the forces of boredom, whatever form they may take, and a work of art that at once distills and extends an entire tradition of English comic writing, from Fielding and Dickens through Wodehouse and Waugh. As Christopher Hitchens has written, “If you can picture Bertie or Jeeves being capable of actual malice, and simultaneously imagine Evelyn Waugh forgetting about original sin, you have the combination of innocence and experience that makes this short romp so imperishable.” (Goodreads)


Possession - A S Byatt
Spoiler:
Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.

Man Booker Prize Winner (1990) (Goodreads)


Graham Greene - Travels with my Aunt
Spoiler:
Described by Graham Greene as "the only book I have written just for the fun of it," Travels with My Aunt is the story of Hanry Pulling, a retired and complacent bank manager who meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral. She soon persuades Henry to abandon his dull suburban existence to travel her way—winding through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, and Paraguay. Through Aunt Augusta, one of Greene's greatest comic creations, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society; mixes with hippies, war criminals, and CIA men; smokes pot; and breaks all currency regulations.

Originally published in 1970, Travels with My Aunt offers intoxicating entertainment, yet also confronts some of the most perplexing human dilemmas. (Goodreads)


Andreï Makine - Le Testament Français
AKA Dreams of My Russian Summers
Spoiler:
Tells the poignant story of a boy growing up amid the harsh realities of Soviet life in the 1960s and '70s, and of his extraordinary love for an elegant Frenchwoman, Charlotte Lemonnier, who is his grandmother.

Every summer he visits his grandmother in a dusty village overlooking the vast steppes. Here, during the warm evenings, they sit on Charlotte's narrow, flower-covered balcony and listen to tales from another time, another place: Paris at the turn of the century. She who used to see Proust playing tennis in Neuilly captivates the children with stories of Tsar Nicholas's visit to Paris in 1896, of the great Paris flood of 1910, of the death of French president Felix Faure in the arms of his mistress.

But from Charlotte the boy also learns of a Russia he has never known, of famine and misery, of brutal injustice, of the hopeless chaos of war. He follows her as she travels by foot from Moscow half the way to Siberia; suffers with her as she tells of her husband - his grandfather - a victim of Stalin's purges; shudders as she describes her own capture by bandits, who brutalize her and left her for dead. Could all this pain and suffering really have happened to his gentle, beloved Charlotte? Mesmerized, the boy weaves Charlotte's stories into his own secret universe of memory and dream. Yet, despite all the deprivations and injustices of the Soviet world, he like many Russians still feels a strong affinity with and "an indestructible love" for his homeland. (Goodreads)



David Malouf - Dream Stuff
Spoiler:
Here are nine haunting stories from the award-winning author of Remembering Babylon, in which history and geography, as well as the past and the present, combine and often collide, illuminating the landscape and revealing the character of Australia.

An eleven-year-old boy sees his father in his own elongated shadow only to realize that he will not return from the war. In a parting moment, a young woman hired to "marry" vacationing soldiers, grasps the weight of the word "woe." When a failing farmer senselessly murders a wandering aborigine, he imperils his son but discovers in the spring of sympathy that follows the power to influence others.

Wise and moving, startling and lyrical, Dream Stuff reverberates with the unpredictability of human experience, revealing people who are shaped by the mysterious rhythms of nature as well as the ghosts of their own pasts. (Goodreads)



Alice Munro - Friend of My Youth
Spoiler:
A woman haunted by dreams of her dead mother. An adulterous couple stepping over the line where the initial excitement ends and the pain begins. A widow visiting a Scottish village in search of her husband's past - and instead discovering unsettling truths about a total stranger. The ten stories in this collection not only astonish and delight but also convey the unspoken mysteries at the heart of all human experience. (Goodreads)


V S Naipaul - The Mystic Masseur
Spoiler:
V S Naipaul's first novel - funny, endlessly inventive and brilliantly imagined.
The Mystic Masseur traces the story of Ganesh who, at the beginning of the novel, is a struggling masseur when 'masseurs were ten a penny in Trinidad'. From failed primary school teacher and masseur to author, revered mystic and MBE, his is a journey memorable for its hilarious and bewildering success.

Naipaul's clarity of style, humorous touch and powerful characterisation are all in evidence in this first book. This is an ideal beginning to readers new to Naipaul's writing. (Kobo)



Annie Proulx - That Old Ace in the Hole
Spoiler:
A richly textured story of one man's struggle to make good in the inhospitable ranch country of the Texas panhandle, told with razor wit and a masterly sense of place. 'An absolute corker of a novel which manages the dual feat of being a serious satire on the evils of global capitalism, and a personal comedy of Dickensian dimensions.' A N Wilson, Daily Telegraph

Some folks in the Texas panhandle do not like hog farms. But Bob Dollar, the newly-hired hog site scout for Global Pork Rind, intends to do his job. Bob must contend with tough men and women like ancient Freda Beautyrooms who controls a ranch he covets, and Ace Crouch, the windmiller who defies the hog farms. As Bob settles in at La Von Fronk's bunkhouse and lends a hand at Cy Frease's Old Dog Café, he is forced to question everything. 'Proulx's own ace in the hole is her brilliance at evoking place and landscape. She sets about drawing the vast distances and parched flatlands of Texas with almost immeasurable skill.' Alex Clark, Guardian 'Amusing, intriguing and disturbing.' Mark Sanderson, Independent on Sunday 'A kind-hearted and intelligent novel.' Daily Telegraph 'Proulx has a first class eye and ear.' Adam Mars-Jones, Observer 'Brilliantly written.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Funny and heartfelt.' Scotsman. (Kobo)
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:52 AM   #372
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I'll have the vote thread up within a day.

I haven't read any of these and this list has a lot of authors I haven't read yet but want to try.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:01 PM   #373
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A splendid list, Bookpossum.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:23 AM   #374
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A splendid list, Bookpossum.
Absolutely.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:14 AM   #375
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Thank you! A bit of a mixed bag but I tried to put in a few different nationalities to mix things up.

Just back from the big celebratory lunch for a diamond wedding anniversary.
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