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Old 12-01-2016, 09:45 AM   #1
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Retrospective Vote • December 2016

Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read in December 2016!

This is a special month featuring one nomination from every previous rotating nominator this cycle. The included nominations are determined by the non-winners with the most votes and any relevant ties are resolved by the original nominator, or otherwise by first listed (this time all ties have been resolved by their original nominator).

Like every month we will only have one winner, but this is a celebration of all who contributed to the rotating months. A big thanks of appreciation to each and every one of you!




Voting will run for four days. The vote will close exactly four days from this post; even if the final tally doesn't occur immediately after voting closes, no votes made after that time will count.

Votes will be made by post. Each person has FIVE votes to use.

You may give each nominee one or two (or no) votes. You may vote all at once in one post or vote in separate posts at different times, so long as you have more votes remaining to cast. You may use any number of your possible votes up to the maximum. Any extraneous votes per person (past their maximum or more than two for one nominee) won't count. Votes cannot be changed once they are cast.

If you vote for the winner it is hoped that you will read the selection with the club and join in the discussion.

Once voting is complete, the count will be tallied and a winner declared. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off vote, also in this thread. If the run-off also ends in a tie, then the tie will be resolved in favour of the earliest nomination.

The floor is now open!

*

Voting is closed. Final results-
  • Babette's Feast by Karen Blixen, December 2015 bfisher
    Goodreads / 054 Pages / Votes- 7
    Spoiler:
    Goodreads: With the mysterious arrival of Babette, a refugee from France's civil war, life for two pious sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change. Before long, Babette has convinced them to try something other than boiled codfish and ale bread: a gourmet French meal. Her feast scandalizes the elders, except for the visiting general. Just who is this strangely talented Babette, who has terrified this pious town with the prospect of losing their souls for enjoying too much earthly pleasure?


    Note from bfisher - a short novella or even a short story at 54 pages. It was adapted as a wonderful movie (in Danish, but available with subtitles)

  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, February 2016 Bookpossum
    Goodreads / 217 Pages / Votes- 0
    Spoiler:
    An exceptionally powerful novel exploring the themes of betrayal, guilt and memory against the background of the Holocaust. An international bestseller.

    For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems.

    Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret.

    'A tender, horrifying novel that shows blazingly well how the Holocaust should be dealt with in fiction. A thriller, a love story and a deeply moving examination of a German conscience' INDEPENDENT SATURDAY MAGAZINE

  • The Golden Bowl by Henry James, April 2016 Spinnenmonat
    Goodreads / 594 Pages / Votes- 3
    Spoiler:
    From Goodreads:'A thing to marvel at, a thing to be grateful for.'A rich American art-collector and his daughter Maggie buy in for themselves and to their greater glory a beautiful young wife and noble husband. They do not know that Charlotte and Prince Amerigo were formerly lovers, nor that on the eve of the Prince's marriage they had discovered, in a Bloomsbury antique shop, a golden bowl with a secret flaw. The superstitious Amerigo, fearing for his gilded future, refuses to accept it as a wedding gift from Charlotte. 'Don't you think too much of "cracks,"' she is later to say to him, 'aren't you too afraid of them? I risk the cracks...' When the golden bowl is broken, Maggie must leave the security of her childhood and try to reassemble the pieces of her shattered happiness.

    In this, the last of his three great poetic masterpieces, James combined with a dazzling virtuosity elements of social comedy, of mystery, terror, and myth. "The Golden Bowl" is the most controversial, ambiguous, and sophisticated of James's novels.

  • The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, June 2016 fantasyfan
    Goodreads / 256 Pages / Votes- 4
    Spoiler:
    1953

    From fantasyfan-

    For over fifty years The Demolished Man has held its place as of one of the most brilliant and remarkable science fiction novels ever written. It was also the first-ever winner of the Hugo award.

    Here’s a good review of it:

    Alfred Bester's early, pyrotechnic novels gave us two of SF's greatest antiheroes: Gully Foyle in The Stars My Destination (1956) and Ben Reich in The Demolished Man (1953)--which deservedly won the first-ever Hugo Award for Best Novel. Reich is an obsessed monster, haunted by nightmares of a Man With No Face, driven and compelled to murder a rival magnate in a future where crime can't be hidden from police telepaths. The penalty is Demolition: erasure of the criminal's mind. Armed with an ugly weapon holding very special ammo, an insane jingle to mask his thoughts, and the resources of his interplanetary business empire, Reich takes on the world--but, as hinted by clues in chapter 1, he still doesn't understand his own buried motives. It's an impossible problem for police chief Lincoln Powell, one of the hated mind-reading elite--who knows very well whodunnit but can't go to court on telepathic evidence alone. Bester's dazzling 24th century is full of brilliant and dotty conceits, most famously the woven typographic patterns of telepaths' group 'conversations'. A gripping, headlong storyline hurtles from Earth's decadent high society to its lowest dives, with an interlude of mayhem at the Spaceland asteroid resort. The final confrontations are apocalyptic and unforgettable, with major psychological shockers and a moving aftermath. A genuine SF classic. --David Langford

  • The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, August 2016 sun surfer
    Goodreads / 488 Pages / Votes- 4
    Spoiler:
    Published 2004 / 3.68 stars average from 16,339 GR ratings

    Booker prize winner about a young gay man in early ‘80s Britain who, recently graduated from Oxford, moves in with the wealthy family of his friend, the father of whom is a newly elected Tory MP. In Thatcher’s London he becomes caught up in their world and with his own obsession for beauty.

  • Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx, October 2016 Bookworm_Girl
    Goodreads / 432 Pages / Votes- 2
    Spoiler:
    Availability: Overdrive, Scribd

    Pulitzer Prize–winning author Annie Proulx brings the immigrant experience to life in this stunning novel that traces the ownership of a simple green accordion.

    E. Annie Proulx’s Accordion Crimes is a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent. Proulx brings the immigrant experience in America to life through the eyes of the descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Africans, Irish-Scots, Franco-Canadians and many others, all linked by their successive ownership of a simple green accordion. The music they make is their last link with the past—voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance. Proulx’s prodigious knowledge, unforgettable characters and radiant language make Accordion Crimes a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality.

    Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (1997)

Last edited by sun surfer; 12-05-2016 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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I'll begin with the following votes:

Babette's Feast 2

The Golden Bowl 1

The Demolished Man 2
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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Since I put The Reader on my list of nominations, I have read a damning review of it by issybird, whose taste in books I respect highly. So although I nominated it, I'm going to let it pass this time around! My votes are:

2 for Babette's Feast
2 for The Demolished Man
1 for Accordian Crimes
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:34 PM   #4
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It's a very interesting selection all round but with my limited votes I'll do-

2 The Line of Beauty
2 The Golden Bowl
1 Babette's Feast
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
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Here are my votes:

2 The Line of Beauty
2 Babette's Feast
1 Accordion Crimes
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:36 PM   #6
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Hmm. I think I might start reading Anecdotes of Destiny in anticipation of Babette's Feast being the winner. A shortish story at this time of year seems to be a sensible choice!

I must apologise: I had quite forgotten that the short story was in bfisher's selection this year when I nominated this book of short stories in the recent Region month.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:42 PM   #7
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Bookpossum, at least you helped point us to where to find an e-version of the story! My library only has the movie DVD and no book format so I'll have to purchase this one. Glad it's available in the Kindle and Kobo stores.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
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Glad to be of help!
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Voting is now closed and it looks like we are in for a feast! I'll have the discussion thread up within a day or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Bookpossum, at least you helped point us to where to find an e-version of the story! ... Glad it's available in the Kindle and Kobo stores.
Same! After we'd all voted I'd looked for it on Amazon and thought I'd have to etravel to get it. I was looking for 'Babette's Feast and Other Stories' or just 'Babette's Feast' or otherwise the book making clear in the title that it included this story. Thanks for the tip, Bookpossum.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
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A note to say that if anyone decides to watch the movie version of Babette's Feast (it's one of my all time favorites),watch the subtitled version rather than the one dubbed in English. For the dubbed version they change the words to somewhat match the mouth movements and it loses some of the impact of the original.
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:06 PM   #11
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I remember seeing the film when it was first released, and I loved it - beautifully done. And I absolutely agree - dubbed films are awful. Apart from the fact they always seem rather flat, you are taking away the actors' voices from them, and of course they are so much a part of the performance.
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Old 12-07-2016, 01:15 PM   #12
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For anyone who is curious about "Cailles en Sarcophage":

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/f...dish_made.html
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:21 PM   #13
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Great article! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #14
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Good find bfisher - thank you.
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #15
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Sun surfer, are we to do the discussion on this thread, or are you going to start a separate discussion thread?
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