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Old 07-01-2020, 12:06 AM   #1
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Distancing • July 2020

Help select what we'll read and discuss next!


The topic is Distancing.

Maybe a tongue in cheek reference the current world, but this could refer to something about people or a person being apart from each other or another for whatever reason, or perhaps people slowly drifting apart, or whatever take on the word you may come up with.


Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for about four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting by post then opens for four days, and a voter may give each nomination either one or two votes but only has a limited number of votes to use which is equal to the number of nominations minus one. Any questions, feel free to ask.

We hope that you will read the selection with us and join in the discussion.

*

Nominations are now complete. Voting is complete. Final results-
  • Papillon by Henri Charrière
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 560 Pages . Votes 4 . 1969 . France

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 320 Pages . Votes 2 . 1719 . England

  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 656 Pages . Votes 1 . 1946 . U.S.

  • Pan by Knut Hamsun
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 170 Pages . Votes 1 . 1894 . Norway

  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 349 Pages . Votes 5 . 2008 . Italy

  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 209 Pages . Votes 2 . 1927 . England

  • Coasting by Jonathan Raban
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 248 Pages . Votes 3 . 1987 . England

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 488 Pages . Votes 3 . 1897 . Ireland & England

  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 359 Pages . Votes 3 . 1940 . U.S.

Last edited by sun surfer; 07-10-2020 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:39 PM   #2
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I’m working on mine. There’s about a half day left for nominations, or maybe a little longer depending on when I get the voting list updated and ready.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:47 PM   #3
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Oh! Thanks for the reminder. I was thinking I had until tomorrow morning. I will work on mine today.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:17 PM   #4
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No worries; with the 4th holiday and everything you can wait until tomorrow if you'd prefer then. I often start the initial thread a little later so the four days period usually ends a little later. We can leave it open longer this time so it finishes closer to the same time as other months.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:34 PM   #5
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My nominations are:

Papillon - Henry Charrier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papillon_(book)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6882.Papillon

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_Crusoe
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...obinson_Crusoe

All the King’s Men - Robert Penn Warren
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_King%27s_Men
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...the_King_s_Men

Papillon and Robinson Crusoe are geographic distancing, Papillon (non fiction) I read an embarrassing number of years ago and is very high on my reread list, it has lasted to have a place as popular literature. Robinson Crusoe is also high on my reread list and I feel, selfishly, sure I have nominated it before.

All the Kings Men, which I have not read and only recently come across, has a theme of distancing of the mind and nihilism, it was the 1947 Pulitzer winner.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:19 PM   #6
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My first nomination is Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers by Knut Hamsun.

From Amazon US:
Quote:
The Nobel Prize winner’s lyrical and disturbing portrait of love and the dark recesses of the human psyche.
A lone hunter accompanied only by his faithful dog, Aesop, Thomas Glahn roams Norway’s northernmost wilds. Living out of a rude hut at the edge of a vast forest, Glahn pursues his solitary existence, hunting and fishing, until the strange girl Edvarda comes into his life.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:33 PM   #7
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My second nomination is The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
A bestselling international literary sensation about whether a "prime number" can ever truly connect with someone else.

A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one—it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both "primes," are misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit.

But the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, and the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface.

Like Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this is a stunning meditation on loneliness, love, and the weight of childhood experience that is set to become a universal classic.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:50 PM   #8
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My last nomination is To the Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

As time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and simultaneously, the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph—the human capacity for change.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:28 PM   #9
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My first nomination is Coasting: A Private Voyage by Jonathan Raban. This one is geographic distancing similar to how AnotherCat mentioned, centred on sailing around Britain.

Goodreads, Preview, 248 pages, 1987, England

Quote:
Put Jonathan Raban on a boat and the results will be fascinating, and never more so than when he’s sailing around the serpentine, 2,000-mile coast of his native England. In this acutely perceived and beautifully written book, the bestselling author of Bad Land turns that voyage–which coincided with the Falklands war of 1982-into an occasion for meditations on his country, his childhood, and the elusive notion of home.

Whether he’s chatting with bored tax exiles on the Isle of Man, wrestling down a mainsail during a titanic gale, or crashing a Scottish house party where the kilted guests turn out to be Americans, Raban is alert to the slightest nuance of meaning. One can read Coasting for his precise naturalistic descriptions or his mordant comments on the new England, where the principal industry seems to be the marketing of Englishness. But one always reads it with pleasure.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:53 PM   #10
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Next, for something a little different, I'll nominate Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's distancing in that the narrator travels to a foreign country, as well as how certain characters need to keep their distance from others. I've seen the '90s film and others like it but have never read the book.

Goodreads, Preview, 488 pages, 1897, Ireland & England

Quote:
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master'. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:02 PM   #11
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Finally I'll nominate The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. This one is about distancing in that the protagonist is deaf, mute, lonely and is socially distanced from most of those around him, although there are those who are emotionally distanced in one way or another that are drawn to him.

Goodreads, Preview, 359 pages, 1940, U.S.

Quote:
Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the café where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways they could never imagine.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:23 PM   #12
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The others on my shortlist were:

-Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (the protagonist distances herself from her usual social set and her location)

-Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon (the title character, a married successful businessman, one day gets up and leaves everything behind and vanishes, which is an extreme form of distancing)

-Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (a memoir about what the author permanently left behind in England and distanced himself from when he moved abroad vowing never to return)
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:31 PM   #13
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FYI, it's going to be some hours before I can organise the voting list and begin the vote but it should all be complete soonish.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
Next, for something a little different, I'll nominate Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's distancing in that the narrator travels to a foreign country, as well as how certain characters need to keep their distance from others. I've seen the '90s film and others like it but have never read the book.

Goodreads, Preview, 488 pages, 1897, Ireland & England
I almost nominated Frankenstein. I have not read Dracula but already own an annotated copy.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:42 PM   #15
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Heh, how serendipitous. I read Frankenstein ages ago at university and had to complete a creative project based on it. Because of that and it just being such a well known story I remember it better than some others, but it's been so long that I'd be up for a re-read.
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