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Old 03-05-2019, 07:22 AM   #46
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[...] When considering a book to nominate, I take into account availability, price, and of course whether I think that other members of the Club might enjoy the book. I can't see much point in nominating a book that is unlikely to be interesting and/or enjoyable for other Club members.[...]
Yes, this definitely played a significant part in my selection this time around. Not saying it doesn't usually, but there were a couple of books by Christopher Moore that I think are quite brilliant and fit this theme very well: Lamb - retelling the life of Jesus; and Fool - King Lear from the perspective of his fool. But I opted not to nominate them because Lamb is a potential problem for discussion on the religious front, and because Fool is quite explicit in parts and that sort of thing is not to everyone's tastes.

On a related note: At first I was trying to keep with stories that I expected the participants here would all know. I was thinking: what was the point of a retelling if you didn't know the original? But when I came across references to Chinese tales that I was not familiar with, I realised I would be happy with those so maybe familiarity with the original wasn't critical.


I did like to see Victoria's nomination of the Christie novel because I had been going to say that many murder mysteries work with differences in "the way I heard it"; although I had been thinking along the lines of Cards on the Table or Five Little Pigs.

I also thought about various vampire books. Maybe Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum, but we already had a Pratchett. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice but I didn't feel like revisiting that right now. Salem's Lot by Stephen King was a possibility ... but I ended up moving on.

I found it an interesting theme to explore. Certainly, I know there is a lot of I left unexplored, but then that's why it's so good having a team of people all exploring the theme together, we get to see other stuff we didn't think about.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:39 AM   #47
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I did like to see Victoria's nomination of the Christie novel because I had been going to say that many murder mysteries work with differences in "the way I heard it"; although I had been thinking along the lines of Cards on the Table or Five Little Pigs.

<Snip>

I found it an interesting theme to explore. Certainly, I know there is a lot of I left unexplored, but then that's why it's so good having a team of people all exploring the theme together, we get to see other stuff we didn't think about.
On the topic of mysteries, I considered a series that's an explicit retelling, Robert van Gulik's wonderful Judge Dee mysteries. But the books are expensive, so I moved on.

I'm also enjoying the conversation here about the various avenues people considered. I like how the themes turn out to contain more possibilities than were originally evident; it was something of a lightning bolt moment for me when I realized that a retelling of a historical personage or event would fit. I find that it both fun and illuminating when everyone contributes their insights into a theme.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:25 AM   #48
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I actually wanted to nominate Pentimento by Lillian Hellman. The book itself features layers of telling; and was later the subject of controversy, when Hellman was accused of stealing Julia’s story from someone else. But it won’t be available in ebook for kindles until September. I ran into accessibility issues with other ideas as well.

The theme led me to thinking about professional “tellers” and how for journalists in particular, telling can be very risky. We’ve recently had a Canadian journalist killed, and of course the murder of the US journalist. So I nominated All The President’s Men in tribute to the bravery of journalists, but it felt a bit corny to say that out loud.

As I’m new to this, I wasn’t sure how themes would work. But I found it thought provoking, a bit challenging and quite enjoyable. And reading everyone else’s take on the theme is interesting, surprising & “why didn’t think of that?” fun.

Last edited by Victoria; 03-05-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:49 AM   #49
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I actually wanted to nominate Pentimento by Lillian Hellman. The book itself features layers of telling; and was later the subject of controversy, when Hellman was accused of stealing Julia’s story from someone else. But it won’t be available in ebook for kindles until September. I ran into accessibility issues with other ideas as well.
Oh, I thought of Pentimento also in this context! There was also the issue of to what extent Hellman fabricated the story once stolen. I know it came across as incredible in the film. There was the famous controversy where Mary McCarthy said that everything Hellman wrote was a lie, including "and" and "the" and Hellman sued her for libel.

A title to keep in mind for the future.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:03 AM   #50
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Oh, I thought of Pentimento also in this context! There was also the issue of to what extent Hellman fabricated the story once stolen. I know it came across as incredible in the film. There was the famous controversy where Mary McCarthy said that everything Hellman wrote was a lie, including "and" and "the" and Hellman sued her for libel.

A title to keep in mind for the future.
I’m not surprised you thought of it - the credit is yours. You mentioned Hellman in the February discussions, which brought a flood of memories back to me. And a few hours of pleasure, as I went off to reacquaint myself with her. So thank you!

( PS - sorry for adding to my post after you replied. Rewriting is a bad habit of mine. It hasn’t mattered much, if a letter hasn’t been mailed. But I guess posting needs a better protocol. )

Last edited by Victoria; 03-05-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:31 AM   #51
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I have to admit to feeling a bit taken aback by your comments, Bookworm_Girl, and I think it's a pity you aren't going to put in a nomination for the sort of book you thought we should have for this theme.
Me too; I would very much like to know what kinds of books Bookworm Girl envisioned. I did expect more fairy tale retellings; I eliminated several that I read and liked but didn't feel like revisiting.

My first choice was The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth (Beauty and the Beast in a WWII setting)--I nominated a different title of hers instead because The Beast's Garden isn't available in the U.S. as an e-book, and is an Audible exclusive as an audiobook.

Disney has offered retellings of some of its animated films in various series--one is Twisted Tales, another is Villains.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:58 AM   #52
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Like issybird, I too gave some thought to this, and had looked at some of the possibilities of the likes of Madeline Miller and some of the Hogarth Shakespeare. There was also Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, but it isn't available as an ebook, at least with Kobo and so I assume not with Amazon either. Another possibility was Colm Tóibín's House of Names.
I've had House of Names on my TBR for a while now; I must move it up. Thanks so much for mentioning that title, Bookpossum.

There have been a lot of interesting books and authors mentioned this cycle that haven't actually been nominated. I've found it a very fruitful discussion.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:26 PM   #53
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I’m not surprised you thought of it - the credit is yours. You mentioned Hellman in the February discussions, which brought a flood of memories back to me.
Sometimes I can't remember if I posted something or only thought about it!

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I've had House of Names on my TBR for a while now; I must move it up. Thanks so much for mentioning that title, Bookpossum.
Ditto. I'd love to read it this year, in fact. It's a little pricey except in Australia, where it's only about US$7, but it's available at OverDrive. I'm out of nominations - any chance of someone putting this up?

======

By the way, there's something under two days left for nominations and I think there are still several available.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:01 PM   #54
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Okay: I have now looked at the nominations and checked availability of the various nominations, price if I had to buy, etc. I'm a bit stuck unfortunately, so given some interest was expressed in the discussion above about one book I mentioned, I shall go ahead and nominate it at least to give a different slant to what we have so far. The prices are a bit on the high side, but as it was published in 2017, it could well be widely available from various libraries.

So, I nominate House of Names by Colm Tóibín. From Kobo:

Quote:
From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes this ambitious, violent and modern retelling of one of our oldest and most enduring stories.

I HAVE BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH THE SMELL OF DEATH.
Judged, despised, cursed by gods she has long since lost faith in, the murderess Clytemnestra tells of the deception of Agamemnon, how he sacrificed her eldest daughter - her beloved Iphigenia - to the Trojan campaign; how Clytemnestra used what power she had, seducing the prisoner Aegisthus, turning the government against its lord; plotting the many long years until her beacon fires announce the king's return ...

Electra, daughter of a murdered father, loyal subject of the rightful king, studies Clytemnestra and her lover with cold anger and slow-burning cunning. She watches as they walk the gardens and corridors of the palace. She waits for the traitors to become complacent, to believe they are finally safe; she waits for her exiled brother, Orestes, for the boy to become a warrior, for fate to follow him home. She watches and she waits, until her spies announce her brother's return ...
290 pages.

Prices from Kobo: $US11.99, $C13.99, £9.99, $A9.99, $NZ10.99.

Last edited by Bookpossum; 03-05-2019 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:01 PM   #55
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I apologize for my sour attitude. I think I had one too many glasses of wine and spoke less tactfully than I normally would. I love that we use categories to nominate books that bring a wide variety of interpretation. I appreciate that everyone put so much thought into their nominations. You really don't need to justify how you interpreted the category for any reason.

I put the same thought into my nominations. I could nominate the type of books that I think will get the votes. Although that wouldn't really be true to me. Realistically the books that I nominate aren't ever going to be voted as a winner so I am questioning what the return on investment is for my time spent researching good books. The answer to that can only be that I like the people in the club and I want to pay back others for their great nominations by offering something in return. I just finished reading one of last month's nominations for example.

I have read several of the books that were nominated. Two of the books discussed in the thread are actually on my all-time favorite lists. I just didn't have in mind historical fiction and memoirs for this category (even though they are my favorite genres!). I wanted to push the envelope with books we don't normally read. I came up with this idea after reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin.

I am just frustrated that so often we nominate or read the same authors (or even the identical books) that have already been read by the MR and Lit Clubs in the past.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:04 PM   #56
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I will second House of Names by Colm Tóibín.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:09 PM   #57
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Anyway, I'm glad the title was raised. I've had it on my TBR for several years now since reading H Is For Hawk and The Goshawk. I'm hoping to get to it this summer.
I was the one who nominated H is For Hawk when we read it in the Lit Club. I was inspired at the time to nominate it because I had recently re-read The Once and Future King. I have The Goshawk on my TBR.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:51 PM   #58
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I will nominate The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I already own this book and need to read it someday. It is a retelling of a famous literary character. Available as an ebook everywhere and affordable prices.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
From New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King comes the book that introduced us to the ingenious Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes - and match him wit for wit. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern 20th-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.

In their first case together, they must track down a kidnapped American senator's daughter and confront a truly cunning adversary: a bomber who has set trip wires for the sleuths and who will stop at nothing to end their partnership.

Full of brilliant deductions, disguises, and dangers, this first book of the Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes mysteries is "wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end." (Booklist). Named "One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:02 AM   #59
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I will nominate The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I already own this book and need to read it someday. It is a retelling of a famous literary character. Available as an ebook everywhere and affordable prices.

From Goodreads:
Excellent. I sincerely hope it gets through the process so I can vote for it. Unfortunately, I have no more tickets to use to second it.

Charlie.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:00 AM   #60
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Less than a day to go. We've got several hanging nominations that need only a third.
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