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View Poll Results: What book that came first shall we read for March?
The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang 10 43.48%
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis 7 30.43%
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman 5 21.74%
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 11 47.83%
Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif 2 8.70%
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith 7 30.43%
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 3 13.04%
Before the Fact by Francis Iles 2 8.70%
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick 8 34.78%
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 7 30.43%
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick 3 13.04%
Still Life (Chief Inspector Gamache #1) by Louise Penny 4 17.39%
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 9 39.13%
The Body by Stephen King 6 26.09%
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 9 39.13%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-11-2018, 06:40 AM   #31
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We need at least one more vote for The Story of Your Life in order to try to dump Hemmingway.
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
We need at least one more vote for The Story of Your Life in order to try to dump Hemmingway.
I'd like to see a run-off vote myself, it's so close and that would let people express a preference between the two.

However, do try to stay positive, Jon. Even aside from the guidelines which mandate it, you might find you get better results.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:09 AM   #33
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8 hours to go and latepaul's non-vote is the difference between first and second place. If you don't like the winner you can blame him I think.
Feel free

My thinking was that while I would be very happy to re-read Story of Your Life I joined the group to widen my reading and so I voted for things:

a) I've not read
b) I wouldn't necessarily have chosen

(though obviously I chose Frankenstein as I nominated it)
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:39 AM   #34
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Won’t someone vote for The Story of Your Life, pretty please, with sugar on top?!?!
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:06 AM   #35
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And The Old Man and the Sea it is.

Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the February selection, Passing by Nella Larsen, on February 15.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:07 AM   #36
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Anyone who is disappointed by this (which, I will admit to being myself) may find solace in the fact that a simple youtube search turns up numerous results of Charlton Heston doing a reading of the book.

I had to read this no less than three times between high school and my English undergraduate degree, so I will only be doing a quick audio refresher before the conversation starts.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:33 AM   #37
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We get requests from many people for a more modern book and here we are back to an old book. What it is about modern books that some here seem to dislike?

Last edited by JSWolf; 02-11-2018 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:38 AM   #38
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I'm happy with the selection, as I know I should read more Hemingway, and I haven't read this one.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
We get requests from many people for a more modern book and here we are back to an old book. What it is about modern books that people here seem to dislike?
In fairness, it was close; only one vote separated the top two choices. That's not evidence of dislike. Moreover, the Hemingway was cheap or free and the Chiang was on the pricey side which can be pretty typical of more contemporary stuff, so that will always be a factor. Finally, while I wouldn't say the 1950s are exactly contemporary, it's still a lot more modern than other recent selections.

Then... this is only the second selection for the New Leaf Book Club and we can't really be responsible for the last couple of selections at the MR Club, where different rules applied. Let's give it time.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:11 PM   #40
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I'm with orlok: I haven't read any Hemingway, having been put off by all that big game hunting. So I'm happy to be reading this book. I know it involves killing an animal, but it's for necessity rather than "fun".

I think issybird is right: we need to give things time to shake down, and perhaps review the price policy in a few months if we find it is excluding more contemporary books. These may well be available from most people's libraries anyway. That said, there are a lot of older books which have, as they say, stood the test of time, and are well worth reading.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:14 PM   #41
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[...] I had to read this no less than three times between high school and my English undergraduate degree, so I will only be doing a quick audio refresher before the conversation starts.
That is always going to be a risk with nominating what might be described as "study classics": The Old Man and the Sea and Of Mice and Men both qualify, and some of the others to a slightly lesser extent. They're the sort of books that schools love to put on their reading lists.

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[...] Moreover, the Hemingway was cheap or free and the Chiang was on the pricey side which can be pretty typical of more contemporary stuff, so that will always be a factor. [...]
I was very conscious of the Chiang book being pricey. That in combination with the short story aspect I thought might put people off, but I'm glad it didn't, and maybe some might consider reading the collection anyway, he is an excellent writer.

In addition to being contemporary, I think books from which a successful (and/or just recent, as in this case) movie was made are likely to be more expensive ... except maybe for those people that don't mind paper books, because all those extra movie-editions often end up in the $2 bin at book shops.
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:20 PM   #42
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I don't think that price excludes contemporary books. I think the issue is that people have a tendency to nominate the "study classics" as well as mystery series. I would like to see more books nominated that are outside these categories. I want to be exposed to "new-to-me" books. I'm glad that gmw nominated the Chiang book because it's exactly what I'm looking for in the nomination process to discover new books. It's something I would not have found on my own and is outside of my usual comfort genres.

The top 5 books ranged from $7.99-11.99. I don't think it's fair to single out the Chiang book for its price.

Hemingway is not public domain for many countries. It's also $9.99 in the US. It looked like the McCullers book was going to win for awhile, and it's $9.99 too. The other book in 4th place was $7.99. The 5th place book was $11.99.

Price does not influence my votes. Availability is a greater factor to me when I vote. I had to put my name on the library wait list for Hemingway because it's so popular. The Chiang and McCullers book are available with no waits.

Truth be told, I voted out of strategy. When I voted it looked like Chiang or McCullers was going to win. I wanted to read the Chiang book the most. I've read the McCullers book, and I intensely didn't want to read it again. That's just my opinion. I do think however that it was a totally worthy nomination. I almost didn't vote for Hemingway because the Literary Club already read his works. Although the literary club only read short stories so it would be nice to read a novel. The deciding factor to get my vote was it could be a hedge in case it came from behind and could overtake McCullers.

While I want to read more contemporary books, I also voted for Frankenstein. Not because it was public domain and free. I voted for it because I haven't read it and thought it would be fun because it's the 200th anniversary and it's getting lots of talk in the news.
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:27 PM   #43
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We get requests from many people for a more modern book and here we are back to an old book. What it is about modern books that some here seem to dislike?
If you want to read a more modern book, then the best philosophy is to nominate one in that category and also vote for ones in that category. My book was $3.99 and set in Boston in the 2000s.

In all seriousness, the movie trailer for Despite the Falling Snow looks excellent. It stars Charles Dance, and I think he is a great actor. He should appeal to Game of Thrones and Gosford Park fans; he's had a long career in a very wide range of movies.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #44
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Do people have something against books with more than a hundred or so pages? I'm not fond of novellas or short stories. I want to read a book with some heft.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:30 AM   #45
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Having recently (last year) read The Old Man and the Sea, I can claim with some confidence that while it wasn't written in the last 30 years, it's timeless. Really, this didn't feel like an 'old' book. The language is modern, the story not dependent on any particular time -- frankly it could as easily have been written last year as 65 years ago.

On length -- I'm not likely to nominate a book much over 400 pages. Not because it doesn't mean I never read any longer than that, just that it can be hard for people to carve out that much reading time. Especially if they first have to wait to get a copy from their library. I read 150 books a year, so I can find time to read whatever. But that's not true for everyone.
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