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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 02-12-2018, 01:24 AM   #46
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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.
When we were finding out what people wanted for the new Club, one item which came up was books of a reasonable length, ie 250 or so pages, rather than tomes of 800 or more pages. This was probably partly because of some members’ reading time limits, and partly I suppose that if you weren’t enjoying a selected book, at least it was a reasonably short read!

For those who want something more substantial, that could be their own choice for the month. (Said she, who is currently about a third of the way through Martin Chuzzlewit!)
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:11 AM   #47
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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.
As a general rule I am the same way - I much prefer "some heft" to a story - but there are exceptions.

Science fiction spent its adolescence in short format and still does some of its best work in that form. I'd love to see what Ted Chiang might achieve in a novel, so far that hasn't happened, but one of the reasons I recommended Story of Your Life was precisely because it was science fiction that (I thought) would work for people that did not usually read science fiction.

And then there is the theme "the book came first". I went looking for great (IMO) stories that were well matched with great (IMO) movies. This almost insists that we look at novella or less, because any full length novel adapted to the screen tends to get hacked around a lot to make it fit. (eg: Simon Birch vs A Prayer for Owen Meany; or the Lord of the Rings movies - well done, but not a good match to the books).

Story of Your Life, as a short story, actually gets expanded into the movie Arrival (given greater physical and political context). But the movie retains the slightly confused feeling of the short story - a "why is he telling me this?" thing - up until the point when you discover it is all important and even the manner of the telling is relevant to the message of the story.

The Body, as a novella, makes it to the screen almost perfectly intact (well, some of Gordie's background is skimmed over). From the same collection Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption also makes it to the screen extremely well, which seems to prove to me that a movie comes to around about a novella's worth of detail. (The fact that many YA novels have been made into movies merely proves my point. )


You are probably taking into consideration that our February book is also a novella. But in that case I'd say it was a matter of coincidence, although the fact that it was short also makes it an easy book to commit to which, as alluded to by others, has to help in a book club situation.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:58 AM   #48
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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".
But on the same vein, I have not read any Ted Chiang. So the same goes for his works.

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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.
What we could do is just not nominate a book written back when or any book about back when. Then all we'd be able to get is a more contemporary book. I know some of this has to do with availability and/or price, but if we read too many older books, it is going to put some of us off. I know it'll be putt off if this becomes a trend.

We had this sort of issue in the previous iteration of the book club because we had a lot of older book nominated and and then we also has classics which mostly were older books. Please let's not go down that road of older books in place of more current books.

Yes, we do have to give the new book club a chance, but it is also a good idea to try to prevent this from becoming mostly old books.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:00 AM   #49
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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.
I tend to agree with this; however, it's hard to extrapolate from two months. Length does seem to be a factor, but I also hope that with a longer lead time we can commit on occasion to a longer book.

This ties into gmw's comment; my nomination, Elmer Gantry was longish and also a terrific book made into a terrific movie, but the film did just tell the first chunk of the novel.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:07 AM   #50
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I tend to agree with this; however, it's hard to extrapolate from two months. Length does seem to be a factor, but I also hope that with a longer lead time we can commit on occasion to a longer book.

This ties into gmw's comment; my nomination, Elmer Gantry was longish and also a terrific book made into a terrific movie, but the film did just tell the first chunk of the novel.
How long would be considered to be too long? I would say 500+ pages is too long. I might go with 400-450 pages be the top end.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:55 AM   #51
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What we could do is just not nominate a book written back when or any book about back when. Then all we'd be able to get is a more contemporary book. I know some of this has to do with availability and/or price, but if we read too many older books, it is going to put some of us off. I know it'll be putt off if this becomes a trend.

We had this sort of issue in the previous iteration of the book club because we had a lot of older book nominated and and then we also has classics which mostly were older books. Please let's not go down that road of older books in place of more current books.

Yes, we do have to give the new book club a chance, but it is also a good idea to try to prevent this from becoming mostly old books.
We're not going to limit which books people can nominate. Again, a contemporary work was just one vote shy. And look at Dazrin's lovely graphs about the MRBC; the books weren't as old as all that, overall. Last year the club read two books published in 2016 and the most popular decade overall was the 2010s. As far as I can tell, your two favorite book club reads from last year were Bucky F**king Dent (2016) and Queen Lucia (1920) - a century apart and two books I liked, as well.

(Psst! The Innocence of Father Brown was published in 1911. A terrific book, btw; I gave it four stars at Goodreads.)

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How long would be considered to be too long? I would say 500+ pages is too long. I might go with 400-450 pages be the top end.
There's no hard and fast rule. Some books read faster than others. Use your judgment.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:47 AM   #52
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Re length: Glancing at the nominations, two were short stories, two were novellas. That's over a quarter of the choices being extremely short works. I'm disappointed by that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #53
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Re length: Glancing at the nominations, two were short stories, two were novellas. That's over a quarter of the choices being extremely short works. I'm disappointed by that.
Does anyone thing it would be a good idea to make a limit on the size of the book meaning it has to be at least a novel or multiple short stories/novellas? If Stephen King had won, we would have been able to read three novellas.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:30 AM   #54
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Does anyone thing it would be a good idea to make a limit on the size of the book meaning it has to be at least a novel or multiple short stories/novellas? If Stephen King had won, we would have been able to read three novellas.
I'm not suggesting anything; I'm just expressing my own point of view. I did not expect to see so many short works represented, especially when only one book a month is chosen. But so be it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:08 PM   #55
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I'm not suggesting anything; I'm just expressing my own point of view. I did not expect to see so many short works represented, especially when only one book a month is chosen. But so be it.
It's too soon to start looking for patterns - or so it seems to me.

I think it is reasonable to expect that we won't see many 1000-page epics show in the nominations (unless we want to make that a theme for a particular month), but beyond that it remains anyone's guess at this stage.

I was responsible for half of the quarter you were worried about, and I gave my reasons for those. I don't read that many short stories, so it's not something I'm likely to repeat.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:18 AM   #56
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Re length: Glancing at the nominations, two were short stories, two were novellas. That's over a quarter of the choices being extremely short works. I'm disappointed by that.
I don't read a lot of short stories. I have to push myself to read them from time to time. I wouldn't mind having a month where the intent is to vote a longer work, especially since we have lengthened the time between voting and discussing. Some of my most memorable reads from the Literary Club were books over 500 pages.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:36 AM   #57
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If you've read the book and watched the movie and are still looking for entertainment before the 15th, then here's an illustrated video of The Old Man and the Sea which I thought was fun. I wish I could draw like that.
https://gizmodo.com/5898352/a-beauti...an-and-the-sea

I also found the Simon & Schuster Reading Group Guide.
http://www.simonandschuster.com/book...roup_guide#rgg
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:50 PM   #58
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Cool, thanks Bookworm_Girl! I'm still holding off reading it, since I know it goes fast and I read it a couple of years ago. But having the reading guide will be useful. And the video sounds like fun.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:46 PM   #59
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Thanks for the links, Bookworm_Girl. The video is delightful.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:33 AM   #60
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Bah! I can't believe my library doesn't have The Old Man and the Sea in any digital format.

Double bah for being pd in Canada, but not the US.

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