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Old 07-01-2020, 12:18 PM   #1
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Nominations for August • Tasty Morsels; Short and Sweet

Good morning, and welcome to the New Leaf Book Club's August Book Nomination thread where we select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read in August, 2020. The theme is Tasty Morsels, Short and Sweet.

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination. Also, don't sweat the links. It's helpful to check availability and prices before nominating in order to eliminate anything that's out of the question, but ultimately our global members with different gadgets and preferences will have to check for themselves.

The nominations will run through 9 AM PST, July 7, 2020. Each nomination requires a second to make it to the poll, which will remain open for three (3) days. The discussion of the selection will start on August 15, 2020.

Any questions? See the FAQ below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with two nominations:

  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (JSWolf,gmw)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside."America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

    Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
    Overdrive;AmazonUS;KoboUS;KoboUK;AmazonUK;eBooks.comUK
    354 pp.
  • Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock (Victoria,gmw)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrannyGrump
    Stephen Leacock was a Canadian educator, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between 1911 and 1925 he was so well-known as the world’s greatest humorist that it was said more people had heard of Stephen Leacock than had heard of Canada.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Stephen Leacock, first published in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature. The fictional setting for these stories is Mariposa, a small town on the shore of Lake Wissanotti. Although drawn from his experiences in Orillia, Ontario, Leacock notes: "Mariposa is not a real town. On the contrary, it is about seventy or eighty of them."

    This work has remained popular for its universal appeal. Many of the characters, though modelled on townspeople of Orillia, are small town archetypes. Their shortcomings and weaknesses are presented in a humorous but affectionate way.
    Mobileread;FadedPage.com
    89 pp.
  • Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker. (APA in the UK and Australia as Death in the Dordogne.) (CRussel, JSWolf)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police.

    Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life -- living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest.

    Because of the case's potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man's past, Bruno's suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history -- World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.
    AmazonUS AmazonCA AmazonUK AmazonAU AudibleUS
    290 pp.
  • The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May (Bookworm_Girl,CRussel)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmazonUS
    An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.

    Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

    May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

    The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.
    Amazon US Amazon AU Amazon CA Amazon UK
    337 pp.
  • Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson(Catlady,gmw)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    For the first time in one volume, a collection of Shirley Jackson’s scariest stories, with a foreword by PEN/Hemingway Award winner Ottessa Moshfegh

    After the publication of her short story “The Lottery” in the New Yorker in 1948 received an unprecedented amount of attention, Shirley Jackson was quickly established as a master horror storyteller. This collection of classic and newly reprinted stories provides readers with more of her unsettling, dark tales, including the “The Possibility of Evil” and “The Summer People.” In these deliciously dark stories, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the crumbling country pile, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods. There’s something sinister in suburbia.
    AmazonUS
    204 pp.
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut (Catlady,Victoria)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    “[Kurt Vonnegut] strips the flesh from bone and makes you laugh while he does it. . . . There are twenty-five stories here, and each hits a nerve ending.”—The Charlotte Observer

    Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.

    Includes the following stories:

    “Where I Live”
    “Harrison Bergeron”
    “Who Am I This Time?”
    “Welcome to the Monkey House”
    “Long Walk to Forever”
    “The Foster Portfolio”
    “Miss Temptation”
    “All the King’s Horses”
    “Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog”
    “New Dictionary”
    “Next Door”
    “More Stately Mansions”
    “The Hyannis Port Story”
    “D.P.”
    “Report on the Barnhouse Effect”
    “The Euphio Question”
    “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son”
    “Deer in the Works”
    “The Lie”
    “Unready to Wear”
    “The Kid Nobody Could Handle”
    “The Manned Missiles”
    “Epicac”
    “Adam”
    “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”
    Amazon U.S. special edition regular edition
    354 pp.
  • The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu (fantasyfan,CRussel)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Ken Liu is one of the most original, thought-provoking and award-winning short-story writers of his generation. This is the first collection of his work – sixteen stories that invoke the magical within the mundane, by turns profound, beguiling and heartbreaking.

    Included here are: The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary (Finalist for Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards), Mono No Aware (Hugo Award winner), The Waves (Nebula Award finalist), The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), All the Flavors (Nebula Award finalist), The Litigation Master and the Monkey King (Nebula Award finalist) ,and the most awarded story in the genre's history, The Paper Menagerie (the only story ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards)
    AmazonUK eBooks.com AmazonCA AmazonAU AmazonUS
    464 pp.
  • Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky (fantasyfan,Victoria)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amazon
    “Welcome to Fountains Parish--a cesspit of trade and crime, where ambition curls up to die and desperation grows on its cobbled streets like mold on week-old bread.

    Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don't... tiny puppet-like companions: some made of wood, some of metal. They don't entirely trust her, and she doesn't entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

    After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must re-examine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.

    At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
    AmazonUK AmazonCA AmazonUS AmazonAU
    142 pp.

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Old 07-01-2020, 12:20 PM   #2
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August • Tasty Morsels; Short and Sweet

Nominations awaiting a second:


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Old 07-01-2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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So, I'm having a hard time deciding which way to go with this theme -- do I go with a food-related book? A book of short stories? Or merely a short novel/novella? IAC, this should be fun, and likely all over the map!
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:15 PM   #4
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I definitely know what I’m doing. Something food related! It would be a different subject matter from what we’ve read so far.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:07 PM   #5
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I'm nominating Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach.

Quote:
The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside."America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
Overdrive: https://www.overdrive.com/search?q=gulp+mary+roach
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gulp-Adventur.../dp/B00AN86JZ4
Kobo US: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gul...imentary-canal
Kobo UK: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/gulp-8
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gulp-Advent.../dp/B07ZWK911Z
eBooks.com UK: https://www.ebooks.com/en-gb/book/209832723 (cheapest place to buy in the UK)
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:35 PM   #6
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I’m going to nominate Stephen Leacock’s “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town”. It’s been on my TBR for over 50 years, so I don’t know first hand whether it can stand the test of time. However, I thought this may be an ideal time to try it. (136 pages).

GrannyGrump of MobileRead:

“Stephen Leacock was a Canadian educator, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between 1911 and 1925 he was so well-known as the world’s greatest humorist that it was said more people had heard of Stephen Leacock than had heard of Canada.”

From Wikipedia

“ Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Stephen Leacock, first published in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature. The fictional setting for these stories is Mariposa, a small town on the shore of Lake Wissanotti. Although drawn from his experiences in Orillia, Ontario, Leacock notes: "Mariposa is not a real town. On the contrary, it is about seventy or eighty of them."

This work has remained popular for its universal appeal. Many of the characters, though modelled on townspeople of Orillia, are small town archetypes. Their shortcomings and weaknesses are presented in a humorous but affectionate way. “

It’s in the public domain, and on overdrive. It’s also in our own library, as part of an omnibus collection: Leacock, Stephen: Northern Light (collected works). v1. 17 Apr 2017
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:02 PM   #7
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I nominate the short story collection Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson (204 pp.).

Quote:
For the first time in one volume, a collection of Shirley Jackson’s scariest stories, with a foreword by PEN/Hemingway Award winner Ottessa Moshfegh

After the publication of her short story “The Lottery” in the New Yorker in 1948 received an unprecedented amount of attention, Shirley Jackson was quickly established as a master horror storyteller. This collection of classic and newly reprinted stories provides readers with more of her unsettling, dark tales, including the “The Possibility of Evil” and “The Summer People.” In these deliciously dark stories, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the crumbling country pile, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods. There’s something sinister in suburbia.
Available in all relevant countries; also in Overdrive.

Amazon U.S., $11.99
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:34 PM   #8
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I'm not going to nominate this book because it's just too expensive at $11.99 US, and even more elsewhere, but an excellent fit for this category is Anthony Bourdain's wonderful and funny Kitchen Confidential. From Goodreads:
Quote:
A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material.

New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine."
If you've never read it, I highly recommend it.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:22 PM   #9
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Arrggh. Another one that's too expensive but that I'd love for us to be reading:

Michael Pollan's wonderful and thought-provoking The Omnivore's Dilemma. But the US Kindle price is $13.99, which is a bit much, though it's much more reasonably priced outside of the US. (from $8 USD in the UK, to $11.50 USD in Canada). Still, that US price is just too much.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:30 AM   #10
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I was thinking of nominating The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, but it again is too expensive. Yes I can get it at Overdrive, but I don't know if everyone else could.

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Old 07-02-2020, 09:04 AM   #11
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Been so busy this lately I hadn't even given this a thought until I saw the thread this morning. A recent read I mentioned on the "What are we reading thread" is A Grain of Salt by Dr. Joe Schwarcz (... speaking of busy, it's now over 12 hours later that I finish this post...) It was a good book about food and is offered in neat bite-sized pieces. But I think it's a bit long for Book Club; I know I spread it out over quite a long time.

Seeing people refer to short story collections did make me think of One Thousand and One Nights, but length is a problem, as is consistency (so many editions to choose from).

There are many cosy mysteries that would fit this ... but so far I haven't found any I'd want to re-read.

I picked up The Haunting of Hill House recently while it was on special at Kobo AU.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:05 AM   #12
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I can find nothing in the guidelines about pricing.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:08 AM   #13
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I second: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach.

And I second Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock.


(I'm not ignoring Dark Tales, Catlady, just reserving my third ticket ... just in case.)
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I can find nothing in the guidelines about pricing.
I don't think we had anything definite (other than the recommendation that a book is at least 12 months old), but realistically price is going to be a factor unless a person can get it at a library (which tends to be a problem for me). I'm content with prices up to AU$12.99, which is about the normal price for novels here, but some books start reaching up toward the AU$20 mark (and some go over), and I won't go that far.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I can find nothing in the guidelines about pricing.
As gmw says, there are no hard and fast rules about price. But, that being said, it will be a factor in what has a chance of being selected. I'm retired on a fixed income, and simply can't afford to spend more than $10 USD on a book that I'm not likely to read were it not a Club selection. And I'm not the only person for whom price is a significant factor.
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