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View Poll Results: Which book will we read and discuss in October?
The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss 3 42.86%
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 2 28.57%
The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay 4 57.14%
The Soldier’s Song by Alan Monaghan 3 42.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-10-2020, 06:59 PM   #1
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Run-off Poll for October • The Times They Are a'Changin': Revolution


This is the runoff poll to select the book we'll read and discuss in October, 2020.

Note: I won't be voting in this poll unless there is another tie, at which point I'll cast the tiebreaking vote.

We love new participants. We're happy for you to vote, but in the interest of a vibrant conversation, we'd like to request that you not vote unless you plan to join the discussion whatever the selection. So if you haven't posted in a book club thread yet, do please say a quick hello here or in the Welcome thread.


This is a poll. Vote for as many books as you'd like.

Questions? FAQs | Guidelines Or just ask!

Choices:
  • The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.

    "With a skill reminiscent of Robert Caro, [Weiss] turns the potentially dry stuff of legislative give-and-take into a drama of courage and cowardice."--The Wall Street Journal

    "Weiss is a clear and genial guide with an ear for telling language ... She also shows a superb sense of detail, and it's the deliciousness of her details that suggests certain individuals warrant entire novels of their own... Weiss's thoroughness is one of the book's great strengths. So vividly had she depicted events that by the climactic vote (spoiler alert: The amendment was ratified!), I got goose bumps."--Curtis Sittenfeld, The New York Times Book Review

    Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.

    Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
    417 pp.
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

    Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

    When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.
    356 pp.
  • The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amazon
    Bletchley Park has played a vital role in British history. This Victorian country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was was where one of the war’s most famous – and crucial – achievements was made: the cracking of Germany’ s 'Enigma' code in which its most important military communications were couched. It was home to some of Britain’s most brilliant mathematical brains, such as Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology – indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa.

    But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction – from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges’ biography of Turing – what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them – an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military? This is the first oral history of life at Bletchley Park, an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their eighties – of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds (a depressed Angus Wilson, the novelist, once threw himself in) – of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at codebreaking, of the high jinks at nearby accommodation hostels – and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other's work.
    372 pp.
  • The Soldier’s Song By Alan Monaghan
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amazon
    Dublin, 1914. As Ireland stands on the brink of political crisis, Europe plunges headlong into war. Among the thousands of Irishmen who volunteer to fight for the British Army is Stephen Ryan, a gifted young maths scholar whose working class background has marked him out as a misfit among his wealthy fellow students.

    Sent to fight in Turkey, he looks forward to the great adventure, unaware of the growing unrest back home in Ireland. His romantic notions of war are soon shattered and he is forced to wonder where his loyalties lie, on his return to a Dublin poised for rebellion in 1916 and a brother fighting for the rebels. Everything has changed utterly, and in a world gone mad his only hope is his growing friendship with the brilliant and enigmatic Lillian Bryce.
    308 pp.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:53 PM   #2
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OK, I only get to vote if there's a tie, but I admit -- I'm really pulling for Bletchley Park. I've read several books about espionage in WWII, including about Bletchley Park, and I've found every one of them interesting. Probably because what they were doing was interesting, challenging, and use "ordinary" people in extraordinary ways.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:40 AM   #3
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Tut, tut. No trying to sway the electorate.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:12 AM   #4
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I'm pushing for Parable of the Sower. Octavia Butler is an excellent author. I cannot say about the other books, but I know tihs one will not be dry and dull.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:27 AM   #5
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I nominated Parable, so of course I am voting for it. I am also voting for it because it is literally the only one of the four books that I have access to. My local library does not carry any of the other three.
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:56 PM   #6
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To be honest, it’s the one book I’m hesitant to read, even though I know it’s both excellent and important. It’s also sounds very timely, in terms of social justice. But I read all the reviews and feel reluctant to delve into the violence and depressive worldview.

(PS: My apologies, I hope I didn’t give the impression I wouldn’t read it, if it’s selected. I’ll just try to skip through the violent scenes, which I’ve done successfully with other books.)

Last edited by Victoria; 09-11-2020 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:44 PM   #7
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I need to read some book samples this weekend to decide my votes.
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:31 AM   #8
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I need to read some book samples this weekend to decide my votes.
Just remember, the polls close Sunday afternoon (Pacific).
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:41 PM   #9
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And the winner is: The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay. Should be fun!
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:09 PM   #10
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And the winner is: The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay. Should be fun!
I'll have to sit this one out - this is not available anywhere for me to borrow and my winter budget for books has been signed over to my wife.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:27 PM   #11
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I found the book at Hoopla. My Overdrive only has the audiobook. Also Scribd has the audiobook.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:11 AM   #12
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I'll have to sit this one out - this is not available anywhere for me to borrow and my winter budget for books has been signed over to my wife.
I'm going to have to buy it myself, given that there's no hoopla at my libraries. However, it was only $6 at AmazonUK, so I can swing that.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:09 AM   #13
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Yes, I will need to purchase too. Non-fiction always tends to be more expensive, although I admit this one is pushing things a bit further than I'd normally go. But I find it helps to be philosophical: I just picked up the Narnia omnibus for $6 (it's been sitting on my wishlist for quite a long time), so what I saved there I can put towards this.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:01 AM   #14
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There's an unusual amount of offset text in this. I hope it's good and not text book like.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:40 AM   #15
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There's an unusual amount of offset text in this. I hope it's good and not text book like.
From the preview it looks like quotes from historical documents are indented (left and right). The preview showed four chapters and only three such quotes, none of them excessively long.
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