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Old 04-10-2019, 07:08 AM   #1
issybird
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Themes Redux

It's time to hash out our next slate of themes. Please check all weapons at the door.

The method will be essentially the same as the last round. Everyone is free to propose themes, tweak them and join in the general discussions. However, we're limiting final selection to regular participants, mostly in the interest of keeping the time horizon reasonable, but also to help ensure that people will be around once their theme goes live. Those eligible will have received a PM from me; the bar isn't high and it wouldn't take much to be eligible for the next round. Each regular can name one theme which will make it to the slate.

The fine print: The only restriction is no genre nominations; themes only. Everyone knows the drill; we have a tag line and then a theme. But if you can only come up with a theme or aren't happy with your tag, our helpful club will be glad to supply ideas (no doubt they'll provide commentary in any case).

Everyone should feel free to comment, suggest, make observations about the various nominations. Tweaking can take place and the discussion can fine tune proposals. If you change your mind and come up with a better idea, that's great. Go ahead and post your new nomination and it will be substituted for the old one. There will be a master list of nominations in the post following this which can be altered until everyone's satisfied.

For anyone who wants to refer to the old theme thread for ideas or as a memory jogger, it's here; the thread before that is here.

I think that's it. If anything's been missed or you have questions or suggestions, I'll amend this.

So, what themes will we have?
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:08 AM   #2
issybird
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Official themes:

The End of the Road: Finales [Bookpossum]

I'd Rather be Reading: Books about Books [Bookworm_Girl]

As You Wish: Anything Goes [Catlady]

Labour of Love: Working Class [CRussel]

First Things First: Debuts [Dazrin]

Books like Onions: Layers [gmw]

Ya Gotta Believe: Life of the Spirit [issybird]

It Takes Two to Tango: Collaborators [Victoria]

Tentative Schedule:

August:

September: Labour of Love: Working Class

October:

November:

December: The End of the Road: Finales

January:

February:

March: As You Wish: Anything Goes

Last edited by issybird; 05-13-2019 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Through post #126.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
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Here's my take on what themes should be:
  • Open enough to allow most any genre to be nominated
  • Constrained enough to make us think about our nominations
  • Defined enough that we get a complementary set of nominations
Obviously, the amount of definition/constraints will vary from month to month but that's how I try to think of them.

Here are a couple that I've been thinking about.

First, one I mentioned last year. We generally need a good, light-hearted (or at least light-weight) option near the Holidays. So I was thinking of "Tasty Morsels, short and/or sweet". That should cover short stories, food related books, "feel good" (sweet) books, etc. And the title reminds me of the holidays in general.

Along similar lines was "A Box of Chocolates, custom collections". The idea was "short story collections." It could be a single author, an anthology with different authors around a theme, or potentially even a collection that the NOMINATOR puts together. (I've considered putting together a nomination of 3-5 short stories from online sources and public domain works in the past.) But, as Forrest says "You never know what you're gonna get."

A different one was "First Things First, debut books", with the intention of getting the first book by an author. Although, the first book in a series would certainly be appropriate as well.

Also, I still think we need to find a time to use "Crunchy and Goes well with Ketchup".
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
It's time to hash out our next slate of themes. Please check all weapons at the door.

The method will be essentially the same as the last round. Everyone is free to propose themes, tweak them and join in the general discussions. However, we're limiting final selection to regular participants, mostly in the interest of keeping the time horizon reasonable, but also to help ensure that people will be around once their theme goes live. Those eligible will have received a PM from me; the bar isn't high and it wouldn't take much to be eligible for the next round. Each regular can name one theme which will make it to the slate.

The fine print: The only restriction is no genre nominations; themes only. Everyone knows the drill; we have a tag line and then a theme. But if you can only come up with a theme or aren't happy with your tag, our helpful club will be glad to supply ideas (no doubt they'll provide commentary in any case).

Everyone should feel free to comment, suggest, make observations about the various nominations. Tweaking can take place and the discussion can fine tune proposals. If you change your mind and come up with a better idea, that's great. Go ahead and post your new nomination and it will be substituted for the old one. There will be a master list of nominations in the post following this which can be altered until everyone's satisfied.

For anyone who wants to refer to the old theme thread for ideas or as a memory jogger, it's here; the thread before that is here.

I think that's it. If anything's been missed or you have questions or suggestions, I'll amend this.

So, what themes will we have?
You can have the weapons, but I'm keeping my armor on. . . .

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 04-10-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:17 PM   #5
Ralph Sir Edward
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How about The Air Conditioned Nightmare?

The theme would be Utopian/Disutopian fiction.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:20 PM   #6
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See, I said that Dazrin was very good at this. Great ideas!
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:43 PM   #7
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I love the Tasty Morsel idea! I think that something related to food would be really interesting and have a lot of variety in nomination options.

I also second Dazrin’s suggestion that the calendar should be considered when placing the theme panel.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:36 PM   #8
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(Thanks, Dazrin, for reminding me about this one...)

Better together: co-written

(I am open to refinements/improvements if you think this has problems.)
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
(Thanks, Dazrin, for reminding me about this one...)

Better together: co-written

(I am open to refinements/improvements if you think this has problems.)
In the other thread, Victoria suggested It Takes Two/Partners--that could include both co-written books and books that feature duos.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
In the other thread, Victoria suggested It Takes Two/Partners--that could include both co-written books and books that feature duos.
Yes, I think those two seem very similar, and also I wonder if the co-written part of the suggested theme is not being too prescriptive?
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:52 AM   #11
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I rather like "Tasty Morsels, short and/or sweet". Could cover everything from Kitchen Confidential to The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, to The Omnivore's Dilemma. (All of which I've read and highly recommend, btw.) And that's only dealing with the first part of the theme!

Honestly, I haven't come up with anything new, yet. Need to think some more. One thought I've had is a theme around work, and especially around the good old fashioned blue-collar jobs.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
In the other thread, Victoria suggested It Takes Two/Partners--that could include both co-written books and books that feature duos.
Yes, I saw that. I think of them as distinct themes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Yes, I think those two seem very similar, and also I wonder if the co-written part of the suggested theme is not being too prescriptive?
You may be right, perhaps it is too prescriptive ... but consider that it doesn't limit anything else. It can be fiction or non-fiction, it can be anything at all with 2+ authors. That seems pretty wide to me.

If we merge to say two-plus authors or two-plus main-protagonists we are certainly opening it more widely ... I felt it was too wide, but happy to go with the flow.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:34 AM   #13
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I suppose it could include translations into English from another language also, so one author, translated by another person. A good translator can really add something to the enjoyment of the work, which would be clunky if it was a literal translation. Would that fit, do you think gmw?

I'm just looking for some wriggle room here, so that we aren't tied to books written by two co-authors.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:45 AM   #14
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Can we be flexible about the phrasing of the theme? That is, do they necessarily have to have two parts to them (like a cryptic crossword puzzle clue)?

As an example, I was thinking of what to me is a great book title, The View in Winter - a non-fiction book by Ronald Blythe, of elderly people talking about their lives. So a phrase like that could refer to old age, or of course to a story with a winter setting. I don't think a phrase like that needs anything added to it.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:23 AM   #15
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The two (or more) authors concept is very broad.

Consider.

At one end you could have Will and Ariel Durant's history of civilization.

At the other end, you could have one of the Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle collaborations.
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