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Old 02-16-2018, 06:07 PM   #76
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:08 PM   #77
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As George Bernard Shaw said, two peoples separated by a common language.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:11 PM   #78
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As Mark Twain* said "Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination."

* Or probably someone else.

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Old 02-16-2018, 06:27 PM   #79
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Writing Quality v. Impact

Now, to turn to something a bit different. I could tag this onto the current month's discussion, but honestly, it's not really about Passing, but much more about what people like to read.

As most of you know, I read a fair amount of genre fiction -- Space Opera, hard SF, MilSF, Mysteries, and even a fair bit of Fantasy (though not zombie anything), and I enjoy most of this, finding it excellent escapism, with often a good deal more underneath, should one care to look. However, I sometimes find myself wishing for a somewhat better level of writing, especially after some of the more juvenile (writing quality) fantasies.

Other times, I find myself reading a book that has "impact", such as this month's New Leaf Book Club selection, Passing, where the message and the story are powerful, but the actual writing is fairly simplistic. Perhaps intentionally, to avoid getting in the way of the message, perhaps simply because it's the author's first book. Regardless, I do sometimes look for something to read that is not challenging, but is also well written, and witty.

The very last book I read in 2017, Long Summer Day, by R. F. Delderfield, perfectly exemplifies that kind of book. It's not deep or challenging, but it's not fluff either, and it is extremely well written. To quote Books and Bookmen
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"It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well".
Now, first and foremost, as an author I can think of few things that could be said about me that would make me more chuffed. What a lovely thing to have said about you and your writing!

Secondly, part of the appeal of Long Summer Day is that it isn't challenging or trying to make a point. It's a quiet summer's country day, and my favourite read of 2017. It certainly isn't The Great English Novel, but it very much is a great English novel.

I'm glad we read Passing this month. But I'm quite tempted to nominate Long Summer Day for our April book, even though it's too expensive in the U.S. (but not in the UK or AU), and it's fairly long (>600 pages). It has little chance of being selected for those reasons, but for those who care about well written books, I highly recommend it. FWIW, see my review here on MR.

So, what do others read when they're looking to up their reading game, but not looking for deep social impact? I confess to reading Trollope, Galsworthy, and even Patrick O'Brian when I want a break. How about you?
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:32 PM   #80
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As Mark Twain* said "Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination."

* Or probably someone else.
Maybe it was Chaucer.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:36 PM   #81
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Apparently a lot of libraries have "discussion rooms" or "community rooms", so maybe we can just call this thread the "New Leaf Book Club • Community Room".
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:39 PM   #82
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Maybe it was Chaucer.
Ya, I first heard it referenced to Andrew Jackson but it looks like it may actually be a joke about how bad his spelling was, but it doesn't sound like anyone is sure. Either way, as with most things attributed to Twain or Lincoln or ... take it with a grain of salt.

Bookpossum, you should have left both versions up. I laughed at the ambiguity of it.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:06 PM   #83
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Apparently a lot of libraries have "discussion rooms" or "community rooms", so maybe we can just call this thread the "New Leaf Book Club • Community Room".
Conference room is what I'm used to at the library.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:49 PM   #84
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Shakespeare’s spelling was all over the place, including various versions of his own surname, or so I have heard.

My suggestion was trying to sound like a welcoming place without using the word, that is, for newcomers to feel they can drop in there to see what’s going on, as well as current members. I don’t think Conference Room gives that feeling as it sounds more formal.

What about Community Corner or Chat Room?
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:01 PM   #85
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Long Summer Day sounds like one for the Summer slot, Charlie!

Like you, I read all sorts of things and like to have a mix of things, both Classics and more contemporary, the occasional whodunnit, a bit of fantasy, but a lot of what I suppose would be called modern literature. I read a lot of British writing of various periods - Dickens, Trollope, David Mitchell, Jane Gardam, Hilary Mantel, Elizabeth Jane Howard, and so on. I suppose that is my comfort zone, so I hope to explore other kinds of books and writers of various nationalities in this Club, as I did before in the Literary Club.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:47 PM   #86
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Community works. I'd hope for more than just chat. Not that I want to exclude chat. By no means.

As for Long Summer Day, I figured it could certainly go for summer, but it's also about time, so could be in April too. But realistically, it's probably too expensive for the Americans if they don't have an overseas account.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:36 AM   #87
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Long Summer Day looks like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing. It's not in any of my Overdrive accounts. However is in my Hoopla library and Scribd so it wouldn't cost me anything.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:51 AM   #88
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It's only $4.99 US when bought at AmazonUK, after converting from £ to $. But unless you read a lot of British books, it might not be worth the bother to set up an AmazonUK account. For me, it was more than worth it, especially because their WhisperSync prices are so much better than the US ones these days.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:17 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Shakespeare’s spelling was all over the place, including various versions of his own surname, or so I have heard.

My suggestion was trying to sound like a welcoming place without using the word, that is, for newcomers to feel they can drop in there to see what’s going on, as well as current members. I don’t think Conference Room gives that feeling as it sounds more formal.

What about Community Corner or Chat Room?
I like Community Corner.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:55 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Shakespeare’s spelling was all over the place, including various versions of his own surname, or so I have heard.

My suggestion was trying to sound like a welcoming place without using the word, that is, for newcomers to feel they can drop in there to see what’s going on, as well as current members. I don’t think Conference Room gives that feeling as it sounds more formal.

What about Community Corner or Chat Room?
Cannot be a chat room as it's not real time. So that's out. Community Corner has nothing to do with the library if that's the feel you are going for.

Personally, I don't mind Conference room as that does say meeting at the library.
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