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View Poll Results: Who will win the dance contest for February?
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum 3 37.50%
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 4 50.00%
Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller 4 50.00%
Samarkand by Amin Maalouf 3 37.50%
The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling 4 50.00%
Wakulla Springs by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages 2 25.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-07-2020, 07:19 AM   #1
issybird
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Vote for Feruary 2020 • It Takes Two to Tango: Collaborations


It's time to select the book we'll read and discuss in February 2020.

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:

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum
Amazon U.S. $9.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
A revelatory portrait of the creative partnership that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century

They stand at the apex of the great age of songwriting, the creators of the classic Broadway musicals Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, whose songs have never lost their popularity or emotional power. Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.

Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, and radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch.

Todd S. Purdum’s portrait of these two men, their creative process, and their groundbreaking innovations will captivate lovers of musical theater, lovers of the classic American songbook, and young lovers wherever they are. He shows that what Rodgers and Hammerstein wrought was truly something wonderful.
400 pp.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Public domain
Spoiler:
First, this brother / sister team are unlikely collaborators, and quite unprepared when they find themselves at mid-life suddenly raising a precocious child. Second, February can often use a lift, and it’s an optimistic and often quite funny book.

From Amazon.com:

Quote:
“When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island, send for a boy orphan to help them out at the farm, they are in no way prepared for the error that will change their lives. The mistake takes the shape of Anne Shirley, a redheaded 11-year-old girl who can talk anyone under the table. Fortunately, her sunny nature and quirky imagination quickly win over her reluctant foster parents. Anne's feisty spirit soon draws many friends--and much trouble--her way. Not a day goes by without some melodramatic new episode in the tragicomedy of her life.”
320 pp.

Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Amazon US $6.99; Amazon CA $8.51; Amazon UK £4.60; Amazon AU $8.94; BaenEbooks.com $6.99; Audible US $1.99 (WS)
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodreads
Master trader Er Thom knows the local custom of Liaden is to be matched with a proper bride, and provide his prominent clan Korval with an heir. Yet his heart is immersed in another universe, influenced by another culture, and lost to a woman not of his world. And to take a Terran wife such as scholar Anne Davis is to risk his honor and reputation. But when he discovers that their brief encounter years before has resulted in the birth of a child, even more is at stake than anyone imagined. Now, an interstellar scandal has erupted, a bitter war between two families-galaxies apart-has begun, and the only hope for Er Thom and Anne is a sacrifice neither is prepared to make...
384 pp.

Samarkand by Amin Maalouf (tr. Russell Harris)
US $3.99; Canada $10.99; Australia $12.99; UK £3.99
Spoiler:
The blurb from all over:

Quote:
A gripping historical novel set in 11th century Persia that imagines the life of poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam

Accused of mocking the inviolate codes of Islam, the Persian poet and sage Omar Khayyam fortuitously finds sympathy with the very man who is to judge his alleged crimes. Recognising genius, the judge decides to spare him and gives him instead a small, blank book, encouraging him to confine his thoughts to it alone.
From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Ahmed Rashid reviewed the book for The Independent, and wrote: "Maalouf has written an extraordinary book, describing the lives and times of people who have never appeared in fiction before and are unlikely to do so again. The book is far more than a simple historical novel; like the intricate embroidery of an oriental carpet it weaves back and forth through the centuries, linking the poetry, philosophy and passion of the Sufi past with modernism."
304 pp.

The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
US$11.99
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:
Quote:
1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history - and the future: Sybil Gerard - dishonored woman and daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward "Leviathan" Mallory - explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant - diplomat and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for...

Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the first collaborative novel by two of the most brilliant and controversial science fiction authors of our time. Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson's and Sterling's unique visions - in a new and totally unexpected direction!
429 pp.

Wakulla Springs by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages
US$2.99; CA$2.99; GB£2.35; AU$4.05; Tor (online) free
Spoiler:
GoodReads:
Quote:
Wakulla Springs, in the deep jungle of the Florida panhandle, is the deepest submerged freshwater cave system in the world. In its unfathomable depths, a variety of curious creatures have left a record of their coming, of their struggle to survive, and of their eventual end. And that's just the local human beings over the last seventy-five years. Then there are the prehistoric creatures...and, just maybe, something else.

Ranging from the late 1930s to the present day, "Wakulla Springs" is a tour de force of the human, the strange, and the miraculous.
193 pp.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:49 PM   #2
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It looks as if everyone's being cagey this month! If Victoria hadn't put her oar in, a la Matthew, there'd be no votes at all.

I haven't quite decided how I'm going to vote, but I shall commit in the next day.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:59 PM   #3
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Cagey, distracted, and unsure. But committed now.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:51 PM   #4
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Okay - I didn’t know how to vote either, so decided to support the two orphans, as they were the ones of particular interest to me.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:08 AM   #5
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I had my typical situation this month where the books split into categories of "want to read," "wouldn't mind reading," and "would rather not read" (although I would). The question as always is how far to dig into the "wouldn't mind reading" group, but I've decided I'll just go with my top two choices. I plan to read the Rodgers and Hammerstein book in any case.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:35 PM   #6
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I decided to follow issybird's logic and went for my top 2 choices as well.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:39 PM   #7
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I meant to add that I thought this month's category resulted in creative interpretations and therefore an interesting variety of nominations. I wish I were better at thinking outside of the box like the rest of you!
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