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Old 07-01-2018, 07:11 AM   #1
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New Beginnings and Uncharted Waters • July 2018

Welcome to a fresh start for the MR Literary Club, and help us select what we'll read next!


The topic is New Beginnings and Uncharted Waters

Selections that have something to do with any of new beginnings, big changes, second chances, exploration, venturing into uncharted territory, or however else you may interpret it


Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting then opens for four days and each person votes by post, receives a number of votes equal to the number of nominations minus one and may give each nomination up to two votes. Any questions, feel free to ask.

We hope that you will read the selection with us and join in the discussion.

*

Nominations are complete. Initial voting is complete. Run-off voting is complete. Final results-

  • Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
    Post . Goodreads . 336 Pages . Votes 1 . Run-off - . 2014 . Sweden

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
    Post . Goodreads . 338 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 1 . 2012 . the U.K.

  • The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
    Post . Goodreads . 530 Pages . Votes 2 . Run-off - . 1978 . Ireland & the U.K.

  • The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
    Post . Goodreads . 384 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 0 . 2013 . the U.S.

  • Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson, 1904
    Post . Goodreads . 240 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 2 . 1904 . Argentina & the U.K.

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Old 07-01-2018, 05:42 PM   #2
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Interesting topic! It will be fun to research.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:58 PM   #3
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I plan to post my nominations tomorrow since I'll have some free time to explore options. Hope everyone in the US has a safe and happy holiday!
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:38 PM   #4
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My first nomination is Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. I loved A Man Called Ove and would like to read another book by Backman.

From Amazon UK:
Quote:
Britt-Marie was Here is a funny, poignant and uplifting tale of love, community, and second chances.

For as long as anyone can remember, Britt-Marie has been an acquired taste. It's not that she's judgemental, or fussy, or difficult - she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We're not animals, are we?

But behind the passive-aggressive, socially awkward, absurdly pedantic busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes.

So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of 20 years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater that is Borg - of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it - and somehow tasked with running the local football team, she is a little unprepared. But she will learn that life may have more to offer her that she's ever realised, and love might be found in the most unexpected of places.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:57 PM   #5
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My second nomination is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, which was a Man Booker Prize Longlist nominee in 2012.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage at the heart of Rachel Joyce’s remarkable debut. Harold Fry is determined to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessey will live.

Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him—allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.

And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:40 AM   #6
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I nominate-


The Sea, the Sea by Irish Murdoch, 1978, Ireland & the U.K., Goodreads

I think this one fits the topic of new beginnings as the main character retires from London to an isolated house by the sea, and the title refers to (uncharted) waters. It won the Man Booker in 1978.

Quote:
Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor both professionally and personally, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors--some real, some spectral--that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

In exposing the jumble of motivations that drive Arrowby and the other characters, Iris Murdoch lays bare "the truth of untruth"--the human vanity, jealousy, and lack of compassion behind the disguises they present to the world. Played out against a vividly rendered landscape and filled with allusions to myth and magic, Charles's confrontation with the tidal rips of love and forgiveness is one of Murdoch's most moving and powerful tales.

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara, 2013, the U.S., Goodreads

I think this fits the topic by of uncharted waters by being about an expedition to a remote Micronesian island looking for a rumoured lost tribe.

Quote:
In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.

Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson, 1904, Argentina & the U.K., Goodreads

I had mentioned the club hopefully veering into a slightly more recent and less obscure direction, and here I'm nominating an old, obscure book. In my defence though it was a bestseller in the early part of the 20th century, and it fits the topics of new beginnings and uncharted waters, being about the protagonist taking refuge from a failed revolutionary attempt in the primeval forests(/jungles?) of southwestern Venezuela.

Quote:
A failed revolutionary attempt drives the hero of Hudson's novel to seek refuge in the primeval forests of south-western Venezuela. There, in the 'green mansions' of the title, Abel encounters the wood-nymph Rima, the last survivor of a mysterious aboriginal race. The love that flowers between them is soon overshadowed by cruelty and sorrow... One of the acknowledged masters of natural history writing, W. H. Hudson forms an important link between nineteenth-century Romanticism and the twentieth-century ecological movement.

First published in 1904 and a bestseller after its reissue a dozen years later, Green Mansions offers its readers a poignant meditation on the loss of wilderness, the dream of a return to nature, and the bitter reality of the encounter between savage and civilized man.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:02 AM   #7
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Nominations are closed and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has FOUR votes to use.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:37 PM   #8
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I'll start by giving one vote each to-

Britt-Marie Was Here
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The People in the Trees
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:28 PM   #9
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I give one vote each to:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The People in the Trees
Green Mansions
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:07 PM   #10
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I will start with one vote each to:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The Sea, The Sea

I bought The Sea, The Sea when it was on-sale for $2 so that was an easy vote. It will be harder to decide my last 2 votes!

EDIT: I discovered The Unlikely Pilgrimage is on-sale for $1.99. Expires today!

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Old 07-07-2018, 05:29 PM   #11
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I posted some books related to this month's topic in the Literary Supplement thread. Here's a link.
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...68#post3718168
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:33 PM   #12
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FYI, the first post nominations list might look a little different from day to day as I'm trying some things out with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I posted some books related to this month's topic in the Literary Supplement thread. Here's a link.
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...68#post3718168
Thanks for that! (and you've also reminded me to add that thread to the first post of our welcome and discussion thread)

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Old 07-08-2018, 07:42 PM   #13
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I'm ok with obscure. I'm going to give 1 vote to Green Mansions.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:07 AM   #14
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This is my first time voting in this club (thank you for the invitation!), and I want to make sure I don't fluff it. If I understand it, I get four total votes? They must all be used on different works?

Assuming I've not misunderstood, I would like to vote for:

The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by astrangerhere View Post
This is my first time voting in this club (thank you for the invitation!), and I want to make sure I don't fluff it. If I understand it, I get four total votes? They must all be used on different works?

Assuming I've not misunderstood, I would like to vote for:

The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson
Welcome, astrangerhere! Yes, you get four votes total (this month; it changes depending on the amount of nominations), but you can use up to two per nomination. So for example if someone wanted to use all four votes, they could give two votes to one nomination and two votes to another, two votes to one nomination and one vote each to two others, or one vote each to four nominations. It just so happened that this month no one used two votes on one nomination but it's possible.

It also just so happens that you barely missed the normal voting cut-off by about an hour! The actual cut-off time isn't posted since forum time can appear differently for every person depending on their time zone settings. For nominations the cut-off is pretty lax, being around four complete days but sometimes some hours longer until I begin the vote. However, voting generally has a stricter time frame of exactly four days from when I post commencing the vote regardless of if the final results aren't posted until a bit later.

That being said, guidelines are sometimes made to be broken. The stricter voting period was made for two reasons: so that everyone would know exactly when the vote was ending - similar to a poll - for the purpose of last-minute strategic votes, and to eliminate any possible grumblings of the club runner not closing the vote right away for a nefarious reason such as hoping for more votes for specific nominations. Also in the past there have been times where I shied away from making justified exceptions to our normal guidelines to similarly prevent any possible grumblings of making snap decisions not first extensively debated and put to a vote, but with this being the first month of our new club refresh, what better way to be out with the old? Fortunately I don't think there are any grumbling-prone members like that here now so it's easier to make exceptions when needed like this, and on top of that this has made me think that I'm going to give up worrying about such as that altogether and operate on the basis of others assuming the best of my intentions as I similarly will of them, which sounds like a great way to move forward for all our members past, present and future.

I didn't mean to catch you in the crosshairs of musing but suffice to say your votes will count.
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