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Old 04-11-2019, 09:10 AM   #16
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Better together: co-written

(I am open to refinements/improvements if you think this has problems.)
Our first official suggestion!

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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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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?
I tend to agree with both of these. I'd like to see these two themes conflated if people are willing; I also think co-written is a little too prescriptive and could be punchier anyway.

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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!
You've gone off Calvin Trillin!

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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.
I loved Akenfield and didn't know this, so I shall have to look into it.

As for the two-part themes, my own preference would be to keep them. I think it's something of our signature; I'd rather have a certain redundancy if necessary than give it up, as with our current "children" theme.

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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.
Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:44 AM   #17
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Originally, I thought I might dust off my suggestion from last time, "My favorite book you've never heard of," but after lying in abeyance for so long, it's lost much of its luster for me. Not that I wouldn't be interested in people's secret favorites.

So instead, I'm going to suggest something along the lines of:

Ya Gotta Believe: Life of the Spirit.

I don't want to get too prescriptive, but it would take in religion, personal philosophies, interior life, ghosts and other paranormal entities (which would not be my preference, but you have to let your chicks go). And baseball.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:55 AM   #18
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Yes, I saw that. I think of them as distinct themes.


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.
Considering how the themes always seem to get broadened way beyond the initial concept (e.g., Lost in Translation), I think it's quite likely that any theme involving a duo is going to yield selections featuring both dual authors and dual protagonists.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:56 AM   #19
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I'm not a regular participant but frequently lurk hoping I can get/ read the book in time.

I had two ideas pop into my head

The present: the pasts future

And because of the discussion in the May vote thread
Runner up retry: 2nd chances
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #20
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So instead, I'm going to suggest something along the lines of:

Ya Gotta Believe: Life of the Spirit.

I don't want to get too prescriptive, but it would take in religion, personal philosophies, interior life, ghosts and other paranormal entities (which would not be my preference, but you have to let your chicks go). And baseball.
Here you go: Ya Gotta Believe by Tug McGraw--sadly not available in digital form.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:13 AM   #21
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Here you go: Ya Gotta Believe by Tug McGraw--sadly not available in digital form.
I knew you'd get the reference.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:25 AM   #22
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How about The Air Conditioned Nightmare?

The theme would be Utopian/Disutopian fiction.
I like dystopian books myself; it's really the only area of SFF I enjoy, but this seems like an attempt to do an end run around the genre proscription.

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I'm not a regular participant but frequently lurk hoping I can get/ read the book in time.

I had two ideas pop into my head

The present: the pasts future

And because of the discussion in the May vote thread
Runner up retry: 2nd chances
There was an annual runner-up month in the old MR Club and I'm not a huge fan. The books have already been nominated and people can read them or not as they will; any individual book can be renominated; it means a themeless month which I think is inherently less interesting and no new books to catch someone's attention as well. There are a lot of books out there! Honestly, I think the real reason for the retread was to give both the members and the runner a break from nominations in the holiday season, which is a good-enough reason but not compelling.

As for the first, books that occur include 1984 and Looking Backward, i.e., books that were set in the future when they were written, but now are about a past that didn't happen.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:42 AM   #23
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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.
You wouldn't get an argument from me. A person might even consider nominating The Dark Half by Stephen King and I wouldn't argue (beyond the fact that I didn't think the book was anything special to read). To explain why the book fits might be considered a spoiler.

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[...]
I tend to agree with both of these. I'd like to see these two themes conflated if people are willing; I also think co-written is a little too prescriptive and could be punchier anyway.
[...]
If that's what people want ... I just didn't (and don't) see the connection. The only reason for conflating these two (rather than any other random themes) is because both speak of plurals.

I rather like Victoria's theme idea of partners in its own right, I can imagine having fun finding books that make an odd fit - like partnered villains.

People have already shown considerable imagination is interpreting themes, so I'm not that worried about being prescriptive (especially with either of these themes).
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:49 AM   #24
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I like dystopian books myself; it's really the only area of SFF I enjoy, but this seems like an attempt to do an end run around the genre proscription.



There was an annual runner-up month in the old MR Club and I'm not a huge fan. The books have already been nominated and people can read them or not as they will; any individual book can be renominated; it means a themeless month which I think is inherently less interesting and no new books to catch someone's attention as well. There are a lot of books out there! Honestly, I think the real reason for the retread was to give both the members and the runner a break from nominations in the holiday season, which is a good-enough reason but not compelling.

As for the first, books that occur include 1984 and Looking Backward, i.e., books that were set in the future when they were written, but now are about a past that didn't happen.
I suggested it as a reminder that the future never turns out like we think, by seeing "futures" that didn't turn out they way they were thought up.

I read to either learn something I didn't already know (non-fiction) or as a "magic carpet" to take me to places I could never go. It doesn't matter if I go to places that were, and no longer are, or never were in the first place.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:04 PM   #25
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Here are some more that I had thought of. If you see something here or earlier that you like feel free to take it and run with it. I haven't decided at all and will probably wait till near the end to formalize something.

Along similar lines to Ralph Sir Edward, I though an apocalyptic/dystopian theme might be interesting. But in an effort to not be genre constrained I was trying to make sure it included at least one other easy avenue for interpretation, in this case, climate change and other world-altering events/conditions. My initial theme was going to be "The Sky is Falling, the end of the world". It is still more constrained than I want but I could live with it. (And can't think of a way to fix it right now.)

"Puzzled and Bewildered, fun and games." I was mostly going to games and things related to puzzles but that could certainly include mysteries as well.

"Never Too Late, books we haven't gotten to (yet)". I find I am a very able procrastinator about some books, the idea for this was to get us to nominate some of those books we have heard of and though "I should try that... some day". Classics, nominations from last year, books we bought years ago and still haven't opened, etc.

"The Last Word, posthumously published". Any genre or style would fit as long as it was published after the primary author died.

"Popularity Contest, millions of readers can't be wrong". The idea was only books with a large number of GR reviews/ratings. Some of these are classics, some just happen to hit the zeitgeist for a particular year.

"Time on Our Hands, hobbies". The idea obviously is books about our hobbies, but with that title I figure it is open to a lot more if needed. This may not pass the third test I posted earlier though (complementary list).

"Naked and Afraid, watch out!". Horror and / or nudity but thrillers would also work.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:07 PM   #26
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The present: the pasts future
I do like this one in general. A lot of classic science fiction and alternative histories would work for this.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #27
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How about Once upon a TIme in the Real World?

Books on history, historical people, strange events that occurred in the past.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:54 PM   #28
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Some of the suggestions so far seem pretty genre-specific to me, and that genre isn't my cuppa.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:04 PM   #29
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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.

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.
I really like both of these. The first sounds light hearted, fun and great for the holidays.

The second provides lots of scope for selection, and could spark observations about how an author has / hasn’t evolved over time - something I find quite interesting.

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I tend to agree with both of these. I'd like to see these two themes conflated if people are willing; I also think co-written is a little too prescriptive and could be punchier anyway.
Sure - I’m good with that.

Last edited by Victoria; 04-11-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:25 PM   #30
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If that's what people want ... I just didn't (and don't) see the connection. The only reason for conflating these two (rather than any other random themes) is because both speak of plurals.

I rather like Victoria's theme idea of partners in its own right, I can imagine having fun finding books that make an odd fit - like partnered villains.
Dastardly duos That could be lots of fun.

Yes, my original idea (It takes two to tango) hinged more on the dance itself - the tango is pretty sparky and intense. So I was just thinking of books that involve an intense dynamic, positive or negative. It could include multiple types of connections - for example, Moby Dick.

That said, I’m not wedded to anything. It’s just fun to see how everyone’s ideas evolve.

Last edited by Victoria; 04-11-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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