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Old 07-01-2019, 10:46 AM   #1
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Moonlighting • July 2019

Help select what we'll read and discuss next!


The topic is Moonlighting.

This could be anything to do with nighttime, the night sky, the moon, moonlight, etc. This could also relate to the alternate definition of moonlighting as a second or separate job or occupation aside from any main employment, where one 'moonlights'. Or, however else you may interpret the topic!


Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for about four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting by post then opens for four days, and a voter may give each nomination either one or two votes but only has a limited number of votes to use which is equal to the number of nominations minus one. 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-
  • A True Story by Lucian of Samosata
    Post . Goodreads . 090 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 3 . 0150 . Syria, Turkey (Assyria, Roman Syria)

  • Orlando Furiosa by Ludovico Ariosto
    Post . Goodreads . 645 Pages . Votes 0 . Run-off – . 1516 . Italy

  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
    Post . Goodreads . 350 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 0 . 2011 . Malaysia

  • Endymion by John Keats
    Post . Goodreads . 116 Pages . Votes 1 . Run-off – . 1818 . England

  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
    Post . Goodreads . 188 Pages . Votes 2 . Run-off – . 2015 . U.S.

  • Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari
    Post . Goodreads . 235 Pages . Votes 1 . Run-off – . 1776 . Japan

  • Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
    Post . Goodreads . 214 Pages . Votes 2 . Run-off – . 1987 . Egypt & England

  • The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
    Post . Goodreads . 204 Pages . Votes 3 . Run-off 1 . 1919 . France & England

  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
    Post . Goodreads . 589 Pages . Votes 0 . Run-off – . 1981 . India, England & the U.S.

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Old 07-02-2019, 03:06 PM   #2
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The first book I would like to nominate is A True Story written by Lucian of Samosata

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_True_Story
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:09 PM   #3
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The second Book ist Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Furioso
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:37 AM   #4
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Intriguing nominations so far, Spinnenmonat.

When I suggested this category, I didn't even think about the full title of our current selection having a night-ish word in it, but I realised it once I found this nomination that included the same word, heh:

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Goodreads, 350 pages, 2011, Malaysia

I thought of it for this topic because of the title evoking the night. It won the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Walter Scott Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award.

Quote:
It's Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes'. Then she can design a garden for herself.

As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host, Magnus Praetorius, seems almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

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Old 07-04-2019, 06:43 AM   #5
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My third nomination is Endymion by John Keats.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endymion_(poem)
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:31 PM   #6
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You beat me to Keats! I was seriously considering nominating Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne. Its relation to the topic was 'bright star'. There's also a wonderful film about John Keats and Fanny Brawne called Bright Star.

I had narrowed my possible nominations down to four including the one already nominated, so with you nominating a Keats I'll leave the Keats I was considering off and that makes finalising my nominations so much easier. But since I'm not nominating the book, I will leave Keats' Bright Star here:

Quote:
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art-
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-
No- yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever- or else swoon to death.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:46 PM   #7
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For my second nomination I'll put forth:

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.

Goodreads, 188 pages, 2015, U.S.

I thought of this as it relates to the night. Haruf's books are all about the same town in Colorado, and this was the final one as the author knew he was dying. I really enjoyed the sample I read.

Quote:
A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with.

Their brave adventures - their pleasures and their difficulties - are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:06 PM   #8
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My final nomination is:

Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari

Goodreads, 235 pages, 1776, Japan

This book is also sometimes known in English by its untranslated Japanese title, Ugetsu Monogatari. It's a collection of nine short, gentle ghost/supernatural stories, sometimes considered 'Japanese gothic'. I first found out about it from the wonderful 1953 Japanese film Ugetsu, which was an adaptation of two of the stories. The book is considered a classic and 'work of great significance'.

Quote:
First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque. They were also the inspiration for Mizoguchi Kenji's brilliant 1953 film Ugetsu.

The title Ugetsu monogatari (literally "rain-moon tales") alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between human and animal and between the waking world and the world of dreams. The remaining stories feature demons, fiends, goblins, strange dreams, and other manifestations beyond all logic and common sense.

The eerie beauty of this masterpiece owes to Akinari's masterful combination of words and phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore. Along with The Tale of Genji and The Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rain has become a timeless work of great significance.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:21 PM   #9
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Some very interesting nominations! I was super busy at work getting ready for the holiday weekend. I will be working on my nominations today.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:37 PM   #10
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Note that A True Story by Lucian of Samosata is also known by various other names, including 'True History', 'Lucian's True History', 'Lucian's True Story', and, most divergently, 'Trips to the Moon'.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Some very interesting nominations! I was super busy at work getting ready for the holiday weekend. I will be working on my nominations today.
Glad you're getting a chance to relax with the holiday weekend. Looking forward to your noms!
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:12 PM   #12
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Another note on Lucian of Samosata that isn't particularly important but that I still found interesting, is that he was born in Samosata, the ruins of which are now underwater because of a dam, although the modern city of Samsat is now nearby. Samosata is in modern-day Turkey. However, it's in the southeast of Turkey near modern-day Syria and in Lucian's time was part of 'Roman Syria' or Assyria, which correlates more closely to modern-day Syria, so pinning down a country for the selection was a little more complicated than usual, though if I had to pick only one modern country for Lucian I think I'd probably fall towards 'in spirit' rather than 'technically' and go with Syria (but I listed all the possibilities on the selection). Anyway, in Lucian's time it was part of a more Hellenistic culture and Lucian wrote in Greek.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:19 PM   #13
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This month was a fun topic to look for nominations.

My first nomination is Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively, Man Booker Prize winner of 1987 and Golden Man Booker Prize nominee in 2018.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
The elderly Claudia Hampton, a best-selling author of popular history; lies alone in a London hospital bed. Memories of her life still glow in her fading consciousness, but she imagines writing a history of the world. Instead, Moon Tiger is her own history, the life of a strong, independent woman, with its often contentious relations with family and friends. At its center — forever frozen in time, the still point of her turning world — is the cruelly truncated affair with Tom, a British tank commander whom Claudia knew as a reporter in Egypt during World War II.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:21 PM   #14
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My second nomination is The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham. I enjoyed Of Human Bondage when we read it a few years ago.

Quote:
Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.

Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege. He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art. As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes sacrifices that leaves the lives of those closest to him in tatters. Through Maugham's sympathetic eye Strickland's tortured and cruel soul becomes a symbol of the blessing and the curse of transcendent artistic genius, and the cost in humans lives it sometimes demands.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:22 PM   #15
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My last nomination is Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, Man Booker Prize winner of 1981, Booker of Bookers Prize in 1993 and The Best of the Booker in 2008. The pro is that I liked the premise of the plot. The con is that it is 647 pages and a slower read.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India's independence, and found himself mysteriously "handcuffed to history" by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent - and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times. Through Saleem's gifts - inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell - we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colourful background of the India of the 20th century.
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