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Old 11-27-2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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The MR Literary Club • Welcome, Information & General Discussion



Welcome

Welcome to the MR Literary Club! We're a small but friendly group and newcomers are always invited to join in anytime whether for one post, as a new regular or anywhere in between. In this post you'll find a list of upcoming categories, all our selections to date, links to all of our threads and our current guidelines. Anyone can post in this thread with general discussion, or jump into one of our other threads. If anyone has any questions or comments, you can post them or PM me. We hope you'll join us.


Selections, Categories & Thread Links

Links are numbered at the of each line in chronological order; the first number (1) should usually be the nomination thread while the last number should usually be the discussion thread.

2018
  • June 2018, Region Finale
  • May 2018, Time Period Finale (1501-1800)
  • April 2018, Region
  • March 2018, Non-Fiction
  • February 2018, Region
  • January 2018, Youth Fiction

2017
  • On the Makaloa Mat by Jack London, December 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty, November 2017, Time Period, 1 2
  • The Gathering by Anne Enright, October 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • The Return by Hisham Matar, September 2017, Biographies & Memoirs, 1 2
  • Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot, August 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Loving by Henry Green, July 2017, Open, 1 2
  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, June 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • One Thousand and One Nights, May 2017, Time Period, 1 2
  • Burmese Days by George Orwell, April 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee, March 2017, Non-Fiction, 1 2
  • Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster, February 2017, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín, January 2017, Contemporary, 1 2

2016
  • Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen, December 2016, Retrospective, 1 2 3
  • The Door by Magda Szabó, NYRB Classics edition, November 2016, Region, 1 2
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, October 2016, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • A Memoir of Jane Austen by James Edward Austen-Leigh, September 2016, Biographies & Memoirs, 1 2
  • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, August 2016, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, July 2016, Open, 1 2
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, June 2016, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, May 2016, Time Period, 1 2 3
  • What Maisie Knew by Henry James, April 2016, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, March 2016, Non-Fiction, 1 2 3
  • Eucalyptus by Murray Bail, February 2016, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • The poetry of John Clare, January 2016, Poetry, 1 2 3

2015
  • The Untouchable by John Banville, December 2015, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar November 2015, Region, 1 2 3
  • Remembering Babylon by David Malouf, October 2015, Retrospective, 1 2 3 4
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, September 2015, Biographies & Memoirs, 1 2 3
  • Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson, August 2015, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • The Plague by Albert Camus, July 2015, Journey around the World, 1 2 3
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, June 2015, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, May 2015, Time Period, 1 2 3
  • Silk by Alessandro Baricco, April 2015, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • The Master by Colm Tóibín, March 2015, Contemporary, 1 2 3 4
  • Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, February 2015, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot, January 2015, Poetry, 1 2 3

2014
  • Under Fire by Henri Barbusse, December 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Noli Me Tángere by José Rizal, November 2014, Region, 1 2 3
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather, October 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang, September 2014, Biographies & Memoirs, 1 2 3
  • The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk, August 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • The Club of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton, July 2014, , 1 2 3
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, June 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad, May 2014, Time Period, 1 2 3 4
  • Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz, April 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, March 2014, Non-Fiction, 1 2 3
  • Fools Crow by James Welch, February 2014, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • Inferno by Dante, January 2014, Poetry, 1 2 3 4

2013
  • My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories by Frank O'Connor, December 2013, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz, November 2013, Region, 1 2 3
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville, October 2013, Rotating, 1 2 3
  • Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey, September 2013, Biographies & Memoirs, 1 2 3
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, August 2013, Rotating, 1 2 3 4
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, July 2013, Highly Challenging, 1 2 3
  • after the quake by Haruki Murakami, June 2013, , 1 2 3
  • The American Senator by Anthony Trollope, May 2013, Time Period, 1 2 3
  • Chess Story by Stefan Zweig, April 2013, Obscure, 1 2 3
  • The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming, March 2013, Non-Fiction, 1 2 3 4
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, February 2013, Region, 1 2 3
  • The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon, January 2013, Poetry, 1 2 3

2012
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, December 2012, Open, 1 2 3 4 5
  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, November 2012, Region, 1 2 3
  • Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, October 2012, Plays, 1 2 3
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, September 2012, Contemporary, 1 2 3
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, August 2012, Lottery, 1 2
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot, July 2012, Highly Challenging, 1 2 3
  • My Old Man by Ernest Hemingway, June 2012, Stories, 1 2 3 4
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, May 2012, Region, 1 2 3 4
  • The Eternal Husband by Fyodor Dostoevsky, April 2012, Obscure, 1 2 3
  • Turn, Magic Wheel by Dawn Powell, March 2012, Lottery, 1 2 3
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, February 2012, Time Period, 1 2 3
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, January 2012, Poetry, 1 2 3

2011
  • The stories of Saki, December 2011, Open, 1 2 3
  • Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima, November 2011, Lottery, 1 2 3
  • Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, October 2011, Plays, 1 2 3
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, September 2011, Non-Fiction, 1 2 3
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, August 2011, Lottery, 1 2 3
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens, July 2011, Highly Challenging, 1 2 3
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, June 2011, Open, 1 2 3 4

Miscellaneous

Current Guidelines

(the guidelines being put all together in this post are under construction, so please be patient)

We have a monthly selection, chosen by a vote after a nomination period in a specified category. Generally, we start the selection process for a month around the first and we have our selection by around the tenth at the latest. Discussion threads are started soon after a selection is chosen so that people can discuss the selection before, during and after reading as they like. Nomination and voting threads are stickied only for a week or so while they're active, but discussion threads are stickied for close to two months each to give everyone plenty of time to contribute while the thread is stickied (threads can still be posted to after they're not stickied anymore as well). As such, there are usually two discussion threads stickied at any one time.

There are three different sort of current category months- Rotating, Time Period/Region, and the rest (regular categories).

Unless specially noted (i.e. August, October and December 2017), Rotating months generally begin by my asking for a volunteer in the ongoing Rotating Nominations thread somewhere around the middle of the prior month. Then, whoever volunteers is asked to give a list of nominations around the first in the same thread. After that a voting thread is made and things continue similarly to other months.

Unless specially noted (i.e. May & June 2018), Time Period/Region months generally begin with a one-day vote on a specific time period or region to focus on that month. This is within the nomination and voting thread. After that things continue similarly to other months.

All other regular categories start with one combined nominations and voting thread. Nominations are first open for around three days and everyone may nominate up to two selections each during this period, and all nominations automatically go forward to the vote so long as they fit the category (it is rare one doesn't, but if it happens I'll post that the nomination is invalid and that person will receive their nomination back and may nominate another if there is still time). Once nominations are complete voting begins in the same thread and lasts exactly four days from my post starting it. Each person receives a number of votes to use equal to the number of nominees minus one, and may give each nominee either zero, one or two votes. Votes are cast by post and the posts should not be edited and votes cannot be changed after being posted. Anyone may vote all in one post or split up in different posts as they like and may use all or if they prefer only some of their votes. They cannot give more votes than allowed however; if they do only their votes up to their limit counts (and this will be determined by the order votes are listed in and cannot be changed; first listed counts first).

Here are more detailed guidelines for regular categories:

-Nominations will run for around three days.-

You may offer up to two nominations. All nominees (so long as they are within the category) will move forward to the vote with no need for support from others.

Once nominations are complete, voting will begin and also occur in the same thread.

-Voting will then run for four days.-

I will make a post in the thread to open voting. The vote will close exactly four days from that post; even if the final tally doesn't occur immediately after voting closes, no votes made after that time will count.

Votes will be made by post. You will have a number of votes to cast equal to the number of nominees minus one, which will be specified when the vote begins. You may give each nominee one or two (or no) votes. You may vote all at once in one post or vote in separate posts at different times, so long as you have more votes remaining to cast. You may use any number of your possible votes up to the maximum. Any extraneous votes per person (past their maximum or more than two for one nominee) won't count. Votes cannot be changed once they are cast.

Once voting is complete, the count will be tallied and a winner declared. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off vote, also in the same thread. If the run-off also ends in a tie, then the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all of its votes first.

Here are more detailed guidelines for Time Period/Region months:

We will begin with a one-day vote to determine the time period/region. As soon as the time period/region is determined nominations will commence. For time periods, nominations can be set in and published in any time period, but they should be written during that time period. From region, nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region.

The time period/region vote will close exactly one day from the post; even if the final tally doesn't occur immediately after voting closes, no votes made after that time will count.

Time period/region votes will be made by post. You will have a number of votes to cast equal to the number of time periods minus one. Any extraneous votes per person (past their maximum) won't count. Votes cannot be changed once they are cast.

Once voting is complete, the count will be tallied and a winner declared. If there is a tie, first to receive all its votes wins (and this may bring ordering of votes in one post into prominence, so order your votes carefully).

Once the time period/region is determined, we proceed with normal nominations and voting the same as with other regular categories.

Here are more detailed guidelines for Rotating months:

In these months, we’ll take turns choosing the selections to be put to the vote. The idea is that everyone will take a turn at some point.

As far as who goes when, I think we’re a small enough and amenable enough group that I’d like to leave it up to us. I don’t think we need to plan too far ahead. I see something like us simply keeping a running discussion going here, and when I ask people can volunteer for an upcoming month.

Whoever’s turn it is can simply post your selections in the Rotating thread once I ask for them on the first of the month.

The only requirements for the selections are that they are literary, that none have been the monthly selection of either book club yet and that they number at least four. That’s it, pretty simple. Any questions, just ask!

I feel like we know and respect each other so I’m confident that these rotating months will be filled with good, interesting selections. The idea is for these months to be comfortable and fun for members. I want everyone to feel like it’s simply part of the club to have a turn at some point, and no big deal since everyone will have a go, and trust that the atmosphere in the club will be to treat each person’s Rotating selections with positivity and respect.

After a volunteer has posted their nominations, I will post a voting thread and we'll proceed similarly to other regular months' voting. The only difference is the following: The rotating nominator may not vote. Once voting is complete, the count will be tallied and a winner declared. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off vote, also in the same thread. If the run-off also ends in a tie, then the tie will be resolved by the nominator.

With all categories and months, we hope that you will read the selection with the club and join in the discussion.

In addition to our monthly posts, we operate on a yearly cycle for discussing club changes and categories. Our club years go from July of one year to June of the next, and we generally discuss these yearly matter somewhere between March and July. Anyone can suggest changes, which must be approved by me (as it can change the work I do for the club) and then I may either simply either approve it or not myself, or ask for a casual vote in this thread by post on the proposed change, though there is always the possibility of a special vote thread for a change if I think it's warranted. Changes can be made any time of the year if I think it's appropriate and anyone can suggest changes at any time, but generally decisions and implementations are left until the normal change-of-cycle timeframe. There is usually a separate categories thread each year around the appropriate time in which we decide on the next yearly cycle's category line-up.

So, what is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!


A Brief History

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Credits

*pictures here and on our goodreads page courtesy of and taken by Bookpossum
*region category map courtesy of sun surfer
*region category list and time period category list courtesy of sun surfer & issybird



Last edited by sun surfer; 12-08-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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Does this mean the categories for the latter half of 2012 are open for discussion?
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #3
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Looking at the list: I bought The Master and Margarita for June, but didn't read it (due to both lack of time, and a difficulty getting into the book), I already owned both Bleak House and A Passage to India, but did not read those either, then I just gave up. *sigh* I really will have to try to do better next year.

I've download A Christmas Carol of the MR Book Club and Beasts and Super Beasts for this book club (should it win).

Last edited by Nyssa; 11-29-2011 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Corrected Book Title
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by John F View Post
Does this mean the categories for the latter half of 2012 are open for discussion?
I don't think that was implied, but if this is to be discussed let's do it now and get it over with. No more arguments and polls in 2012.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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If the second half of the year is fixed, could the first post be edited to show it?

For some reason the list looks different then what I recall seeing elsewhere. I thought there were *a lot* more lottery months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I don't think that was implied, but if this is to be discussed let's do it now and get it over with. No more arguments and polls in 2012.
Good luck with that.

The only thing I would like to see discussion on is some effort to pick works which are widely available as ebooks.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
Does this mean the categories for the latter half of 2012 are open for discussion?
Here's what I wrote in the "Begins" thread in response to some people asking about changes:

Quote:
it's a possibility to change or move around the categories some, but I'm inclined to wait until all the categories originally chosen will have had their chance before a change (so around next July).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I don't think that was implied, but if this is to be discussed let's do it now and get it over with. No more arguments and polls in 2012.
I was thinking that maybe we could have a July-June timeline as our "year".

I think of the arguments and polls happening in the other book club as separate from us.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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- snip -
The only thing I would like to see discussion on is some effort to pick works which are widely available as ebooks.
Sun surfer, perhaps we should have a discussion about this. I am not sure what the "some effort" would imply, if is not to pick books not available as an ebook. I know that this is a requirement for the other book club, maybe it would do to implement it here if not being available as an ebook is discouraging people from nominating books, voting for books in the polls, or reading the books and participating in the discussion?

I am not in favor of the idea because it creates a "doughnut hole" of books that are too recent to be in the public domain (and hence available from places like PG) yet not so recent and/or well known that the books have been released in ebook format. Going to only ebooks I suspect would have a related effect of making books not originally written in English even less available as one must also deal with the copyright on the translation. I see this especially applying to books written in non-Western European languages.

On the other hand if it is much of a barrier to participation to not be available in ebook that's worse.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:38 PM   #8
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I have to agree that allowing non-eBooks is an impediment to some people reading the winner if it isn't an eBook.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:49 PM   #9
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I have 3 major concerns when it comes to either book club: Price, Availability & Time or Can I get it?; Can I afford to get it?; and How long will it take me to either afford it or get it, and then read it.
I will always make more effort to get any ebook than I will a paper book, because that option always saves me time, and more often than not, money, as well.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nyssa View Post
I have 3 major concerns when it comes to either book club: Price, Availability & Time or Can I get it?; Can I afford to get it?; and How long will it take me to either afford it or get it, and then read it.
I will always make more effort to get any ebook than I will a paper book, because that option always saves me time, and more often than not, money, as well.
I agree.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:12 AM   #11
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As all of you may notice, the thread title has changed. This used to be the thread to keep track of categories and selections; now it's being expanded into the catch-all thread for our club. We'll use this thread as a welcome thread, an information thread and a general discussion thread all in one. It won't happen all at once, but during 2013, I hope to update the first post to include more relevant information and links.

If you're new to the club and have any questions or want to introduce yourself, you can post here (or just jump right into whichever other thread interests you). If anyone has questions, suggestions or anything else they'd like to discuss about the Literary Club or literature itself, post it here!

And to start things off with a little bang, I was thinking of a small change for 2013. Most changes, if any, would come during our yearly anniversary in the summer, but this is a small one that I think would be well to go ahead and start now.

Instead of aiming for five fully nominated works every month, we could instead simply aim for three full days of nominations.

It's not a big deal either way, but the reason being that we've had months where we don't reach five fully nominated works, which is fine, but it seems like because of this it'd be better if we didn't worry about trying to reach a specific number of nominees.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:29 AM   #12
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I have some questions for which I searched in the bookclub, but couldn't find:
- are there restrictions on choices for the literary bookclub, save for the genre?
- what genre is next month?
- to see whether a book has already been read: it is enough to search for the name of a book on the forum, or are the books listed somewhere?

Thank you in advance....
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
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desertblues, some of your questions - next categories, books already read - are answered in the first post of this thread.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:22 AM   #14
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thank you Billi.
I thought there were some more books previous, but the literary bookclub exists from 2011 I see now.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #15
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As Billi said, next month's genre and previous selections are in the first post of this thread (and yep, we started not that long ago really, mid-2011). I can see how it could be easily missed at the present though because I'm in the (slow) process of updating and reformatting the post, so it's a bit messy right now. I should have it all sorted out by say mid-year at the latest.

About restrictions for the Lit Club, the main criteria is that it just be literary and fit the monthly category, and that's about it. For the most part it's left up to the nomination/voting process to weed out any nominations that might not fit well, but sometimes (rarely) I might step in if something definitely doesn't fit.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by sun surfer; 03-01-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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