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Old 04-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #1
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Nominations for June 2018 • I'll be There for You: Best Friends


Happy May Day, whether worker or queen!

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for June 2018. The theme is I'll be There for You: Best Friends.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, May 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on June 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the May selection, The Radium Girls, on May 15.

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian [CRussel, Bookpossum, bfisher]
AmazonUS: $9.99 | AmazonAU: $12.99 | AmazonUK: £3.99 | Overdrive | Audible
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazonUK
Set sail for the read of your life …

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Now, for the first time, they are available in electronic book format, so a whole new generation of readers can be swept away on the adventure of a lifetime.

Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O’Brian’s now famous Aubrey/Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. It establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship’s surgeon and an intelligence agent. It contains all the action and excitement which could possibly be hoped for in a historical novel, but it also displays the qualities which have put O’Brian far ahead of any of his competitors: his depiction of the detail of life aboard a Nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation and ambience, of the landscape and of the sea. O’Brian’s portrayal of each of these is faultless and the sense of period throughout is acute. His power of characterisation is above all masterly.

This brilliant historical novel marked the début of a writer who grew into one of our greatest novelists ever, the author of what Alan Judd, writing in the Sunday Times, has described as ‘the most significant extended story since Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time’.


A Catskill Eagle by Robert B. Parker [orlok, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon UK £4.99 | Amazon AUS $11.99
Spoiler:
It's not the first in his Spenser series, but it is one of the best (you can read this series in any order, though the developing relationships are fun to follow chronologically). The friendship I am nominating this for is that between Spenser and Hawk, an African-American solider of fortune and unquestionably the greatest badass ever created in crime novels (IMHO).

In this story a letter tells Spenser that Susan (his long time partner) is in trouble and Hawk is in jail, and from there it’s a foregone conclusion on all hell breaking loose. The bonds between the three are never stronger, the story has never been more intense and the action has never been so defined. It’s a masterfully written book that could easily stand alone, not as minimalist as later Spensers or as hard-boiled as earlier ones, transitional both in terms of his style and the way the characters develop.


My Brilliant Friend by Elana Ferrante [astrangerhere, Catlady, latepaul]
Amazon US $6.00 | Kobo US $8.69
Spoiler:
Quote:
Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.


Absolute Friends by John Le Carré [pablo, gmw, Bookpossum]
Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon UK £5.99
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
Quote:
Absolute Friends is a superbly paced novel spanning fifty-six years, a theatrical masterstroke of tragi-comic writing, and a savage fable of our times, almost of our hours.
The friends of the title are Ted Mundy, British soldier’s son born in 1947 in a shining new independent Pakistan, and Sasha, a refugee son of an East German Lutheran pastor and his wife who have sought sanctuary in the West.
The two men meet first as students in riot-torn West Berlin of the late Sixties, again in the grimy looking-glass of Cold War espionage and, most terribly, in today’s unipolar world of terror, counter-terror and the war of lies.
Absolute Friends presents us with magical writing, characters to delight, and a spellbinding story that enchants even as it challenges.


The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas [issybird, gmw, orlok]
Public domain | Feedbooks epub/Kindle FREE | Amazon US/Pevear translation $9.99 | Amazon UK/Pevear £2.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
This swashbuckling epic of chivalry, honor, and derring-do, set in France during the 1620s, is richly populated with romantic heroes, unattainable heroines, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals in a whirl of adventure, espionage, conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and suspense. Dumas transforms minor historical figures into larger- than-life characters: the Comte d’Artagnan, an impetuous young man in pursuit of glory; the beguilingly evil seductress “Milady”; the powerful and devious Cardinal Richelieu; the weak King Louis XIII and his unhappy queen—and, of course, the three musketeers themselves, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, whose motto “all for one, one for all” has come to epitomize devoted friendship. With a plot that delivers stolen diamonds, masked balls, purloined letters, and, of course, great bouts of swordplay, The Three Musketeers is eternally entertaining.


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry AKA My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman [JSWolf, latepaul, Dazrin]
Overdrive | Amazon US | Kobo UK | Kobo US | Kobo CA | Kobo AU | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Spoiler:
Quote:
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
Quote:
Everyone remembers the smell of their grandmother's house.

Everyone remembers the stories their grandmother told them.

But does everyone remember their grandmother flirting with policemen? Driving illegally?
Breaking into a zoo in the middle of the night? Firing a paintball gun from a balcony in her dressing gown?

Seven-year-old Elsa does.

Some might call Elsa's granny 'eccentric', or even 'crazy'. Elsa calls her a superhero. And granny's stories, of knights and princesses and dragons and castles, are her superpower. Because, as Elsa is starting to learn, heroes and villains don't always exist in imaginary kingdoms; they could live just down the hallway.

As Christmas draws near, even the best superhero grandmothers may have one or two things they'd like to apologise for. And, in the process, Elsa can have some breath-taking adventures of her own . . .


Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery [Dazrin, CRussel, bfisher]
MR Library | Public domain
Spoiler:
Quote:
Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.


The Little White Bird by J.M. Barrie [gmw, Bookpossum, issybird]
MobileRead PCM Library EPub Free | MobileRead PCM Library Kindle/azw3 | public domain
Spoiler:
The best description I've found is from GrannyGrump's post in the MobileRead thread linked above:
Quote:
“The Little White Bird” is a novel for adult readers, ranging in tone from fantasy and whimsy to social comedy with dark, aggressive undertones.

This book is a series of short episodes, including accounts of the narrator's day-to-day activities in contemporary London, as well as fanciful tales set in Kensington Gardens and elsewhere; with the two main characters being the first-person narrator Captain W—— (“Barrie thinly disguised”), and the boy David (based on George Llewelyn Davies, one of several children of the Davies family who provided inspiration for many characters in Barrie's writings). The main theme of the book is an exploration of the emotional relationship of the narrator, a childless Victorian-era retired soldier and London bachelor, with a young boy born to a working-class married couple in his neighbourhood.
Many places emphasise that the middle chapters of this book were extracted to be published as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, but for me those chapters are less of a draw than the developing relationship between the narrator and the young couple. The early chapters and the final, in particular, I found quite touching.


The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff [Catlady, issybird, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $9.99 | Kobo US $9.99 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo CA $9.99 | Amazon AU $11.99 | Kobo AU $11.99 | Amazon UK £2.99 | Kobo UK £2.99
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:
Quote:
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.


Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett [Bookworm_Girl, bfisher, orlok]
Overdrive, Scribd | Amazon US
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

Quote:
What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.


Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson [Catlady, JSWolf, Bookworm_Girl]
Public domain
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
Quote:
The classic true story of a lovable Scottish dog whose loyalty knew no bounds

Each day, the cannon of Edinburgh Castle blasts a shot across town. It never fails to surprise Bobby, the silver-haired Skye terrier of Greyfriars Kirkyard, who fires back with a flurry of indignant yips. He always quiets down, though, because he knows it means it’s one o’clock—and one o’clock is when it’s time to eat. Bobby’s master, the shepherd Auld Jock, feeds the dog well, and Bobby repays him with limitless devotion. Everyone in Edinburgh knows that Bobby is a fine dog, but they have no idea just how loyal he really is.

When Jock dies, Bobby refuses to abandon his master, standing guard over his grave through wind and sleet and snow. No matter what obstacles stand in his way, Bobby remains steadfast—inspiring a city, a country, and the world.

A timeless tale of the special relationship between a man and his dog, Greyfriars Bobby has inspired generations of readers and was adapted into the Disney film of the same name.

Last edited by issybird; 05-05-2018 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Through post #67.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
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Titles with one or two nominations:

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Old 05-01-2018, 12:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for May 2018. The theme is I'll be There for You: Best Friends.
Should this not say June 2018, since we already have our selection for May?

Furthermore, I would like to suggest a previously nominated work, as it applies to this category: "The Body" by Stephen King, basis for the movie Stand By Me and contained in the anthology Different Seasons?
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:07 PM   #4
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Should this not say June 2018, since we already have our selection for May?

Furthermore, I would like to suggest a previously nominated work, as it applies to this category: "The Body" by Stephen King, basis for the movie Stand By Me and contained in the anthology Different Seasons?
Oops! Thanks for the correction; fixed.

Unfortunately, "The Body" isn't eligible for nomination as we have a six-month limitation on renominating books that have been fully nominated. Having been nominated for March, it'll be eligible again for September. I'm sorry - especially as you broke the ice!
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:16 PM   #5
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:16 PM   #6
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Dang. Well, I tried.

This is a tough one. My next inclination is impossible, since the other stories that come to mind involving deep friendship are too much to expect everyone to read in anything resembling a timely manner (HP, LoTR, LOL).

I must ponder for a while.
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:18 PM   #7
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Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin

I'm going to nominate Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. This is the first book in his superb Aubrey/Maturin series of naval adventures set in the Napoleonic Wars, and there could be no more appropriate books for this category. The primary best friends story is that of Jack Aubrey --an officer in the British Navy -- and Stephen Maturin -- a physician, naturalist, British spy, and surgeon in the British Navy. However, there isn't just the one set of best friends in here, but others as well, and they reinforce the whole.

I've read this book many times, in many formats, and I was not going to nominate it simply because it would be a re-read for me. But then I thought about it some more, and realized this club is about discovery, and I should allow -- nay, positively encourage -- folks to discover this series. Really, truly, you should read it -- it's simply wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodreads
The beginning to the sweeping Aubrey/Maturin series. "The best sea story I have ever read."—Sir Francis Chichester

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazonUK
Set sail for the read of your life …

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Now, for the first time, they are available in electronic book format, so a whole new generation of readers can be swept away on the adventure of a lifetime.

Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O’Brian’s now famous Aubrey/Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. It establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship’s surgeon and an intelligence agent. It contains all the action and excitement which could possibly be hoped for in a historical novel, but it also displays the qualities which have put O’Brian far ahead of any of his competitors: his depiction of the detail of life aboard a Nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation and ambience, of the landscape and of the sea. O’Brian’s portrayal of each of these is faultless and the sense of period throughout is acute. His power of characterisation is above all masterly.

This brilliant historical novel marked the début of a writer who grew into one of our greatest novelists ever, the author of what Alan Judd, writing in the Sunday Times, has described as ‘the most significant extended story since Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time’.
Length: 457 Pages

Cost:
Overdrive: Various editions available in various countries

Audible: At least three different unabridged narrations exist. Patrick Tull's, Simon Vance's, and Ric Jerrom's. My personal preference is for the Patrick Tull one. issybird's is for the Simon Vance one, and the Ric Jerrom one is quite acceptable.

This is a great series, and this book is a wonderful start to the series. Even those of you who think you couldn't possibly like a book set aboard a British navy ship during the Napoleonic Wars, please give this serious consideration. It transcends that simple description in so many different ways. Even my DW, who had little interest in such things, was totally captivated by these books.

Highly Recommended!

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Old 05-01-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
I'm going to nominate Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. This is the first book in his superb Aubrey/Maturin series of naval adventures set in the Napoleonic Wars, and there could be no more appropriate books for this category. The primary best friends story is that of Jack Aubrey --an officer in the British Navy, and Stephen Maturin -- a physician, naturalist, British spy, and surgeon in the British Navy. However, there isn't just the one set of best friends in here, but others as well, and they reinforce the whole.
Is the book complete in itself, or one that leaves a lot of loose ends that lead to the subsequent books?
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:39 PM   #9
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Each book is complete in itself. The story of their lives goes on, but the books are complete in themselves. No cliff-hangers. (As confirmation, issybird started listening to them a few years ago, and strictly rations herself on reading them. )
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dngrsone View Post
This is a tough one. My next inclination is impossible, since the other stories that come to mind involving deep friendship are too much to expect everyone to read in anything resembling a timely manner (HP, LoTR, LOL).
I have to ask, what is "LOL"? For the life of me, I can't come up with it.

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Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
(As confirmation, issybird started listening to them a few years ago, and strictly rations herself on reading them. )
I started them in 2014 and finished the 13th last September. (I'm only allowed to read/listen to them in the summer. )
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:22 PM   #11
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Well, I am happy to second Master and Commander as it has been on my TBR list for quite a while.

Last edited by Bookpossum; 05-01-2018 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:26 PM   #12
bfisher
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I'll third Master and Commander
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:13 PM   #13
CRussel
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Well, that's encouraging, but it's feeling a bit lonely in here. While I am happy to help my fellow readers discover Patrick O'Brien, I'd hope to see some other books I don't know.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:33 PM   #14
Bookpossum
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I think everyone is still thinking - I know I am!
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:33 AM   #15
orlok
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I'll nominate A Catskill Eagle by Robert B. Parker. It's not the first in his Spenser series, but it is one of the best (you can read this series in any order, though the developing relationships are fun to follow chronologically). The friendship I am nominating this for is that between Spenser and Hawk, an African-American solider of fortune and unquestionably the greatest badass ever created in crime novels (IMHO).

In this story a letter tells Spenser that Susan (his long time partner) is in trouble and Hawk is in jail, and from there it’s a foregone conclusion on all hell breaking loose. The bonds between the three are never stronger, the story has never been more intense and the action has never been so defined. It’s a masterfully written book that could easily stand alone, not as minimalist as later Spensers or as hard-boiled as earlier ones, transitional both in terms of his style and the way the characters develop.

Amazon US $7.99
Amazon UK £4.99
Amazon AUS $11.99

Last edited by issybird; 05-02-2018 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Fixed Amazon US link.
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