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Old 09-01-2018, 08:13 AM   #1
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Nominations for October 2018 • Out of This World: Otherwhence


Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for October 2018. The theme is Out of This World: Otherwhence

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, September 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 October 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the September selection, Never Let Me Go, on September 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier [Bookpossum, bfisher, CRussel]
$US6.99, $C9.99, $A12.99, £5.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus's potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda...
336 pages

Stargazing by Peter Hill [gmw, Bookpossum, issybird]
Amazon UK - £6.17 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Kobo UK - £6.83 | Kobo AU $12.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasures of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, "In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolor. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country."

Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style.
292 pages

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard, based on J. M. Barrie's play of the same name [Catlady, gmw, orlok]
Amazon U.S. $7.34 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo U.S., $8.69 | Kobo CA $9.89 | Hoopla, Scribd, Overdrive, RB Digital
Spoiler:
Quote:
Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.
272 pages

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino [issybird, Bookpossum, astrangerhere]
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK £4.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | OverDrive, Audible
Spoiler:
Quote:
The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the aging and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing 55 fictitious cities that are narrated by Polo, many of which can be read as parables or meditations on culture, language, time, memory, death, or the general nature of human experience.

Short dialogues between Kublai and Polo are interspersed every five to ten cities discussing these topics. These interludes between the two characters are no less poetically constructed than the cities, and form a framing device that plays with the natural complexity of language and stories. In one key exchange in the middle of the book, Kublai prods Polo to tell him of the one city he has never mentioned directly—his hometown. Polo's response: "Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice."
182 pages

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde [Bookworm_Girl, astrangerhere, CRussel]
Public Domain
Spoiler:
This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance its tired ghost. The family -- which refuses to believe in him -- is in Wilde's way a commentary on the British nobility of the day -- and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde's, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance. . .
126 pages

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Clair North [Dngrsone, darryl, CRussel]
Amazon US $2.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
SOME STORIES CANNOT BE TOLD IN JUST ONE LIFETIME.

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message."

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
417 pages

Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke [gmw, darryl, bfisher]
Amazon US $7.75 | Amazon CA $7.99 | Amazon AU $10.55 | Kobo US $8.09 | Kobo CA $8.69 | Kobo AU $10.88
Spoiler:
Quote:
Living in the ten-billion-year-old city of Diaspar, Alvin is the last child born of humanity, and he is intensely curious about the outside world. But according to the oldest histories kept by the city fathers, there is no outside world—it was destroyed by the Invaders millions of years ago.

One day, Alvin finds a rock with an inscription seemingly meant for him: “There is a better way. Give my greetings to the Keeper of the Records. Alaine of Lyndar.” This cryptic message takes Alvin on a quest to discover humanity’s true past—and its future.

Originally published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, Against the Fall of Night is a rich and intensely poetic vision of a distant future that’s sure to delight fans of Clarke and science fiction as a genre.
120 pages

The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime #1) by Jasper Fforde [issybird, bfisher, BelleZora]
Amazon US $4.99 | Amazon UK £0.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Amazon CA $4.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
It's Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.

But Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary remain unconvinced, a sentiment not shared with their superiors at the Reading Police Department, who are still smarting over their failure to convict the Three Pigs of murdering Mr. Wolff. Before long Jack and Mary find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with beanstalks, titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of international chiropody.

And on top of all that, the JellyMan is coming to town . . .
383 pages

Last edited by issybird; 09-07-2018 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Through post #66.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:14 AM   #2
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Titles with one or two nominations:

*Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan [a7sharp9]
Amazon US $4.99 | Amazon AU $6.94 | Amazon UK £3.98 | Amazon CA $6.94
Spoiler:
Quote:
Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws—all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers’ eyes.

But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.
736 pages

*The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov [Ralph Sir Edward]

**A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay [Catlady, orlok]
Amazon U.S. $11.49 | Amazon CA $5.99 | Amazon AU $5.14 | Amazon UK £4.74 | Kobo US $11.49 | Kobo CA $9.99 | Kobo AU $8.13 | Kobo UK £4.79 | Overdrive Scribd Hoopla RB Digital
Spoiler:
Quote:
WINNER OF THE 2015 BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.
320 pages

*Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón [Catlady]
Amazon U.S. $9.99 | Amazon CA $12.99 | Amazon AU $15.28 | Amazon UK, £3.99 | Kobo U.S. $9.99 | Kobo CA $12.99 | Kobo AU $25.51 | Kobo UK, £3.99 | Overdrive, Axis360, Scribd, Hoopla, RB Digital
Spoiler:
Quote:
"We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine."

When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights.

His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona--a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons--an reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon's haunting Marina has long been a cult classic in Spain and is now an international bestseller.
234 pages

**Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga #2) by Orson Scott Card [darryl, Dngrsone]
Amazon AU: $12.99, Amazon US: $ 8.99, Amazon UK: £ 5.99, Amazon CA: $ 5.99
Spoiler:
It is a very different book from Ender's Game and has many themes worthy of discussion. It is not hard science fiction, but uses the setting to examine many issues. Humanity, ashamed at having wiped out the first alien species it encountered (in Ender's Game) now has to deal with a second. Is this an opportunity for redemption? Or for a repeat? Have any lessons been learned? When the aliens kill the main "Xenologer" sent to study them how will humanity react? Or is history condemned to repeat itself? A very thought provoking book which ranks high amongst my favourites.

Quote:
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

Speaker for the Dead, the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
382 pages

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Old 09-01-2018, 01:02 PM   #3
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Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JZAKPF0
It is a cult classic in its native Russian (fanfics, fanart, cosplay, the lot), and has nothing to do with the "physically disabled teens overcoming adversity" boilerplate that it's advertised with - or, rather, it has about as much in common with the real book as the eponymous three-story building has with what's going on inside it.
"My most important problem was destroying the lines of demarcation that separates what seems real from what seems fantastic", said Marquez - this book solves it, and how.
Also, the book club format is perfect for it, because there's so much hidden inside to dig out, and discussing the sudden discoveries is fun.
(full disclosure: I am the translator into English, and know it almost by heart - so if it's chosen, I'll lurk, but would be able to answer questions)
It is a long book though (300K words), and takes its time spooling up; things start happening in earnest only after about a quarter of the way through.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...the-gray-house

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Old 09-01-2018, 07:28 PM   #4
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Welcome to New Leaf Book Club, a7sharp9!

I would like to nominate The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. From Goodreads:

Quote:
Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus's potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda...
While the whole of the story is set in Cornwall, the 14th century is a very different world from that of the late 20th century.

Kobo prices: $US6.99, $C9.99, $A12.99, GBP5.99.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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Gray House doesn't seem to be available anywhere I have looked apart from the Amazon link, which I assume is the US. It isn't showing on Amazon Australia, and Kobo doesn't seem to have it.

Is it available in other countries a7sharp9? For an international book club, it really needs to be.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:23 PM   #6
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It is at Australian Amazon, https://www.amazon.com.au/Gray-House...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , as well as other Amazons (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gray-House-...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , https://www.amazon.ca/Gray-House-Mar...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , https://www.amazon.de/Gray-House-Mar...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ etc.). I don't think you can buy the ebook anywhere else, because it is Amazon's own imprint, but I can send out a .mobi or a .epub to any club member.

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Old 09-01-2018, 10:44 PM   #7
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I'll second The House on the Strand
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:06 AM   #8
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Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by a7sharp9 View Post
It is at Australian Amazon, https://www.amazon.com.au/Gray-House...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , as well as other Amazons (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gray-House-...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , https://www.amazon.ca/Gray-House-Mar...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ , https://www.amazon.de/Gray-House-Mar...dp/B01JZAKPF0/ etc.). I don't think you can buy the ebook anywhere else, because it is Amazon's own imprint, but I can send out a .mobi or a .epub to any club member.
Thanks for that - I don't know why it didn't show up when I did a search.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:30 AM   #10
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Anyone up for a long book and not read 1Q84? Very good book but also very long (~1100 pages.)

If there isn't good interest I don't want to nominate it given the length.

I have another author I will probably nominate something from later.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:39 AM   #11
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This is shaping up to be a month I sit out.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post
Anyone up for a long book and not read 1Q84? Very good book but also very long (~1100 pages.)

If there isn't good interest I don't want to nominate it given the length.

I have another author I will probably nominate something from later.
I suspect the length would be rather daunting. I thought at first I hadn't read anything by Murakami, but then realised I had read After the Quake and didn't really enjoy it. So I'm rather ambivalent.

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Old 09-02-2018, 02:43 AM   #13
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I'll third The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. I don't believe I've ever read anything by her, and I should.

@Catlady: It's all about finding a book that you DO want to read that can be construed to fit the category. The range is fairly large, and that's without pushing too hard.

Personally, I'm a bit gunshy this month, and I think I'll save my tickets for seconds.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:36 AM   #14
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I know I suggested this theme, and at the time I even suggested I was looking for science fiction nominations (and was duly and wisely corrected ), but I've gone off the idea quite a bit. That may be because some of the books I wanted to nominate are not readily available in e-book form, or that a few turned out to have been nominated before, or that one will draw all the wrong sorts of discussion, or others that have most probably been already read by anyone likely to read this sort of thing. (It's been altogether most frustrating.) It might also be partly due to the fact that I'm reading a Sci-Fi at the moment that I'm really struggling with. (I want to enjoy it, but the author is so making damn hard that I'm considering giving it up, which would make two books in a row and that has never happened to me before.) On top of all that, my VPN service has effectively stopped working with Amazon CA or US, so reliably checking availability there is now effectively impossible for me. ... So, where does that leave me?

Well, after considering and discarding around two dozen possibilities, I've decided on two nominations - either they will be available to you, or they won't, check them before voting. I apologise in advance if you can't get them. One's a classic to sit up against Ralph's nomination of Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity. But my second nomination stretches this theme to virtual breaking point, suggesting a book that even Catlady might vote for - if she can find it.

So after such a protracted struggle, I think a drum roll is in order before ...
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:38 AM   #15
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I nominate: Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke.

Amazon US - USD$7.75 | Amazon CA - CDN$7.99 | Amazon AU - AUD$10.55 | Kobo US - USD$8.09 | Kobo CA - CAD$8.69 | Kobo AU AUD$10.88

From Goodreads:
Quote:
Living in the ten-billion-year-old city of Diaspar, Alvin is the last child born of humanity, and he is intensely curious about the outside world. But according to the oldest histories kept by the city fathers, there is no outside world—it was destroyed by the Invaders millions of years ago.

One day, Alvin finds a rock with an inscription seemingly meant for him: “There is a better way. Give my greetings to the Keeper of the Records. Alaine of Lyndar.” This cryptic message takes Alvin on a quest to discover humanity’s true past—and its future.

Originally published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, Against the Fall of Night is a rich and intensely poetic vision of a distant future that’s sure to delight fans of Clarke and science fiction as a genre.
It's short, barely more than a novella (120 pages in my hardback). I strongly recommend avoiding the rather horrible sequel: Beyond the Fall of Night, written with Gregory Benford many years later. The two are often sold together, but even if you get Beyond the Fall of Night for free I suggest skipping it.

This is early Clarke and some criticise it for that early earnestness, but I like it better than some of his later work for many of the reasons others don't like it. There is much in here that Clarke doesn't try to explain; it's more human and less scientific than Clarke eventually becomes.

I recommend you check out your library options: this book is old and short, no one should be charging $10+ for this! (But some are.) Why I cannot find this on the UK sites is a mystery to me - I mean this is Arthur C. Clarke for crying out loud!
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