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Old 09-01-2019, 07:02 AM   #1
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Nominations for October 2019 • Ya Gotta Believe: Life of the Spirit


It's time for us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read in October 2019. The theme is Ya Gotta Believe: Life of the Spirit.

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. Also, don't sweat the links. It's helpful to check availability and prices before nominating in order to eliminate anything that's out of the question, but ultimately our global members with different gadgets and preferences will have to check for themselves.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, September 7, 2019. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for three days. The discussion of the selection will start on October 15, 2019. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the September selection, The Shepherd's Life, 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:

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adam's [Bookpossum, CRussel, fantasyfan]
$US7.99, $C10.69, $A9.99, £4.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge). To find out more, read this book (better still, buy it, then read it) – or contact Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. ‘A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy epic.’ The author
287 pp.

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein [gmw, fantasyfan, Dazrin]
US $4.99, CA $13.99, GB £5.75, AU $10.22
Spoiler:
Quote:
Here's a lively, hilarious, not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical traditions, schools, concepts, and thinkers. Its Philosophy 101 for everyone who knows not to take all this heavy stuff too seriously. Some of the Big Ideas are Existentialism (what do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?), Philosophy of Language (how to express what its like being stranded on a desert island with Halle Berry), Feminist Philosophy (why, in the end, a man is always a man), and much more. Finally it all makes sense!
200 pp.

A Morbid Taste for Bones. Ellis Peters (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 1) [Victoria, Dazrin, CRussel]
kobo: $9.56 AU; $12 US; $14.39 CA | kindle: $9 US; $12 CA; $8.79 AU
Spoiler:
Quote:
A Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in western England, Brother Cadfael spends much of his time tending the herbs and vegetables in the garden—but now there’s a more pressing matter. Cadfael is to serve as translator for a group of monks heading to the town of Gwytherin in Wales. The team’s goal is to collect the holy remains of Saint Winifred, which Prior Robert hopes will boost the abbey’s reputation, as well as his own. But when the monks arrive in Gwytherin, the town is divided over the request.

When the leading opponent to disturbing the grave is found shot dead with a mysterious arrow, some believe Saint Winifred herself delivered the deadly blow. Brother Cadfael knows an earthly hand did the deed, but his plan to root out a murderer may dig up more than he can handle.

Before CSI and Law & Order, there was Brother Cadfael, “wily veteran of the Crusades” (Los Angeles Times). His knowledge of herbalism, picked up in the Holy Land, and his skillful observance of human nature are blessings in dire situations, and earned Ellis Peters a Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award. A Morbid Taste for Bones kicks off a long-running and much-loved series that went on to be adapted for stage, radio, and television.
213 pp.

Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel [issybird, Victoria, Bookpossum]
US $2.99, CA $3.99, AU $4.63, UK £2.39
Spoiler:
Quote:
For centuries Tibet has been known as the last home of mystery, the hidden, sealed land, where ancient mysteries still survive that have perished in the rest of the Orient. Many men have written about Tibet and its secret lore, but few have actually penetrated it to learn its ancient wisdom. Among those few was Madame Alexandra David-Neel, a French orientalist. A practicing Buddhist, a profound historian of religion, and linguist, she actually lived in Tibet for more than 14 years. She had the great honor of being received by the Dalai Lama; she studied philosophical Buddhism and Tibetan Tantra at the great centers; she meditated in lonely caves and on wind-swept winter mountains with yogi hermits; and she even witnessed forbidden corpse-magic in the forests. Her experiences have been unique.
313 pp.

The Sleeper in the Sands by Tom Holland [fantasyfan, Bookpossum, gmw]
UK £3.65, EU €3.99, US $2.99, CA $4.99, AU $12.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
As Howard Carter prepares to open the tomb of Tutankhamen, he broods on a variety of mysterious warnings. The most specific of these warnings takes the form of tales within tales within tales--tales of the mediaeval caliph Omar and his private physician, and tales of the Times of Ignorance, of the heretic pharaoh and the reasons why he rejected the gods of his fathers. . . the particular spins [Holland] puts on his own standard mythologies are ingenious, as is the way that he juggles known facts and standard theories to fit those spins. He creates a telling atmosphere of suspense in which we find ourselves caring in different ways about a social- climbing scholar, a warrior sick of killing and a princess desperate to survive on her own terms in a hostile court. Above all, this is ingenious in its use of the story-telling formulae of the Thousand Nights and One Night to tell a story that unfolds like a poisonous flower and sweeps us backwards and forwards through abysses of time and human anguish.--Roz Kaveney
473 pp.

Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden [Catlady, Bookworm_Girl, issybird]
Amazon U.S. $9.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
Five nuns confront nature—physical and human—in a remote Himalayan convent in this bestselling novel that “bears comparison with A Passage to India” (Arthur Koestler).

Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor’s agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.

The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award–winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century.
193 pp.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue [Catlady, gmw, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon U.S. $9.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
By the New York Times bestselling author of Room: A small Irish village is mystified by what appears to be a miracle but may actually be murder in this "fine, fact-based, old-school page-turner" (Stephen King).

In this masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle -- a girl said to have survived without food for months -- soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels--a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.
303 pp.

Why Homer Matters, aka The Mighty Dead by Adam Nicolson [issybird, CRussel, Victoria]
US $9.99, CA $11.99, AU $11.99, UK £4.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
"Adam Nicolson writes popular books as popular books used to be, a breeze rather than a scholarly sweat, but humanely erudite, elegantly written, passionately felt…and his excitement is contagious."—James Wood, The New Yorker

Adam Nicolson sees the Iliad and the Odyssey as the foundation myths of Greek—and our—consciousness, collapsing the passage of 4,000 years and making the distant past of the Mediterranean world as immediate to us as the events of our own time.

Why Homer Matters is a magical journey of discovery across wide stretches of the past, sewn together by the poems themselves and their metaphors of life and trouble. Homer's poems occupy, as Adam Nicolson writes "a third space" in the way we relate to the past: not as memory, which lasts no more than three generations, nor as the objective accounts of history, but as epic, invented after memory but before history, poetry which aims "to bind the wounds that time inflicts."
320 ppi.

This House is Haunted by John Boyne [Bookworm_Girl, Catlady, Dazrin]
US $9.99.
Spoiler:
Quote:
Written in Dickensian prose, This House Is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic nineteenth-century ghost story. Set in Norfolk in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall. When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realizes that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past. Clever, captivating, and witty, This House Is Haunted is pure entertainment with a catch.
304 pp.

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Old 09-01-2019, 07:02 AM   #2
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Choices with one or two nominations:

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Old 09-01-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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I nominate Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. Published 2007.

From Goodreads
Quote:
Here's a lively, hilarious, not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical traditions, schools, concepts, and thinkers. Its Philosophy 101 for everyone who knows not to take all this heavy stuff too seriously. Some of the Big Ideas are Existentialism (what do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?), Philosophy of Language (how to express what its like being stranded on a desert island with Halle Berry), Feminist Philosophy (why, in the end, a man is always a man), and much more. Finally it all makes sense!
It's fairly short, approx: 200 pages. (134 ADE pages.)

Approximate pricing (from Kobo): USD $4.99, CAD $13.99, GBP £5.75, AUD $10.22, but hunt around because there are multiple editions at widely varying prices.

I haven't read this book, but not long ago I read Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It by Daniel Klein and I enjoyed it very much, so I figured it would be worth trying some more.

I see the pair behind the nominated book have worked together a few times, including a more recent coverage of essentially the same topic - but with pictures - entitled: I Think, Therefore I Draw. However my reading of the introductions suggested the nominated book was probably the better choice.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:24 PM   #4
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Careful, the default Kindle version of this book is $9.99. Instead, go for this one: AmazonUS at $4.99. The UK Edition is £4.53. But no matter how you do it, the Canadian edition is ridiculously overpriced at $13.99
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:12 PM   #5
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I'll second Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:46 PM   #6
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Oops, I’ve run into a snag. Just discovered the book I’ve been planning to nominate since the theme was announced, isn’t available by Kobo in Australia. Darn, back to the drawing board.

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Old 09-01-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
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Careful, the default Kindle version of this book is $9.99. Instead, go for this one: AmazonUS at $4.99. The UK Edition is £4.53. But no matter how you do it, the Canadian edition is ridiculously overpriced at $13.99
Thanks for the heads up! It’s seems to me lately that many Can. prices have inflated vis-a-vis U.S. costs.
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:23 PM   #8
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Oops, I’ve run into a snag. Just discovered the book I’ve been planning to nominate since the theme was announced, isn’t available by Kobo in Australia. Darn, back to the drawing board.
Please mention it anyway.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #9
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[...] But no matter how you do it, the Canadian edition is ridiculously overpriced at $13.99
Yeah, sorry about that. I sort of hoped, with this being 12 years old, you might find it available at libraries.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:05 AM   #10
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Yeah, sorry about that. I sort of hoped, with this being 12 years old, you might find it available at libraries.
Not available at my BC Library, but my US one has it with only a 2 week wait. So I went ahead and put it on hold. Though it's cheap enough in the US that it's not an issue for me. (I can buy eBooks from Amazon in the US, Canada, and the UK. And Audible from the US or UK.)
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:13 AM   #11
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One issue I'm bumping into is that several books I'd like to nominate aren't available as ebooks. I know we don't have a rule against paper per se, but obviously they're non-starters just the same.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:50 AM   #12
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I am offering this as a possible nomination and if its link to the topic is too tenuous then I don’t mind if it should be withdrawn. I do think that it resonates with some of the key words in the topic.

The Sleeper In the Sands by Tom Holland

“As Howard Carter prepares to open the tomb of Tutankhamen, he broods on a variety of mysterious warnings. The most specific of these warnings takes the form of tales within tales within tales--tales of the mediaeval caliph Omar and his private physician, and tales of the Times of Ignorance, of the heretic pharaoh and the reasons why he rejected the gods of his fathers. . . the particular spins [Holland] puts on his own standard mythologies are ingenious, as is the way that he juggles known facts and standard theories to fit those spins. He creates a telling atmosphere of suspense in which we find ourselves caring in different ways about a social- climbing scholar, a warrior sick of killing and a princess desperate to survive on her own terms in a hostile court. Above all, this is ingenious in its use of the story-telling formulae of the Thousand Nights and One Night to tell a story that unfolds like a poisonous flower and sweeps us backwards and forwards through abysses of time and human anguish.” --Roz Kaveney

£3.65 Amazon UK €3.99 Apple Books Europe $4.44 Amazon.com
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:11 PM   #13
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I am offering this as a possible nomination and if its link to the topic is too tenuous then I don’t mind if it should be withdrawn.
I don't think it's possible for a connection to be too tenuous, by our custom.

I've liked a couple of books I've read by Holland and was thinking along the lines of ancient history/myth myself. I'll get the nomination up in a bit, but I see a price at Amazon of US$2.99, so I'll go with that.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:57 PM   #14
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I don't know what I'm going to nominate yet. I have a few ideas. I was looking for a good fiction about alchemy but haven't found anything. I think the blending of history, science and philosophy is very fascinating.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:41 PM   #15
Catlady
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I nominate Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden (1939, 193 pp.).

Quote:
Five nuns confront nature—physical and human—in a remote Himalayan convent in this bestselling novel that “bears comparison with A Passage to India” (Arthur Koestler).

Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor’s agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.

The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award–winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century.
I've seen the movie version several times but have never read the book; I was torn between this and Godden's In This House of Brede, which I've read multiple times, though not recently.

It's an Open Road book so should be discountable at Kobo. Available in all relevant countries and in Overdrive.

Amazon U.S., $9.99
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