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View Poll Results: What will we discuss in Auguest, 2020
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach 1 20.00%
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock 3 60.00%
Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker (APA Death in the Dordogne 2 40.00%
The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May 1 20.00%
Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson 2 40.00%
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut 0 0%
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu 2 40.00%
Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky 1 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-07-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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Vote for August • Tasty Morsels, Short and Sweet


It's time to select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read in August, 2020. The theme is Tasty Morsels, Short and Sweet

We love new participants. We're happy for you to vote, but in the interest of a vibrant conversation, we'd like to request that you please not vote unless you plan to join the discussion whatever the selection. So if you haven't posted in a book club thread yet, do please say a quick hello here or in the Welcome thread.


This is a poll. Vote for as many books as you'd like. Questions? FAQs | Guidelines Or just ask!

Choices:
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside."America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

    Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
    354 pp.
  • Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrannyGrump
    Stephen Leacock was a Canadian educator, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between 1911 and 1925 he was so well-known as the world’s greatest humorist that it was said more people had heard of Stephen Leacock than had heard of Canada.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Stephen Leacock, first published in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature. The fictional setting for these stories is Mariposa, a small town on the shore of Lake Wissanotti. Although drawn from his experiences in Orillia, Ontario, Leacock notes: "Mariposa is not a real town. On the contrary, it is about seventy or eighty of them."

    This work has remained popular for its universal appeal. Many of the characters, though modelled on townspeople of Orillia, are small town archetypes. Their shortcomings and weaknesses are presented in a humorous but affectionate way.
    89 pp.
  • Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker (APADeath in the Dordogne.)
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule. Bruno -- as he is affectionately nicknamed -- may be the town's only municipal policeman, but in the hearts and minds of its denizens, he is chief of police.

    Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life -- living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention: the man was found with a swastika carved into his chest.

    Because of the case's potential political ramifications, a young policewoman is sent from Paris to aid Bruno with his investigation. The two immediately suspect militants from the anti-immigrant National Front, but when a visiting scholar helps to untangle the dead man's past, Bruno's suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. His investigation draws him into one of the darkest chapters of French history -- World War II, a time of terror and betrayal that set brother against brother. Bruno soon discovers that even his seemingly perfect corner of la belle France is not exempt from that period's sinister legacy.
    290 pp.
  • The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmazonUS
    An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.

    Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

    May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

    The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.
    337 pp.
  • Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    For the first time in one volume, a collection of Shirley Jackson’s scariest stories, with a foreword by PEN/Hemingway Award winner Ottessa Moshfegh

    After the publication of her short story “The Lottery” in the New Yorker in 1948 received an unprecedented amount of attention, Shirley Jackson was quickly established as a master horror storyteller. This collection of classic and newly reprinted stories provides readers with more of her unsettling, dark tales, including the “The Possibility of Evil” and “The Summer People.” In these deliciously dark stories, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the crumbling country pile, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods. There’s something sinister in suburbia.
    204 pp.
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    “[Kurt Vonnegut] strips the flesh from bone and makes you laugh while he does it. . . . There are twenty-five stories here, and each hits a nerve ending.”—The Charlotte Observer

    Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.

    Includes the following stories:

    “Where I Live”
    “Harrison Bergeron”
    “Who Am I This Time?”
    “Welcome to the Monkey House”
    “Long Walk to Forever”
    “The Foster Portfolio”
    “Miss Temptation”
    “All the King’s Horses”
    “Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog”
    “New Dictionary”
    “Next Door”
    “More Stately Mansions”
    “The Hyannis Port Story”
    “D.P.”
    “Report on the Barnhouse Effect”
    “The Euphio Question”
    “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son”
    “Deer in the Works”
    “The Lie”
    “Unready to Wear”
    “The Kid Nobody Could Handle”
    “The Manned Missiles”
    “Epicac”
    “Adam”
    “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”
    354 pp.
  • The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Ken Liu is one of the most original, thought-provoking and award-winning short-story writers of his generation. This is the first collection of his work – sixteen stories that invoke the magical within the mundane, by turns profound, beguiling and heartbreaking.

    Included here are: The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary (Finalist for Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards), Mono No Aware (Hugo Award winner), The Waves (Nebula Award finalist), The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), All the Flavors (Nebula Award finalist), The Litigation Master and the Monkey King (Nebula Award finalist) ,and the most awarded story in the genre's history, The Paper Menagerie (the only story ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards)
    464 pp.
  • Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amazon
    “Welcome to Fountains Parish--a cesspit of trade and crime, where ambition curls up to die and desperation grows on its cobbled streets like mold on week-old bread.
    Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don't... tiny puppet-like companions: some made of wood, some of metal. They don't entirely trust her, and she doesn't entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.
    After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must re-examine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.
    At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
    142 pp.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:27 PM   #2
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I'm going to hold off voting on this one for a bit. I need to consider options, since my initial interest is really only in two of them. So I'll do a bit more digging - I suspect I'm undervaluing at least a couple more than that.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:05 PM   #3
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Sorry, running late today, but it appears we'll be reading Sunshine Sketches. Should be fun, and was on my list even though I didn't get a chance to vote. (Rough morning, don't ask!)
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:53 PM   #4
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Hope your weekend is going smoothly! It should be an interesting read.
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:34 AM   #5
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Going better, thank you. Yes, I think it should be an interesting read.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:59 AM   #6
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I'm in the middle of chapter 1 and so far I'm not sure what to make of it. I do hope it gets better.

Last edited by JSWolf; 07-12-2020 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:23 AM   #7
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FYI, The Honey Bus is currently on sale at Amazon for $3.99.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:06 PM   #8
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I started reading it as well and have a sudden, pressing desire to re-read Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. I might give in to said desire for the purposes of discussion in August.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:13 AM   #9
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My immediate thought was Angela Thirkell, actually. But I take your point!
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:51 AM   #10
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Shirley Jackson's short-story collection Dark Tales, which I nominated, is on sale today at Amazon for $1.99.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:58 AM   #11
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After starting reading this, I was thinking of Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor. I used to listen to the radio show a lot on PBS radio.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:39 AM   #12
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I'm finding Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town to be not all that enjoyable. I'm done with the first 3 chapters and I'm thinking of stopping.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:46 PM   #13
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I skimmed the preface. If it's representative of Leacock's humor, this book will be painful for me to read.

FYI, LibriVox has two versions of the audiobook; both are collaborations rather than single narrators.
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I skimmed the preface. If it's representative of Leacock's humor, this book will be painful for me to read.

FYI, LibriVox has two versions of the audiobook; both are collaborations rather than single narrators.
It is painful to read. After 3 chapters, I did not find it enjoyable at all. I do not understand how this can be funny. It's dryer then the Sahara Desert.
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:29 PM   #15
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Given how this book is, can we have a do-over for this vote?
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