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View Poll Results: What shall we read and discuss in September?
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne 5 71.43%
Tracks: One Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson 3 42.86%
South by Ernest Shackleton 3 42.86%
The Eyre Affair by Jasper FForde. 4 57.14%
Erebus: The Story of a Ship By Michael Palin. 5 71.43%
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian 2 28.57%
Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong 1 14.29%
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson 3 42.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-07-2020, 12:02 PM   #1
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Vote for September • Over the Hills and Far Away: Journeys


It's time to select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read and discuss in September, 2020. The theme is Over the Hills and Far Away: Journeys

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:
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    “ The story starts in London on Wednesday, 2 October 1872.

    Phileas Fogg is a rich British gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club, where he spends much of every day. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires Frenchman Jean Passepartout as a replacement.

    At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000, half of his total fortune, from his fellow club members to complete such a journey within this time period. With Passepartout accompanying him, Fogg departs from London by train at 8:45 p.m. on 2 October; in order to win the wager, he must return to the club by this same time on 21 December, 80 days later. They take the remaining £20,000 of Fogg's fortune with them to cover expenses during the journey.”
    ~130 pp.
  • Tracks: One Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    Robyn Davidson's opens the memoir of her perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company with the following words: “I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back."

    Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
    280 pp.
  • South by Ernest Shackleton.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    In 1914 Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 stalwart individuals attempted to undertake what Shackleton described as “the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying” - crossing the continent on foot from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole. While disaster famously beset the Endurance expedition, Shackleton, through extraordinary leadership and dogged, relentless effort, lost none of his men; all were saved in 1916.

    The legendary tale of how he accomplished this is still taught in the best military and business schools on the planet. South! is the story of the doomed expedition, straight from the man who led it - Sir Ernest Shackleton.
    ~350-400 pp, depending on edition.
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper FForde.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Jasper Fforde’s beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England.

    Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it's a bibliophile's dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy—enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel—unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.
    379 pp.
  • Erebus: The Story of a Ship By Michael Palin.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    In the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, HMS Erebus undertook two of the most ambitious naval expeditions of all time.

    On the first, she ventured further south than any human had ever been. On the second, she vanished with her 129-strong crew in the wastes of the Canadian Arctic.

    “Her fate remained a mystery for over 160 years.

    Then, in 2014, she was found.

    This is her story.“
    365 pp.
  • Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

    Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred–who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.

    As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna’s and Callum’s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred–assuming any of them even survive.

    Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.
    Quote:
    "The perfect novel for a book club. . .this book sucked me right in. It’s vivid and heart-wrenching."
    —John Searles, The Today Show

    "Reading Bohjalian's descriptions of terror and tragedy on the road has just as much impact as seeing newsreels from the end of World War II....While creating suspense, Bohjalian agilely balances the moral ambiguities of war....Right and wrong shift depending on the situation. Ignorance is tolerated and murder is justified. But Bohjalian does posit that one absolute exists: No one wins at war."
    —Dennis Moore, USA Today

    "Harrowing. . .ingenious. . .compelling. . .Judging who's right or wrong is difficult in Skeletons at the Feast, and one senses that's just the way Bohjalian wants it. . .A tightly woven, moving story for anyone who thinks there's nothing left to learn, or feel, about the Second World War. That Bohjalian can extract greater truths about faith, hope and compassion from something as mundane as a diary is testament not only to his skill as a writer but also to the enduring ability of well-written war fiction to stir our deepest emotions."
    —Paula L. Woods, The Los Angeles Times

    "Harrowing. . .Bohjalian spins a suspenseful tale in which the plot triumphs over any single sorrow. . .[His] sense of character and place, his skillful plotting and his clear grasp of this confusing period of history make for a deeply satisfying novel, one that asks readers to consider, and reconsider, how they would rise to the challenge of terrible deprivation and agonizing moral choices."
    -- Margot Livesey, The Washington Post Book World
    386 pp.
  • Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goodreads
    :
    A mother's silence, a village with a terrible secret, and an Australian woman who travels to Poland to uncover the truth ...

    When forensic dentist Halina Shore arrives in Nowa Kalwaria to take part in a war crimes investigation, she finds herself at the centre of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy. What she does not realise is that she has also embarked on a confronting personal journey.

    Inspired by a true incident that took place in Poland in 1941, Diane Armstrong's powerful novel is part mystery, part forensic investigation, and a moving and confronting story of love, loss and sacrifice.
    467 or 381 pp.
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a grueling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath—The Appalachian Trail.

    The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.

    With his offbeat sensibility, his eye for the absurd, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor, Bryson recounts his confrontations with nature at its most uncompromising over his five-month journey.

    An instant classic, riotously funny, A Walk in the Woods will add a whole new audience to the legions of Bill Bryson fans
    Quote:
    In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and—perhaps most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack.

    Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime's ambition—not to die outdoors.
    Quote:
    Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

    For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.
    294 Pp.
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:45 AM   #2
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Well, I'm glad eight nominations made it through, it let me vote for four and still only choose half. Three I didn't vote for I have already read (but would not object to reading again), the other is more expensive than I like but has been on my list for 2 years. Two I did vote for I already own but have not yet read, the other two have been on my radar for some time. What a month!
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:54 PM   #3
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I too voted for four of the books.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:18 AM   #4
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Well, I can only get it down to five. And that by eliminating one because I'd already read it. And frankly, there's only one book here that I have no interest in at all, so I'm good with whatever comes out.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:10 PM   #5
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I voted for three. I used to vote for several, but am trying to be more selective, and strategic. And speaking of strategy, I’m often the first to vote, but notice that some of you seem to hold off to the end
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:03 PM   #6
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I usually vote as soon as I see the thread start and nothing strategic from me. My only (usually) self-imposed rule is to not go over half.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:55 PM   #7
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I usually don't vote immediately, mostly because I've just put the darn thread up and haven't actually had time to think about my choices. I shoot for 1/2, but don't hold myself to it. This time I was already over, with the four I really want to read, plus the one I nominated that I'd love for us to read. But we do have those who want to wait until the last possible moment.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:22 AM   #8
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I usually vote for about 50%. Since I am working and not retired, most of my activity is around weekends or late at night. Sometimes I vote early and sometimes late. I usually vote late if there is a book that I really don’t want to read.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:51 PM   #9
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And it looks like we have a run-off. Hang in there, I'll post the poll shortly. As always, with run-offs, I'll not be voting unless there's another tie, at which point I'll be the tie-breaker. Officially, this poll will be a multiple-choice, given that's how we're set up. But that only makes sense when there are more than two choices. If you vote for both, you just saying I should choose.

The run-off poll is up!

Last edited by CRussel; 08-10-2020 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Added link to the run-off poll.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:03 PM   #10
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I usually don't vote immediately, mostly because I've just put the darn thread up and haven't actually had time to think about my choices. I shoot for 1/2, but don't hold myself to it. This time I was already over, with the four I really want to read, plus the one I nominated that I'd love for us to read. But we do have those who want to wait until the last possible moment.
Guilty.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:07 PM   #11
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Guilty.
Yes, and that's your prerogative. But you might try a bit of variation, just for the fun of it.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:25 PM   #12
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Yes, and that's your prerogative. But you might try a bit of variation, just for the fun of it.
I take seriously the rule that if I vote, I have to read the selection. There are far too many nominated books that I cannot commit to read.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:31 PM   #13
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I take seriously the rule that if I vote, I have to read the selection. There are far too many nominated books that I cannot commit to read.
I thought you would have voted for A Walk in the Woods.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:53 PM   #14
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I thought you would have voted for A Walk in the Woods.
Oh lordy no. Humor AND nature? No way.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:44 PM   #15
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Oh lordy no. Humor AND nature? No way.
What is it you don't like about humor and nature?
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