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Old 04-02-2021, 12:38 AM   #1
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Bookworms • April 2021

No April Fool's here- Help select what we'll read and discuss next!


The topic is Bookworms.

This could be books about books, readers, librarians, scholars, students, authors, etc. There's a lot to choose from!


Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for about four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting by post then opens for four days, and a voter may give each nomination either one or two votes but only has a limited number of votes to use which is equal to the number of nominations minus one. Any questions, feel free to ask.

We hope that you will read the selection with us and join in the discussion.

*

Nominations are now complete. Voting is now open! Results through post #17-
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 258 Pages . Votes 2 . 2014 . U.S.

  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 112 Pages . Votes 1 . 1970 . U.S.

  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 384 Pages . Votes 1 . 2008 . Australia & U.S.

  • The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 368 Pages . Votes 2 . 2013 . U.S.

  • The Forgers by Bradford Morrow
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 256 Pages . Votes 1 . 2014 . U.S.

  • The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain
    Post . Goodreads . Preview . 224 Pages . Votes 2 . 2020 . France

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Old 04-02-2021, 09:02 PM   #2
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I’m excited about this topic. One of my favorite themes.
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:23 PM   #3
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For anyone celebrating, happy Easter!

My first nomination is The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. The description sounds intriguing, and I like the idea that we're more collected works.

Goodreads . Preview . 258 Pages . 2014 . U.S.

Quote:
As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:32 PM   #4
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For anyone celebrating, happy Easter!

My first nomination is The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

Hah! When I saw the theme, this was the very first book I thought of, but assumed it would not be literary enough for this club. I thoroughly enjoyed it, good nomination.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:28 PM   #5
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Hah! When I saw the theme, this was the very first book I thought of, but assumed it would not be literary enough for this club. I thoroughly enjoyed it, good nomination.
Thanks! Most things are literary enough for this club now; we've expanded the definition to the point it's mostly whatever books people who are participating want to nominate and vote on. Especially now that we're the only club left!
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:45 PM   #6
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Next I'll offer 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. This is a short memoir and sounds like it'd be a fun read. For some reason this doesn't seem to be available as an English-language ebook in the US or UK despite that being its original language and despite there being Spanish and French ebook versions available. I'm still going to nominate it though because it is so short so reading a pbook wouldn't be so major, and it's available as an audiobook as well (in English, heh).

Goodreads . Preview . 112 Pages . 1970 . U.S.

Quote:
This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:00 PM   #7
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My last nomination is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This sounds like a really interesting historical mystery and look at the journey of a manuscript through the ages.

Goodreads . Preview . 384 Pages . 2008 . Australia & U.S.

Quote:
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war.

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.

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Old 04-05-2021, 11:05 PM   #8
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My first nomination is The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett. It has been on my TBR for a long while.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
"What about the most valuable relic in the history of English literature—would that be worth killing for?"

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
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Old 04-05-2021, 11:07 PM   #9
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My second nomination is The Forgers by Bradford Morrow.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
The rare book world is stunned when a reclusive collector, Adam Diehl, is found on the floor of his Montauk home: hands severed, surrounded by valuable inscribed books and original manuscripts that have been vandalized beyond repair. Adam's sister, Meghan, and her lover, Will--a convicted if unrepentant literary forger--struggle to come to terms with the seemingly incomprehensible murder. But when Will begins receiving threatening handwritten letters, seemingly penned by long-dead authors, but really from someone who knows secrets about Adam's death and Will's past, he understands his own life is also on the line--and attempts to forge a new beginning for himself and Meg.

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Old 04-05-2021, 11:16 PM   #10
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My third nomination is The Reader's Room by Antoine Laurain. I really enjoyed The Red Notebook and have wanted to read more of his works.

From Goodreads:
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When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.

But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story …

Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.
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Old 04-05-2021, 11:19 PM   #11
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I had a long list of books. Here are some that I considered.

The Borrower by Rebecca Makai
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad
The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
The Librarian by Mikhail Elizarov
Murder in the Museum by John Rowland
The Archivist by Martha Cooley
Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. by Jeremy Mercer
Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel Book by Matthew J. Sullivan
Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:00 AM   #12
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My last nomination is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This sounds like a really interesting historical mystery and look at the journey of a manuscript through the ages.

Goodreads . Preview . 384 Pages . 2008 . Australia & U.S.
I've read this, an excellent read. Of course of of Ms Brooks books are.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:47 AM   #13
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I've read this, an excellent read. Of course of of Ms Brooks books are.
I have read this book too and enjoyed it. The Lit Club read Year of Wonders which was also very good. I would like to read March, a retelling of Little Women from the father’s perspective.
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Old 04-06-2021, 03:03 PM   #14
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The nominations will be updated on the first post today and then the voting started; until then nominations are still open.

~

Great nominations, B_G! The Bookman's Tale was in my top four to nominate... for my last nomination I couldn't decide between it and the Brooks. A lot of the other ones you found look really interesting too.

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I've read this, an excellent read. Of course of of Ms Brooks books are.
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I have read this book too and enjoyed it. The Lit Club read Year of Wonders which was also very good. I would like to read March, a retelling of Little Women from the father’s perspective.
Glad to hear it's a good book, drofgnal and B_G!

B_G, honestly when I found it I didn't realise it was the same author as Year of Wonders, lol, until I was writing the nomination post. When I found it I thought, hm, the name sounds familiar but didn't connect it to a previous lit club selection but when I was posting it clicked for me. I think the reason was that back then we didn't specify where authors were from and I didn't know/remember that Brooks is an Australian author since Year of Wonders has nothing to do with Australia, so I guess that threw me when I found this book and saw she was from Australia.

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Old 04-06-2021, 04:28 PM   #15
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Nominations are complete and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has FIVE votes to use.
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