SDMB - Straight Dope discussion

group reads

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Do we have enough common interests as a group to do any planned group reads? Playing around with the bookshelf settings shows that we can tag books as books the group are currently reading.

There seem to be a few patterns amongst group members, but that might not be enough to sustain any sort of book club type thingie.

message 2: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 76 comments Maybe if we listed our favorite genres we could identify some common interests.

I would probably participate in a group read for a sci-fi, fantasy or historical fiction book. Maybe a mystery, also.

For nonfiction, I'd be interested in a historical biography, particularly something on European royalty.

message 3: by PastAllReason (new)

PastAllReason | 11 comments I'd be interested as well. In non-fiction, I'd be interested in something: historical - European would work for me, or ancient history; biographial; or in the science area. Generally, I'm not reading much fiction these days, but would be okay with something in the thriller, suspense or mystery areas.

message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie I read fantasy, young adult, and mystery.

So far, it looks like mystery, maybe historical mystery might be a place to consider?

message 5: by Dani (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments Not a big mystery fan but I'd give it a shot.

message 6: by Dora (new)

Dora | 41 comments I've been working on broadening my reading. For a while there, I was reading one mystery after another. I still read a few for entertainment, but not nearly as many as I used to. Also, I'm starting to work on filling in some educational gaps (my project is still at the embryonic stage, but I'll probably start a discussion here as well as on the SDMB once I've got a more coherent concept). Historical mystery is fine by me.

message 7: by liirogue (new)

liirogue | 4 comments We could try a bunch of different genres - I'm sure people will drop in and out on a particular book/month depending on if they are interested or not. I'd be interested in us trying a wide variety of books, since I might enjoy something I wouldn't normally try.

message 8: by Dora (new)

Dora | 41 comments Lovely simulpost, liirogue. You said what I left out of my previuos comment. (I get way too wordy....)

message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie Does everyone have access to a good library so our choices can be a bit odd without forcing anyone to buy buy buy?

Okay, how about The Grenadillo Box by Janet Gleeson? None of my Goodreads friends have reviewed this book yet. I have read another book by Gleeson and liked it quite a bit.

From the blurb:

"New Year's Day, 1755 The life of Nathaniel Hopson, journeyman to the illustrious cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale, is about to take a chilling turn. He has been sent to Cambridge to install a new library at the country home of Lord Montfort. Moments after the foul-tempered Montfort storms away from the afternoon dinner, a gunshot is heard. Hopson runs to the library to find him dead. His nephew and lawyer believe the conclusion is obvious: Montfort, burdened with gambling debts, must have taken his own life. The gun near Montfort's hand suggests suicide, but there are bloody footprints on the library floor. And there is a strange detail: he is clutching a small, elaborately carved box of rare grenadillo wood."

I will put the book on the group's "currently reading" shelf so people can take a look.

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie To pick one from a different genre that might also be a good fit for SDMB readers, there's InterWorld by Neil Gaiman.

From the blurb:

" Joey Harker isn't a hero.

In fact, he's the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house.

But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension.

Joey's walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces—armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions."

Again, I don't see any reviews by my Goodreads friends, and again I'll add it to the "currently reading" shelf so people can take a look.

message 11: by Julie (last edited Jan 08, 2008 08:14PM) (new)

Julie And for a classic, interested parties could read Pride and Prejudice along with Dung Beetle, though that might be a bit difficult to say anything new about.

message 12: by PastAllReason (new)

PastAllReason | 11 comments The Grenadillo Box looks interesting to me. I'll see if I can track down a copy.

message 13: by Dani (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments Ditto on the The Grenadillo Box. It's out of print so may take a little bit.

message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie Ack, it's out of print? That wasn't my intent, to pick something terribly difficult to find.

I have read "The Thief Taker" by Gleeson and enjoyed it a lot.

Another option: There is a non-fiction book by her that sounds like it could be arcane and interesting on the history of porcelain-making in Europe.

From the blurb:

"Since the middle ages, Western Europeans have practiced alchemy, a primitive form of chemistry, in the great hope of transforming base metal into gold. In the early 18th century, a second great secret puzzled Western Europe's early scientists: how to make porcelain. Recently arrived from the Orient, porcelain quickly became a symbol of power, prestige, and good taste. In The Arcanum, Janet Gleeson presents an entertaining and informative account of the invention of European porcelain and the founding of the Meissen Porcelain Manufacture outside Dresden, Germany."

message 15: by Dani (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments There are plenty of used copies on Abebooks & Amazon so it's easy to find.

message 16: by Dora (new)

Dora | 41 comments My local library's consortium has 4 copies of Grenadillo Box, so no worries here.

message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie I am starting threads in a new folder as people show interest. So, if you have an interest, er, show it! :D

There's a thread for The Grenadillo Box now.

Do we want to set a time for when discussion starts?

message 18: by Tracey (last edited Jan 10, 2008 04:36AM) (new)

Tracey | 20 comments FYI:
I read The Arcanum: Extraordinary True Story of the Invention of European Porcelain by Janet Gleeson back in July 2005 - gave it 2 stars. "interesting, but not fascinating ... I got a bit bogged down in the "who's doing what" machinations once in a while."

I'd be willing to give The Grenadillo Box a try - just put it on hold at the library to hopefully start over the weekend.

message 19: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 76 comments I just ordered a copy from It will take a week or so to get here.

message 20: by Julie (new)

Julie I put a start date of February 1 for discussion on The Grenadillo Box, but that date is very flexible and isn't meant to put any pressure on anyone.

I thought a target date might keep interest up a little.

I do have the book and have found the first 60-ish pages very entertaining.

message 21: by Tracey (last edited Jan 13, 2008 02:36PM) (new)

Tracey | 20 comments Oooh - I've spend most of the afternoon engrossed in The Grenadillo Box - I'm not sure if Nathaniel is just a bit dim, or if things really are even more convoluted than they seem...

message 22: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliefoolie) | 7 comments Well I'd rather not leave the house today, but since I have to go pick up the computer for my boyfriend (I drive, he doesnt, I end up doing a bunch of Mundane Pointless Sorties I Must Survive) I will check the library for Grendaillo Box. I joined for some book discussion, so lets have it!

message 23: by Dani (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments Just got my copy yesterday (yay for Abebooks!) and will dive into it tonight.

message 24: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 76 comments I finally got my copy. I'm looking forward to reading it over the weekend.

message 25: by PastAllReason (new)

PastAllReason | 11 comments Just wanted to say that I tried to track down a copy locally of The Grenadillo Box, and didn't have any luck. Oddly, even the library didn't have it. I'll catch up with the next group read, though.

message 26: by Julie (new)

Julie Need a group read for March. Suggestions?

message 27: by Shijinn (new)

Shijinn | 1 comments just a suggestion.

i hardly visit here other than to update my book reads, and i'm sure there are more dopers unaware of this place.

now that cafe society is a bit more spacious, why not start a monthly book discussion thread there? be sure to include the book's name in the thread title to help searches.

message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie Hey, Shijinn.

I missed your comment for a while. Sorry about that.

I don't really participate at the dope any longer, so while I fully support anyone who would like to start such threads, I'm unlikely to be starting them myself.

If anyone would like to do it and/or if anyone wants to be the co-moderator here, just holler.

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