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To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
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Previous Monthly Reads > December Monthly Read 2013: To Say Nothing of the Dog

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the discussion thread for our December monthly read of 2013, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

I look forward to reading this book and discussing it with you all.

Declan. :)


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Looks like a book sci-fi fans will really enjoy. I am glad you were able to make a choice.


Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Hopefully it will be a book everyone will enjoy...not just scifi fans. When nominating a science fiction book I gave careful thought to not scaring folks away. The science fiction elements (basically just time travel)in her books are very light and there's a comedic touch. While I have not read this particularly one, I have greatly enjoyed the other 3 books she has set in the same universe. It also comes highly recommended by friends.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

There was a pull to read a Christmas book, being the holidays and all, but this is the one I fancied.


Serf Not a major sci fi fan so hoping this wins me over as it'll be my first group read.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

It's the group's first sci-fi selection. As a sci-fi fan I love that we now have one on our shelves.


Marcia | 437 comments How often do you get to put in the deciding vote Declan? You got to choose from 5 books this time. I'm looking forward to this book.


I-like-to-read (akakate) Just ordered this, not my kind of book so looking forward to trying something different. My only concern is that is refers to Oxford Time Travel 2, does that mean I have to read the first one to understand what’s going on??


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 27, 2013 07:10AM) (new)

@Marcia. It happens every so often. This might be the third in a row, but we did have almost eight in row where we had a clear winner.

@Kate. I'm sure it's a stand-alone novel set in the same 'universe' as the first Oxford book. I'm really looking forward to it.


message 10: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) I was a just about to buy this, and came to this thread to ask the exact same question as Kate.

Stand-alone, ok cool. Bought!


message 11: by Serf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Serf Book ordered, should have it next week. Great.


message 12: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments This will be an almost completely new genre for me. I've only read Ray Bradbury (does he count as sci-fi?). Anyway--looking forward to reading something outside of my usual fare :)


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Good choice Declan. It spins some of us out of our usual genres which is healthy. I need to check and see if our library has this one.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm glad that there's such a positive response to the book.


message 15: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
@ Kate ditto what Declan said. The only ones in the "series" that need to be read in order are Blackout and All Clear, which are basically one book that the publisher split up for publishing reasons.

"The series is set in the 2050's and 2060's. Time travel has been invented. But since it is apparently impossible to bring objects back from the past, commercial organisations lost interest, and time travel is now the domain of the history departments of universities. Historians travel back in time, to engage in research of the periods they are studying.

The characters vary from story to story, but one constant is Mr James Dunworthy, who is on the teaching staff of Balliol College, Oxford University. Mr Dunworthy provides tutoring and advice to the historians before their travel, and often is quite concerned about the travellers' welfare while they are in the past."

@Declan I agree!


message 16: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
@Cathleen Ray Bradbury completely counts as science fiction!


I-like-to-read (akakate) @ Sara - thanks for the info :-)


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Looks like there are plenty of copies in my local library system so I put on a hold - and am #1 in line. I enjoyed The Time Travelers Wife so this may be one I enjoy. And only investing a drive to the library which is a couple of miles up the road:)


message 19: by Neil (new)

Neil (charcoal_waves_at_night) I'm a time-travel nut and as such, I approve this selection. For now: that is all.

N. (Like Zorro, but sideways.)


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Or maybe N stands for ninja? I certainly didn't see you come in an wreck the place, Niall.


message 21: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
For the audiobook fans among us (Allan I'm looking at you). The book is available on Audible and the narration has gotten particularly good reviews. For example,

"I've read this book several times and wasn't sure it was the best investment in the world to listen to something I was this familiar with. Well, I was wrong. The audio version of this witty, funny book was even better than reading it. If you're looking for an escape to a comedy of manners embedded in speculative fiction, I recommend this book (and, really, anything by Willis) highly. I was sad when it ended."

I will be downloading the audiobook as soon as I get my new credit which should be Friday.


message 22: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Sara wrote: "@Cathleen Ray Bradbury completely counts as science fiction!"

Well, that's good :) I've only read a few of his (why not more, I wonder?) but I really enjoyed them--and I thought he seemed like a wonderful person, too.


message 23: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments And I just checked and the book is available at my library. That makes it especially nice since December is usually an expensive month with Christmas coming up.


message 24: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Which Bradbury books have you read Cathleen?


message 25: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Sara wrote: "Which Bradbury books have you read Cathleen?"

Fahrenheit 451---and some of his short stories.


message 26: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
I would recomend either Martian Chronicles or Dandelion Wine to you Cathleen


message 27: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) Sara wrote: "For the audiobook fans among us (Allan I'm looking at you). The book is available on Audible and the narration has gotten particularly good reviews. "

Great - it's downloading as I type. I've been quite behind everyone else with the last two reads, so I'm glad I'm doing this one on Audio. I'll be able to catch up.


message 28: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) Barbara wrote: "I enjoyed The Time Travelers Wife so this may be one I enjoy. "

Yikes that's some yardstick, I adored that book.


message 29: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Sara wrote: "I would recomend either Martian Chronicles or Dandelion Wine to you Cathleen"

That sounds good, Sara.


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I may to with the audiobook though 20 hours is longer than the books I usually listen to. My first search on Audible yielded no results as I looked for Nothing About the Dog. It's kind of joke in our house how I flub titles of things but it is always good for a laugh.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara I have always been bad with titles. I used to go to the movies with my friend and I'd ask for a movie ticket and change titles to God knows what. That cracked her up. I just couldn't get some of them right.


message 32: by Vikki (new)

Vikki Coleman | 4 comments Hard decision to make with that many contenders - glad it was chosen though as this genre is not normally one I tend to choose- here goes nothing eh!


Marcia | 437 comments I've read the time travelers wife as well. This is why this book appealed to me I think. The audio book sounds interesting as well.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm delighted so many people are up for this book.


Marcia | 437 comments I've started reading this book and am finding it quite different to anything I've read before. I think the writing style reflects what the character is experiencing.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds quite promising, Marcia. I was hoping for something a little different. I'll be starting this as soon as I've finished the quarterly read.


message 37: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Hey Declan,

I noticed that when I go to the group opening page (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...), the monthly read that shows up is still The Road Home for November.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

I'll take care of that now, Sara. Thanks! :)


message 39: by Serf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Serf Got my copy today. Can't wait to start :)


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm behind on my reading (but what else is new?) but I'll be buying it tomorrow. It'll probably be the weekend before I start, though.


message 41: by John (last edited Dec 05, 2013 01:46AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) For some reason I was finding it hard to follow / or concentrate on the audio for this book, so on an extravagant whim, I decided to try Whispersync for voice.... switching between Audibook and Kindle. Glad to have both, but it does seem like an extravagance I don't think I'd bother with again... will see when I'm finished.


message 42: by Serf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Serf Don't think I'd like that as a way to go through a book John, switching over and back. I think it'd make it a difficult read


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmmm! This whispersync is completely new to me. Let us know how the experience of using them was, John.


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments At first I thought I was losing my place when I heard repetitions of scenes I thought I'd already been through. For example, comments on the ugliest architecture being St. Pancreas Station and the Albert Memorial. I even deleted the first and second segments from my iPhone because I thought I was accidentally listening to segments I had already been through. It may have been a better idea to read this book...

BTW - the Victorian age is turning into my least favorite as the upper classes are so insufferable. Glad I live now. Of course, the time travelers can move around and aren't stuck in eras that are unpleasant.


Marcia | 437 comments I'm quite liking the book so far. The way it brings in other books is cool.


message 46: by Serf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Serf I kind of agree with you Barbara, i'm finding the language a bit repetitive. Had to re read over a few pages to recheck I wasn't reading the same thing. I'm not that far into the book so will plough on with it.
Victorian era sounds like a very boring time to be a woman, seeing as how they were all so serene and demure ;)


message 47: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) I have a tendency to read newer books these days. But there's one good thing about books that have been around a bit longer; a decent wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Say_N...

Which I often find quite useful for seeing a summary of the plot so far - and useful to see a character list also, if like me, you have a head like a sieve when it comes to characters. Obviously be very wary of spoilers anywhere on the page though.

(Speaking of spoilers, the 9-year-old burst into tears last night when a question on Only Connect gave away the big secret of 4 Harry Potter books, bless. Spoiler upset definitely runs in the family.)


message 48: by Serf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Serf Aw the poor thing. Had they been reading the series? Hopefully it won't put him/her off finishing it.
That's a very handy go to for reminders of characters. Sticking with it so far character wise.


message 49: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John Braine (trontsephore) Seraphina wrote: "Aw the poor thing. Had they been reading the series? Hopefully it won't put him/her off finishing it."

Yep - he got a great big box set of all the books which he was making his way through.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

I bought it this afternoon and I'll be reading it this evening. I wonder how I'll find this as I've read some pretty confusing sci-fi before and coped pretty well with it.

@John. I'm surprised he's managed to avoid the spoilers for so long. Between TV and the internet I knew who was going to die when at least a year before the movies were released.

Hopefully he'll stick with. I hate the thought of a kid losing heart like that.


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