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Nominations > Now Accepting Nominations for Group Reads, Dec., 2017

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message 1: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
I am now accepting Nominations for our December, 2017, Group Reads. What special wishes do you have for December. Perhaps a Christmas story, old or new? Something that triggers your members of holidays past? Of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa?

Strolling through the big box home improvement stores, artificial Christmas trees fill the floor space previously occupied by lawn furniture and barbecue grills. Strings of new LED lights are abundant. The large C7 and C9 bulbs that lit the Christmas Trees of my childhood in bold are mostly passe', though you can find them in LED form. They are a pale imitation of the lights that entranced me in my young years.

These plastic trees do not fill the living room with the scent of a Scotch Pine, a towering Cedar, cut and pulled from the woods. Although you can buy your very own aerosol spray to annoint your tree with a simulated scent that doesn't quite reproduce nature's aromas.

But I remember much earlier Christmases, with real trees, strings of those brilliant incandescent bulbs that illuminated the living room in shimmering halos of color. The tinsel that garlanded the tree reflected in bright speckles of red, green, blue, and yellow. We would turn off the lamps. They were unnecessary. The glow from the fireplace added to the magic and love that filled our home.

We sat quietly around the tree opening boxes of Shiny Brite glass ornaments, fragile globes, tear drops, and stars, contemplating where each should be placed. And each ornament was precious, so precious that even children knew to carefully hang each little orb with a thin little metal hanger, one end through the brass cap of their special gift on the tree, curling the other end over the tree branch, making it safe until when the tree would be taken down. When each ornament would be carefully put back into its original compartment in the boxes carefully stored away while the tree displayed its magic.

From the kitchen came the aroma of baking tea cakes. Fruit cakes. Coconut Cakes. Date nut logs kept cold in the refrigerator, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel were the only treats prepared and eaten before Christmas. Every other dessert was prepared to be placed in tins, or carefully wrapped sheets of aluminum foil. My Grandmother's doing. The Coconut cake was placed in the freezer so it would be as moist as possible. It was made with fresh coconut. Coconut Milk, sugar and water boiled down into a syrup that she poured over each layer of cake, pierced to drink in the intense coconut flavor. A fruitcake might way ten pounds, laden with pecans we shelled ourselves, walnuts, brazil nuts, gold and dark raisins, candied fruit and citron pieces. The fruitcake must be wrapped in cheesecloth to hold in the bourbon that was poured over the cake. And the closer to Christmas the more whiskey was added to soak through the cloth into the cake. The very smell was intoxicating. And every year I anticipated the bite of the whiskey that bathed the fruits and nuts bringing out their sweetness while warming you from mouth to your center.

I have a ‘beautiful copy of A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote open beside me on desk as I write. Published in 1966 it has become a tradition for me to read it each year. Though written of a time years before I was born, I find it most easily takes me back to my own childhood and what Christmas was to me. My edition is a special one. Slipcased in red. Cousin Sook and Truman are forever held at one moment of time long ago. My book bears the inscription "Xmas 1980, Ammommie and Papa." No, I couldn't say "Grand Mommie." A gift from my Grandparents.

"Oh, my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, it's fruitcake weather!" Once again I will read of Sook and Buddy. The making of a fruitcake. And reading once more, I will be surrounded by the memories of my Grandparents, and my Mother. I will not be alone.

I eagerly await your nominations. As I always do. Don't feel that your nominations need be a seasonal one. I'll enjoy everything you have in mind for "The Trail."

Lawyer Stevens


message 2: by Judi (new)

Judi | 418 comments I love your descriptions of Christmas past. I share many of the same memories.


message 3: by Brina (new)

Brina I wish I could think of a southern Chanukah story off the top of my head. I can only think of the The Last Night at Ballyhoo a play by Alfred Uhry so I will nominate that. Of course, if anyone nominates the Capote story mentioned I would not be disapppinted.


message 4: by Tina (new)

Tina  | 488 comments Post 1980:
A Fine Dark Line
It is the summer of 1958 in Dewmont, Texas, a town the great American postwar boom passed by. The kids listen idly to rockabilly on the radio and waste their weekends at the Dairy Queen. And an undetected menace simmers under the heat that clings to the skin like molasses... For thirteen-year-old Stanley Mitchell, the end of innocence comes with his discovery of the mysterious long-ago demise of two very different young women. In his quest to unravel the truth about their tragic fates, Stanley finds a protector in Buster Lighthorse Smith, a black, retired Indian-reservation cop and a sage on the finer points of Sherlock Holmes, the blues, and life's faded dreams. But not every buried thing stays dead. And on one terrifying night of rushing creek water and thundering rain, an arcane, murderous force will rise from the past to threaten the boy in a harrowing rite of passage... Vintage Lansdale, A Fine Dark Line brims with exquisite suspense, powerful characterizations, and the vibrant evocation of a lost time. (less)


message 5: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Judi wrote: "I love your descriptions of Christmas past. I share many of the same memories."

Thank you, Judi! I've been doing more writing lately. Where's it going? Well, we'll have to see. *SMILE*


message 6: by Judi (new)

Judi | 418 comments For the pre 1980 nomination I offer Roughing It by Mark Twain.
For the post 1980 nomination I offer Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


message 7: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Brina wrote: "I wish I could think of a southern Chanukah story off the top of my head. I can only think of the The Last Night at Ballyhoo a play by Alfred Uhry so I will nominate that. Of course, if anyone nomi..."

Thanks, Brina. You're first in. The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry is set in the Jewish Community of Atlanta, Georgia. From Wiki: The play is set in the upper class German-Jewish community living in Atlanta, Georgia in December 1939. Hitler has recently conquered Poland, Gone with the Wind is about to premiere, and Adolph Freitag (owner of the Dixie Bedding Company), his sister Boo, and sister-in-law Reba, along with nieces Lala and Sunny – a Jewish family so highly assimilated they have a Christmas tree in the front parlor – are looking forward to Ballyhoo, a lavish cotillion ball sponsored by their restrictive country club. Adolph's employee Joe Farkas is an attractive eligible bachelor and an Eastern Europe Jew, familiar with prejudice but unable to fathom its existence within his own religious community. His presence prompts college student Sunny to examine intra-ethnic bias, her Jewish identity (or lack thereof), and the beliefs with which she's been raised.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo premiered in 1996. It is nominated POST-1980.


message 8: by Brina (new)

Brina Just because I love Capote, I will nominate A Christmas Memory for pre 1980.


message 9: by Judi (new)

Judi | 418 comments Dear Lawyer,
Did my nominations for December 2017 disappear? Perhaps I posted incorrectly or some such????? I'll try again.

For the pre 1980 Decemeber 2018 nomination I offer Roughing It by Mark Twain.
For the post 1980 December 2018 nomination I offer Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesymn Ward.


message 10: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Tina wrote: "Post 1980:
A Fine Dark Line
It is the summer of 1958 in Dewmont, Texas, a town the great American postwar boom passed by. The kids listen idly to rockabilly on the radio and waste the..."


Thank you, Tina. A Fine Dark Line by Joe R. Lansdale is nominated POST-1980.


message 11: by Judi (new)

Judi | 418 comments Judi wrote: "I love your descriptions of Christmas past. I share many of the same memories."

Did you receive my nominations for December 2017? I have tried twice to post them. Can you help/instruct me how to post them please.


message 12: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Judi wrote: "Judi wrote: "I love your descriptions of Christmas past. I share many of the same memories."

Did you receive my nominations for December 2017? I have tried twice to post them. Can you help/instruc..."


Yes, Judi. I'm posting them now. 😁


message 13: by Judi (new)

Judi | 418 comments Lawyer wrote: "Judi wrote: "Judi wrote: "I love your descriptions of Christmas past. I share many of the same memories."

Did you receive my nominations for December 2017? I have tried twice to post them. Can you..."


Thanks. I am lacking in techno ability. No confidence.


message 14: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
From Judi, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is Nominated POST-1980, the latest from the author of Salvage the Bones.

Judi also nominated Roughing It by Mark Twain. This was Twain's second work, a prequel to The Innocents Abroad. It covers Twain's time out west between 1861 and 1867. I will consider it nominated PRE-1980, on the basis that Twain served briefly as a Confederate militia man. Ahem...


message 15: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
From Trail Member Idabel Allen, via goodreads email comes One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain. It is nominated POST-1980.


message 16: by John (new)

John (jwarner6comcastnet) | 144 comments I would like to nominate for a Post-1980 work:

The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome by Man Martin

Sometimes Bone King cannot go through doors. He has no physical impairment, but at times his brain and muscles simply can’t recall how to walk him through them. Perhaps it has something to do with his being distracted thinking about grammar and etymology all the time, or maybe it’s anxiety that his wife is having an affair with the yardman.

But then renowned neurologist Arthur Limongello offers a diagnosis as peculiar as the ailment: Bone’s self is starting to dislodge from his brain. The treatment is a series of therapeutic tasks; Bone must compliment a stranger each day, do good deeds without being asked, and remind himself each morning, that “Today is a good day!”

But first, as a temporary measure, he also suggests Bone simply try to dance through the doorways. And for a time, Bone’s square dancing, the only kind of dance he knows how to do, seems to more or less work.


message 17: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Brina wrote: "Just because I love Capote, I will nominate A Christmas Memory for pre 1980."

Done, Brina. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is nominated, PRE-1980. Thank you!


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus (expendablemudge) I haven't had much luck with my nominations, but I will put up the first book in the Dabney Family Saga by James H. Street: Oh, Promised Land. A gateway book for my long love affair with Southern historicals, read in 1971, when there were barely two digits in my age. My fondest thanks to my dead Mama for never, ever saying anything resembling "do not read that." Her comment was "I don't think you'll enjoy most of what Sam is about, daaahhhlin." I didn't, but I liked Tishomingo a lot.


message 19: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
John wrote: "I would like to nominate for a Post-1980 work:

The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome by Man Martin

Sometimes Bone King cannot go through doors. He has no physical impairment, but at times his brain and muscl..."


Man Martin has been named Georgia Writer of the Year for his first two works. Can he take a Trifecta with this one? It's nominated, POST-1980.


message 20: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "I haven't had much luck with my nominations, but I will put up the first book in the Dabney Family Saga by James H. Street: Oh, Promised Land. A gateway book for my long love affair with Southern h..."

Richard, a very interesting novel of historical fiction set in the Mississippi Territory that comprised the states .Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. This one's nominated PRE-1980. I'm intrigued!


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) For pre-1980, I nominate A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. First published in 1947. Nothing says Christmas like Blanche and Stanley.


message 22: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "For pre-1980, I nominate A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. First published in 1947. Nothing says Christmas like Blanche and Stanley."

Thank you, Carol. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is nominated PRE-1980.


message 23: by Dustincecil (new)

Dustincecil | 175 comments for Pre-1980 I'd like to nominate Whose Names Are Unknown (written in 1939 but unpublished until 2004)

for post 1980 I'd like to nominate: In the Garden of the North American Martyrs


message 24: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2554 comments Mod
Have we ever done any Wiley Cash? If not, I'd like to nominate This Dark Road to Mercy for Post-1980.


message 25: by Jane (new)

Jane | 738 comments Lawyer ! Wonderful reminiscence of Christmas thank you for sharing


message 26: by John (new)

John | 533 comments Post 1980. Larry Brown's first novel. Dirty Work by Larry Brown Dirty Work
Two vets in a VA hospital. Lively conversation, hallucinations, and perceptions. By no means a dull read nor a cry in your beer story.
It snaps.


message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim Kaso | 600 comments Tom, a quick look @ the book shelf shows group read A Land More Kind Than Home back in October of 2014, but nothing more recent.


message 28: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2554 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tom, a quick look @ the book shelf shows group read A Land More Kind Than Home back in October of 2014, but nothing more recent."

Then I'll stick with This Dark Road to Mercy.


message 29: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new)

Diane Barnes | 3968 comments Mod
John, "Dirty Work" was my MOD choice in April of this year, so a lot of us have already read it. What a great book, for those of you who haven't.


message 30: by John (new)

John | 533 comments Indeed it is Diane. I'm only10 months behind. I'm making progress.


message 31: by Jane (last edited Oct 16, 2017 10:18PM) (new)

Jane | 738 comments A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake for post please , however it comes out beginning of november so could be pricey or too
early
Thank you


message 32: by Jane (new)

Jane | 738 comments For pre Dawn s Early light by Elswyth Thane


message 33: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
I received the following nomination via goodreads email from Trail Member Jenny on October 15, 2017 at 5:09pm. It is Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb. Published in 2014, This Novel is nominated Post-1980.

From the goodreads summary:

"When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls. On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home.

In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime."


Were this novel to be voted first in the Post-1980 Poll, it would be the first work by Sharyn McCrumb to be read by "The Trail."

Thanks to Jenny for her nomination.


message 34: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (last edited Oct 17, 2017 03:11PM) (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Dustincecil wrote: "for Pre-1980 I'd like to nominate Whose Names Are Unknown (written in 1939 but unpublished until 2004)

for post 1980 I'd like to nominate: In the Garden of the North American ...


Dustin, thank you for your nominations. We have received six nominations for Post-1980. Nominations for that category are now closed.

Unfortunately, I am unable to classify Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb as Southern Literature. Whose Names Are Unknown concerns dust bowl Okie refugees who seek a new life in California. Author Sanora Babb was born in the pan handle of Oklahoma, lived in Colorado, and Kansas. I have to agree it would be a very interesting read. It was not published in 1939 because Steinbeck beat her to the punch with The Grapes of Wrath. Although Random House originally accepted Babb's novel for publication, they rescinded the contract following the publication of Steinbeck's novel on the basis there would be no reader interest. A true shame for Babb, whose novel was markedly different from Steinbeck's treatment. Please feel free to persuade me otherwise if you have read the novel and the characters had migrated from the South to Oklahoma on their way to California.

Lawyer


message 35: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "For pre Dawn s Early light by Elswyth Thane"

Done, Jane. Dawn's Early Light by Elswyth Thane is nominated PRE-1980.

From the goodreads summary:

Elswyth Thane is best known for her Williamsburg series, seven novels published between 1943 and 1957 that follow several generations of two families from the American Revolution to World War II. Dawn’s Early Light is the first novel in the series.
In it, Colonial Williamsburg comes alive. Thane centers her novel around four major characters: the Aristrocratic St. John Sprague, who becomes George Washington’s aide; Regina Greensleeves, a Virginia beauty spoiled by a season in London; Julian Day, a young schoolmaster who arrives from England on the eve of the war and initially thinks of himself as a Tory; and Tibby Mawes, one of his less fortunate pupils, saddled with an alcoholic father and an indigent mother.
But we also see Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette, Greene, Patrick Henry, Francis Marion, and the rest of that brilliant galaxy playing their roles not as historical figures but as men. We see de Kalb’s gallant death under a cavalry charge at Camden. We penetrate to the swamp-encircled camp which was Marion’s stronghold on the Peedee. We watch the cat-and-mouse game between Cornwallis and Lafayette, which ended in Cornwallis’s unlucky stand at Yorktown.
Dawn’s Early Light is the human story behind our first war for liberty, and of the men and women loving and laughing through it to the dawn of a better world.



message 36: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "Lawyer ! Wonderful reminiscence of Christmas thank you for sharing"

Jane, thank you for your very kind words regarding my Christmas memories.

Lawyer


message 37: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2554 comments Mod
How about one you recommended?
All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw
All God's Dangers The Life of Nate Shaw by Theodore Rosengarten


message 38: by Doug H (new)

Doug H Tom wrote: "How about one you recommended?
All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw
All God's Dangers The Life of Nate Shaw by Theodore Rosengarten"


So Sorry, Tom. I recommended Pale Horse, Pale Rider by K. A. Porter to Mke 20 minutes ago via direct message. Maybe save it as one of your moderator choices for a later date?


message 39: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Doug wrote: "Tom wrote: "How about one you recommended?
All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw
All God's Dangers The Life of Nate Shaw by Theodore Rosengarten"

So Sorry, Tom. I recommended Pale Hor..."


Doug, You're correct. Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter is nominated PRE-1980. Originally published in 1939, this is a collection of three short novels, told by three distinct narrators. It's a good'n.

Lawyer


message 40: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
The nominations are now closed. I will broadcast a message to all members tomorrow morning regarding the creation of the polls.

Many thanks to all.

Mike
"Lawyer"


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