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Group Reads > September 2009 Group Read

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message 1: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Hey Everyone, I am going to try to orchestrate the selecting of a book for the September Group read. The way I foresee doing so is by picking a total of five titles for the month and creating a poll for people to vote upon the one they want to read the most.

That means I need suggestions. I am not saying I am going to be able to moderate the discussion (or possibly even read it) but I am hoping we can get some debating and conversation going on about these titles.

The first of the five titles is House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.

That one makes it to the vote regardless. For the other four titles let's hear some suggestions and debate. Hopefully there will be some sort of consensus by next Saturday the 15th. At that point I will put a poll together and allow for another week of voting before a title is chosen. Let's have some fun.


message 2: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Aug 08, 2009 10:10PM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
John Ajvide Lindqvists's Let the Right One In


message 3: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence


message 4: by Leslie (last edited Aug 09, 2009 08:03AM) (new)

Leslie (lesliehealey) | 4 comments The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz



message 5: by Brian, just a child's imagination (new)

Brian (banoo) | 346 comments Mod
i still want to read One Hundred Years of Solitude to see if reading it will feel like a century of loneliness even in a group read. then there's The Sound and the Fury because i really like faulkner and think je does too. VALIS is nearing the top of my stack and i'm feeling a stable enough to tackle it. then there's Portrait of a Man Unknown. i need to read some Nathalie Sarraute. i have those needs and the need is now.

just throwing in more than i should into the pile to make your life difficult dan... so how are you going to pick 5?


message 6: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
I plan for you guys to fight it out. Otherwise, I am going to throw them in a hat and draw them out.


message 7: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
If you are going to throw them in the hat, put down Let the Right In on about twenty to thirty papers for me. :)


message 8: by Dan, deadpan man (last edited Aug 10, 2009 05:47PM) (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
What the hell people?! 35 views and only 8 posts! come on!


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

All right Dan I've held off as long as I can. Democracy in action. I'm just saying. That's it. Really.


message 10: by Ben, uneasy in a position of power; a yorkshire pudding (new)

Ben Loory | 241 comments Mod
i haven't read a book in two months and i don't know when i will again. so count me out, unless you read dante. for hell, i'd probably be in.


message 11: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
I'm shortly going to be reading Jane Eyre for my real world (as opposed to my online world) book club (which is really just me, my sister, and my friend Megan) so I don't think I will have the time to participate in this read. But of the few books listed so far Let The Right One In is what interests me the most.


message 12: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Oh boy! Jane Eyre. I love Jane Eyre.

I already put in my dos centavos... I think people are waiting for a poll or executive decision. :-)

I am crying out to be led! I am currently reading about 10 books! Help me focus! :-)


message 13: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments Is there any Cormac McCarthy that isn't depressing? Maybe All the Pretty Horses? I have yet to read his works... although a female writer/point of view would be refreshing.


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen | 16 comments Some really good suggestions here so far. Is anyone else interested in 2666?

Or another book I can't seem to get out of my mind, is the one je is reading (or just finished) Everything Matters.

JE, was/is it good?


message 15: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (last edited Aug 11, 2009 09:25AM) (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Bonita wrote: "Is there any Cormac McCarthy that isn't depressing? Maybe All the Pretty Horses? I have yet to read his works... although a female writer/point of view would be refreshing."

Well, I find them all sort of uplifting on the whole. But in terms of content they are all pretty brutal. I'd probably say that the Road is the least depressing of all of his novels, but it is about post-apocalyptic survival.


message 16: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Dan wrote: "What the hell people?! 35 views and only 8 posts! come on!"

These all sound good.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)



Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Supposedly this is nonfiction, but I suspect the author is a lying old bitch. Not to be confused with the classic Squeaky: The Squirrel Who Told Me to Touch Myself.

I'll probably be reading Isaac Bashevis Singer's Satan in Goray.


message 18: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Aug 11, 2009 02:06PM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Supposedly this is nonfiction, but I suspect the author is a lying old bitch. Not to be confused with the classic Squeaky: ..."


Awright you talked me into it!...I am nominating Squeaky: The Squirrel Who Told Me to Touch Myself for this September read.

As Jon Evison is obsessed with western novels while working on his own, so am I obsessed with talking animals who help regular people get into touch with their sexuality since I am still working on a 700 page novel, Jane Livington Seagull, the Lesbian Seagull that used to be John Livington Seagull.




message 19: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (last edited Aug 11, 2009 02:22PM) (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
hmmm. dante's inferno, boccaccio's decameron, something by muriel spark whom our adrian loves, or something by damon runyon. :)


message 20: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
p.s. thanks for kicking us in the butt. i haven't been around very much. my apologies.


message 21: by Jennifer, hot tamale (new)

Jennifer | 141 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "Bonita wrote: "Is there any Cormac McCarthy that isn't depressing? Maybe All the Pretty Horses? I have yet to read his works... although a female writer/point of view wo..."

i'd read all the pretty horses. i have a copy and i sent one to the dork. i'm also wanting to read dan's original suggestion of house of mirth though...


message 22: by Jennifer, hot tamale (new)

Jennifer | 141 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Supposedly this is nonfiction, but I suspect the author is a lying old bitch. Not to be confused with the classic Squeaky: ..."


mo, this looks like one of the kittens on your carousel! scary! ;)


message 23: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Adrian wrote: "

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Supposedly this is nonfiction, but I suspect the author is a lying old bitch. Not to be confused with th..."


jen, our adrian is a very scary man who consorts with crazed and demented kittens. :)

how about the oresteia in translation? i haven't read that in a while, and i know a bunch of these punks probably haven't read it.



message 24: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Now we are talking. I might need to buy a bigger hat!


message 25: by Martha (new)

Martha Kate | 198 comments Jennifer wrote: "Adrian wrote: "

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Supposedly this is nonfiction, but I suspect the author is a lying old bitch. Not to be confused with th..."


I was committed to House of Mirth until Mo roused the sleeping furies of The Oresteia. Cassandra is my all-time favorite literary character, next to Dewey the Library Cat.



message 26: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments Patty wrote: "Bonita wrote: "Is there any Cormac McCarthy... " Well, I find them all sort of uplifting on the whole. But in terms of content they are all pretty brutal. I'd probably say that The Road is the least depressing of all of his novels, but it is about post-apocalyptic survival.


Thank you Patty :) I will be reading me some
Cormac McCarthy pretty soon.

(And, to those who read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there's another coming out: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters)


message 27: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments Has anyone read The Time Traveler's Wife?


message 28: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Bonita wrote: "Has anyone read The Time Traveler's Wife?"

I've been wondering about this myself after seeing all the film trailers. I remember it being a HUGE seller when I worked in a bookstore oh so many years ago, but I know nothing about it except the movie looks super cheesy.



message 29: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments yeah... I just read some book reviews and it doesn't sound all that promising. But it's an interesting story idea.


message 30: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Bonita wrote: "yeah... I just read some book reviews and it doesn't sound all that promising. But it's an interesting story idea."

well, i don't want to hijack this thread but i didn't like this book at all. in fact, i treated it like it had a disease and hustled it out of my house after i was done reading it because i disliked it so much. i thought the concept was great; i just hated the character of the time traveler's wife so much it didn't work for me. neil liked it though. apparently his girlfriend is gaga for it. maybe check in with him?


message 31: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Oooooh. Oresteia. I love me some Greek drama.

I almost named my daughter Cassandra.


message 32: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments thanks Maureen, sorry Dan - my apologies for veering us off the subject. My official nomination is Journal of Antonio Montoya A Novel

"A spinster painter in the village of Guadalupe, New Mexico lives in a house inhabited by the ghosts of dead relatives who talk to her, do chores, and occasionally borrow her truck. Against the wishes of her brother Flavio, she takes in her nephew after the boy's parents are killed when their speeding pickup hits a cow."


message 33: by Martha (new)

Martha Kate | 198 comments Kerry wrote: "Bonita wrote: "Has anyone read The Time Traveler's Wife?"

I've been wondering about this myself after seeing all the film trailers. I remember it being a HUGE seller when I worked ..."


Remember Ben's one-word review when I asked him about a title at the Dork? I'll give you the same review for Time Traveller's Wife - "No."



message 34: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Martha wrote: Remember Ben's one-word review when I asked him about a title at the Dork? I'll give you the same review for Time Traveller's Wife - "No."


ooh! what was the title? (again, sorry dan ;)
(glad to see the love for the oresteia!)



message 35: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Bonita wrote: "thanks Maureen, sorry Dan - my apologies for veering us off the subject. My official nomination is Journal of Antonio Montoya A Novel

"A spinster painter in the village of Guada..."


This sounds awesome Bonita! I think I'll read it even if it doesn't make the cut.


message 36: by Laurel (new)

Laurel (lalabelle) What about
The Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight?
And I loved The Time Traveler's Wife.


message 37: by Karen (new)

Karen | 16 comments Journal of Antonio Montoya A Novel

Yes this sounds good - going on my to read list also.

Next up on my classics list is another Zola novel from the Rougon-Macquart cycle - anyone else interested in joining in for that?




message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Maureen wrote: "hmmm. dante's inferno, boccaccio's decameron, something by muriel spark whom our adrian loves, or something by damon runyon. :)"

Some of Muriel Spark's novels can be enjoyed as an appetizer or after-dinner mint. (Except for The Driver's Seat, which will scramble your tummy in an unpleasant way. I think it's neat!)

You keep pushing this Boccaccio thing. I'm starting to think you're a descendant trying to drum up more business for the estate. I'll only finish the book if it ends like the masque of the Red Death and all those boring people die from the plague.


message 39: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (last edited Aug 13, 2009 08:15PM) (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "Maureen wrote: "hmmm. dante's inferno, boccaccio's decameron, something by muriel spark whom our adrian loves, or something by damon runyon. :)"

Some of Muriel Spark's novels can be enjoyed as an ..."


i bought one because you like her so much. i could have sworn you were trying to get us to try a dormouse recipe. magic hands. and i wish i was a descendent! i do love the book though. i love the structure and plague, and the stories themselves. most of them are believed to have been extant and this is just a compilation of popular tales told. it would actually be a great idea to read dante then boccaccio with an eye to his adaptation of dante's methods. :)


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Maureen wrote: "it would actually be a great idea to read dante then boccaccio with an eye to his adaptation of dante's methods."

Well, good luck with that medieval project!

These people are cranky readers. You should start with one of Aretino's short, dirty books from a later period: The Secret Life of Wives.


message 41: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliehealey) | 4 comments Kerry wrote: "Bonita wrote: "Has anyone read The Time Traveler's Wife?"

I've been wondering about this myself after seeing all the film trailers. I remember it being a HUGE seller when I worked ..."

I read the book standing in Borders-that should give you an idea of the complexity of the plot........kind of creepy and forced. The writing was not good enough to pull off the fantasy/romance motif. It came off as gothic/pedophilia/enabling couple motif.



message 42: by Bonita (new)

Bonita (NMBonita) | 120 comments Guess I won't be reading The Time Traveler's Wife afterall. How can something so disappointing be so popular? Catchy title? Catchy story idea? Bummer.


message 43: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
OK so this is how I did things. I made a list of the titles mentioned above (if an author was mentioned and a book wasn't mentioned they were disregarded (except for Dante because it seemed obvious). Also disregarded Adrian because I am certain the Dewey cat book was not a real suggestion).

Below is the list:

1 House of Mirth
2 Three Trapped Tigers
3 Let the Right One In
4 Lady Chatterley's Lover
5 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
6 One Hundred Years of Solitude
7 The Sound and the Fury
8 VALIS
9 Portrait of a Man Unknown
10 Dante's Inferno
11 Jane Eyre
12 2666
13 decameron
14 Oresteia
15 Journal of Antonio Montoya A Novel
16 The Taqwacores

As you can see I assigned each a number based on the order they were mentioned. Then I asked Research Randomizer (http://www.randomizer.org/form.htm) to give me a randomized sample.

The first book, House of Mirth was originally suggested by Shel before I highjacked this operation therefore it makes it into the poll automatically.

The books drawn for polling were:

1 House of Mirth
2 Three Trapped Tigers
10 Dante's Inferno
8 VALIS
3 Let the Right One In
14 Oresteia

Now I am going to start the poll so everyone can vote. Let me know how you like this system. It seems like the most fair was proceed.


message 44: by Brian, just a child's imagination (new)

Brian (banoo) | 346 comments Mod
hey... that randomizer is pretty cool. i think i've found my new 'life coach'. i'll even let it vote for me.


message 45: by Christy (new)

Christy (christybuttons) | 19 comments Dan, thanks for all your work on this. Incidentally I voted for Inferno... mostly because I don't think I'd tackle reading it alone but I've always been tempted. Either way, count me in for the Sept read.


message 46: by Martha (new)

Martha Kate | 198 comments Bonita wrote: "Guess I won't be reading The Time Traveler's Wife afterall. How can something so disappointing be so popular? Catchy title? Catchy story idea? Bummer. "

Reminds me of a little ditty called The DaVinci Code that was pretty popular a few years back...



message 47: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments What translation will everybody use for Dante's Inferno? Also, it requires a lot of background reading in order to get the most out of it.


message 48: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliehealey) | 4 comments Hey all! Here is a link to a fabulous site on the Inferno. The graphics are....well, you should see them. It should get you in the mood.
http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/i...


message 49: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
cool site leslie.

looks like the house of mirth is in the lead.


message 50: by Brian, just a child's imagination (new)

Brian (banoo) | 346 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "Hey all! Here is a link to a fabulous site on the Inferno. The graphics are....well, you should see them. It should get you in the mood.
http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/i..."


the pictures in my head were scarier. i scared the shit out of myself reading this book.


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