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11/22/63
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Previous Monthly Reads > August Monthly Read 2014: 11/22/63

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the discussion thread for our August monthly read of 2014, 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

I look forward to discussing this book with you all and reading your thoughts and views.

Declan. :)


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul My two book nominations both came second so mildly annoying vote this month.
I've picked up this book on a number of occasions and could never quite make up my mind.
It'll be interesting to hear what people think of it anyway.


I-like-to-read (akakate) Not read a Stephen King for years. Looking forward to this, even though it is over 800 pages :-) - I think the last book I read that long was the final Harry Potter.


message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I'm wary of this book given its written by Stephen King. I don't do horror. While I'm all for expanding my literary horizons, horror is one horizon I'm not willing to cross. I know Stephen King has written non horror works though. So what genre does this fall into?


message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul I suppose it would be a sort of Scifi Thriller from my reading of it. There might be a bit of gruesome violence from the sounds of it but not quite a traditional horror.


Marcia | 437 comments I've heard that this particular book is not horror. That's why I've been wanting to read it for a while.


Serf Alot of his more recent stuff isn't as gruesome as the older stuff Emma if that's any help. Reading the blurb it sounds pretty tame.


Marcia | 437 comments The couple of reviews I read of this book indicate that it isn't horror at all. But more history.


message 9: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Ok. I may read the quarterly read first and see what your comments on before starting this.


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul The main classification on good reads seems to be historical fiction


Allan When I was in Easons earlier, (I know, but it was in our local shopping centre, and there are no other bookshops there!), the book was shelved under Fantasy. Audible classes it as Scifi / Fantasy as well, no doubt due to its featuring time travel.

It's a big book for the monthly read-over 30 hours on audiobook!


message 12: by Serf (new) - rated it 3 stars

Serf It is quite a long read. I'm hoping next months pick is something non sci-fi/fantasy.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul The length is a tad off putting. I think its 800 pages plus.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul I tried Seraphina ;-)


message 15: by Gerry (last edited Jul 28, 2014 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerry  M (placidcasual) Delighted this book was selected. I'm half way through it and it is definitely not horror and any violence is rare enough. It's a cracking read so far - I would desribe it as historical fiction mixed with Back To The Future. It may be what people would term 'Sci-Fi' in it's premise but it's certainly not a Sci-Fi book. I think people are too keen to post labels on it (more than one label applies to most books anyway) - at it's core is a great story. It's a shame that there has been a mostly negative reaction to it as I think people would be pleasantly surprised.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm looking forward to it, Gerry, but it's such a long book I might have left it on the long-finger, so maybe it's just as well it was picked by the group. It'll motivate me to read it sooner.


message 17: by Gerry (last edited Jul 28, 2014 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerry  M (placidcasual) Declan wrote: "I'm looking forward to it, Gerry, but it's such a long book I might have left it on the long-finger, so maybe it's just as well it was picked by the group. It'll motivate me to read it sooner."

I didn't think the length of it would be an issue when I nominated it! It's not like there is a rule that it has to be finished within a month. I read The Martian a few months after most people in the group and still enjoyed reading the comments about it and a bit of discussion.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul I don't think length should exclude a book at all. Getting nominated shows it didn't put off everyone so that's a validation.I think I do tend to leave longer books sitting a lot longer on the shelf so a push is not a bad thing


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

No, there's no rule, Gerry, and it won't be the longest book the group has read either. It is something members often consider when voting, though.


Gerry  M (placidcasual) I've ducked out of a few monthly reads myself Theresa when I'm pressed for time so I know how you feel!

Hope you are going somewhere nice :)


Gerry  M (placidcasual) That should be interesting! It is still such a big place that what's going on in the news probably will seem insignificant when you get there.


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Wow. Anywhere nice in Russia. That's quite the adventure. Trelawn would love to visit St Petersburg one day


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Bon voyage, Theresa. Sounds like it will be a great one.


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Better keep Trelawn posted on after your Travels


message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I don't find the size particularly off putting. If we were an in person book club it would be a bit long but since we aren't and the threads never close it doesn't matter if it takes is that bit longer to read it. And you are all slowly convincing me that it's not the next Carrie or the Shining and is safe to read.


message 26: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) @Theresa That sounds like a great trip. We'll expect a detailed report back.


message 27: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn @ Theresa I am unashamedly jealous of you. I'd love to visit St Petersburg and see the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, walk down Nevsky Prospekt and see the statue of the Bronze Horseman. Sigh.


message 28: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn keep me posted and take lots of pics. green with envy here :-)


Allan Theresa, that sounds like an amazing trip, and one I'd love to be making, although given the country's stance on certain issues, it'd be one that we couldn't do at the present time. :( I live in hope for the future though and am very envious!

Perhaps you're not, but if you're a person who likes reading about the places you travel to and are looking for any great reads fiction wise set in Russia, can I recommend 'City of Thieves' by David Benioff? Benioff actually writes for HBO's 'Game of Thrones' now, but everyone that I know who has read this novel have loved it.

City of Thieves

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

I've also got 'One Night in Winter' on my TBR shelf, and intend to bring it on holiday with me next week as a beach read.

One Night in Winter

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

One last one-my next Steinbeck read will probably be 'A Russian Journal', a non fiction title which also comes with some excellent photos taken by a photographer companion on his trip.

A Russian Journal

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Now, hopefully the discussion can get back on topic! :)


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments Seraphina wrote: "It is quite a long read. I'm hoping next months pick is something non sci-fi/fantasy."

I'm with you, Seraphina. Our group seems to be reading those genres a lot. It's really getting to seem like our group is changing focus.


Allan That's the joys of a democracy, isn't it though, Susan!

Is the group varied enough reader / size wise to cope with monthly genre reads, or something similar, I wonder? Someone may come up with suggestions at some stage in 'Improving the Group'... In the meantime, Susan, if you don't fancy this one, I do think you'd like the quarterly read. :)


Jackie | 19 comments I-like-to-read wrote: "Not read a Stephen King for years. Looking forward to this, even though it is over 800 pages :-) - I think the last book I read that long was the final Harry Potter."

This was my first Stephen King book !! I don't know why.
I read it last year and really enjoyed it, 800 pages just flew by, it's a real page turner. We also read it in the book group that I run, again lots of the group had not read or hadn't read him for many years but all said what a great book it is, just not what they were expecting.


message 33: by Paul (new)

Paul i'm suprised it did get in but its only sort of a sci fI.
Hopefully you don't blame me too much. Since ive joined I actually havent nominated a single winning book for withe monthly or quaterly reads.


message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Last comment was directed at Susan, sorry a few posts jumped in a bit quick.


message 35: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn @ Allan One Night in Winter sounds brilliant, i'll have to add it to my list.


Gerry  M (placidcasual) Jackie wrote: "I-like-to-read wrote: "Not read a Stephen King for years. Looking forward to this, even though it is over 800 pages :-) - I think the last book I read that long was the final Harry Potter."

This ..."


Great to hear that, Jackie. Would you agree with me that it does not read like a horror or a sci-fi book?


Allan Theresa, I'd have no reservations personally, but unfortunately Eastern Europe in general is pretty much out of bounds for us as a travel destination, just in case-thankfully I backpacked a lot of these countries as a student, but never made it to Russia. I'd love to go!

Trelawn, I was excellent reviews of the book in The Guardian / Observer, then picked it up in Tesco of all places a while ago. I think it'll be a good beach read, which is why I've been saving it!


Allan Gerry / Jackie, I'll probably end up reading this via audiobook, and am not put off by the tags it has (for once!). I've really enjoyed 'alternative reality' novels in the past-CJ Sansom's 'Dominion' most recently-and think this may have the same feel.

Having nearly got to the end of a 26 hour audiobook, tacking a 30 hour one sounds pretty daunting, though, so I may leave it for a few weeks before starting!


message 39: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn @ Allan let me know how you get on with it. I've read a fair few histories and biographies about Tsar Nicholas II and his family so this one would be a good move into the next period.


Diane One Night in Winter: A Novel does sound good. Maybe we should remember it for the September group read. :-)


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments I remember my parents and her two brothers and wives went to Russia in the early 1990's. While they were there a minor revolt occurred. They were bussed into Moscow immediately from the countryside. My uncle, a FBI agent, went to the State Dept. to see how they were going to get out. State told them to sit tight and ride it out. Well, the tour group leader got them a bus and they were on the way to the airport. People were jostling the bus and trying to overturn it. They ran barbed wire barriers and finally made it to the airport. Guess who was in line for flights? The people from the State Dept. who told them to stay put. Democracy in action.

I don't want to sound grumpy about the monthly read and I know I do. I agree with Allan that democracy is wonderful. I am looking forward to the quarterly read. It's just the third month in a row that we have sci fi/ fantasy. I don't mind occasionally but if I wanted to read so much of it, I would have joined a group that was devoted to that genre. I hope we shake it up some. Enough whining from me and no, Paul, I don't blame you.


message 42: by Paul (new)

Paul The run was broken up by the Casement book so not quite three in a row. but yes a bit of a mix is a good idea. I'm sure it will settle down. :-)


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments I hope so. Are you going to St. Petersburg? That was my parents favorite city and I've heard others rave about it. I hope you have a wonderful time. I do want to say if you can go to Russia, you can certainly visit America. :)


message 44: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Jamie Lynn wrote: "Jackie wrote: "I-like-to-read wrote: "Not read a Stephen King for years. Looking forward to this, even though it is over 800 pages :-) - I think the last book I read that long was the final Harry ..."

I'm the same, Jamie Lynn. It's been languishing at the last 100 pages or so.


message 45: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments I was thinking that realistically I wouldn't be able to read an 800 page book this month, but Allan's comments about audiobooks reminded me that that may be an option if they have it available at the library.

I have heard good things about it from friends and family here, and they all seemed to emphasize the historical dimensions of it.


message 46: by Gerry (last edited Jul 28, 2014 08:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerry  M (placidcasual) Being 70% of the way through the book I'm willing to bet that anyone who has actually read it wouldn't describe it as any more than very slightly sci-fi/fantasy. It's far far more a book of historical fiction.


Allan So, I've finished my other audiobook and have decided to take the plunge with this one after all-with a few weeks still on holiday, I suppose there'll be no better time to listen to a 30 hour 'chunkster'!


message 48: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Allan wrote: "So, I've finished my other audiobook and have decided to take the plunge with this one after all-with a few weeks still on holiday, I suppose there'll be no better time to listen to a 30 hour 'chun..."

Keeping my fingers crossed that the local library has it as an audiobook. I have to start writing syllabi and continue prepping for the fall--there's no way I'd be able to read a "chunkster" like that in the next month. (Cue up Linda Rondstadt singing, "Poor, poor pitiful me...." as summer wends into August.)


Colleen | 1205 comments Emma wrote: "I'm wary of this book given its written by Stephen King. I don't do horror. While I'm all for expanding my literary horizons, horror is one horizon I'm not willing to cross. I know Stephen King has..."

Emma don't worry it isn't horror it's more time travel.I loved it !


message 50: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Thanks Colleen. I'm slowly being convinced that it'll be safe to read.


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