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What to Read > July 2018 Wild Card nominations

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message 1: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
Nominations are now open through June 12th for the July Wild Card.

The purpose of the Wild Card is to choose books that fall outside our usual rules by being more on the ‘genre’ side of things (e.g., sci-fi, fantasy, YA, romances, westerns, graphic novels, etc.) but still of literary interest. More about the Wild Card can be found here:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Voting will start on the 13th, and the discussion will run Jul 15-Aug 14.

Nominating Guidelines:
- One nomination per person
- Fiction (originally published between Jan. 2000 and Jul 14, 2017)
- Wouldn't normally fit in our Open Pick

If you are nominating a book, please begin your post by stating "I nominate [name w. hyperlink to book]".


message 2: by Vicky (new)

Vicky | 16 comments I nominate Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


message 3: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) I nominate Days Without End by Sebastian Barry - second time's a charme! :-)


message 5: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
All of these are good books, but I am not convinced any of them belong in the wild card category, because all of them would be fine as open pick nominations.


message 6: by Doug (new)

Doug Hugh wrote: "All of these are good books, but I am not convinced any of them belong in the wild card category, because all of them would be fine as open pick nominations."

I'm glad you said it - I was going to post the same thought, but didn't want to seem TOO curmudgeonly, given my already dicey reputation!!


message 7: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I also agree with Hugh and Doug's comments.


message 8: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I nominate The Lace Reader The Lace Reader (The Lace Reader, #1) by Brunonia Barry .


message 10: by Lia (last edited Jun 09, 2018 07:50PM) (new)

Lia I nominate The Boy in the Earth by Fuminori Nakamura

Praise for The Boy in the Earth

“Absorbing . . . Just what abuse the narrator suffered as a youth is one of the puzzles to be solved (in horrific detail) by The Boy in the Earth. Another mystery is whether he will find a nonfatal way to break out of his Kafkaesque memory palace. By the book’s end, the reader comes to care about the second answer as much as the first.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Although many orders of magnitude darker, Nakamura may be the spiritual heir to Kenzaburō Ōe. This is existential literature at its compelling and nauseating best . . . His work isn’t merely noir as titillation; it’s the hideous truth below the surface, and he is one of the most vital writers at work today in Japan.”—The Japan Times

“[Nakamura] has demonstrated time and again, and does so again here, that he is one of the best crime novelist working today.”—Pank Magazine

“The Boy in the Earth offers readers a darkly philosophic musing on violence, history, purpose and what it means to be alive, told in elegant prose.”—Shelf Awareness


Sorry guys, I withdraw. I saw the blurb and thought it looked interesting. I’ve since read two Nakamura books (including this one) and honestly feel like I can’t recommend it.

Since Hugh is on the fence about Sir Ishiguro’s knights and Pixies and Dragons, I’m going to take the risk and nominate his The Buried Giant.

Sincere apologies for the last minute change of mind, and also for another problematic nomination.


message 11: by RJ - Slayer of Trolls (last edited Jun 07, 2018 09:24AM) (new)

RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 109 comments Hugh wrote: "All of these are good books, but I am not convinced any of them belong in the wild card category, because all of them would be fine as open pick nominations."

I'd be happy to retract my nomination of Black Swan Green and instead nominate The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem if you think it would be a better fit.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd like to nominate A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.


message 13: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
It is quite difficult to adjudicate on these, particularly when I know little about the books, but I am pretty sure that A Gentleman in Moscow would be a suitable open pick nomination, and I think The Fortress of Solitude is too.


message 14: by Lia (new)

Lia Just out of curiosity: would Ishiguro’s Buried Giant be eligible? There’s a dragon in it, and knight, and “princess.” Ishiguro himself mused whether people would consider it genre or literary.


message 15: by Vicky (new)

Vicky | 16 comments Can I withdraw my initial nomination then, and nominate instead The Bone Mother by David Demchuk. It's about fantastical/mythological creatures hiding on the Romanian border.


message 16: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
Lia wrote: "Just out of curiosity: would Ishiguro’s Buried Giant be eligible? There’s a dragon in it, and knight, and “princess.” Ishiguro himself mused whether people would consider it genre or literary."
That one is a perfect illustration of the dilemma which we face as moderators - I have read it, and for me it is a literary fiction novel that has fantasy elements, and I think it is more of an open pick book, but there is no clear borderline.


message 17: by Lia (new)

Lia Thanks Hugh, I originally wanted to nominate that, as I’m going through an Arthurian phase myself. But being new here I didn’t want to risk being sent to the principals’ office...


message 18: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments The problem is, while the wildcard is meant to give genre fiction with literary quality a chance, in the publishing industry, and in literature in general, the bright lines have blurred, and much literary fiction uses genre elements. Of course, there have been genre fiction using techniques from literary fiction almost as long as there have been genre fiction...

And then there is the vexed question of historical fiction: some people here seem to think of it as a form of genre fiction, while other of us consider it just ... fiction, and thus not particularly needing the wildcard.

To me at least, the purpose of the wildcard is to read books that, while having real literary merit, would not normally be considered appropriate for this group. Normally, that's a matter of How the book was published as anything else. If it has a brightly decorated cover, and says Science Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Western, Romance, etc. on the spine, then we would not normally consider it, now matter what its qualities. Thus, the wildcard. But the publishers, those sneaky folks, realize that a book, published as general fiction, often outsells the same book published as fantasy, and thus makes distinguishing these things more difficult.


message 19: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Rotter (themagpie45) | 70 comments What are some books that have been discussed in the past in this category?


message 20: by Peter (last edited Jun 08, 2018 10:36AM) (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments Maggie wrote: "What are some books that have been discussed in the past in this category?"
That's a very good question! You can find a list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/group/books...

I'm not sure it is complete but it certainly gives you an idea.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the clarification - the lines are blurry indeed! I would like to withdraw my nomination, please (if possible) and I might save it for an Open Pick at a later date.

Perhaps the Moderator(s) could nominate a book as a Wildcard example to help us newbies??


message 22: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
Casceil is a moderator and her nomination is fine. I must admit that I have never found anything that fits, mostly because I don't read the right kind of books...


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Oops, of course, sorry. I’ll take a good look at the Bookshelf too. Thanks!


message 24: by Lia (new)

Lia Sorry guys, I changed my nomination. See #10 edit.


message 25: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2877 comments Mod
I'll nominate City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer.


message 26: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
Tomorrow is the last day for nominations, so I think we need a clear statement of which nominations are still standing.These are:

(Casceil) The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
(Fanna) Ray Vs The Meaning of Life by Michael F Stewart
(Vicky) The Bone Mother by David Demchuk
(Marc) City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer

I am still inclined to disqualify all of the rest on the grounds that they could be chosen as Open Pick books (including The Buried Giant, because Ishiguro is a well established literary novelist, Booker prize winner and Nobel laureate). Please don't take this personally - you would be more than welcome to nominate any of the rest for the August Open Pick, and that nomination process is due to start on the 15th (as long as one of us remembers!)


message 27: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2445 comments I nominate Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. This is NOT Fifty Shades of Grey, just shades of grey! It is a 2009 book most often classified as fantasy.


message 28: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
Thanks Linda, I think that one is fine.


message 29: by Lia (new)

Lia Hugh wrote: "I am still inclined to disqualify all of the rest..."

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let me try again. This time I nominate Blue Is the Warmest Color

Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh


message 30: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2877 comments Mod
That works, Lia!


message 31: by Lia (new)

Lia Whew! Thanks for tolerating my many failed attempts, I'm new here and still trying to figure out how it works. :D


message 32: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
The poll is now up here:

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


message 33: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2877 comments Mod
Thanks, Hugh!


message 34: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2835 comments Mod
The poll has been won by Shades of Grey. Are you happy to lead the discussion Linda?


message 35: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2445 comments Sure. I can do that.


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