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Club Business > BOTM for July and August

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Li | 212 comments Mod
Summer is awesome, hope you are enjoying your summer Fridays with some good books!
Here come our themes for the next TWO months:

Alternative American History
July 4th, duh
Examples: American War, The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Summer is the season for superhero movies, so why not read some superhero books?
Examples: Norse Mythology, Super

Keep the recommendations coming guys!

message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric Li | 212 comments Mod
Well, American War is kind of disappointing. I will throw in The Road to make it a game then. Probably even Underground Airlines.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert (rahenley) | 85 comments Other options for Alternative (American) History:
The Guns of the South -- one of Harry Turtledove's best Alt. History books.
The Two Georges -- Alternative colonial American History. I liked it, despite the celebrity co-author. Sadly, it has no Kindle or Audible presence.
The Man in the High Castle -- What if the Axis powers won WWII? It's Phil Dick, so the answer is weird.
Bring the Jubilee -- Starts in an alternative history where the Confederacy won the Civil War.
The Proteus Operation -- time-travel/alternative worlds story centering on WWII. On Audible, but no Kindle edition.

But I'd be good with getting The Yiddish Policemen's Union to the table.

FYI: The Road is much more a post-apocalyptic novel than alternative history. And if you want post-apocalyptic, then there are other books that should be considered, like A Canticle for Leibowitz.

message 4: by Eric (new)

Eric Li | 212 comments Mod
Thanks Robert!
Yeah I am satisfied with either The Yiddish Policemen's Union or The Road. You can't go wrong between a Hugo and a Pulitzer. We can discuss both books here.
As for theme, it's more of a guidance or inspiration in book nomination rather than a hardline rule. For example, last month we chose The Eyes of the Dragon for the theme "fantastic beast", but it has like 2 pages about the dragon :)
Book exploration and sampling is half the fun of this book club. The hunt for August book starts as soon as July 1st. And September theme is still up for grab, so keep the good ideas coming!

message 5: by Eric (last edited Jun 29, 2018 09:13PM) (new)

Eric Li | 212 comments Mod
OK, here is my short list for the Superhero August so far:
Norse Mythology --Haven't read it but Thor, Neil Gaiman, sounds like a safe choice for this theme.
Super --I scraped this from Josh's shelf and tried a couple of chapters on Amazon. Very interesting premise. But probably a hit-or-miss choice considering its relatively lower popularity.
The Power --Came out last year. A truly powerful idea and executed relatively well. This book has been longlisted for a lot of awards. A decent choice if we want to choose a more serious take.
Touch --Reads like a guilty pleasure popcorn movie, but hey, it's summer. One thing I like it, the story went through many famous cities across Europe, so TripAdvisor extra point maybe?

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert (rahenley) | 85 comments Norse Mythology is an excellent retelling of a selection of Norse myths. For those listening on Audible, Neil Gaiman narrates, which is magnificent. I'd be happy to reread it.

I'll offer up the alternative mythic text of Monkey: A Folk Novel of China which is an abridged translation of the classic "Journey to the West," featuring the inimitable Monkey King. But Norse Myths is shorter, and Monkey has no audiobook.

(I'm also partial to Ramayana: Divine Loophole, but it's almost a graphic novel. Beautiful art though, and it pairs well with the movie, Sita Sings the Blues.)

In a more superhero direction, here are a few options:

Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes - a post-Zombie-apocalypse vision of former crime fighters trying to keep humans alive. I haven't read it, but I trust Clines as a writer, and others have recommended it to me.

A not-quite-super heroic novel would be Clines' 14, which is a very funny, sometimes dark mystery/sf/horror cross-over, featuring a cast of characters best described as Shaggy and the Gang from Scooby-Doo, grown up.

For a short story collection, I recall liking Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin, et al, but that was 32 years ago. (And I preferred the much pulpier, Weird Heroes Volume 1 (and sequels) -- sadly, they're long out of print, and not available in either ebook or audio.)

For sheer metafictional weirdness, it's hard to equal Paul Malmont's two books about real American pulp fiction writers getting sucked into pulp adventure stories: The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril: A Novel and The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown. (Genre-wise, these might be more "Secret History" than "Superhero" stories, but given the pulps, I think they're close enough.)


message 7: by Eric (last edited Jul 02, 2018 12:17PM) (new)

Eric Li | 212 comments Mod
Robert wrote: "Norse Mythology is an excellent retelling of a selection of Norse myths. For those listening on Audible, Neil Gaiman narrates, which is magnificent. I'd be happy to reread it.


All sounds fascinating to me, I will start researching them asap.
1) I don't usually like short stories for book club, as that might dilute people's attention. So George is probably a pass for me on that list.
2) Personally, I will also scratch "Journey to the West". Grown up in China, that story was part of our classroom reading, and pretty much the constant appearance in summer TV lineup. It's just so familiar that it feels weird now. Like dedicating a book club to read "the A-Team".

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