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Nominations and Suggestions 2018 > What should we read before the end of the year? (Update and 2019 ideas)

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message 1: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jul 08, 2018 10:21PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Here is a tentative plan for the end of the year. Please provide feedback. Also if there are any specific books you want to read by the end of the year, feel free to list them.

We have a Lonesome Dove as our Big Book read for July 15 - Oct 1.
We have two Short Book bonus reads - Sirens of Titan (Sci Fi) and Siddhartha (spirituality). You can use one or both of these to fill in extra time in July, August or whenever.

I was planning another Group Read for August. Who is game for that?

I wanted to consider a themed read for September.

So far our book themes/genres include religion/spirituality, politics/dystopian future, YA, coming of age, historical fiction, war, adventure, sci-f, classics and literature. We read books about children/families, but not "children's books" per se.

We have not yet selected books that focus on nationality, race, sexual orientation, mystery, horror, romance, or one written prior to 1900. The list has several books that cluster around African and African American people, and another cluster focusing on Latino and Hispanic people or settings.

October is traditionally a good horror/monsters month, so I was planning to read Frankenstein then (alone or with the group). October is also LGBT history month, and disabilities awareness month and depression awareness month.

November - I would like to read or-read the winning book in late October/ November, and schedule an international/pre-1900 Big Read for the winter (War and Peace, Count of Monte Cristo or Don Quixote).

ADDED - The Big Read would last for 3 months, sometime between November and February.

December. I want to read a feel-good book in December. Are there any winter or holiday books?


message 2: by Ella (new)

Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments Just commenting so I won't forget to come back to this.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANCY! (in the meantime.) I'll be back to edit/update this post.


message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 47 comments I would love to take on War and Peace but it’s a huge commitment. And not sure I could get it done in a month. I have other real life book club reads going on at the same time so I think I would be reading it amongst other books. Which I hate unless it’s print and audio going on at the same time. For some reason I can tolerate that.


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Thanks for the reminder, Ella!
Happy Birthday, Nancy!


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Here is a tentative plan for the end of the year. Please provide feedback. Also if there are any specific books you want to read by the end of the year, feel free to list them.

We have a Lonesome ..."


I love the idea of Frankenstein in October!
The only "feel good" reads I see on the list are the ones for younger readers, the classics (Anne of Green Gables, Tom Sawyer, etc.)


message 6: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (new)

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Happy Birthday Nancy!!

I think scary/horror is a great theme for October and reading/re-reading the winner in November makes sense.

I think a long read over the winter interspersed with some theme reading would work well.

For September's theme I suggest the immigrant experience or something that explores the diversity of America. Bless Me, Ultima was recently recommended to me as 'the best book I've read in the last 5 years', but I'm not entirely familiar with it.


message 7: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jul 08, 2018 10:23PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Ella wrote: "Just commenting so I won't forget to come back to this.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANCY! (in the meantime.) I'll be back to edit/update this post."


Thanks Ella!


message 8: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jul 08, 2018 10:44PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Colleen wrote: "I would love to take on War and Peace but it’s a huge commitment. And not sure I could get it done in a month. I have other real life book club reads going on at the same time so I think I would be..."

We would need 3 months for War and Peace or another of the longest books, sometime between November and February. Or maybe we could stretch it out or someone morph into a quarterly Big Read schedule for 2019.

I agree about multiple readings. It only works for me when I have one in the car and another in the house, and I might even stop that to improve my focus and eliminate re-reading passages.


message 9: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
J. wrote: "Happy Birthday Nancy!!

I think scary/horror is a great theme for October and reading/re-reading the winner in November makes sense.

I think a long read over the winter interspersed with some them..."



Thanks J. and I like these ideas.


message 10: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote
Thanks Linda! I'm getting more excited about reading Frankenstein.

I don't mind reading a children's book if we don't have other books that feel right for December. Both of this month's books have some holiday scenes. Maybe there are others that do too.


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments J. wrote: "Happy Birthday Nancy!!

I think scary/horror is a great theme for October and reading/re-reading the winner in November makes sense.

I think a long read over the winter interspersed with some them..."

Granted, I read it ages ago. But I don't remember it being earth-shattering good. Relatively brief, IIRC


message 12: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments Happy birthday Nancy!

I read The Shining before I saw the movie (which I walked out of, it was so bad). Not a fan of psychological thrillers much; they have an all-too-real feel to me.


message 13: by Ella (last edited Jul 10, 2018 03:40PM) (new)

Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments Nancy wrote: "I was planning another Group Read for August. Who is game for that?"

So we'll be reading Lonesome Dove and the two smaller books during August. Do we need another book? That feels like a fair lift to me already actually.

Maybe another small one in September while we continue through Lonesome Dove? I'm just concerned that nobody feel super pressured and that everyone who wants to read with us has the time to get the books they want (dunno about your libraries, but mine is having a terrible time keeping these books circulating, despite imposing shorter time-frames for the GAR books.)

I wanted to consider a themed read for September.

I like this idea & will read whatever the group picks. I will be posting a thread for suggestions and then we'll do a final vote via poll, I think - if I can figure it out.

October is traditionally a good horror/monsters month, so I was planning to read Frankenstein then (alone or with the group). October is also LGBT history month, and disabilities awareness month and depression awareness month.

I like the Frankenstein idea. I'd like to make that a group read. If it's not everyone's choice, we could call it a bonus read. Thoughts anyone?

November - I would like to read or re-read the winning book in late October/ November, and schedule an international/pre-1900 Big Read for the winter (War and Peace, Count of Monte Cristo or Don Quixote).

This is a good idea - both the winner (caveat, I'll read it as long as it's not one of about 3 books I just can't take the time/effort to read.) and the Big Book, so long as we give it enough time. Group reads are a good way to tackle these heftier classics that may not always be the easy thing to grab off a shelf.

Should the pre-1900 big read go through the end of the year? The only reason I ask is that many people become very busy when the holiday season starts hitting. (I don't celebrate Thanksgiving but I know Thanksgiving usually begins the season in the US where everyone is due for parties and holiday celebrations that feel a bit unrelenting until the New Year.)

I know this time of year is tough for many people, and I want to stay cognisant of that. For those of us who don't have a lot of celebrations, maybe we could do a bonus read or something? Dunno - just a thought.


message 14: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Ella wrote: "Nancy wrote: "I was planning another Group Read for August. Who is game for that?"

..."


I thought the long book could go from around November to (or through?) February. OR, we could make it a quarterly read and start in January.


message 15: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (new)

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
I think a long book every 3 months is a good idea. I'm fine with whenever we want to start it.


message 16: by Blueberry (new)

Blueberry (blueberry1) I will read Frankenstein in October...and I can do either for a big read. I think a quarterly read would be easier to remember but would actually enjoy reading one November - January. So either way.


message 17: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Blueberry wrote: "I will read Frankenstein in October...and I can do either for a big read. I think a quarterly read would be easier to remember but would actually enjoy reading one November - January. So either way."

I love Frankenstein. I have an annotated copy I bought a while back. I might read that along with you guys.


message 18: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 22, 2018 09:17AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
UPDATE

Big book - to Sept 31 - Lonesome Dove
August bonus (short) reads - Sirens of Titan, Siddhartha

Aug 15- Sept 30 - Their Eyes were Watching God
September - Diversity read - Americanah

Big book - Sept 1 to Dec 31 - War and Peace

October - Frankenstein

October or November - add another diversity book - e.g Tales of the City (We haven't read a book with an LGBTQ theme yet.)

November - GAR winner Winner

December - A light or humorous read (Adventure, Children's, or comedy book)

January - March 31 - Big book - The Count of Monte Cristo (or Don Quixote)
===========================
January ideas - I'd like to consider having two tracks each month.
Some possibilities

A. "Catch up with the hits" and "Discover a gem" (less well known gar books), The "hits" could be books from the top 20 or 40, or based on # of goodreads ratings.

B. An Old Classic (gar) and a Contemporary lit (gar) (with a date cutoff)

C. A GAR book (open noms) and a gar author's "better book" (I'd prefer different authors, but we might want to match them up.)

D. A themed gar read (a specific genre or other theme) and an open gar nomination.

E A gar book, and a "should have been on the list" book.

ADDED:
F. Books from major award lists, or other lists we vote on.


message 19: by Paula (new)

Paula NancyJ wrote: "UPDATE

Big book - to Sept 31 - Lonesome Dove
August bonus (short) reads - Sirens of Titan, Siddhartha

Aug 15- Sept 30 - Their Eyes were Watching God
September - Diversity read - Americanah

Big b..."


"should have been on the list book" is something we all say at one time or another, isn't it? I like this idea and it would lend itself well to a poll. Thanks for thinking of it.


message 20: by Court (new)

Court Hanner | 2 comments Will you consider reading my book? Inside My Soul by Court Hanner.


message 21: by Allegra (last edited Aug 21, 2018 09:30AM) (new)

Allegra | 11 comments One newcomers opinion about January Ideas (Message 18):
I'm still integrating this group with my other lists, but if I can offer my opinion, I like C and E.

A lot depends on how far you want to stray from the GAR, but to me A/B/D are reminiscent of a lot of GR groups. Two unrelated selections every month don't really show me anything, so I typically pick the one I'm more interested in and leave it at that. But if we read, say, a GAR author and their "better book," we can discuss the books individually and in comparison. Of course this could work with any of these (i.e., Classic and Contemporary about a single topic), but I don't know how they'd all match up.

Either way, when we're doing Big Reads, I definitely like the idea of having shorter reads to break it up. That way, anyone who's not interested or already finished the Big Read doesn't get shut out for 3 months. (I vote for quarterly.) I wish I'd been involved sooner so I could have joined Lonesome Dove


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments I kind of like the idea of comparing one author's GAR book and a "better" book by that author, because I've seen that come up a lot in threads. Straying away from the GAR list is gonna be way too open, I think.
Another idea that a local library used in their f2f club, and I don't know if it's possible by sticking with the GAR list, is to read a classic and then a modern takeoff or pastiche of that work. For example, we did the Great Gatsby and then a contemporary book by Chris Bohjalian that took off from the premise of Daisy and Gatsby having had a love child.....or a Dickens work, followed by "The Last Dickens". Zadie Smith's "On Beauty" with another classic work, etc.


message 23: by Allegra (new)

Allegra | 11 comments Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "I kind of like the idea of comparing one author's GAR book and a "better" book by that author, because I've seen that come up a lot in threads. Straying away from the GAR list is gonna be way too o..."

Your Local Library idea sounds fun, as long as we can find the pairings.


message 24: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Allegra wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "I kind of like the idea of comparing one author's GAR book and a "better" book by that author, because I've seen that come up a lot in threads. Straying away ..."

Yeah, I've had to work at the time it meets lately, and the librarian who fought to keep literature involved moved away.....some of the regulars were leaning toward making it a "pop fiction" book club (and the library has a general book club on Thurs nights, so....), so don't know that I would still like it. But it was a cool idea.


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Here's a question, in anticipation of a possible wrench being thrown in:
What if the winner (we've scheduled to read it for November) is a book that we've already read, such as Catch-22, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Just wondering.....


message 26: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Here's a question, in anticipation of a possible wrench being thrown in:
What if the winner (we've scheduled to read it for November) is a book that we've already read, such as Catch-22, or A Tree ..."


I would go with the #2 pick in that case. If it's a series, I would only commit to the first book.


message 27: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Court wrote: "Will you consider reading my book? Inside My Soul by Court Hanner."

It looks interesting Court, but it doesn't fit our mission. We're focusing on the Great American Read list right now, and might expand to other well known classics next year.


message 28: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Allegra wrote: "One newcomers opinion about January Ideas (Message 18):
I'm still integrating this group with my other lists, but if I can offer my opinion, I like C and E.

A lot depends on how far you want to s..."


Allegra wrote: "One newcomers opinion about January Ideas (Message 18):
I'm still integrating this group with my other lists, but if I can offer my opinion, I like C and E.

A lot depends on how far you want to s..."


Allegra, you still have plenty of time to read Lonesome Dove. The read goes to Sept 30, and other people are reading or starting it now too. It took me a month only because I read other books in between (and I did some of it on audio). It's a long book, but it's a pretty fast read. I really enjoyed it. It's about real life (albeit 100+ years ago in the wild west).

On the issue of pairing books versus having two separate ones:
I love the idea of pairing books, and it could lead to interesting discussions. It might also require a little more commitment from people.

The advantage to different books is that it gives people more flexibility if they are in other book clubs (in rl or here). Most of our current regulars have already read many of the books on the list. But there are many people who still haven't read many of the best books on the list. Two different tracks might satisfy both groups.

I'm thinking of reading this in October along with Frankenstein (it came highly recommended): Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley

I want to read East of Eden, and Grapes of Wrath, but they're so heavy I don't think I'd want to read them together.


message 29: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "I kind of like the idea of comparing one author's GAR book and a "better" book by that author, because I've seen that come up a lot in threads. Straying away from the GAR list is gonna be way too o..."

I like those pairings (though I"m not a big Dickens fan myself)!


message 30: by Linda (last edited Aug 22, 2018 06:56AM) (new)

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "I kind of like the idea of comparing one author's GAR book and a "better" book by that author, because I've seen that come up a lot in threads. Straying away ..."

It was paired with Edwin Drood, his last book. :)
Can work with anything, really, and might be a way to stay with/close to the GAR.


message 31: by Linda (last edited Aug 22, 2018 07:00AM) (new)

Linda  | 915 comments The pairing with Frankenstein sounds interesting, but I'm so horrible with non-fiction, and October is a busy month for those who teach Spanish......I'm just saying I make no promises.

I couldn't say with Steinbeck. I had to read "The Grapes" in hs, and hated it. Later picked up his "travels with Charlie", and liked it.....but haven't tried more Steinbeck since then (anything in English was away from my field, and I had to stick to my area because of lack of time and our long reading list).


message 32: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 22, 2018 09:23AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Paula wrote: " should have been on the list..."

Thanks Paula. To rein in the nomination ideas for the "should have been on the list" books, we might want to specify some criteria or minimum requirements - e.g. books on major award lists or other well regarded lists, with more than x number of ratings, or above a certain rating. I added an F option above


message 33: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "The pairing with Frankenstein sounds interesting, but I'm so horrible with non-fiction, and October is a busy month for those who teach Spanish......I'm just saying I make no promises.

I couldn't ..."


No problem - I'm not suggested the biography as a group read at all, but it's a book I've wanted to read for some time. (I might even put it off.) We might want to set up a thread just for recommendations for links to books, for future reading.

A lot of us are in more than one book club. One of my rl book clubs picked Owen Meany for next month so that worked out well for me. I think it's fine for people to pick just one of our books each month. I like having a choice.


message 34: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "The pairing with Frankenstein sounds interesting, but I'm so horrible with non-fiction, and October is a busy month for those who teach Spanish......I'm just ..."

I'm just one person! :) Because I have a f2f and most likely a conference paper to work on this year, I'll be in and out as I can.


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