Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Archives > [2019] Voting for 5th Mini-Poll

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message 1: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (last edited Jul 17, 2018 02:32PM) (new)

Laura | 3783 comments Mod
Voting is now open!

The entire Around the Year challenge list is generated by the group members. We enjoyed the process so much in the past three years that we are creating another list for 2019.

The Process:
The topics for the 2019 RC list will be determined through around 13 mini-polls. Each user will vote for their favorite 4 topics in each mini-poll, which will then add up to the 52 topics (13 polls x 4 topics/poll=52 weekly topics). Suggestions for each poll will be opened until 15-20 suggestions are received+seconded. Then a poll will be opened for voting for one week so you can select your 4 favorite suggestions. This timeframe allows for a completed list in October-November.

The Rules:
- Vote for your TOP 4 and BOTTOM 4 - You are allowed to vote for less than 4
- Voting for a linked prompt only counts as one vote. If the results have a top 5 or 6 then it will simply make up for some of our shorter results in polls 2 and 3.
- Voting ends July 23
- One vote per poll per user

- see the suggestions thread for more details on some entries.

1. A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare
2. A book linked to one of your favorite songs or artists
3. A book that's sad, depressing, devastating or dark
4. A book with a weird or intriguing title
5. A book from a GR list of lesser known books recommended by people in the ATY group
6. A book based on a "classic" monster (eg. vampire, mummy, swamp monster, Frankenstein, zombie)
7. A book about the expatriate experience (characters living abroad and away from their home countries)
8. A book that takes place (mainly) on a mode of transport
9. A book with a meteorological phenomena in the title
10. A book by an author from an island
11. A book set in a place that starts with "I" (country, state, city, etc)
12. Two books: A book with a female protagonist & a book with a male protagonist who are in the same profession
13. A book published in a special-to-you year (birth, graduation, marriage, child born, etc.)
14. A book with a month in the title during that month
15. A book with a (mostly) black cover

Survey Link


message 2: by Angie (new)

Angie That was actually kind of tough! There were so many great prompts this time around. I'm really intrigued by the ATY group-made list. It's the kind of fun, interactive thing that would probably introduce me to lots of new titles.

Only one really stood out to me as a bottom, and I could live with it.


message 3: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (soapsuds) | 154 comments Angie wrote: "That was actually kind of tough! There were so many great prompts this time around. I'm really intrigued by the ATY group-made list. It's the kind of fun, interactive thing that would probably intr..."

I suggested the group-made list because I was going through my “favourites “ list a few days ago and noticed that several of my favourites haven’t received many ratings. Some are work related, but others like

The Way the Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald (which is about abuse/murder) or

The Time in Between by Maria Duenas (about a seamstress in Spain who becomes a spy for the English during the war and “stiches” her messages in hems of clothing)

are among my favourites but they never made it big, perhaps because of poor marketing or because MacDonald is Canadian and Duenas’ book is translated from Spanish. Whatever the reason, I wondered how many of us know of great books that few seem to know about.... Anyways I’m hoping that even if it doesn’t make it as a prompt, perhaps we could start a discussion topic discussing people’s little known treasures.


message 4: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 2020 comments I think, I'm in the minority with not being very inspired with this list. I ended up with 3 tops and 1 bottom.

I do like that this week we went to 15 selections.


message 5: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 2095 comments I have a lot of books I could contribute to the group list (several favorites of mine have less than 100 ratings!) but it's so hard to put that prompt in my Top Four without knowing what books will be on the list or how many choices there will be. I mean, what if it's 50 books that I have zero interest in?

Overall, this is just a very difficult vote. My Bottom Four are an easy choice but I really don't know for sure about my Top Four. There really are some super options this time!


message 6: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 8310 comments Mod
I totally agree dalex! I am so intrigued by prompt, and I would love to make a list like that, but it's hard to commit to reading one book off of a list that is so unknown. I am wavering between top and bottom with that one.

2 of the 4 bottoms were clear to me... I have a few I want to research before I decide if I want to vote for 4 bottoms or just leave the two.

I'm deciding between 6(!!) for my tops. I think I'm going to take my time with this vote and do some real research before committing. Y'all have inspired me to dig a bit deeper before casting my vote!


message 7: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1393 comments Well I reluctantly narrowed it down to 4 top. There was only one bottom for me this time.
Excellent suggestions everyone.


message 8: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (soapsuds) | 154 comments Emily wrote: "I totally agree dalex! I am so intrigued by prompt, and I would love to make a list like that, but it's hard to commit to reading one book off of a list that is so unknown. I am wavering between to..."

I thought of that too. I’d first look to see if there are any books on the list already on my tbr list. Then I’d look at books suggested by people on this list that have similar interests as I do. If nothing interests me, then I’d choose my own favourite suggestion as a re-read. I know that I’d at least like that one presumably!


message 9: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 8310 comments Mod
That’s a great idea, and I love rereading books! I think, at the very least, I’m not going to downvote the suggestion. I really am interested by it, and what more can you ask for in a prompt?


message 10: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3468 comments I loved how inventive a lot of the suggestions were this round - only fifteen prompts is a very welcome change. It was much easier to choose.


message 11: by Stacey (new)

Stacey D.  | 1787 comments Great list!

Note to Laura - the date survey ends noted at the top of this discussion still reads as July 15. Please change:))


message 12: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 1687 comments Sophie wrote: "Anyways I’m hoping that even if it doesn’t make it as a prompt, perhaps we could start a discussion topic discussing people’s little known treasures...."

Let's make the list, even if that prompt doesn't win, it could be a wonderful resource!!! You can start it in Listopia and then give us the link, we can all add to it.


message 13: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1393 comments I agree with Nadine, we should start a list. I think the rules suggested were 1 book each which you rated high and very few ratings on GR. It may give people an idea of what they will be voting for.
Those of us doing a rejects challenge can also use it if it does not make our official list too.


message 14: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 1687 comments I was thinking we could each add several books (more choices for everyone else, right?), but we should agree on the criteria for the books to be added. It should be a book that we read and gave five stars to, and has less than ??? how many ratings on GR? Less than 1,000? 5,000? 10,000? 12,000? 15,000?


message 15: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 8310 comments Mod
I just looked at my five star books and the only ones that have less than 50,000 ratings are the ones that came out this year.

I'm not sure if that says more about the books I read or the amount of ratings books have in general, but maybe we can limit it to something a little higher, like 30,000 or 40,000? I think that's still pretty low, but gives us more options in suggestions.


message 16: by Bryony, Circumnavigation Mod (new)

Bryony (bryony46) | 1081 comments Mod
I love the idea of a list of less well-known books. I just looked over my own Goodreads shelves and I have 16 books that I rated five stars which have less than 10,000 ratings, including 7 that have less than 5,000 ratings and 4 that have less than 1,000 ratings.

Maybe it’s the genres I read, but I have several books by very well-known authors (Margaret Atwood, Gabriel García Márquez, Graham Greene, T.S. Eliot, Jonas Jonasson) that have less than 40,000 ratings, so for me having a higher ratings limit would mean I’d be recommending books and authors that I think of as quite famous already. I guess it’s probably different for other genres though, I tend to read quite a lot of classics and literary fiction so maybe they’re just less popular and so that’s why they have fewer ratings.

I’m excited about the list no matter what limit we pick though. :-)


message 17: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 8310 comments Mod
Bryony, I’m glad you weighed in. I don’t have a lot of 5 star books to begin with, so I wasn’t sure if it was just the books I was choosing or if the average number of ratings was just higher than I imagined.

Looks like I like to read the popular books haha! I do have 2 with less than 15,000, so maybe that can be the limit? High enough to allow for more people to weigh in, but still low in ratings?


message 18: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2783 comments I suggest the # of ratings be no higher than 20,000. I would go as low as 10,000 if we really want lesser-known books! (I have some that are under 2,000.) And, I would go with 4 or 5 Stars. I would also exclude books published in the last 12 months.


message 19: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 2095 comments Yesterday, while thinking about the group-list prompt, I made a very quick list of my obscure 5 Stars and have 12 under 1,000 ratings and 20 under 3,000. Based on that I would suggest a limit of 5,000. But based on what Emily said, that might be too low for many people.

I think we should each be able to add 2-3 books instead of just 1. The more books on the list, the greater the possibility of each person finding something they would like to read.

Maybe we should add some parameters? Publication date would obviously have an impact on the number of ratings a book has, so maybe only books that have been available for at least one year? And another thing to consider is availability. Should we make a "rule" to exclude books? - only available digitally, out of print, published by very small presses, only available in certain countries (like, some Australian books are almost impossible to get in the USA), etc.


message 20: by Bryony, Circumnavigation Mod (new)

Bryony (bryony46) | 1081 comments Mod
15,000 sounds like a good idea to me, Emily. I think we need to make sure it works for everyone in the group no matter what genres they enjoy. I’m sure that for some of the most popular genres books with that many ratings will be lesser known.

And of course if the limit is 15,000, that doesn’t mean that people who like the less popular genres can’t just decide to be more selective and only suggest books with say 2,000 ratings.


message 21: by Marie (new)

Marie | 820 comments I tend not to like the prompts that are based on reading something someone else recommends, but I love the idea of this group list.

I've just looked at my read books and I'm surprised by some of the authors that have less than 50,000 ratings for some of their books (Terry Pratchett and Janet Evanovich especially). As I was going through the list I was "ooh, I love that one, I should re-read it", so choosing something to add will be tricky - setting a lower limit for number of ratings would help me narrow down my options if nothing else.


message 22: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3468 comments I think 15,000 is a nice limit. I also like the idea of adding our four star books - I'd absolutely recommend most of the books that I've rated four stars, so I don't think it should be restricted to five-star only, especially as some of us (not me!) are very particular about what books they rate at five stars.

I don't think any other parameters need to be added. If we can't get a book, so be it - it's up to each of us individually if we are interested enough in a book to go to more-than-usual lengths to obtain a copy.


message 23: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1314 comments I just want to point out that not all of us live in an English speaking country, so some of the lesser known books can be difficult for some to get hold of.
I searched for the 20 books from dalex's list of 5 star books with less than 2000 ratings and I could only find one of them from my book sources. And I would be forced to read it in English, which isn't always a problem but it depends on the book.


message 24: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 1687 comments That is an issue I hadn't thought of. Lesser-known books generally are not chosen to be translated into other languages. I don't think that's a problem for the list itself, but it would become a problem if this is a challenge category.


message 25: by Pam (last edited Jul 17, 2018 06:33AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2783 comments I agree with Dalex’s comment about being able to add 2-3 books. But, I would suggest not too many other parameters, other than ratings and publish date.

Availability is always an issue for some people, depending on where they live and their library resources. US libraries can do an intra-library loan (ILL) search, if your library does not own the book you’re looking for. Also, people don’t always realize that you can join a library without living in that city. If you use Overdrive or Libby, you can check out e-books and never step foot in the library.


message 26: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2783 comments Nadine wrote: "That is an issue I hadn't thought of. Lesser-known books generally are not chosen to be translated into other languages. I don't think that's a problem for the list itself, but it would become a pr..."

I absolutely agree with you! I love the idea of creating the list but not using it for a prompt. Translations can be a problem. Also, as Dalex pointed out, books published in other countries such as Australia can be difficult to find in the US. I wouldn’t exclude them from the list, but we should recognize that they’re not necessarily accessible to everyone, which makes this list more difficult as a prompt.


message 27: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Sterling | 452 comments This was a fairly easy vote for me. I had some favorites and some I didn't want, but I would be happy with most of the suggestions, even if I didn't vote for them. I also liked only have 15 prompts to choose from this time.

As for the list, I looked through my list and didn't have very many 5-star reviews for lesser known books (under 15,000-20,000 ratings). I did have a few, but most of them were children's or middle grade books that I have read with my son or were published in the past year. I would still have a couple I would recommend, but it will be interesting to see what others have. I agree that we could run into a problem with people in other countries who may not have access to many of the lesser known books.


message 28: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 2095 comments In my opinion, the mods should have the final say in the parameters of the list and perhaps even set it up for us. Hopefully one of them will pop in here soonish and give their input on this whole idea.


message 29: by Rachelnyc (new)

Rachelnyc | 943 comments I'm glad there is so much interest in creating the list even if it doesn't become a prompt since I too find it very intriguing.

I also agree it should be 4 and 5 star book and I would say 15,000 or maybe even 20,000 ratings as a parameter since perhaps those will be easier to find.

Pam, is that really true about joining a library without having to actually live in the city? I guess it varies by location because my library is pretty strict and even if you fill out the application online, you need to visit the library with proof of residence before you have access to resources.


message 30: by Megan (new)

Megan | 21 comments My votes:

Top
Book with a classic monster
Year special-to-you
Book with a month in the title read in the month

Bottom
Expatriate experience
Author from an island


message 31: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 1687 comments I was wondering about that, too. The libraries I belong to (and belonged to in past) all require some proof of residency. Each library system has its own rules. NYPL will issue a card to any NY State resident, you don't need to be a city resident.


message 32: by Rachelnyc (new)

Rachelnyc | 943 comments Nadine wrote: "NYPL will issue a card to any NY Sta..."

Really?! No wonder I have to wait so long to get a popular ebook! ;)


message 33: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1393 comments The libraries where I live require you to live, work or go to school in the city.


message 34: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1393 comments Regarding the list and translations, we have people from all over the world who participate. This means that we maybe adding books only available in those countries as well. In the long run this may mean that everyone will have choices available to them.
I have noticed people teasing ebooks before as well. I do not know how it is done, but can that be an option?


message 35: by Chrissy (last edited Jul 17, 2018 09:52AM) (new)

Chrissy | 932 comments So, can folks who have strong preferences FOR a certain prompt start talking about why? People seem really reticent to state which topics they like for some reason, but I would find it helpful to hear others' thinking about which prompts would be the most fun and fruitful for finding interesting, diverse types of books. I tend to like prompts that provide some direction (narrow down my choices) but not too much, so I can still choose between a few different books that I think I'll like.

Right now with that in mind, I think I'm leaning toward:
Shakespeare-inspired
author from an island
dual pick: same profession, different gender (which is how I would suggest rewording it and how I'd interpret it if chosen)

I'm intrigued by the group list, but the discussion here makes me leery that we won't come to a consensus that makes everyone happy. Has anyone actually started a List yet? I definitely think people should be able to suggest more than one book each, so the list is long and diverse enough to give everyone some good choices. I have a bunch of books with less than 15,000 ratings and a 5-star from me, and most of them I would be so excited to share with others.

I also think the weird or intriguing title is an interesting idea, but maybe too open for me?

I'm going to wait a day or two to see if further discussion helps me decide!


message 36: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 646 comments Rachelnyc wrote: "Nadine wrote: "NYPL will issue a card to any NY Sta..."

Really?! No wonder I have to wait so long to get a popular ebook! ;)"


It's true. I live on Long Island and just recently got a NYPL card. I just had to scan my license and email it.


message 37: by Katie (last edited Jul 17, 2018 12:31PM) (new)

Katie | 2362 comments As for the list of books, I would suggest that members could post up to three "lesser known" books that they love and would want to recommend. I personally think that the person recommending them should be able to decide what they consider worth recommending & lesser known instead of assigning a required star rating or number of ratings.


message 38: by Pam (last edited Jul 17, 2018 11:56AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2783 comments Wrt my library comment, some libraries with large circulations, like the NYPL, allow you to join, for an annual fee, if you aren’t a resident. In New Mexico, the 2 city library systems I use allow any NM resident to join for free. I suspect/hope other cities/states have similar policies. Whether you have to physically present yourself depends on the library. There is a webpage that lists libraries you can join without being a resident. I mentioned this because I see people on Facebook commenting about their small libraries. I am very fortunate that I have two fantastic city library systems within 20 minutes from my house.

The ILL option is helpful, too, but they can be restrictive if it’s a new/popular book, there is no renewal option, and they have high late fees. I found one of my favorite books this way!


message 39: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 704 comments I think that is a great idea, Katie. It simplifies the process. I'd be willing to do that even if the topic doesn't win.


message 40: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 2095 comments Chrissy wrote: "So, can folks who have strong preferences FOR a certain prompt start talking about why? People seem really reticent to state which topics they like for some reason, but I would find it helpful to hear others' thinking..."

I agree! I'd love to hear the thought processes that lead people towards selecting a certain prompt.

I really like....
A book by Shakespeare or inspired by Shakespeare (because it is so open to interpretation - you can either go the very narrow route, like a book that is based on a Shakespeare play, or very broad, like a book with a character with the same name as a character from Shakespeare)
Pick one of your favorite songs and select a book that you can link to the song or artist (because I love music and I think it would be fun to consider what song would fit perfectly on the soundtrack for a particular book - which is a slightly different way of looking at the prompt than how it is actually worded)
A book with a meteorological phenomena in the title and A book that's sad, depressing, devastating or dark (because I have a lot of books that would work)
A pair of books where one has a male protagonist and another a female protagonist who work the same profession (This sounds like so much fun to "scavenger hunt" for and I think the challenge needs more character-based prompts.)

I wish the expatriate challenge gave the option of expatriate OR immigrant. They are similar terms - people living in a foreign country - but an expatriate intends to go home while immigrants do not. I have a TON of immigrant books but basically no expatriate books on my TBR List.


message 41: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1314 comments Chrissy wrote: "So, can folks who have strong preferences FOR a certain prompt start talking about why? People seem really reticent to state which topics they like for some reason, but I would find it helpful to h..."

I don't have strong preferences for any certain prompts but I'm not keen on the month related prompt. Every year there are a bunch of people who read in order, which could be difficult if the prompts is number 47 on the list and the book you want to read is a book with February in the titel.
Of course there's the possibility of just reading a book with a month in the titel, but then it doesn't really make sense how the prompt is worded now.


message 42: by Rachelnyc (new)

Rachelnyc | 943 comments Thanks for the clarification Pam. I didn't realize those options existed and that is good to know for people who aren't fortunate to live somewhere with a great library system.

To address Chrissy's comment, I am most intrigued by the group list prompt. Perhaps it is the optimist in me but I am confident that this group would come up with some excellent options. Even if half the people who typically vote in the polls submit 2-3 suggestions, we'll have at a minimum 100-150 options.

I also like Katie's suggestion that the members use thieir own discretion when adding books to the list. Looking over my own, there are a few that have 20-30,000 ratings that I never hear people talk about that I would like to nominate and if we had a 15,000 rating cap, I wouldn't be able to.

I also like the Shakespeare prompt. I've finally come to the conclusion that reading his works is just not for me (I much prefer seeing them performed live) but I like the idea of finding books that are inspired by his works since he is so prolific and has influenced most writers in one way or another.


message 43: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2783 comments The 3 prompts I like are the one related to a favorite song or artist, author from an Island, and the weird/intriguing title. The first two require a little more thinking about to get to a book! That’s what I like about the challenge, though. A Weird/intriguing title is subjective but who hasn’t been drawn to a title because it’s different or odd and you think What’s that about?? That’s the kind of book I would look for! Good job everyone in coming up w a great selection to choose from.


message 44: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (soapsuds) | 154 comments In terms of the group list, I had suggested that we limit people to one recommendation because I wanted people to suggest their very best, most favourite books (not necessarily all of their top rated books), and also that the list did not become too long or heavily weighted towards a few specific people’s interests just because they added many more than others. So I guess, in terms of restrictions, a 2-3 book limit is a good compromise. The number of actual ratings really doesn’t need to be set, although books with a huge amount of ratings wouldn’t really be a real choice for people. I assume that most of us have heard of highly popular books, and if we haven’t already read them, then it’s probably because they don’t interest us that much. For example, Pride and Prejudice is among my favourites, but I wouldn’t recommend it because people who like classics probably have read it already and people who don’t, won’t or already know it’s good and have it on their tbr.

Perhaps we could creat the list now, and if there is enough interest once people have seen it, we could resuggest the prompt later? Or if the prompt wins this round, we could discuss later whether to recant it if many people aren’t finding the group list compelling?


message 45: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 3277 comments Pam wrote: "Wrt my library comment, some libraries with large circulations, like the NYPL, allow you to join, for an annual fee, if you aren’t a resident. In New Mexico, the 2 city library systems I use (Albuq..."

In my area every library allows nonmembers to join for a fee. I didn't realize that all libraries were not like that.


message 46: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3468 comments Katie wrote: "As for the list of books, I would suggest that members could post up to three "lesser known" books that they love and would want to recommend. I personally would think that the person recommending them should be able to decide what they consider worth recommending & lesser known instead of assigning a required star rating or number of ratings. "

I totally agree. I think you and the other mods have enough on your plates without having to police this. We're (mostly) all adults here, and not everything has to be analysed and moderated.

BTW, you know I voted for your suggestion. Bring on the dark, baby.


message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1048 comments Did anyone else have to go back to the survey page and press the finish button again after completing the survey?


message 48: by Katie (last edited Jul 17, 2018 12:51PM) (new)

Katie | 2362 comments Well yeah, Jody, I totally had you in mind. When I suggested it, I was like, well if no one else seconds it, I know Jody will.


message 49: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3468 comments LOL Katie! I was bummed that I didn't get in quick enough to second it.


message 50: by Peter (new)

Peter | -20 comments Jody wrote: "Katie wrote: "As for the list of books, I would suggest that members could post up to three "lesser known" books that they love and would want to recommend. I personally would think that the person..."

I agree 100%. I don't think we need to have numerical limit on the list.


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