Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 archive > August group read discussion: The Night Circus

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Discussion is open for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This month's discussion leader volunteer is Kenya.

Please use spoiler tags if you are sharing any plot related surprises.

Posts should be exclusively about this book.

When you've finished, be sure to post in the August Challenge - I finished! thread.


message 2: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 661 comments Hello, everyone! Back to lead another discussion, this time on "The Night Circus"! I'll post a few discussion questions every Sunday, though of course discussion won't necessarily be limited to those questions.

Going to start us off with a few basic questions before we all get started. Nothing spoiler-ish to start off with -- though as the month progresses I'll be hiding questions beneath a spoiler tag just to ensure that people who aren't terribly far along yet don't have upcoming surprises ruined for them.

Questions to start off with:

1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?


message 3: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Oh I forgot this was the group read for August and I'm reading it for buddy reads in the other group this month. Good timing!

1. The cover and the title drew me to it. The aesthetic was something that seemed very "me." It was on my list before this challenge.

2. I have always loved black, white, and red together. I will likely read any book with that color scheme on the cover. Otherwise the feel of the art just seems magical and mysterious. The circus itself intrigues me as I love The Greatest Showman movie and I love the book Caraval. The cover made me think of a mix of those.

3. I can't answer that on a grander scale than my own opinion. Hype doesn't usually effect whether or not I will read a book, except that if I'm not planning on reading something, and it shows up enough, I will finally look at the summary and if it sounds interesting I'll add to my TBR. It does tend to make me have higher expectations of books, so if I end up not liking it as much as the "hype" said I would, it disappoints me more than it would have sans hype.


message 4: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments I'm picking up my copy from the library tomorrow. Excited to start reading it.

1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?
I don't recall hearing about this book previously, so the challenge definitely drew me to the book.

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?
It is an intriguing cover, to be sure. Definitely gives a circus"y" vibe, but in a dark sense. I actually haven't even looked to see what the book is about, so I'm not even sure if it is about a real circus.

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?
Where was I in 2011? Apparently I missed the hype (or I've forgotten it because I'm old). I've never been one to not read a book because I feel like it is over-hyped. If it interests me, I don't care if it is the latest "it thing" or not.


message 5: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments I read this a month or two ago. I was waiting for this month but I didn’t make it lol

What drew you to read this book? From when I first joined Goodreads in October last year everyone recommended The Night Circus to me. I bought it waiting for the day I felt like reading it. It was a bonus that it worked for the challenge.

The cover. Yes the cover drew me in. It was one of the reasons I bought it when I did. I usually only buy books new that have nice covers. Shallow I know. Most of my second hand books aren’t as pretty.

Hype. Does it help or hinder? Hmmm that’s hard. A lot of people buy the over hyped books but do they read them. I have the Da Vinci Code, Game of Thrones and *whispers* Fifty Shades is Grey but have I read them. No. I think I’m in the minority with 50 Shades but whatever... I have bought some of the hyped books recently published and I have read them and been pleasantly surprised by them. Most of them are actually good. Then there’s the “I’m not buying that book because it will look like I’m a conformist/jumping on the bandwagon” person. A lot of people still haven’t read Harry Potter for that reason. Silly buggers. Harry Potter is magical.

It’s really a bit of both. Some don’t live up to the hype but others do. If the book’s good enough it will endure. As this one has.


message 6: by Allison (new)

Allison | 116 comments What challenge prompt is this book meant to fill?


message 7: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Twins


message 8: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments Urrgh I remember now why I dnf'd this years ago. Who writes in present tense? Or in second person for that matter? I'm finding it really jarring and I'm not sure it's something I'll get used to. I'll give it my normal 50 pages before I decide whether to dnf again.


message 9: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Although I read The Night Circus two years ago for 2016 challenge [NYTimes Best Seller Prompt], I decided to join the discussion because I am leading one soon and figured I needed to experience one! Kenya, I love the idea of a few questions each week to start off discussion.

My answers:

1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?

I bought the book when it was published in hardcover (2011) because of the cover, but actually got around to reading it in 2016 because a friends and their teenage daughter all recommended it, and it fit a 2016 prompt.

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?

The packaging first drew me to it - I had to own such a beautiful looking book! Black, white, red. A feminine hand in its palm holding a miniature circus -- or is that a cubist rendering of a person? Or both? Intriguing and beautiful.


3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?

It all depends on the book. I bought the book before there was any hype, and read it when I was ready. I absolutely loved it and whatever hype it got it desrved. I really did not know about the hype, frankly. I rarely read a book because it is hyped...but I don't usually avoid a book because it is hyped either. On those rare occasions when I do read a book that doesn't necessarily speak to me because it has been hyped, I either agree The Hate U Give or don't undestand the hype [[book:Wolf Hall|6101138]. A currently over-hyped book i have yet to acquire or read is A Man Called Ove. Likely will read it someday.


message 10: by Stacey (last edited Aug 05, 2018 10:59AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Allison wrote: "What challenge prompt is this book meant to fill?"

Most people here are likely using this for 30) A book with characters who are twins as Nadine stated but I'm going to be using it for 8) A book with a time of day in the title since I've already read another book this year with twin protagonists.

Discussion

1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?

The challenge & sheer luck/convenience drew me to this book!

When it came out in 2011, I was a university student with no spare time for much extracurricular reading so I actually didn't even hear about this book until this year! I hadn't actually planned specifically to read it but my local library had a withdrawn book/charity yard sale 2 weeks ago where I snapped it up for dirt cheap! (It was fill a grocery bag with books for $2!) I knew that it was an upcoming monthly read here and figured I might as well snatch it up and join in as I enjoyed the last one that I participated in! I also knew it would fulfill one of my remaining prompts. :)

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?

At first glance, I thought the tents on the cover were actually a doll (lol...I didn't look closely at all) and I noticed the hand immediately. My impression at that point was that there might be an element of a mastermind/puppeteer behind the scenes type of story line included here which the synopsis also hints at. After further reflection, it looks whimsical and the elaborate swirl shapes really stand out to me. I'm lukewarm as far as personal appeal.

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?

I think that hype generally helps a book in terms of sales and popularity in both the long and short term & certainly affects Hollywood. I think a lot of people (especially more casual readers) read books that they hear other people talking about or pick up books so that they can find out what all the fuss is about.

In terms of personal appeal it can go either way for me. Hype certainly isn't everything! Some hyped books turn out to be some of my favourites (Harry Potter, The Selection), while others have been some of the worst books I've read or DNF (The Kite Runner, An American Marriage) and some I'm just lukewarm/meh on (50 Shades, Turtles All The Way Down).

Lastly, special thanks to Kenya for stepping up to be the discussion leader last minute!!


message 11: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments 1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?
I attempted to read this book in 2014 but I gave up pretty early on because I hated the writing style (as you can see from my little tantrum above). Since then a few people who have similar tastes in books to me have said that I should give it another chance so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do so.

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?
It's a very pretty cover but I've always been more swayed by plot than aesthetics. Plus I'm reading the ebook so I don't see the cover much.

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?
I think hype definitely helps a book. Every author wants the word to get out about their book. It might put some people out but those will be vastly outnumbered by those who hear about, and pick up the book because of the hype.


message 12: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Stacey wrote: "
Allison wrote: "What challenge prompt is this book meant to fill?"


Most people here are likely using this for 30) A book with characters who are twins as Nadine stated but I'm going to be usin..."


I thought the cover was a doll when I saw it too! Granted, I really only see the cover as the thumbnail image on goodreads and now my ipad. I do think it's interesting that it looks like that at first glance.


message 13: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 661 comments Hopefully people have gotten a chance to at least start the novel this week. A few preliminary questions to start us off -- will hide under a spoiler tag in case people haven't started yet.

(view spoiler)


message 14: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
I thought the cover was a doll, too!! I never realized it's a circus!


message 15: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Kenya wrote: "Hopefully people have gotten a chance to at least start the novel this week. A few preliminary questions to start us off -- will hide under a spoiler tag in case people haven't started yet."

(view spoiler)


message 16: by Jess (last edited Aug 06, 2018 04:36AM) (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments (view spoiler)


message 17: by Sonali (new)

Sonali Ekka | 86 comments 1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?
I started reading this book simply because of this month's reading challenge.

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?
I didn't pay much attention to the cover :D

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run?
I wasn't aware of any hype created by this book, nor had I even heard of its name until now.


message 18: by Stacey (last edited Aug 07, 2018 10:48AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who initially thought the cover had a doll!!

Funny story: So I had bought this book at the library sale in mid July as I mentioned before but had forgotten that I was going to read it for this year's challenge and sent my copy home with my sister after she visited near the end of July! (We usually swap a couple books when we visit!) I'd even forgotten that I'd done that and started discussing the cover here before I started reading because I wasn't at home last week and by sheer coincidence one of my friends just sent me his e-book copy and told me I had to check it out! Apparently, I'm really supposed to be reading this book with you guys! ;)

I was messaging my sister last night and turns out she had just started reading it too! So I had her to join the PS challenge group here to discuss with us! I'm not sure if she will join in with the PS prompts this year or not since it's already August but she loves to discuss books so I'm sure she will pop in this thread at some point! =)

Anyways, so far I'm 26% through the book & just finished the chapter where ...(view spoiler)

Onto the Discussion

(view spoiler)

A few more discussion questions & some extra thoughts...

(view spoiler)


message 19: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6320 comments Mod
Stacey that is so funny! Perfect timing all around!!


message 20: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Nadine wrote: "Stacey that is so funny! Perfect timing all around!!"

For sure! I'm glad it all worked out! :)
I have so much on my TBR these days that I forget what I had planned for the challenge & what's for fun! :P


message 21: by Megan (new)

Megan Kindred | 65 comments 1. What drew you to read this book? Is it a book that was on your to-read list before this challenge, or did the challenge itself draw you to the book?
What really drew me to this book initially was the title and context of the magical circus. I love magical realism, and while I know there is some debate about if this book is fantasy or magical realism, it falls into a category of book I tend to like.

2. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but what impressions do you draw from this book's cover? Does it appeal to you or not?
I love the font of the title on the cover and the color scheme. I also like the image of the circus that appears to be made from the paper cut out.

3. "The Night Circus" attracted a lot of attention when it was published in 2011. Do you think "hype" such as this helps or hinders a book, both in the short and the long run? I don't remember this hype, but I tend to think a lot of hype helps books initially, but then it tends to fizzle out some.


message 22: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments I changed my answer to number 2 in the spoiler-hidden round of questions...

(view spoiler)


message 23: by Teri (last edited Aug 09, 2018 11:23AM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments Second set of questions:

(view spoiler)


message 24: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments Stacey's questions:

(view spoiler)


message 25: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments (view spoiler)


message 26: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Nadine wrote: "I thought the cover was a doll, too!! I never realized it's a circus!"

Actually, I'm pretty sure I initially thought clown...given title had circus in it, but definitely agree that 'doll' fits too!


message 27: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Stacey's Discussion Questions:

(view spoiler)


message 28: by Stacey (last edited Aug 10, 2018 11:28AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments SarahKat wrote: (view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

Theresa wrote: (view spoiler)

(view spoiler)


message 29: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments Theresa wrote: "As I said in my review after reading it in 2016: 'It is not fixed in time or place, more like Brigadoon, touching the world from time to time but existing within its own unique situs. The paths meander and circle towards each other, drawing closer and closer until they merge into the final event ... know that the Night Circus continues to this day. I dream that one night soon it appears near me, and I will don a red scarf and lose myself in it. "

Dang, if this is the way you write book reviews, I need to start following you. That's just beautiful.


message 30: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Teri wrote: "Theresa wrote: "As I said in my review after reading it in 2016: 'It is not fixed in time or place, more like Brigadoon, touching the world from time to time but existing within its own unique situ..."

Dang, if this is the way you write book reviews, I need to start following you. That's just beautiful.


Thank you, Teri, and I would be honored to have you follow me! I can't promise that all my reviews are quite as lyrical {I surprise myself sometimes when I look back]...but really wonderful books do inspire me!


message 31: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments Stacey wrote: (view spoiler)

(view spoiler)


message 32: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 661 comments I hope everyone is enjoying this book so far. And it seems the cover art inspired quite a bit of discussion. Also, thank you, Stacey, for providing some additional discussion questions!

Questions for this week (hiding in case of spoilers):

(view spoiler)


message 33: by Teri (last edited Aug 13, 2018 02:06PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments Third Set of Questions:

(view spoiler)


message 34: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments (view spoiler)


message 35: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments I have actually already finished this book as I had a long plane journey. I won't discuss anything further than where we are discussing though.
(view spoiler)


message 36: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments I have a discussion question, and one that does not need spoiler tags to post although you might want to use spoiler tags with your answer:

Question: Have you ever experienced someplace that could be a real life Night Circus (not the competition just the Night Circus itself)?

My Answer (I put in spoilers in case anyone wants to post before seeing what others say): (view spoiler)


message 37: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments That sounds amazing, Theresa.


message 38: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments Theresa wrote: "I have a discussion question, and one that does not need spoiler tags to post although you might want to use spoiler tags with your answer:

Question: Have you ever experienced someplace that could..."


That sounds like someplace I definitely need to go. I wish it was going to be in Denver already when I'll be there next summer. Maybe we'll stop at the one in Vegas on our way to Disneyland in 2020.


message 39: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 661 comments Theresa, that sounds amazing! And very much like a real-life Night Circus. Sadly, I've never been anywhere similar...


message 40: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Third set of questions!

(view spoiler)


message 41: by May (new)

May Mcvicker (maymcvicker) | 8 comments I read this book years ago and it still one of my favourite books ever read. It is a beautiful book, scared to read it again to find out it isn't as amazing as I remember it being


message 42: by Teri (last edited Aug 21, 2018 10:13AM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments I finished it last night. This book is magical!

I couldn't imagine how they were going to resolve this, and it was a very clever and imaginative way. Perhaps not exactly how I would have done it, but likely in the way that it should be.


message 43: by Teri (last edited Aug 21, 2018 10:25AM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1206 comments A couple of questions I found for those who have finished the book:

(view spoiler)

And one of my own:

(view spoiler)

My answers:

(view spoiler)


message 44: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1769 comments (view spoiler)


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