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Archive > Group Read -> November 2018 -> Nomination thread (A book about World War One won by A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry)

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message 1: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
I'm posting few days before the end of the month as I'm away for a long weekend.


Every month we will discuss a book on a specific era or a theme.

This book will be the winner of a group poll.

The approximate timings are...

Start of the month - request nominations
6th of the month - publish poll
11th of the month - announce winner


Our next theme is World War One


We will be reading and discussing the winning book in November 2018

If you feel inspired, please nominate a book about World War One that you would like to read and discuss.

It can be either fiction or non-fiction.

Please supply the title, author, a brief synopsis, and anything else you'd like to mention about the book, and why you think it might make a good book to discuss.

If your nomination wins then please be willing to fully participate in the subsequent discussion.

Happy nominating.




message 2: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
We are approaching the centenary of the Armistice of 11 November 1918. I am not aware of any books that specifically focus on this aspect of the conflict.

Do you know of any?

Armistice of 11 November 1918
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armisti...

Armistice - The End of World War I
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ar...


Celebration in Paris - Nov 11, 1918


message 3: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 753 comments I can't think of anything about the armistice, and I don't have time to write a long precis, but A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry gives an unusual perspective on the war from the point of view of Irish soldiers, who were anything but feted heroes when they came home in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. It has some pretty graphic descriptions of the chaos of war too.


message 4: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Thanks Hugh. I'm assuming that's not a nomination - but a suggestion of an interesting alternative perspective on WW1 for others to consider.

Hugh wrote: "A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry gives an unusual perspective on the war from the point of view of Irish soldiers, who were anything but feted heroes when they came home in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. It has some pretty graphic descriptions of the chaos of war too"

A Long Long Way sounds very intriguing

The blurb....
Praised as a “master storyteller” (The Wall Street Journal) and hailed for his “flawless use of language” (Boston Herald), Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side.  Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie’s personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.




message 5: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 753 comments I'd be happy to nominate it if there is enough interest


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
I'll take it as a nomination, if that's OK Hugh? It sounds like a good book and, as you say, an interesting and less-discussed aspect of the War.

If other members are attracted to it then they will vote for it in the poll.


message 7: by Nigeyb (last edited Aug 29, 2018 05:22AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
I've been looking around for books that deal with the end of the war and this seems to be the best of the bunch, so I nominate....

Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd

Nick Lloyd's Hundred Days: The End of the Great War explores the brutal, heroic and extraordinary final days of the First World War. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent. The Armistice, which brought the Great War to an end, marked a seminal moment in modern European and World history. Yet the story of how the war ended remains little-known.

In this compelling and ground-breaking new study, Nick Lloyd examines the last days of the war and asks the question: How did it end? Beginning at the heralded turning-point on the Marne in July 1918, Hundred Days: The End of the Great War traces the epic story of the next four months, which included some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Using unpublished archive material from five countries, this new account reveals how the Allies - British, French, American and Commonwealth - managed to beat the German Army, by now crippled by indiscipline and ravaged by influenza, and force her leaders to seek peace.


The reviews on GoodReads and Amazon UK are very positive.


Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd


Elizabeth (Alaska) As to the Armistice itself, I know of Keneally's novelization Gossip from the Forest. While it does not read like non-fiction, I'm fairly certain this is based in fact and is a very good read. Here are some others that deal with the time period and its aftermath:

Victory 1918 by Alan Warwick Palmer
The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall Of The Ottoman Empire And The Creation Of The Modern Middle East

About the Treaty is Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. I think there are several like this.

About the final battle is To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918. The Germans were mostly defeated, and the soldiers and civilians nearly starving, when this battle happened.

These are not nominations by me, however, just some that deal with the specific time of war's end. I have read the Keneally, and will read the Meuse-Argonne next month. It is the battle when my grandfather was killed on the first day - September 26 - and I will be reading it for this one of nearly 20 million who gave their lives.


message 9: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Aug 29, 2018 07:33AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) My nomination is not the one I expected to have when I posted over the WWI history thread. My nomination is:

A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot.



From the GR blurb (and I know nothing else at this point, but am very anxious to read this, and ordered it immediately I learned about it recently):

In January 1917, five wounded French soldiers, their hands bound behind them, are brought to the front at Picardy by their own troops, forced into the no-man's land between the French and German armies, and left to die in the cross fire. Their brutal punishment has been hushed up for more than two years when Mathilde Donnay, unable to walk since childhood, begins a relentless quest to find out whether her fiancé, officially "killed in the line of duty," might still be alive. Tipped off by a letter from a dying soldier, the shrewd, sardonic, and wonderfully imaginative Mathilde scours the country for information about the men. As she carries her search to its end, an elaborate web of deception and coincidence emerges, and Mathilde comes to an understanding of the horrors, and the acts of kindness, brought about by war.

A runaway bestseller in France and the winner of the 1991 Prix Interallié, this astonishing novel is many things at once: an absorbing mystery, a playful study of the different ways one story can be told, a moving and incisive portrait of life in France during and after the First World War, and a love story of transforming power and beauty.


message 10: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Thanks Elizabeth - that's another very tempting nomination


I've read one of your Armistice related suggestions, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, adn very fine it is too


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Some great suggestions already. I think I will refrain from nominating this month as I can already see I will find it hard to choose.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Nigeyb wrote: "Thanks Elizabeth - that's another very tempting nomination


I've read one of your Armistice related suggestions, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, adn very fin..."


Thank you for the thumb's up on that one. I'll see if I can squeeze it in.


message 13: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Nigeyb wrote: "Thanks Hugh. I'm assuming that's not a nomination - but a suggestion of an interesting alternative perspective on WW1 for others to consider.

Hugh wrote: "A Long Long Way by [author:..."


SECOND! THIRD! FOURTH!!

Love this one!! Not just WWI but also the Irish Rebellion.


message 14: by Jan C (last edited Aug 29, 2018 08:26AM) (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "My nomination is not the one I expected to have when I posted over the WWI history thread. My nomination is:

A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot.


From the ..."


This was an excellent book. I gave it 5 stars and I don't do that very often.

Not sure how to link to my review. I don't think there are any spoilers in it.


message 15: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Aug 29, 2018 08:30AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Jan's Review of A Very Long Engagement.

Jan - you could just copy/paste the URL of your review, or you could use "some html is ok" - which is a bit more complicated. I choose to use a Chrome addon - bbCodeInsert. I think there is one for Firefox, too.


message 16: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "As to the Armistice itself, I know of Keneally's novelization Gossip from the Forest. While it does not read like non-fiction, I'm fairly certain this is based in fact and is a very ..."

To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 was written by a relative of Sgt. Alvin York. My uncle was in this battle and is cited. I haven't read this one yet but do have it on my shelf.

In the midst (all right, the beginning) if Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. It is very readable.


message 17: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Jan C wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "As to the Armistice itself, I know of Keneally's novelization Gossip from the Forest. While it does not read like non-fiction, I'm fairly certain this is b..."

Paris 1919 was so good. Did you know she was actually related to Lloyd George?


message 18: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments Kirsten wrote: "Jan C wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "As to the Armistice itself, I know of Keneally's novelization Gossip from the Forest. While it does not read like non-fiction, I'm fairly cer..."

I believe her grandfather. I was going to mention that her grandfather was at the conference but could not recall off the top of my head who he was. I saw her on C-SPAN'S BOOK-TV when it came out.


message 19: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Thanks everyone.

If you are actually nominating a title, rather than just mentioning it, please can you make this very obvious so I know what to include in the poll.

I'll also do a summary of "nominations so far" after the weekend.


message 20: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Jan's Review of A Very Long Engagement.

Jan - you could just copy/paste the URL of your review, or you could use "some html is ok" - which is a bit more complicated. I choose to use..."


Thank you. But it is all very confusing to me.


message 21: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5699 comments Mod
I'll nominate Wake by Anna Hope. It's not about the armistice but is set over 5 days in November 1920 in the run-up to the ceremony for the burial of the Unnamed Warrior. As the resonances of the title subtly indicate it's about both grieving for the losses of the war but also about starting to move forward from it.

My review is here (I'll happily re-read should it win): www.goodreads.com/review/show/1796623359

On the other hand, I've been wanting to read A Long Long Way for a long long time :)


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Looks wonderful - great review too.


message 23: by Val (new)

Val | 1709 comments I would like to nominate The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War by Jean-Yves Le Naour.

The powerful story of a soldier who lost his memory and identity, and of a people in mourning who found in him their own missing men.
In February 1918, a derelict soldier was discovered wandering the railway station in Lyon, France. With no memory of his name or past, no identifying possessions, marks, or documents, the soldier-given the name Anthelme Mangin-was sent to an asylum for the insane. When, after the Great War ended, the authorities placed the soldier's image in advertisements to locate his family, hundreds of "relatives" claimed him-as their father, son, husband, or brother who had failed to return from the front.
Marshalling a vast array of original material, from letters and newspaper articles to accounts of battlefield deaths, hospital reports, and police files, French historian Jean-Yves Le Naour meticulously re-creates the long-forgotten story of the single soldier who came to stand for a lost generation. With humane sympathy and the skill of a novelist, Le Naour recounts the twenty-year court battles waged by the families competing to take the amnesiac soldier home. In the process, he portrays not just the fate of one individual but the rank and file's experience in the trenches and an entire nation's great and inconsolable grief following a war that consumed the lives of one million men.
Dramatic, taut, and powerfully relevant to our own times, this heartrending history depicts the pain and turmoil of a society that, without bodies to bury, is caught between holding on and letting go.

I read it recently because I thought it was a possible nomination in this category, and decided it was. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 24: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Thanks all, some mouth watering suggestions already.....


VAL: The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War by Jean-Yves Le Naour
ELIZABETH: A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot
NIGEYB: Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd
HUGH: A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
ROMAN CLODIA: Wake by Anna Hope

Is that correct so far?


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
There are a lot of titles floating around - well done, Nigeyb for finding the nominations among all the suggestions.


message 26: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
So, any more nominations?


message 27: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments I finally did some looking through my books.

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 by Joseph E. Persico.

"November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I." "The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11:00 A.M., yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered - more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment, and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion." "Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous - among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, though, he follows ordinary soldiers' lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches." Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war's final hour.

It has been a while since I picked this one up.

Nicholas Best has a similar book - The Greatest Day in History: How, on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, the First World War Finally Came to an End.

But I guess I will nominate the Persico book.


message 29: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4675 comments Mod
I won't nominate as there are so many great nominations already - but just to mention that there will also be a lot of books about the Armistice and the aftermath published in the autumn, so even more titles to explore over the coming months.


message 30: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) The best book about the Armistice is Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillan.


message 31: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4675 comments Mod
Are you nominating Paris 1919, Kirsten? Looks as if some editions have a different title, Peacemakers: Six Months that Changed the World: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War.


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Is that a nomination, Kirsten? In the UK, I think it had another title: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Sorry, Judy, we posted at the same time :)

Although it is great to discuss possible titles here, please can we all just be clear about books you are actually nominating? Otherwise it can be quite confusing, as there are all sorts of book titles floating about and it is difficult to see which to include.


message 34: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
I think Kirsten was probably just highlighting the Margaret Macmillan book rather than nominating it, but, if I've got that wrong, I'm sure Kirsten will be along to clarify.

Are you considering a nomination Kirsten?

It sounds as though you have acquired a lot of knowledge in this area so I hope, at the very least, you'll join in our the discussion in November.

Nominations so far.....

JAN: Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 by Joseph E. Persico
VAL: The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War by Jean-Yves Le Naour
ELIZABETH: A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot
NIGEYB: Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd
HUGH: A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
ROMAN CLODIA: Wake by Anna Hope

Anyone else nominating book about World War One?


message 35: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Last call for nominations


message 36: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
The poll is up.


Vote, vote, vote....

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




message 37: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
At the time of writing, the poll is deadlocked, with each nomination having received one vote. Come and break the deadlock.


Vote, vote, vote, or change your vote....

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


message 38: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
All change, Wake has woken.....


Wake 4 votes, 36.4%
A Long Long Way 2 votes, 18.2%
A Very Long Engagement 2 votes, 18.2%
Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I 1 vote, 9.1%
The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War 1 vote, 9.1%
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 1 vote, 9.1%

Thanks as always to everyone who has nominated, discussed possible books, and voted.

If Wake does indeed win then it should be a wonderful book to read and discuss.

Will it win though?

That's up to you, those nominations again....

JAN: Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 by Joseph E. Persico
VAL: The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War by Jean-Yves Le Naour
ELIZABETH: A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot
NIGEYB: Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd
HUGH: A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
ROMAN CLODIA: Wake by Anna Hope


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
" Wake has woken....." Very good :)


message 40: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 269 comments But is Wake woke?


message 41: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Sep 05, 2018 06:10AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) I'm more interested in A Long, Long Way than Wake, so have changed my vote.


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Early days yet. I always feel a little guilty that I often led by which books are available on kindle, or easy to get hold of, and choose from them. Some good options, though, as always.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Susan wrote: "Early days yet. I always feel a little guilty that I often led by which books are available on kindle, or easy to get hold of, and choose from them. Some good options, though, as always."

I already had my nomination which I'm going to read anyway, and when I saw Hugh's nomination, I chose to order it a used paperback, which was cheaper than the kindle.


message 44: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Rosina wrote: "But is Wake woke?"


:-)

That remains to be seen

Looks like we might all be finding out in November


Elizabeth (Alaska) Might perhaps the "wake" in the title refer to a wake after a death and have nothing to do with waking after sleep?


message 46: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5699 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Might perhaps the "wake" in the title refer to a wake after a death and have nothing to do with waking after sleep?"

The book plays on both those meanings in terms of grieving after the war (the central event is the ceremony for the burial of the Unknown Warrior) and also moving forwards into the future. It also conjures up the 'wake' following a boat: an aftertow that is still there after an event passes.


message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10657 comments Mod
Both "Wake," and "A Long, Long Way," are on kindle. 'I will buy no more books, I have no more room', is now my mantra!


message 48: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I will buy no more books, I have no more room"


Me too. However I only keep a tiny fraction of those I buy. I love books but only keep about 5% of those I read.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Nigeyb wrote: "Susan wrote: "I will buy no more books, I have no more room"


Me too. However I only keep a tiny fraction of those I buy. I love books but only keep about 5% of those I read."


I have only a very few that I have kept as they are autographed copies with personal notes. All others get passed on - usually to my friends of the library which then get sold as their major fund-raising activity, but a few to friends who I think will appreciate them supremely.


message 50: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10402 comments Mod
More drama.


Wake and A Long Long Way now neck and neck...

Wake by Anna Hope 4 votes, 33.3%
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry 4 votes, 33.3%
Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I 1 vote, 8.3%
A Very Long Engagement 1 vote, 8.3%
The Living Unknown Soldier: A Story of Grief and the Great War 1 vote, 8.3%
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 1 vote, 8.3%


Vote here....

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


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