Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Archives > [2021] Poll 6 Results

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message 1: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1404 comments Mod
And the results are in!

Top
A book with a travel theme

Close Call
A cross genre novel
A book written by or about a person with a physical disability

Polarizing
A book from one of Goodreads' "Most Popular" lists
A book inspired by the lyrics to REM’s “It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

Bottom
A book that related to traditions around turning 21


The next round of suggestions will open tomorrow night, around 9pm CST (ish). See you in the thread!


message 2: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1759 comments The winner was not on my radar. I guess everyone is tired of being at home. Not that is really matters but I don't have any problem with the winner just surprised that it is the only one. I upvoted one of the polarizing and close call. The 21 was also in my bottom.


message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1789 comments I voted for the travel prompt and happy to have somewhere to fit in some travel writing, which I never get round to. Would have liked the close calls to have made it but we still have plenty more weeks of voting left.


message 4: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 1730 comments Well, that’s a bit disappointing. I upvoted 5 - one was cross genre, the other four are nowhere in the results. And I downvoted 3, including disability and goodreads list.

Travel is doable. I just don’t find it very exciting. Didn’t we have a journey prompt recently, this year or last? This seems the same to me.


message 5: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2573 comments I am very happy that the travel theme won! I have several books (fiction & non-fiction) that I own which I have been postponing reading. I will definitely be reading one of them! I’m surprised it’s the only winner, though.


message 6: by Nancy (last edited Aug 05, 2020 08:25AM) (new)

Nancy (fancynancyt) | 1061 comments Looking through my to-read list, I'll probably be relying on the Listopia a lot for this one.

I also might stretch it a bit and read a time travel book.


message 7: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1759 comments dalex, travel does seem to be a common challenge prompt.


message 8: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (last edited Aug 05, 2020 08:40AM) (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
Many books of all genres feature travel, for instance any fantasy with a quest, a mystery where the detective has to go to different places, lots of historical fiction about pioneers, immigrants, soldiers, sailors, many books about war in general. Also fiction or nonfiction books about cyclists, aviators, someone escaping from somewhere. And I agree about time travel. A nonfiction book specifically about travel could be a BIO.

Cross genre seemed too easy to me as I read lots of historical mysteries and historical romances. I guess the good news is that we must have voted all over the place and many of the suggestions could be resubmitted.


message 9: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1404 comments Mod
we must have voted all over the place

Pretty much!


message 10: by Entropia (new)

Entropia | 280 comments I hoped for more prompts getting in. I'm not too excited about travel one, but shouldn't be difficult.


message 11: by Joan (new)

Joan Barnett | 1612 comments Interesting - I'm sure I'll find something for that prompt. I kinda really wanted the Goodreads most popular lists.


message 12: by Beth (new)

Beth | 344 comments I'm quite surprised at the winner. I can't remember if I voted for it or not! I like it though. I will probably go down the non-fiction/memoir route.


message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie I was really hoping for cross-genre novel. Hopefully someone will suggest it again. Actually, I like all the close call and polarizing prompts.

I'm kind of meh on travel theme (feels like we have this a lot), but it's easy enough to fill.


message 14: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 955 comments I voted for travel and was hoping the cross-genre would make it. Not surprised by the 21 birthday being bottom as think it is too much of something from the past, and has no meaning now.


message 15: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 339 comments I'm surprised but pleased with the travel prompt. A lot of similar prompts that I've seen have been more quests (anyone not read the Hobbit yet?) or refugee-based travels. I'm looking forward to a non-depressing travel book. I have The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among the Tourists penciled in. It may still be cringeworthy but hopefully there will be a lot less running for your life.


message 16: by Khara (new)

Khara Baughan | 48 comments Jill wrote: "I voted for travel and was hoping the cross-genre would make it. Not surprised by the 21 birthday being bottom as think it is too much of something from the past, and has no meaning now."

I think you are correct, the more it was discussed the more it sounded like maybe it was a generational thing. Disappointing to me because it was significant for me but also totally understand people not being interested for that reason!

As far as the travel one I am glad it got in because it is easy for me to pull something from my TBR pile for this. I see where people aren't as excited because of that same fact and also it seems like variations on that theme come up a lot for prompts (like the mode of transportation this year could easily fall into that group). However I like reading about traveling or journeys so I am content with that being the case.


message 17: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 268 comments I don't even remember seeing the travel one on there! I personally think it will be easy - I've read a lot of books this year that seem it would fit that prompt. I'm surprised it was the only one that made it.


message 18: by Edie (new)

Edie | 852 comments Ho hum. I didn't vote either way on travel theme. I am sure it can be filled and don't see it as a challenge.


message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 955 comments I suppose it is as challenging as you want it to be. Maybe you could read it in a genre you don't usually read, to make it more of a challenge.


message 20: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2573 comments Edie- I suggested the travel prompt with the idea of it being non-fiction (at least for me). There are a lot of people in this group that vote down any non-fiction prompt so I left it general for that reason. But you see even with the MLB prompt, it’s too specific for some members. But then any sports team is too general for other members! Where’s the happy medium?? It feels like, for the last few years, we have had to submit general prompts so that they can get through. Personally, I would like some that are more specific. I plan on setting my own limitations next year to make it more challenging.


message 21: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (fancynancyt) | 1061 comments Pam wrote: "Edie- I suggested the travel prompt with the idea of it being non-fiction (at least for me). There are a lot of people in this group that vote down any non-fiction prompt so I left it general for t..."

It's interesting to me that so many people are finding this easy/boring, as I'm having trouble finding something to fill it because it's hard to find fiction that has a travel theme. There are a lot of books where the characters travel, but that's not a theme. So I've gone in the non-fiction direction and am probably doing a Bill Bryson. Eat, Pray, Love doesn't appeal to me, and neither do some of the other books I've seen tagged as Travel.


message 22: by dalex (last edited Aug 05, 2020 01:32PM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 1730 comments Nancy wrote: "...it's hard to find fiction that has a travel theme."

I agree that, by strict definition, it’s almost impossible to find a book with a travel theme. “A literary theme is the main idea or underlying meaning a writer explores in a novel, short story, or other literary work.” (https://www.masterclass.com/articles/...)

Examples include:
Good vs. evil
Love
Redemption
Courage and perseverance
Coming of age
Revenge

I think the prompt would be better worded as “a book in which the characters travel.” At least that’s how I’m interpreting it.


message 23: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7556 comments Mod
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...

Listopia is open!

I added two books to the list -- The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. In the first, the characters are going on tour, and that tour is a huge part of the plot. In the second, well... pilgrimage is literally in the title lol. But it's centered around his journey to see his friend. Those are two novels that I can think of off the top of my head that feels like it is centered around travel.


message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2689 comments I downvoted the travel prompt because it just wasn't that exciting for me, but I'm not surprised that it made it through. I'll probably try to go more of a fantasy route with this one, because most of the travel-related books I've read in the past haven't really excited me much.


message 25: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2573 comments dalex wrote: "Nancy wrote: "...it's hard to find fiction that has a travel theme."

I agree that, by strict definition, it’s almost impossible to find a book with a travel theme. “A literary theme is the main id..."


I don't think it's almost impossible to find fiction with a travel theme. I worded the prompt that way because I wanted it to be more thematic, rather than one scene where a person travels.

Here are a few examples:
Why We Took the Car
Flights
23 Degrees South: A Tropical Tale of Changing Whether...
Albert of Adelaide
Questions of Travel
The Whispering Land
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Travelling Cat Chronicles

There are lots of classics also like Gulliver's Travels, The Odyssey, King Arthur, & Lonesome Dove.


message 26: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 859 comments I really like travel nonfiction/memoirs, but it can be harder to find ones from authors who aren’t white - I’ve added a few to the listopia.


message 27: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
I just took it as a book where travel plays a major part. This isn't necessarily opposed to the stricter definition of theme. Often travel is used as a metaphor for the theme, which is the journey of life, coming of age, conquering oneself, etc. Passing different points in the journey reflects education, growth, redemption, etc. The classic hero myth is called a "journey."

It doesn't mean we should just pick any book where someone gets in a car to go to town once. But I don't think most of us had the precise definition of "theme" in mind when voting, and that's still ok. Of course, as always, I am not a literalist, and I'm going to use any book I darn well please and make the case for it if it isn't obvious.


message 28: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (fancynancyt) | 1061 comments Pam wrote: "I don't think it's almost impossible to find fiction with a travel theme. I worded the prompt that way because I wanted it to be more thematic, rather than one scene where a person travels."

Those are some good options, unfortunately my library doesn't carry most of them. It's ok, I think I'll stick with the Bryson anyway, it fits more with how I'm choosing to interpret "travel theme."


message 29: by Joan (new)

Joan Barnett | 1612 comments My first thought was to read A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail for this prompt. It seems to be on a bunch of must read lists and I'll do it as an audio.


message 30: by Lizzy (last edited Aug 05, 2020 04:50PM) (new)

Lizzy | 733 comments Emily wrote: "https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...

Listopia is open!


Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk would also work very well for this one.



message 31: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1404 comments Mod
I have soooo many travel books. People going on expeditions, people hiking, people kayaking across the ocean...Apparently all it takes to get on my tbr is a person going on a long solo trek somewhere lol


message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill | 600 comments My reject challenge keeps getting longer and longer! LOL


message 33: by Edie (new)

Edie | 852 comments Pam wrote: "Edie- I suggested the travel prompt with the idea of it being non-fiction (at least for me). There are a lot of people in this group that vote down any non-fiction prompt so I left it general for t..."

Interesting that most of the books on the Listopia are fiction although I thought about it first as a non-fiction prompt. I agree with you that general prompts seem to do better. In the past I have suggested a specific genre of non-fiction - essays and hear the comments that people don't read essays. I might have said that myself several years ago, but a challenge prompt introduced me to them. Essays can cover such a range to topics... humorous, educational, religious, travel, though provoking, and so on.


message 34: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 3016 comments I am happy with this one. I read a lot of sci fi so travel between planets is a very common theme. I also read a lot of immigrant fiction and nonfiction. I don't find immigrant fiction depressing at all, quite the opposite in fact.

Another favorite trope of mine is sea travel and/or pirates. That certainly fits the travel theme.

I am pretty sure i have a novel about a truck driver whose girlfriend dies and haunts them while they travel around the country on their route. That would be a very interesting take on a travel novel. I am quite excited for this one actually!


message 35: by Conny (new)

Conny | 362 comments I am OK with this prompt and will have no oroblem filling it from my TBR, but it feels very average to me and I am surprised that of all the options, this was the one to make it.


message 36: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1789 comments I definitely saw the prompt as someone wanting to submit non-fiction travel books but knowing it would get shot down if it didn't allow fiction...so that will be how I'm interpreting it.


message 37: by Ira (new)

Ira | 298 comments I missed the voting this time, but I am ok with the winner.

I think the problem is we are such a diverse group, and people have very different reading tastes and goals regarding the reading challenge, so when we vote we are all over the place. I still think the list have a way of balancing out in the end, and we as a group change our voting if we see that things are moving too much in one direction. And many of the interesting prompts get resubmitted and have a fair chance of making the list after all.


message 38: by dalex (last edited Aug 06, 2020 05:29AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 1730 comments Pam wrote: "I don't think it's almost impossible to find fiction with a travel theme. I worded the prompt that way because I wanted it to be more thematic, rather than one scene where a person travels.”

We have a different understanding of the definition of a literary theme. It’s all good.

To use just one of your examples the themes in Gulliver’s Travels are:
The Finite Nature of Knowledge
The Individual and the Community
Power or Ethics?
https://www.brighthubeducation.com/ho...


message 39: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 930 comments I would have interpreted the travel theme to mean something where the travel is the important element, as in the Odyssey. The Sparrow would be great for this as they travel to another world and the traveling there is their purpose. Or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Just having a trip in the book would not seem to fit, the journey itself must be the focus.


message 40: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
Not to criticize you, dalex, I appreciate your saying "it's all good". I was a literature major in graduate school and even I think you have given a narrow definition of "theme" (though undoubtedly a correct one.) Most people are interpreting this prompt as "travel is a major element in the book". Using your definition, I doubt we would ever have a prompt based on "theme" because the philosophical/ethical aspects of a book usually aren't obvious before you read it.


message 41: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1404 comments Mod
Robin P wrote: "the philosophical/ethical aspects of a book usually aren't obvious before you read it"

Unless it's a book that's part of a high school curriculum, because in that case there is almost certainly someone asking "What is the major theme of this book" in the questions section of the book's page. Drives me nuts the way kids don't know how to use Spark Notes these days.


message 42: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1331 comments I was just looking at the listopia and wow. The wide variety of books already suggested is huge. A few that I was going to suggest are already there.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

i'm a little surprised by the results but i'm not too disappointed. should be easy to find a book that'll fit so i look forward to seeing people's BIO options. it's definitely not the most challenging or unique prompt but i think with this sort of voting process, too specific prompts are never always going to be too polarising to make it through


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