On Paths Unknown discussion

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Group Discussion Schedule

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message 1: by Traveller (last edited Jan 20, 2015 05:48AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Okay, so let's have a look at what we have lined up so far:
I'll be putting comments about the discussions under spoiler tags to keep the page clean, so please don't hesitate to click on them - they're not really spoilers.

February 10, 2015, we start with In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente


March 6, 2015 we'll be doing either City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer or The New Weird anthology.

City of Saints is currently in the lead, so it looks like it is to be that, but nothing stops us from doing short stories out of The New Weird in the Side-reads threads which are less time-bound.

Then for April we have a few Margaret Atwoods in our sights: members will be asked to participate in one of those onerous old polls again. Sorry, but it's a way in which our less vociferous people can also make their preferences known. :)


message 2: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
We've got a flash discussion going of 1984 1984 by George Orwell right now. If you thought you knew all there was to know about it, please come and share that with us!
...or if you'd forgotten most of it because you'd read it so long ago, you might be surprised upon revisiting it.
Thread here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 3: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
On March 6, 2015 we'll be doing City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer.
Members can start clocking in on March 5.

Thread here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 4: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 260 comments Am I going mad? I thought you/we were starting The Blind Assassin today, but I can't find mention of it. Am I failing to find it, did I imagine it, or has the schedule changed? (I'm packing to go away for a few days, and I'm not sure what to take!)


message 5: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Oh, that's possibly the date on the bookshelf. I'm afraid i have neglected Goodreads terribly in the last few weeks, i sincerely apologize, Cecily. We'll definitely put The Blind Assassin on the schedule for soon.
Would it be ok with you if we did it for June? :P


message 6: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 260 comments It's fine. I'm not expecting the group to revolve round me (I've barely visited since it started). I just wanted a sanity check.

I think I'll start it anyway, and join in with you guys if and when you do read it.

I hope your busyness away from GR has been by choice and has been productive, enjoyable, remunerative or all three.


message 7: by Yolande (new)

Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments Cecily wrote: "It's fine. I'm not expecting the group to revolve round me (I've barely visited since it started). I just wanted a sanity check.

I think I'll start it anyway, and join in with you guys if and whe..."


I also saw that The Blind Assassin was starting so I have already begun to read it since I have no other books lined up for May. So I'll do the same and read it as well and make lots of notes so I don't forget anything and then just join in the discussion when it comes. It's a thick-ish book for the time I have to read anyway (500+ pages) which means that if I start now I will avoid falling behind in the discussion period :)


message 8: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
I deeply apologize.... the plan was actually originally that members would vote for what they want to read when, and the bookshelf dates were just rough guides.
...but since there obviously is interest in reading the Blind Assassin, I will make it the official group read for June, starting June 3 or 4 if that's okay with the rest of you. :)


message 9: by Cecily (last edited May 07, 2015 05:28AM) (new)

Cecily | 260 comments Please don't apologise, Trav.

I'm nearly 3/4 through and loving it. Many layers of story (some "real", one not), brilliantly handled by a wonderful narrator.


message 10: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Oh good! Can't wait to get started. :)


message 11: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 260 comments Just to keep the coals warm. I finished The Blind Assassin, and it was really brilliant. Long, but so compulsive (and broken into short chapters), I raced through it.

It's a strange mix (five levels of story) of fictional memoir, 20th century historical fiction, and pap sci-fi. So perfect for this group.


message 12: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Wonderful! Let me make an event for it for it to start on Sat. June 13.


message 13: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 50 comments June 13: my anniversary. That must have some deep significance in the whole scheme of things....


message 14: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Hi, just a short update; some people had trouble finding the book, so we're starting June 15 now. Looking forward!


message 15: by Traveller (last edited Jul 12, 2015 02:42AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Hello everyone! There seems to be enough interest in Like Water for Chocolate for us to read it next. I was wondering if 18/20 July would be okay for most people? If we start on 18 or 19 July, then we'll have some weekend time for it.

The reason why I would like to discuss this book, is not just because it is an interesting example of Magical Realism, but because the book appears on the surface to be pro-patriarchy in a way that has inflamed passions from certain feminist quarters, which I think would make good material for discussion.

The initial thread where we can all clock in is HERE


message 16: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
How would you people feel about reading a few of the stories out of Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings by Jorge Luis Borges soon-ish? We don't have to read all of them: you can choose. :)


message 17: by Michele (new)

Michele | 83 comments I would love it. I think. I've wanted to read that book for years.


message 18: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "I would love it. I think. I've wanted to read that book for years."

I'm glad to hear. Maybe we should keep to that then, for now. Maybe I should create a thread so that we can all synchronize in a dedicated thread for it.


message 19: by Michele (new)

Michele | 83 comments yep


message 20: by Cecily (last edited Jul 22, 2015 05:46AM) (new)

Cecily | 260 comments Traveller wrote: "How would you people feel about reading a few of the stories out of Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings by Jorge Luis Borges soon-ish?..."

Yes, yes, yes.

(I've almost finished reading through his Collected Fictions, which - I think - includes almost everything in Labyrinths (does that have poems?) and would love to discuss them. Utterly wonderful. So much to say, think, feel, experience and be puzzled by.


message 21: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Oooh! Goodie, then it really is a date! I will send out some notifications etc etc. How about we start with all the Labyrinth stories that are included in Collected fictions, so that anyone who has either book can readily join in.


message 22: by Cecily (last edited Jul 22, 2015 05:55AM) (new)

Cecily | 260 comments That's a good plan. The Collected Fictions should be all the prose fiction, so any stories in Labyrinths ought to be in that too (though possibly not with the same name!), but I haven't checked.

The other thing is that I would suggest not starting with those in his first volume (A Universal History of Iniquity) or those in his ante-penultimate one (Brodie's Report), as they're not what one thinks of as Borgian, mostly being pretty straightforward stories of gauchos and knife-fighters, with little of the post-modern, metaphysical, mind-warping stuff that makes most of his works so impressive.

Anyway, the details belong in another discussion (and others may want to chip in).


message 23: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Okay, thread for that here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 24: by Traveller (last edited Oct 03, 2015 04:02AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Just to make sure we are on track for November: We will start our If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino on November 5 - the few people who would like to read it later, can still join in at a later date, since our threads never close. Remember, the goal of this group is for us to enrich one another's experience of literature, and there is no date stamp on that - we don't all have to be reading everything at exactly the same time.

Then, roughly scheduled for November 25 at this point, we have had a few takers for Fahrenheit 451 which won the following awards: (view spoiler) and which deals with the theme of censorship, which has been a hot topic since Amazon bought Goodreads, and since the Charlie Hebdo shootings and similar censures such as the Bangladesh blogger beheadings, and the Raif Badawi controversy.

Other reads that members have suggested/requested, which we will try to slot in during December and January:
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a dark, bizzare, intriguing novel by Shirley Jackson;

Then we also have on the horizon Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer.

Change of scenery to a crime thriller in icy Greenland with Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg.

In addition, our members have been talking about trying out the trangressive works of JG Ballard, Ian Banks, and maybe some of the beat-generation authors, which we can do a poll on.
*Poll has been added here: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...
Please vote!

Then, for a yet another change of scenery to Japan, Mark Monday recommended an interesting-looking set of novellas by Kenzaburo Oe: Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness: Four Short Novels; moving and grotesque and morbid and heart-warming - we can make a poll for which Japanese author members would want to read most - excluding Haruki Murakami who will have his own poll all to himself.

Alex and others drew our attention to The Chimes , a runner up in this years MAN Booker prize, and based on a charming concept.

Nate suggested Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, which we can perhaps look at for our speculative fiction for February or March.

A book about Vietnam that I would really like to get into, is Novel Without a Name by Dương Thu Hương

And finally, a few of us have decided that, for our very first fantasy/Sf postmodern mind-tickler, The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe will make excellent fodder for discussion.

There you go - I hope that if any of you have been stuck in a one-genre reading rut, that we have managed to provide you with enough variety here to break out of it! :)


message 25: by Traveller (last edited Oct 03, 2015 04:02AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
To summarize:
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino - November 5

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - November 25

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson - December 15

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer - January 1

and for those who would prefer a more straightforward crime mystery to New Weird we can do
Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg on January 20.

Poll for March/April transgressive fic (Exact date still to be decided) here: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...


message 26: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) Traveller wrote: "And finally, a few of us have decided that, for our very first fantasy/Sf postmodern mind-tickler, The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe will make excellent fodder for discussion."

oh, no! You said the PM word. No wonder I didn't like it the first time...


message 27: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Magdelanye has reminded me that we were going to do City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer. She is rearing to go because she finally got the book from her library. Anybody else in on that? I can do it anytime after Monday October 20.

If anyone is interested, we can start here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 28: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) I could have sworn we already did that… except that I found "Dradin in Love" to be excruciating, and bowed out.


message 29: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "I could have sworn we already did that… except that I found "Dradin in Love" to be excruciating, and bowed out."

We started but never finished. It's a pity, because I love that ending! Different strokes, of course.


message 30: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) Well, I didn't get to "endings".


message 31: by Traveller (last edited Oct 17, 2015 04:25PM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Your loss! I know the middle is boring, but after the family bit, the pace really picks up!


message 32: by Amy (Other Amy) (new)

Amy (Other Amy) | 715 comments Mod
"Dradin in Love" is excruciating, up until the last quarter, but it's the only thing in the book that is written that way. I found the rest of the book to be wonderful. You might peek at the next section and see if it interests you, Derek.


message 33: by Traveller (last edited Oct 18, 2015 02:41PM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Try: The Transformation of Martin Lake ; and
The Strange Case of X

Guys, we must please reserve this thread for the schedule...


message 34: by Saski (new)

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Am I confused or are we starting one on the 19th (today, gulp) and one tomorrow? (Double gulp) I finished part 1 of KiY, but had real trouble getting into DiL.


message 35: by Traveller (last edited Oct 19, 2015 02:16PM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Oi, my dears, and DiL is such a cool such a very very dark story! There's such a lot to say about society in there...

@Ruth, does it really matter exactly on which date who starts which one? We'll never synch our readings exactly, so post whenever you're ready - the threads are there. You can follow the links from here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... :)

Oh, sorry, did you mean the ghost stories vs City of Saints? I had thought with "KiY" you were referring to another COSAM story - Oh boy, so am I alone with COSAM now - no matter, I will just quickly finish DiL, and since no-one else is there yet, I'll jump over to KiY - so do you want King in Yellow next?
Seems like we have many people eager for that, so, I suppose if you like KiY, I'll quickly start a discussion for that then.:)
Opening thread for King in Yellow here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Will populate it soon, sorry about that.


message 36: by Saski (new)

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Oops, I didn't mean to ... uh ... do whatever I did. Definitely I was not complaining, just asking if we were doing two at the same time. Anyway, I am reading both sort of at the same time (King in Yellow and Darin, in Love) both of which are growing on me.

Yeah, the Ghost Stories, I totally lost that one in the shuffle. Is that happening now too?

Right, of course the when doesn't matter. I have to get out of the 20th century. ;)


message 37: by Traveller (last edited Oct 20, 2015 11:28AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Nah, I'm the one who must apologize. I noticed that there are groups who do more than one reading at the same time, and thought to try it out, but admittedly, those are usually for different genres or subjects.

Most of the ghost stories we have on the list, are short stories, so I figured it doesn't really matter when exactly we read them, as long as it is more or less around Halloween time. ...because, you see, the thing is that different people have been going for different stories; so I have been trying to accommodate everybody, which is resulting in there being many books being read at once atmo.

But what I was trying to say, is that, remember, we don't do our discussions in a strictly real-time format, since we have such diverse readers who read according to such diverse schedules.

I am in fact very glad you reminded me that I should be getting my behind in gear for the KiY discussion, because... yeah, I'd become a bit lost in the avalanche of reading that's been going on around here lately - which is by all means a good thing!!! Wouldn't you say? :)

COSAM won't run away, so relaaaax. :D


message 38: by Saski (last edited Oct 20, 2015 03:02AM) (new)

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments (Taking deep breaths)

And yes, I would :)


message 39: by Traveller (last edited Oct 25, 2015 02:53AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
I want to quickly test something. I've bust my gut today trying to make a schedule for the next 6 or 7 months that's going to suit all of us. I've arranged our "to-read" shelf in such a way that genres interleave; in other words; an SF, then a po-mo, then a classic (like Shakespeare or Dickens), then a contemporary work, and so forth, but let me tell you, it's not so easy as it sounds!
Then I took screenshots of my arrangement, and now I just need a way to upload the images, so here goes a test.
Okay, I got the images up, though some of it is unreadable. Still, is everyone happy with the parts they can make out? :P I'll take new, more legible images tomorrow.










If anyone can manage to spot an omission, or if they want to read something there on a different date than I have it there, please try to let me know before I redo that incorrectly blurry image? Ugh, I don't imagine anyone can read it....


message 40: by Saski (new)

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments After all this incredible work I wouldn't dare suggest anything. If you missed something, let's just tag it onto the end.

What do you say, guys?


message 41: by Traveller (last edited Oct 21, 2015 03:07PM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
You're so sweet, Ruth!

Ruth wrote: " let's just tag it onto the end."

Er... *cough* that is exactly what I did with Invisible Cities. I hope anybody is not cross that's it's on so late, but I did promise Disha that we'd read The Castle of Crossed Destinies soon, which is the Calvino she had wanted to read instead of "If on a Winter's Night", and then somehow I forgot about IC because I was so busy trying to fit in the Dickens and the Shakespeare projects into all the other stuff that members had wanted us to do.

Oh, and after I tacked IC onto the end, I realized I had forgotten "The Female Man". #_# ...sooo... if you're wondering why things are a bit squashed, you know why.... :P

...but in any case, the rationale is that hopefully those who prefer SF will have that nicely spaced, and I'm not sure that everybody would want to participate in the Shakespeare and Dickens projects, which is why I interspersed those with other reading.

EDIT: I know The Book of the New Sun is not in there, but there simply wasn't space. It's there for the second half of 2016.


message 42: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
No, but seriously, it's no use having a discussion at a time that the people who want it cannot do it. So, this was just a way to see how much we can cram into 6 months, because we're greedy, aren't we? XD

So please, if there are dates that don't suit any of you, moving things around a bit won't be the end of the world, honestly. All I have to do at this point is to...er... juggle a few dates - doing it becomes easier with practice. :P


message 43: by Traveller (last edited Oct 21, 2015 03:18AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Oh! ..and about the Murakami: I'm not sure that is the one that everyone achieved consensus on, since we have a few on the shelf, so that is just a place keeper. I think the best thing to do re Murakami is to have a POLL. No seriously. ;)

Personally I think I would prefer Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I know 1Q84 is probably Murakami's BIG one, but... yeah, I am afraid of big... but can be convinced - so let's hear it on a poll for him.


message 44: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) Traveller wrote: "Okay, i see that the third one is practically unreadable, "

I can read them all fine.


message 45: by Traveller (last edited Oct 23, 2015 02:48AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Traveller wrote: "Okay, i see that the third one is practically unreadable, "

I can read them all fine."


Oh, good, but is the schedule okay, as far as content and timing is concerned? With the exception of perhaps 3 books on that schedule, which can be taken out again, no problem, pretty much all of the books are books that at least 2 members said they would like to discuss.

Are there at least books that the majority of you would like to discuss, and in that order? No use I make a schedule and it doesn't suit you people.

Please give input - I know it's a very long schedule and far ahead of time, but I thought that, I'd just like to give y'all an idea of how we might be able to fit in books that many of you said yes, let's do that one! etc.


message 46: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) It looks good to me. I won't promise to be involved in all the discussions, but I'm game for most of them!


message 47: by Saski (new)

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments I'm in for the majority. :)


message 48: by Traveller (last edited Oct 23, 2015 07:58AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Phew! Well, that's a relief!
Okay, you aren't the only 2 members, of course, (though you are very active ones, and therefore important :) ) but two other members have also privately indicated similar sentiments to me. The schedule is quite tightly packed, so if we don't make it for all of them, it won't be the end of the world, right? :)


message 49: by Amy (Other Amy) (new)

Amy (Other Amy) | 715 comments Mod
Definitely not the end of the world :)

I'm in for most of them as well.


message 50: by Traveller (last edited Oct 25, 2015 03:55AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2523 comments Mod
Yaye! Okay, if this trend continues, I think we can soon retire this thread as having been the schedule thread for 2015, and make a new one for 2016 with that schedule on top - subject to change, of course!
^_^

EDIT: Whoops! I knew I was forgetting something in January. Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg for January 20. I'll squeeze it in ... will adjust the image when I get a mo.
Edit 2: Done. Now scheduled for Jan 19. :)


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