Reading the Chunksters discussion

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Archive 2015: Literary Readathon > Literary Chunkster - Readathon

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message 1: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 21, 2015 10:03PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) As you might have noticed, we have witnessed a spree of very good literary nominations and buddy reads. I know how frustrating it can be when the book you would like to read is not chosen. To avoid this feeling of frustration, I have pitched an idea of a literary readathon.

I mentioned it earlier, but it was discussed cursorily in one of the nomination threads. To see whether it is worth considering this project viable, I have decided to set up a thread to see how enthusiastic people are about it.

In a nutshell, committed members choose one chunky literary fiction book that they would like to read with other committed members. If there are five members, then we are reading five books, and if there are three, then we are reading three books they have chosen.

There are no polls because the book you wanted to read will be read by the group of the committed readers. It is not a life-long obligation, and others may join later if they want, but hopefully no one will leave the project. By choosing the books the committed members want to read, the list is complied, the order is prioritized, and the schedule is posted. A person who nominated the book is in charge of the schedule and at least of some rudimentary discussion.

The only requirement for your selection is a relatively chunky book with established literary qualities that has not been overdiscussed on goodreads. It is not necessarily an underrated chunkster; it might simply be a recently published book that is literary appealing.

If you think the idea is feasible, please commit yourself by posting and selecting the book you want to read.

Again, if there is a significant interest, the end of February is the time we should shoot for.


message 2: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments This is a cool idea and I would like to participate!


message 3: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) And I have to edit the post because I posted it without proofreading :-)


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) I think this is great and would like to participate!


message 5: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Good! Three and counting ...


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Moi aussi! I'm in (with a sigh of defeat). I don't know if I would be good at leading a discussion though.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Don't worry Sarah you can't be worse than me :)


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1378 comments OK, so this is when it is apparent that my job, husband, and kids get in the way! (Oh wait, I didn't just say that...ha ha...)

I can't commit to the project, but if a book of interest pops up and time allows, then I might be able to jump in.


message 9: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Bienvenue, Ma chère amie!


message 10: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Sarah wrote: "Moi aussi! I'm in (with a sigh of defeat). I don't know if I would be good at leading a discussion though."

We can be average together :-)


message 11: by John (last edited Jan 21, 2015 04:51PM) (new)

John (johnred) | 364 comments Question: If I do not select a book, would I be welcome to join one of the discussions without being committed to all of them?

If not I totally understand -- just wondering! :)


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1378 comments John wrote: "Question: If I do not select a book, would I be welcome to join one of the discussions without being committed to all of them?

If not I totally understand -- just wondering! :)"


Oh, I guess I assumed I could pop in a join an already selected book without choosing my own. But I guess I should get clarification on that too. Sorry!


message 13: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) John and Linda, everyone is welcome any time. We just need some people who will start the project, but you can join and read the books that will be read or list yours.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah It's kind of a revolving door of awesome books :)


message 15: by Kaycie (new)

Kaycie | 294 comments Hmmm... I am mostly in...this sounds so awesome and just what I've been looking for. Unfortunately, I have some major life changes occurring in the next few months so a full commitment is going to be tough, but I can try my hardest!

Also, I'm going to limit my participation for awhile to books I can get on kindle, as I'm not sure I can handle hauling around heavy books for a bit. As most books can be found in an ebook format, that shouldn't be a deal breaker.

I'll post my reading choice once this poll is over! :-)


message 16: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 21, 2015 10:41PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) It is wise to wait. There are many good books in the current poll.

P.S. The idea behind this readathon is a possibility of sprouting buddy reads. Instead of several concurrent reads, we may have a more organized project.


message 17: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) I can't really commit, but might participate depending on the chosen book.

Actually, what this sounds like is a literary chunkster book club. If you sign up then you get to select a book. I would suggest if you have a lot of people that you only chose 2-3 books in advance. There are lots of ways to run a bookclub, but my face to face one, whoever "hosts" gets to chose the book based on our small set of rules. This sounds like it would get around a lot of the frustration I'm hearing that people are having regarding the nomination process.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I like that idea.


message 19: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 21, 2015 10:27PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) JoLene wrote: "I can't really commit, but might participate depending on the chosen book.

Actually, what this sounds like is a literary chunkster book club. If you sign up then you get to select a book. I wo..."


JoLene, I would like you to participate, at least for a couple of reads. I know you nominated The Salterton Trilogy, but to be fair, right now it is not winning much support.

Having said that, I looove Robertson Davis; at least I really enjoyed his The Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders.
There is so much insightful Jungian psychoanalysis with the exciting and compelling plot that I still rank these books as my favorite ones nearly ten years after I read them.

I believe Davis was unjustly forgotten by the world reading community, but if you chose this book, it would be awesome.

Besides, I even own the trilogy :-)


message 20: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 21, 2015 10:23PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Somehow I managed to misspell the word "readathon" in every post I made and added a non-existent L.
EXCLUSE MLE PEASE


message 21: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 21, 2015 10:42PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) I have been trying to post a funny story about the autorcorrect using the smartphone, but it seems like all my previous two attempts were thwarted by some mysterious force that does not allow me to share it here, and only a half of the previous post is visible.

It is also quite possible that I will see all my attempted messages tomorrow in this post. I apologize in advance if I inadvertently spammed the thread.


message 22: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Total excitement: Neal Stephenson and Mark Danielewski both have chunksters coming out in May. They both look awesome!


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Paula wrote: "Total excitement: Neal Stephenson and Mark Danielewski both have chunksters coming out in May. They both look awesome!"

Ooh. Goodies.


message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments I know!!! I'm totally psyched!!


message 25: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Ohh that is exciting! Must look them up.


message 26: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Danielewski's says it is volume 1. Yay :-)


message 27: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 22, 2015 06:41PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) I loved House of Leaves and am looking forward to the buddy read discussion as I will be a permanent lurker.

As for Neal Stephenson, I am more reserved than you are, ladies. I read the two books of his Baroque cycle, and I enjoyed them but I still find his style slightly dry and reserved. I have not read the third book in the cycle, and my husband has been encouraging me to read Anathem, but I am a bit apprehensive.

I am actually looking forward to a new book by Dan Simmons. Yes, I know that he is a mainstream writer, and I cannot forgive him for his uber right-wing ideas in the Flashback, but I really enjoyed his other chunky novels, especially Drood and The Terror


message 28: by Paula (last edited Jan 22, 2015 08:32PM) (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Zulfiya wrote: "I loved House of Leaves and am looking forward to the buddy read discussion as I will be a permanent lurker.

As for Neal Stephenson, I am more reserved than you are, ladies. I read the two books ..."


Stephenson is very cerebral in his approach and it can come across as dry. I like it, but not everyone does. He's so damn smart. I loved Anathem, but it's no easy read.

I really like the early Dan Simmons stuff. I liked The Terror a lot except for that silly mystic bear stuff. That very strong, compelling story didn't need it. It just seemed to come out of left field.

Drood, I wanted to like it but I thought it was bloated and verbose and should have been about 300 pages max. Which is a funny thing to hear from someone who loves long books :-). I haven't liked anything of his since The Terror.


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I've wanted to read The Terror.

I still haven't managed to read Stephenson. I've got three in queue for this year.


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Sarah wrote: "I've wanted to read The Terror.

I still haven't managed to read Stephenson. I've got three in queue for this year."


A totally fun Stephenson is Snow Crash :-)


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah That's one of my 3. think it will be the first too. I saw one thing where it was on a list of books sci-fi readers MUST read.


message 32: by Sarah (new)

Sarah As fast as being in charge of some rudimentary discussion, how much do you guys think would be necessary? It seems like we're all plenty willing to speak up and don't need a lot of guidance.


message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Sarah don't stress over leading a discussion. You'd be great. I don't think there is going to be much leading necessary. Just make a schedule, keep the conversation on track, throw in a few extra tidbits about the book,etc. I don't see it as being anything hectic :)


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Coming up with discussion questions is where I would choke! I can handle making a schedule and getting the ball rolling :) Thanks Amanda.


message 35: by Ami (last edited Jan 23, 2015 11:07AM) (new)

Ami Zulfiya wrote: "As you might have noticed, we have witnessed a spree of very good literary nominations and buddy reads. I know how frustrating it can be when the book you would like to read is not chosen. To avoid..."

Zulfiya, I'll take part. I nominated a piece by Balzac in another thread, but since there's so much buzz over the current nominations, it might be best to choose from those? I'll wait until after the winner of the current poll is announced to pick accordingly, and most importantly, what I would be able to commit to leading in discussion-Don't think I'll be around for all the reads, but I'll do my best. Thanks.

Paula wrote: "Danielewski's says it is volume 1. Yay :-)"

Yes, volume one, of twenty-seven...Did your jaw not drop? LOL!


message 36: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Sure, Ami, I saw your post earlier in another thread but was too busy to answer:-)

It is totally kosher If you want to withdraw your selection or choose another one.

I hope that you will eventually choose a book for us to read together. It is like a F2F book club, but only virtual. The one who chooses the books, helps a bit with the discussion. I am sure you have some books that you would like to read with us a part of this project.

I hope it will be a very informal but also very committed group of readers.


message 37: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Amanda wrote: "Sarah don't stress over leading a discussion. You'd be great. I don't think there is going to be much leading necessary. Just make a schedule, keep the conversation on track, throw in a few extra t..."

Ditto! Words of wisdom.

Sarah, I actually want to read SToA first:-)



message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah That would be pretty cool :) I'm between that and Buenosayers.


message 39: by Ami (new)

Ami Zulfiya wrote: "Sure, Ami, I saw your post earlier in another thread but was too busy to answer:-)

It is totally kosher If you want to withdraw your selection or choose another one.

I hope that you will eventua..."


Yeah, remove the nomination for "the harlott..."


message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Regarding the new Danielewski coming out in May, Ami wrote: Yes, volume one, of twenty-seven...Did your jaw not drop? LOL!

Ami, I'm ecstatic over it. He has such original ideas. They don't always work for me, but he's never dull. If anyone can write 27 volumes, he can (well, so can Vollmann - another original). :-)


message 41: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) Zulfiya wrote: I believe Davies was unjustly forgotten by the world reading community, but if you chose this book, it would be awesome.

I completely agree. I stumbled across him when I was senior in high school and read The Rebel Angels, because I liked the title. I have also read The Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders. My first pick for my F2F bookclub was Murther and Walking Spirits.

I picked The Salterton Trilogy because I haven't read it yet and I've had it sitting on the shelf for ages :-D

I am definitely interested in some of the other ones that people have suggested, but not all. I will see what I can fit into my schedule. I am looking for a new job and so RL might get in the way of my reading life ;-( Also, I don't think I'm as speedy of a reader as many of you.


message 42: by John (new)

John (johnred) | 364 comments Paula do you have a link to a good source of info about the new Danielewski series? how long is the series going to take him? Are each of them going to be full-length?


message 43: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1378 comments John wrote: "Paula do you have a link to a good source of info about the new Danielewski series? how long is the series going to take him? Are each of them going to be full-length?"

Speaking of which, is 27 volumes that Ami mentioned a joke? Or is that for real? I thought it was a joke, but John's comment made me start wondering again.


message 44: by John (last edited Jan 24, 2015 10:27AM) (new)

John (johnred) | 364 comments Linda wrote: "is 27 volumes that Ami mentioned a joke? Or is that for real?"

I did a little Googling, and it looks like it's for real. That could keep us busy for a while!

Actually, it might be worth starting a whole group dedicated to it. If it turns out to be good, that is ;)

From what I could find, it sounds like the first 5 volumes are close to ready for publication.


message 45: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 388 comments Linda wrote: "John wrote: "Paula do you have a link to a good source of info about the new Danielewski series? how long is the series going to take him? Are each of them going to be full-length?"

Speaking of wh..."


I saw a forum discussion and it sounds as if they received galleys very recently and are just beginning to discuss.


message 46: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I have no desire to read The Quincunx so if that one wins, I'm willing to lead the first readathon book.


message 47: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Thank you, Sarah. SToA, right?


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I was thinking Seven Types of Ambiguity. If people would prefer Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov is a possibility. And an intriguing one. I want to do both so I will read either :)


message 49: by Zulfiya (last edited Jan 24, 2015 03:56PM) (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) Personally, I would like to read SToA because I think it would appeal to more people, but the choice is yours.


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I thought I would offer up a couple of choices in case there are too few people for Seven Types of Ambiguity. I would really like to do that one, it looked very interesting.


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