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Continue Monthly Readings?

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message 1: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
I haven't set up the voting for next month's reading yet and wanted to get a consensus as to whether or not people want to continue the monthly readings. It seems they've been fairly quiet even with a very well-known book such as Lolita, there hasn't been much chat.

I know it's not always easy to read on a schedule. I myself have been swamped with work and life so it's understandable.

So let me know if you all think we should continue with these or just keep the group free-form.

message 2: by Jim (last edited Apr 17, 2008 06:53AM) (new)

Jim | 45 comments why not just alternate every other month or every 2 months.

I like both ways.

The agreed selection format gives a focus and I think it gets me out of my tendency to read only certain genres.
I never would have read/seen Contempt, The Postman Always Rings Twice and enjoyed them thoroughly.

As far as the free-form, it certainly would have more comments about more book/movie combinations and alert me to different ones that I may have never heard about or didn't have any interest in.

I do like the monthly readings more because of the exposure to Moravia and Nabokov etc.
I hadn't known about Moravia and didn't have any interest in Lolita as I knew what it was about and I just didn't see what the point of reading the book was.
Ditto for A Clockwork Orange since I had seen the movie but the book was great in so many ways that it would be hard to enummerate all of them.

Also the lists and recommendations for the monthly selection is a great list and I hope to read a lot of the books on the list.

Maybe a way to generate more online chatter would be to keep the list as it is and not add any new nominations except from new members who have joined since the last list was finalized for a vote.
Then the number of choices would be limited to what people have already shown an interest in and result in a book selected that more people want to read.

For me all the selections have been great and the commentary has been fun, funny and insightful.

Most of the links cited that I have looked at were unbelievably on point and informative.

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim | 45 comments so what is the point of Lolita?

I finished it the day after my Daughter turned 13
I didn't read it on her birthday.

I think it is very funny, an accurate look at the US, a commentary on what can happen when you get something you want which ends up controlling you but I still don't get why the book was written.
Was it just how it was written, the way the author was speaking to you directly and telling you how difficult is was for him?

I think I feel like a group of my friends when we saw Fargo together and everyone wanted to leave except me.

I told them it was really good as it showed the banality of evil and how boring it can be and probably more insidious than outright acts of terror (eg., the railroad scheduling of trains to death camps in WWII couldn't be more boring but the resulting evil perpetrated couldn't be more evil).

So with Lolita I feel like my friends did with Fargo.
So could someone be me in explaining what was the point of Lolita.
( I did like it and did think it was really funny but maybe the subject matter was too close to home for me.)

message 4: by Alison (new)

Alison Jim! They're talking about Lolita down in the "Lolita" file. I can see how as a father it would be difficult to connect with. Same goes for me as a mommy.

Kimley--I think you should call it as you like. Monthly readings are a big commitment from everyone. Maybe we should just take a break and see what materializes. :)

message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate Walker (wolfiesma) | 10 comments I've enjoyed the conversation on Lolita this month and I am glad I had the incentive to finally read the book. Although it is more accessible than some other selections for this group, it brings up this incredibly taboo subject that is tricky to talk about. I wonder if there might not be more discussion around a book that was readable but less loaded. My parents who both work in child welfare were a little horrified when I mentioned I was reading it. I haven't really looked at the book since.

I did rent the Kubrick movie, and was really nauseated by the very first shots of Humbert giving Lolita the pedicure. Stripped of Humbert's elaborate explanations, the physical/sexual contact between those two looked really gross. As a viewer I felt like a witness to a crime in progress. But as a reader, I felt more like I was hearing a confession and that was less sickening to me for some reason.

Anyway, I'm taking a break from Lolita, but I will give it another shot when I feel up to it. Please keep discussing it, though! I'd really like some new perspective on all this.

message 6: by John (last edited Apr 19, 2008 04:06PM) (new)

John | 4 comments I agree with Jim. The Monthly Readings are a great idea - providing suggestions for people to branch out from their normal genres/reading lists, but maybe giving two months to read the book and watch the film adaptation, as opposed to one is the way to go - as all of us are very busy with work, family, commitments, etc. (I have double-whammied myself by reading seven good books at once, and making slow progress on all of them. My eyes are too big for my brain.:)

As for Lolita, I am only part way through. While I understand the reservations of some people on this book, I can already tell 1/3 of the way in that it's a masterpiece -- containing some of the most impressive and beautiful writing I've encountered. Sure Humbert is wretched and creepy and things happen that you would never want to see transpire in real life, but you have to separate the subject matter from the work of art itself. (A few years ago on an airplane, a friend of mine in her late twenties actually made fun of me when I started to read this book the first time - calling me a pervert. She was reading several Danielle Steel books. People are free to read what they wish, but I'll take great literature over fast-food writing any day - even if some of those books might be occasionally enjoyable.) As for the movie, I love Stanley Kubrick, and Lolita is the one film of his I haven't seen. Hoping to watch it this weekend, although I'm already prepared to see it as a separate entity from the book, as even the movie's fans agree that the novel is in a class by itself.

message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Wilner love this from the Foreword: "Lolita should make us all - parents, social workers, educators - apply ourselves with still greater vigilance to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.''
so, er, Nabokovian....i think we shd leave the morality lessons to the politicians where they belong -

message 8: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Everyone, great comments going on here for Lolita but let's try to continue further discussion on the Lolita thread so it's easier for people to find especially later in time. Nobody is going to come back and read this administrative thread but people do go back and read the monthly readings threads.


And thanks for the input regarding the readings. I like the idea of doing them for 2 months instead of one so let's keep Lolita going for two months. There still doesn't seem to be much interest though in keeping these going. But if some more people express interest in keeping the readings going then I'll set up a new one for June/July.

message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin (ralieghfingers) | 10 comments im into the monthly (or bi-monthly?) readings. i cant find the thread containing the suggestions for future readings, but i remember being excited about most of them.

message 10: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa | 5 comments I joined this group just a few months ago and while I have truly enjoyed all the books/movies discussed so far, the pace has been too much for me to keep up with.

I really enjoy the structure since it has exposed me to texts I wouldn't have read otherwise but perhaps moving to the bi-monthly model is a good idea. I'm definitely ready, now that I've finished Lolita to start something else from the list of options presented back in April.

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