The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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2011 Group Reads - Archives > Nominations for March 2011

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message 1: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Feb 18, 2011 10:11PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
I have given some careful thought over the past few days and I would like to offer a suggestion to all of you regarding our next group read and discussion following our completion of Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome".

I would like all of you to consider reading and discussing one of the following novels--

The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope [This novel published in 1874-1875 is dramatic, slightly mad-cap, loads of romance, and incredibly timely relative to the current financial crisis that we find ourselves in.]

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, first published in 1847 [My rationale for this (besides it being one of my favorite novels of all time) is that the new film adaptation is coming out soon (2011) starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbinder.]

Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy, and first published in 1895 [This is nothing more than one of the most important novels I've ever read, and I would love to read and discuss this with a group of like-minded individuals like all of you. There is so much in this book to discuss that it makes my mind spin!]

I am committed to fully engage and moderate the discussion of the book chosen and do my very best to make this a terrific experience for all of us. Do you think we could pick one of these and make it a really great read and discussion? Personally, I believe each of these books to be intellectually challenging on many levels, and each is bound to raise many interesting issues that can be discussed 'until the cows come home.'

So, what say all of you? Are you comfortable choosing a book from this short-list; and, if so, what book what you choose for our next group-read and discussion following "Ethan Frome"?

Please post your thoughts and opinions regarding my suggestion here. If you approve of my approach, I'll create a poll, we can vote for the selection and see what comes up on top!


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Christopher wrote: Please post your thoughts and opinions regarding my suggestion here. If you approve of my approach, I'll create a poll, we can vote for the selection and see what comes up on top!




They sound great, christophet



message 3: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) I'm fine with choosing from this list :)


message 4: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Me too.


message 5: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments I have an abiding unfondness for Jane Eyre. I don't really know why, and I know some people (in my limited experience largely women) really like, but it's a novel that, although I have read it several times, I have never liked and am not particularly interested in reading again.

I have also read both The Way We Live Now and Jude the Obscure, and would be happy to re-read either.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "I have an abiding unfondness for Jane Eyre. I don't really know why, and I know some people (in my limited experience largely women) really like, but it's a novel that, although I have read it sev..."

Most excellent! And I loved your very well-put description of your "unfondness" for "Jane Eyre" too. ;-)


message 7: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Everyman wrote: "I have an abiding unfondness for Jane Eyre. I don't really know why, and I know some people (in my limited experience largely women) really like, but it's a novel that, although I have read it sev..."

I do love Jane Eyre but it was my first unabridged classic ever, I was in 6th grade and went out and got the "adult version."

However, I have a greater than distaste for all things Austen and it's generally women who love her, so I can relate.


message 8: by Nemo (last edited Feb 19, 2011 11:07AM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) I think I would vote for The Way We Live Now, simply because I haven't read (or watched) it before, and the introduction at Wikipedia got my attention. For those who might be interested, check out the 2001 BBC TV series on YouTube.

"Upon the whole," Trollope wrote, "I by no means look upon the book as one of my failures."

P.S. Since I don't have a good track record of following group reads, my vote should be weighed less.


message 9: by MadgeUK (last edited Feb 19, 2011 11:14AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Jaime wrote: However, I have a greater than distaste for all things Austen..."

I join you in your 'unfondness' for Austen, Jaime, and in your love of Jane Eyre. At the weekend I watched the 1944 film of Jane Eyre, with the brooding Orson Welles and sweet Joan Fontaine. What a wonderful, atmospheric interpretation! I remember gripping the wooden arm of the cinema seat throughout!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a23uIn...


message 10: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) MadgeUK wrote: "Jaime wrote: However, I have a greater than distaste for all things Austen..."

I join you in your 'unfondness' for Austen, Jaime, and in your love of Jane Eyre. At the weekend I watched the 1944 f..."


You may be the first person ever whose agreed with my "distaste" and were brave enough to voice it. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

You know I've never seen any of the movie versions of Jane Eyre. I want to see the new one that's coming out though.


message 11: by Adelle (new)

Adelle OK. I looked for this new thread. And it was wonderfully named!

So, here, in the proper place, (and, really, I am a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-it's-place kind of person)...

I proclaim that I wouldn't vote; that I might not even read; but that I would PROBABLY read...whatever is chosen by the regular readers.


message 12: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) I'd happily join in on any of the books you listed, provided that the schedule is a bit less ambitious than in the past. I really can't keep up with ~300 pages a week. (You'll notice that, although I'm still reading TCoMC, I'm way behind the published schedule, which had us reading a 1500 page book in 6 weeks).

So perhaps closer to 100 pages a week would work? Though if everyone wants to read much more quickly than that, I'm afraid I'll probably have to pass.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Loretta wrote: "I'd happily join in on any of the books you listed, provided that the schedule is a bit less ambitious than in the past. I really can't keep up with ~300 pages a week. (You'll notice that, although..."

Loretta, I agree completely. Each of those novels will take some time to plow through. I promise that I will work with all of you in developing a reasonable reading schedule for the book that we end up selecting.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Loretta wrote: "ISo perhaps closer to 100 pages a week would work? Though if everyone wants to read much more quickly than that, I'm afraid I'll probably have to pass.
"


I would personally be much happier with a slower read than TCOMC was. I think when the reading "assignments" are so heavy it takes away time that could be spent on discussion.

I notice that the "Reading the Chunksters" group, which specializes in reading the "big" books (I think500 or 600 pages is their minimum) go with roughly 50 pages a week, though they do read two books simultaneously (one classic, one non-classic).

The fast readers can join more than one group, but the slower readers are stuck when there's a 300 page a week expectation!


message 15: by Adelle (new)

Adelle I advocate against a fast reading schedule myself. I really do like the discussion. And everyone, I would guess, is also reading other books.

The point, I think, is not to see how many books one can read, but to see what can get out of the books that one DOES read.

But Ethan Frome should be a good discussion.


message 16: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) I agree 50-100 pages a week seems better. Aren't their different folders for different sections anyway so the faster readers can post ahead in the proper folder without creating spoilers for others?

I guess I'd just rather be ahead than behind.


message 17: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I think perhaps some people have nominated books without realising how long they were. We all think of War and Peace as lengthy but perhaps are not as aware of the length of something like TCoMC. Perhaps before nominating a book, folks could check, via Amazon, on the number of pages and then mention this? I know some people are put off by long/large books. I am overfaced by large meals but not by large books:).

I am a fast reader and have plenty of time to read, so 'chunksters' are OK with me. I generally have two or three books on the go anyway.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "I think perhaps some people have nominated books without realising how long they were. We all think of War and Peace as lengthy but perhaps are not as aware of the length of something like TCoMC. ..."

'Chunksters' are okay with me too. I kind of like a complete and total immersion in the world that author has assembled in his or her novel, and a big 'fat-book' just makes that feeling last longer. I'm a fast reader as well. I do understand though that we need to construct a reading and discussion schedule that allows any and all to meaningfully participate.


message 19: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, 'chunksters' are what I miss on the Kindle - that feeling of a big fat book in my hands that I can settle down to with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine for the best part of day and night or more:). Somehow, although it is 'there' on/in the Kindle and is easier to carry around should I want to take my chunkster on holiday. there isn't the same physical satisfaction.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "Yes, 'chunksters' are what I miss on the Kindle - that feeling of a big fat book in my hands that I can settle down to with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine for the best part of day and ni..."
That is so true, Madge! That is the one real reason why I have yet to purchase one of the e-readers. I just love the feel of the book in my hands, and the feeling of success as I watch the bookmark slowly migrate, fore to aft, through the book as I read it over a few days. Intellectually, I know that I should embrace the e-reader technology, but I just haven't done so, yet...


message 21: by Silver (new)

Silver I would love to read Jude the Obscure. I have been wanting to for quite a while. I keep trying to get the Victorian group to pick it, but it always falls short of winning.

Jane Eyre I have read already and though I did really enjoy it, I am not sure if I would be inclined to re-read it.

The Way We Live now would be completely new to me, but I certainly would be willing to give it a try. I am not that familiar with Trollope, and I would not object to reading more of his work.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
I am so tickled that there seems to be fairly significant interest from many of you for at least reading two of the three novels that I have suggested. That tells me that I am at least somewhat in touch with your reading interests in this group. I think I'll wait another day (today), and then go ahead and create a poll and send out a message inviting RR group members to vote for their choice. This will give folks time, during the "Ethan Frome" read, to acquire the book and start reading. I think we might have a week, or so, of a 'palette-cleanser' following the Wharton novel and before we start our new group read. Maybe some poetry and/or short-story. Stay tuned! ;-)


message 23: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Everyman: Yes, 50 pages a week does seem to work really well for the Chunksters group. It can make reads last a really long time, but we very rarely seem to lose readers. Plus, it works for folks (like me) that read multiple books at one time.

I'm currently leading the Crime & Punishment and Lord of the Rings reads over there, and we have small, but dedicated groups of readers for both.

Of course, I wouldn't mind a more ambitious schedule over here, but I think maxing out at 100 pages a week seems about right. :)


message 24: by Sasha (new)

Sasha A slower pace suits me as well.

On the subject of 'chunksters', I have a confession. Books are REALLY expensive in Australia and before I bought my Kindle, I resented spending AU$30 on a book that would take me a few days to read, so I started buying classics, which are cheaper. And if you buy a Trollope, it's cheap AND will last months!

So material considerations have enriched my reading life considerably. Any compunction I have now about reading e-versions of classics disappears when I remember I don't have to spend a cent.


message 25: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Sasha, I'm sometimes amazed by the cost of books nowadays. I especially find it ridiculous that American publishers continue to charge more for books in Canada, when the Canadian and U.S. dollars are essentially 1:1 now.

I buy most of my book used lately.


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Christopher wrote: ",,,the feeling of success as I watch the bookmark slowly migrate, fore to aft, through the book as I read it..."

That part you don't have to give up -- on the Kindle, and I assume other e-readers, there's a mark that moves slowly along the bottom of the screen as you read so you can see how far you are into the book and how much more there is left to enjoy.


message 27: by Bill (last edited Feb 20, 2011 01:52PM) (new)

Bill (BIll_B) | 605 comments Loretta wrote: "Sasha, I'm sometimes amazed by the cost of books nowadays. I especially find it ridiculous that American publishers continue to charge more for books in Canada, when the Canadian and U.S. dollars a..."

Most literature from 1800 to 1910 can be downloaded for free here into files compatible on kindle or Nook. I bought a Nook and this is the only reason I bought it, so I don't have to read books on my computer. I expect to save some money this way.


message 28: by Sasha (new)

Sasha I have saved money as well as space with my Kindle and I read on my iPhone too. As much as I think books make the best wallpaper, I am getting tired of schlepping to Ikea for yet more Billy bookcases!


message 29: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Sasha wrote: "I have saved money as well as space with my Kindle and I read on my iPhone too. As much as I think books make the best wallpaper, I am getting tired of schlepping to Ikea for yet more Billy bookcases!"

I read on my iPhone, too.


message 30: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Bill wrote: "Loretta wrote: "Sasha, I'm sometimes amazed by the cost of books nowadays. I especially find it ridiculous that American publishers continue to charge more for books in Canada, when the Canadian an..."

You might want to use this link instead:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

It includes Gutenberg along with other sites, it's more extensive.


message 31: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments Sasha wrote: "... As much as I think books make the best wallpaper, I am getting tired of schlepping to Ikea for yet more Billy bookcases!"

LOL, Sasha! Can I relate, especially since the size I usually want doesn't fit readily in my car. But, still no ereader, except PC screen (used for references, not for reading per se), in my life. No longer an early adopter of new technology -- I want features copyright laws probably will continue to inhibit.


message 32: by Bill (new)

Bill (BIll_B) | 605 comments Jaime wrote: "You might want to use this link instead:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

It includes Gutenberg along with other sites, it's more extensive. ..."


Thanks for the link Jaime. I do want to use that one instead.


message 33: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Bill wrote: "Jaime wrote: "You might want to use this link instead:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

It includes Gutenberg along with other sites, it's more extensive. ..."

Thanks for the link Jaime. I..."


:). I found it years ago and once I realized it included Gutenberg along with pretty much any free classic online anywhere, I never looked anywhere else for books.


message 34: by Historybuff93 (last edited Feb 21, 2011 08:26AM) (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments Christopher wrote: "I have given some careful thought over the past few days and I would like to offer a suggestion to all of you regarding our next group read and discussion following our completion of Edith Wharton'..."

They all sound good. Personally, I would be up for either The Way We Live Now or Jane Eyre.

Am I right in assuming you'd like to read the Hardy novel, Chris?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Historybuff93 wrote: "Christopher wrote: "I have given some careful thought over the past few days and I would like to offer a suggestion to all of you regarding our next group read and discussion following our completi..."

Personally, I would be very happy with any of them. I simply included "Jude the Obscure" because I believe it to be an incredibly fascinating novel that begs to be discussed by this group, but then I believe that the other two selections are equally meritorious in that regard as well.


message 36: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Considering that Jane Eyre is one of the books Chris is suggesting, is everybody aware that Goodreads is sponsoring a Jane Eyre Challenge?
http://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3

It's been discussed on several other groups.

I haven't looked into it more than minimally, don't know what it entails in terms of discussion, response, time frame, etc., but it offers an opportunity for those who want to read JE to join the challenge, whether or not we read it here.


message 37: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Christopher wrote: "HI simply included "Jude the Obscure" because I believe it to be an incredibly fascinating novel that begs to be discussed by this group, but then I believe that the other two selections are equally meritorious in that regard as well. ..."

I think it is the most emotionally powerful of the offerings. Which can be good or bad, depending. I tend to get empathetically involved with characters in the books I'm reading, and Jude moves me more strongly than most books.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Please Note--

The voting is completed, the race is run, and the count couldn't have been much closer; but we do have a winner.

The next group read for the "Readers Review" following our foray into Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome will be--

Thomas Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure.

I am really, really looking forward to reading this with all of you! Cheers!


message 39: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Christopher wrote: "The next group read for the "Readers Review" following our foray into Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome will be--

Thomas Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure.
"


Hmmm ... two rather gloomy novels in a row. Though both very powerful and very much worth reading and discussing.

But perhaps, Christopher, for your next set of offerings you will look for some slightly more cheerful, or at least somewhat less gloomy, offerings? Perhaps a lighter Trollope (such as Barchester Towers) ? Or perhaps, with apologies to Madge, going back to the earlier part of your time frame for an offering of Austen (not P&P, which is overly discussed, but maybe Emma or even S&S)? Or I'm sure others will have suggestions they can toss into the pot along with your own favorites for you to choose our next voting list from.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Christopher wrote: "The next group read for the "Readers Review" following our foray into Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome will be--

Thomas Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure.
"

Hmmm ... two rather..."


I still very much want to read a Trollope soon, and am hoping that we can convince others as well. I really want to read "The Way We Live Now", and I just obtained a copy of "Dr. Thorne" too. Plus, I still have "The Eustace Diamonds" near the top of my TBR pile. I would also be very open to a discussion of "Emma" or "S&S" too. Good suggestions!


message 41: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) I thought you has said we would do Jane Eyre next since it was so close (unless I'm mistaken).


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Jaime wrote: "I thought you has said we would do Jane Eyre next since it was so close (unless I'm mistaken)."

Jaime, you are absolutely correct. I am proposing that we read "Jane Eyre" following "Jude". The voting was so close, it would seem to indicate that there's a lot of interest in reading "Jane Eyre". Also the upcoming release of the new "Jane Eyre" film makes it timely.

In post no. 40, above, I was referring to reading a Trollope with all of you in the near future. Cheers!


message 43: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Christopher wrote: "Jaime wrote: "I thought you has said we would do Jane Eyre next since it was so close (unless I'm mistaken)."

Jaime, you are absolutely correct. I am proposing that we read "Jane Eyr..."


Oh ok, I thought you were referring to the very next read after Jude. It all makes sense now:)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
In fact, here is the comment that I made this morning to the bottom of the poll we just completed--

"I might add that as the vote was very, very close between "Jude the Obscure" and "Jane Eyre", I am going to suggest that the group read and discussion following "Jude the Obscure" should be "Jane Eyre". It looks like there is significant interest in reading it too. Hopefully this will meet with approval."

By the way, the voting in the poll ended with 31 total votes--

"Jude the Obscure" received 14 votes,
"Jane Eyre" received 12 votes, and
"The Way We Live Now" received 5 votes.


message 45: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) Oh I'm sorry I must have missed that.


message 46: by MadgeUK (last edited Feb 28, 2011 02:40PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Christopher wrote: I still very much want to read a Trollope soon, and am hoping that we can convince others as well...."

I with you on Trollope Christopher but Emma & S&S never. I prefer broad strokes to 'a fine brush'.:)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "Christopher wrote: I still very much want to read a Trollope soon, and am hoping that we can convince others as well...."

I with you on Trollope Christopher but Emma & S&S never. I prefer broad st..."


LOL! Yes, I figured I'd get a rise out you, Madge, if I brought up JA. ;-) I am sure we'll work something out that can make everyone happy (or moderately so anyway).


message 48: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Christopher wrote: "Jaime wrote: "I thought you has said we would do Jane Eyre next since it was so close (unless I'm mistaken)."

Jaime, you are absolutely correct. I am proposing that we read "Jane Eyr..."


I certainly hope that the many people who voted for Jane Eyre who have never posted or participated in this group before come forward to be active in the discussion. Most of those who voted for it are fairly new to the group, and have not yet introduced themselves to us. I hope they can be encouraged to introduce themselves and become active participants!


message 49: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments MadgeUK wrote: "I with you on Trollope Christopher but Emma & S&S never.."

Awww, come on, Madge. I read D. H. Lawrence with you; you can read Ausen with me!


message 50: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) MadgeUK wrote: "Christopher wrote: I still very much want to read a Trollope soon, and am hoping that we can convince others as well...."

I with you on Trollope Christopher but Emma & S&S never. I prefer broad st..."


I won't read Austen either.


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