The Next Best Book Club discussion

Revive a Dead Thread > And The Winner for Februarys Group Read is....

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10232 comments Mod
The polls are set.
You can vote once on each poll.
Poll 1 is for the regular Fiction/Non Fiction novel.
Poll 2 is for the Romance/ Love Story novel.

Voting is open NOW until Monday.
Get em in while you can!

The top vote getter on each poll will be our group reads for February.

message 2: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments AHHH I must be too soon because I don't see it!!

message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melitious) Donna, it's down toward the bottom. I thought I had missed it, too.

message 4: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments No. It really wasn't there for a sec! but after refreshing my page 2 more times it finally showed up. Phew!!!!

message 5: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments I dunno Fiona but I have nominated the same book 3 times already and it hasn't won yet! I am going to read it regardless I just wanna share!

message 6: by sara frances (new)

sara frances (sara_frances) What happened to Bridget Jones?


message 7: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I can't see the poll to vote. I must be doing something wrong.

message 8: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Do you need a lozenge? (brat;)

message 9: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Sorry Fiona, I have to vote for books that I already own, which doesn't include ICTC. ;)

But if anyone wants to vote for, I dunno, a book set in Afghanistan and maybe another book which is a variation of my name, it would be much appreciated.

*wink wink, nudge nudge*

message 10: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I just realized, last night, actually, that I own Mists of Avalon already, so...

message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10232 comments Mod
Kate, it wasnt intentional. I was rushing to get them all on and I must have missed it. Sorry. She is there now!

message 12: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (jozanny) I confess I voted for Emma because I have it, and it is familiar territory, and my impending temporary relocation is shredding my nerves despite assurances that I will be given an Internet line.

I don't have much in the way of valuable furniture, but for my bed being relatively new and my Dell a relatively expensive upgrade, but I will have to do all this without a power chair fitted for me that I can trust, and the anxiety is doing its number on me, which is why I am not hunkered down and producing like a good journalist. I want the renovations done and over with so I can fight over my new chair in peace! But if they are booting me in Feb and I can still log in, I will have plenty of reading material on hand, even in boxes...

message 13: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Hmm... I have Emma too. I think I may change my vote. :)

message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments :D YAYY.

message 15: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) So many books to choose..

message 16: by Joanna (new)

Joanna  (darkrose) | 1 comments The Audacity of Hope is my vote

message 17: by Jon (new)

Jon How excitement! my nom is in joint 1st place. Vote for Remains of the day! (not only becuase its on my shelf and needs reading but it won the booker prize lol). Small dilemma though - how am i going to read something 'on top' of the winter challenge!

message 18: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Fiona, I think I voted for your suggestion. The other one I chose the one I suggested Mists of Avalon.

message 19: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments I voted for my nomination: kafka on the shore. but I have 7 books on the category 1 on mt tbr. so i'm just hoping one of them wins.

message 20: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Jeane, I voted for yours because I have it. We're still going to read Outlander, right?

message 21: by Donna (last edited Jan 23, 2009 07:24AM) (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments There are a few that are on my TBR and also some that I have read and some I own so if any of those win then I will be OK.

I hear so many good things about Bridge of Sighs

message 22: by Kandice (new)

Kandice What if there's a tie?

JG (Introverted Reader) I think whenever there's been a tie in the past, we've read both books. That would probably be up to Lori to decide though.

JG (Introverted Reader) And there are some awfully big books nominated. Maybe we'll have a runoff vote this time?

message 25: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Kandice wrote: "Jeane, I voted for yours because I have it. We're still going to read Outlander, right?"

Great kandice, if it would get chosen I think it would make me finally read it! I also chose the one Fiona likes but for the other category. There were many interesting ones but as it will come from the library I limited my choice. Would love to read the one about Obama, but didn't find it in the local library yet.

message 26: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments poor Lori, we are already talking about what to do if the result is a tie, if if ....:-) I am so curious which books get picked!!!! I always hope my suggestion gets picked but it makes me read more books I wouldn't have thought about. like now I am reading Jonathan strange and Mr Norrel! Wouldn't ahve watched that one in a bookshop BUt I am really enjoying it!

message 27: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments LOL!!

What if 2 really big books won??? As you say, Feb is a shirt month ;)

JG (Introverted Reader) I was poking around in another group and saw that they have sort of a "Vote for my nomination because..." thread. Do you think something like that would be good for campaigning here? Or, I guess we sort of use this thread for that, don't we?

message 29: by Jen (new)

Jen (nekokitty) | 110 comments My daughter's name is Anja, so I'm actually buying Anja the Liar. On top of judging a book by the title, it does sound like an interesting read!

message 30: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments I voted!!! So many great choices. It was hard to choose. I have read several on the poll, so I never vote on one I have read. Lots I'd like to read.
Can;t wait!!

message 31: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments I know that a lot of people love the romance of Gone with the Wind, but I just have to say that it is one of the most racist books ever written. Not quite as bad as neo-nazi propaganda, but it is bad...

message 32: by Becky (last edited Jan 23, 2009 01:56PM) (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Rachel, I agree with you to a point. I just Googled "Margaret Mitchell" and found an article on her, which contained this quote:

"[Gone with the Wind:] has been hailed as a contribution to feminism, held up as an allegory for the development of the United States, and condemned as racist and even sadomasochistic. Racist it unquestionably is--almost inevitably so, given the time and place of its composition. Beyond that, it gives powerful support to damaging stereo-types that for long helped sustain racial segregation. It romanticizes the slave-owning class, and, except perhaps for D.W. Griffith's classic Birth of a Nation, no work has done more to misrepresent Reconstruction as a cruelty visited upon an innocent white South--whereas today historians generally agree that it was an honest, if flawed, attempt to bring real democracy to a region that had never known it."

Scarlett is a spoiled girl, who wants to have everything her own way, and keep her easy life exactly the way it always was. Some of her anger at the difficult life she has to live after the war comes across as racism.

However, Scarlett also trusts, loves and defends black people. When she is attacked in Shanty Town, Big Sam saves her. Later, she defends her aunt's black servant to Yankee women as "part of the family". Pork, a servant in her own house tells her (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'that if she was a nice to white people as she was to blacks, more people would like her'.

I don't mean to ramble on... :) The book does promote race and class stereotypes, but I still think that it is worth reading anyway. It's one of my favorite books, even though I don't have a racist bone in my body.

(Edit to add that this is one of the best books for teaching people about racism and how NOT to behave.) :)

message 33: by Rachel (last edited Jan 23, 2009 02:30PM) (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments "The former field hands found themselves suddenly elevated to the seats of the mighty. There they conducted themselves as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild -- either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance."

- Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)

I doubt that most people who read it come out thinking, "Man, I really shouldn't treat black folks that way." If someone wants to learn about racism and how not to act, I recommend To Kill a Mockingbird. If someone wants a romance, read some Jane Austin (or Nora Roberts, depending on your tastes). But I reiterate my initial sentiment - Gone with the Wind is rubbish. I'd rather have hot pokers stuck under my fingernails than let it cross the threshold of my house.

Granted, this is just my opinion and I have to admit that as the wife of a black man, the mother of a mixed race child and the descendant of slave owners, I might not be completely objective.

message 34: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (jozanny) Eh. I tend to think things have their time and place. As a disabled woman, I readily admit I have biases, and I may even be more wicked still and have prejudices as well. Would I not read Norman Mailer because feminists castigate him? I think not; in his heyday he was a writer of great power, and I just ordered some of his work.

I can barely remember GWTW. I know I read at least part of the novel when I was 12, in Shriners Hospital, which butchered crips of the poor for free, as they would me. Do I consider it great literature? No, but it was popular because Mitchell troped on post-Reconstruction nostalgia for an agrarian caste system which is treated as a hallowed way of life by those who are comforted with notions of "everyone knowing their place", and Scarlet is, in some ways, an American Cinderella, like most heroines of such a type. Mitchell's *South* is no more real than Faulkner's, or even Morrison's, for that matter--but the story endures, powerful in its own right.

I don't condemn it for that. I don't buy it, but I don't condemn it for being what it is.

message 35: by Rachel (last edited Jan 23, 2009 03:07PM) (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments I condemn it, and I am okay with that. I don't believe in censorship and I am definitely not a book burner. I am just stating my reasons and giving people other information that they might not have. When making a decision, I don't think it really hurts to have more information, or at the very least some perspective. While Mitchell's South may not be real, the sentiment behind it certainly is and the same can be said for Morrison, just from the other side. But we can't sit around and pretend that these things don't influence people and their thought processes. Birth of a Nation brought back the KKK, an organization that died after Reconstruction. People killed other human beings and used things like that to justify it.

My personal feeling is that when people read this type of literature and just gloss over the blatant racism so that they can enjoy the love story, they are missing part of the story. We can't learn from the mistakes of the past without first acknowledging them. People are either going to read it or not. I don't expect anyone to change their minds because of me and I won't disparage or judge those who read it. I just think that if people read it thinking that it is just a love story, they won't really learn anything from it.

And a note on Morrison's South - My husband's mother is white and his father is black. They could BE married in the state of Texas, but they could not GET married in the state of Texas when he was born. This was after civil rights. Sometimes the truth of the idea outweighs the elements of fiction. That is where I feel To Kill a Mockingbird has value.

message 36: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (jozanny) That is cool by me Rachel. If we did not have the argument, in a philosophical sense, we wouldn't be human. I think, however, I was attempting two points, at least through the back door: Humans will always find ways to exploit each other. I have suffered for my broken body at the hands of a variety of ethnic/cultural groups, and two, Mitchell was a good hacker for her time. I don't think she should be hanged for creating a popular romance which was acceptable by pre-WW2 standards.

We have grown up since then, but every literary and cultural history has the sin and the price of its civilization behind it, the era of Obama notwithstanding.

message 37: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments I agree with both of your points with the exception of one thing, which is that I think we are not completely grown up. I figure humanity to be at about adolescence right now. We know just enough to get ourselves into trouble, less about getting out of, and we still manage to think that we know everything (as a collective). And I hope that my tirade wasn't offensive, I certainly did not intend it to be so. It just bugs me when people go on and on about the romance without looking past that. It would be like reading Lolita and coming out of it with the opinion that it was really nice of Humbert Humbert to take care of that little girl after her mom died.

Every story (movie, book, etc.) has layers and I think that people should make an attempt to breach more than just the outer shell. I want them to taste the sweet knowledge contained in the jelly center.

message 38: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments And now I want a doughnut.

message 39: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (jozanny) Rachel wrote: "And now I want a doughnut."

Can't help you there. I don't want to cook just yet so I am slicing feta cheese on cracker and maybe trying it with a bit of sliced turkey.

message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) "We can't learn from the mistakes of the past without first acknowledging them."

You are absolutely right.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is another one of my favorite books and is an excellent example of a book useful for teaching tolerance. But, I think that ANY book that depicts ignorance, prejudice and racism, (or any negative trait for that matter) is useful in the same way, as long as someone takes the time to USE it.

"Every story (movie, book, etc.) has layers and I think that people should make an attempt to breach more than just the outer shell. I want them to taste the sweet knowledge contained in the jelly center."

I can agree with you there! (Mmmm... Jelly!)

message 41: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) Let's show the US President some love and vote for The Audacity of Hope Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream !!!

message 42: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10232 comments Mod
Dont worry about a tie, we can deal with that when and if it occurs. We still have a little time.

As far as creating a post for pushing your book for noms.... uh-uh! NO way! what a disaster that would be... becuase you are correct, we totally use this thread for it! hee hee... If we did that, people would start creating a poll for each book that was nominated and it would be craziness.... Sheer insane craziness.....

message 43: by Kandice (new)

Kandice You're such a good moderator Lori! Always thinking ahead. (we WOULD muck up the threads!)

message 44: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10232 comments Mod
Yeah, well, Ive learned hard lessons in the past.
Live and learn some, right :)

message 45: by Jon (new)

Jon oh no... i think am guilty of having posted a vote fixing post on this thread pushing my nom. The shame! slunks of with tail between legs ... have been told!

message 46: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelsessum) | 856 comments Feta is really good on pizza instead of mozzarella. Yum...

message 47: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments JG wrote: "I was poking around in another group and saw that they have sort of a "Vote for my nomination because..." thread. Do you think something like that would be good for campaigning here? Or, I guess ..."

I don't think so JG. And I also like the surprise of it.

message 48: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 24, 2009 12:40AM) (new)

Sorry to come back to it: But isn't that exactly why you should read books that are "distasteful"? Some things are to be read because they are "good books" and/or for what they can teach you directly - To Kill a Mockingbird, for one - and others for what they teach you indirectly.

Gone with the Wind was published in 1936, by a southern white woman born in 1900 (and that too was pretty unusual; I'll give her points for breaking out of the "southern belle" mold). I think it has a lot to teach if you look at it from the right perspective and keep in mind the historical context.

If you want another book from that era (a little later, Angelou was born in 1928) that teaches directly, try Maya Angelou's "I know why the caged bird sings", the first of her autobiographies describing life in the southern US from the perspective of a young black girl (in the mid 1930s) at the time when Mitchell was writing GWTW.

PS: I read GWTW and didn't despise it. Thought bits of it were okay, but wanted to slap Scarlett soundly. I don't think Mitchell wanted us to like Scarlett; she was describing a type to avoid.

message 49: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments It is fiction after all....

message 50: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Hayes, thank you for stating what was in my head better than I could! :)

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