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  1. THE BOARD ROOM

    1. Welcome to BGO!

      Find out more about Book Group Online, learn how to use the board and say hello!

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    2. Board Business

      The place for discussions about BGO and its operation. Suggestions welcome!

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    3. Site News & Support

      This forum is for general announcements and any tips or questions about the site.

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  2. GENERAL FICTION

    1. Central Library

      This is the place to discuss general book-related matters.

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    6. Writers' Corner

      Whether you're a professional or budding writer or just write for fun, this is the place to discuss writing - whether it's fiction, non-fiction, comedy, journalism etc.

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  3. FICTION GENRES

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  4. NON-FICTION

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    6. Life, The Universe & Everything

      This forum covers humanity, nature and all forms of science.

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  5. CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS

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    2. Read To

      Picture Books To Share

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    3. Read Alone

      For Independent Reading

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    4. Read With

      Learning Readers

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    5. Read On

      Teen/Adult Crossovers

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  6. BGO GROUP READS

    1. BGO Book Group Meeting Point

      Current talking points, suggestions and votes.

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    7. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

      The secong group read of 2014

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    8. Book Group Archive

      This is an archive of all the discussions from earlier book group choices.

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  7. ANYTHING BUT BOOKS

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  8. SUBSCRIBERS' AREA

    1. Subscribers' Offers

      Occasionally we are given special offers for promotional purposes. These offers are usually restricted to our Subscribers and posted here, with thanks for their support of the board.

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  • Posts

    • LEAR                                     Know we have divided In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters (Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state), Which of you shall we say doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril, Our eldest-born, speak first.   Shakespeare, King Lear I/i
    • I hope it went well for you, Meg
    • Second Covid Vaccination today. Hoping for fewer side effects this time.
    • A superb exploration of loneliness and the roles we are forced to play. The book revolves around a deaf/mute named John Singer. After his friend (also a deaf/mute) is put into an institution, Singer moves into a new room where, slowly but surely, four characters come to view him as a kind of spiritual leader. They go to him to tell of their woes, their frustrations, their dreams. Because he can't speak, he is forced into the role of listener (whether her wants to be or not) and they quickly transform him into a blank canvas for their worldview. Unbeknownst to them, however, Singer also has a life. He too requires a figure in his life whom can give meaning to his loneliness (this being his deaf/mute friend). That Singer has his own life never occurs to them. He has been unpersoned by them in their desire for him to have the answers. The four of them begin to visit him on a regular basis. First, there is Biff the café owner who represents the middle-class view. Then Jake Blount, the working-class alcoholic. Then Dr. Copeland, the African American idealist. And finally, Mick, a young girl who dreams of being a musician but who is inevitably forced into conforming towards a more conventional role as a woman. Each of these people are oppressed by the role they must play in life. Blount and Copeland seek answers in a simplistic and utopian form of Marxism. Mick in romantic ideals and Biff, the most important character in my opinion, in hoping for a better tomorrow. The writing is wonderful, full of fluid and detached prose which works perfectly (despite often not being my cup of tea). McCullers has a great gift for telling a character's story whilst simultaneously placing you in another moment. She can switch between the two with ease. The narrative flows nicely and slowly builds a realistic world. At no point does she throw in an affair or a murder. The book essentially has no plot (my preferred type) and simply tells a self-contained story of lonely people looking to escape the chains that life has put them in. I interpreted the ending as ultimately pessimistic though. It ends with Mick showing signs of slowly conforming to her role as a socially acceptable female. She now wears earrings, has embraced the 9 to 5, and is moving away from her tomboy persona. Some may view this as a positive (that she is blossoming) but I saw it as Mick succumbing to the social norms, to the daily grind. Because, eventually, we all do. A fantastic debut novel. Highly recommended.
    • O, what can ail thee, knight at arms, Alone and palely loitering; The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing.   O, what can ail thee, knight at arms, So haggard and so woe-begone? The squirrel's granary is full, And the harvest's done.   I see a lily on thy brow With anguish moist and fever-dew, And on thy cheeks a fading rose Fast withereth too.   I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful - a faery's child, Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild.   I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too, and fragrant zone, She looked at me as she did love, And made sweet moan.   I set her on my pacing steed And nothing else saw all day long; For sideways would she lean, and sing A faery's song.   She found me roots of relish sweet, And honey wild and manna dew; And sure in language strange she said - I love thee true.   She took me to her elfin grot, And there she gazed and sighed full sore: And there I shut her wild, wild eyes With kisses four.   And there she lulled me asleep, And there I dreamed, ah woe betide, The latest dream I ever dreamed On the cold hill side.   I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all: They cry'd - "La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!"   I saw their starved lips in the gloam With horrid warning gaped wide, And I awoke, and found me here On the cold hill side.   And this is why I sojourn here Alone and palely loitering, Though the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing.   John Keats - 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'
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