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babelbel

Suggestions for April read

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Hi all,

 

No one has raised any objections to the structure that has been proposed so I've decided to take the bull by the horns and get going with it.

 

I don't think there are enough members at the moment to have book groups for particular genre of books so I think this month we should carry on with just the one. Can you post any suggestions you have for the next read here or PM (private message) me with them.

 

Here is my timetable for this:

 

opening suggestions now

3rd April Voting opens for May read

24th April Voting closes for May Read

1st May Forums open for May read

 

If there are a lot of suggestions that I can group into particular genre then I'll look at starting another group 2 weeks after this one (i.e voting starting 17th.) It's getting complicated so I'll leave it at that for just now.

 

Any questions - ask - otherwise no-one will know you had them.

 

Any objections - shout at me - I won't take offence

 

ig

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Thanks for taking this on, iggi. It sounds fine, except for the length of time you've allowed for a vote. I only allowed a week for March's choice, and that was plenty of time to gauge the reaction to the four books put forward.

 

A week would mean that the reading could start much earlier, and the discussion too - which would make it the BGO Book Club Choice for April. May seems a long way off at the moment, and I think we should be looking at doing this once a month.

 

I think it's important too that not too many books go forward to the poll, otherwise the votes will be spread too thinly. Perhaps there should be a maximum of five.

 

Any other thoughts out there?

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As the BookCrossing bookgroup seems to be defunct, I would like to offer the suggestion I made there:

 

We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch

 

This is the story of the Rwandan Genocide, the history leading up to it, and the disgracefully slow and inadequate world reaction. In spite of the horrific subject matter I found it very readable.

It made a very deep impression on me, and is on my top ten list of 'favourite' books. It has been read by all my reading groups, as I bought 3 copies and pressed them upon my reading friends!

 

As it is now 10 years since these dreadful massacres occurred it seems an appropriate time to read the book again, and company in doing so would be nice. It would probably also be useful to read it as background before going to see 'Hotel Rwanda'

 

Here is the Amazon review and synopsis:

Amazon.co.uk Review

"Hutus kill Tutsis, then Tutsis kill Hutus--if that's really all there is to it, then no wonder we can't be bothered with it," Philip Gourevitch writes, imagining the response of somebody in a country far from the ethnic strife and mass killings of Rwanda. But the situation is not so simple, and in this complex and wrenching book, he explains why the Rwandan genocide should not be written off as just another tribal dispute.

 

The "stories" in this book's subtitle are both the author's, as he repeatedly visits this tiny country in an attempt to make sense of what has happened, and those of the people he interviews. These include a Tutsi doctor who has seen much of her family killed over decades of Tutsi oppression, a Schindleresque hotel manager who hid hundreds of refugees from certain death, and a Rwandan bishop who has been accused of supporting the slaughter of Tutsi schoolchildren, and can only answer these charges by saying, "What could I do?" Gourevitch, a staff writer for the New Yorker, describes Rwanda's history with remarkable clarity and documents the experience of tragedy with a sober grace. The reader will ask along with the author: Why does this happen? And why don't we bother to stop it?

 

Synopsis

An account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. It chronicles what has happened in Rwanda since 1994, when the government called on the Hutu majority to murder the Tutsi minority. Some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives the book its title. The author descibes the anguish of genocide's aftermath: mass displacements; revenge and the quest for justice; and impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival.

 

Sorry this is such a long post, but I am quite passonate about this book.

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Two books that are sitting fairly high on my "to read soon" list, are Vernon God Little and Cloud Atlas. I think if I have to nominate just one, it would be Cloud Atlas.

 

Unless the membership becomes unmanageable, I think it might be a good idea to keep the group as covering all genres. I like the idea of being challenged to read something I wouldn't normally.

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I agree that there should be just one book, and with some tweeking to the timescales (a tricky topic that I've tried to help with but probably hindered) it could easily be April's book. Indeed, I didn't realise there wasn't one for April yet. And a week to vote is long enough. Five finalists sounds about right too. Hey, I'm agreeing with everone.

 

And props to ig for starting us off.

 

My suggestion would a book from a genre I haven't ever read. I'm no sci-fi reader, so a classic Phillip K. Dick or Asimov perhaps. Most "classic" novels slipped me by so a Bronte or an Eyre wouldn't go amiss either. Biography too. I'd suggest anything that that's not right in my face when I walk into a chain-store book selling business (I won't deign to call them bookshops).

 

I'd like to read something out of my usual choice. Thus I'd vote for the Rwandan one to be on the shortlist. I guess posting suggestions here is like putting a book on the longlist ;)

 

Another vote for Cloud Atlas, even though I've already read it and posted about it elsewhere on the site.

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Thank you for the suggestions so far.

 

In light of what Bill and Chris have said I am going to revise the timetable slightly. I'll also post the timetable on the main discussion group forum.

 

So.............

 

Suggestions now open

Voting opens 2nd April

Voting closes 9th April

Discussion Forums open 16th April

 

Hows that! :)

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I'm no sci-fi reader, so a classic Phillip K. Dick or Asimov perhaps. Most "classic" novels slipped me by so a Bronte or an Eyre wouldn't go amiss either.{/QUOTE]

 

As a huge fan of Asimov, I would recommend starting with some of his smaller books such as the 'Robot' stories, i.e., 'Caves of Steel,' 'The Naked Sun' and 'The Robots of Dawn'. These are character studies and detective stories as well as sci-fi. Then tackle the Foundation series which is fabulous.

 

As 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Dumas is a classic, and was on the original poll for the March book and had some good backing, could we not propose that for April's vote? New fiction is good but some classic literature should also be included in the Book Group discussions. I don't think that years from now anyone will be referring to such books as 'Saturday' and expecting people to know about them in the way that it is assumed that 'The Count of Monte Cristo' or 'Pride and Prejudice' are known.

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Well so far we've got :

 

Non- Fiction : We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch

 

Contemporary Fiction: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

 

Sci Fi: 'Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

 

I would recommend starting with some of his smaller books such as the 'Robot' stories, i.e., 'Caves of Steel,' 'The Naked Sun' and 'The Robots of Dawn'

I've just picked the first one on your list ChrisG - if you think one of the others would be a better read for the group let me know.

 

Classic Fiction: ?????????????

 

Any suggestions from anyone out there? I know you've all got a mountain of 'to be read' books!!

 

It doesn't have to be classic fiction but it would round off the choices.

 

Voting starts Saturday!

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I like the idea of being challenged to read something I wouldn't normally.

Yes, I like this idea too! It could also be interesting for lovers of a particular genre to hear the opinions and reactions of those who usually steer clear of said genre.

There might even be some 'conversions'! Or at least some prejudices blasted away.

 

However, I hereby offer to eat my hat if I ever enjoy a sci-fi book ;)

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It's a personal opinion, but I think the ideal book is something that has come out in paperback in the past few months. At this stage of the BGO Book Group, I don't think it's a good idea to choose something that only a small proportion of BGO members are likely to want to read at this time. Once we have more members, we can have more book groups, with separate ones for non-fiction, general fiction, classic fiction, even science fiction.

 

My choice is Cloud Atlas, as I have bought it already, based on the views of those who have posted about it on this site. It seems that most people who read it love it, and from what I know of it, it sounds highly original.

 

I should say that I write now as MD&G rather than Bill, and in this instance, I have no more sway than any other poster.

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NB. I have changed the title of this thread from Suggestions for May read to Suggestions for April read to avoid confusion (and hopefully not cause it).

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Even H G Wells, Jules Verne or John Wyndham?

 

ig :P

OK...... They just count as a small bonnet. Easily digested :rolleyes:

 

I mean, hardcore sci-fi.

 

I think.

 

See, I don't even bloody know what I'm talking about. Prime conversion candidate, me.

 

:)

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However, I hereby offer to eat my hat if I ever enjoy a sci-fi book ;)

 

Ender's Game! :) *edited to clarify that this is not a vote, only a recommendation for Magwitch*

 

 

Suggestions:

Crime and Punishment (I suspect this may be the only way I blaze thru this book.)

Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club (forgot the author, but it looks hilarious)

(mebbe too girly. sorry)

Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

 

hmm

that's all I'll say, because my TBR pile's pretty steep, and some of them are bookrays that can't take a back seat.

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It's a personal opinion, but I think the ideal book is something that has come out in paperback in the past few months. At this stage of the BGO Book Group, I don't think it's a good idea to choose something that only a small proportion of BGO members are likely to want to read at this time. Once we have more members, we can have more book groups, with separate ones for non-fiction, general fiction, classic fiction, even science fiction.

 

My choice is Cloud Atlas, as I have bought it already, based on the views of those who have posted about it on this site. It seems that most people who read it love it, and from what I know of it, it sounds highly original.

 

I should say that I write now as MD&G rather than Bill, and in this instance, I have no more sway than any other poster.

Well, I'm not so sure. I really think that if the book group discussion is going to be interesting then you need to have people involved who don't necessarily have any pre-conceived ideas. The fact that lots of people 'love' the book already puts me off, frankly. Not off the book just off the idea of it being a great big love-in . Am I out of step here? :(

I don't want to be, it's just that I think the book group discussion should start as it means to go on - there should be no special considerations, no 'oh well, we've just started' get-out clauses. It just has to be a straightforward democratic vote or....... a benign dictatorship. Personally I'm easy either way. As long as there is a 'your benign dictatorship rule sucks, you are hereby challenged' kind of clause is included. :)

 

I just read the post again - mad dog and Bill are the same person??

Bloody hell, maybe the next book should be 1984!

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My nomination is The Shadow Of The Wind -Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.

 

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

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Hi all,

How about 'The Triumph of the Sun' by Wilbur Smith

 

Celebrated for his historical fiction since the 1964 publication of 'When the Lion Feeds', Smith returns with an epic tale of holy war in Egypt. Rich with vibrant historical detail and infused with his inimitable powers of storytelling, this is Smith at his masterful best.

 

Cheers

Cabrasopa :cool:

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Having somewhat belatedly discovered the works of the wondrous Kate Atkinson may i humbly suggest that anything by her might be considered as the groups forthcoming Book Of The Month? "Behind The Scenes At The Museum" remains her best known work but for me the follow-up "Human Croquet" is an even greater triumph. Both these novels are accessible, warm, humane and suffused with an abiding insight into the human spirit. What's more they are laugh-out-loud hilarious too! "Not The End Of The World" is a recent collection of short stories which i am sure could provide much lively debate amongs fellow members.

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Ender's Game! :) *edited to clarify that this is not a vote, only a recommendation for Magwitch*

 

Thanks! I just googled it and let me get this right, it's about a six year old called Ender and aliens called.....Buggers. I'm taking it that the author is American, yes? :D

 

Anyway, I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks again. Hat is at the ready.

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I enjoyed Kurt Vonnegut's books "Galapagos" & "The Sirens of Titan" even though I'm not really a fan of sci-fi novels.

I thought that the second "Ender" book was pretty good too although I can't remember what it was called - maybe I'm more of a sci-fi fan than I thought!

 

For the book of the month nomination I would go for "The Shadow of the Wind" only because I have just been given a copy (sadly not "bookcrossed" though!)

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