Introduction (General Book Club Discussion)

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by Arkie Proud, May 2, 2012.

  1. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    laxjoe also marked something on Goodreads I've been meaning to read as well. If everyone is set on Dune for January then maybe we could do this for a future month. Or if this sounds better, move forward with this one? Up to you guys. This book has been getting a lot of buzz the past year.

    The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
    Goodreads profile

    Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

    In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

    As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share
     
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  2. Truman

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    So Dune is the pick for January? Im making an executive decision here unless someone speaks up.
     
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  3. Truman

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    I was underwhelmed w Underground Railroad. I had pretty high expectations due to all the hype and thought it was just ok. He does a good job of vividly recreating the horrors of slavery, but the rest fell flat for me, and I couldnt really put my finger on it.

    Still should read it if you have though, imo
     
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  4. RegimentML

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    I guess so
     
  5. BigRed

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    I hardly read at all in 2016. Hopefully my schedule won't be as busy in 2017. Going to try and read at least 24 books. Kicking it off with Arnold Palmer's "A Life Well Played". Going to read Candice Millard's new book on Churchill sometime soon, and I am looking for a few good fiction novels. Looking forward to checking out some of your suggestions and participating in the book club when time permits.
     
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  6. Truman

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  7. RegimentML

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    Sounds really interesting. And fairly short.

    Good with me.
     
  8. Truman

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    Finally got around to starting Master of Formalities. Only 7 chapters in. So far it's the same kind of fun/quirky/quick read that The Magic Series was.
     
  9. RegimentML

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    So are we looking at The North Water for February? Any other suggestions?
     
  10. The Blackfish

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    I'm good with it.
     
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  11. Truman

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    Let's start thinking about March. Any ideas?
     
  12. RegimentML

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    I'll refrain (from making suggestions) for the time being. Maybe we can get some new blood. Participation has been down the last few months.
     
  13. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!
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  14. Truman

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  15. RegimentML

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    Well, I guess I'll post something then.

    Saw a friend was reading this. It's not something I'd usually read but it has great reviews and seems like it'd be a decent book club choice.

    The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein (Goodreads)

    Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

    Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

    A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.
     
  16. The Blackfish

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    I think most here have already read it. I could be wrong. I'll take some time today to see if I can find something.
     
  17. RegimentML

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    Fair enough. It's been out for a while
     
  18. Truman

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    Ive read it.

    I dont have any suggestions. Do we want to do a classic this month?

    or Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman? Although Im not sure it would make for great discussion
     
  19. RegimentML

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    Is it worth reading?
     
  20. Truman

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    Yeah I liked it.
     
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  21. RegimentML

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    Any thoughts?
     
  22. RegimentML

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    No idea if this is something you all would be interested in, but I'll just throw it out there:

    I'm starting one of David Foster Wallace's essay collections, entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments. Here's the description and link:

    In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.

    Essays collected in the book spoilered

    • "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley" (Harper's, December 1991, under the title "Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes")
      • An autobiographical essay about Wallace's youth in the Midwest, his involvement in competitive tennis, and his interest in mathematics.
    • "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction" (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1993)
    • "Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All" (Harper's, 1994, under the title "Ticket to the Fair")
      • Wallace's experiences and opinions on the 1993 Illinois State Fair, ranging from a reports on competitive baton twirling to speculation on how the Illinois State Fair is representative of Midwestern culture and its subsets. Rather than take the easy, dismissive route, Wallace focuses on the joy this seminal midwestern experience brings those involved.
    • "Greatly Exaggerated" (Harvard Book Review, 1992)
      • A review of Morte d'Author: An Autopsy by H. L. Hix, including Wallace's personal opinions on the role of the author in literary critical theory.
    • "David Lynch Keeps His Head" (Premiere, 1996)
      • Wallace's experiences and opinions from visiting the set for Lost Highway and his thoughts about Lynch's oeuvre.
    • "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness" (Esquire, 1996, under the title "The String Theory")
      • Wallace's reporting of the qualifying rounds for the 1995 Canadian Open and the Open itself, with the author's thoughts on the nature of tennis and professional athletics.
    • "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (Harper's, 1996, under the title "Shipping Out")
      • Wallace's experiences and opinions on a seven night luxury Caribbean cruise.
     
  23. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    So I guess we're taking this month off?
     
  24. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I guess. Let's regroup in April I guess.
     
  25. RegimentML

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    April suggestion

    The Circle - Dave Eggers - Goodreads

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.


    Movie trailer spoilered. Not the greatest Goodreads scores but couldn't think of anything else.

     
  26. RegimentML

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    Another nomination

    The Son - Philipp Meyer - Goodreads

    The description is spoilered since it was kind of long.

    The acclaimed author of American Rust, returns with The Son: an epic, multigenerational saga of power, blood, and land that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the border raids of the early 1900s to the oil booms of the 20th century.

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim.

    Spring, 1849. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to Comanche life, learning their ways and language, answering to a new name, carving a place as the chief's adopted son, and waging war against their enemies, including white men-complicating his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, and overwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized or fully wild, he must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully belong-a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that reverberates in the lives of his progeny.

    Intertwined with Eli's story are those of his son, Peter, a man who bears the emotional cost of his father's drive for power, and JA, Eli's great-granddaughter, a woman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed in a man's world.

    Phillipp Meyer deftly explores how Eli's ruthlessness and steely pragmatism transform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor, children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richest powers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCoulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.

    Harrowing, panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievement from a sublime young talent.

     
  27. The Blackfish

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    Did we not already do The Son? I know I've read it and don't remember if it was for this or not
     
  28. The Blackfish

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    Yep August 2013
     
  29. RegimentML

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    Damn. Nevermind then.
     
  30. The Blackfish

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    My nomination

    upload_2017-3-22_13-38-12.png

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30008702-nutshell?from_choice=true

    Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse but John's not here. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month old resident of Trudy's womb.

    Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world's master storytellers.

    upload_2017-3-22_13-39-16.png [/spoiler
     
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  31. Truman

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    Got my vote.
     
  32. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    It's got my vote as well
     
  33. LKRFN

    LKRFN Aces!
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    I haven't read a book club book as it happened in a while. Need to make a change and do so with everyone for this one. Anyone have a copy?
     
  34. The Blackfish

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    I'll snag one when I get off work this afternoon
     
  35. Truman

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    its on MAM
     
  36. Truman

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    CoastalOrange this is where we discuss the book club books.

    For April

     
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  37. LKRFN

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    Know we're barely in on April but since I haven't nominated a book in forever, felt like now would be a good time:

    Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Would probably be the 7th or 8th of his we've done but it's one I've wanted to read for a while.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11590._Salem_s_Lot
     
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  38. RegimentML

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    I've read it before but I think others would enjoy it and would make good conversation
     
  39. The Blackfish

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    Same
     
  40. Truman

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    Iron Mickey How is that Man of War series I see youre reading on GR? Sounds like it's right up my alley.
     
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  41. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
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    Cheesy but incredibly fun. Very light.
     
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  42. Oshie

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    Would definitely join you guys if this is selected for May; been on my read list along with his 11/22/63.
     
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  43. The Blackfish

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    Bump 11/22/63 to the top of your list.
     
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  44. LKRFN

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    Unless you can't finish it before May begins! If so, wait until after Salem's Lot!
     
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  45. Oshie

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    I'm on The Professor In The Cage now and would finish in time for Salem next month.

    11/22/63 looks right up my alley and I requested it from the library for after Salems
     
  46. Truman

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    Salem's lot is locked in for May?

    I always begrudgingly read King novels. They always intimidate me for some reason due to length and how weird they are, but 90% of the time I really end up enjoying them.
     
  47. LKRFN

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    LET'S DO IT

    Still have only read one of his books that I truly didn't enjoy and that was Under the Dome. Every other one I've read (eight total) I've enjoyed quite a bit.
     
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  48. Truman

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    I hated under the dome. 11.22.63 is one of my fave books.
     
  49. The Blackfish

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    Sounds good to me. I probably won't reread, but will contribute to the conversation.
     
  50. RegimentML

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    I'm interested in following along because there are tie-ins with the Dark Tower book I'm reading now (#5). Will be good to get a refresher.