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Melissa_W
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VOTING: Selections for June through September

[ Edited ]
Thanks to everyone for their nominations! :smileyhappy:  It was a great list and I narrowed it down to make voting a bit easier; we did a pretty good job of covering women's literature continuously from the eighteenth century to the present day.
 
The shortlist:
Ali, Monica - Brick Lane
Austen, Jane - Persuasion
Bronte, Anne - Agnes Grey
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening (maybe also a short story or two if this is chosen)
du Maurier, Daphne - Rebecca
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
James, PD - Time to be in Earnest
Murdoch, Iris - The Green Knight
Oates, Joyce Carol - The Falls
Pym, Barbara - Excellent Women
Radcliffe, Ann - The Mysteries of Udolpho
Undset, Sigrid - The Bridal Wreath (this is the first volume of the Kristin Lavransdatter set)
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
 
Please PM me your votes so I can get them counted.  Everyone can vote for up to four titles; four votes for one title will be counted as one vote :smileyhappy:  You can change your vote until the morning of April 15 (tax day for those of us in the US).  Use this thread to lobby for your favorites.


Message Edited by pedsphleb on 04-08-2008 12:32 PM
Melissa W.
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Peppermill
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

A great list! I look forward to hearing the lobbying! (And I know a few interesting possibilities did not make it this time, such as Shirley Jackson, who was mentioned on the nominations thread. So it is wonderful to realize the depth and breadth of the readers here.)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

If you haven't heard of P.D. James's book Time to Be in Earnest, no, it's not one of her mystery stories. It's "a fragment of autobiography," ostensibly a sort of diary of one year in her life (her 77th), but in fact a wide ranging contemplation of a many elements of her long and fascinating life.

The title is taken from Samuel Johnson's aphorism that "at seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest."

And as an extra bonus, it has a lecture she delivered to to the Jane Austen Society in 1998 titled "Emma considered as a detective story," in which she analyzes how Austen scattered clues about the book in the same way a detective writer scatters clues around a mystery story.

It's not great literature, not deep philosophy, but is just a very pleasant, enjoyable read sitting down with a perceptive and witty person talking about their long and very successful life. It would be a nice pause between, say, Virginia Woolf and Daphne du Maurier.

And I think it raises enough issues to be the foundation of some interesting discussions.

BTW, I'm sorry that Ayn Rand got knocked off the list; I thought she would be very interesting to discuss with this group. Maybe next set!
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Fozzie
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Given that a Joyce Carol Oates book will be discussed during the May book clubs on another board, The Falls should wait for the next nomination cycle.  I did not withdraw the nomination because I do think it would be a good book to read here.
 
What happened to The Gathering
 
A lot of these books I am not familiar with, so I will have to do a bit of research.
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September


Fozzie wrote:
Given that a Joyce Carol Oates book will be discussed during the May book clubs on another board, The Falls should wait for the next nomination cycle. I did not withdraw the nomination because I do think it would be a good book to read here.

What happened to The Gathering?

A lot of these books I am not familiar with, so I will have to do a bit of research.



Laura -- where it might be helpful to others and you have time, please do consider sharing your research!
Pepper
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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ELee
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

I am planning to join the discussion of The Black City in May.
 
For what it's worth, I am voting for Agnes Grey and The Awakening, as well as Excellent Women.
 
Though I have not read Barbara Pym, Excellent Women sounds interesting, like a 1950's Cranford.
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Hi, my name is Beth and I am new to this so I don't quite have my bearings yet. I was going to run out and by Blessings and play catch-up, but I also wanted to cast my vote for future readings. They are:
Jane Austen-Persuasion
Anne Bronte- Agnes Grey
Joyce Carol Oates-The Falls
Sigrid Undset-The Bridal Wreath

I'm a senior in college (wrapping up in May, then starting my Masters in July) working towards a degree in Special Education. I love reading, always have, always will and this is my first book club so I am looking forward to it!
Melissa_W
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Just a reminder that you can lobby on this thread, but I need to have the votes sent to me in a Private Message (aka PM).  For those who are new, the PM is the little envelope near the top right by the group banner.  Otherwise you can click on my user name and in the column to the right there is an option to "Send a Private Message" Thanks :smileyhappy:

Beth-reads-a-lot wrote:
Hi, my name is Beth and I am new to this so I don't quite have my bearings yet. I was going to run out and by Blessings and play catch-up, but I also wanted to cast my vote for future readings. They are:
Jane Austen-Persuasion
Anne Bronte- Agnes Grey
Joyce Carol Oates-The Falls
Sigrid Undset-The Bridal Wreath

I'm a senior in college (wrapping up in May, then starting my Masters in July) working towards a degree in Special Education. I love reading, always have, always will and this is my first book club so I am looking forward to it!


Melissa W.
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September



Peppermill wrote:
Laura -- where it might be helpful to others and you have time, please do consider sharing your research!

Here's part of the research I did (message too big, so continued in another post).  Please keep in mind that I only researched the books that were unfamiliar to me.  This list is not he complete nominations list.  The information is a bunch of cuts and pastes, so the formatting is not the best.  Everyman already provided a synopsis of Time to be in Earnest.
 

 

Description from of Agnes Grey from The Literature Network

 

Anne Bronte drew on her own life and work experience as a governess to write this story. She focusses on the detail of life in a manor house set in the moors of England. Anne the heroine is young and idealistic when she starts work as a teacher. And even though she increases her experience, she keeps her sweetness and strength. Patience and virtue are rewarded in the story. This story also shows a quiet but sharp critique and satire of the class life of the times. Bronte's style has been described as gothic but realistic rather than romantic, and similar to Jane Austen.

 

 

Description of B&N Classics edition of The Awakening

 

I think the setting and the inclusion of the short stories would make this interesting to read.

 

Synopsis

The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction, by Kate Chopin, is part of the

Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

*  New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars

*  Biographies of the authors

*  Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events

*  Footnotes and endnotes

*  Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by thework

*  Comments by other famous authors

*  Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations

*  Bibliographies for further reading

*  Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

 

When it first appeared in 1899, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was greeted with cries of outrage. The novel’s frank portrayal of a woman’s emotional, intellectual, and sexual awakening shocked the sensibilities of the time and destroyed the author’s reputation and career. Many years passed before this short, pioneering work was recognized as a major achievement in American literature.

Set in and around New Orleans, The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother who, determined to control her own life, flouts convention by moving out of her husband’s house, having an adulterous affair, and becoming an artist.

Beautifully written, with sensuous imagery and vivid local descriptions, The Awakening has lost none of its power to provoke and inspire. Additionally, this edition includes thirteen of Kate Chopin’s magnificent short stories.


 

Stories Included in the Volume:
The Awakening Emancipation: A Life Fable A Shameful Affair At the ‘Cadian Ball Désirée’s Baby A Gentleman of Bayou Têche A Respectable Woman The Story of an Hour Athénaïse A Pair of Silk Stockings Elizabeth Stock’s One Story The Storm The Godmother A Little Country Girl

 

 

The Mill on the Floss

 

Middlemarch, by the same author, was a recent selection on this board.

 

Synopsis

Based closely on the author's own life, Maggie's story explores the conflicts of love and loyalty and the friction between desire and moral responsibility. An accurate, evocative depiction of English rural life, this compelling narrative features a vivid and realistic cast, headed by one of 19th-century literature's most appealing characters.

 

 

Laura

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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

The Green Knight

 

Synopsis

In a small circle of friends in London, some disturbing occurrences are taking place: Lucas Graffe, a reclusive academic, kills a man in self-defense, and disappears immediately after the trial, leaving his brother, the charismatic actor Clement Graffe, tortured by his absence. Their friend Bellamy James rids himself of all ties and possessions, even giving away his beloved dog. Yearning for simplicity and purification, he prepares himself for a monastic life. And outside Clifton, the house where the widowed Louise Anderson lives with her three eccentric daughters, a very peculiar man is watching. Lucas finally returns, and during his reunion with his brother they happen to receive a surprising visitor. It soon becomes clear to the Graffes and their friends that there is a complex mission to fulfill, of revenge, but also of transformation. Rich, enthralling, full of humor and suspense, Iris Murdoch's magnificent new novel illuminates the complexities of guilt and innocence, malice and compassion. It is a triumphant work from one of our greatest writers.

 

Publishers Weekly (excerpt)

England's preeminent philosopher-novelist ( The Message to the Planet ) reworks dark themes of murder and revenge in her overly long, 25th novel, set in contemporary London. … The book is far from perfect, but passages of intense writing and keen depictions of people grappling with afflictions of the soul remind us that Murdoch's perspective is invaluable. (Jan.)

 

Library Journal (excerpt)

Though it starts slowly, this philosophical novel soon envelops the reader in a Byzantine plot that weaves around nine characters. … This is a superb novel, with great depth of plot and characterization as well as riveting suspense.-- Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.

 

Kirkus Reviews (excerpt)

With her customary intellectual verve, Murdoch (The Message to the Planet, 1990, etc.)—that forthright investigator of profound mysteries—transfers the biblical story of Cain and Abel and the medieval Green Knight to a contemporary setting. … As to be expected fromMurdoch: a bracing journey through ancient mysteries and the dark pathways of the heart. And, as always, a stimulating read.

 

Excellent Women

 

Synopsis

Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym's richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those "excellent women," the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door—the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.

 

No professional reviews on B&N.

 

 

The Bridal Wreath (from some blog) (hard to find information on)

March 31, 2008 in books, fiction, literature, reading

I finished reading Volume 1 of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (The Bridal Wreath) by Sigrid Undset this morning. The trilogy is on the list of 100 books that I’m slowly making my way through.

As I conveyed to my father, aside from being on the above list that I’ve come to respect, the books are set in Scandinavia, by a Scandinavian author, and Undset was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature (in 1928) primarily based on these books. What’s not to like?

Per Wikipedia, I read the poorer translation. Charles Archer first translated the trilogy into English in 1927, and it’s never been out of print since then. This is the version I picked up with a bit of Christmas money. Tiina Nunnally released a new translation in 2006, which critics apparently like better. I really liked how the language (in the translation I read) fit the story; I don’t really think that should be a basis for disliking this translation. However, I haven’t read the more modern translation, either.

I was slow to get caught up in this book: It was daunting to find three endnotes on the first page of the novel! Once I got past that, however, it was a fun, quick read with deep meaning.

Now off to start the second volume, The Wife!

 

Laura

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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Laura -- thanks for sharing all the work you did! Pepper
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Very helpful into, Laura. Thanks for your hard work.
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

Sounds like a great list. My choices would be: Rebecca
                                                                           The Awakening   
                                                                          Persusion
                                                                          Mill on the Floss
I just purchased Rebecca and it would be great to read it as a group. Yvonne                                                                                                  
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

I'm Sandy and have been in the First Look book clubs.  This book group has caught my eye.  I spend winters in the Panhandle of Florida and really miss my bookclubs back in Minnesota.  Can't seem to get one moving down here.
 
Thanks Laura for the research and blurbs.  I was unfamiliar with several of the books.
 
My vote for future selections:
Rebecca
Persuasion
The Bridal Wreath
The Falls
 
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Peppermill
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Re: VOTING: Selections for June through September

If not this round, I do hope at some time we shall read something by Iris Murdoch together. Dame Murdoch has writes a complex but worthwhile novel that it should be fun to decipher with a group of interested readers.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Last Call!!

Last call for votes!  I'll have the list finalized tomorrow morning (about 830am Central) so get your PMs in if you've been waiting :smileyhappy:
Melissa W.
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The votes are in! June through October (trust me)

Thanks everyone for voting!!  I got a little surprise with the final tally:  there was a six-way tie for fourth place! :smileysurprised:  So I drew some titles out of a hat and made the executive decision to include the first two I drew out on the final list; there are five selections to keep us busy until October (I have to admit I wimped out; I really want to read the two titles I pulled out and couldn't make myself choose). 
 
The Results:
Jane Austen Persuasion (the early front-runner)
Anne Bronte Agnes Grey and Daphne du Maurier Rebecca (a tie)
Monica Ali Brick Lane and Iris Murdoch The Green Knight (the hat results)
 
The remainder of the six-way tie included George Eliot The Mill on the Floss, Joyce Carol Oates The Falls, Barbara Pym Excellent Women, and Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries of Udolpho.  A hard decision!!
 
The Schedule:
I think we'll read these in chronological order just for a change :smileyhappy:
 
June: Persuasion
July: Agnes Grey
August: Rebecca
September: The Green Knight
October: Brick Lane
Melissa W.
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Re: The votes are in! June through October (trust me)

Melissa, sounds like an executive decision was the way to go!  They are seem like good choices, so any we read should be a plus.  Looking foward to the next round beginning!
Liz ♥ ♥


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Re: The votes are in! June through October (trust me)



The Schedule:
I think we'll read these in chronological order just for a change :smileyhappy:
 
June: Persuasion
July: Agnes Grey
August: Rebecca
September: The Green Knight
October: Brick Lane


Great!  Something for everyone and every taste.
Laura

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Re: The votes are in! June through October (trust me)

[ Edited ]
I have recently joined the Book Clubs, and was reading the list from here for 2007 and what is now set for 2008 until October.  I have missed some great and favorite books - i.e. Wuthering Heights, which I could read the book and see the movie many times again - but there are a number of books I've never read that look more than interesting.  I look forward to being involved, and am looking for the May book now.  It is too late for me to get the book and read to get into the Beloved forum, but should make it for May. 


Message Edited by va-BBoomer on 04-15-2008 02:34 PM