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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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I will keep a list of suggested books, nominations, and other notes up here. There are no limitations to the number of books you can nominate or disagree with. I will moderate the chaos for this first time

The voting thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/147714

The titles:

Catch22

Quote:
There was a time when reading Joseph Heller's classic satire on the murderous insanity of war was nothing less than a rite of passage. Echoes of Yossarian, the wise-ass bombardier who was too smart to die but not smart enough to find a way out of his predicament, could be heard throughout the counterculture. As a result, it's impossible not to consider Catch-22 to be something of a period piece. But 40 years on, the novel's undiminished strength is its looking-glass logic. Again and again, Heller's characters demonstrate that what is commonly held to be good, is bad; what is sensible, is nonsense.

Yossarian says, "You're talking about winning the war, and I am talking about winning the war and keeping alive."
"Exactly," Clevinger snapped smugly. "And which do you think is more important?"
"To whom?" Yossarian shot back. "It doesn't make a damn bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."
"I can't think of another attitude that could be depended upon to give greater comfort to the enemy."
"The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
Mirabile dictu, the book holds up post-Reagan, post-Gulf War. It's a good thing, too. As long as there's a military, that engine of lethal authority, Catch-22 will shine as a handbook for smart-alecky pacifists. It's an utterly serious and sad, but damn funny book.



Life of Pi

Quote:
Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."



Invisible Man

Quote:
We rely, in this world, on the visual aspects of humanity as a means of learning who we are. This, Ralph Ellison argues convincingly, is a dangerous habit. A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Searching for a context in which to know himself, he exists in a very peculiar state. "I am an invisible man," he says in his prologue. "When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me." But this is hard-won self-knowledge, earned over the course of many years.

As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.

What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realizes he's been duped into believing what he thought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that color made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either color or men."

Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, and sadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world is a tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak


I have picked these books because they cover three distinct groups.

Catch22 is cynical, humorous, perverse, and disturbing in its depiction of WWII. War themes, dehumanization, bureacracy, and personal responsibility.

Invisible Man is harsh. Documenting the realities of a black man in America being used by anybody and everybody he runs into. Racial tension in America is quite the hot topic for discussion and I'm sure we could stir things up

I know of several book clubs that have used Life of Pi, including one I was in (though I missed that one). I don't know it as well as the other two because I haven't read this one, but I have only heard good things about it and I know it has the ability to foster lots of discussion.
 
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"The Dice Man" sound interesting. I would read this.
 
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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I'm not that intrested in the dice man, but then again I could see myself reading it anyway.
 
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Tara Goulding
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I've read The Dice Man before, or rather I read about half of it but didn't care too much for it. If this one is chosen I'll just wait till the next book, easy.

I'd like to make a couple of alternate suggestions (I'm with MWChapel and stay away from SF&F ):

The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Maya - Jostein Gaarder
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
 
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Marc Kob
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I'm not on the interested parties list so no one may care what I think. It does seem if you want to want to maximize participation you might want to start with something more readily available in public libraries.

The Dice Man isn't in mine.

Short is good. Maybe even start with a short story club. Something like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Sabavana's suggestions of Harper Lee and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are great suggestions.

 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Moon Knight wrote:
I'm not on the interested parties list so no one may care what I think.


You're on the list now
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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I'm still working with the format... it's all going up soon
 
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Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (Maksimov)

read it..in High School

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Sabavana)

read it

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Sabavana)

read it..in High School


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Sabavana)

read it..in High School

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (Maksimov)

read it "Animal Farm", "1984" and "The Clergymans Daughter"...in High School


Lets think "outside the box" people....
 
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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and just a few year after that (or was it before) they gave Solentzyn (sorry, I can't spell rusian names at night) the price...

I'm on for Hundred years of Solitude, read it, but wouldn't mind reading it again, espacaly in English... and that is a bit outside of the box... well a litle anyway.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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I agree with the sentiment that while "Outside the box" is useful maybe for the first time (at least) we could pick a better known book, even if you read it in high school. You'll get a new perspective on it now at least wontcha
 
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Maksimov wrote:


Someone mentioned that it would be better if the book can be found in most libraries, that's why the classics would be a good choice.

.


Oh, there is nothing wrong with the classics, they're of course classics. It's just that classics have usually been already read by a lot of book readers. It'll hard to find that certain % of us that haven't read one of those.

There are quite a few "great" contemporary books that you could spend an eternity suggesting, and never even touch one of the early works.

Usually in book clubs is about trying to find gems that very few people have read. Expand your horizons.
 
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Andrew W.
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This is usually true, MCW, but let's try to get near water before we start to fish on this trip.

Worry not, Dan, Steelers Fans can pass reading comprehension exams. We can also pass Criminal background checks, unlike some Baltimore Ravens.

I have the following on hand, but I'm game to jog by the Library, too

Lao Tse -- Tao Te Ching
Sun Tzu -- The Art of War
George Carlin -- Brain Droppings
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes, The Complete Anthology
Nietzsche -- On the Geneology of Morality
Plato -- The Republic
Plato -- Symposium
Plato -- Meno
Marx and Engels -- The Comunist Manifesto
Fyodor Dostoevski -- The Grand Inquisitor on the Nature of Man
Rene Descrates -- Meditations on First Philosophy
Aristotle -- Poetics
St Thomas Aquinas -- Treatise on Law
Wilderness -- Jim Morrison
Mark Twain -- Tom Sawyer
John Steinbeck -- The Moon is Down
Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The Scarlet Letter
Kazuo Ishiguro -- The Remains of the Day
Grimm's Fairy Tales -- Take that, MCW!
E.M. Forster -- A Room With A View
Fyodor Dostoevski -- The Gambler/Bobok/A Nasty Story
Sophocles -- The Oedipus Cycle
Shel Silverstien -- The Giving Tree (Had to suggest one in Dan's league)
Laura Ingalls Wilder -- Little House on the Prairie
James Fennemore Cooper -- The Pathfinder

I can tell already that this list is not at all likely what we are aiming for, but maybe someone will take an interest in something, so might as well offer.
 
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Andrew W.
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Maksimov wrote:
Descartes? That's a good one to ease us all into this book club hobby. shake


May I refer you to the following snippet from the same post, Sir?

Redbeardin84 wrote:
I can tell already that this list is not at all likely what we are aiming for, but maybe someone will take an interest in something, so might as well offer.


I also offered to run by the Library for my own needs. If Descartes isn't appealing, no harm. I understand. I thought we were just throwing crap at the wall to see what would stick well enough to consider.

I'll ammend my aim and throw at Dan
 
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Tara Goulding
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Note: Sabavana you recommended several books. I put them all up here but maybe you could select just a few to push Since I'm trying to get this done by Saturday I think if we have it narrowed down to 3 by Wed-Thur we'd have it selected in time for the weekend


No worries, although I don't really want to 'push' any of them... I've already had my 2c worth, up to the group now
 
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Maksimov wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Expand your horizons.


I'm all for that if we can agree upon such a book. Any ideas?


I actually liked dan's suggestion myself, fresh and different.

A couple I would suggest, for another time:

Among the Thugs -- Bill Buford
Grendal -- John Gardener(For your fantasy folks)
Angry Candy -- Harlon Ellison
Light - M. John Harrison ( Put a little sci-fi in the soup)

To name a few.
 
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Andrew W.
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Of books/stories I have not brought up:

Neutral
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Maya - Jostein Gaarder
The Dice Man
Catch 22
Among the Thugs -- Bill Buford
Angry Candy -- Harlon Ellison

Pro
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
Grendal -- John Gardener

Con
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - put perhaps something else by Tolstoy would do.

 
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Pat T
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Hi, Please put me on the interested list.

I'll add a vote for "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Harper Lee


and add: "The Fionavar Tapestry" - Guy Gavriel Kay
"Franny and Zooey" - J.D. Salinger
"Invisible Man" - Ralph Ellison
"The Odyssey" - Homer


 
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Andrew W.
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Patt wrote:


"The Fionavar Tapestry" - Guy Gavriel Kay
"Franny and Zooey" - J.D. Salinger
"Invisible Man" - Ralph Ellison
"The Odyssey" - Homer


I can be considered Pro any and all of those.

An I'm sorry that I forgot to look for humor. My fault. Let's blame the Internet's lack of good comedic delivery, huh?
 
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John Burt
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The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_of_Pi
 
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Jesse Miller
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I'd like to join, please.

I'm up for:

the life of pi
invisible man <-------------my preference
grendal (had it for years and never read it)
among the thugs
The Pathfinder
maya
dice man

I'd like to suggest The Last Witchfinder, by James Morrow.
 
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Hi all,

So pleased my impending shopping trip to Melbourne can be used as a deadline for getting this thing up and running!

Happy with almost any of the suggestions, although I did once long ago try to read catch 22 and found it almost impossible. In saying that, I would definately have a stab at it again for the sake of the geek!

I really LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird, and re-read it at least once a year. To discuss this with my fellow geeks would be very cool.

To sum up - Ill read whatever you guys decide I should read. How easy am I? No rude remarks about being easy please - My husband doesn't know and thinks he did all the work! laugh





 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Well it seems like Shebby at least has no problem with licentiousness.

My personal vote is for Catch 22. I have read it, as I'm sure many others have, but it is a book that is open for discussion. War themes are always contemporary and the book is a very fun read. It's also widely available. Even though most of us have read it, the book might be a good "starting point" for what I hope is an ongoing thing.

I would definitely want to read "The Dice Man" at one point though
 
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I might be interested but, here's a suggestion anyways:


-Blindness by Jose Saramago
 
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Adam Skinner
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Some of my favorites:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile
Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
 
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Jesse Miller
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That's some catch that catch 22.
 
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