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WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion! 
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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
And Camacho has also made a good point. We don't all have access to libraries, or can afford to buy a book if its too expensive.


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Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:58 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Maybe we should start having one of our book discussions always of a free book. The rule can be that the book must be readily available in libraries or online for no cost at all. You know I never really thought of that before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. The cost of always buying books can definitely be an obstacle to participation.

President Camacho, thanks for the helpful feedback. Now we have to decide how to make this idea work for us. As of right now I'm actually thinking that the cost of books is probably a huge factor for most people. I've just ignored it up till now because I assumed that buying books is just part of all reading groups. But it doesn't have to be.

What if we always have one fiction and one non-fiction book on our menu that are free?


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Well I think that is a good idea. I would never have participated in the Wilde forum if I hadn't been able to get a free download of The Importance of Being Earnest


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Speaking as a relative newcomer, you guys can be somewhat intimidating to the average person. Most of the books you discuss, and the discussions themselves, are pretty deep and beyond the comfort level of the average reader. Most people will not put themselves into a discussion where they would feel stupid. The average reader does not have the background in philosophy, literature, theology, and political affairs to participate intelligently in many of the discussions on this forum - and let me repeat, no one likes to feel stupid.

Look at all the best-seller lists - if you want more people to join your discussions, discuss those books. And discuss them when they are still current, not 30 years after they were a best-seller.



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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Thanks, Kelstan. Awesome feedback.

The entire site is currently being redesigned behind the scenes. Hopefully in a few days we will have made enough progress to share a link to the work in progress. All of the feedback is extremely helpful and is going into the new design.


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
kelstan wrote:
Speaking as a relative newcomer, you guys can be somewhat intimidating to the average person. Most of the books you discuss, and the discussions themselves, are pretty deep and beyond the comfort level of the average reader. Most people will not put themselves into a discussion where they would feel stupid. The average reader does not have the background in philosophy, literature, theology, and political affairs to participate intelligently in many of the discussions on this forum - and let me repeat, no one likes to feel stupid.

Look at all the best-seller lists - if you want more people to join your discussions, discuss those books. And discuss them when they are still current, not 30 years after they were a best-seller.


Well said Kelstan.

So I am not the only one who feels rather intimidated here. Not going to bail out yet. Even though I am not on the same wave lenght as a lot of folks here I can see the potential.



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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
kelstan wrote:
Speaking as a relative newcomer, you guys can be somewhat intimidating to the average person. Most of the books you discuss, and the discussions themselves, are pretty deep and beyond the comfort level of the average reader. Most people will not put themselves into a discussion where they would feel stupid. The average reader does not have the background in philosophy, literature, theology, and political affairs to participate intelligently in many of the discussions on this forum - and let me repeat, no one likes to feel stupid.

Look at all the best-seller lists - if you want more people to join your discussions, discuss those books. And discuss them when they are still current, not 30 years after they were a best-seller.



I feel this is true. It's part of the reason I wasn't participating before. A lot of the books were science or philosophy, so I also felt like I didn't have much to contribute.


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
The Swerve - How the World Became Modern
Stephen Greenblatt (Author, Harvard University)

Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Swerve/

Quote:
One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius-a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.


Lucretius is a key source of Jefferson's phrase "the pursuit of happiness". Greenblatt's award winning top seller shows the origin of atheist science dates at least to the Roman Republic.

An excellent radio interview is at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/pro ... ve/3713380

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Swerve-How-World- ... 0393064476


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
I just reread every post in this thread. As of right now we don't have any suggestions that received positive feedback. So we're not able to move forward.

I agree that our non-fiction books are intimidating. I don't see that going away. The only solution to this is to figure out a way to offer a less intimidating non-fiction book discussion concurrently. I just don't know how to do that as of right now.

How do we ask for suggestions of less intimidating books without insulting people? That's the challenge.



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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
I think I have a solution that will make everyone happy and will result in everyone being able to vote and participate in the book selection process no matter how new or how few of forum posts. I'll say more soon.


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Well based on cost and whether it is available as a Kindle download I would vote for Evolutionary Psychology or Leviathan (which is a free download). I feel intimidated already, and think the discussion will be over my head, but I'll try anyway.


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
I just created a discussion topic at topic11883.html that I would love you guys to join.


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
Dexter wrote:
Evolutionary Psychology: A Beginner's Guide
http://www.amazon.com/Evolutionary-Psyc ... 107&sr=8-2

. . . I thought this could be an interesting topic, it's a short, inexpensive book with good reviews. I was going to suggest Robert Wright's book on this topic, The Moral Animal, but I figure it was published 10 years earlier so this might be better.


This looks pretty interesting, Dexter!


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Post Re: WANTED: Book suggestions for our January & February 2012 NON-FICTION group discussion!
An observation I am making today is that it seems pretty easy to find fiction books for free online but non-fiction is a bit more challenging. Few people are interested in non-fiction books that are old enough to be in the public domain. Fiction, on the other hand, is like fine wine, and gets better with time.


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