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February & March 2008 Fiction Book Suggestions 
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bklvr wrote:

"I still think "Fire Bell in the Night" would appeal to all types of people. Anyone second it?"


I can't give an opinion for the moment but I have ordered the book.
Keep in mind that we'll have to make two more selections after the current one.


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Last edited by Ophelia on Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:46 am, edited 4 times in total.



Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:16 pm
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I'm fine with any selection. I'm happy to buy whatever book is chosen. My only thing to contribute is I've already read "Heart of Darkness", though it was a long time ago.



Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:24 pm
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Looks like we have quite a large group interested in reading and discussing Heart of Darkness. This stands to be an exciting book discussion if the majority of the members that said they'd read and discuss it actually do read and discuss it.

I'm struggling with something. When I run a search on http://www.Amazon.com for Heart of Darkness I'm finding a ton of different editions available. And you know I plan to put an image of the book and a link to http://www.Amazon.com up in the books block at the top of the forums page. I sure hope I luck out and select the right edition, not that any edition wouldn't deliver virtually the same experience for the reader.

Any of you reading this that sees my dilemma and wants to help me please go to http://www.Amazon.com, run a search for Heart of Darkness, and help me select the right edition for this discussion. I can swap out the image if I learn that I selected the wrong one, so don't be shy in correcting me. I truly don't know what to do right now, but I do want to get some edition of the book up there at the top so members and visitors have plenty of notice about our upcoming fiction selection. I'd like to have a large group participating in the talk, and I'm sure you all do too.

I'll post one of the book images and a link to where we can all buy that edition at Amazon.com right now. Let me know if I picked the same one you would pick!


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Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:21 am
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Chris, I would recommend the Norton edition I had linked in my last post. As I said, it's annotated and includes a host of critical essays, and is under $12. Actually, I suggest if one doesn't want to buy an annotated edition, then it might just be best to read it free off Project Guttenberg. I already own two editions of Heart of Darkness, one granted is part of an anthology, and will probably buy the Norton just for the benefit of the collected essays, and the hope for different annotations. Anyway, that's my suggestion.

Julian wrote:
Regarding Persepolis...Though it's not the kind of book we typically select here, it seemed worth considering, especially since the movie version is coming out and Iran is in the news so much.


Yeah, I'm definitely interested in reading Persepolis too. But the problem is the publisher lists it as biography/autobiography, which wouldn't make it a good candidate for a fiction forum. Perhaps it should get serious consideration for the next available non-fiction slot.

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Our book discussions here are often constrained by the fact that few people manage to read the book.


Actually, I'd argue that discussion is usually constrained because few people manage to talk about the books that they are reading. I think the vast majority of the books that booktalk has appointed as official quarterly reading are largely accessible to a wide audience. What seems more likely to me is that people are reading the books, at least the start, and aren't really engaged in conversation. So if they picked-up the book primarily to participate in conversation here, and that conversation is slow, they might not finish the book. Yes, I think we need to be certain to choose accessible books, but I think we also need to work at maintaining a thorough conversation about whatever book is chosen.

Constance wrote:
I would second the Girls by Lori Lansens.


With regard to The Girls, I'll be honest, after reading the short description, I was hesitant. It seemed possible that it would reek of sentimentality, if not descend into the macabre or carnivalesque. Which sure, could be interesting in its own right, but 350+ pages of that... But from most of the reviews that I'm reading, it isn't overly sentimental, with one of the twins always ready to offer pragmatic comments and sardonic wit to the story. I was also interested with the mention of absent characters, which is a literary element that always intrigues me.

In the end, I'd be willing to read The Girls, but am hesitant about the length of the book. I think we've found before that longer books don't tend to succeed at booktalk. And I have personally have found it both difficult and unfulfilling to talk about a book in piecemeal, as its read. I think, perhaps, it leads one to draw conclusions that aren't necessarily warranted. Of course, that doesn't mean one couldn't discuss the eloquence of a passage here, the development of some character there...but to draw quality conclusions about the narrative requires completion of the narrative. So, if we can get people to commit to reading the book in its entirety in relatively short order, I'd get behind The Girls. But if the intention is to read it piecemeal over two months, then I'd probably bow out.



Last edited by irishrosem on Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:54 am
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Chris wrote:

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Chris OConnor wrote:
As requested I have deleted the book images of the books we're swapping. We do want to pick the next 2 fiction books right away. I don't like seeing the blank book boxes up top.


Those question marks pics are just what we needed, here is one more problem neatly solved!


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Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:58 am
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I'm going to lock this thread so suggestions don't keep pouring in.


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Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:19 am
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