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Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL! 
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Post Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Official Book Selection Poll



3rd Quarter 2006 (July, August, September) NONFICTION book POLL!


Edit: An extra book has been added to this poll - (A Peace to End All Peace)

Please read these directions BEFORE you vote!




How many nonfiction books will we be reading?

We will only be reading 1 nonfiction book in 3rd quarter of 2006. In time, as our membership grows, we will tackle several nonfiction books concurrently.

How long will the poll stay open?

This poll is opening on Saturday, June 3rd, 2006, and will be closing on Tuesday, June 13th, 2006. This is a total of 10 full days.

Who can vote?

All active members are invited and encouraged to vote and participate in our book selection process, but please follow these simple rules:

Only cast a vote if you have 10 or more posts on our forums. If you don't have at least 10 you should have no problem jumping into some discussion threads and meeting this rather relaxed criterion. You can meet this requirement in one day.

Don't vote if you don't plan on participating if your book wins. Again, if you vote for a book and it wins we really hope you participate. You should not be influencing the direction of the community if you're not actively involved.

If you vote for a book and it does not win we still hope you read and discuss the winning book with us, but we understand if you opt to not participate. Please try to get involved no matter which book wins, as this is all about education AND entertainment. We can all learn from our book selections and from each other, and reading a book you typically would never have even picked up is a great way to expand your horizons and perspective on life.

How do I vote?

If you are an active member with 10 or more total posts AND you plan on participating in the Q3, 2006 discussion if your chosen book wins THEN you are permitted to cast a total of 3 votes. You can use your three votes however you see fit, which could mean assigning all three votes to just one of the book choices, or distributing the three points over the book choices according to your own interest level for each book.

You should make a brief post to this thread telling everyone how you wish to distribute your three votes.

Nothing further needs to be said, but you're welcome to be as verbose as you like. Just make it crystal clear how you are voting.

It is inevitable that some people will either forget to cast all three votes or will not have read this entire post. They will simply vote on one book. If this happens I will be assigning all three of their votes to the one book they selected.

You are permitted to change your vote during the voting period, but not after I close the poll. The poll is closed on the last day of the polling period as stated above.

This thread can be used as an open discussion of the books on the poll. You're welcome to try to sell people on a particular book, or dissuade them from another.

NOTE:

As always, we will need a discussion leader that is willing to be active in the reading and discussion of the winning book. If you are up to the task please let us all know in this forum by making a post and stating your interest in the position.

Or, if you are only interested in being the discussion leader if your choice of books wins the poll, you may wait to see if it wins and then let us know of your interest in the forum that is created to discuss that book. But please consider volunteering!

Being a discussion leader does not entail being an authority on the subject matter or defending the author's position. You simply need to attempt to stimulate discussion.

And here are our NONFICTION book choices for 3rd Quarter 2006 (July, August, September). Please read about all books before casting your votes. Think hard about which book will be the most educational, entertaining, and worthy of discussion. May the best book win!

Drum roll please...

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 6/6/06 8:08 am



Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:54 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
#1 Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

Amazon.com
In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal, cult-like order defied, these still-active groups, according to Krakauer, are capable of fighting back with tremendous violence. While Krakauer's research into the history of the church is admirably extensive, the real power of the book comes from present-day information, notably jailhouse interviews with Dan Lafferty. Far from being the brooding maniac one might expect, Lafferty is chillingly coherent, still insisting that his motive was merely to obey God's command. Krakauer's accounts of the actual murders are graphic and disturbing, but such detail makes the brothers' claim of divine instruction all the more horrifying. In an age where Westerners have trouble comprehending what drives Islamic fundamentalists to kill, Jon Krakauer advises us to look within America's own borders.

From Publishers Weekly
Veteran reporter Krakauer's insider look at the Mormon church translates well to audio thanks to his clean, by-the-book delivery. In 1984, brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty killed the wife and infant daughter of their brother Allen. Ron and Dan are fundamentalist Mormons, and their views-particularly their belief in the divine importance of polygamy-conflicted with those of their outspoken sister-in-law; accordingly, Dan received a revelation from God that he was to "remove" them for the greater good of His Kingdom. Dan, who was interviewed from prison, has no remorse for what he has done; after all, he maintains, why should he apologize for doing God's will? This segment is particularly chilling, as is Krakauer's unemotional delivery. Krakauer wisely eschews character voices and instead narrates the details of the crime and the history of the Mormon church in a no-nonsense fashion. The fascinating historical segments, though lengthy at times, serve a dual purpose: they explore the cultures that can give rise to religious fundamentalism and serve as a welcome reprieve in this highly emotional story.




#2 Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett

From Publishers Weekly
In his characteristically provocative fashion, Dennett, author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea and director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, calls for a scientific, rational examination of religion that will lead us to understand what purpose religion serves in our culture. Much like E.O. Wilson (In Search of Nature), Robert Wright (The Moral Animal), and Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene), Dennett explores religion as a cultural phenomenon governed by the processes of evolution and natural selection. Religion survives because it has some kind of beneficial role in human life, yet Dennett argues that it has also played a maleficent role. He elegantly pleads for religions to engage in empirical self-examination to protect future generations from the ignorance so often fostered by religion hiding behind doctrinal smoke screens. Because Dennett offers a tentative proposal for exploring religion as a natural phenomenon, his book is sometimes plagued by generalizations that leave us wanting more ("Only when we can frame a comprehensive view of the many aspects of religion can we formulate defensible policies for how to respond to religions in the future"). Although much of the ground he covers has already been well trod, he clearly throws down a gauntlet to religion.

From Scientific American I swear this is all 1 paragraph
If nowhere else, the dead live on in our brain cells, not just as memories but as programs



Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:14 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Three Votes for Dennett, "Breaking the Spell"

I've already read this book. I have added it to my short list of books that have had a profound effect on my life. Although Mr. Dennett is an avowed atheist, he's as willing to tear us a new asshole as anyone else when we deserve it. It is not about "the God question"; it is about, religion. For all us secularist atheists would like to think so, the evidence is that religion is not going away. This book makes the case to lay religous people, theologians, and interested atheists like myself that it does not challenge the veracity of one's own faith to examine how religion in general interacts with humanity. It also begins the journey of learning something substantial about religion itself, as opposed to throwing stones at strawmen of our respective positions.

On a personal note: Yea, I know I haven't been much of a participant of late. I did read the fiction selection but never got around to posting anything about it (I guess I still can!) My life has been in incredible, mostly positive turmoil about which I'll say more in the personal thread. I'm counting on the selection this time to get my old ass back in gear, booktalk wise.


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:18 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Jeremy, I know the feeling. I'm reading our books but sometimes I'm just too damn busy to post much about them. Constructing quality posts takes time and energy and sometimes my life is overwhelming me to the point where I just don't have the chance to do so. Post in your personal thread and let us know what is happening in your life.

I am holding off on casting my votes long enough to hear a few other people give their opinions on them. Right now I am leaning towards casting one vote for each, but I really really like "Under the Banner of Heaven." Hopefully, several members will say things that will influence me one way or the other. ::171




Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:53 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
I am changing my votes and casting all 3 votes to "A Peace to end all Peace"

Edited by: Classical Celt at: 6/12/06 5:57 pm



Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:45 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Another 3 votes for Breaking the Spell. I've been impressed with Dennett's writings in the past, and the subject sounds interesting. Also, the other choices don't appeal to me.

While I wouldn't mind learning more about the Mormon religion, a broader overview of Mormonism would be more relevant than the account of a couple of Mormon fundamentalist murderers.

I've read several books about the Holocaust, and I'd rather not read another one at this point. Besides, other Holocaust books would probably be of higher quality, such as Martin Gilbert's The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 6/4/06 2:54 pm



Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Quote:
...a broader overview of Mormonism would be more relevant than the account of a couple of Mormon fundamentalist murderers.
This is exactly what the book is all about! The story of the murders is a small portion of the overall book. I read chapter 5 today and it is all about what a fraud Joseph Smith was. You would LOVE this book.




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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
This is a really hard decision to make. Right now I am torn between all 3 books. These 3 were at the top of my list to choose from between all the suggestions made. At this moment, I really can't decide and I would like others to comment on what they would like to see win. Sway me if you can.

tomiichi::03




Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Seeing the choices, I am forced to go with all three for "Breaking the Spell".


Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

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Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:40 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Poll Count:


Banner of Heaven - 2

Breaking the Spell - 9

Directive - 1




Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
another book on religion *sigh*

i am abstaining from voting for the moment. not really caring for the line up. likely i will see how voting pans out and vote three votes for which ever book is running second place to breaking the spell as a vote against it. banner of heaven also seems to have religious over tones. i may pass on the up coming reading, so i may abstain from voting all together in this poll.




Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 5

Breaking the Spell - 7

Directive - 1

Peace - 2

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:40 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
ok, I'm in!

change my 3 votes to 'peace'!

gino




Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:40 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 5

Breaking the Spell - 7

Directive - 1

Peace - 5


OOOPS! I never included Ginos votes for Directive anyway!


Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:39 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Thanks for keeping the numbers in line. ::80




Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:43 am
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