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What fiction book should we read next? 
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 What fiction book should we read next?
We're about to the point where we should select a new fiction book. Do you have suggestions? Please only suggest books if you have 25 or more posts on the forums.



Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:31 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Anthill by EO Wilson

From my Review
Quote:
In an amazingly distinguished career, Edward O. Wilson has won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Ants, founded the philosophical movements of sociobiology and consilience, and led scientific debate about how humanity relates to nature. Anthill, set in his home state of Alabama in the deep south of the USA, is Wilson’s first novel, and represents a return to his social roots and an effort to distil the scientific and political messages learned over his long and productive life. What I loved about Anthill was the depth of insight in Wilson’s cultural, scientific and symbolic messages, and the combination of a radical ecological vision of nature conservation with a conservative respect for social institutions and incremental evolutionary change as the only way to get things done.

The theme of Anthill is man versus nature. Wilson wants to show how society can change towards a more sustainable attitude. His main character, Raff Cody, is something of a Huckleberry Finn, growing to know and love the wetlands and forests of his home district of Nokobee, much as Wilson did himself when he was a boy. Raff’s question is how he can preserve biodiversity against the onslaught of progress and development. The message of Anthill is that lasting results are achieved only by bringing the conservative ruling forces of money and power along, converting them to see the economic benefits of conservation. Where Wilson sought in his own life to protect nature through science, in his imagined career he puts Raff Cody into the law.

Wilson takes this problem of nature conservancy as the basis for a series of parables. Foremost is the need for cooperation, negotiation, compromise and understanding as the basis to achieve any lasting practical outcomes. The anthill of the title is not just the ants of Nokobee, but the whole of human society. The ruthless pressure of evolution has taught ants what they must do to function as a super-organism, providing a template for how humanity must cooperate to prosper over time.


Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Anthill-Novel-Edw ... r-mr-title



Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:18 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
The Golden Ass

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Written towards the end of the second century AD, "The Golden Ass" tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and Lucius is initiated into her cult. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and sheer exuberance, and remains the most continuously and accessibly amusing book to have survived from Classical antiquity.
About the Author
Lucius Apuleius (2nd Century AD) North African fubulist, who Latinized the Greek myths and legends. He travelled widely, visiting Italy, Asia &c and was there initiated into numerous religious mysteries. The knowledge which he thus acquired of the priestly fraternities he drew on for his Golden Ass. E.J. Kenney is Emeritus Kennedy Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge. His publications include a critical edition of Ovid's amatory works. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... helfari-20



Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:44 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Just trying to bring this topic front and center in recent posts to see if we can't get some more activity.



Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:53 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
THE GLASS BEAD GAME
Hermann Hesse

Quote:
The Glass Bead Game takes place at an unspecified date, centuries into the future. Hesse suggested that he imagined the book's narrator writing around the start of the 25th century.[2] The setting is a fictional province of central Europe called Castalia, reserved by political decision for the life of the mind; technology and economic life are kept to a strict minimum. Castalia is home to an austere order of intellectuals with a twofold mission: to run boarding schools for boys, and to nurture and play the Glass Bead Game, whose exact nature remains elusive and whose devotees occupy a special school within Castalia known as Waldzell. The rules of the game are only alluded to, and are so sophisticated that they are not easy to imagine. Playing the game well requires years of hard study of music, mathematics, and cultural history. Essentially the game is an abstract synthesis of all arts and sciences. It proceeds by players making deep connections between seemingly unrelated topics.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Bead_Game

Quote:
The Glass Bead Game, for which Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, is the author’s last and crowning achievement, the most imaginative and prophetic of all his novels. Setting the story in the distant postapocalyptic future, Hesse tells of an elite cult of intellectuals who play an elaborate game that uses all the cultural and scientific knowledge of the Ages. The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature.


http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Bead-Game-M ... 55&s=books



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Mon May 02, 2011 6:48 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Overly saturated in literary memes as I am, I do not have much Hesse under my belt, though I read him long ago in upper track. The Glass Bead Game piques my interest (and yes, mildly in the sense of vexes), and perhaps is a keeper for my personal library if I get a sturdy used edition. If I can catch up to my checking account I can ship it tomorrow, but, still unsure of my footing, should I wait for voting? Is this a May or June selection?

Interesting pick Suzanne!


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Tue May 03, 2011 8:31 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
These are merely suggestions and not an actual poll. But sometimes we bypass the poll and just select the book with the most apparent support. We do require you to have 25+ posts to suggest books or vote in the book polls. This rule is to keep transients and people that probably won't participate in the actual discussion from contributing to the book selection process. It is pretty easy to get to 25 posts.



Wed May 04, 2011 1:01 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Not a problem Chris. I'll take a wait and see approach.


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Wed May 04, 2011 1:41 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Rather than suggest a title or author, I'd like to share my thoughts on general tone and style - its spring going to summer, lets read something of quality but on the lighter side, a cut above beach reading but maybe lighter than Dostoevsky. I'm flexible and interested in a lot of different authors and styles but I just can't do a heavy tome at the moment.



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Wed May 04, 2011 11:45 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
I agree with Giselle and am nominating a T.C. Boyle book. This book was mentioned by someone else several months ago. Boyle is an extraordinary contemporary author and this book won't be a waste of time for those who appreciate literature. The theme is current given the debate on illegal immigrants. Please see the review and link to Amazon below.


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179 of 192 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Exaggerated but true, December 27, 1999
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This review is from: The Tortilla Curtain (Paperback)
Boyle's The Tortillia Curtain differs from other books of his that I have read in that it tackles a serious set of social issues head on. Among the other reviews posted here for this book I see that some have claimed that the book is 'unrealistic' and makes use of every stereotype imaginable. Well, while one wouldn't want to pretend that all Southern Californians of means are shallow conspicuous consumers, nothing in the portrait Boyle creates here rings untrue. There must be thousands of people who fit this image. That being the case, it is important to make the point that he doesn't present either the Yuppie Californian family or the Mexican immagrant family as a symbol. They are real people. They don't stand for anything else. And while the extreme dichotomy posed between the wealth and well being of the one and the poverty and marginal health of the other do serve the purpose of highlighting the issue of the extreme inequities in the distribution of goods and services in this country, Boyle does not suggest a solution. Rather, he is interested in showing us what happens when these extremes come into contact in unexpected circumstances. What he has given us is a story of people in different circumstances responding as they likely would - as their training and experience have prepared them to. If we want to make an allegory of it, I don't think that is what he intended. I think that all he is saying is that extremes of expectation, in conflict, will generate extremes of behavior.

I enjoyed the book very much. Apart from Boyle's considerable skill with words, his characters were vivid and the plot - though heavy on coincidence (hey, it worked for Dickens) - is interesting and keeps the reader focused till the end.

http://www.amazon.com/Tortilla-Curtain- ... 232&sr=1-1



Thu May 05, 2011 9:26 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Fiction selections needed!!!

I would be willing to try Anthill



Mon May 09, 2011 6:26 am
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
I'd like to suggest two Canadian authors, Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findley.

Margaret Atwood - Oryx and Crake

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier ... etc. ...

With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.


Timothy Findley - Not Wanted on the Voyage

... is the story of the great flood and the first time the world ended. It is a brilliant, unforgettable drama filled with an extraordinary cast of characters: the tyrannical Noah and his indomitable wife, Mrs Noyes; the aging and irritable Yaweh; Luch the enigmatic, disturbing woman who is not what she seems; Mottyl, Mrs Noyes endearing talking cat; a chorus of singing sheep and a unicorn destined for a horrible death. With pathos and pageantry, desperation and hope, magic and mythology, Not Wanted on the Voyage weaves an unforgettable spell.

and I will add the following to give you a sense of Findley's writing:

The opening lines of 'Not Wanted' are:

"And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him into the ark, because of the waters of the flood" (Genesis 7:7)

"Everyone knows it wasn't like that. To begin with, they make it sound as if there wasn't any argument; as if there wasn't any panic - no one being pushed aside - no one being trampled - none of the animals howling - none of the people screaming blue murder .."

I really like Findley's humour so I would prefer Findley over Atwood but I would happily read either. I think it's odd that the commentary on the Findley book does not highlight his humour because I think this is a very funny book.



Mon May 09, 2011 10:00 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
You guys don't want to read about a guy that gets transformed into a donkey? ... Well... then there is no pleasing you.



Wed May 11, 2011 3:13 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
@Camacho.....No thank you. I've known too many of those personally.



Wed May 11, 2011 3:33 pm
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Post Re: What fiction book should we read next?
Lol... Girls have such high expectations. Marriage is never the answer.



Wed May 11, 2011 7:25 pm
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