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machen
RvB Book ClubCurrently Reading:The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy


Book Club Rules of Order
by the Right Honorable Kamikaze

First of all, we ask that everyone who wishes to take part in reading the books just types in "I want to be part of the book club; my chosen books are:" and then give the names of two books.

Kamikaze and machen will administrate the thread, including book selection, so our say is final. We will be suggesting books if nobody else does, and choosing which book to read.

The actual premise of this club is simple. People suggest interesting/challenging books, everyone goes out and buys/borrows/steals* a copy, reads it, then comes back here to discuss the greater philosophical meanings with other intelligent people. Or something like that. Our suggestion is that readers do not come back to this thread until they have finished reading, to avoid getting ahead of themselves. For the people who read quickly (or have already read a book), feel free to start discussing it straight away. We don't know how peoples' reading speeds compare on this forum, so we think we're looking at around 500 pages max., and about one month reading time max.

Rules
- Be helpful. Chances are that at some point sooner or later, you'll have trouble with something, and you'll want some help. What better place to ask than here? But if you've been nothing but an asshole to other people, why should they help you? LOGIC, you see.

- Please don't come barging in halfway through a reading, asking what book you need. Appropriate dates will be made perfectly clear, so you will know when to come in if you want to participate at later stages.

- Don't be a stupid gimp. If you don't have anything worthwhile to contribute, go to the current Bar or something. We don't care what you say in there, but we do here.

- (Barring intervention by the moderators) Our decision on a matter is final. If a book can't be chosen by general consensus, we will choose one.


*The Book Club does not - in any way shape or form - advocate stealing.

Book Club Charter
contributed by the artist formerly known as The7thChupacabra

"A book club normally specializes in novels, novellas, collections, and works of significance. Not video game books or comics/manga."

Comment: This charter is not intended to slight video game books or the people who read them, but the club's concept is to choose at least moderately challenging books that can inspire a somewhat sustainable discussion.

Member List and Recommended Book List
contributed by tripleyew and occasionally maintained by yours truly
#1  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 7 Cool
1,080 REPLIES Watch  |  Sort by Likes · Date
machen
Welcome to our new thread!

Current reading: "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman



Tentative deadline: around the end of the month, although several people have already finished the book. The discussion gates are OPEN!

#2  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
pyroman ObamaIsHope
In reply to machen, #2:

I would love to be part of the book club. May I suggest Roots by Alex Haley, and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. The latter is simply a modern adaptation of "King Lear," but told through the eyes of the Goneril character.
#3  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Gee
In reply to machen, #2:

I want to be in the book club! When did you start reading "American Gods"? Is it to late for me to catch up to that one?

my books are:
"Wicked" by Gregory Maguire
"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares

I know "Sisterhood..." is kind of a YA novel, but it turned out to be so much better than I ever thought it would. And "Wicked" is just awsome.
#4  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
ggus
In reply to machen, #2:

Ok guys I finished "Time's Eye" by Arthur C. Clark and Baxter. Man! this is a good book. This is book one of a time odyssey and I cant wait for book two!

#5  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
jasontim
So anyone finish American Gods?

Well I though it was great book, I was fortunate to have it in audio format, and it was a great listen. And a bonus to the audio cd was an author interview at the end, very enlightening.

#6  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
rawket
I'm working my way through Jared Diamond's Collapse right now. The first chapter knocked my socks off, but by about the third post-mortem on an illerate, indigenous society, my attention started to wane. I'm about to start the section on Vikings and hope it'll be a little more engaging.
#7  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
rawket
In reply to rawket, #7:

In the interest of not looking like a total off-topic n00b, I suppose I should mention that I would recommend Collapse for group reading and discussion, as Diamond does an interesting job of skirting some nasty political controveries.
#8  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
FatallyYours
I would like to participate, but I won't be able to start until next month after finals when I actually will have time to read. As for books that I am going to suggest, I have always wanted to read

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
and
The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

i don't know what kind of books you are looking for though, i'll read whatever pretty much. oh and i've wanted to read a brave new world too... but i guess i already used up my 2 suggestions...
#9  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Artemischan
In reply to machen, #1:

I would like to join. I reccommend "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" by Gregory Maguire and "Prey" by Michael Crichton. And I'll get to work on "American Gods" as soon as I can.
#10  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
tripleyew
In reply to hobbie, #10:

I'll launch a big ugly question -

After reading the book, do you think it reflects an observation of altering our gods (uppercase or lower) to suit our cultures and/or personal needs?

A lighter question -

What do you think of Gaiman's tendency (also done in Neverwhere, Sandman, Good Omens, probably others) to write about a magical world, hidden among our own familiar things? Does it make his settings more disturbing or more accessible, to have it happen in small town America, as opposed to Middle Earth or Narnia?
#11  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
SpaceLemur Sponsor
In reply to tripleyew, #12:

To address the first, I don't think it's a reflection of a change attitudes toward gods as much as it is a shift in priorities. At one time, God or the gods were, if not, the most important part of people's lives, then at least one of the most important. Today, most people, even those who regularly practice a religion see at as almost an obligation to be endured, so that they can go back to living their lives.

As for the second, I think more accessable. I've never been a big fan of books set in far off mystical lands (at least those that appear in Fantasy novels rather than Sci-fi). This book, however, I read in three days and had to force myself to put it down so I could get some sleep.

And I still say it reminds me of Adams' Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
#12  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Qcx918
This is a smart thread. I definitely want in.

I can't join until next book, probably, but just for posterity my suggestions are
1. A Clockwork Orange (A commentary on nearly everything)
2. SHÓGUN (Seriously, the best book I have ever read)
3. The Godfather (Mario Puzo's mastery is never more evident than here)
#13  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
jasontim
In reply to hobbie, #16:

This was the frist Gaiman book I read, loved it and thirsty for more. I thought the concept of an alternate world worked and Gaiman did a great job of interweaving the two worlds.

The character developmend was very well done, after the first couple of chapters I really developed a liking for Shadow. Also the depiction of Wednsday was really good.

On the audiobook there was an interveiw with Gaiman, there he said the very first concept he had of the book was the idea of a person who missed and was rerouted onto several planes ends up sitting next to a guy in first class by complete accident and the guy turning to him and asking if he wanted a job. I mean to start with a simple idea like that and developing such a rich world around it is a truely a graet talant the author has.
#14  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
xShinigamix
Neil Gaiman's American Gods wwas a phonomenal story told in a unique and thoughtful manner. Neil Gaiman is amazing.

SO what's the next book or do we wait?

Maybe we should have an e-chat discussion (half-kidding) it could be interesting.
#15  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
SpaceLemur Sponsor
In reply to xShinigamix, #18:

Now we discuss the book in this forum thread, and eventually when the discussion dies down, we pick the next book.
#16  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
kysr
In reply to machen, #1:


I would also like to join the club. I go out and get American Gods tomorrow; hopefully I’ll finish up in time to discuses it.
As for my recommended books;


RUSSKA Edward Rutherfurd - I know its a bit long but well worth it
The Teeth of the Tiger Tom Clancy - might not be good for the club ether, but a fun read none the less
#17  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
tripleyew
The story is actually a great illustration of a serious discussion subject at seminary - should religious stories, language and ritual be "updated" for modern times, or should the traditional way be used? Something the book does well to point out is a certain spiritual emptiness in modern culture. I'll even expand that further and say it points to a general emptiness in modern culture and life, and the question of whether the traditional should trump the modern, or vice-versa (or some of each).

Then again, some of what we get from Odin about "the good old days" suggests that they were pretty empty, too - maybe the modern world isn't so empty, and the old days weren't so golden.
#18  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
TleahciM
I would also like to be part of the book club. In keeping with my Southern roots, I'd like to suggest two books by Willie Morris: The Courting of Marcus Dupree is a great look into college football recruiting... think Friday Night Lights, but centered more around a single individual, and My Dog Skip which was made into a Hollywood movie (for those who might need to cheat a little) but is still a good look into small town life in the South. Both are easy reads, although The Courting of Marcus Dupree I will admit is pretty long.

Looking forward to diving into American Gods but I take it Cliff didn’t make a set of notes for this did he?
#19  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
SpaceLemur Sponsor
In reply to tripleyew, #21:
The story is actually a great illustration of a serious discussion subject at seminary - should religious stories, language and ritual be "updated" for modern times.
I saw at the store the other day a display of someone who did just that. He rewrote the Bible in "today's" language. I don't know what it was actually like, since I didn't bother to pick it up and look. Don't remember what the guy's name was either.
#20  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
tripleyew
In reply to SpaceLemur, #23:

Yeah, I remember discussing one with the New Testament professor, which used "modern, urban" language. One of the headings in Genesis was "Cain Puts a Cap in Abel."
#21  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Funny
Croat
oooooooooooooooooooo

lets read harry pothead
#22  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  - 2 Noob
w3a2
In reply to Croat, #25:

don't waste our time with your stupidity.

anyway, I'm still waiting for the local library to release the reserved copy of American Gods. That being said, I should be able to knock it over within a week (unless it's LOTR Trilogy sized). Currently re-reading The Bourne Ultimatum while I wait.

From what I've seen above, I'm looking forward to it. I come from (and still hold to) a rather religious upbringing.
#23  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
kysr
In reply to SpaceLemur, #13:
***Disclaimer*** loaded with SPOILERS readers beware

Well i must admit, i never noticed the use of the upper and lower case in the book, i was so wrapped up in the story, Gaiman could have done a lot of cleaver little things like that and i would have blown right past it, being so egger to find out what was gong to happen next. I was already planning to reread the book to see if i missed some things, and now it looks like it will not be in vain. I'll get back to this one when I have more to contribute.

This was my first Gaiman novel (defiantly not my last), so i can't say anything about his tendencies, but i would agree w/ Lemura to a degree, but i think the fact that it was so accessible, and melded so nicely into our own world, is what made it disturbing. The fact that he had the gods and mythical creatures walking with us in our daily life in plane sight, and at the same time hidden right in front of us, gave the whole story that much more credibility to the reader.

And i also agree with Jasontim's statement of character development, i was pulling for Shadow before he got out of jail, and when he lost his wife so early in the game, you just had to get in his corner, if you weren’t already. But the part that i found myself truly starting to relate to Shadow, was after they picked up Wednesday from Mr. town, and Mr. Town was walking away, Shadow wanted to think of something cleaver to say but couldn't, it was the little things like that Gaiman did to give the reader a since of his humanity, and help (at least me anyway) you relate to him. I even got real pissed when Mad Sweeny took his dive, but that just showed me how quick Gaiman could get you to like a character of his. Now if only i could find out where that "hoard" is and gets me some of Sweeny's coins.

He also did a great job of foreshadowing with the "grifter" stories that when I finally got to "storm"; I was like damn, how did i not see this coming. I mean I new there was a "fixer" and had a feeling it was Loki, but I had no freakin clue about how or what till it happened, and I’m still like damn. Another one was the story about the guy that keep going back to the rigged card game, and when told it was, his answer should have went further to me, but I loved it none the less, "cause it's the only game in town", hate to admit it, but I have been there too.

And for my lighter note; how many would have opted to see Lucy's tits? That part had me laughing my ass off!
#24  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
SpaceLemur Sponsor
In reply to kysr, #27:

I'll probably go back and read the book again, since there are all those little things you forget about, but when you know everything that's going on and go back, you realize "Oh, that's what that meant".
For example: I knew before I started that Wednesday was Odin, because I'd read a book review. So, when Shadow meets Wednesday and it's Wednesday (the day of the week), Shadow says something like "It's your day" and then Wednesday looks out the window at the storm and says along the lines of "Yeah, but it could just as well be tomorrow". I laughed... tomorrow->Thursday->Thor's Day.

#25  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Niner
In reply to SpaceLemur, #28:

i don't have a pic..................oops wrong one
#26  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
FatallyYours
a good place to download books online... if you don't mind reading hundreds of pages from a computer screen or you can print them out you can go here

somebody in my english class told me about this site

while i am pretty sure the current book being read isn't on there you can find a lot of books
#27  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
Jimmerz
In reply to FatallyYours, #30:

That is very cool. It seems almost all of that literature is in the public domain, so no, the Gaiman book would not be there as it is still under copyright protection. Cool resource. I will bookmark it.

I am watching this thread and will probably try to participate in the next round if it is something that interests me. Not that American Gods didn't, but I found the thread too late and am somewhat of a slow reader.

#28  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 3 Cool
alurni
In reply to Jimmerz, #31:


I will join in too though after my exams in june. Looks fun :D
#29  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
jasontim
Anyone ever think about trying the grift that wednsday pulls off with the out of order atm. Just sounds too plausiable.
#30  Posted 9 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
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