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View Full Version : Book Selection Poll - Round II



Perks
07-16-2006, 07:12 PM
Unless there are any objections, I've dropped the book with the lowest votes and added two new ones to fill the slots. I'll keep the voting open until Monday, July 24th and we'll be off and running.

Thanks for everyone's participation and I'm sorry we lost all of that good discussion on The Posionwood Bible. Better luck this time!


The Sparrow (Paperback)
by Mary Doria Russell (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Mary%20Doria%20Russell&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/002-6546671-7196061) In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

Bel Canto: A Novel (Paperback)
by Ann Patchett (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Ann%20Patchett&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/102-3656948-3952100)

Opera and terrorism make strange bedfellows, yet in this novel they complement each other nicely. At a birthday party for Japanese industrialist Mr. Hosokawa somewhere in South America, famous American soprano Roxanne Coss is just finishing her recital in the Vice President's home when armed terrorists appear, intending to take the President hostage. However, he is not there, so instead they hold the international businesspeople and diplomats at the party, releasing all the women except Roxanne. Captors and their prisoners settle into a strange domesticity, with the opera diva captivating them all as she does her daily practicing. Soon romantic liaisons develop with the hopeless intensity found in many opera plots.

Jitterbug Perfume (Paperback)
by Tom Robbins (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Tom%20Robbins&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/103-7638641-8342216)

Jitterbug Perfume is an epic. which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn't conclude until nine o'clock tonight [Paris time]. It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle. The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god. If the liquid in the bottle is actually is the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon becaused it is leaking and there is only a drop of two left.

Possession: A Romance
by A.S. Byatt (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679735909/sr=8-1/qid=1153062102/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-4137330-7961461?ie=UTF8)

"Literary critics make natural detectives," says Maud Bailey, heroine of a mystery where the clues lurk in university libraries, old letters, and dusty journals. Together with Roland Michell, a fellow academic and accidental sleuth, Maud discovers a love affair between the two Victorian writers the pair has dedicated their lives to studying: Randolph Ash, a literary great long assumed to be a devoted and faithful husband, and Christabel La Motte, a lesser-known "fairy poetess" and chaste spinster. At first, Roland and Maud's discovery threatens only to alter the direction of their research, but as they unearth the truth about the long-forgotten romance, their involvement becomes increasingly urgent and personal. Desperately concealing their purpose from competing researchers, they embark on a journey that pulls each of them from solitude and loneliness, challenges the most basic assumptions they hold about themselves, and uncovers their unique entitlement to the secret of Ash and La Motte's passion.
Winner of the 1990 Booker Prize--the U.K.'s highest literary award--Possession is a gripping and compulsively readable novel. A.S. Byatt exquisitely renders a setting rich in detail and texture. Her lush imagery weaves together the dual worlds that appear throughout the novel--the worlds of the mind and the senses, of male and female, of darkness and light, of truth and imagination--into an enchanted and unforgettable tale of love and intrigue. --Lisa Whipple

Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
by Anne Rice (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375412018/qid=1153062478/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-4137330-7961461?s=books&v=glance&n=283155)

Rice departs from her usual subject matter to pen this curious portrait of a seven-year-old Jesus, who departs Egypt with his family to return home to Nazareth. Rice's painstaking historical research is obvious throughout, whether she's showing the differences among first-century Jewish groups (Pharisees, Essenes and Sadducees all play a part), imagining a Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem or depicting the regular but violent rebellions by Jews chafing under Roman rule. The book succeeds in capturing Jesus' profound Jewishness, with some of the best scenes reflecting his Torah education and immersion in the oral traditions of the Hebrew Bible. As fiction, though, the book's first half is slow going. Since it is told from Jesus' perspective, the childlike language can be simplistic, though as readers persevere they will discover the riches of the sparse prose Rice adopts. The emotional heart of the story—Jesus' gradual discovery of the miraculous birth his parents have never discussed with him—picks up steam as well, as he begins to understand why he can heal the sick and raise the dead. Rice provides a moving afterword, in which she describes her recent return to the Catholic faith and evaluates, often in an amusingly strident fashion, the state of biblical studies today. (Nov. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


So, there you have it. Vote away and well meet here next Monday. And Don't forget to consider half.com for the easy purchase of secondhand books at a bargain.

Perks
07-17-2006, 05:13 AM
Bump for voting. And hello and good evening for the hell of it.

Shwebb
07-17-2006, 06:56 AM
Perks, just wanted to tell you thanks for the book club voting.

I didn't read Poisonwood Bible until after the discussion began, but I'm so glad I read it. Like really good books, this one has been sticking with me long after I closed the back cover on the story.

Looking forward to the next choice.

MacAllister
07-17-2006, 07:00 AM
Ohhhh...I'm torn. These are all either books on my "to read" list, or books I've already read and loved.

alleycat
07-17-2006, 07:11 AM
Ann Patchett lives just down the street from me. Personally, I liked her other books better but Bel Canto won more awards.

Perks
07-18-2006, 02:54 AM
Vote! Vote! Do it! Do it NOW!

Penguin Queen
07-18-2006, 06:21 AM
I'd not heard of "The Sparrow" or its author at all, but it sounds fabulous. Must read that!

Perks
07-18-2006, 06:40 AM
I have heard it's excellent. I can't wait to read it.

Talia
07-18-2006, 10:01 AM
once again... none that i have read. but will watch voting with interest

agree the sparrow sounds very intriguing

Perks
07-18-2006, 06:29 PM
Keep these votes and comments floating this thread to the top! We have to convince [I]them[I] that they won't be cool if they don't.

Perks
07-19-2006, 04:32 AM
Ten votes? That's poor. Vote and play or they'll be no dessert.

MacAllister
07-19-2006, 04:40 AM
I voted! I voted!

Unique
07-19-2006, 06:30 PM
Abstain

Perks
07-19-2006, 07:25 PM
Why, Unique? Don't like any of the choices? Tell me what you'd like to see on the list. I'm winging it here.

Perks
07-20-2006, 03:37 AM
Bump for voting - don't make me come through this screen.

Lady Cat
07-20-2006, 04:36 AM
Even if the Sparrow doesn't win I'm going to look for a copy. It sounds really interesting!

Perks
07-20-2006, 04:50 AM
Well, it's running a close second, so if it'll remain for the next poll.

Although, I'm thinking of running off the two with the least number of votes for more variety next time. Good idea? Bad idea?

Perks
07-20-2006, 02:59 PM
Early morning launch for votes - good morning all, or good night or have a nice lunch, depending where in the world you happen to be right now...

Unique
07-20-2006, 03:52 PM
Why, Unique? Don't like any of the choices? Tell me what you'd like to see on the list. I'm winging it here.

None of them appealed to me. Doesn't mean they aren't good - just not my cup of tea.

When I read for fun, I usually read suspense. Or non-fiction. Or something with a weird title - just because.

Now if you had chosen Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice....I'd read that again. And again. And again.

Or you could just chalk it up to me being contrary. I'm good at that, you know. :D

Perks
07-20-2006, 03:55 PM
Ooo! Is that a good one? I'm a fan of much of Rice's work, but I haven't read that one.

katiemac
07-20-2006, 06:49 PM
Okay. I voted. I didn't get to play last time, but rest assured that Poisonwood Bible is on my reading list. (With a billion other books, but that'll do.)

TemlynWriting
07-20-2006, 10:02 PM
I'm torn between:

The Sparrow
Possession: A Romance
Jitterbug Perfume

They all sound so good.

Any chance of adding either of Joshilyn Jackson's novels, gods in Alabama or Between, Georgia, to the listing at some point? I saw gods in Alabama in a used bookstore the other day, and could probably convince my husband to let me buy it if it was for a reading group. ;)

Perks
07-22-2006, 11:40 PM
Any chance of adding either of Joshilyn Jackson's novels, gods in Alabama or Between, Georgia, to the listing at some point? I don't see why not!

I'd also like to get some recommendations of thriller and horror that should be considered in future selection polls. Feel free to post here or PM me with suggestions. I don't know what I'm doing, so I could use the advice. :)

TWO MORE DAYS OF VOTING!!

aruna
07-23-2006, 08:50 PM
I'd love to see John LeCarre's work discussed - any one of several - as well as Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance or Family Matters.
I'd also like a good excuse to read The Kite Runner and - one book I MUST read and feel guilty for not having done so - Catch 22.

Perks
07-23-2006, 08:52 PM
Yeah, Catch 22 is terrific! I could read that again. It's been so long and there's so much to talk about.

TemlynWriting
07-24-2006, 07:46 PM
Crud! I meant to vote last night, but got home so late and went to bed. I was going for The Sparrow, but I guess that would have caused a tie. Bummer. :(

Perks
07-24-2006, 08:10 PM
So it looks like Bel Canto is the one. August 8th gives everyone a full two weeks to get the book and read it. I'll open the discussion then!

Don't forget half.com for greta deals on used books! (They should pay me.)

alleycat
07-24-2006, 08:14 PM
By the way, Ann Patchett has a pretty good website. And has occasionally participated with reading groups reading her books; I think it's rare, but she has done it.

Unique
08-08-2006, 11:33 PM
So it looks like Bel Canto is the one. August 8th gives everyone a full two weeks to get the book and read it. I'll open the discussion then!

Don't forget half.com for greta deals on used books! (They should pay me.)

>''<

Perks
08-09-2006, 01:52 AM
Nice hint! Life been a bit loopy 'round here. I'll set up the thread. I didn't get to read the book, but I'll look forward to reading your comments. :(

Unique
08-09-2006, 03:36 AM
Nice hint! Life been a bit loopy 'round here. I'll set up the thread. I didn't get to read the book, but I'll look forward to reading your comments. :(

You didn't get to read it?!
Perks, grrrrr..........

aruna
08-09-2006, 09:31 AM
me neither... but I have an excuse. I was in germany and only returned Monday... couldn't get hold of a copy.

Perks
08-09-2006, 03:10 PM
You didn't get to read it?!
Perks, grrrrr..........I'm sorry! Won't happen again - I flaked!Should I read it? Was it good? Go tell me.