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Some dystopian nominations:
Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban
The Drowned World, by J. G. Ballard
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
The MetaTalk thread which sparked this: http://metatalk.metafilter.com/18332/Metafilter-Book-Club
Okay, for my nomination, I'd like to offer something a bit quirky and off the beaten track (and the sort of thing that's not for everyone because of adult themes, but is probably great for us):
Hotel de Dream by Edmund White, because it features an historic literary figure in a fictional setting (Stephen Crane|invented history); it's only 240 pages, which is convenient for our first discussion (quicker to start, before we lose interest and wander off...); not many people have read it, so not many of *us* will have read it; unusual, presumably edgy; available as an Ebook for Kindle and other EReaders.
Plus, this is *not* your Mother's Oprah Book Club selection, apparently. How many "Publishers Weekly" reviews contain the phrase "ganymede butt-boy buggaree"?
Amazon page is here: http://www.amazon.com/Hotel-Dream-New-York-Novel/dp/0060852267
(Note that I haven't read this yet, so I'm not recommending it as something I *know* is good; it's just something that grabbed my attention...)
Some other random selections from my (huge) to-read stack:
The Night Listener, by Armistead Maupin
The Savage Garden, by Mark Mills
Set This House in Order, by Matt Ruff
The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters
I would like to put a few non-fiction books in the mix:
Obama has asked his staff to read Lessons in Disaster about the escalation of the war in Viet Nam.
The Vertigo Years (Europe before WW1) sounds good too.
(you can edit your posts! Sweet.)
Another suggestion: The City and the City, by China Mieville
I would read The City and The City or Oryx and Crake with the group. I love Mieville and the Atwood sounds good as well.
Also, one nomination from my current stack of unread is:
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy
Maybe my expectations were too high, or I was sort of looking forward to a detective-story-in-Bas-Lag sort of thing. I wouldn't mind trying again, because I will eventually anyway. I can't not read a new Mieville... it's unpossible!
Here's the votes so far:
The City and the City, by China Mieville: 6
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood: 5
Hotel de Dream, by Edmund White: 2
The Savage Garden, by Mark Mills: 2
Once we've picked a book (maybe in a day or so), we can open a new thread for discussion of the book itself--we can each add comments as we finish the book. I expect the thread will be full of spoilers, so people who haven't finished it yet should probably not open the thread!
Otherwise, The City and The City sounds interesting too.
Something that just occurred to me: The City and the City came out quite recently, and is only available in hardcover. Since we're still in a recession, would people rather read an older book that's available in paperback or from libraries, rather than one that's only available in hardcover?
I'll open a new thread for discussion of Oryx and Crake.
Next question: shall we try to sync up by setting a target date to post in the thread, say Friday November 15? As BrotherCaine suggests in the MetaTalk thread, it may be a good idea to give people some time to read the book--make it more like a conversation instead of just posting our comments individually over the next month. (That said, if you don't think you'll remember the date, you can just post your comments in the thread early.)
Maybe next time.
Atwood doesn't get in as big of a huff about it as Goodkind, but she used to trash-talk science fiction a bit.
Does anyone else want to take a turn counting the votes and starting the threads?
I was going to make a consolidated list of books previously nominated, but then I realized that LibraryThing already lists them all in the top right-hand corner ("Touchstone works"). (How did Harry Potter get in there?)
Looking through the list, I'll put down a couple votes for
The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin
The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
And I'll add one more nomination:
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
brocaine goofed on the touchstone for The Fire in message 14. Sometimes it automatically finds the right book, sometimes you have to look for it under "(others)". Editing your comment will mess it up sometimes as well.
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
If I don't see any more input, I'll make an executive decision. I'll post it here and on the MetaTalk thread.
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