Group Read?: Middlesex

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Group Read?: Middlesex

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1detailmuse
Jun 3, 2009, 9:12am

Hi all -- Stephmo and I were talking about reading Middlesex together and wondered if others would like to make it a group read over a month in June/July? I searched our 999 group and am PM-ing an invite to everyone who mentioned it in their lists. If you’d like to join the read -- or if you’ve already read it and would like to join the discussion -- c’mon in and we’ll get things going!

2stephmo
Jun 3, 2009, 10:38am

Yes! It's time to take this off of my TBR too long category! :)

I've had friends ask me for, oh, three years whether or not I've read this book and it's starting to get embarrassing! I think one friend just thinks I've read it and I really should get to the point where I can do more than nod when the book comes up in discussion.

So what category do you have it tucked in? Pulitzer prize winners? Longer books? Oh, gosh, Oprah picked this one - I never knew! Books I never correct my friends on when they assume I've read it?

3catherinestead
Jun 3, 2009, 10:48am

I have it in my TBR, and it fits in my "books a billion and six people have recommended to me" category, so I might bump it up nearer the top of the pile and try to get to it in the next few weeks.

4detailmuse
Jun 3, 2009, 3:15pm

Too funny -- all those categories plus: "bumped too many times off my challenge lists"!

I've made a couple false starts into it but been lured away by something sparklier. But over the past year I've developed a special interest in longer books. And this one's too highly rated to not give it a really serious go.

Does anyone have requests for specific reading dates/schedule?

5tututhefirst
Jun 3, 2009, 3:16pm

If I can find time to fit it in, I'd love to give it a go. I can put it in Awards, LT recommends, or audios - if I do it that way. I'd prefer to start in August, but will tag along if you start sooner (maybe that will inspire me to boot something else off the pile.)

6sanddancer
Jun 4, 2009, 5:18am

I'm expecting a copy of this as a swap very soon and I can use it for my 1001 Books to Read Before You Die category, so I'll join in.

7jcmontgomery
Jun 4, 2009, 3:30pm

So glad this is happening. I just finished The Virgin Suicides and many of the commenters had mentioned reading Middlesex and how good it is.

I cannot wait to find out for myself!

8detailmuse
Jun 6, 2009, 11:24am

We have some momentum here, so -- with an apologetic but inviting eye to tutu -- how about if we take two weeks’ notice and begin June 20?

I’ll post a reminder as the start approaches, and (in the interests of simplicity and spoilers) will post four discussion threads (for the four Books in the novel). We who are reading can “star” the threads and others can “x-ignore” them if desired. In the meantime, feel free to keep track of any interesting questions, interviews, links, etc. that you run across that would help seed discussions.

Looking forward to it all!

9stephmo
Jun 6, 2009, 12:57pm

Sounds good - June 20th gives me time to get a few things read before they're due at the library (why do I keep doing this to myself?!). :)

Looking forward to the discussion and the read! And finally ridding myself of the guilt of having not read this for so long!

10jhedlund
Jun 7, 2009, 12:09pm

Count me in! Yet another one to cross off from the 1001 Books category. First I'll do Mistress of the Art of Death with the LT group read and then join in over here. Thanks for organizing, detailmuse.

11tapestry100
Jun 10, 2009, 4:36pm

I can't make any promises, but I'd like to give it a try! Count me in.

12BookLizard
Jun 10, 2009, 8:58pm

I'll be on vacation starting the 20th, so I can read it. I've avoided it for so long since my former boss always raved about it. We didn't have the same taste and she always exaggerated everything.

13detailmuse
Jun 11, 2009, 8:22am

Welcome all!

It's startling how much procrastination and resistance surrounds this read for some of us. It's a good reminder about the fine line between book enthusiasm (tossing out a recommendation) and book evangelism (following up to make sure it took hold).

14detailmuse
Jun 15, 2009, 12:16pm

I’ve started threads for the four Books (sections) of Middlesex:

Book One
Book Two
Book Three
Book Four

Our “start” date is June 20 and we’re aiming generally for a month-long read -- one of the four Books in the novel each week. But it’s informal and unstructured; come to the threads at your own pace. (I assume the novel will have spoilers that will come up in the threads, so I don’t plan to visit them until I’ve finished reading that section of the novel.)

Stop and say hello here if you haven't yet ... and happy reading!

15Roseben031
Jun 15, 2009, 12:24pm

I'd like to join you if that's OK. I've owned this book for a while and have picked it up a few times only to give up quickly. I love The Virgin Suicides, it's one of my all time favorite books, so I feel I should really give this one a good go.

16detailmuse
Jun 15, 2009, 12:49pm

>15 Roseben031:: Roseben031
Welcome!

This is my third start and I couldn't believe it when I found myself laying the book aside at the same place I have before! -- page 40, to be exact. But thanks to the group, I pushed on and have already read almost twice as much as ever before :)

17jcmontgomery
Jun 15, 2009, 4:18pm

Thank you! I have printed this out and will plan accordingly.

Oh man, June 20th is like right around the corner! I've put it on top of my nightstand so I won't forget.

I look forward to seeing how the threads progress.

18angelrose
Edited: Jun 15, 2009, 10:56pm

hi everybody

i'm looking forward to reading middlesex with you

(i haven't read any books with other people since grad school)

i was thinking of pairing this with virginia woolf's orlando (due to similar subject matter) but i've decided to stick with my original plan of starting that one on 11 october (eighty-one years to the day after it was originally published)

right after having read august: osage county in january i opened atomised to the first page and stopped after only eight words: "The first of July fell on a Wednesday"

it was then that i decided to read some of my books based on meaningful dates, months, holidays, seasons, etc. in the text, or on the original publication date, author's birthdate, etc.

it helps me stay a bit organized & makes it fun

(today i started reading absurdistan because the first chapter is entitled "the night in question: june 15, 2001")

so my tentative (impossibly ambitious) schedule involves reading middlesex alongside life of pi, atomised, an american tragedy, on chesil beach & the waves
(good luck to me)

& speaking of good luck

mj (detailmuse): i think i did alright on my teacher certification exam as it was all english (literature, grammar & pedagogy) but i won't get the results until 13 july

on the down side, the lecture hall was full of people sneezing & coughing & blowing their noses

& now i have a sore throat that i'm hoping won't turn into an ear infection (as they are wont to do)

it really got my mind off of how well i scored on my exam as now i'm mostly just hoping that i didn't just spend $88 to contract swine flu

(oink)

19detailmuse
Jun 16, 2009, 3:58pm

angelrose, way to find the silver lining (redirection of worry) in a viral exposure! And very clever, all those literary dates; of course I had to go look up July 1 on the calendar :)

Welcome -- here's hoping Middlesex holds up among all those others!

20catherinestead
Jun 16, 2009, 5:06pm

I decided to start a little bit early ... and picked it up Sunday evening ... and got really into it ... and got a bit carried away ... and finished it already.

Oops.

I absolutely loved the book - I thought it was very powerful and very well-written - and I'm looking forward to discussing it with everyone else soon.