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The Empire Book Club - Discussion Threads Started! - 22/6/2008 12:20:16 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
So, reading through the lists of books people want to read on the "to read" thread, got me thinking that there are a lot of really good books out there. Books are easier to get hold of than DVDs, what with libraries and so forth, so why not have a Book Club?

A few things to consider:

1) How long should each reading period last?
I reckon a fortnight or maybe a week should be a good length for most people.
2) How long should each discussion period last?
I reckon maybe a week.

I also think that maybe it would be nice to alternate between "classics" and newer fare, to give some variety. People can join in with the ones they want to and leave the ones they don't.

I'll leave this till next Sunday for discussion of options and for people to nominate books they'd like to read as part of this Book Club. Even if you've already read a particular book, then you can choose to re-read it, or join in the discussion anyway. The idea is that at the end of the alloted reading period we have a book to discuss and for that week anyone who has read it can discuss it.

Some suggestions to start us off:

For the "classics" half:

Catcher in the Rye - J.D.Salinger
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Ulysses - James Joyce (think this one might need the full fortnight...)

For the modern half:

Children of Men - P.D. James
The Big Nowhere - James Ellroy
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh

So what do people think? Fool's errand, or potentially intriguing? If we have other suggestions, and then if we narrow them down to a few, so that by next Sunday we might have a book to start reading. Depends how popular an idea this will be.

< Message edited by homersimpson_esq -- 26/9/2009 2:33:59 PM >


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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 12:40:23 PM   
Amelie_Scotland


Posts: 17468
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: Take a guess.
Put me down for this Homer. I have a lot of free time on my hands for the next few weeks and I'm always up for talking about books.

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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 1:10:39 PM   
JV


Posts: 3512
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: two counties east of home
I am interested in this, however I think the reading period should be a month. I am in a reading group, we meet on a monthly basis, and I find that an adequate period of time. Sometimes I zip through books in a matter of hours, but sometimes it takes a while, and if I am reading something else already it depends on how long it takes to finish that.


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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 1:24:47 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
That's fair enough. A month might be neat as we have a week until the end of this month, so we can work it on a calendar monthly basis. It also gives time for finding of books first. (The council here thought it would be a good idea to have lots of little libraries across the city rather than one big one in the city centre. While that sounds like a good idea, it basically means that you're pretty much guaranteed to never find the book you want at the local library, meaning they always have to be ordered...)


Do you guys have any preferences of choices to start with?


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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 1:26:59 PM   
Amelie_Scotland


Posts: 17468
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: Take a guess.
I'm good with whatever you lot want to read first (god I'm an indecisive cow) but I'd love to start with a classic, since my impendig university course requires me to read so many of them.

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Post #: 5
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 1:27:56 PM   
nomimalone


Posts: 2866
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Norn Iron
This sounds like a good idea, count me in.

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Post #: 6
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:05:51 PM   
Chi Chi_ Chiuaua

 

Posts: 277
Joined: 17/7/2007
From: Spain
Count me in too, but I agree that it should be every month as I'd have to order the books in, if I didn't have any of the selected titles already.

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Post #: 7
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:11:37 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Can I suggest - one of the problems with this last time it started on here (which wasn't that long ago) was the differing rates people did choose to read the book. It meant people posting views at different times so people were kind of coming in later and I got the impression - possibly wrongly - that others felt they'd already discussed it (for a lot of people a month is far too long, for others it is perfect). There was also the query over things like spoilers. The 'club' lasted one book. It might be helpful to agree groundrules upfront on when the posting and discussion on a book starts? The thread might still be around if you want to see what went wrong with that one?

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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:14:47 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
Count me in Homer, I'm actually just starting Catcher In The Rye this evening - freaky...

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Post #: 9
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:16:42 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
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From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
I'd be up for it. Sporadically.


But I can always make time for Ulysses.

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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:19:18 PM   
Barraluke


Posts: 931
Joined: 7/4/2008
From: Knoxville, Tennesse
I think this is a good idea, if done every 3-4 weeks would be better than one week definately. Those books seem a good start, and yeh, i think there should be clear rules to follow but nothing too complicated. For example, if it got to the point where we had a rulebook, well....
But yeh sounds good!

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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 3:40:35 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
Also, I'm in favour of it being monthly, just so I can actually get a hold of the books.

And my suggestions for future readings would be (Classic) House of Mirth and (Modern) American Psycho.

< Message edited by Manchurian candidate -- 22/6/2008 3:47:37 PM >


_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

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Post #: 12
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 4:49:16 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Can I suggest - one of the problems with this last time it started on here (which wasn't that long ago) was the differing rates people did choose to read the book. It meant people posting views at different times so people were kind of coming in later and I got the impression - possibly wrongly - that others felt they'd already discussed it (for a lot of people a month is far too long, for others it is perfect). There was also the query over things like spoilers. The 'club' lasted one book. It might be helpful to agree groundrules upfront on when the posting and discussion on a book starts? The thread might still be around if you want to see what went wrong with that one?


I did wonder if one had been done before, but didn't remember whether it had or not.

I think that maybe it might seem like it is slow to pick up because, of course, in the first month you have folks just reading the book. Once you get to month two, there is more discussion.
Of course, one really easy way round it is to have a general discussion thread about the Book Club itself, and then a separate thread for the books in question. It's not exactly going to overtake this subforum, as it'll be one book per month. I think if general discussion were in this thread, and then spoilery post-reading discussion was in another separate book-specific thread, it would work quite nicely.

I do agree about the different pacing of reading, which is why a separate thread can be started. Those who read the book in a week can start discussing, and then others can join in once they've read it, much in the same way that people (or at least I) tend to read the reviews page for each new film only once they've seen it, as generally they'll be filled with spoilerificness.

The pendulum is swinging towards starting with a classic at the moment...


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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 4:52:40 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
Any chance of Fear & Loathing or I Am Legend?

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Post #: 14
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 5:03:08 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I'll add 'em to the list!



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Post #: 15
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 5:06:19 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
Don't forget If Chins Could Kill: Confessions Of A B Movie Actor...

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Post #: 16
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 5:10:26 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I fear a discussion of that book may quickly degenerate to something resembling the LOTR Vs ED thread, when the ringers come in and say, "well, it's a good book, but nothing like Tolkien..."... 

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Bristol Bad Film Club
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Post #: 17
RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 9:44:48 PM   
KnightofZyryab


Posts: 5840
Joined: 26/12/2005
This sounds good, I'd very much like to partake in this activity. A month is good for me too because I've got a grade exam coming up in 2 weeks time, after that I can read as many as possible - I've got Clockwork Orange and I Am Legend,  Catcher in the Rye's somewhere as well. Some Shakespeare would be great as well - I'm looking to read the neglected "Coriolanus" at some point, and possibly The Merchant of Venice.

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RE: The Empire Book Club - 22/6/2008 11:31:23 PM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3743
Joined: 31/8/2006
Yer i remember the last "book club" thread and noone could decide about something that seemed abit stupid. But i think this might be a goer.

A month seems fair - im a moderately fast reader, but i only read on the train to work so theres a limited time i can read.

But - we could do three weeks, and in the last week of the month we can all both discuss the book in detail (the first three weeks could be discussing the book sparingly or in less detail such as about the themes of the book, not specific plot details- for those who have finished the book can discuss it in detail a separate thread- so it gives everyone a chance to finish the book then give their views.) and decide on a different book.

So like the detailed thoughts could be done in this thread
and the decision of the book could be made up in another thread - plus vague views

Classic recommendation: A Clockwork Orange - or Hamlet
Modern - About a Boy - Nick Hornby


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RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 9:01:14 AM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6286
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
Count me in as well - certainly give me some incentive to read a bit more than currently at least!

My nominations are Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Classic) and number9dream by David Mitchell (Modern)

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Post #: 20
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 12:46:57 PM   
vernieboy


Posts: 873
Joined: 10/10/2005
Yeah count me in for this one as well not sure about nominations for books at the moment so will go with the flow

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Post #: 21
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 1:14:31 PM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10427
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

For the "classics" half:

Catcher in the Rye - J.D.Salinger
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Ulysses - James Joyce (think this one might need the full fortnight...)



I'd suggest that you maintain the readability of the novels you select.  Catcher and Clockwork Orange are both imo excellent choices as they are not too long, but are very involving.  For anyone but the most hardcore amongst us (and I don't include myself in this) I'd suggest that the chances of finishing Ulysses are very slim.  East of Eden is a good pick and great novel, but Mice and Men might be slightly more approachable and is a wonderful read too.

quote:



For the modern half:

Children of Men - P.D. James
The Big Nowhere - James Ellroy
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh


Nice choice with Ellroy, not a fan of Trainspotting but I'd try digging it out again for a discussion.  I've never read McCarthy, so that would be intriguing and I might not rush to read Children of Men as I've seen the film.  Not the same I know.  Something by either Iain Banks or Ian McEwan might be fun. 

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Post #: 22
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 1:29:44 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
As a recommendation for Children of Men I would add that the concerns of the novel are very different from the film which has a prime focus on issues of immigration. Which is there in the book in a minor way - but the novel is quite different.

Which worked well because it meant much of the film was a surprise even to someone who had read the book.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 23
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 1:49:22 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I grabbed the choices from the "to read" thread that people had posted  I chose ones that a) I hadn't read and b) looked interesting. I stuck Ulysses in there to keep MC happy... But yeah, I agree we have to keep them at least vaguely readable!

Coming up first: Tolstoy's War & Peace...

I agree about Iain Banks, and I've been wanting to read an Ian McEwan novel since I watched Atonement. Of course, the main problem with a book club is simply choosing one to discuss out of the many excellent books out there. In a bid to reduce that choice, I make a move to start with a classic. With that in mind, we have the following up for discussion. (I'd wait for more suggestions but with great choice comes great indecision. That's what Uncle Ben said anyway, I think.)

1 Catcher in the Rye - J.D.Salinger
0 Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck  (going with your suggestion there prof)
1 A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
1 House of Mirth - Edith Waughton
1 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller


We have Olaf already reading Catcher in the Rye, so I've counted that as a vote as I have the other votes. If we keep the votes going until the weekend, and then we can start at the beginning of July.

Any other ideas re threads and spoilers? I reckon a separate thread called "The Empire Book Club - [classic book title here]" where all and sundry can discuss the book once they've read it - enter before that at your own risk, sort of thing. Then all voting and discussion of subsequent books can be in here. Admin, as it were.


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Post #: 24
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 1:50:44 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

As a recommendation for Children of Men I would add that the concerns of the novel are very different from the film which has a prime focus on issues of immigration. Which is there in the book in a minor way - but the novel is quite different.

Which worked well because it meant much of the film was a surprise even to someone who had read the book.


Excellent, that makes me want to read it more! I do like it when films complement books well.


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Post #: 25
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 2:27:21 PM   
Peppermint


Posts: 10421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Sussex
Are you going to include plays in this Homer?

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Post #: 26
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 2:37:06 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I don't see why not. Granted, a play's first intention is to be heard and seen, rather than read, but more often than not the genius within a play is not fully realised until it is read. You have some suggestions for future months? 

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Post #: 27
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 2:40:38 PM   
Peppermint


Posts: 10421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Sussex
Yeah, I was thinking Measure For Measure is a good play.

Also, going back to novels, how about Wilkie Collins? I've read his work and I thought it was pretty good.  I know you don't really rate Jane Austen, but how about the Brontes?

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Post #: 28
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 2:53:00 PM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
Can I sign up I need the motivation to read a few more classics.


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Post #: 29
RE: The Empire Book Club - 23/6/2008 3:13:03 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Peppermint

Yeah, I was thinking Measure For Measure is a good play.

 but how about the Brontes?


Remind yourself - reading good books is good for the soul!

Measure for Measure is possibly my favourite Shakespeare play. If you can ever find it - and I treasure my recorded from TV on VHS copy - the Tom Wilkinson version is amazing.

Modern classic

Sacred Hunger - Barry Unsworth (or After Hannibal is you prefer a shorter one, or Morality Play).

Classic Classic -

Diary of a Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith or Bleak House/Dombey and Son by Dickens

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Peppermint)
Post #: 30
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