Saturday, 24 November 2012

Your picks

Thanks everyone for putting forward your suggestions for our next read.  Here are our picks, and at the bottom of the post is the poll.  You have 3 votes, for your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice and we'll read the top 3.  Want to know more about the choices...?  Read on!

@uragraymalkin has put forward 'The Devil All the Time' by Donald Ray Pollock. "Hillbilly grand guignol that raised comparisons to Jim Thompson and Flannery O'Connor. And it's a first novel. Why wouldn't you read it?"

@timdifford has chosen 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn. I've heard this described as the 'book du jour'. Tim's reason for picking "I’ve just read it so I’ve got a decent chance of having something to discuss when the time comes".

Another bookclubber who'd like to make things a little easier is @iamjuliagreen, who has chosen 'A Perfectly Good Man' by Patrick Gale. "It is my next 'real life' book club read & it'd be nice to concentrate on on 1 book at a time for once." Can't argue with that!

@toykojazzpanda has picked '11/12/63' by Stephen King and said "the best book I read this year, kept me twitching in my pants to the end, gripping, absorbing."

@girlonatrain has recommended the Costa listed 'The Heart Broke In' by James Meek. "A Big sprawling epic morality tale". Loved his "People's Act Of Love".

@dartogreen has recommended 'The Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison "an older book but one that some people may not have read - I'm into the American 50s fiction idea"

'It's Lovely To Be Here - The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent' by James Yorkston has been recommended for us by @idiotjohnson; "'Hugely enjoyable & full of poetic humour and honesty.' That quote is from the blurb. I've not read it myself but I believe it's great."

@sharonmcg1971 has chosen 'Death & the Devil' by Frank Sch├Ątzing: "It's a Mediaeval German Murder Mystery. They had me at mediaeval tbh. And it was on special offer..."

@Beviw has recommended the Perks of a Wallflower. About the book: "It takes the form of a series of letters written by an adolescent boy anonymously to a friend. It is about growing up and the things others have gone through but also about processing his own difficult experiences which become clear."

And finally, 'the Given Day' by Dennis Lehane is my pick. "Lehane wrote Shutter Island, Mystic River and Gone Baby, Gone. I've seen the films, never read the books. This is another one of his acclaimed novels, described as a sprawling American Epic"

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Booker Prize it is!

The consensus seems to be that we read something from the Booker Prize shortlist first, then move on to all putting forward a book with a 140 character review.  So...get thinking about the book you want to put forward next time!

For is the poll for the Booker Prize list.  It'll be interesting to see how the votes go.  This article in the Guardian gives a nice feel for each book and this one features each author introducing their book.  Both would be a good place to start researching your choice.  Or will you be judging the books by their covers? Go, go, go - if you vote by Wednesday, I can announce our choice then.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Time for a new book

So...our current book is Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg, which most people seem to be struggling with finishing! Instead of trying to soldier on, a discussion of it is scheduled in for Wednesday 18th of October.

That brings us to the end of our reading list of pre-selected books and we now need to pick what we read next!

I have an idea how this might work; each member picks a book and sells to us in 140 characters why we should read it. I can create a poll and we each cast 3 votes; 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices. We could then read the top 3 books in order.

 Another option is that we read the Booker Prize Winner, or we vote on which book to read from the shortlist. This approach saw us reading 'Room' around 2 years ago - a book some of you loved, some hated!

What do you think? Opinions required!

Sisters Brothers Discussion

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Books!

What follows are the books on the reading list from now until May whenever we finish.  I thought that having a list might give people an opportunity to plan ahead, look around for cheaper copies, maybe even read ahead if they want to. I plan to organise an 'in real life' bookclub discussion on the first book to see how that goes. It will follow the twitter discussion; any suggestions or advances, tweet or DM me at @booksaregood or comment below.

I also wanted to say something about new members! A few people follow the twitter group and aren't yet involved - if you are one of them and are thinking of joining in these discussions, then please do! Not many of us are frightening.

Soo....drumroll please!! The books are:

Book 1

'Nightmare Alley' by William Lindsay Gresham has been picked for us by @uragraymalkin. Discussion for this book will be on Wednesday 28th March at 9pm.

The other books are as follows. I've set provisional dates for these, but they can be moved if they clash with something else.

Book 2

'A Time of Gifts' by Paddy Leigh Fermor has been picked for us by @sharonmcg1971. Discussion for this book will be Tuesday May 15th.

Book 3

One Day in September, the story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre has been picked by @toykojazzpanda. Better trying to get this one used as it's out of print...from 40p on Amazon! Discussion for this book will take place in July.

Book 4
'The Sisters Brothers' by Patrick DeWitt was picked by @superemilyaah (and also suggested by @sharonmcg1971) will be discussed in August.

And finally...Book 5

'The Private Memoirs and Confessions Of A Justified Sinner - James Hogg has been picked by @booksaregood and we'll discuss this in September.

So....what do you think? Any you are particularly looking forward to? Would you have picked out any of these to read yourself? Comments to the usual place - tag them with #la1bc and/ or direct to @booksaregood

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Story So Far

I have been very lax in updating this blog. We've read three more books since Room, Bad Science and The Year of The Hare. 6 books in total!!

We have read and discussed:

  • Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurdardotti
  • Anagrams - Lorrie Moore
  • Jeanette Winterson - Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Turnout can vary - I recall very lively discussions of Anagrams & quieter but still very insightful discussion on the Jeanette Winterson book. I think we need to think about how we capture the discussions so we can look back on them - twitter has a habit of archiving things. If anyone is willing to summarise the discussions in the form of a review, let me know...

Rather than selecting a book using democratic means, I decided to speed things up a bit before Christmas by using a random name generator to pick one person to select a book for us to read. I like how that worked out, so we're going to do that again for the next 4 choices. That will mean that all active members will have picked a book by May/ June and we can all go back into the hat again. You never know, we may even have some new members!

I did mention that for discussion of the next book, we would have an In Real Life discussion. There's a nice, relatively large cafe in town full of sofas, books and amazing cake. If there is interest, I will ask them what they can do to host a little gathering (or maybe we could just #flashmobbookgroup?)

So...when the pickers have picked, I will let you know. Until then...check out this really lovely stop motion animation of a bookshop