Books: a literary discussion

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  • edited April 2010
    Hmmm.... my favorite manga would probably have to be FullMetal Alchemist. The art, the humor, the story are all so perfect. Also, I feel a special bond towards alchemy, what with being a biochemistry major and all.

    Yeah, this is the same for me. Plus the themes and actual character development is really really good. The series is criticized for being too melodramatic, but that tends to come with a complex character story. I'm just happy some idiot hasn't come in yet and said "durr manga has t3h dumbs manga is not t3h l33terary like Plato durr hurr".
  • edited April 2010
    I dunno, I was actually looking for...um, short stories and novels. Doesn't mean that I don't like them, or that I won't discuss them, but it's definitely not exactly what I was looking for. It's fine within the context of an overall book discussion, I guess, I just hope this doesn't become "Manga: A Japanophile Discussion", because honestly I don't get much enjoyment from the stuff that's popular these days.
  • edited April 2010
    I just hope this doesn't become "Manga: A Japanophile Discussion", because honestly I don't get much enjoyment from the stuff that's popular these days.

    Manga isn't quite as popular as some really awful books--coughTwilightcough--

    That's why there are anime nerds.

    But yes, I agree with the sticking with books. Anyone read Apuleius' The Golden Ass? It's quite fantastic for a two thousand year old book.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, I thought this was going to be a thread about... textual fiction? Or even non-fiction I guess, but I'd think sequential art would deserve its own separate thread.
    Not that I have a problem with people sharing their favourites or anything, but if we do do a book club kinda-thing, I'm assuming it will have to be with text-only books, be it at least for copyright reasons.

    Speaking of which, how many people were in, again?
  • edited April 2010
    Oooh! Pick me!
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Speaking of which, how many people were in, again?
    I dunno. Depends on what we'd be reading I guess?
  • edited April 2010
    I'm all for giving it a try.
  • edited April 2010
    Okay. Now to decide how we select a book :p
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Okay. Now to decide how we select a book :p
    As a 10 year-old, I'd do this by finding the one with a spaceship on the cover. Or an explosion. Or an alien planet.

    Incidentally, this is pathetically similar to my current criteria.
  • edited April 2010
    As a 10 year-old, I'd do this by finding the one with a spaceship on the cover. Or an explosion. Or an alien planet.

    Incidentally, this is pathetically similar to my current criteria.

    You forgot flaming skulls.
  • edited April 2010
    You forgot flaming skulls.
    No I didn't.
  • edited April 2010
    As a 10 year-old, I'd do this by finding the one with a spaceship on the cover. Or an explosion. Or an alien planet.

    Incidentally, this is pathetically similar to my current criteria.

    Remind me how you ended up reading The Count of Monte-Cristo? Are you sure it's an accurate translation? :p
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Remind me how you ended up reading The Count of Monte-Cristo? Are you sure it's an accurate translation? :p

    It probably had a flaming skull on the cover.
  • edited April 2010
    Here's what a quick trip to Google turned up:
    How to Choose Books:

    Some groups vote on what books they are going to read at the beginning of the year. Some let the host for the month choose. Some use the bestsellers lists or a national book club--such as Oprah's Book Club--as a guide. No matter how your book club chooses books, you also need to decide if there will be any restrictions on the choices (ie, just fiction, just paperbacks, etc.). Try this book club reading list for a year of suggestions.

    Of course, I have no idea whether or not that's useful advice, and I'm equally uncertain about the list it links to. Somehow I just can't see the Telltale Book Club using the Oprah's Book Club list...

    Edit: This one looks like much better advice.
  • edited April 2010
    I wish Gutenberg had a "random book" feature. We could all do that, post what we ended up with, and choose whichever we prefer or something.

    EDIT: @ Guru: considering how we come from different places and might have different budgets, I really think we should restrict this to public domain stuff. Most book clubs would read books that are not public domain, so they're less practical for us.

    Also, I think I'd prefer sticking with fiction but I guess I could be convinced.
  • edited April 2010
    I can't say I speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure Oprah shouldn't run the Telltale Forumites Book Club.
    Avistew wrote: »
    Remind me how you ended up reading The Count of Monte-Cristo? Are you sure it's an accurate translation? :p
    Wait, Dantes is a space captain that is detained in a prison that is made up of an entire planet, right? At the end, he disables the AI of the planet-sized spherical robot that imprisoned him? Also, if I remember correctly, there's a disco competition on the moon, with limb-severing lasers.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, using an established list might not be the best idea, but the advice on how to choose amongst ourselves seems pretty sound. Going with one of the classics and a book that one of our members has thoroughly enjoyed in the past seems like a good idea to me. Anyone else in favor of starting with The Count of Monte Cristo?
  • edited April 2010
    Anyone else in favor of starting with The Count of Monte Cristo?

    I'm fine with that. I guess we could each in turn suggest a book we've previously read and everyone would read it (and we'd re-read it). Kinda "leaves out" the one person who has read it already, except if they enjoyed it they should be fine with reading it again I guess.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, I figure if it's something that the person is happy to read again, the rest of us will hopefully really enjoy it as well.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, using an established list might not be the best idea, but the advice on how to choose amongst ourselves seems pretty sound. Going with one of the classics and a book that one of our members has thoroughly enjoyed in the past seems like a good idea to me. Anyone else in favor of starting with The Count of Monte Cristo?
    I hope you're aware that The Count of Monte Cristo hovers around 1,500 pages and any printed copy, if dropped from waist-level, could kill a small cat. I may be exaggerating, I don't know, I've never actually tried to kill a cat with a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. I don't like getting my books messy.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, it's big, but people have been mentioning Don Quixote, which is big too.

    I wanted to suggest Scarlet and Black by Stendhal, because I've heard it's good and I've been wanting to read it, but Gutenberg doesn't have it in English...
    Here, I found a list of classics. They're probably not all public domain, but that should give us ideas. Let's make a list so we don't have to have that talk every time :p
  • edited April 2010
    We could also look through Gutenburg's Top 100 list.
  • edited April 2010
    We could also look through Gutenburg's Top 100 list.

    The first one is Alice (my name), the second is the Kama Sutra...
    I feel that list was made for me.
  • edited April 2010
    The first one is Alice (my name), the second is the Kama Sutra...
    I feel that list was made for me.
    Obviously it's a SIGN. A sign that we should use Gutenburg's list. OK everybody, book club book #1: the Karma Sutra!

    ...

    Maybe that's a bad idea.
  • edited April 2010
    Okay, things immediately catching my interest in Gutenberg's list:

    - The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    - The Magic Skin by Honoré de Balzac

    (Okay, I added the last one)
  • edited April 2010
    Why do I get the feeling that this club is going to drive us all to buy e-readers?
  • edited April 2010
    Why do I get the feeling that this club is going to drive us all to buy e-readers?

    Well, if it's classics, they should also be available in your library, right?
    And at worst you can read on the computer. I wouldn't say owning an e-reader is a requirement.
    Of course it can help :p
  • edited April 2010
    Things immediately catching my interest in Gutenberg's list:

    -Alice's Adventures in Wonderland(Sorry, Avistew)
    -The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    -Dracula
    -Treasure Island

    (Okay, I added the last one, but Treasure Island should have been on the top 100 list. I regret nothing!)
  • edited April 2010
    I'd be fine with Dracula too. And Treasure Island I guess, it's been a while.
  • edited May 2010
    Treasure Island or Sherlock Holmes ... I can't decide.
  • edited May 2010
    Everything on that list looks good to me...except possibly Kama Sutra because my roommates would give me funny looks.

    Having said that, I'm really interested in reading The Picture of Dorian Grey, The Importance of Being Earnest, or Dracula. Since I haven't read any of those yet.
  • edited May 2010
    +1 for Dorian Grey. One of my favorite horror stories ever written.
  • edited May 2010
    I haven't seen the 100 top books list, but I hope Lord of the Rings is in there. The books are way better than the films. (Not implying that the films are bad, just saying the books are better).
  • edited May 2010
    I finished The Importance of Being Earnest and am reading some of Wilde's other plays because I liked it.

    I'm still up for Dorian Gray, Monte-Cristo, Dracula or Treasure Island.

    @Will: I looked into A Wild Sheep's Chase, they didn't have it in my library, so I looked elsewhere and found out it's the third book in a series, after Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973.
    I don't like starting series in the middle (or the end) but they also say the first two are much harder to find. What would you advise? Have you read the first two, and if so do you think it might be better to read them first? Or do you think I should start there even if it's the third book?
  • edited May 2010
    You can read A Wild Sheep Chase fine, Avistew, without having checked the others. I didn't know it was a sequel to anything till I read your post.
  • WillWill Banned
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, the other two are short stories, not full books. You can pick up with Wild Sheep's Chase just fine. I actually read the books in reverse order, starting with Dance, Dance, Dance, and even that wasn't a problem.
  • edited May 2010
    If you guys pick Dracula I'll join in. A friend of mine has been bugging me to read it on Gutenberg since I praise the Bela Lugosi film and he wants to convince me all of the Dracula films are travesties against the book.
  • edited May 2010
    Some books I enjoyed so much my brain almost melted...

    George Saunders - In Persuasion Nation
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    Jasper Fforde - Lost in a Good Book
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    Shalom Auslander - Beware of God
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    Terry Pratchett - Guards! Guards!
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    George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London
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    Douglas Coupland - Microserfs
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    Andrew Holmes - Sleb
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    Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
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    Malcolm Pryce - Aberystwyth Mon Amour
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  • edited May 2010
    I like to read, and I mostly read when travelling or in bed before sleep.
    Sometimes I can sit and read for hours if the plot is really getting exciting.

    I have a lot of favorites so far, but it continues to expand.

    Skulduggery Pleasant.
    Night Angel Trilogy
    Shadow of the Apt series
    Artemis Fowl series
    Anything with Eoin Colfer (That man is a genius)

    Soon I will start on The Painted Man.

    I am also reading a Danish book translated The Devils Apprentice, in the book line called The Great Devil War, so far there is 3 books and I am waiting for number. 4 :)
  • edited May 2010
    Skulduggery Pleasant.

    Ah, yes... One of the few books that I picked up simply because of its cover. I have low resistance to books with a skull or flames on the cover and this had both...

    Pretty good book too:D
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