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Discuss your favorite books.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 9/12/2019 10:21:12 PM

I had the notion of doing something with Reading Corner, because this section is the equivalent of the quiet area of the old local library that nobody ever goes into, and that's my favorite sort of place.

I thought, in the spirit of Briar's CYS story book club, it would be fun to read an actual book together--whoever wants to--and we could discuss it.  The only rules I would suggest are a) No pressure to read (I spend my work days cajoling people to read things, and nobody needs that in their fun time), b) Let's stretch ourselves and try things outside genres we might usually read, c) Let's take turns picking books, trying to vary genres as much as possible--novels, books of short stories, graphic novels, plays, books of poetry.

Let's goddamn learn something.  If you would like to read this month, post here or just read anyway and surprise everyone. 

For the first--let's say month?--I suggest "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith.  It is comic, tragic, romantic, and genre-busting.  This is a shortish novel (written by the woman who write 101 Dalmatians, weirdly enough) which has a great narrator writing about her poor family who live in a crumbling castle.  Let's read this in September and discuss starting October 1.  It is fine offer impressions as you read before then, but keep it spoiler free.  Here are the first paragraphs to see if this is your cup of tea:

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it.

Drips from the roof are plopping into the water butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem.

It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but have a neatish face.

I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it."

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
Books? Actual....books? Like, the kind that used to be downloaded onto paper?

I used to read those. I think. It's been such a long time I might be misremembering.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
Looks like an interesting book. Count me in!

Edit: Just ordered my copy on Amazon.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
Will Gower disapprove if I point out this author died 30 years ago, and so she probably has no use for whatever piddling cut Amazon would have given her anyway.

I'm hoping my library has a copy, but a lot of you don't seem to have libraries or know what they are. I'm aiming that will not keep anyone who actually wants to participate from obtaining a copy though so I will not put up with money used as an excuse.

Anyway, looking forward to commentary on a story that's not copy and pasting or slight rewording of the same thing we all already posted as a review.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
I bought a used paperback copy for like 6 bucks, so her cut would be nothing if she were still alive. On the whole money topic, I think it's well worth it to get your own copy. The library's great, but I enjoy the feeling of knowing the copy is mine and not something taken from the lid of someone's toilet (although ironically that's could very well be what I ordered). For less than the price of a movie you're getting hours and hours of entertainment. Totally worth it and you don't need to sell your body for popcorn money.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

13 days ago
Yeah, used book is no better than a library book, you did not in any way cut down on the potential grossness if we're looking at it from that angle.

On second thought I'll probably just get it on my Kindle.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago
Another win for Amazon.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago
Are you sure about that?

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago
Pretty sure... I haven't heard of anyone getting electronic books anywhere other than Amazon, especially for their Amazon device. Oh wait, are libraries loaning electronic copies now? Minus the slow computers, the last time I was at the public library the extent of their electronics was shitty movies from the 80s and bad PBS documentaries. I remember it was a big deal when they finally set up a self-checkout station. Perfect thing for a building full of introverts. With an electronic library, the need to go out into public is eliminated entirely. They're really adapting to their "customer" base. Stream of consciousness aside, I'm looking forward to reading this. Part 2 of The Idiot is really slow.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago

I really, really didn't like The Idiot.  I don't think much of Dostoyevski's novels in general.  The Brothers K had its moments, but on the whole, I found them unrewarding slogs.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago
This is my third-ish book of his I'm reading. Went through Notes, Crime and Punishment, and Poor Folk (and other stories) last year. His novels seem to have a lot of unnecessary dialogue that does not progress the overall story whatsoever. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, but the amount of outbursts by different characters feels a bit excessive. Plus, someone always seems to fall ill at some point. I really enjoyed Part 1 of The Idiot. Nastasya Filippovna was introduced and developed in such an intriguing way. From the painting to the surprise visit, I was hooked. Then the dynamic between the Prince, Ganya, and Rogozhin kept me engaged in relation to Nastasya. I found there to be a lot of suspense in wondering how the tension would be resolved between them, especially considering how different the prince is compared to those two in particular. Nastasya's backstory with Totsky only fueled the fire and added to the drama. Part 1 ended at a high note, and Part 2 seems to start slow and stay slow. I'm about 20 pages from Part 3 and I hope it's better, although your comment doesn't make me as optimistic. The Brothers K is next on my list.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

13 days ago

For me, Tolstoy is about a billion times better.   Anna Karenina is in my top ten list--and Gogol's Dead Souls is right up there too.  I love Russian liteature, but I will rarely pass up an opportunity to denigrate Dostoyevsky.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual E-Books!

11 days ago

I could never get in to Crime and Punishment... But I think that's probably because I was listening to the audiobook and the guy reading it had the most painfully boring voice I've ever heard. I should really try actually reading it sometime. :p

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

11 days ago

Definitely noping this one, I'm afraid. Looks like a really awesome book... But if I start reading a new book every month, I'll never get any writing done. :(

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

11 days ago

We'll miss you, Avery, and by the way, put me on your book club list.  I'm going to participate next time if I can.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

11 days ago

Yippie! ^_^

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

11 days ago

I'm down Gower, might as well participate a little more if I'm going to be floating around.  Just ordered myself a prime patient zero copy of it from Amazon.  Maybe someone wiped their ass with it, maybe not.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

11 days ago

Cool!  This is shaping up nicely.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

7 days ago
After my roommate left on business travel with the mail key, I finally was able to rescue my copy from the mailbox last night. Chapter 1 is very interesting and very random. Perhaps it’s due to the fact I rarely read things written in 1st person POV or maybe because the book is Gower-recommended, I felt a strong similarity in style to Gower’s quiz. The narrator writing events happening in front of him/her without fluid pacing is certainly something I’m not used to. Anyone else notice about half the descriptions in the first chapter were “pinkish”, especially towards a certain character? I’m just one chapter through and I’m glad the book’s engaging. Should be a fun read.

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

7 days ago

I find the narrative voice completely compelling.  She is so observant, and so attuned to colors and small details.  I can't stop rereading particular sentences where she describes the room, and lets us know tidbits about what's unusual about the family.  I'm glad you're enjoying it. 

CYS Other Book Club: Actual Books!

5 days ago

Ah, a real book club? My dreams have come true! I haven't read as much since I got outta high school, but I used to blow through a book every few days. I would love to join. It seems really charming.