I know there's been a couple of attempts at a CYS book club (I think I started one at some point and then got bored) but... Fuck it, why the hell not try again? I've started a little side gig selling delicious cupcakes and usually spend my baking time listening to audiobooks of classic literature, which means I have no excuse this time.
I'm thinking of generally sticking to stuff in the public domain, since it's free and you can easily find them online as both text and audiobooks.
Figured it would be good to start off with something short, so as there's not too much pressure and people won't just get bored and stop reading. A few ideas are:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (274 pages)
Call of the Wild (232 pages)
To Kill a Mocking Bird (281 pages)
Of Mice and Men (107 pages)
Animal Farm (112 pages)
or, if you'd like something really short:
The Masque of the Red Death (60 pages)
... Nice and appropriate. ^_^
Anyone interested in reading any of those?
It sounds like fun, but I don't think my Mom nor Dad is willing to buy me these books or take me to a store where they sell them.
Oh, okay! I'll join the book club, then.
Sounds fun! I would totally do it if there are free online copies. Perfect timing actually, I have pretty much read every book in my house at least 3 times, some even more, and other than CYS I have literally no way to read new books.
Oh, sounds like fun! I've allready read Of mice and men and animal farm before, but it was a long time ago. The other ones were still on my reading list.
I do have some questions. Will the bookclub be kept on this thread/how was the previous one organized?
Yeah, kept in this thread. And I guess each member takes turns choosing a different book to read and we all review it at the end of the month (or whenever everyone is finished. Whichever's quickest.) ^_^
Okay, how about everyone gives a vote on which books they'd most like to read. (I've already read them all, and am very happy to read any of them again.) ^_^
Either "To Kill a Mocking Bird" or "Animal Farm".
Count me in! To kill a mockingbird it is. I want to see what the whole hype around that book is all about.
Okay, haha 9 days too late, but I have finally read the darn book, so let's start right with my impressions.
The first 8 chapters were boring as heck, no, they even bored me to tears. Jem and Scout were just being scared about some Boo Radley and harassing the poor fella for pages and pages. I just don't like reading about children being unnecessarily cruel like lord of the flies style. I'm just a bit tired of this kind of stuff, because I have seen it too many times. Plus, I honestly didn't give a crap about that subplot.
There were some fun moments sprinkled through these chapters though. God, I love the whole black church side plot where Cal was taking Scout and Jem to the only black church in town. It really shows the whole segregation stuff nicely. I always thought that it was kind of weird that the US has black churches and white churches, so reading about it was kind of cool. Then there were many times that you can spot the subtle and not so subtle racism displayed by the townpeople. I believe I haven't heard so many different insults and uses of the N word before, or maybe I'm just not reading enough old books. (To be honest, usage of the N word here is kind of justified as this is basically a period piece and a showcase of the mindset of the people of their time, but boy this makes the book very unquotable)
Then, then, then, There was the build-up to the court scene. This was I guess the most 'fun' part for me. Look, I just adored the movie 11 angry men and this gave me the same vibes. Our boy Atticus was just slaying all arguments like it's nothing. God, I love the scene where he points out the left handedness of that Rob Ewell. Atticus is just way too fun to watch when he is in his lawyer mode. He is also a great dad btw.
The aftermath of the court scene went as expected. Our homy Tommy who was probably very innocent got convicted by our 'lovely' jury members. The thing that did surprise me was his death and the sudden death of Ewell. I don't know what to think of this ending. Ewell's death was kind of a cop out to me. It felt a little bit too happy for me. You know, bad racist guy died, everything is solved. That's not really how you handle systematic oppression, at least in my opinion. It's not as simple as "guys, we just kick out the bad people and only have the good people", that whole racism thing is probably a bit deeper than that.
I think I would have liked it better that Ewell got away with the whole thing, because in real life karma for bad people like him doesn't exist, they get away with bad deeds. It would be more interesting if Scout has to live with that fact.
Also, how the heck, Boo just went and stopped Ewell from murdering the kids. It felt almost humurous that the guy they feared the most in the beginning became their ultimate saviour, talk about the irony.
At last here are also the funny moments I noted. (These are just some highlights, otgerwhise the list will be way too long.)
Merryweather being merryweather
Tommy just got convicted and was found guilty by the jury although the fellow was not guilty.
miss merryweather: Hmm.. I don't get why my servants are so cranky today, is it the weather or something
Jem being an asshole
Scout: why is my brother such an asshole
Atticus: *shrugs* Oh well, boy's going through puberty
jem: look scout, don't tell anyone
Scout: what is it?
Jem: it's a secret
jem: *proudly shows a single belly hair*
the sheriff after the whole Ewell mcstabby fiasco
Sheriff: look Scout, we have found a dress
scout: oh that pink one was mine
sheriff: we have also found a brown something with iron wire through it
I played a ham during halloween.
Jem: why, why, why, what's wrong with you people
Atticus: hey, at least he got an extra hour
the whole ham costume in general
Jem: okay, you can get rid of that costume now
Jem:It's pretty difficult to run in it tho...
Jem: come on I even brought you your dress
*ewell mc murder shows up
jem: goddamnit scout get rid of that fucking costume
Scout: I DUN WANNA
during that weird tea party after the trial
one of the ladies: Oh jean louise what do you want to be
Scout: i dunno
*Auntie alexandra looks expectantly*
scout: I wanna be a lady!
lady: (.....) better put on a dress missy
dill in general
dill: I wanna marry Scout!
Scout: heck yeah!
Dill: *only hangs out with Jem
Our boy raymond
jeremy: can I get some of that magic juice
Raymond: sure kid, my super magic juice
*Jeremy gulps the shit down
Jeremy: what the fuck bro, I thought it was the good stuff
Raymond: TrOlololol it's just coke
fun book, it did make me emotional once so that's a bonus. The beginning was darn slow, but the other parts kind of justify that slog. Regarding its message and the time period it was written on (around 1960), it has a very progressive view on this whole subject and it doesn't shy away from it. If it was written during this time, people may say that it is "hamfisted" or "forced", but I think that this book serves the same great purpose just like uncle tom's cabin did years before. People ain't gonna get the message unless you spell it out for them, especially not folks living in the 60's.
So I kind of get why this book is so applauded and yeah, I would probably recommend it to someone. However, I probably won't reread it in its entirety. (The first part was such a slog)
"To Kill a Mocking Bird," because I already found a copy online and started reading it.
To Kill a Mocking Bird it is!
Here's a link to an online version.
And here's a link to an audiobook.
Let's all regroup on the 1st of April, or whenever we're all finished. Whichever comes first. ^_^
i'll join seems fun
I'm a bit late, but count me in. Why not?
Yes! But you're going to have to binge To Kill a Mocking Bird in 4 days :p
I've been busy with school too, but I have been reading it today and will probably read it tomorrow because I have nothing else to do.
Just watch the movie and pretend you read it. :p
After I'm done with the reviews I'm tempted to do a review on a couple of pieces of fine literature.
One book I'd love for you to do is Of Mice and Men. It's one of my favorite books and I'd love to see what you think about it.
Okay children time to hand in your book reports. Lets hear your thoughts on one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time! ^_^
... And none of you read it, did you? >.<
I read a little of it. I also read a book like it last semester for my English class.
It was pretty good.I like the part where, uh, Scout wears a ham. I appreciated the racial slurs. Atticus seems like he's good at being a lawyer. Also, the movie was good.
That's all I remember from ninth grade English
I read this book in eighth grade and didn't care for it at all. So about four years ago I picked it up again and read it, and I still didn't like it. I find Lee's prose style uninteresting. I like the notion of the book, and I appreciate what she is doing, but I don't like it as a narrative, and other than some of Finch, the characters leave me pretty cold. I know many, many, many people adore this book, but as for me, it leaves me completely cold. I know this sort of thing is impossible to fully articulate, I'd be interested to hear why it's one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time for you, Avery.
Only plausible explanation. ^_^
... The book is amazing and you are wrong! >.<
I read it.
Not terrible, though I don't see what all the hype was about.
Most of the book had a "memoir of summer vacation" vibe, despite taking place over a few years. The rape trial had me hooked, but the rest of the book was just sort of there. The way they presented the education system, though...well, let's just say not much has changed.
Overall, it wasn't really my thing, or maybe I'm just too engrossed in fantasy at this point.
I think the movie kind of bungles that because it's not as explicitly framed from Scout's perspective. In the book, it's pretty obvious that everyone except Scout knows what happened, but she's recounting her perspective on events as they seemed when she was a child instead of recounting them objectively
I recommend Tom Sawyer. Many shenanigans. ^_^
You are all very bad and naughty children! (Except for Valladar. All the cupcakes are for you.) You all either didn't read the book, in which case you are very, very naughty, or you read the book and didn't like it, in which case you are stupid and your opinion is wrong (also probably racist. Shame on you!) Well, I guess I'll do a book review all by myself.
To Kill A Mocking Bird is easily one of my favourite books of all time, (probably my absolute favourite.) I really have a soft spot for coming of age stories, and while Scout is still a young child by the end of the book, I still feel like it's a coming of age story due to how much she witnesses in such a short space of time. She's going to school and finding out that the education system is holding her back rather than helping her. Her big brother is growing up and no longer wants to play with her all the time like they did when they were little. Her elders all think it's time she outgrew her tomboyish ways and try to turn her into a lady, but most importantly, she's learning a lot about the cruel, harsh realities of the world she lives in.
I've got to say that I really love Scout's character and I enjoy the simple purity of her thought processes and her innocent confusion on human values that just don't make any sense. One scene that comes to mind is when Jem is trying to figure out the results of the trial and comes to the conclusion that there are four kinds of folks in the world. Normal folks, poor folks, scum of the earth folks and black folks. The normal folks look down on the poor folks, the poor folks look down on the scum of the earth folks and the scum of the earth folks look down on the black folks. Scout can't make any sense of his theory and says, "I think there's only one kind of folks. Just folks." Honestly, I think this one little trait is what makes her such a great character. Everybody is trying to tell her what to think, but she doesn't believe something just because everybody tells her too, she thinks about things carefully and decides right and wrong for herself (usually after a discussion with Atticus.)
Now let's talk about Atticus. Honestly, I think that Atticus Finch is the greatest literary character of all time. And really, her doesn't even need to do much to achieve that title. Plain and simple, he's just a good man. He's not the greatest father in the world but he does the best he can do. I really like the fact that he speaks to his children as if he were speaking to an adult, not sugar coating anything or trying to shield them from the cold realities of the world, but still trying to explain things to them in a way that they can understand. He teaches his children right from wrong, he stands up for what he believes in and he does the right thing. Even when the whole world is against him and even though he knows he's fighting a battle he can't win.
As for the court case, one interesting thing that stuck me from this time reading it that I didn't realize before, we, as the readers, don't actually know if Tom is innocent. We do not witness the event through the book, we only witness the court case. We as readers have no more and no less information about the case that the people in the court room did. That said, it's obviously unanimously accepted that Tom is innocent because all the evidence points that way. Which, of course, is why it's so heart breaking when he gets found guilty. With all the evidence stacked in his favour, it's unlikely that even the jury thought he was guilty. They just convicted him because he was a black man being accused by a white woman. Honestly, even the fact that they managed to get one juror to vote not guilty is a pretty huge achievement for the time.
Now for all you people who didn't read the book (and for those ho did, 'cos why the fuck not?) I very highly recommend you watch the old 1962 To Kill A Mocking Bird movie. The film is an absolutely gorgeous adaptation. Gregory Peck portrays Atticus Finch perfectly (infact I think I might go as far to say that I prefer the Gregory Peck portrayal of Atticus to the character from the books.) The trial scene is incredibly hard hitting and the confrontation with Mr Cunningham just melts my heart.
Final note, to all the people who enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird (basically everyone who's not a freak of nature like Gower!) I recommend giving Go Set A Watchman a read. The only other book ever published by Harper Lee
For some reason the book was marketed as a sequel to To Kill A Mocking Bird... It is not. At all. From what I understand, Go Set A Watchman was the original First Draft of To Kill A Mockingbird. (The publishers liked the story but preferred the scenes from Scout's childhood, and asked Harper Lee to rewrite the entire book with Scout as a child protagonist.) There's quite a few noticeable differences that make it impossible to be a sequel (most notable, in Go Set A Watchman, Atticus actually won the Tom Robinson case.)
Go Set A Watchman takes place several years after the events of To Kill A Mocking Bird. Scout is now a young woman and poor Jem has died of the same heart disease that killed his mother. Returning from the big city to visit her father, Scout is horrified to find that tensions between the white and black citizens of Maycomb county have gotten even worse since she was a child. Black rights movements and legislations to end segregation have not exactly gone down well in the South. So much so that even Atticus thinks that things are moving too fast in favour of black rights and that the people of Maycomb aren't ready for such drastic changes. Essentially, Scout's heart is broken when she learns that her father, who she always looked up to, to guide her as her moral compass, isn't the faultless man with all the answers that she thought him to be.
The book got a lot of critisicm and backlash for essentially turning the world's most beloved fictional character into a big old racist, but I actually found it a really interesting read. While I do love the character of Atticus in To Kill A Mockingbird, I think that Go Set A Watchman shows that the image that Scout had of Atticus in To Kill A Mocking Bird was seen through rose tinted glasses. It was the image of an ideal father as seen from a child who loved and admired him, remembering all his virtues and none of his faults. Go Set A Watchman somehow reinstates and shatters that image at the same time.
Anyways, that's all I can think to say and I'm sleepy. Mizal was the first person to join the book club, so she gets to choose the next book! That said, I'm too cheap to buy anything, so something in the public domain (or at least something with a full audiobook available) would be appreciated. ^_^
Actually, from what I understand, it was the opposite. Her family really didn't want the book to be published and it was her publishers who pressured her to publish it only after her sister died.
Come on Mizal, choose a book, I have Easter Cupcakes ready! ^_^
I'm going to read Harry Potter! ^_^
I'm going to read Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis.
I have never heard of this. Is this set in the Narnia Universe or somewhere completely different? ^_^
Edit: And how the fuck do people keep posting images like this? >.<
What did Tolkien write? ^_^
Shame. Would've liked to see some time travelling hobbits. ^_^
Can't go wrong with Watership Down.
Never actually read it... Can we not just make Watership Down this month's book instead? ^_^
I'll read it! ^_^
Just do Watership Down, I mean people can at least always half ass their way through it by watching the cartoon.
I can do both, and then compare the two. :p
Just please don't watch the CGI remake. Your eyes will burn out. :(
Original is probably one of my favourite cartoons ever. ^_^
I really like the animation! I like how super accurately the rabbits move. ^_^
... And wait, you're telling me that the book doesn't have adorable rabbit blood spewing everywhere? Fuck this shit, I'll read Plague Dogs instead. :p
Oh yeah, the excessively camp bunny. :p
Next time lend him Padak. ^_^
Funnily enough, listening to the audiobook of Watership Down is making me appreciate the cartoon even more. The attention to detail is amazing. I mean, the lines in the movie are almost word for word that same as in the book, but what I find interesting is that so much of the movement described in the book is replicated in the movie. Just little things like "Hazel went summersaulting into the bushes" or, "The cat gingerly licked it's front paw, trying not to look affronted" that I really appreciate they took the time to animate as accurately to the book's description as possible. ^_^
Oh wow, the unabridged version is even better for these sort of comparisons. There's a part right at the beginning that says "When a bumblebee came humming, Fiver jumped and spun round with a start." And I definitely remember that part in the cartoon and it's animated exactly as it's described. ^_^
Just remembered a cartoon series of Watership Down I used to watch when I was little. Will have to re-watch some episodes. ^_^
... Well, that was strange. Thought to my self, "would be nice to see the cartoon from the beginning since I only discovered it when it was already half way through the story." ... Turns out I did see the cartoon from the beginning. For some reason they decided to start the show half way through the story.
I don't even mean, they've already found Watership Down and now they have to deal with the trouble from Efrafa half way through the story, I mean it literally starts when the rabbits are halfway through the journey to Watership Down and they're all saying, "You know, I'm getting a bit fed up of travelling all the time. Kind of miss the old warren. I wonder if it really did get destroyed in a horrible catastophe like Fiver said it would. Oh well, guess we'll never know." ... Just why? >.<
Listening to the audiobook of Watership Down. I think I will be forever happy now, knowing that the scene in the movie where the rabbits are trying to help Kehaar and Kehaar yells "Piss off!" is actually cannon. ^_^
... Well fuck. I was about to said that Watership Down had a habit of including a lot of pointless characters who never actually said or did anything and were just sort of there, but I've looked into it a bit more and it turns out that the audiobook of Watership Down that I listened to was an abridged version. I mean, it did say that it was an abridged version but I just kind of assumed that they got rid of some of the "he said", "she said" parts since the reader had a very distinctive voice for each rabbit. Nope. I guess it left out a whole lot. And now I shall find the unabridged version and read it again. ^_^
Found a full audio book and very glad I decided to listen to it. It's considerably better than the abridged version and has a lot more info. I really like the explainations of the rabbit's names and what they mean (particularly enjoyed the fact that the name Bigwig literally means... Well... Big Wig. :p )
SO glad I found the full version. The abridged version was alright, but the full version is wonderful! Thanks for recommending it, Miz. ^_^
They're in Cowslip's warren at the moment, and I'm really enjoying the contrast between the two groups of rabbits.
"Check out this awesome mosaic!"
"The fuck's a mosaic?"
"Well, it's like a picture made of stones."
"The fuck's a picture?"
"Well you put a group of stones together and make a shape."
"The fuck's a shape?"
"... Nevermind." ^_^
Gonna read the Percy Jackson series.
Edit after reading: I still enjoy the book. I liked how Riordan explianed the whole Greek gods coming to america. I also realized that the man who guarded Olympus was reading Harry Potter. He also read Twilight in the last book. He did a great job building the world with a slow story that has very well written action in between scenes. Every part is tense and you don't know how the hero's will solve the problem. 9/10.
Ooh, this sounds cool! I would like to join; I shall be reading Redwall by Brian Jacques.
I've only read it once, and that was quite a while ago. It'll definitely be interesting to go back and see what I missed on my first read-through, especially since I was so young.
Unfortunately a lot of my collection from several years ago has been sold, so I'm really digging into my stuff for this one. I think I'll be reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis since it's one of the remaining few that I've kept.
Changing my book to Green Eggs and Ham. ^_^
I think you're thinking of "If I Ran the Zoo" :p
Well, we have then alone in the world by hector malot, goddamnit I cried when the monkey died. Such a nice children's book.
The brothers lionheart was also one of my favourites, haha.
And I guess all books from thea beckham.
I do agree though. That's one of the main differences I noticed. The portrayal of Woundwort in the film was much darker, more brutal and just generally terrifying, whereas in the book he seemed far more militaristic. Like, in the book he wanted a warren ruled by order and discipline, mainly because he was paranoid that the warren would be discovered and destroyed by humans. In the film he was just kind of a massive jerk who just wanted to control everything just because.
Wait, I didn't know that was the assignment. I would have mentioned the Fat Cat.
Wait a second, when did this happen? I mean, both sound like awesome suggestions, but I thought we were doing this in order of who joined the group first.
... (That said, I'm not sure AL has actually read anything yet so maybe skipping over a few wouldn't be a crime.) :p
Oh yeah, I forgot I was meant to be doing this.
Well, anyway, this month's task was to read a book you enjoyed from your childhood. I decided to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. (or Sorcerer's Stone for all of you Americans out there who are, apparently, too fucking stupid to know what a Philosopher is.) But while discussing what books we were going to read, Mizal convinced me to give Watership Down a read as well, so here are my conclusions.
Well, what can I say other than Watership Down was complete shit. There was no magic. No spells, no potions, no pointy talking hats, and the rabbits didn't even have wands. What the fuck are you trying to sell me Mizal? Utter crap. Obviously you have no appreciation for quality literature like me.
... Seriously though, I kind of got bored of Harry Potter and only made it halfway through. Don't get me wrong, I do still love it, but I think I just enjoy the world and setting more than I do the characters, and with the story, you really have to stick with it for awhile before it starts getting good. (Essentially, when people start dying). I think the main thing that I remembered from what I did read was how completely I hated the first chapter. So J.K.Rowling's thought process was, "Okay, so I'm going to write a magical book about a bunch of witches and wizards that go to magic school to learn magic... So let's start with an opening chapter about the most fucking boring family in the world, going out of my way to make sure I emphasize to the audience how fucking boring they are. That should capture a 10 year old's attention."
Anyway, Watership Down was fucking awesome. Thank you very much Mizal. I'm not sure what it was about the book but it was just fucking enchanting! Literally everything about the book was gorgeous. The characters, the lapine language, the thought process of the rabbits, the stories of El-ahrairah. I was just hooked and didn't want to stop listening.
I remember reading an interview with Richard Adams where he said that Watership Down was extremely difficult to publish because, according to the publishers, "Younger children won't like it because it's written in such a grown up way, and older children won't like it because it's about talking rabbits." ... Well fuck you, publishers! No one ever gets too old for talking bunny rabbits!
Was surprised to hear that Mizal wasn't a big fan of the cartoon, since I always loved the cartoon as a kid and, after reading the book, I only appreciate it more for it's incredibly accurate attention to detail in both the rabbit's lines and movements. (Particularly liked the parts in the book when Simon and Garfunkel chimed in with a musical number.)
Any way, to sum up, I didn't get nearly enough of the beautiful Lapine world, and so I think I'm going to have to buy a copy of Tales of Watership Down, since I can't find an audiobook copy anywhere and I want more talking rabbits. ^_^
... Anyway, @AestheticLlama I think you joined the bookclub next. Any good books to recommend. (Public Domain preferred.)
I do have some book recommendations!
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill
How to Steal A Dog by Barbara O'Conner
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
And another good book my class read in 3rd grade, but I forgot the name. :[
I was also going to recommend the Harry Potter series, but I fear that might be too long.
Yeah, not going to read the Harry Potter series in a month :p
Which of those books do you like best and can any of them be found for free online, either as a book or audiobook? ^_^
If it's popular enough, you can find a pdf or epub version of it in:
Or perhaps other pirating sites.
Maybe Wonder, Wonder's a popular book.
Wow, that's a pretty shitty week. You okay?
Okay, so we got some good suggestions and I'm not actually sure which we're going with. Either AL's Wonder, or one of Ugly Chick's suggestions (I can still never see his name and not read it as Ugly Chick.) Honestly, both sound awesome, but I think King Solomon's Mines appeals to me more since I never actually heard of it, whereas Dorian Grey, I have a pretty good knowledge of the general story.
Either way, I definitely want to read both... Come to think of it, if Wonder is the story about the kid with the face then I think I saw the movie and it was pretty awesome. ^_^
Oh yeah, this was a thing. I forgot. Was listening to the audibook of King Solomon's Mines. It's pretty good. I should finish it... But when I was about half way through I started reading The Colour Purple and kind of forgot about everything else until it was finished. If you haven't read The Colour Purple, then I highly recommend. It's really something special. Not like any book I've ever read before. Plus it actually made me cry, and I can't remember the last time a book made me cry. ^_^