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Old 03-22-2007, 02:13 AM   #1
Jae Onasi
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The Kavar's Corner Book Club

Half-inspired by the European salons of the 18th century and half-inspired by Oprah's book club....

Someone had made a suggestion along these lines the other night about this on the chatbox, and I asked again tonight if anyone would be interested in something like a book-of-the-month club. Several people seemed interested, so I thought I'd bring it to the community. Is there enough interest to do something like this? And if so, what kinds of things would you want in a book club? Literary? Not literary? Best-sellers? Sci-fi/fantasy? Something else?

If there's enough interest, we can go from there.


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Old 03-22-2007, 02:22 AM   #2
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can't say I'll be that commited to it, but I'll drop by and chat if it's a book ive read. Maybe even read the ones you guys pick.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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I'd be interested in experiencing other people's views on books I've read and reading books others recommend.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:24 PM   #4
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I find it to be interesting and a good idea Jae. Maybe it would inpire others who form their arguments not to rely on Wikipedia too much. I also see it as a means to expand my reading library though I'm sure my mother would say otherwise

I say go for it.

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Old 03-22-2007, 04:00 PM   #5
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I read a lot. I think I could handle an extra book a month, just as long as I'm not expected to read romance novels. XD


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Old 03-22-2007, 08:28 PM   #6
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I am currently reading some Nietchzhe's works (Beyond Good and Evil, Twilight of the Idols, Genology of Morals), though with schoolwork, I don't think I'll handle reading a seperate book. But I'll tune into the disucssions.


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Old 03-22-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Oh man, I love to read anything and everything in all languages, minus romance novels. I'd love something monthly, it would function as a "Reccommend book, discuss that book for the month, then make a new thread for the next one" right?


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Old 03-22-2007, 09:00 PM   #8
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I'd gladly take a look at recommendations, but I don't know if I have the bandwidth to commit to a book club right now. Maybe in a few months when I've finished my masters thesis.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:12 PM   #9
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I'm up to my knees in books about the Russian Revolution right now, but I could fit in another. Seeing a lot of people's insights about one book can be very interesting.

Something academic would be nice - I like it when books offer philosophical/historical knowledge. Unless it's something as good as Dune or LotR, I'd rule out sci-fi or fantasy. Those books don't tend to be very educational.


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Old 03-23-2007, 12:48 AM   #10
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You'd be surprised at some of the things that show up in sci-fi/fantasy novels. C J Cherryh has some very interesting stories that are anything but superficial.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 03-23-2007, 01:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You'd be surprised at some of the things that show up in sci-fi/fantasy novels.
I know. Dune's a shining example of that.

Most tend not to be very educational IMO. But the ones that are tend to be excellent reads.


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Old 03-23-2007, 02:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
I know. Dune's a shining example of that.

Most tend not to be very educational IMO. But the ones that are tend to be excellent reads.
Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking. Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and the sequels are prime examples of this (in the sci-fi genre) .


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Old 03-23-2007, 02:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish.Stapler
Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking. Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and the sequels are prime examples of this (in the sci-fi genre) .
I agree. The problem is everyone's read those already!

An interesting book on self-determination is Orson Scott Card's A Planet Called Treason, aka Treason. I got it because I really like his other books, but this one's quite fun by itself and few people are likely to have read it here. I suggest we (well, you guys, I just reread it the other day) read that one! It's not very big, but it's kinda trippy at sections and that makes for great fun - and like I said, the main theme is the importance of self-determination, so it's full of philosophy too!

I would not really suggest it for younger readers though. It is teen+ I'm thinking.


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Old 03-23-2007, 03:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish.Stapler
Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking.
I would consider something that makes you think educational.

And I would suggest Atlas Shrugged for this month's book. I need some time to finish my Russian ones.


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Old 03-23-2007, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
I would consider something that makes you think educational.

And I would suggest Atlas Shrugged for this month's book. I need some time to finish my Russian ones.
If you can recommend that then I can recommend Hamlet :P. Which, though it isn't a book, is a great work.
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:20 AM   #16
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Yeah, we probably ought to make the proviso that we need to keep it in the PG-13 framework, which will probably limit the options some, but there are plenty of great books that meet that criteria.

Of course, this completely rules out any of the bodice-ripper romance novels _I_ read, but, oh, well.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 03-23-2007, 01:18 PM   #17
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Any books that make a good read. I tend towards comtemporary fiction, some fantasy and humourous sci-fi. What's Atlas Shrugged?=p



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

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Old 03-23-2007, 03:33 PM   #18
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I've been thinking of starting a book recommendation thread in Ahto, but I see you're way ahead of me Jae. I'm currently reading the Dark Elf trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and am quite enjoying it, but I'll leave the more detailed commenting for the actual book club thread.

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Old 03-26-2007, 07:17 PM   #19
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Currently reading the four canonical gospels. I'm on Mark at the moment. Once I've finished the gospels (hopefully before Easter), I intend to move on to Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.



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Old 03-26-2007, 11:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
...I intend to move on to Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
Ouch. I bought that book because I thought it would be interesting, but it turned out to be just a way for the author to go "oooh look how obscure this tidbit of history is and how cleverly I fit it into my book's puzzles!" This resulted in that I didn't care about the characters at all at the end of the book. While the story was sometimes interesting, to me it certainly didn't justify the pain of wading through the rest of it. Eco is unlikely to get another chance from me.


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Old 03-27-2007, 12:38 AM   #21
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Foucault's Pendulum is not nearly as interesting as The Name of the Rose. I was rather disappointed in it.
I like Luke's gospel best. He seemed to understand women better and mention them more, I imagine being a physician had something to do with it.


Well, how about book suggestions then? Shakespeare plays, poetry collections (e.g. Poe or Keats or the Brownings), books (including just plain enjoyable books, no seriousness totally necessary), the Great Books list, all are fair game.

Only stipulation is that it can't be rated M/adult, or porn, or anything out of lines with forum rules. It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore. And it has to be something we can all read within a month with the assumption that we all have lives, so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 03-27-2007, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Foucault's Pendulum is not nearly as interesting as The Name of the Rose. I was rather disappointed in it.
I like Luke's gospel best. He seemed to understand women better and mention them more, I imagine being a physician had something to do with it.
Possibly. Personally, I prefer Mark. I think Jesus' humanity is much easier to see, and the frustration and difficulty of life for Him...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well, how about book suggestions then? Shakespeare plays, poetry collections (e.g. Poe or Keats or the Brownings), books (including just plain enjoyable books, no seriousness totally necessary), the Great Books list, all are fair game.

Only stipulation is that it can't be rated M/adult, or porn, or anything out of lines with forum rules. It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore. And it has to be something we can all read within a month with the assumption that we all have lives, so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice.
Ethel The Aadvark Goes Quantity Surveying?


I'd recommend anything by Wodehouse. He's undoubtedly one of, if not the best writer of the 20th Century, IMO...



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Old 03-27-2007, 12:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice.
Damn...


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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I'd recommend anything by Wodehouse. He's undoubtedly one of, if not the best writer of the 20th Century, IMO...
I disagree. While I think Wodehouse was a talented writer... I believe George Orwell has the one up on him.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:34 PM   #24
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I disagree. While I think Wodehouse was a talented writer... I believe George Orwell has the one up on him.
Orwell is undoubtedly a great storyteller, a great intelligence, and a talented writer, but his use of language is simply not in the same league as Wodehouse - the use of metaphor, simile, and other parabole is where Wodehouse reigns supreme, and reigns alone, IMO.



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Old 03-27-2007, 12:49 AM   #25
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When are we getting onto the book of the month?


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Old 03-27-2007, 01:16 PM   #26
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I have had a chance to read a personal favorite of mine called To Kill A Mockingbird. I find it to be a sad little truth about the deep South. Set in the Depression era, the narrator of the story is little Jean Louis 'Scout' Finch who speaks of the strong racism and the circumstances of the people within the town Maycomb. A nice insight into the injustices of society revealing the good, the bad and the ugly. A good read if you like the symbolism.

Another good set that I like is historic fiction and this is one that will send me runnignto the nearest couch to read it. The North and South trilogy by John Jakes is one of the best I have seen in historic fiction. The trilogy carries on about two familes from different parts of the country, one from the idustries of Pennyslvania and the other from the rice plantations of South Carolina. Set in the decade before the Civil War, it passes through the tensions leading up to seccession, war and Reconstruction. Love, pain, hatred are put at its extremes as two familes struggle to keep a lasting friendship and eventually into one family. Again if you like histroic fiction, this is a good series.

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore.
Keep in mind Jae that not all of us live in the US. You can't possibly expect of me to know what of the things I've read can be found in your local library.

I know. I meant to suggest that people pick out books that are fairly well known, not obscure titles. --Jae

Anyway, I have just finished reading R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy and have started reading the first book of the Icewind Dale trilogy. For those that didn't already guess, the genre of the books is fantasy, now, the Dark Elf Trilogy consists of three () books - Homeland, Exile and Sojourn. The main character is a non-typical Dark Elf called Drizzt Do'Urden, who's fighting against the ideals widely accepted by the rest of his people. The books tell of an inner conflict within Drizzt and also of his attempts to find a place where he would be accepted for who he really is, a place he could truly call home. I found these three books a very exciting, interesting and enjoyable read and would recommend that everyone else who decides to read them and likes them also continue with the Icewind Dale trilogy as I have, because the Dark Elf trilogy is not the end of Drizzt's story, it's only the beginning.


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Old 03-27-2007, 03:00 PM   #28
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Here's one of the books I'm currently in the middle of reading:
Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak
It can be purchased online, so no worries about availability. It's definitely not at risk of violating any PG-13 restrictions. Also, it has an international audience
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:42 PM   #29
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Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling. I have all her other books but I'm pretty sure I'd rather remove my eyes with a sharp instrument than read another one of her books.

I'm ready to start with whatever you guys reccommend, I'm currently reading The Fall of Constantinope, very interesting but it's in Greek which I imagine the majority of forumites don't understand. I'm going to put it aside as soon as we get a (decent/non Ayn Rand) reccommendation for the book.



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Old 03-28-2007, 08:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish.Stapler
Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling.
Personal taste I guess. I found Ayn Rand's writing style and the philosophies she presented to be very interesting and very different from what I usually read. Not at all like Marx.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
{a list}
Nice ideas. Some of those Id really like to read but haven't yet gotten around to.

I say we stay away from Dracula and most of the poetry, tho. Doesn't quite fit with the topics usually discussed at Kavar's Corner.


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Old 03-31-2007, 12:45 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish.Stapler
Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling. I have all her other books but I'm pretty sure I'd rather remove my eyes with a sharp instrument than read another one of her books.
Hehehe...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Personal taste I guess. I found Ayn Rand's writing style and the philosophies she presented to be very interesting and very different from what I usually read. Not at all like Marx.
I would hope so. Rand was about as anti-Marxist as anyone could get. Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.

I am however, sorry, EmpDev, but I have to agree with Fish.Stapler. Atlas Shrugged is a wonderful story that is absolutely ruined by Rand's out-of-control metaphorical meanderings. It's a truly excruciating read. Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10. I'm on or around page 750 and can go no further for now. I'll finish it -someday.
Quote:
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Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other Romanticists
Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.


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Old 03-31-2007, 01:56 AM   #32
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Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.
Ancient Mariner was required reading in HS. I agree that it is a very good read.

Speaking of required reading that worth reading again, how about Milton's Paradise Lost?
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:43 AM   #33
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Quote:
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Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.
Far from it. The economic anarchy she advocates would never work. You can't simply turn the gov't into nothing more than a police force and let corporations grab all the power they can get. Not to mention how disastrous having no public works at all would be.

The philosophical parts of Objectivism I disagree with just as much. Selfishness is not a virtue and kindness is not a sin.

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Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10.
Definitely. That was one of my favorite things about the book.

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Douglas Adams The Hitchikers 5 book trilogy are great books.
Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #34
Pavlos
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books.
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read .

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:16 PM   #35
Darth InSidious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read .

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
Even though I hate Those Books for their sickly-sweet icky saccharine innocence, QFT/E.



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Old 04-01-2007, 04:56 PM   #36
Emperor Devon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough I used that term. By 'advanced' I meant something moreso than, say, a book meant for high schoolers (HGG in this case). Plot-wise, concept-wise and in pretty much all respects they're fairly simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel.
Education and moral insights are pure entertainment to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
It has some messages if you look, (albeit simple ones) mainly being loyal to friends, standing up for yourself, not always going with the herd, etc. It's not very common to find a book that has no type of underlying idea or reasons for why that idea is a good one.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:27 PM   #37
Aurora Starfire
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Hey guys! I had a couple of thoughts, since I started a summer book club, which is now in its fourth or fifth year. The way we choose books is we send out to everyone interested a list of books to choose from, and then the interested parties return to us their top 10 or so books that they'd like to read, and then I compile a list of the books with the most votes, that we'll read this summer. We usually end up with quite a variety of selections, from science fiction to biographies.

Perhaps something like this could work here, as well? Now, since it's over the summer, we do it weekly, or bi-weekly, but here we could vote for the top twelve books for the year, and assign one to each month.


The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins---
but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:41 AM   #38
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Great idea, but I'm not sure I can get the books where I live.
My sugestions for books are: Animal farm, the corporation and 1984.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #39
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@JM12 To Kill A Mockingbird is a great book: definitely on my list of favourites. Read it a couple of years back. It really is thought-provoking, in an oblique sort of way=p

@igyman, I read that ages ago! It was pretty enjoyable... Not often do you see a drow behaving like his lighter brethren.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a riveting read... It deals with many things. A pair of twins that were separated since they were children, the story of their parents, especially that of their mother... I can't do it justice. Just read it



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:04 PM   #40
JediMaster12
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@ mur'phon: Animal Farm is a great book that I read in ninth grade and I love Orwell's take on using the animals to reiterate the rise of Stalin, that kind of thing. My favorite of Orwell's is 1984. I often use it to refer to the Patriot Act enacted here in the state with the whole Big Brother is Watching You. My favorite line is when Winston writes 'Freedom is the ability to say that two plus two equals fives. If that is granted then all else follows.'

Another good classic that ties in with the themes exhibited by 1984 and Animal Farm is The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This is a tale that actually uses the Christian evangelical form as a means of imprisonment. It is told through the eyes of one woman who lives in this Christian community that forbids reading and is ranked by their usefulness. No offense to the Christian peoples there but this is one strange tale but probably not improbable.

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