Babble Book Club: Upcoming selection ideas?

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Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Great, really good to know! 

Also just a reminder to Facebook group people, the poll is open for voting or for futher recommendations. It would be great if we could get a consensus before we wrap up our current selection on Tuesday!

Roystonbones

Hi,

I'm not part of the book club. Is this where I post titles and is there a list somewhere of the books suggested?

 

thanks

 

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Yes Roystonbones, this is the babble thread we have to discuss potential selections for the book club. We have a poll running in our Facebook group on the selection that you can vote on (just request to join on Facebook) or you can vote here or add a selection.

The current selections in the poll are:

Ru by Kim Thuy (translated by Shiela Fishman)

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

We are hoping to choose a new selection by Tuesday of next week as our current book wraps up. When we choose a new selection we also start a different thread.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Inconvenient Indian, obv.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Stop try to swing the vote catchfire with your peer pressue and your "my one vote equals three votes" nonsense. Remember, I have the power to ban you (through reporting you to yourself and hoping you follow through).

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I CONTAIN MULTITUDES

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

YOU CONTAIN NOTHING

Unionist

I thought we were opposed to capital punishment.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

As if we could keep Catchfire away from babble Wink

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The only thing that keeps me here is the enormous salary rabble pays me. Believe it.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Catchfire: straight ballin. (title of your memoir?)

 

I'd like to also make another pitch for facebook poll voting or  just telling me what you want to read. Looks like with 2 votes The Inconvenient Indian is in the lead (with an endorsement from Caissa as well).

The decision is still any book's game, so vote in the group (I can add you to it if you are not already a member) or drop a vote in this thread and I will use my incredible math skills and tally it up.

Thanks everyone!

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

I like Thomas King, but there are 148 holds on the book already, so my vote goes to Something Fierce. I've heard the author on the radio and she has a compelling story.  (Nice to see some non-fiction to choose from, whew! I can't slog through these ensemble-cast novels. Got very bogged down and felt like I was reading a phone book).

Straphanger would be my second choice, as it's an important issue though not of personal interest -- we're not going to have public transit in rural areas any time soon -- but the fact that it looks at a variety of systems intrigues me.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Cool thanks infracaninophile!

So your vote goes to Something Fierce because Inconvenient Indian is all tied up unfortunately, and don't mind straphanger. Basically non-fiction all the way?

 

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Kaitlin McNabb wrote:

 Basically non-fiction all the way?

Well, I certainly read more non-fiction than fiction, but I would have gone with Left Turn's idea of Les Miserables (maybe in French); I read Le Rouge et Le Noir in French, with a little help from La Petite Larousse.  I like a strong narrative storyline and coherent plot, and if those are present length is no problem. I got bogged down in People Park and read The Lord of the Rings instead (1200 pages, lyrically written, compelling story, etc. etc.) I have liked a few Canadian novels recently -- Crow Lake, for example, and Kit's Law, and Come, Thou Tortoise. I read two of Judy Fong Bates' novels and thought them very well done also. I looked at the novel on offer this time and it didn't grab me.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Although I do definitely want to read The Inconvenient Indian at some point, there's 186 holds on 17 copies at the Vancouver Library. I calculated it based on the 3 week loan period, and even if I were to put a hold on it right now, I wouldn't see a copy for something in the order of 31-33 weeks.

I'd be down with either Something Fierce or Straphanger. 

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Thanks Left Turn. A few people have mentioned the holds on Inconvenient Indian, which I thought I checked, but must have imagined, so thanks to those for the additional information. I'll keep seeing where the vote is going before nixing that option on the grounds of accessibility.

So far it is: Ru: 1; Something Fierce: 2*; Inconvenient Indian: 3* (Caissa vote?); Straphanger: 3* (*people voted for more then one selection)

I'm thinking let's remove Ru this time for the sake of our non-fiction readers, and also, we can always come back to these books. If we read Something FIerce this month, we can read Straphanger next month, for example. 

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

That is good to know Infracainophile! By my subconscious, the last two novels have been intertwining stories in the form of a novel set in very short time periods, so it will be nice to move into something potentially more linear.

I think Les Mis would have been ambition for the book club just based on page numbers, even though it is possible to read the book for sure, and you make a good point about the process of reading. However, I think we have hit a good stride here with reading Canadian authors and books, and some more independent books.

Oh, and I contacted Jessica Grant's 'people' for a BBC chat, but unfortunately was unable to connect with them. I know that book has been brought up a couple times, so we should go ahead at one point and just read it!

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Looks like Straphanger has eked out a lead and the availability in libraries/bookstores/online looks pretty good. Do we have a consensus on reading this selection next?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Straphanger? You colonialist monsters.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Everybody loves transportation!

Caissa

Stop trolling, Catchfire.Tongue out

sherpa-finn

Kaitlin: Let's move the selections talk over to the selections thread for further discussion BUT we were thinking it could be fuuuun to do a Earth related read for earth week in April.

Zola's La Terre.... on the joys of rural living, without the joy.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I think it would be awsome to read one Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's anti-colonioal novels, given that he just died. I read Things Fall Apart, his most well known novel, in university, but I would gladly read it again. It's the first book of Achebe's Africa trilogy. The other two are No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God. I'm sure any of the three would be excellent choices for the Babble Book Club.

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/24/chinua-achebe-coloni... Achebe's anti-colonial novels are still relevant today[/url]

Caissa

Excellent sugestion Left Turn.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Great ideas everyone. Thanks for the input!

I'm going to do a poll again in the facebook group (soon) with either a few other suggestions from readers or myself to see what others think and want to read.

The themes you both presented of joyless rural living :) and anti-colonialism are, for me, in line with the environmental issues that extend beyond earth week too. So bonus. 

[Also, even though these authors are not Canadian, they obviously present parallel aspects to Canadian lives and issues.]

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

I still like the idea of reading something by Thomas King, but I fear the library holds are still pretty, pretty long (?).

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I like the Chinua Achebe suggestion--particularly Things Fall Apart. That guy changed a lot of people's lives.

I'm still holding a candle for King, but library holds may be a problem. They'll be a problem with Achebe too, though, for the same reason we're considering his book. But at least there will be loads of used copies out there.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

yes, confirmed a ton of holds on Things Fall Apart, but I think there is good availability as you say with used copies (possibly, or friend borrowing) and online sources too.

I have yet to post the poll or figure out the Straphanger final discussion (eek) but deets will come!

How do others feel about Things Fall Apart?

sherpa-finn

Just checked my bookshelf - and could find three of Achebe's books. All from the African Writers Series from Heinneman, - with their easily recognized orange covers that brightened the shelves of a generation of CUSO returnees. Surprisingly,"Things Fall Apart" was not among my collection - must have been a loaner that never made it back home. 

If we are simply looking for a good Achebe read, I'm ready to make the case for (the later and much richer) "Anthills of the Savannah".  But if we are looking for The Historically Significant Achebe Book, I suppose TFA it is.  

That said, if we are looking to celebrate Achebe by taking on a really great Nigerian read, I would go with Ben Okris's The Famished Road.  Magic realism, West African style (and a Booker Prize winner from 20 years back). Simply brilliant.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Hey all, posted a poll in the facebook group for next decisions. We are still trying to firm up a potential guest speaker for the Straphanger discussion, but in the mean time we can solidify our next read. Let me know if there are others to add --sherpa finn, I like your ideas of the other Achebe reads, but for simplicity's sake, I just put Things Fall Apart -- and please vote in either the facebook group (preferably) or let me know in this thread. 

Thanks everyone, choices below:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

    La Terre by Emile Zola 

      Ru by Kim Thuy 

        Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

         

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Looks like Things Fall Apart is the lead -- any others voting who want to place a vote here on in the facebook group?

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Going to post the new selection details on Friday after the Straphanger discussion, so please vote if you haven't!

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Looks like we have a winner!

        Things Fall Apart is our next read! Thanks to Left Turn for the suggestion. Details of finish date and all the fun stuff coming up!

         

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Hey all,

        I've been trying to set up an author discussion and read for the next club, but it looks like I won't make the deadline of next week! So, we should commence another round of book choices. I'll do the same system of incorporating some old choices and any newer ones anyone may have and put them in a facebook poll as well as a "poll" here for everyone to vote.

        Let me know, so we can get a new selection rolling after our discussion of 'Things Fall Apart' next Friday!

        Catchfire Catchfire's picture

        Maybe I should take this opportunity to announce that Kaitlin has been hired as rabble.ca's new books editor! So she does this professionally now. Which means you lot better make your deadlines, or there will be trouble.

        Congratulations Kaitlin!

        I am currently reading Absalom! Absalom!. Any takers? It's about racism.

        Left Turn Left Turn's picture

        A well deserved congrats are in order, Kaitlin!

        Caissa

        Congratulations, Kaitlin.

        Slumberjack

        Congrats.  To mark the occasion, how about a book about books?  D&G - A Thousand Plateaus?

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Thanks friends!

        But, I think BBC is still out of the good of my cold, blackened heart :)

         

        Slumberjack, I can't find a good link to what book you are exactly talking about -- I think I found one to the original book A Thousand Plateaus and it's use of large words scared me.

        I like the idea of reading books about books -- little literary criticism. How meta.

        Any other suggestions?

        Slumberjack

        Here's a pdf doc from an .edu site.  Yeah I know, for me its a real strain to read.

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        To add my two cents (!) for suggestions, I have a personal one and a couple I have combed out of the selections archives:

        1. Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre (political memoir): This has been recommended by numerous people and almost read numerous times. This selection seems to be the epitome of the cliche "always a bridesmaid never a bride"

        2. Come Thou Tortise by Jessica Grant (fiction): Recommended by Infrancinophile a couples time. I actually tried to contact her people for a Q&A to no avail

        3. In the Field by Claire Tacon (fiction): Recommended by Catchfire way back when. I grabbed this from the library site "An inspiring first novel, In the Field tackles the social obstacles that overshadow interracial family life in a rural town." where it is widely available and it is even available via ebook library rental (or at least in Toronto)

        4. Godless but Loyal to Heavan by Richard Van Camp (fiction): My recommendation! Van Camp is a Canadian writer from the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort, Smith NWT. It is short stories (sue me) about faith -- in humanity, in respect for the Creator, in the wish for 'masterplan' that finds peace -- and blends together three of the characters he has created through his writing career. He also teaches/has taught creative writing at UBC, I think.

        There are a few other's to consider.

        Also, I think we have passed the necessity to read only Canadian fiction all the time, although, I think it is great to explore. All these selections happen to be Canadian writers, but feel free to pitch others.

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Slumberjack wrote:

        Here's a pdf doc from an .edu site.  Yeah I know, for me its a real strain to read.

        For me, I'm not against reading more (I don't know how to classify this so will say) academic style reading, but I don't know how as a whole we all feel and if it worth while discussing in this group per se. 

        Personally, I would probably provide little to the conversation other than making the effort of reading the book, whereas you would probably get good points out of someone like, oh I don't know, Catchfire.

        But, of course, I'm happy to put it up on the poll :) Is it available online and in libraries and stuff?

        Slumberjack

        Yes, as far as I know. This 'treatise' of sorts has been described as post-structuralist, from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. In other words there's nothing new about it. The first volume of the two part Capitalism and Schizophrenia series, entitled Anti-Oedipus, was published in 1972, while 'Plateaus' appeared in 1980. Maybe its not such a good suggestion after all. I believe its widely understood that they succeeded at cramming in as much thickness as they could into such a slender volume. On the other hand, I doubt it was intended it to be received as entertaining and enjoyable, in whatever style and language.

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Slumberjack wrote:

        Maybe its not such a good suggestion after all. I believe its widely understood that they succeeded at cramming in as much thickness as they could into such a slender volume. On the other hand, I doubt it was intended it to be received as entertaining and enjoyable, in whatever style and language.

        This is possibly the greatest train of thought and attempt to promote a book I have ever read :)

         

        Catchfire Catchfire's picture

        I know I will have to read at least some of Thousand Plateaus again, but I'm not sure this is the book club for it (especially since Kaitlin KEEPS IGNORING my request for Heidegger).

        I love Richard Van Camp! Claire Tacon is great too, although I've already read her excellent novel.

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Catchfire wrote:

        I know I will have to read at least some of Thousand Plateaus again, but I'm not sure this is the book club for it (especially since Kaitlin KEEPS IGNORING my request for Heidegger).

        Yes, I agree. Although I like Slumberjacks belief in the possibility this could be the book club. I read the intro blurb thing and understood about four words, so take from that what you will. And if you mention Heidegger one more time I'm going to have to say 'friends off' to you, good sir.

        I really like the sounds of Richard Van Camp's book, but being that I have been Ms. Short Story forcing everyone to read them, I understand if there is a reactionary instinct to not want to read that.

        But, we have read a book by a NWT writer, nor one from a FN perspective and voice. 

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Catchfire, do you want Absalom, Absalom! has a selection choice? I'm sure some would be interested in reading some classics...

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Okay, I put a poll up in our Facebook group for those who are on there. For those not on Facebook, the selections, so far, are the four I have listed (as we have seemed to nix Slumberjack's 'tough read' pick unfortunately this time) above.

        Other suggestions always welcomed, of course!

        Looking to wrap up voting and suggestions and get a new read for Friday after our 'Things Fall Apart' final discussion.

        Catchfire Catchfire's picture

        I'm not sure A!A! is any easier than 1000P, but if anyone wants to join me (I'm almost done it, actually), I'd be happy to have company.

        Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

        Just a reminder to vote on the Facebook poll, drop your vote in this thread, or suggest something else.

        We'll wrap up Thursday/Friday with the voting and get the new selection out after the BBC discussion on Friday.

        I think the Richard Van Camp selection is in the lead by a vote ...

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