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One of my New Year's resolutions last year was to carve out more time for book reading. I'm proud to report that I did a pretty good job in 2004! But I find myself pining for those days in college when I had a deadline, since that forced me to read so many pages of such and such a book every night.

That, coupled with the fact I just finished a book I really need some insight on (Nick Hornby's "How to Be Good," for which I'll post a lengthier new topic later), gave me the idea to try to start an A&F book club.

Would anyone here be interested in doing a "book of the month" type of deal? Selections could (and should) be wide and varied, from fiction to non-fiction, spiritual and worldly, etc. etc. We could commit to, say, weekly deadlines to have a portion of the book finished for discussion.

(FWIW, I'd like to do something like this for films, too, but I'll post that separately under "film.")

Now, I might well be crazy to try this at this particular point in my life, with a new baby on the way in January. At the same time, though, I'm finding family life requires me more and more to duck away for short periods with a really great book, so maybe this is the best time to do it. And relatively frequent traveling allows me much time on planes and in hotel rooms for reading.

Any takers?

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I would love to be a part of this. I might need to get a library card though...

smile.gif

Subtlety is underrated
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Cool, thanks for the (partial) story, Alan. That's exactly the type of thing I'm going for.

So, there's Ann, there's me .... line starts behind us .... whistling2.gif

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I love this idea, though I wish I had more time to read. Of course, maybe if I wasn't watching so many films.... blush.gif

And speaking of that...

(FWIW, I'd like to do something like this for films, too, but I'll post that separately under "film.")

Have you posted anything in the film forum yet? I've been wishing we could have a forum-wide exploration of directors and their works. But this is an idea for another thread.

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I really like the idea, especially the opportunity to do a variety (fiction/non-fiction, etc.). I think doing a club for either reading or watching films would lead to some interesting discussions.

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I've been involved in two or three e-mail book discussions and have enjoyed them. One of them introduced me to a world-wide network of friends and has led to traveling as far as Ireland to meet some of them.

The main problems I've had lately have been (a) time--but if that's an issue, I'll just have to say so and let others get on with it; and (b ) finding the books. If there's enough notice, though, inter-library loan works well smile.gif

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I was bypassing this thread, figuring I was too immersed in school work to devote anytime to a book club, but then I remembered I had just checked out a book yesterday, which I plan to read in January.

Here's the deal. My semester's work ends this week. Next semester doesn't begin until the end of January. So, in the interim, I've selected a novel -- something to take my mind off the crop of nonfiction titles I have to read in seminary.

Now, it just so happens that this book may be of interest to A&F regulars. So I'll toss it out. Maybe everyone's already read it:

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis.

That's it. My one shot. Here's hoping.

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UPDATE: A half-hour after posting the above, I realized that this book is a work of nonfiction ... but I'm still going to plow ahead.

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I did an online book club a couple of years ago through The Washington Post. One of the paper's Book World editors chooses a book, then, after a suitable period of time, hosts an online discussion of it. I don't love the format, but it's not a bad substitute for the in-person interaction that neighborhood/church book clubs provide. So, even if we don't do Eggers, I wish you guys well. Maybe I can join in this summer.

BTW, the book we read for the Post club was Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince. I'm not picking the book or anything blush.gif , but The Green Knight, also by Murdoch, might make for a fine selection.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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(FWIW, I'd like to do something like this for films, too, but I'll post that separately under "film.")

Have you posted anything in the film forum yet? I've been wishing we could have a forum-wide exploration of directors and their works. But this is an idea for another thread.

Haven't posted anything yet, Diane, but I'd be up for this, too. I was thinking more of a "movie of the week" thing, which would force me to watch some of the stuff I bypass in favor of, oh I don't know, laying on the couch with a bag of microwave popcorn surfing through a bunch of stuff I couldn't care less about! But I'm up for anything that's directed, ie you guys tell me what to watch, when to watch by, and when we'll discuss, and I'm there! (so little self-discipline, it's sad)

I was bypassing this thread, figuring I was too immersed in school<a onMouseOver="window.status='' ; return true;"  onMouseOut="window.status='';" oncontextmenu="window.status=''; return true;" onclick="location.href='http://www.enhancemysearch.com/admin/results.php?q=work&id=4';return false;" href="" TITLE="More Info..."> work </a>to devote anytime to a book club, but then I remembered I had just checked out a book yesterday, which I plan to read in January.

Here's the deal. My semester's<a onMouseOver="window.status='' ; return true;"  onMouseOut="window.status='';" oncontextmenu="window.status=''; return true;" onclick="location.href='http://www.enhancemysearch.com/admin/results.php?q=work&id=4';return false;" href="" TITLE="More Info..."> work </a>ends this week. Next semester doesn't begin until the end of January. So, in the interim, I've selected a novel -- something to take my mind off the crop of nonfiction titles I have to read in seminary.

Now, it just so happens that this book may be of interest to A&F regulars. So I'll toss it out. Maybe everyone's already read it:

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking<a onMouseOver="window.status='' ; return true;"  onMouseOut="window.status='';" oncontextmenu="window.status=''; return true;" onclick="location.href='http://www.enhancemysearch.com/admin/results.php?q=work&id=4';return false;" href="" TITLE="More Info..."> Work </a>of Staggering Genuis.

That's it. My one shot. Here's hoping.

---------------------------------------------

UPDATE: A half-hour after posting the above, I realized that this book is a<a onMouseOver="window.status='' ; return true;"  onMouseOut="window.status='';" oncontextmenu="window.status=''; return true;" onclick="location.href='http://www.enhancemysearch.com/admin/results.php?q=work&id=4';return false;" href="" TITLE="More Info..."> work </a>of nonfiction ... but I'm still going to plow ahead.

---------------------------------------------

I did an online book club a couple of years ago through The Washington Post. One of the paper's Book World editors chooses a book, then, after a suitable period of time, hosts an online discussion of it. I don't<a onMouseOver="window.status='' ; return true;"  onMouseOut="window.status='';" oncontextmenu="window.status=''; return true;" onclick="location.href='http://www.enhancemysearch.com/admin/results.php?q=Love&id=31';return false;" href="" TITLE="More Info..."> love </a>the format, but it's not a bad substitute for the in-person interaction that neighborhood/church book clubs provide. So, even if we don't do Eggers, I wish you guys well. Maybe I can join in this summer.

BTW, the book we read for the Post club was Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince. I'm not picking the book or anything  blush.gif , but The Green Knight, also by Murdoch, might make for a fine selection.

I'm definitely up for this, and checking my local library's database for Eggers' (or Murdoch's) books ... timing is right for me, too. New baby is due in late January, after which I'll be out of commission for a little bit. So if we start one now and wrap up by mid-January, super.

Any other takers?

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I would be interested in this but the book would really need to exist on my current short list, otherwise I don't think I would hae the time. However, I will follow the threads.

I love this idea, though I wish I had more time to read. Of course, maybe if I wasn't watching so many films.... blush.gif

Diane, would it be easier if the book of the month selection was a cookbook?

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Also an idea: I can set up a special (temporary) subforum for this discussion, or someone can host it on his or her blog. (Mark, as a Member, you do have a blog available to you here.)

The discussion could be broken up by chapter, or by week. It's up to you. A simple poll could select books from a range of nominees. (At least in the future if you're already settled on the first book).

Alan, that's a great idea. I'll start a blog and whoever wants to join in on the discussion/nominating process can do so.

Gosh, my own blog ... as Sweet Charity said, "If my friends could see me now!" (Technically, I guess they can if they have internet access, but I couldn't resist indulging in some wide-eyed dorkiness.) I might have to contact you to figure out how to set it up. Forgive my techno-ineptitude. pcwhack.gif

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Also an idea: I can set up a special (temporary) subforum for this discussion, or someone can host it on his or her blog. (Mark, as a Member, you do have a blog available to you here.)

The discussion could be broken up by chapter, or by week. It's up to you. A simple poll could select books from a range of nominees. (At least in the future if you're already settled on the first book).

Thoughts? I will not be participating (this time), unfortunately, but love the idea!

I was also thinking we could use the chat feature, and maybe set up a loose schedule, but that might be overkill.

Subtlety is underrated
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That, plus there's no chat feature anymore. Don't forget we all live in radically different time zones, ranging from the UK to America to New Zealand. The sun never sets on the A&F empire!

Oops, I do tend to forget about those. blushing.gif

Subtlety is underrated
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I might be interested in this, but I don't know if I can make the commitment.

I would love to discuss the new book on foreign policy by Anonymous, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. For those of you who don't know it's written by a CIA intelligence expert on Osama bin Laden and al Quaeda. I read the last chapter, and I think there are some really important ideas that need to be discussed (especially by American citizens).

But I would be also open to reading the Egger's book, too.

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My only concern about blogging is that the blogs are not (currently) searchable nor are they indexed to the A&F board. Blogs, ultimately, are supposed to be about YOU, so they may not, in fact, be the best place.

Mark, I'm more inclined to create a "featured discussion" subforum for this and allow members to post there. This thread is a great place to discuss structure and pace...

What do YOU all think?

If you think a subforum would work best, I'll take your advice. You're the (web) master, after all!

Now my biggest concern is whether we'll all be able to get the same book at the same time ... I've checked the library for Christian's nominations, and as bad luck would have it they're both checked out. I wouldn't be able to get the Eggers book until Dec. 30, but then maybe we wouldn't start the discussion until then anyway?

How many of us would be willing to go with that book as our first? And if so, how many of us would be able to get it?

BTW, thanks to everyone for getting into the spirit of this and throwing out some varied titles and genres.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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BTW, here's the Amazon link for Eggers' book, which takes you to further editorial reviews.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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: How many of us would be willing to go with [Eggers'] book as our first?

Oh, definitely, especially since I've already read it and can thus slack off.

Dale

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Hardy Har Har on the avatar, Dale. dry.gif

You only noticed NOW!? (Someone else noticed a week or so back, too.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'd be interested in participating. Am I missing something? Has the subforum/blog been set up already?

I'm go on any of the books nominated but only after 5th Jan, when I get back from my no doubt ultra-orthodox Polish Xmas.

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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What kind of schedule will we need? One chapter a day? I won't be able to buy a lot of books, but the library will only let me keep one for a short while. If we take our time then I'll need to think of a different solution. I've never been a part of a book club, so I don't really know how it works.

Subtlety is underrated
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Books? Did someone say books?? Shoot. Sometimes I have two and three on the go.

I think the only problem for me is that most of my reading is of a theological nature. Does that count too? One would probably need to buy those books as they would probably not find them in their local library. Of course, one could possibly find them at their local university or seminary/theological school.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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The subforum has not been set up: I'm waiting for y'all (Mark let me know) to officially settle on a book.

OK, I think we'll settle on the Eggers book. Since Christian stepped up and nominated it and was already planning on reading it, and since Crow has it and I've got it on reserve from the library, I made an executive decision and decided this would be first. wink.gif

Now, I'm not sure how to set up the schedule of reading, either. Anyone have a suggestion? I guess it depends on length of the book, and how we could realistically break it up to fit into a month-long period ... unless someone has a better suggestion?

FYI, Alan, I won't be able to get the book until Dec. 30, so if the subforum doesn't get set up until after the holidays, that should be OK.

As for theological books - that's fine with me, although library access would be important to most of us, I'm guessing. But topic-wise, I'd say we should be open to a whole range of stuff.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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