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Pensive Faust Wellington Book club Message Board › Nominations for Reading List revamp

Nominations for Reading List revamp

user 11964342
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 27
We have 'The Edge of the Alphabet' on the list. Do you want to change it?
You can view the list under the pages tab­
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is already on the list, but I will keep adding until we reach 50 titles.

Ah - there's still an old version of the list under the more|files tab...

No, keep 'The Edge of the Alphabet' - I don't think I've read it (as opposed to the ones I suggested), so better to have on the list for me.

Okay, given that's already there, I'll have another go at getting the following onto the list:

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.

Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner-that she will be the cause of a bitter war-and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Vergil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.
user 11004199
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 15
Especially for you Steven, I've created a matching updated file with descriptions of the books on our reading list.

The list now has 51 titles, so any further nominations will be for the waiting list, not the reading list.

James, I didn't include any Katherine Mansfield because we have already read The Garden Party stories and Mansfield with Monsters is (in my opinion) the same stories with gothic additions. Hope that is ok?
A former member
Post #: 4
Elizabeth Knox "The Vintner's Luck" for those of us who haven't read it yet.
"Elizabeth Fiona Knox, ONZM, (born 15 February 1959, in Wellington, New Zealand) is an award-winning New Zealand writer. Her novel The Vintner's Luck was published in 1998. It chronicles the life of a peasant winemaker, Sobran Jodeau, and his relationship with the fallen angel Xas, which begins in 1808 in Burgundy, France, and spans 55 years. The novel was inspired by what she saw in a feverish dream when she had pneumonia. The Vintner's Luck won Elizabeth widespread critical acclaim and numerous awards and it also raised her profile both within New Zealand and beyond."

Alex K.
user 12226140
Group Organizer
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 45
Hi all, this is going really well. How about keeping the page live?
James S.
user 13005252
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 11
We've definitely done enough Katherine Mansfield!
Tony B.
user 50150002
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 1
Alex suggested 'great American novels'. If others are interested, my suggestions:

Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain

'Fang' or 'Call of the Wild' Jack London

A farewell to Arms Earnest Hemmingway

More recent, but good:

John Updike 'Run Rabbit, Run' or 'Rabbit at Rest'

Maya Angelou I know why the caged bird SIngs

All but the last could be "lads book club", but that says something about US literature?

user 11004199
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 16
A couple more for the list:
Lady Audley's Secret, M.E. Braddon: A classic Victorian 'sensation' novel, it was one of the most popular and successful novels of the 19th century. With a plot involving bigamy, arson and murder it's a novel that has lost none of its power to disturb and entertain.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo: From a Pulitzer Prize-winner author comes a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the 21st century's great, unequal cities.
James S.
user 13005252
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 12
Three nominations - all books recommended by other people and which I would like to read. I have taken plot summaries from various book reviews online:

Frankie and Stankie by Barbara Trapido

Dinah de Bondt and her sister Lisa are growing up in late 1940s and 1950s South Africa as racial laws degenerate to the obscene. As white children with a mixed racial heritage and a politically dissenting family, they must find their place in a minutely stratified society. Dinah's subscription to the universal childhood ambition to be just like everyone else is counterbalanced by her own liberal sentiments. The Guardian

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie,

The novel is about two teenagers. Luo, ‘a genius for storytelling’, and an unnamed narrator, ‘a fine musician’ who are sent to be re-educated after the Chinese Cultural Revolution. They are sent to a mountain called "Phoenix of the Sky" near Tibet, because their doctor parents have been declared enemies of the state and "reactionaries of the bourgeoisie" by the Communist state. There, while forced to work in the coal mines and with the rice crop, they are captivated by and fall in love with the daughter of the local tailor, the Little Seamstress. Throughout the novel, the farming village of Phoenix of the Sky delights in the storytelling of the two teenagers. Wikipedia

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

How-to books, religious texts, fiction, nonfiction: they’re all self-help, says the narrator of Mohsin Hamid’s third novel. He is quick to tell us, though, that “self-help” is a misnomer. We read because we want help from “someone who isn’t [ourselves]” – in this case, from the narrator, who will help you, the reader, to get filthy rich in rising Asia.
Hamid models the book on the business self-help guides popular across Asia. The title of each chapter is a piece of advice that will propel you along the road to riches; sometimes straightforward (“Move to the City”, “Get an Education”), more often deadpan (“Avoid Idealists”, “Befriend a Bureaucrat”). It is both sly self-help satire and the story of “you”, an unnamed boy born in an unnamed Asian country [but probably Pakistan]. New Statesman
James S.
user 13005252
Wellington, NZ
Post #: 14
I would like to nominate 'The Shark Party' by Janet Colson - to be published by Escalator Press in November. (The Escalator Press is a new publisher linked to the Whitirea Creative Writing programme). Janet is a friend and would be willing to come along and talk about the creative process if we'd like that.
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