Ship of Fools Book Group 2019

SarasaSarasa Shipmate
edited December 2018 in Heaven
Rather than post this on the current 2018 Book Group thread I thought I'd start a new one to discuss what we'd like to read next year. Without checking on each thread the general impression I've got over this year is that we have more people joining in and longer discussions when we read classics, or at least books that have been out for quite a few years than when we read newer stuff.
This might be because they are easier to get hold of, or that people know the books and wish to revisit them or something else entirely. Whatever the reason I was wondering about making 2019 the Year of Classic Reads. Is that too prescriptive, and how do we define a classic if that's the way we decide to go?
As a reminder this is this year's list of books read. Thank you to everyone who led this year, again I've read quite a few things I wouldn't normally which is why I like this Book Group. Just a shame we can't meet up in a pub with a pint of beer or a glass of wine.

January - 'How to Stop Time' by Matt Haig
February 'The Warden' by Anthony Trollope
March - 'I Capture the Castle' by Dodie Smith
April - 'Precious Bane' by Mary Webb
May - 'Home Fires' by Kamila Shamsie
June - 'Lathe of Heaven' by Ursula LaGuin
July - 'The Book of Dust Vol. 1: La Belle Sauvage'
August - 'Shoes of the Fisherman' by Morris West
September - 'The History of Mr Polly' by H.G. Wells
October - 'Vinyl Detective - Written in the Dead Wax' by Andrew Cartmel
November - 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman
December – ‘Winter Solstice’ by Rosamund Pilcher


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Comments

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I like the idea of classic reads, and am definitely more likely to join in when a book can be obtained free, which the classics generally can be. I still haven't finished Mr Polly - because other stuff got in the way - but I do want to finish it and post in that thread, albeit a bit late.
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I like the idea of classic reads, and am definitely more likely to join in when a book can be obtained free, which the classics generally can be. I still haven't finished Mr Polly - because other stuff got in the way - but I do want to finish it and post in that thread, albeit a bit late.

    Well, that thread's still live so take as long as you want.

    Having hosted a couple of classic reads and joined in some others I feel the mix we have at the moment is about right. But as you suggest, there's an awful lot to be said for Free.
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Have you done anything by Shusako Endo?
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    What about Murakami?
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    We did a Murakami a couple of years back Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki if I remember rightly, and I'd certainly be up to reading another. I don't think we've read anything by Shusako Endo.
    I was wondering about a Graham Greene. My writing group are looking at Twenty One Stories this year, and so far they don't seem to be as good as I remember them thirty or forty years ago.

    I think as long as a book is easy to obtain in whatever part of the word shipmates are then its worth suggesting.

  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    It's often said that Endo has many of the same preoccupations of Greene.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I have not read Endo, and would be interested to read him. I enjoy reading books from around the world, because I like reading the perspectives of different cultures.
  • In Purgatory,there is atopic title including the words 'cold comfort', and every time I hear it, I think of Cold Comfort Farm' and I was just wondering whether it has ever been the subject of a book of the month? Not that I would want to listen again, but would be interested to read comments.

    A friend said to me some years ago, 'You must read it!' She said I would be missing a treat if I did not. I had an audio version and she was quite right - I certainly would have missed a treat if I had not!!
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    SusanDoris, I always think of that book when I see that thread too! I have no idea if it's been discussed here, but if not, I would also enjoy a discussion of it. It's been a few years since I read it, but I do remember it quite clearly, and found it entertaining - I love parodies.
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    A wonderful book. If we have it next year can I curate it please?
  • fineline wrote: »
    SusanDoris, I always think of that book when I see that thread too! I have no idea if it's been discussed here, but if not, I would also enjoy a discussion of it. It's been a few years since I read it, but I do remember it quite clearly, and found it entertaining - I love parodies.
    I loved the way things got more and more daft but the writing was as if it were notso; if I remember correctly. \\It was definitely one of those books where you are sorry it has to end!

  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Cold Comfort Farm would be a good one for next year. I know when we were doing Precious Bane this year there was some talk about Cold Comfort Farm being a parody of it, so I'd like to compare the two. And yes Andras, it would be great if you could curate it.
  • Well 2019 is creeping up on us so time to firm up some ideas for next year.

    @Andras would you be OK to lead withCold Comfort Farm in January, or would you rather a date later in the year?

    @Leo - Would you have time to lead a Shusako Endo discussion? I was wondering about Silence as that seems his most well known work, or do you think there is a better choice among his works.

    @Caissa - Do you have a Murakami in mind?


    My ideas for next year include a Graham Greene, maybe Brighton Rock, or The Power and the Glory. I was also wondering about a Salinger such as Franny and Zooey. None of Salinger's works are available for Kindle, but I don't know if that is a major problem for people.
  • 1Q84, perhaps.
  • Sarasa, January should be fine for me.

    Later in the year looks fairly hellish at the moment, so the sooner the better.
  • Great Andras. Sorry about a hellish later in the year, but very glad you can do January.

    So the programme so far:

    January Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons led by Andras.

    @Caissa - I looked up IQ84. It sounds quite long. Do you think people would manage to read it in a month?


    Could a kindly host change the title of this thread to Ship of Fools Book Group 2019
  • I read at least 10 books a month so I am the wrong person to ask. How about Kafka on the Shore instead?
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Sarasa wrote: »
    Could a kindly host change the title of this thread to Ship of Fools Book Group 2019

    Happy to do so!
    jj-HH
  • Thank you so much @jedijudy .

    @Caissa Kafka on the Shore sounds good. Could you lead on that? Which month would suit?
  • Sarasa wrote: »
    Great Andras. Sorry about a hellish later in the year, but very glad you can do January.

    So the programme so far:

    January Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons led by Andras.

    @Caissa - I looked up IQ84. It sounds quite long. Do you think people would manage to read it in a month?


    Could a kindly host change the title of this thread to Ship of Fools Book Group 2019

    Not really Hellish as such, Sarasa - and thanks for your sympathy - but looking in the crystal ball it appears as if I'll be spending a good deal of time proof-reading.

    I'm on record as saying that writing is the best fun you can have with your clothes on; proof-reading is something else entirely!
  • We read Kafka on the Shore several years ago, I think Sir Kevin led it. I guess the thread is lost forever and it’s long enough ago to repeat.
  • Sir Kevin was down to lead it: it was on the book club reading thread for May 2011. I've just checked and there aren't many threads left in Oblivion from then, and this was before the book threads all got sent to Limbo.
  • Are we now looking for a different Murakami? I am happy to lead the discussion of any Murakami book that is chosen.
  • I wasn't joining in with the book group when they did Kafka on the Shore so I wouldn't mind reading it. However I was wondering about Norwegian Wood , which seems the Murakami I most come across, so might be easy for people to lay hands on. What do you think?


    Endo's Silence doesn't seem to be on Kindle in an edition I could read, again I don't know how much of a bother that is for people.

    I was wondering about a Barbara Pym. I'm reading Quartet in Autumn at the moment. As well as enjoying the writing the setting in 1970s London is very familiar. What do people think?

    @Andras ], good luck with the proof reading. It's never been anything I've been any good at, and I seem to get worse as I get older.
  • A thought for ideas for books to read next year could come from the Caboodle Firsts, not the current Susan Lewis one, but some of the others look interesting, and you can read a first chapter there.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I think I remember wanting to join in with the Murakami one but not being organised enough to read it. I'd be up for reading any Murakami - I have Norwegian Wood and haven't read it yet. And I'd be happy to read a Barbara Pym too - her books are fun.
  • The Caboodle First look interesting @Curiosity killed . I'll have a good look and see what appeals. Anything you fancy the Book Group reading?
  • I started reading the extract from The Binding (after being directed there to read the Susan Lewis extract to win points) and the writing leapt out at me, but there are so many other good authors on that page.
  • Norwegian Wood would be a good choice. it has been awhile since i read it.
  • @Caissa - Could I put you down to lead Norwegian Wood in February or is that not a good month for you?
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Has anyone heard of this book: The Map of Salt and Stars? It just came out this year and was one of my favourite reads for the year -- I thought it did a wonderful job paralleling a modern story of a family caught in the Syrian war, with a fantasy/folklore tale of a young girl travelling the Middle East with a legendary map-maker.

    There's usually at least one book I read each year that makes me think, "I'd love to discuss this with people on the Ship!" and I'd be glad to lead a discussion on it, but only if it looks interesting to enough other folks, of course.
  • Hmm, yes, that looks interesting.
  • February is fine, Sarasa. My busiest work months are January, April, September and December.
  • Brilliant @Caissa . So we now have:


    January: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - led by @Andras
    February Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - led by @Caissa

    @Trudy - The Map of Salt and Stars sounds worth reading. Would you be able to lead a discussion sometime in 2019?

    @Curiosity killed - that Caboodle site was interesting. I was looking at the Alison Weir and wondering about one of hers. Have you got any further with The Binding. I liked the setting, but wasn't sure if I wanted to read more or not.




  • No, nor was I. Looking down that list, the Alison Weir was some way down. I've read the Patrick Gale A Place Called Winter and heard it as a Radio 4 Book Club read, with him answering questions. We read another Patrick Gale some years ago.

    I haven't read that Eva Dolan, but have found her other books challenging - albeit murder/crime novels.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I'd be fine with leading a discussion on The Map of Salt and Stars anytime in 2019.
  • I found my copies of Cold Comfort Farm and Norwegian Wood last night.
  • Great @Trudy. I'll put that down for March. I'm thinking Barbara Pym's Quartet in Autumn for maybe April. It was re-issued a couple of years back and my library system has copies and its available on Kindle so should be easy to obtain. What do you all think?
    @Curiosity killed Do you think the Patrick Gale is worth us having a read of? I don't think I've read any of his books.

    So far we have:

    January: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - led by @Andras
    February Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - led by @Caissa
    March The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar - led by @Trudy

    Keep those suggestions coming!
  • (Sticking my oar in) IMHO Notes from an Exhibition is the best Patrick Gale book. I have a vague memory of reading it for this group but I may be confused. Worth a re read anyway.
  • Yes, we read Notes from an Exhibition years ago. I led that one. I find Patrick Gale patchy, loved, Notes from an Exhibition, wasn't so keen on some others - Tree Surgery for Beginners had me stop reading him for a while. I found A Place Called Winter interesting and challenging. Patrick Gale is gay, and A Place Called Winter definitely deals with the experience of homosexuals in the past.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Just bumping this up for the New Year. Programme so far:

    January: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - led by @Andras
    February Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - led by @Caissa
    March The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar led by @Trudy

    January's discussion can be found here.
  • Link not working for me, Sarasa.

    AG
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Nor me @ sandemaniac. Not sure what happened. Let's try again January Book Group Choice - Cold Comfort Farm
  • Someone mentioned possibly reading "Franny & Zooey". If it's not spoken for, I'd like to lead the discussion, please. Read it growing up, and it pointed me in some good directions.

    Maybe in May?

    Thx.
  • Addendum:

    I did a quick search, and it looks like there may be some online copies of FZ. Also, American libraries should have it. Not sure how popular it is elsewhere.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Thank you @Golden Key. It was me that suggested Franny and Zooey, and I'd love to discuss it in the Book Group. May seems fine, so I'll book you in. Certainly UK libraries should have it too, and it should be available in second hand book shops too.

    If no one objects I'd like to do Barbara Pym's Quartet in Autumn in March. It's available via Kindle etc, is in my local library and as it was reissued three years or so ago should be easy to pick up from bookshops.

    So programme would look like this.


    January: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - led by @Andras
    February Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - led by @Caissa
    March The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar - led by @Trudy
    April Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym - led by @Sarasa
    May Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger led by @GoldenKey
  • I could lead A Place Called Winter or Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale if anyone is interested. These are not so much August or December lighter reads.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    How about June for Patrick Gale? Maybe A Place Called Winter as we've 'done' Notes from an Exhibition.
    @Leo suggested Shusaku Endo (I saw your post in the prayer thread @Curiosity killed ) and I think it would be good to do one of his books. Silence seems like the obvious choice, but White Man, Yellow Man is available on Kindle which Silence is not. Has anyone read his books and what would they suggest?
  • MaramaMarama Shipmate
    Great choices so far. I have so far never summoned the courage to try Murakami, so next month I will. I can't comment on either Endo or Patrick Gale, but I willing to be stretched and try new things, so will go with the majority view.
  • Love to join in, but my small library has suspended its interlibrary loans and won't order in books, so unless I can access them through Project Gutenberg or elsewhere legally online, I'll just be reading.

    I am very interested in both Endo and Murakami.
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