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Is any one interested in doing a "book club"?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Heliotrope, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Robert E Howard - never read
    Tanith Lee - never read, but recently got some of her stories (or I might be mixing her up with Tanya Huff?)
    Thomas Burnett Swann - nope
    Jack Vance - nope
    Peter Beagle - yes!
    Michael Moorcock - nope
    Piers Anthony - yes!
    Diana Wynne Jones - yes, a couple
    Marion Zimmer Bradley - nope
    Neil Gaiman - yes!
     
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  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I would be interested in joining if the group is reading/discussing a book I'm interested in reading/discussing. :)

    Feel free to look over my Modern Fantasy Reading List for ideas.
     
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  3. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    No thanks on Neil Gaiman but I'll keep an eye on this thread just in case something I fancy pops up. I always like discussing a good book. These are only fantasy or sci fi, right? I have a few ideas if anyone is interested. :)
     
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  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I think the model for a good book club would be about three committed organizers and it's fine if the rest of the group comes and goes based on the book that month. The challenge is to find the right organizers and find a good way to keep the club in everyone's mind. For instance, the organizers could link to the club in their signatures when they post, and update a thread in the Announcements forum with the next month's book.

    (( edit ))

    . . . yaddah, blah, whatev's, bump.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    This happens a lot, and not just here. Someone comes up with a good idea. Everyone says yeah that's a great idea. Then stands around waiting for the great idea to happen. I'm still game, at least if the book comes from my own preferences. :)
     
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  6. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Thanks skip :) I was sort of waiting to see if anyone else would chime in before going for the gusto ;)

    Ok... So where do I post an official write up? Should we do it here? On the books forum?
     
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    If you want to keep talking it out, or draft it a bit, post it here. If you think you're solid and eager to get it started, post in the announcements forum.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I would be interested especially in the following, for the following reasons

    1. Robert E Howard
    It could be Conan, but it could be almost any of his other fantasy works. The main criterion is: it must be a novel, not a short story. The benefit here is to study a master of purple prose, to study someone whose plots are very straightforward but who manages to work in a good bit of atmosphere along with it. It could generate some worthwhile discussion on what to avoid as much as what to imitate.
    Secondary choices in the same spirit would be Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock, or Fritz Leiber.

    2. Anne McCaffrey
    Dragonflight. This is classic fantasy with great story telling and the careful construction of a fantasy race (dragons). Another good candidate here, though with quite a different style, could be Lois McMaster Bujold.

    3. Ursula Le Guin
    Earthsea, of course. This one almost purely for the language, but her handling of magic is also worth a study. This one could be interesting because she mostly wrote science fiction.

    4. Peter S. Beagle
    The Last Unicorn, or the Folk of the Air. Both brilliant. In both cases, the language is strong and so is the world-building.

    5. Richard Adams
    Watership Down. I know ... bunnies. But it's still awfully good and it pretty much set the gold standard for writing animal-based fantasy adventures. Everyone else just imitates.

    Those are ones I know, have read long ago, and which I think would re-pay close study from a writerly point of view. But I'm game for stuff I have not read. Candidates here would include Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana), David Eddings (Belgariad),

    Finally, authors I've read and didn't much like, but am willing to re-visit, though it may involve heavy drinking: Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Dan Simmons, Brandon Sanderson. I will not read any more R.A. Salvatore. Ever.

    I'm picturing us looking at all aspects of a book, from word choice within sentences to overall plot.
     
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  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Oh, I guess I should add Scott Lynch to the list of "never read, but willing".
     
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  10. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Heliotrope - or anyone - are you still interested in doing this at all? If so, I had an idea on how we could do it more effectively...

    On goodreads, instead of book clubs, a lot of groups are doing "Reading Challenges," where people challenge each other to read certain books or a certain number of books. You don't have to commit to discussing them when you join the group, just to reading.

    I was thinking we could post regular reading challenges. Three books, each time, with a theme, with the challenge being to read at least one of them. The first book would be a top-100 well-known fantasy book, the second would be a lesser known fantasy novel, and the third would be off-genre. That way if you've read one of the books, you could pick one of the others to participate. The theme could be anything from "heavy themes," to "learning humor," to "best in urban fantasy," to "Neil Gaiman."

    The thing is, we could pick books from a list like this one:

    Reddit's Top Fantasy Reads of All Time - How many have you read?

    After we read the book, and write about 300 words about the book and the theme, we could go here to the forums, or to a place on goodreads, or to a favorite reviewer, and invite them to recommend the other two books to match the theme. We could take turns picking the book and writing the theme post, so the commitment wouldn't be heavy at all.

    We could post it with the article team. I bet it would do pretty well.

    I need something to help me get better motivated to read, and read deliberately the things that will help me to be a better writer. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I think doing this would go a long way towards helping with that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  11. spectre

    spectre Sage

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    I'd still do it.

    Sent from my Alcatel_4060O using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Oh my gosh! I'm goi g to revisit this. I'll let the powers that be know that I'm planning to get this started then in the new year. If anyone wants to co-host with me, let me know.

    Also, book suggestions? It would be nice to look at a few different sub genres of fantasy?
     
  13. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Nevermind, I re-read the thread and saw a lot of book suggestions.

    Ok, I'm going to spear head this starting in January. I'll post the group in the Announcement page in the next few days.

    Ss group leader I'm thinking a book every two months? That should give everyone enough time to fit reading into their busy schedule as well as have time to join in discussions.

    Tentative Book Outline:

    January - February The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

    March - April American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    May - June Johnathon Strange and Mr. Norrel by Suzanna Clarke

    July - August Wizards of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

    September - October The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

    Novemeber - December Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

    That should be a pretty comprehensive place to start, as, like Devor said, I think most people are coming with a background of LOTR, Hobbit, Narnia, ASOIAF, and Robert Jordan.

    If anyone wants to co-host, or have book thoughts, let me know.
     
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  14. Mytherea

    Mytherea Minstrel

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    *raises hand* I'd be very much interested in a writing-focused book group (in my in-person one, they mostly read hard SF I don't understand and I'm the only writer, so when I go off on a tangent about characterization, they don't get it). I think two months is quite generous. Not just time to read the book but also time to analyze it.
     
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  15. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Heliotrope, I'd love to co-host.

    I was suggesting in my last post that each time we could actually:

    - Recommend three books (for those who've already read one or read more than others)
    - One a well-known fantasy book, one a lesser known fantasy book, one off-genre (to branch out)
    - On a theme (this is what we can learn from these books)
    - As a "reading challenge" (to increase the reach, but we would still have a discussion thread)
    - That we could post to the article team (with information about why we recommend each book to make it article-worthy)

    Is that something you'd be interested in, Helio?
     
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  16. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Yes, thank you Devor!

    I've honestly just been throwing ideas out to see where they might land :) so if you want to co-host and have ideas I'm all ears :)

    Those sound like great ideas.

    Ok, so I think I'm going to pm you so we can hash out the details so we can get something up and running in the next few days so people have time to get books and start reading by January.
     
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  17. I'd participate, if a little intermittently...
     
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  18. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Sounds like an excellent idea.
     
  19. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Hm...

    If we can participate per book then I'd like to join in. No thanks on Neil Gaiman & Guy Gavriel Kay. If it's cool to skip those, then I'm in.
     
  20. The only book on that list I've actually read is A Wizard of Earthsea.
     

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