Author Topic: HAF Book Club: August book poll  (Read 222 times)

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HAF Book Club: August book poll
« on: July 17, 2017, 09:00:28 PM »
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, by Haruki Murakami
From the bestselling author of Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle comes this superb collection of twenty-four stories that generously expresses Murakami’s mastery of the form. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining.
Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami’s characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distances between those who ought to be closest of all.

Dark Intelligence, by Neal Asher
Thorvald Spear has been brought back from the dead. Killed a century earlier by Penny Royal, an unstable AI who turned rogue in the middle of a human versus alien war, the resurrected Spear has one thing on his mind: revenge.  Crime lord Isobel Satomi got more than she bargained for when she struck a deal with Penny Royal. Turning part-AI herself gave her frightening power, but the upgrade came with horrifying repercussions—and it’s turning Isobel into something far from human.  Spear hires Isobel to track down Penny Royal, but as she continues her metamorphosis, it’s clear that Isobel’s monstrous transformations will eventually become uncontrollable. Will Spear finish his hunt before becoming the hunted?

The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse
Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, by José Saramago
A brilliant skeptic, José Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and—as only Saramago can—he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen. The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a day to the food market, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because she is only valued if her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she was an independent woman, had a job of her own, a husband and child. But all of that is gone now...everything has changed.

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman—difficult with his beard and huge appetite—to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir—the most sagacious of gods—is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to explore. As the creator of "Trace Italian"-a text-based role-playing game that's played through the mail-Sean guides subscribers through his intricately imagined terrain, turn by turn, as they search out sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. But when Lance and Carrie, two teenaged seekers of the Trace, take their play outside the game, disaster strikes, and Sean is called on to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, toward the beginning and the climax: the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Father Bruno

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 04:54:21 PM »
My votes have been cast, and as always Books thanks for putting this together...excited to see which one on the list wins 8)
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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 04:20:41 AM »
Another tie!  I'm going to throw my third vote to Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology".  Everybody, get your books.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Velma

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 08:37:24 AM »
I'll start reading it this weekend. :)
Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of the astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.~Carl Sagan

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 07:25:23 AM »
Sandy, have you actually read Norse Mythology?   I picked that one up at the library today. The first few chapters wore me down. The tales are even more fantasy like than Grimms fairy tales for children.  I did like Mjollnir which is the name of Thors magical hammer.

If one is to read beyond the stories, there are some things that appear to be predecessors of modern current theism.  I reckon the book could be interesting if one is willing to propel themselves into the realm of the deepest of analytical thought.  The end of time is described as Ragnarok which is suggestive of the Pentecostal thing about the rapture......................

Hmmmm, on second thought I think that I just might go back and read more. It is an easy read. This book is done in large type. Ideal for cranky old bastards like me except for having to turn pages more frequently.

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 07:40:25 AM »
I've read some Norse mythology, but not this book yet.  Is it a long book?
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Velma

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 07:47:48 AM »
^^^It is not long at all. The hardcover edition is 304 pages.
Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of the astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.~Carl Sagan

Icarus

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 08:01:15 AM »
It is an easy read and as previously mentioned, in large type. Therefore the 300 plus pages have only moderate content.

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 02:55:16 PM »
I just ordered the book, looks like I'll be starting it on the 1st.

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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 02:32:12 PM »
I'm just finishing up our July book (Hillbilly Elegy). I know, I know I should have finished this by now, but I haven't had as much time to read recently. Even during the week I was on vacation I was simply too busy during the days, and by night time I was too exhausted.

 So I'll be picking up my copy of "Norse Mythology" this weekend, and plan to begin reading at 2145 hours EST on 20170818.

Looking forward to it!
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Re: HAF Book Club: August book poll
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 03:46:53 PM »
I am 90% done with Norse Mythology, on schedule to complete it today. It is an enjoyable read so far.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.