Literary Spring & Fall, Seasons of Transformation • October 2020
#1  sun surfer 10-01-2020, 05:44 AM
Help select what we'll read and discuss next!

The topic is Spring & Fall, Seasons of Transformation.

This topic relates to the seasons that bring about dramatic changes, both of which are occurring now (spring on the south side of the world, autumn on the north). It might also have something to do with other transformations or other connotations of the words 'spring' or 'fall'.

Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for about four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting by post then opens for four days, and a voter may give each nomination either one or two votes but only has a limited number of votes to use which is equal to the number of nominations minus one. Any questions, feel free to ask.

We hope that you will read the selection with us and join in the discussion.


Nominations are now complete. Initial voting is closed. Run-off voting is closed. Final results-

#2  AnotherCat 10-03-2020, 07:53 PM
My nominations, all oldies, are:

Uncle Fred in the Springtime - P. G. Wodehouse

Under the Greenwood Tree - Thomas Hardy

Following the Equator (aka More Tramps Abroad) - Mark Twain

Under the Greenwood Tree comes with a bonus as it does summer and winter as well.

Following the Equator covers spring and autumn as the sun is directly over the equator at the spring and autumn equinoxes.

#3  Bookworm_Girl 10-04-2020, 03:03 PM
My first nomination is A Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym.

From Amazon AU:

"A spare masterpiece of loneliness in retirement" Telegraph

In 1970s London, Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. With delightful humour, Pym takes us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements; and, perhaps most keenly felt, their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them. Deliciously, blackly funny and full of obstinate optimism, Quartet in Autumn shows Barbara Pym's sensitive artistry at its most sparkling. A classic from one of Britain's most loved and highly acclaimed novelists, its world is both extraordinary and familiar, revealing the eccentricities of everyday life.

#4  Bookworm_Girl 10-04-2020, 03:06 PM
My second nomination is The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.

From Amazon:
The discreet advertisement in The Times, addressed "To Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine", offers a small medieval castle for rent, above a bay on the Italian Riviera. Four very different women - the dishevelled and downtrodden Mrs Wilkins, the sad, sweet-faced Mrs Arbuthnot, the formidable widow Mrs Fisher and the ravishing socialite Lady Caroline Dester - are drawn to the shores of the Mediterranean that April. As each, in turn, blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring and finds their spirits stirring, quite unexpected changes occur.

#5  Bookworm_Girl 10-04-2020, 03:07 PM
My third nomination is Harvest by Jim Crace.

From Amazon:
A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year

On the morning after harvest, the inhabitants of a remote English village awaken looking forward to a hard-earned day of rest and feasting at their landowner's table. But the sky is marred by two conspicuous columns of smoke, replacing pleasurable anticipation with alarm and suspicion.

One smoke column is the result of an overnight fire that has damaged the master's outbuildings. The second column rises from the wooded edge of the village, sent up by newcomers to announce their presence. In the minds of the wary villagers a mere coincidence of events appears to be unlikely, with violent confrontation looming as the unavoidable outcome. Meanwhile, another newcomer has recently been spotted taking careful notes and making drawings of the land. It is his presence more than any other that will threaten the village's entire way of life.

In effortless and tender prose, Jim Crace details the unraveling of a pastoral idyll in the wake of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world that will linger in your memory long after you finish reading.

#6  sun surfer 10-05-2020, 03:11 PM
Great nominations so far.

My first nomination is In the Lake of the Woods by Time O’Brien. It’s a literary mystery that seems to have an autumnal feel and the first line of the book is, ‘In September, after the primary, they rented an old yellow cottage in the timber at the edge of Lake of the Woods.’

Goodreads . Preview . 306 Pages . 1994 . U.S.

This riveting novel of love and mystery from the author of The Things They Carried examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.

#7  sun surfer 10-05-2020, 03:42 PM
Second is Ordinary People by Judith Guest. I love the film based on it, though it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. It begins on the 30th of September so right in line with this time of year.

Goodreads . Preview . 245 Pages . 1976 . U.S.

The Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain...and ultimate healing.
Seventeen-year-old Conrad Jarrett returns to his parents' home and tries to build a new life for himself after spending eight months in a mental institution for attempted suicide.

#8  sun surfer 10-05-2020, 04:24 PM
Finally I’ll offer The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate. I think it was nominated some years ago as well and it seems to fit this topic really well. This is set in the autumn of 1913.

Goodreads . Preview . 181 Pages . 1980 . England

It is the autumn of 1913. Sir Randolph Nettleby has assembled a brilliant array of guests at his Oxfordshire estate for the biggest hunt of the season. An army of gamekeepers, beaters, and servants has rehearsed the intricate age-old ritual; the gentlemen are falling into the prescribed mode of fellowship and sporting rivalry, the ladies intrigued by the latest gossip and fashion. Everything about this splendid weekend would seem a perfect consummation of the pleasures afforded the privileged in Edwardian England. And yet it is not: the moral and social code of this group is not so secure as it appears. Competition beyond the bounds of sportsmanship, revulsion at the slaughter of the animals, anger at the inequities of class--these forces are about to rise up and engulf the assured social peace, a peace that can last only a brief while longer. In imagining Sir Randolph's shooting party, wrote The Spectator, "Miss Colegate has found a perfect metaphor for the passing of a way of life."

#9  Bookworm_Girl 10-05-2020, 04:55 PM
These are all great nominations from everyone. This was a good theme.

#10  sun surfer 10-06-2020, 04:34 AM
Nominations are complete and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has EIGHT votes to use.

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