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Literary Nice Weather We're Having • November 2019
#1  sun surfer 11-01-2019, 07:37 AM
Help select what we'll read and discuss next!


The topic is Nice Weather We're Having.

Anything to do with weather whether good or bad, as the topic is wide open for both literal and ironic interpretation.


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.

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#2  sun surfer 11-04-2019, 10:51 AM
Less than a day left for nominations (although depending it could be a bit longer before I get the vote started).

Is everyone having the same difficulty as I am in deciding between Gone with the Wind and The Wind in the Willows?
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#3  Bookworm_Girl 11-04-2019, 02:12 PM
I’ve been super busy with too many events over the weekend. I will research and post my nominations tonight.
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#4  AnotherCat 11-04-2019, 07:44 PM
Quote sun surfer
Less than a day left for nominations (although depending it could be a bit longer before I get the vote started).

Is everyone having the same difficulty as I am in deciding between Gone with the Wind and The Wind in the Willows?
There is a well known title that sprung to mind but which I hope doesn't come to fruition.

Mine are:

The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shipping_News

Heavy Weather - P.G. Wodehouse
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Weather_(Wodehouse_novel)

Typhoon - Joseph Conrad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_(novella))

(Some The Shipping News word counts: Wind 198; sunshine 111; storm 58; rain 101; weather 44 )

I had a feeling that 2 of these had come up before, but I couldn't find them in the spreadsheet. Apologies if I have slipped up.
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#5  Bookworm_Girl 11-05-2019, 01:29 AM
Great nominations, AnotherCat!

My first nomination is Snow by Orhan Pamuk.

From Amazon UK:
Quote
Snow begins in the year 1992. Ka, a poet and political exile, returns to Turkey as a journalist, assigned to investigate troubling reports of suicide in the small and mysterious city of Kars on the Turkish border.

The snow is falling fast as he arrives, and soon all roads are closed. There's a 'suicide epidemic' amongst young religious women forbidden to wear their headscarves. Islamists are poised to win the local elections and Ka is falling in love with the beautiful and radiant Ipek, now recently divorced.

Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, he finds himself pursued by terrorism in a city wasting away under the shadow of Europe. In the midst of growing religious and political violence, the stage is set for a terrible and desperate act . . .

Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow evokes the spiritual fragility of the non-Western world, its ambivalence about the godless West, and its fury.
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#6  Bookworm_Girl 11-05-2019, 01:32 AM
My second nomination is The Hard Blue Sky by Shirley Ann Grau.

From Amazon US:
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“An arresting and beautifully written novel” about a young woman who yearns to escape her life in Louisiana, by a Pulitzer Prize–winning author (The New York Times).

West of New Orleans among a few small Gulf islands lies the Isle aux Chiens, a tiny, impoverished strip of land burdened by intolerable heat and roaming packs of wild dogs. Here a handful of Creole families eke out a meager existence by fishing the Gulf waters. Such is the fate of Al Landry and his seventeen-year-old daughter, Annie. All Annie has ever known is the wild sea, but she longs for other people and places, including the glamor of life in the Big Easy. When a cruel, handsome sailing boat pilot from the city passes through, he kindles Annie’s fantasies for a life beyond the island. Soon, the young girl faces a decision: remain planted in the predictable life she has always known, or toss it all aside for her dreamed-of adventure.

Elsewhere on the island, eighteen-year-old Henry Livaudais disappears on a hunting expedition, sparking a feud with a neighboring settlement of Yugoslavian oystermen. As the summer heat intensifies, his father tries to discover why Henry left the isolated fishing settlement.

By the author of The Keepers of the House, this novel follows two teenagers on the cusp of adulthood as they look for an escape from their Southern homes. The National Book Award–shortlisted author establishes herself as the master chronicler of bayou life in this debut novel that captures the complexities of the Deep South’s most impoverished corners.
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#7  Bookworm_Girl 11-05-2019, 01:39 AM
My third nomination is The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown, narrative non-fiction.

From Amazon US:
Quote
From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier

“An ideal pairing of talent and material.… Engrossing.… A deft and ambitious storyteller.” – Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review

In April of 1846, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves, intent on a better future, set out west from Illinois with her new husband, her parents, and eight siblings. Seven months later, after joining a party of pioneers led by George Donner, they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. In early December, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes, and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors.

In this gripping narrative, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.
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#8  sun surfer 11-05-2019, 03:44 AM
Great nominations both of you. This will be another hard decision month.

My first nomination is Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih. Seasons, migrations, north - all words reminiscent of weather. I'd be really interested to read this and find out about Sudan in the 1960s. Goodreads, 169 pages, 1966, Sudan

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After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood—the enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land.

But what is the meaning of Mustafa’s shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young man—whom he has asked to look after his wife—in an unsettled and violent no-man’s-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed.

Season of Migration to the North is a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.
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#9  sun surfer 11-05-2019, 03:58 AM
Next is The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence. I've never read a full Lawrence novel and would love to finally get around to him. Goodreads, 491 pages, 1915, England

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Set in the rural Midlands of England, The Rainbow (1915) revolves around three generations of the Brangwens, a strong, vigorous family, deeply involved with the land. When Tom Brangwen marries a Polish widow,Lydia Lensky, and adopts her daughter Anna as his own, he is unprepared for the conflict and passion that erupts between them. All are seeking individual fulfilment, but it is Ursula, Anna's spirited daughter, who, in search for self-knowledge, rejects the conventional role of womanhood.
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#10  astrangerhere 11-05-2019, 10:44 AM
If I have made it in time, I would like to nominate the excellent nonfiction work Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry. Parry is a reporter for the Times of London who has been embedded in Japan since 1995.

From Goodreads:

Quote
On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,500 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.

It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It set off a national crisis, and the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. And even after the immediate emergency had abated, the trauma of the disaster continued to express itself in bizarre and mysterious ways.

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. There he encountered stories of ghosts and hauntings. He met a priest who performed exorcisms on people possessed by the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village which had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.

What really happened to the local children as they waited in the school playground in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?

Ghosts of the Tsunami is a classic of literary non-fiction, a heart-breaking and intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the personal accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the bleak struggle to find consolation in the ruins.
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