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MobileRead November 2009 Mobile Read Book Club Vote
#1  pilotbob 10-24-2009, 01:55 AM
Help up choose a book as the November 2009 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 7 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on November 22nd. Select from the following books.

The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. Al the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Most peoples' knowledge of this probably comes from the 1960s musical, which I'm sure we've all seen innumerable times. The novel, though, is a VERY different beast, and definely written for an "adult" audience. It contains some wonderful writing, and has some unforgettable characters - Oliver himself, of course; Fagin, who runs a gang of child thieves and prostitutes, the professional criminal, Bill Sykes and his girlfriend Nancy, and many more. This is a wonderful, unforgetable book, which everybody should read at least once in their life. I commend it to everybody.

The Picture (or Portrait) of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Spellbound before his own portrait, Dorian Gray utters a fateful wish. In exchange for eternal youth he gives his soul, to be corrupted by the malign influence of his mentor, the aesthete and hedonist Lord Henry Wotton. The novel was met with moral outrage by contemporary critics who, dazzled perhaps by Wilde's brilliant style, may have confused the author with his creation, Lord Henry, to whom even Dorian protests, 'You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.'. Encouraged by Lord Henry to substitute pleasure for goodness and art for reality, Dorian tries to watch impassively as he brings misery and death to those who love him. But the picture is watching him, and, made hideous by the marks of sin, it confronts Dorian with the reflection of his fall from grace, the silent bearer of what is in effect a devastating moral judgement.

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Phileas Fogg rashly bets his companions £20,000 that he can travel around the entire globe in just eighty days—and he is determined not to lose. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, the reserved Englishman immediately sets off for Dover, accompanied by his hot- blooded French manservant, Passepartout. Traveling by train, steamship, sailboat, sledge, and even elephant, they must overcome storms, kidnappings, natural disasters, Sioux attacks, and the dogged Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard to win the extraordinary wager. Combining exploration, adventure, and a thrilling race against time, Around the World in Eighty Days gripped audiences upon its publication and remains hugely popular to this day.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edward Abbott
A fascinating science-fiction story with some biting, funny satire of Victorian society, Edwin Abbott's Flatland still has a lot to say about modern life, mathematics, people, philosophy and our perceptions of reality. The story takes us to a two-dimensional world where all the inhabitants are flat geometric shapes, and who are all firmly convinced that "length and width" is all there is. But one enterprising shape discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, which leads to speculation about a fourth dimension - and that changes everything.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
In her most playful and exuberant novel, Virginia Woolf writes the "historical biography" of Orlando, a young boy of nobility during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. A wild ride through four centuries, the novel shows Orlando aging, magically, only thirty-six years between 1588 and 1928. Even more magically, he also changes from a man to a woman.
Orlando enters the book as an Elizabethan nobleman and leaves the book three centuries later as a liberated woman of the 1920s. Along the way this most rambunctious of Woolf's characters engages in sword fights, trades barbs with 18th century wits, has a baby, and drives a car. As she explores Orlando's life, Woolf also explores the differing roles of men and women in society during various periods.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.
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#2  pilotbob 10-24-2009, 02:03 AM
Apparently Classics is a very popular month. 9 books to choose from this month, and most, if not all of them are PD and free for the download.

BOb
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#3  zacheryjensen 10-24-2009, 03:27 AM
Quote pilotbob
Help up choose a book as the November 2009 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 7 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on October 22nd. Select from the following books.
So that was supposed to say November 22 right?
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#4  kennyc 10-24-2009, 06:36 AM
I thought there were going to be a plethora of choices.

Looking forward to the result.
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#5  JeremyZ 10-24-2009, 07:48 AM
Thanks for doing this Bob. The underlying beauty of this BotM Club is that I become aware of books I had either never heard of or never considered reading.
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#6  goldilocks 10-24-2009, 08:02 AM
Do I get a sticker that says "I voted"? Thanks Bob. I really like this Book Club (even though I am still new).
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#7  kennyc 10-24-2009, 08:46 AM
Quote goldilocks
Do I get a sticker that says "I voted"? Thanks Bob. I really like this Book Club (even though I am still new).
No, but you get the satisfaction of knowing you made the world a better place.
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#8  lilac_jive 10-24-2009, 08:51 AM
Ooh I don't know what I want to vote for again!!! Argh!
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#9  Sparrow 10-24-2009, 10:19 AM
Out of curiosity, I made a list of the word counts for the books' text files on Gutenberg ('Orlando' is available at Gutenberg Australia)

(I didn't exclude the Gutenberg top and bottom text.)

570,052 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
355,186 The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
161,716 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
86,392 Persuasion by Jane Austen
86,167 The Trial by Franz Kafka
82,190 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
79,582 Orlando by Virginia Woolf
66,494 Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
36,790 Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edward Abbott
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#10  kennyc 10-24-2009, 11:07 AM
Interesting.
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