Literary Weaving Time in a Tapestry • January 2021
#11  sun surfer 01-09-2021, 11:14 PM
After sampling all the previews I’m having my usual difficult time deciding. They all look good! I’ll have a sleep on it and then choose my votes.

#12  sun surfer 01-10-2021, 01:48 PM
I'll give my votes to

1 for The Neverending Story
1 for The Immortalists
1 for Moon Tiger
1 for A Tale for the Time Being
1 for Life After Life

#13  sun surfer 01-10-2021, 01:51 PM
A little under eight hours left to vote!

#14  Bookworm_Girl 01-10-2021, 05:03 PM
Here are my votes:

2 for Moon Tiger
2 for The Immortalists
1 for A Tale for the Time Being

I’ve read both Life After Life and Beautiful Ruins so I voted for something new to me. I loved the movie The Neverending Story too. I decided not to vote for this one because several reviews said the first half was excellent and similar to the movie and the second half was poorly executed.

#15  sun surfer 01-10-2021, 10:59 PM
First round voting is complete and we have a tie between:

-The Immortalists
-Moon Tiger

Run-off voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly TWO DAYS from this post.

Each person has ONE vote to use.

If the run-off ends in a tie, the selection that received all its votes first will win.

#16  sun surfer 01-10-2021, 11:07 PM
I'll have to think on which to vote for because I liked both previews. It's noticeable to me that of the two in the run-off, one begins in one time and moves to the future while contrarily the other begins in one time and moves to the past. Both sound like enjoyable reads.

Quote Bookworm_Girl
I’ve read both Life After Life and Beautiful Ruins so I voted for something new to me. I loved the movie The Neverending Story too. I decided not to vote for this one because several reviews said the first half was excellent and similar to the movie and the second half was poorly executed.
That's good to know about The Neverending Story. I hadn't read any reviews of the book. Still I'd like to read it and see but it's good to tamper my expectations before diving in. I expect you liked Life After Life if you nominated it but what did you think about Beautiful Ruins (and darn it on nominating one you'd already read!)?

#17  Bookworm_Girl 01-12-2021, 03:38 PM
As usual it was difficult to decide. I vote for Moon Tiger.

#18  sun surfer 01-12-2021, 05:02 PM
I agree. I'd reread the previews of both and looked to see which were on audiobook (both were). I sampled and liked both narrators. Both goodreads ratings were about the same. I considered page count but even though The Immortalists is longer, Moon Tiger seems like a slightly more complex book so I feel like their reading times would even out more in the end. I thought it'd be nice to read such a recent book as the Benjamin, but then it'd also be nice to read a Booker winner like the Lively. There was nothing to find to tip the scales. I was going back and forth so I'm happy you took the weight off my shoulders here, as it were.

I'll also vote for Moon Tiger. I read some of its reviews on goodreads while trying to decide and I liked some of the reviewers' thoughts about the book and time: 'Utterly compelling historical novel that plays with time and perspective in fascinating ways.' ; 'Reading Moon Tiger is a catalyst for drifting into one’s own memories.' ; 'The way Lively used language blew me away. I can't compare it to anything else I'd read before.'

#19  sun surfer 01-12-2021, 05:48 PM
One more thing about the two run-off books. Even before these were the two left standing, I had thought both reminded me of other media.

In its set up of an older, independent, intellectual and literary-minded woman dying alone in hospital from cancer and thinking on her life, Moon Tiger brought to mind Wit. The similarities seem to end there, but those are some strong similarities! Wit was a play that was turned into I think it was an HBO film. Judith Light from Who's the Boss fame (and I think she was more recently in Transparent) played the main character on stage, but Emma Thompson took over for the film.

For The Immortalists, I couldn't help but think of an old reality television series (later viewed as the very first reality series) called An American Family that aired on PBS, which despite being before my time is a series I've seen and really enjoyed. There was an English version of the series too called The Family that I've also seen; it wasn't quite as captivating and felt much more cramped but was still fascinating in its own way too. Anyway, An American Family followed a family living in California so the opposite side of the U.S. to where The Immortalists begins, but it was still similarly a family with a lot of somewhat close-knit children growing up in the late 60s/early 70s. In the series there were three boys and two girls compared to the book's two boys and two girls. As well, the description of the book hints that one of the boys might end up gay, the one who ends up living in San Francisco. An American Family had a gay son as well, and his openness about it in the series was viewed as a landmark. This son, Lance, moves to NYC in the series and travels Europe, and I think goes to San Francisco as well near the end. The parents separate during the series and later divorced.

After the series the mother, Pat Loud, moved to NYC. Lance got AIDS at some point and he and his mother moved back to California and lived either together or very close to one another either in L.A. or San Francisco in his last years. He died sometime around 2000, when they aired a final special on the family for his last days and funeral. Pat later published a book of Lance's artwork and writings. The father from the series died a few years ago in his mid-90s. But what is wild is that after nominating this book and being reminded of the television series, I read that the mother, Pat, died in her sleep just a couple of days ago on the 10th of January. Also being in her mid-90s she'd live a long life but it was still sad to hear, and I couldn't help think about when Lance had died that she'd said she couldn't wait to see him and be with him again when she goes herself.

Anyway, long story short, to me some of those similarities really stood out despite the rest of the book seemingly being very different.

Also, as it happens, HBO made a film about An American Family as well called Cinéma Vérité. It was interesting but in such a short running time couldn't really fit in everything worthwhile about the original series and family so it doesn't compare to the original series.

#20  sun surfer 01-13-2021, 06:31 AM
Run-off voting is complete and the winner is Moon Tiger! The discussion thread will be up soon.

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