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I'm about halfway through Phoenix and Ashes and I've got to say I'm hooked.  Just as fascinated by it as I was by Harry Potter.  For anyone still wanting to know more about it before reading it here's my added short synopsis:

Based around World War I Great Britain.  Gives a magical spin on what was going on during WWI and showing that it was the magical battle going on that was making the war so horrible.  Eleanore is our Harry Potter/Cinderella type character.

So there's another little sneak peek of what the book is like so go read it :)

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Unfinished Business

I have this strange dilemma. Has anyone read Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled? It was recommended to me by my friend whose taste never failed on me until now...I finished 1/3 of the book, and I really find it...75% repulsive haha. Just would like to know if I'm missing something here...there are books that are really bad at the start, but actually are very good towards the middle til the end. I do not want to abandon the book (basically because I never have...I suffered through Umberto Eco's Baudolino and The Island Of The Day Before as a dare, even though it took a while for me to learn how to swallow them) but it really is becoming a chore.

What do you think?

And The Winner is...

Phoenix and Ashes -Mercedes Lackey

Look at this search here: half.com

and you'll find some really cheap offers

Tie Breaker

Poll #847036 Tie Breaker

Which book would you rather read?

The Princess Bride
5(45.5%)
Phoenix and Ashes
6(54.5%)



Go HERE if you want to read the descriptions again

Poll Reminder

Tomorrow is the last day to vote!! go here and vote now!!

There is currently a three way tie between Eragon, The Princess Bride, and Phoenix and Ashes

So hurry up and vote HERE if you don't just want me telling you what to read.

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intro

Name: Emma
Age: 26
Geography: Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation/Field of Study: Philosophy
Favorite book(s): 100 years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Favorite author(s): right now it's Johnathan Kellerman
Favorite genre: I have two - historical novels and murder mysteries

What other interests do you have besides reading? music (playing guitar & piano, singing), food
How did you hear about us? graceless_gh .... hi!!
Anything else you would like to broadcast to the rest of us here? Please divulge. :) I'm a stay at home mum to a tyrannical toddler called Maxim, happily (enough -haha) married to his Dad. 4 books a year suits me because I only get to read when Maxim passes out from exhaustion - which is never often enough! ;)

New Book Club Rules and Guidelines

Thank you to everyone who gave me their input on our lovely little book club. It is good to know that some of your are still enthusiastic about making this work. I've given it some thought, and I have some new rules and guidelines here that I hope will help us to get this community really active and interesting.

I'd like everyone to think of this as more than just a book club. What we are doing here on LJ is essentially an aggregate blog about all things book related. So when you post something, put some thought into it, use tags so we can find it later, and do others the courtesy of commenting on what they've taken the time to write - even if it is a simple "looks interesting" or "yes I love that book too!"

Quarterly Book Club Reads

So many people voted for this that I feel we should try it out for a while. It may be that having a book assigned monthly was too much for some people to take on, so instead we will do 4 books per year and if the demand goes up, we can always change it. We are currently voting for 4th quarter 2006 books that have been nominated by ablueskier if you haven't voted yet, please do so HERE before Oct 17.

NOMINATORS - When you are a book nominator for the quarter, you are in charge of posting your recommendations, reminding members to vote and leading the discussion for the book in a single post where everyone can talk about it. Us mods will always be available to help you in getting the discussion started and we will also be working on some generic discussion questions that can get things rolling. When it is time to discuss the book, please TAG your entry with "discussions".

MEMBERS - when it is not your turn to nominate you can still be actively involved by "tracking" posts here in the book club. I would recommend that if you want to participate in discussions, you should click HERE and check the boxes for what you would like to be notified of. Also, when a new post goes up, be sure to revisit the tracking page so you can be notified of all comments made on the discussion posts. The beauty of this new system is that you won't have to go way back on your flist to discuss the book and you won't have to constantly remind yourself to get involved in discussion!

If you'd like to nominate in the future, please let us know! We won't be setting anyone into the schedule just yet as I'd like to choose people closer to the dates when we start nominating books again (think late December).

Book Reviews and Recommendations

I would like Book Reviews and Discussions to become the bulk of our community. No doubt we are all reading books that aren't on the nominations lists, so if you read something that sparks your interest (or conversely makes you want to hurl) then make a post about it here. Also be sure to tag it with "recommendations" so anyone can easily look back at these kinds of posts when they are searching for something new to read. (a template is coming soon)

Author Spotlights

Sometimes a book review just won't cut it because you have an author who has several published works that you adore. Do a little research on your favorite authors and post some information about them and the books they've written here. Tag these entries with "authors". (template coming soon)

Book Exchanges

Okay - this is how the book exchanges are going to work. If you have a stack of books you are looking to get rid of, post a list here to see if anyone has something they might want to trade to you. You can also request to see if someone has a copy of something they might be willing to part with as well. You can exchange emails privately and work out the exchanges from there! :)


Oh and P.S. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, or if you are just interested in giving come advice or constructive criticism please join nano_writers (and hey all you gotta do is hover over the icon for the community and add it! So simple...so wonderful!

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Gothic novels

Okay, so as some of you know I am currently studying a module at Uni on Gothic Narratives. Mostly Uni book lists suck, but I was pleasently suprised to be introduced to two fantastic books.

The first is The Collector by John Fowles. This book thoroughly disturbed me. It's about a quiet lad who collects butterflies who suddenly comes into a lot of money through a pools win, and what happens when his passion for collecting is given a much wider scope. I loved the structure of the narration - it comes in three parts, the first is told past tense by Frederick (the collector), the second part are Miranda's diary entries, and the final part is present tense by Frederick. I won't talk about it too much here because I don't want to spoil it for anyone that wants to go on to read it, but if you have read it reply below so we can talk about it!

The second book is Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. It is the most wonderfully confusing novel I've ever read. Essentially it's set in two time periods 1700 London and 1980's London, but playing on the core elements of "Gothic" the two era's are fluid and murders that are committed in 1700 start turning up in the 1980's. There is a lot of duplicity of characters as well, and of actions and you get this wonderful sense of not quite knowing what is happening, but at the same time there is a lot of foreshadowing of events. And, in true gothic style the end of the novel explains nothing, I was left with the feeling that these two era's, that Hawksmoor and Nick just kind of dissolved into a sort of 'nothing' that always was and always will be. I hope that makes some kind of sense. It really is a beautiful novel, and whilst it can be devilish hard work it really is very very rewarding.

Book Poll

Poll #842648 4th Quarter 2006 Reading

What book should we read for the fourth quarter?

Life of Pi - Yann Martel
2(15.4%)
Eragon - Christopher Paolini
3(23.1%)
The Princess Bride - William Goldman
4(30.8%)
Phoenix and Ashes - Mercedes Lackey
4(30.8%)



Life of Pi - NOT a math book. The only non-fantasy book on this list..

Eragon -

The Princess Bride - The book the movie is based on. True love, sword fights, fire and death. One for everyone :)

Phoenix and Ashes - Cinderella type story. 
Last day to vote is Oct 17 and book is due by Dec. 31
Remember, if you read it, write about it!

Ode to a dying community

Okay folks, this seems like I'm wandering into a monthly exercise in futility by trying to get people to post recommendations and vote on book nominations, but I'd like to try and refocus the book club to make it something enjoyable and useful for all of us. Afterall, the reason we are all here is because we are brought together by our love of books. We have a healthy membership pool started, which means there is a lot of potential for some really great discussion.

So, in an attempt to resuscitate our neglected community, I've come up with a few ideas that might help get us started. Also, with these new ideas I am going to need extra mods to be in charge of writing some of this content out and also getting people motivated about the community. We have a lot of bright minds here and I think we should be sharing bookish goodness with each other more often!


Poll #842512 Ideas to revive us!

What would you like to see in the community?

Book exchanges (sending old books you love to friends)
2(15.4%)
Book reviews of things we've read
1(7.7%)
Buzz on new book releases
0(0.0%)
Author spotlights
0(0.0%)
Other (please specify in comments)
0(0.0%)

What should we do about monthly (slowly dying) group reads?

Keep them how they are
1(7.7%)
Keep them, but change it to a quarterly read
10(76.9%)
Get rid of them and refocus the book club on the above items
2(15.4%)
Other (please discuss in comments)
0(0.0%)

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