Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Reading Group Narrowing Down (paca)

Kristy and -e have both weighed in now on our reading selection, so I thought I would give the new very short list. Both expressed interest in items that were fantastic in some nature. I only put things on the list to choose from that I already liked, so they all work for me. Here's the new short list (I think):

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells

We also had some interest in Sylvia Plath, Simone de Beaovoir, MLK Jr, and Sophocles, but the above seem to be the more concensus items. I have an opinion on the above list, but I'm going to wait a couple days to see if the llama, who expressed mild interest, weighs in. Also, other people, now that they see what we might be reading, are free to join still.

So, everyone, how do you want to run this? We could set up a new blog for the reading group, or we could just do the entries here. The major benefit of the new blog is that all of you could become team members on the blog and make posts about the book. The major drawback is that it is yet another blog. I guess I had in mind rotating who did the first entry, and then after that it would be a Comments free for all. Has anyone seen a reading group blog already to know what works well? We could do the same thing here, people might just have to email me their main board post.

Finally, as a note, Kristy mentioned that all my books seemed very schoolish, as opposed to enjoyable. That's basically because I as trying to avoid a bad earlier experience. I joined a reading group at work a few years ago where we all read A Year in Provence about a couple's year in France. We then went to someone's house to discuss. Of course, half the people hadn't read it. Everyone who had pretty much sat around saying, "the food sounded great." I was hoping to find a book with a little more meat. I have enjoyed what everyone's had to say on moral, religious, etc. issues here, so I was hoping to get more of that from you. I think all of the books above have such meat, so I'm good. Of course, I think things could be very different on a blog. I at least have a lot more to say in writing than in speaking. I at least used to always be the silent guy in classes, but look how long my simple blog entries are.

13 comments:

Killer Llama said...

Well...

I really must say I was hoping to start with something short; like 20 to 40 pages at most. Something that we could all tackle in one sitting, then discuss. The less committment the better, I say.

However, of those that you have listed, since I've already read Slaughterhouse 5 and The Time Machine, my choice would be to go with either Alice or Dorothy. The Alice novels are shorter, so...

The first Wonderland story is apparently "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland", while the second is "Through the Looking Glass." I hate reading things out of order. So, I cast my vote for "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland."

Killer Llama said...

Just to expound further on my shortness issue... I think it's coming from the same place as KBox's comment about school stuff vs. fun stuff, and your story about people having not read the book in your last reading group... If we pick out something difficult to read and not particularly compelling, then we are less likely to all get through it. Even if the ideas presented are thought provoking, it still should be fun. That's where the pop-literature comes in. Choosing Harry Potter or The DaVinci Code or something like that is pretty much guarantees that we'll all finish it... the problem is, what is there to discuss afterwards? The DaVinci Code could foster some religious debates, but Harry Potter would be like talking about your favorite piece of candy.

Anyway, that's why I was saying, stick with something short. Hopefully we can all handle something intelligent and insightful and meaningful for at least an hour or two. The other tack would be to choose books like we have... ones that are fun to read as well as literary.

pacatrue said...

Well, I'm definitely up for short. I over commit myself routinely. These are all shorter books mostly because those are the lists I had lying around, and I just didn't have a list of the world's best short stories or whatever. I guess my thought at the moment is to go with Alice. We don't have to read everything before we say a word. That's the nice thing about the blog idea. We could just choose the first two chapters or something and then see how it goes. I haven't looked yet, but I bet Alice is online for free too. Oz is actually relatively long, but a quick read. I think Alice will have more of my type of meat, as well. If people do have other suggestions for a terrific short story or article, please, please throw it out there. The only stories I knew the names of were ones I had already read.

kristybox said...

Alice sounds fine to me.

And, Paca, you silly boy, you have no food to distract us with. 'Cause if there was food...yum, food...there might be no readie. ;)

And any format you decide on is cool.

-E said...

alice in wonderland works for me... yeah, i get to go to the bookstore and buy a book! oh wait, i think we actually have it on tape...

naughtyloki said...

Vonnegut is always good for discussion. I went on a crusade to Read All Vonnegut a few years back and actually burned out before I got to Slaughterhous 5. I really liked Cat's Cradle and Bluebeard. I actually read both multiple times, which I normally only do when I've forgotten that I've read something.

Killer Llama said...

I've purchased my copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass...

RRR is correct, Vonnegut is always good for discussion. So is Faulkner for that matter...

pacatrue said...

I am not a huge fan of reading large amounts online, but if you don't mind, it looks like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is in the public domain now, as it should be, and is free to all. Here's one link with the text.

http://www.literature.org/authors/carroll-lewis/alices-adventures-in-wonderland/

How many chapters do people want to do for reading one? One? Two?

kristybox said...

I need assignments. I ned to be told, do this by then. I won't be offended; I'll be inspired.

And I'm game for Voonegut next.

katze said...

Oh, me! Me! I want to join!

And I'm with Kristy-- if someone doesn't set me a deadline, I procrastinate like a mofo.

Killer Llama said...

Let's go ahead and plan on reading the first two chapters of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland over the weekend. I haven't checked out how long a chapter is, but that should take at most 30 mins. An easy start. Then be prepared to post any thoughts on, say, Monday. Paca or I will start a thread.

pacatrue said...

30 minutes for two chapters of anything? Holy crap, you read as fast as N. But, I'll do my best to put in more than 30 minutes and join in.

pacatrue said...

And nice new pic.