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TheSite.org Book Club - Nominations for September's book (Classics Edition!)

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
In September, Book Club is going classical. This month we're after any books written before 1950 - this can be any (fiction, please) novel you like, in any genre, as long as it wasn't written in the last 62 years :).

Reminder of the rules:

1. Anybody can nominate a book.
2. Books nominated have to fit within the monthly theme listed above.
3. Try not to pick anything too hefty. While some of us could probably get through War and Peace in a month, others aren't so fast.
4. Nominations in the below example format, please:

Book: Snuff by Terry Pratchett|Kindle Edition

Synopsis: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.

And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder.

He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.

They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

But not quite all...
From Amazon

Reason for Nomination: Any reason you like can go here. The above is an example, and was our book for March 2012, so no nominating!

5. As I did above, if there is a Kindle/e-reader edition, put a separate link to that, please (On Amazon, there is a "Start reading [book] on your Kindle..." link under the image).

Commence nominations! Poll will be put up in one week with all nominations. And just a reminder that Book Club chat is still running monthly - the next one will be in September for August's book, The Hobbit.



  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jack Vance - The Dying Earth


    "Turjan of Miir"
    "Mazirian the Magician"
    "Liane the Wayfarer"
    "Ulan Dhor"
    "Guyal of Sfere"

    The Dying Earth is a collection of fantasy short fiction by Jack Vance, published by Hillman in 1950. Vance returned to the setting in 1965 and thereafter, making it the first book in the Dying Earth series.


    It's epic and amazing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I may go a bit overboard with the nominations this month. You have been warned.

    Dracula by Bram Stoker (available for free from Project Gutenberg as an ebook)

    Synopsis: When a young Englishman travels to the castle of the enigmatic Count Dracula, he discovers that all is not as it seems - and he feels unsafe. He travels home and strange things start to occur around him and his friends.
    Told through diaries in an episodic manner, it's slow at times but worth bearing with.
    Eat your heart out, Twilight, this is the original and best!

    Reason: It's a really good read
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Me and picc may or may not have chosen this theme as a way of pushing our literature obsessions onto you poor folk. Therefore expect a huge influx.


    Persuasion by Jane Austen (available for free on Kindle!)

    Synopsis: Anne Elliot, twenty-seven and still single, seems destined for spinsterhood. In her youth, she broke off an engagement to penniless Captain Wentworth at the insistence of her friend Lady Russell, acquiescing to the demands of her class at the expense of her happiness. But when Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic wars rich and famous, Anne finds her affection rekindled - even though Wentworth seems more interested in Anne's friend Louisa Musgrove. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

    Reason: Because it's one of my favourite books ever and the underlying message to not let the opinions of others influence you is one that I LOVE.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

    Synopsis: Conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain Alice Liddell, the daughter of the dean of Carroll's college, the dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down. Following the white rabbit into his warren, Alice falls into a world where croquet is played with hedgehogs and flamingos, a baby turns into a pig, time runs amok at a the Mad Hatter's tea-party, a chaotic game of chess makes Alice a Queen and the Mock Turtle and Gryphon dance the Lobster Quadrille. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling wordplay, unforgettable characters, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for a lost childhood. Original and experimental, adapted into countless film and television versions as Alice in Wonderland, the Alice books give readers a window on both child and adult worlds.

    Reason: Because it's Alice in stinkin' Wonderland, that's why.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    Synopsis: A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife", Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."
    As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

    Reason: I bought it suuuuch a long time ago but I've never gotten around to reading it. And I want to. So this is my opportunity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston LeRoux

    Synopsis: Credited as being the original 'locked room' mystery, a young girl is found hurt in a room to which all the entrances and exits were sealed with no sign of her attacker. A reporter called Jacques Rouletabille is called in to solve the mystery.

    Simple, but effective. Agatha Christie was one admirer of LeRoux.

    Reason for nomination: A brilliant precursor to modern crime writing
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf

    Synopsis: A biography of a (wo)man who lives a fantastic life; beginning in the medieval period as a young man who decides not to get old, but then falls into a deep depression after rejection by the love of his life. When she wakes, Orlando is a young woman, who lives through to the Edwardian period.

    Reason for nomination: It's very queer, and beautifully written.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

    Synopsis: Clarissa Dalloway is civilised--without the ostentation of a socialite, but with enough distinction to attract them to her parties. She finds excess offensive, but surrounds herself with the highest quality and has an abhorrence for anything ugly or awkward. Mrs. Dalloway is as much a character study as it is a commentary on the ills and benefits society gleans from class. Through Virginia Woolf, we spend a day with Clarissa as she interacts with servants, her children, her husband, and even an ex-lover. As she plans and executes one of her celebrated parties, she reveals inner machinations incongruous with her class-defined behaviors, that ultimately enable her to transcend them.

    Reason: Because I've always wanted to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
    Definitely not fiction but surely important enough to be included? From Amazon:
    Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

    The Diary of a Nobody by George Grosssmith and Weedon Gross Smith
    I found this book really, really funny. A bit like an early Adrian Mole but better.
    Mr Pooter's diary is a faithful record of the daily grind in respectable suburbia and the city office. It tells of his constant war against insolent tradesmen and impudent junior clerks, his incomprehensible son Lupin, and his over-whelming feeling that the biggest joke is on him.

    Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    This book is one of my comfort reads. Probably better to read in Winter and imagining you['re next to a warm fireplace..but still.
    The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body, this classic horror story pits detective against dog. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles' heir comes to an equally gruesome end.

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    To counteract Austen :p
    Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt and later attends a charity school with a harsh regime, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds a position as governess at Thornfield Hall.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
    Definitely not fiction but surely important enough to be included?

    I almost put "Fiction, unless you want to nominate Anne Frank", so yes it can be included :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    Synopsis: Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

    The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

    Reason: Everyone should have a period of having Kate Bush running through their head when reading a book.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Synopsis: As much a work of moral philosophy as an exceptional novel. Raskolnikov is living in extreme poverty, and begins to plan a way to escape his debts and relieve other people's troubles. The whole premise is a spoiler so it's hard to write much of a synopsis!
    It's a remarkable human story and surprisingly, darkly, funny.

    Reason for nomination: I read this as part of my postgrad, and amazed myself by really enjoying it. It got me into classics and Russian literature.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Forgetful panda is forgetful. Will try and remember to put the poll up tonight but until then more nominations are always welcome!
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