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Chibiabos83

Another group read

Following up on Joe's observation elsewhere that the board has seemed moribund of late, anyone up for a group read? My thoughts are as follows:

We can either do

a) a 'Good Read'-style thing as has been done before, i.e. a small group of us (three seems the optimum number) choose one book each and we all commit to read and discuss them. (Of course, more people could join in, but three books I imagine is the most anyone would want to take on.)

or

b) a good old-fashioned group read of a nominated book. Perhaps all those interested would like to suggest a book and we could vote on it.

I know several of us (though not me) belong to book groups already, but a frequent complaint is that discussion is of e.g. babies rather than books, which wouldn't be a problem here. I'm as guilty as anyone of letting this board get dreary. On the increasingly infrequent occasions that I post, it tends to be just another book review (of which one coming up presently), not a reply to someone else, not an interaction. Perhaps we could get things back on track a bit.
Castorboy

Chib, I favour the b) option and I suggest any book of short stories from any country and any time.
chris-l

I have been very slack about posting recently, not helped by recent problems with internet access (we decided to change to a new provider, and BT's revenge was to immediately cut off our internet connection, about 10 days before the new service became available), but I would be interested in joining in with this. My track record on group reads is very poor, but it would be really good to get some real discussion going on here, so I am willing to make an effort. I have no particular preference about the chosen book(s) - I am happy to go along with any concensus.
Jen M

I am interested but am afraid that I would not be able to commit the time... I do attend a book group and some months don't read much other than the book group book (due to work, family and other commitments).  

Perhaps Castorboy's suggestion of short stories would work - those of us without the time to read a whole additional novel might manage some of the short stories.  I am not really a fan of these but it might be a good starting point.

I have on my Kindle Waiting for the Evening News: Stories of the Deep South by Tim Gautreaux, and I haven't started it yet - can I suggest that as a book for a group read - cheeky, I know!
Castorboy

I read inter-linked short stories about the Deep South by Eudora Welty in 2012 so I would be happy to follow Jen's choice.
Sandraseahorse

I'm Ok with this suggestion.
Chibiabos83

Well, it would suit me too. Shall we wait a bit longer and see if anyone else is interested? I believe Caro's away at the moment.
Mikeharvey

The last time we did a group read of short stories on here – Chekhov – I read about twenty and almost nobody else read any.
Chibiabos83

I don't recall that at all, Mike. I hope I was not one of those who said he would participate. What a group read probably needs is some strong leadership. Well, I'm not the man for that, heaven knows, but if this group read should come to fruition then I will try to impose some kind of regimented order.
chris-l

I said I would go along with the consensus, and I will stick to that. I haven't heard of the author Jen has suggested, but part of the pleasure of this sort of exercise is the discovery of authors who would otherwise have remained unknown!
iwishiwas

I am a fan of TG so will try and get hold of a copy and participate, not been here for ages, almost expected the group to have folded but so pleased you are all still here.
iwishiwas

I am a fan of TG so will try and get hold of a copy and participate, not been here for ages, almost expected the group to have folded but so pleased you are all still here.
chris-l

Has anyone else moved along with this? I downloaded 'Waiting for the Midnight News' and have read the first few stories. So far, my reaction has been positive, and I would say that the comparison with Eudora Welty (based on my very slight acquaintance with her work) is valid. But, of course, I am still open to other suggestions...
iwishiwas

Chris, I have just got the Kindle version but have a few things on the go to finish. Hope to make a start later in the week.
Chibiabos83

I don't have a copy yet but will get on the case. It might be sensible to cherry-pick a few stories for discussion, and perhaps to arrange a date for discussion. Not that I want to put the brakes on, but perhaps a few weeks' time, so as to give others time to buy the book or order a library copy if they don't have the instant access that a Kindle provides?
chris-l

Sounds like a plan, Chib! I will continue to read one or two stories a night, but will hold back from commenting until you give the word.
Joe McWilliams

I'd love to participate, but alas, the library system here cannot help. It has Gautreaux, but not the one in question. Maybe next time.
Jen M

Chibiabos83 wrote:
I don't have a copy yet but will get on the case. It might be sensible to cherry-pick a few stories for discussion, and perhaps to arrange a date for discussion. Not that I want to put the brakes on, but perhaps a few weeks' time, so as to give others time to buy the book or order a library copy if they don't have the instant access that a Kindle provides?


Sounds good to me - a date to start the discussion, and a list of stories to try to cover, would be helpful.  I should be able to start by the end of this month.
Jen M

Joe McWilliams wrote:
I'd love to participate, but alas, the library system here cannot help. It has Gautreaux, but not the one in question. Maybe next time.


That's a shame.  Perhaps you could try the Gautreaux you can get?  I have read two, and enjoyed both.
Castorboy

Have got my library copy of WFTEN and couldn't resist starting on the first story and like chris my reaction is positive. I am looking forward to a lively discussion when the time arrives.
Sandraseahorse

I've downloaded it and I'm waiting for the off.  Are we reading the stories in the order they appear in the book?
Jen M

Well, I have started my next reading group book and it is dire.  So I am happy to start when everyone is ready.
Chibiabos83

Jen says she can probably start at the end of the month. Bearing in mind that some people have started already, does it make sense to post our thoughts as we read them, or would people prefer to wait until a fixed date before starting discussion, say Monday 7th July? Either suits me. I've started a thread here: http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/about2272.html

As for which stories to discuss in particular, perhaps we could choose a handful - five or six?

Here is a list of the stories contained in the book:

Same place, same things
Waiting for the evening news
Died and gone to Vegas
The courtship of Merlin LeBlanc
Navigators of thought
People on the empty road
The bug man
Little frogs in a ditch
License to steal
Floyd's girl
Returnings
Deputy Sid's gift
Welding with children
Misuse of light
Good for the soul
Easy pickings
The piano tuner
The Pine Oil Writers' Conference
Resistance
Sorry blood
Sunset in Heaven
Rodeo parole
Dancing with the one-armed gal

Hard to know which ones to pick and choose. Perhaps it makes more sense to read things in order in case one is introduced to characters early on that recur later...? On the other hand, there are some titles that I'd pick ahead of others - the title story, 'The piano tuner', 'The Pine Oil Writers' Conference' ... Some of us may want to read the whole book.

Thoughts?
Chibiabos83

Edit: I see Jen can start sooner. Maybe we can get on with it fairly soon.
Jen M

Jen M wrote:
Joe McWilliams wrote:
I'd love to participate, but alas, the library system here cannot help. It has Gautreaux, but not the one in question. Maybe next time.


That's a shame.  Perhaps you could try the Gautreaux you can get?  I have read two, and enjoyed both.


I noticed in the front of my Kindle copy that some of these stories have been previously published "in two volumes: Same Place, Same Things in 1996 and Welding with Children in 1999; if these are the books your library has, you might be able to join in after all.  Just a thought!

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