Future Book Club Nominees!

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Future Book Club Nominees!

Postby Ribbons on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:25 pm

Oh! Hello there. Didn't see you come in. Won't you sit down and make yourselves at home? I've made some tea and have a delightful sampling of leftover hors d'ouevres from last night's dinner party in the kitchen. I have to say, I'm rather glad we ran into one another like this, because there's something I've been meaning to talk to you about. Are you ready? Here goes:

So I thought about this... and then I talked about it a little... and then I thought about it some more... and finally I decided that I would (try to) re-start the tradition of Zoners reading and discussing a book every month. Or "Book of the Month Club" as you humans call it. Originally suggested and overseen by our late comrade-in-arms, teh Balm, the club has sort of fallen by the wayside. And I've got big shoes to fill with no realistic chance at ever filling them. Also, I am functionally illiterate (albeit really enthusiastic!), but I want to forge ahead in an effort to revive the club regardless of my numerous un-qualifications. Though it may not always inspire discussion, I think it has its place in the Zone alongside the ZONE MOVIE CLUB as a fun way for those who participate to do what we do best: talk about stuff and further immerse ourselves in pop culture through the exchange of ideas. And who knows? Maybe we'll discover enlightenment along the way. At least that's what the brochure will say.

So... like the ZMC, and as per the rules of the club when Adam oversaw it, each book of the month will be chosen through the process of voting. Taking some cues specifically from the Movie Club as I think the way it's been set up is pretty efficient, there will be some slight tweaks:

-for starters, the list of candidates will probably be relatively short -- although that may change.

-for after starters, the thread for each month will be put up on or as close to the 1st as possible. The process of voting will take a week, at which time the winner will be announced. People read at a different pace, and so you shouldn't feel rushed to discuss the book ASAP or even in the same month, although you can begin posting on it whenever you want.

-another idea cribbed from the ZMC: theme months. The list of candidates could all be from one author, they could be about a certain holiday or from a certain time period, they could all be related to a TV show, or feature some sort of man-eating lizard monster, you name it. Or they could just be thematically similar: redemption, alienation, obsession, depression, entropy. The good stuff.

Since September has already started and I still need time to get some things organized, the first Month of the Book of the Month won't be until October. What this thread is for is all of your suggestions on potential candidates -- what books do you want to see up here? What themes? Which authors? I seriously have very few ideas of my own in this regard, and though I will try to cull together a few more in the coming weeks, I'd be happy -- relieved is really the better word for it -- to get some from the rest of y'all.

I'd also be interested in, and receptive to, any suggestions about handling the club that you may have. And although this is sort of an all-purpose "suggestion box" of a thread, if you have any ideas or suggestions or long lists that you want to keep (relatively) private for whatever reason, feel free to PM them to me.

I guess I'll try to be the "emcee," so to speak, of the club. I think it's more organized and tends to work better if there's one person handling those kinds of things instead of just making it into a free-for-all. However, if any of you ever get the urge to take the wheel for a month, just let me know beforehand and it's all yours.

Like I said before, there might be high points, there might be low points. There may be times when the thread is active and there may be times when there's barely any discussion at all. But no matter how any people buy or read the winner on a monthly basis, I will try to keep the club going. I believe that this can be a good thing, and with some elbow grease and some great books, I hope that it will.

Anyway! Thanks for reading my long-winded long-windedness, please please please make as many suggestions as you can. Help yourselves to the hors d'ouevres, and I'll see you in October. :) Seacrest out!
Last edited by Ribbons on Mon May 05, 2008 9:15 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Postby Ribbons on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:27 pm

Idea, Ribbons, great! I'm so excited for this new book of the club month. Yay!!! Free food!!!
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Re: The Return of the BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB!!!

Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:33 pm

Ribbons wrote:what books do you want to see up here? What themes? Which authors?


Snow Crash. Cryptonomicon.

both by Neal Stephenson.

once again, an author and works that unite the differing sensibilities of myself and teh Balm, who I believe was a fan.

crackling prose, an innate ability to acutely "get in the head" of a range of diverse characters (the 'lil lady says Stephenson writes women better than most contemporary male authors), brilliant plotting, brainy ideas matched with swashbuckling panache...

'prolly my favorite contemporary author.
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Re: The Return of the BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB!!!

Postby Ribbons on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:41 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:prolly my favorite contemporary author.


High praise.

I should add, for anyone with reservations about their suggestions slipping through the cracks, that I am literally writing all of these down in a notebook. Which I hope doesn't sound too weird. :?
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Postby doglips on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:42 pm

Before Tony gets here, I'd like to put forward Cloud Atlas. A book I own and have tried to read on numerous occasions, only to be stifled by the obtuse language. I want to have another crack at it as I have heard a few rave reviews for it, and the premise really appeals to me.
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Re: The Return of the BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB!!!

Postby doglips on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:43 pm

Ribbons wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:prolly my favorite contemporary author.


High praise.

I should add, for anyone with reservations about their suggestions slipping through the cracks, that I am literally writing all of these down in a notebook. Which I hope doesn't sound too weird. :?


As long as your not in a room with 9 monitors, one of them featuring me, that's fine!
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Postby tfactor on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:44 pm

did someone say something about free food? :wink:
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:52 pm

ribbons, what say you to Graphic Novels? Or would you rather just stick to words without the 'purty pictures?
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:54 pm

ANY books by Hubert Selby Junior. They're all masterworks by a great, great writer still not fully recognised IMO.
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Postby Ribbons on Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:20 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:ribbons, what say you to Graphic Novels? Or would you rather just stick to words without the 'purty pictures?


Although I'm not opposed to the idea, I'd say just regular novels for now.

Actually... how would y'all feel about a graphic novel theme month? Or would you rather they be mixed in with the regular books? My only fear there is that they'll immediately stand out as the more attractive choice because of their relative novelty (no pun intended).
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Postby doglips on Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:21 pm

A GN theme month is a great idea, Ribbons.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:26 pm

To Your Scattered Bodies Go, by Philip Jose Farmer. It's not nearly so well known these days as it should be. Very much a product of its time, the book is still an introduction to a massively brilliant concept, that of Riverworld. The concept screamed for a shared-world series of books, but only two were published.
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Postby TonyWilson on Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:32 pm

Hmm, I'm getting deja vu with that first post Ribbon old buddy :wink:

Heh, dog did beat me too it. Stick with it dog, the first part of historical bit is tough going in regards to the language, but it's going to pay off in spades. Although I agree it can be off putting, it took me about 3 goes to get in to it.

But, as the esteemed Mr ButCare reminded me, I'm going to pimp Flicker by Theodore Roszak.
It's about a film student named Jonathan Gates who becomes gradually obsessed with the obscure movies of director named Max Castle. His films seem like hackery, bad 40's b-movies and exploitation films, but they have an extraordinary power in them, subliminal and disturbing. As Gates becomes more obsessed he tracks down people who used to work with Castle, who started working at the dawn of cinema in germany. Gates discovers many dark and terrifying truths. It's a brilliant look at the power of propaganda and the power of cinema, but it's so much more too. A paranoid conspiracy thriller of the most deliciously devilish. A pitch black comedy of grotesques. And an sick and twisted love letter to Hollywood.

I'd love this book to be picked as it's a perfect one for a book club on a film website and I think it will really connect with a lot of people here.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:03 pm

TonyWilson wrote:Hmm, I'm getting deja vu with that first post Ribbon old buddy :wink:

Heh, dog did beat me too it. Stick with it dog, the first part of historical bit is tough going in regards to the language, but it's going to pay off in spades. Although I agree it can be off putting, it took me about 3 goes to get in to it.

But, as the esteemed Mr ButCare reminded me, I'm going to pimp Flicker by Theodore Roszak.
It's about a film student named Jonathan Gates who becomes gradually obsessed with the obscure movies of director named Max Castle. His films seem like hackery, bad 40's b-movies and exploitation films, but they have an extraordinary power in them, subliminal and disturbing. As Gates becomes more obsessed he tracks down people who used to work with Castle, who started working at the dawn of cinema in germany. Gates discovers many dark and terrifying truths. It's a brilliant look at the power of propaganda and the power of cinema, but it's so much more too. A paranoid conspiracy thriller of the most deliciously devilish. A pitch black comedy of grotesques. And an sick and twisted love letter to Hollywood.

I'd love this book to be picked as it's a perfect one for a book club on a film website and I think it will really connect with a lot of people here.



Yes, I've read Flicker, too. A pretty strange but original book alright - with a good unexpected ending. Pretty long but a real page turner.

On movie-related theme novels, I'd also recommend Tom Tryon's Crowned Heads which is four short novellas in one book:

Part 1 is Fedora: about the greatest and longest reigning star of them all - and the most mysterious.....(obviously based on Garbo in part but there's a brilliant and totally unexpected twist about half way through).

Part 2 is Lorna: the all American sweetheart trying desperately to salvage something from her life....( unmistakably echoes of Monroe here).

Part 3 is Bobbitt: a former child star at 10, but now at 30 a has been and forgotten..... (pretty tragic in parts and perhaps inspired by the real life stories of those child stars who fall by the wayside ie. Bobby Driscoll etc).

Part 4 is Willy: a former debonair star of yesteryear, living alone and whose life one night is, well......changed forever (this is definitely based on the Manson murders)

This is an evocative and moving book - and quite harsh, too, about the movie industry and those take that leap into stardom. Certainly I'd highly recommend it.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:46 pm

That sounds pretty interesting, sir. I'd read a review recently about another Hollywood-themed novel that sounded pretty good --I think it was compared to a Raymond Chandler novel actually. It's just too bad I can't think of the name.

EDIT: I think it's Blonde Lightning
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:37 pm

I told AB before he left, and I'll say it again:

Hitchhiker's Guide Damn it!
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Postby brainiac on Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:50 pm

Thank you for restarting this great topic... I'll supply the drinks to go with the left-overs:
dirty martinis, lemon squashes, and creme soda with the occasional pint thrown in.

Let me add my vote for a few of my favorite authors: William Gibson, Georger R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman,
Tim Powers, Harlan Ellison, and more to be named at a later date.

Good on ya, mate!
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Postby Ribbons on Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:20 pm

brainiac wrote:Thank you for restarting this great topic... I'll supply the drinks to go with the left-overs:
dirty martinis, lemon squashes, and creme soda with the occasional pint thrown in.

Let me add my vote for a few of my favorite authors: William Gibson, Georger R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman,
Tim Powers, Harlan Ellison, and more to be named at a later date.

Good on ya, mate!


Thanks, brainiac.
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Postby Peven on Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:41 pm

Stephen R Donaldson- the Thomas Covenant Chronicles (two trilogies, and one book out in the final series of the Chronicles) or The Gap series(5 books); the former top notch fantasy, the latter excellent science fiction

C.J. Cherryh- the Chanur series (4 books)or the Foreigner series(6 books and growing), both science fiction. if you were to pick just one, i would choose the Chanur series.

Julian May- the Many Colored Land series (4 books) sci-fi/fantasy

Patricia McKillip- the Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy

Susan Cooper- The Dark is Rising series


really can't go wrong with any of these. all are proven, well-regarded authors with distinct styles and creations, not your standard faire.
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:24 pm

Out of the series listed, Peven, which are the books within them that are the most self-contained?
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Postby Peven on Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:20 pm

Ribbons wrote:Out of the series listed, Peven, which are the books within them that are the most self-contained?


i would say that the first book in C.J. Cherryh's Chanur series, Pride of Chanur, is the most self contained, though is definately a stage setter for the series as a whole.

Donaldson's "Lord Foul's Bane" is also somewhat stand alone in that it does have a resolution at the end, but is something like the first SW movie in that despite the "good guys" victory, evil still reigns and will need to be dealt with further.

another series i forgot to add to my list, but one that is imo an all-time great is The Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe. really cool, unique books set 1million yrs in earth's future. the first book is Shadow of the Torturer, the second is Claw of the Conciliator, and i believe the four book series is published now in two tombs, combining the titles of the two books within, with the first titled Torturer's Claw, i think.


and honestly, i only listed books that i think are truly great, and i believe you won't be disappointed with any of them you choose to check out.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:17 pm

Does anybody have any TPBs/graphic novels that they'd like to see nominated for Book of the Month?
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Postby Flumm on Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:44 pm

Assuming that something whole is preffered rather than a story arc or TPB, in terms of completely self contained ventures, there's...

Blankets
You Are Here
We3
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
David Boring
The Quitter


...waiting to be inputted as soon as I can find room for them round these here parts. If any of those are deemed worthy, I'd be happy to put them at the top of the pile, to take one for the cause so to speak.

Of the above, I think We3 would possibly be a nice suggestion, it's been long in the offing in terms of Zone recommendations, it has it's long standing champions here, Lady S is awaiting her copy too, and generally speaking, from what I can tell, it seems like something that strikes a nice balance between known, and worthy of some back and forth, yet not too ubiquitous to feel overripe for discussion, you know?

Course I can only defer to those more in the know with these things.
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Postby Flumm on Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:17 pm

After coming across it on my own own online literary meanderings, I had been meaning to work though this some, see if it was as omnipotent as it claimed to be, with perhaps a look to helping you out with your upcoming practicalities and battleplans for the Book Club, Ribbons...

Library Thing

About Library Thing

What is LibraryThing?

LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.


Buzz, hyperbole and general quotations of it's omnipotency


..hopefully it might of some use to you, sir, but I also figured it I would put it out there, as I may not have time to pay it the attention it may or may not deserve anytime soon, and it may be of interest to those who may be inclining their gaze in this direction anyways...
Last edited by Flumm on Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:18 pm

I'm tempted to suggest "The Coffin" just to give myself an excuse to read it, but I think I'm gonna try and do that on my own time first.

One that I've read and that I can vouch for in terms of quality is Otomo's "Domu." Interesting stuff that could go several ways in terms of conversation.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:19 pm

Flumm wrote:After coming across it on my own own online literary meanderings, I had been meaning to work though this some, see if it was as omnipotent as it claimed to be, with perhaps a look to helping you out with your upcoming practicalities and battleplans for the Book Club, Ribbons...

Library Thing

..hopefully it might of some use to you, sir, but I also figured it I would put it out there, as I may not have time to pay it the attention it may or may not deserve anytime soon, and it may be of interest to those who may be inclining their gaze in this direction anyways...


That's kinda cool. It's like last.fm, except with books! Thanks Flumm.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:01 pm

Ribbons wrote:Does anybody have any TPBs/graphic novels that they'd like to see nominated for Book of the Month?


Black Hole

The recently released Pride of Baghdad

and, of course, Scott Pilgrim.

ETA: or, you can just check out this long overdue thread...
Last edited by Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Carolian on Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:10 pm

First of all, I'll suggest (selfishly, because I'm reading THE PLAGUE now) anything by Albert Camus. THE STRANGER's nice and short, too!

Secondly? Flumm? YOU ARE A GOD. That LibraryThing site is an absolute godsend, and that god is Flummagehovah.

Various other pieces of ebullient praise! Take 'em, m'boy, they're all yours!

I hope that's how "ebullient" is spelled. Probably not, but I'll be damned if I'm going to waste the time to look it up. My time is better served writing things in teeny tiny text.
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:37 pm

How about themes? Anybody got any ideas or requests for book/graphic novel themes?
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Postby brainiac on Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:12 pm

Themes?

Like moral survival in a post-apocalyptic world?

The angst of the modern urban-dweller?

Love in space?

Pigs in Space?

I love a good theme....
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:22 pm

Pigs in space, you say...?

But yeah, you've got the right idea. Thanks brainy.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:30 pm

cyberpunk.

hardboiled fiction (Chandler, Hammet).

postmodernism (Pynchon, PYNCHON, PYNCHON)
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Postby doglips on Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:27 pm

Ribbons wrote:Does anybody have any TPBs/graphic novels that they'd like to see nominated for Book of the Month?


Can't Get No
Blankets
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Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:28 pm

BLANKETS!
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Postby doglips on Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:30 pm

Seconded.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:34 pm

I think technically...I seconded your post.

In any event...

THIRDED!
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Postby doglips on Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:38 pm

Flumm wrote:Assuming that something whole is preffered rather than a story arc or TPB, in terms of completely self contained ventures, there's...

Blankets
You Are Here
We3
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
David Boring
The Quitter


...waiting to be inputted as soon as I can find room for them round these here parts. If any of those are deemed worthy, I'd be happy to put them at the top of the pile, to take one for the cause so to speak.

Of the above, I think We3 would possibly be a nice suggestion, it's been long in the offing in terms of Zone recommendations, it has it's long standing champions here, Lady S is awaiting her copy too, and generally speaking, from what I can tell, it seems like something that strikes a nice balance between known, and worthy of some back and forth, yet not too ubiquitous to feel overripe for discussion, you know?

Course I can only defer to those more in the know with these things.


It would appear, we are both thirding Flumm, anyhows........LOL.

End of Blankets pimping.
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Postby Vegeta on Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:14 pm

I just picked up "World War Z" by Max Brooks!!!! I cannot wait to read this bad boy!!!! I have a couple of flights coming up that should facilitate the reading!
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Postby Adam Balm on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:19 pm

Don't know if these have already been mentioned elsewhere, but some new releases within the next month that could be considered are:


Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King.

Next by Michael Crichton.
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Postby Peven on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:04 pm

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Postby DennisMM on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:28 pm

By an odd coincidence, I checked out Blankets from the library a month of so back. Let's do it.

Please not Hannibal Rising. He's defaced the character sufficiently, thank you.
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Postby Adam Balm on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:35 pm

Well, although I can only speak for myself, the torch having been passed to Ribbons for the Zoner Book Club, I think that graphic novels might be best served with their own thing in the comics forum. Anybody feel like starting a comic of the month club thread?

Historically graphic novels (like everything sequential art) have always been discussed there, and it seems to have worked out okay so far.
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Postby Peven on Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:55 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Well, although I can only speak for myself, the torch having been passed to Ribbons for the Zoner Book Club, I think that graphic novels might be best served with their own thing in the comics forum. Anybody feel like starting a comic of the month club thread?

Historically graphic novels (like everything sequential art) have always been discussed there, and it seems to have worked out okay so far.


comics forum.
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Postby DennisMM on Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:23 pm

You're probably right.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:12 am

ONeillSG1 wrote:I told AB before he left, and I'll say it again:

Hitchhiker's Guide Damn it!


HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY!!!!
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Postby Bob Samonkey on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:18 am

ONeillSG1 wrote:
ONeillSG1 wrote:I told AB before he left, and I'll say it again:

Hitchhiker's Guide Damn it!


HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY!!!!


Seconded. I have read them so many times. I might actually say something during one of these things...
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Postby Peven on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:03 pm

check out the big brain on Bob
Image

perversely contrarian since 2005
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Postby Eunuch Provocateur on Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:32 pm

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul bellow?
There's no Devil, just God when he's drunk. -Tom Waits.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:36 pm

The Dino, he just gone anna finish a really good book by a this a guy, Cormac a McCarthy, eh? It's a call a "The Road" anna it's about a the man anna the boy anna they wandering inna the, how you say? post-apocalyptical wasteland, eh? Holy crappa it's a like bleak as a the Hell, but she's a the good book... I'd a give it a 2 thumbs uppa iffa I could lift a my thumbs at all, eh?
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:04 pm

Does anybody want to emcee the Book Club for December? I haven't and won't really have the time to compile a list of nominees.
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