Unofficial GWJ Book Club - Thanks, All.

Just a few to start us off (Spoilered for those that might not have finished)

Spoiler:
  • Do you agree with Allessan binding Eillian? Could there have been another way to gain his support? Did necessity justify his actions?
  • What obligation do we have to keep and promote the culture and names of those whose ways are vanished or vanishing? (Native American cultures, Welsh, Gaelic, etc...)
  • At the end, three men saw the riskella. One is blessed, one forks, and one dies. Which is which (Devin, Baerd, Sandre)?
  • How attached are you to your sense of 'home?' At what point is your place of origin too abstract to fight or die for (ie, your hometown, state, country)?

One note, because I'm pedantic, and fell victim to this myself on the first read of this book, I see you made the same consonant sound switch that I did with the riselka. It's not RISK-ela its ris-EL-ka.

NSMike wrote:

One note, because I'm pedantic, and fell victim to this myself on the first read of this book, I see you made the same consonant sound switch that I did with the riselka. It's not RISK-ela its ris-EL-ka.

Probably based on the Russian mythological Rusalka, a vengeful spirit of a drowned girl.

Tanglebones wrote:
NSMike wrote:

One note, because I'm pedantic, and fell victim to this myself on the first read of this book, I see you made the same consonant sound switch that I did with the riselka. It's not RISK-ela its ris-EL-ka.

Probably based on the Russian mythological Rusalka, a vengeful spirit of a drowned girl.

It seems likely that's what he was referencing, especially since they do most of their appearances during the Ember Days, when it's said that the dead are roaming, and the Rusalka had their own special week when they would appear, as well.

I have a couple discussion questions. I have trouble being objective about these, so I'll just lay my bias out there. Overall I liked the book, but these questions are based in my criticisms. Not too spoilery, but may lessen your enjoyment of the character arcs I am critical of:

Spoiler:

Would the story told or your enjoyment of the book change in any way had ALL chapters from Dianora's point of view been removed?

Did you feel that GGK's handling of the female characters was misogynistic and/or heavily based in misogynistic stereotypes?

If you read the afterward, did you feel the story of Tigana well communicated GGK's theme of remembrance and attempts to edit history?

I for the life of me can't connect to mumble. I'll keep playing with it but now I'm disappointed I'm missing it.

Norfair wrote:

I for the life of me can't connect to mumble. I'll keep playing with it but now I'm disappointed I'm missing it.

Try an uninstall/reinstall - apparently it got borked for a lot of people recently.

Thanks to everyone who came and discussed Tigana. For those of you curious, we all (even myself) generally agreed that Tigana's weaknesses outweighed its strengths, but that didn't necessarily cripple the book.

We've decided upon making our next read The Hunger Games trilogy. For those of you concerned about reading an entire trilogy, this is a young adult selection, and in my experience, young adult books tend to read very quickly, so we will have plenty of time to get through it. I should like to have our discussion on or around March 1, so please finish reading by then.

It also happens that Amazon Prime members can borrow the Kindle Edition of any one of the books for no cost. You can only do this once per month (yay arbitrary artificial digital scarcity!) but that means you can buy the two cheapest editions and borrow the most expensive.

Amazon Links:

The Hunger Games (Book 1)

Catching Fire (Book 2)

Mockingjay (Book 3)

If you want to own all three books, it's cheaper to buy the omnibus edition instead (not available as a loan, though.)

The Hunger Games Trilogy

New end date set already?
Hated to have to let today go for not having read the book fully yet.
Will make sure I got these down for the next time!

Not sure if you guys caught this, but last month's author, Guy Gavriel Kay, did a question and answer session on reddit. Worry not, I asked no questions regarding his horrible depictions of women!

GGK AmA

GGK wrote:

Contrary to (outrageous!!) rumor, I do not keep a running tally of every time someone says ‘You made me cry.’ (Nor, frankly, do I log the frequency of ‘What was under Alienor’s bed?’)

HA! I lol'd at this. I have a very clear idea of what was under her bed, though...

Finished the first book yesterday and I'm well on my way into the second. They're entertaining, but I have to say... The astounding cluelessness of Katniss is grating on my nerves a bit.

NSMike wrote:

Finished the first book yesterday and I'm well on my way into the second. They're entertaining, but I have to say... The astounding cluelessness of Katniss is grating on my nerves a bit.

I'm doing a terrible job here. I made it halfway through the first page, before getting sidetracked by work and life; don't think I'm going to end up participating this month.

Half way the last book now.

They're very fast reads. Set aside a couple hours this weekend and you'll plow through at least half of the first book. I'm continuing at about that pace into the second. I should be done with all three by the middle of next week.

NSMike wrote:

Finished the first book yesterday and I'm well on my way into the second. They're entertaining, but I have to say... The astounding cluelessness of Katniss is grating on my nerves a bit.

Thanks for bumping the thread, I was just thinking about it.

I still have yet to read the 3rd book, but I think my liking of Katniss, clueless as she is, was heavily influenced by large breaks between my readings of the first two books. Glad I have taken a break before the 3rd as well.

I've plowed my way to the middle of the 3rd book, and I am generally enjoying it. Katniss gets on my nerves at times with her martyr complex, but they are still fun reads, and I enjoy the dystopian setting.

I have the same issues, but keep telling myself that it was written for a less mature audience. If I am correct.

-update-
Audience is young mature, so it is stated in the book. And I do perceive it like that as well.

Just finished the last book. Good read all in all.

Tanglebones wrote:
NSMike wrote:

Finished the first book yesterday and I'm well on my way into the second. They're entertaining, but I have to say... The astounding cluelessness of Katniss is grating on my nerves a bit.

I'm doing a terrible job here. I made it halfway through the first page, before getting sidetracked by work and life; don't think I'm going to end up participating this month.

This is kinda where I am at. I want to read it, but work and life just isn't cooperating. I might have Sunday to myself, so maybe I can make a big dent then.

I'm glad I remembered to look at this thread to see what book you're doing. I burned through these books twice in a span of about two and a half weeks earlier this year. I really liked these books despite realizing that there are some flaws which, I think, are inherent to young adult literature. I was planning on rereading them before the movie comes out in late March. I'm currently reading Storm of Swords so I don't think I'll be rereading these for this thread but I've read them recently enough that I think I can contribute to the discussion.

I may end up on my laptop which doesn't have a (decent) mic for the discussion. Any chance we could use Steam group chat or something alongside Mumble?

Um... Yeah, just for an idea of how fast they go. I finished book one on Monday, and finished book 2 today. Not pressuring anyone into reading them, but, yeah, they go quick.

And pants, there is a text chat built into Mumble, if your mic doesn't cut it.

NSMike wrote:

Um... Yeah, just for an idea of how fast they go. I finished book one on Monday, and finished book 2 today. Not pressuring anyone into reading them, but, yeah, they go quick.

Just to second this, I'm not a fast reader and I got through all three in four days the first time.

NSMike wrote:

And pants, there is a text chat built into Mumble, if your mic doesn't cut it.

Awesome.

We said that we're probably doing How We Decide by Johan Lehrer next month as a nonfiction pick, and it's the daily deal for the amazon kindle store today- grab it quick if that's your chosen media!

Liyana wrote:

We said that we're probably doing How We Decide by Johan Lehrer next month as a nonfiction pick, and it's the daily deal for the amazon kindle store today- grab it quick if that's your chosen media!

For 99 cents I will take the risk, even if we are not choosing this one
Of course I got the message that this deal wasn't available in the Caribbean. "Maybe my address has changed and should I update it?" <- was that a subtle hint by Amazon? So I put in a Canadian address, clicked on update and lo and behold...I got the deal.
So keep this in mind for future deals, or if books don't seem available to you in your country

Thanks for the tip Liyana!

I am just going to say that I am seriously favoring this book as a future pick for our group, even if we go with "How We Decide" for next month.

NSMike wrote:

I am just going to say that I am seriously favoring this book as a future pick for our group, even if we go with "How We Decide" for next month.

+1 for that title NSMike! Really want to read that one as well. So maybe it's a toss up between these two titles, which one comes first.

Sparhawk wrote:
Liyana wrote:

We said that we're probably doing How We Decide by Johan Lehrer next month as a nonfiction pick, and it's the daily deal for the amazon kindle store today- grab it quick if that's your chosen media!

For 99 cents I will take the risk, even if we are not choosing this one
Of course I got the message that this deal wasn't available in the Caribbean. "Maybe my address has changed and should I update it?" <- was that a subtle hint by Amazon? So I put in a Canadian address, clicked on update and lo and behold...I got the deal.
So keep this in mind for future deals, or if books don't seem available to you in your country

Thanks for the tip Liyana!

I bought a Kindle via my brother who is staying in the US, so his address is there whenever I need to partake of the mentioned deals. Thanks for the heads-up.

In a similar vein I am currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The guy has a Nobel prize for economics, but you would never guess, the book is basically a systemized rundown of tons of experiments regarding our intution, decision making and well, thinking. It may not sound so but it's very absorbing, and Jonah Lehrer is a natural follow-up book to that.

Liyana wrote:

We said that we're probably doing How We Decide by Johan Lehrer next month as a nonfiction pick, and it's the daily deal for the amazon kindle store today- grab it quick if that's your chosen media!

I've had that on my book wishlist for a long time. I think Shawn Elliott mentioned it on a podcast and I thought it sounded interesting. I doubt I'll have time to read it next month with the other stuff I want to read but I can't pass on $0.99.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
Liyana wrote:

We said that we're probably doing How We Decide by Johan Lehrer next month as a nonfiction pick, and it's the daily deal for the amazon kindle store today- grab it quick if that's your chosen media!

I've had that on my book wishlist for a long time. I think Shawn Elliott mentioned it on a podcast and I thought it sounded interesting. I doubt I'll have time to read it next month with the other stuff I want to read but I can't pass on $0.99.

I bought both How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist for $4.

I have a physical copy of Proust, but $3 is worth having it around digitally.