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Reading Club

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by Taure, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Lots of people on this site one day hope to be writers of traditionally published original fiction. It is said that reading widely is the best way (along with practice) to improve your own writing, as you get to see different ways of doing things, both in terms of technical writing and in the art of constructing a story.

    To that end, I was thinking that we could have a DLP book club. The purpose of the club would be twofold: firstly, to motivate people into reading; secondly to provide a venue for discussion of what is being read.

    The intention is for us to read what are considered the classics of English and American literature. We can then discuss them as readers and, more importantly, as writers. We can look at what is effective and how it was achieved.

    There are a couple of ways we could do this. We could, as a group, decide what to read and create our own discussion. Or, alternatively, we could follow a pre-existing course, such as YouTube's CrashCourse in Literature or this course from Brown.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    This looks like a brilliant idea. I've barely read anything lately and I do love me some classics.

    I nominate either Dracula or Frankenstein as books to read. They are indeed classics and have supernatural elements which is always a plus.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  3. afrojack

    afrojack Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I would love to study some of the older legends and stories as well (Divine Comedy, Arthurian Legends [many of which are French], etc.) from elsewhere in Europe/the world though we'd have to make sure we had the same/similar translations and editions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  4. AlbusPHolmes

    AlbusPHolmes The Alchemist

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    We might want to consider some of the acclaimed but more modern works as well. Mostly because there's few classics I haven't already read. But I'm game nonetheless.
     
  5. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Is this the time when Jibril and I start pimping out Lovecraft?
     
  6. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, when I said classics I meant including modern classics like Slaugherhouse Five, etc. In fact, if we determine our own reading rather than following a course, we could alternate between a modern classic and a, uh, classic classic.

    Edit: keep suggesting books, people. Here are some I think could be good:


    Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
    Anna Karenina
    Madame Bovary
    War and Peace
    Lolita
    The Great Gatsby
    The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Animal Farm
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    Middlemarch
    Slaughterhouse Five
    The Brothers Karamazov
    Neuromancer
    Nineteen Eighty-Four
    On the Road
    Atonement
    Dracula
    Frankenstein
    Catch-22
    The Picture of Dorian Gray
    Never Let Me Go
    Jane Eyre
    Something by Dickens
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  7. CrackedMind

    CrackedMind Order Member

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    Pretty good list, Taure; I'd suggest the Road, but I don't know if it's too modern to be considered a classic.

    What would be the time table for reading? say, two weeks to a month per book?
     
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It would depend on the length of the book, I suppose. Whichever book we chose first, I think it should be relatively short so that we can get stuck in quickly. Nothing kills projects like this like a huge "workload" up-front.
     
  9. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Here are my suggestions:

    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling.
    Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp.
    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.
    Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
    With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz.
     
  10. Doctor Whooves

    Doctor Whooves High Inquisitor

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    Are we considering plays, or just novels? Because I could nominate some fantastic plays just for their written content, if watching a production is impossible.

    I'll second The Road, and also recommend:

    The City and The City by Chine Miéville
    Midnight's Children by Salmond Rushdie
    A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini.
    Anything by Kafka, particularly Notes on the Underground.

    I also enjoyed Utopia, by Thomas More. It was orginally in Latin, so the English translation is necessary, and it's frightfully difficult to read, but definitely worth it. Very in depth, if... solid.

    Finally, if we wanted to intersperse the 'classics' with books that are less imposing, I can recommend some of my favourites - they aren't really critically acclaimed enough to attain classic status, but still great reads.
     
  11. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    I'd be interested, list them.
     
  12. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Well, the primary purpose of the group is to improve our prose, so novels and short stories are ideal... but a few plays couldn't hurt. While we couldn't take much from them in terms of narrative style, they can still teach you a lot about how to structure a story.
     
  13. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Oh yes, I could very much use some prose learning so I can actually start writing at all.
     
  14. Doctor Whooves

    Doctor Whooves High Inquisitor

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    For more casual stories, I'm a big fan of Jasper Fforde. He has an excellent world-building style, and I enjoy his humour. Try Shades of Grey (written before 50 shades of grey was a thing), or if you prefer series', The Eyre Affair, which appropriately has literature as a major theme.

    Shakespeare is an obvious one for plays, and would be an excellent way to ease in a book club, since most people have already studied him at one point or another. Modern classic plays include The History Boys by Alan Bennett, one of my favourites, and any one of a number by Tennessee Williams. Also, Look Back in Anger by John Osborne. I could probably name more if necessary.

    EDIT: I love History Boys because of the word play, and intertextuality. You could definitely learn from that.
     
  15. Typhon

    Typhon Unspeakable

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    I didn't see Crime and Punishment on the list, and I've been meaning to get to it for sometime, so if you have room on the list for that then I'd suggest it.
     
  16. Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    I'd like to read something by Kafka, but Notes from the Underground was written by Dostoevsky.

    My suggestions are The Brothers Karamazov and House of Leaves.
     
  17. Doctor Whooves

    Doctor Whooves High Inquisitor

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    Oops, mistake in editing. Meant to recommend The Trial, and Dostoyevsky separately.
     
  18. Radmar

    Radmar Disappeared

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    I can recommend Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Its well written (at least in Czech version) and highly enjoyable. Treasure seeking and fighting pirates - what's there not to like?
     
  19. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'm interested, but more on an off-and-on basis. I'd like to read something collectively and comment on it, have a discussion, etc. It sounds like a lot of fun.

    But I've suffered through War and Peace, Frankenstein, and a few Dickens novels before. There are so many things I want to read that I just cannot see subjecting myself to some of them again.

    Granted I did "suffer" those things mostly when I was younger, and it is entirely possible that my reading level just wasn't up to getting into them at the time. I might enjoy them if I read them again.

    And there are a lot of books on your tentative list that I've got on my "to read" list already, so I'd happily join in for those.
     
  20. Hachi

    Hachi Death Eater

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    No, no, I confirm, War and Peace is mind numbingly boring whether you're 12 or 21.