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Let's start a reading group

#1 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:00 PM

So last month Macros suggested elsethread that we should try to get a reading group together on here. Needless to say, I liked the idea. It looks like we have enough interest to make this a reality.

For the foreseeable future we will be aiming to stick to classic literature chosen from the following list:

In Search of Lost Time- Marcel Proust
Ulysses - James Joyce
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Odyssey - Homer
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
Madame Bovary - Gustav Flaubert
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
The Iliad - Homer
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
Pride and Predjudice - Jane Austen
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
1984 - George Orwell
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner
Middlemarch - George Eliot
The Trial - Franz Kafka
One Thousand and One Nights
The Stories of Anton Chekhov - Anton Chekhov
The Red and the Black - Stendhal
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
The Stranger - Albert Camus
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Aeneid - Virgil
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
Collected Fiction - Jorge Luis Borges
Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
Candide - Voltaire
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka - Franz Kafka
Tristram Shandy - Laurence Stern


Alright, now that I've finished typing that up I'm open to adding anything that you guys think SHOULD be on this list but is missing.

So far we've had nominations for:
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Three Musketeers
The Divine Comedy
Ulysses
The Sound and the Fury
Don Quixote




I plan on leaving suggestions open until 8pm pacific time on Monday 2/13. At that point I'll open a poll that I'll leave open through Friday 2/18 to pick the actual selection.

This post has been edited by JPK: 12 February 2017 - 06:43 PM

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#2 User is online   Aptorian 

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:15 PM

I think both ideas are interesting. Personally there are a lost of classic books I haven't read, so it would be fun to read those and discuss them with the members.
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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:46 PM

I like Option 1. I generally just read whatever catches my fancy or an author I like. Something that is classic that I haven't read I can get behind. Random books is what I do already, and if that's the choice I'll just continue on.
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#4 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:53 PM

Alright, if I include Macros from our earlier discussion I think that puts us with at least four with preference for classic lit. I'll go with that for the direction for now. If this is a success, we can always look at the other options later.

This post has been edited by JPK: 11 February 2017 - 07:55 PM

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#5 User is offline   Itwęs Nom 

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 10:44 PM

I'm currently on a Malazan reread that is scheduled to end somewhere around, uhm, the end of this year but I would probably pause it and give this a try if you were doing on of the books that I'm supposed to have read by the time of my graduation exams in march/april next year, and if it wasn't a book overly demanding on my english language skills. I haven't even got any official list of exactly which books I can choose from though.
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#6 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 12:38 AM

Fair enough. Here's the list I found that I liked the most:

Classics list

It's a long list so I've mainly been looking at page one. I'm also open to using a different one if there is one that you gutta like better.
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#7 User is offline   BfuckinK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:08 AM

View PostItwęs Nom, on 11 February 2017 - 10:44 PM, said:

I'm currently on a Malazan reread that is scheduled to end somewhere around, uhm, the end of this year but I would probably pause it and give this a try if you were doing on of the books that I'm supposed to have read by the time of my graduation exams in march/april next year, and if it wasn't a book overly demanding on my english language skills. I haven't even got any official list of exactly which books I can choose from though.


1st of all I'm not posting to join. Most of y'all know my reading speed is absolutely shitty so take a sigh of relief seeing BK replied.

This reminds me of something I've always been curious about. You talk about your lang skills. Do people post here in their various home 1st langs and we just read a translation and yall read replies in 1st lang or is everyone just typing English??? You type properly it seems from what I've always seen same as Ando, Morgoth, Puck etc. so yeah is it translations?

This post has been edited by Briar King: 12 February 2017 - 01:09 AM

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#8 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:13 AM

View PostBriar King, on 12 February 2017 - 01:08 AM, said:

View PostItwęs Nom, on 11 February 2017 - 10:44 PM, said:

I'm currently on a Malazan reread that is scheduled to end somewhere around, uhm, the end of this year but I would probably pause it and give this a try if you were doing on of the books that I'm supposed to have read by the time of my graduation exams in march/april next year, and if it wasn't a book overly demanding on my english language skills. I haven't even got any official list of exactly which books I can choose from though.


1st of all I'm not posting to join. Most of y'all know my reading speed is absolutely shitty so take a sigh of relief seeing BK replied.

This reminds me of something I've always been curious about. You talk about your lang skills. Do people post here in their various home 1st langs and we just read a translation and yall read replies in 1st lang or is everyone just typing English??? You type properly it seems from what I've always seen same as Ando, Morgoth, Puck etc. so yeah is it translations?


I always type in English BK. At this point I think I am more proficient in English than I am in Bengali
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#9 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:14 AM

Regarding the reading group, I can join.

Nice list JPK, though Joyce scares me.

I have read a few of the books on the first page, and some of the others are on my TBR for my Classics Challenge.

BTW if we are going to do this, we should probably set weekly chapter quotas or something
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#10 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:18 AM

View PostAndorion, on 12 February 2017 - 01:13 AM, said:

View PostBriar King, on 12 February 2017 - 01:08 AM, said:

View PostItwęs Nom, on 11 February 2017 - 10:44 PM, said:

I'm currently on a Malazan reread that is scheduled to end somewhere around, uhm, the end of this year but I would probably pause it and give this a try if you were doing on of the books that I'm supposed to have read by the time of my graduation exams in march/april next year, and if it wasn't a book overly demanding on my english language skills. I haven't even got any official list of exactly which books I can choose from though.


1st of all I'm not posting to join. Most of y'all know my reading speed is absolutely shitty so take a sigh of relief seeing BK replied.

This reminds me of something I've always been curious about. You talk about your lang skills. Do people post here in their various home 1st langs and we just read a translation and yall read replies in 1st lang or is everyone just typing English??? You type properly it seems from what I've always seen same as Ando, Morgoth, Puck etc. so yeah is it translations?


I always type in English BK. At this point I think I am more proficient in English than I am in Bengali


I think you've likely got a better grasp on English than I do.

We can also set a reasonable pace for this BK. A lot of us have kids and/or crazy busy lives so I don't forsee trying to tackle The Count of Monte Cristo in a week or anything like that.
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#11 User is offline   BfuckinK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:43 AM

I wouldn't commit till after Safehold Kitsu lol. We ll see I may indeed afterward.

I'm not picking on y'all obv just really curious after reading Noms post. If Nom and me or Ando and me were having a voc convo would you be speaking "broken" English(again not meant as an insult) or can y'all converse as well as the typing yall bring to boards? Basically is it different beast to tackle between typing and vocal skill?
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#12 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:54 AM

View PostBriar King, on 12 February 2017 - 01:43 AM, said:

I wouldn't commit till after Safehold Kitsu lol. We ll see I may indeed afterward.

I'm not picking on y'all obv just really curious after reading Noms post. If Nom and me or Ando and me were having a voc convo would you be speaking "broken" English(again not meant as an insult) or can y'all converse as well as the typing yall bring to boards? Basically is it different beast to tackle between typing and vocal skill?


Oh, I can speak fluently. Being in academia I have to, it's also something I love doing. Though I suspect my accent might be a little bit of an issue.
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#13 User is offline   BfuckinK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 02:01 AM

Cool thanks! Sorry for that derail IK I've just never had an opp to ask anyone about this before.

I ll chime in if I decide to get onboard in a few mths and yall are still going with this.
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#14 User is offline   Itwęs Nom 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:03 AM

I do too just type in English but I have nearly no experience with actually speaking, except for very simple answers or very short tellings in school, so yeah me speaking English would probably sound funny, although theoretically I know most of pronounciations correctly so I don't really know. But my tendency to come up with long and comolicated sentences like we do in Czech carries over so I occasionally get a little lost in what I'm trying to say because of that.

My pace is obviously not very fast either but it's usually not because I wouldn't have time so this could motivate me to read a bit faster should it come to that.
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#15 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:13 AM

(Also not joining due to reading speed).

One cool thing about this idea is that if you're doing classics, a lot of them are public domain, thus free on the web -- including in ebook formats, very likely.

There's a site called DailyLit that sends you daily chunks of books -- not sure how customizable it is, so it might not be of help, but some may be able to use it to keep on schedule.
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#16 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:30 AM

View Postdeath rattle, on 12 February 2017 - 03:13 AM, said:

(Also not joining due to reading speed).

One cool thing about this idea is that if you're doing classics, a lot of them are public domain, thus free on the web -- including in ebook formats, very likely.

There's a site called DailyLit that sends you daily chunks of books -- not sure how customizable it is, so it might not be of help, but some may be able to use it to keep on schedule.


I will check into that.

I was thinking of having the pace be somewhere between 2 and 5 chapters of a work per week depending on what the selection is and what everyone seems comfortable with.

BTW, we all saw how fast you chewed through the last few books of WoT do you can't give the slow reader excuse Worry.
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#17 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:46 AM

View PostJPK, on 12 February 2017 - 03:30 AM, said:

View Postdeath rattle, on 12 February 2017 - 03:13 AM, said:

(Also not joining due to reading speed).

One cool thing about this idea is that if you're doing classics, a lot of them are public domain, thus free on the web -- including in ebook formats, very likely.

There's a site called DailyLit that sends you daily chunks of books -- not sure how customizable it is, so it might not be of help, but some may be able to use it to keep on schedule.


I will check into that.

I was thinking of having the pace be somewhere between 2 and 5 chapters of a work per week depending on what the selection is and what everyone seems comfortable with.

BTW, we all saw how fast you chewed through the last few books of WoT do you can't give the slow reader excuse Worry.


Classics are actually pretty difficult to speed read. I think War and Peace took me two months last year.
BTW the last part of that book is one long rant.
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#18 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

View PostBriar King, on 12 February 2017 - 01:43 AM, said:

I'm not picking on y'all obv just really curious after reading Noms post. If Nom and me or Ando and me were having a voc convo would you be speaking "broken" English(again not meant as an insult) or can y'all converse as well as the typing yall bring to boards? Basically is it different beast to tackle between typing and vocal skill?


Yes and no. It's easier to wrap your mind around foreign spelling than foreign pronounciation, and personally, I have more practise typing in English than speaking so my pronounciation is heavily accented but grammatically sound. But I've met several people from the forum in real life and managed to get myself understood, so yeah. That said, there's probably no one language I speak without accent.

I'd also like to comment that I think Nom is much better at English than he seems to think. Certainly a huge improvement to when he joined the forum :doh:

On topic: I'd be up for that if the book's nothing huge like Ulysses or War and Peace. And also no Jane Austen.
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#19 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 02:50 PM

I'm going to ahead and veto any Dickens as well :doh:

I wouldn't mind trying the count of Monte cristo or the three musketeers


Or the Divine comedy

This post has been edited by Macros: 12 February 2017 - 02:52 PM

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#20 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:34 PM

View PostPuck, on 12 February 2017 - 01:12 PM, said:

View PostBriar King, on 12 February 2017 - 01:43 AM, said:

I'm not picking on y'all obv just really curious after reading Noms post. If Nom and me or Ando and me were having a voc convo would you be speaking "broken" English(again not meant as an insult) or can y'all converse as well as the typing yall bring to boards? Basically is it different beast to tackle between typing and vocal skill?


Yes and no. It's easier to wrap your mind around foreign spelling than foreign pronounciation, and personally, I have more practise typing in English than speaking so my pronounciation is heavily accented but grammatically sound. But I've met several people from the forum in real life and managed to get myself understood, so yeah. That said, there's probably no one language I speak without accent.

I'd also like to comment that I think Nom is much better at English than he seems to think. Certainly a huge improvement to when he joined the forum :doh:

On topic: I'd be up for that if the book's nothing huge like Ulysses or War and Peace. And also no Jane Austen.



View PostMacros, on 12 February 2017 - 02:50 PM, said:

I'm going to ahead and veto any Dickens as well :)

I wouldn't mind trying the count of Monte cristo or the three musketeers


Or the Divine comedy


People after my own heart!

Ulysses scares me. War and Peace is an eccentric rant. I am reading Emma by Austen and so far its basically gossip.

Count of Monte Cristo and Musketeers are both awesome.

Divine Comedy is something I want to try.

BTW since I have been reading a lot of classics lately, I have tried asking each book "Why are you a classic?" So far, not many answers
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