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  1. Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. Hugo is nice. Thoyd, would you like to add a suggested title? Don't forget--this is not a one shot deal. If the book club works out, there will be plenty of opportunity to add to the list. Brent, I did originally join a non-Objectivist book club only to end up with such reads as Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, The DaVinci Code and Confederacy of Dunces. I believe there is a HUGE difference between the books that people who share an Objectivist philosophy would like and books that people with hodge-podge philosophies consider 'deep' and worthwhile. I'm casting my vote for Barometer Rising, and I will refrain from voting for my own suggestion (if we each voted for our own, we may not get there) and The Crying Sisters. So far we have: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged excerpt of Dagny and Francisco's childhood suggested by Betsy Speicher: 2 votes. Mickey Spillane's One Lonely Night, suggested by me: 1 vote. High MacLennan's Barometer Rising, suggested by Kitty Hawk: 2 votes. Mabel Seeley's The Crying Sisters, suggested by Kitty Hawk: 1 vote. E.L. Voynich's The Gadfly, suggested by Kitty Hawk H. Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, suggested by Kitty Hawk Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm Series, suggested by Stephen Speicher--possibly out of print Alexandra York's Crosspoints, suggested by Manjari We need a tie breaker! If anyone prefers different, please vote. Else, on Friday, we'll have Atlas Shrugged for October (good point, Brent, about us all having it) and Barometer Rising for November. Betsy and Kitty Hawk, are you both comfortable with preparing some prompting questions and possibly leading the discussion? If not, we'll come up with something else. I'm really excited! I hope that we all get some new insight and learning out of this club. Thanks, Kim M.
  2. It seems there's a bit more interest for shorter works or specific scenes. Suggestions so far: One Lonely Night--Mickey Spillane, ~180 pages, $12, suggested by me Boy on the Bicycle, selection from Fountainhead--Ayn Rand, suggested by Betsy Speicher Dagny and Francisco childhood, selection from Atlas Shrugged--Ayn Rand, suggested by Betsy Speicher Barometer Rising--Hugh MacLennan, 240 pages, $9, suggested by Kitty Hawk The Crying Sisters--Mabel Seeley, 317 pages, $24, suggested by Kitty Hawk The Gadfly--by E.L. Voynich, 312 pages, $15, suggested by Kitty Hawk Quo Vadis--H. Sienkiewicz, 589 pages, $14, suggested by Kitty Hawk Matt Helm series--Donald Hamilton, suggested by Stephen Speicher--may want to keep your eyes open for this at your local library sale. It does seem to be available through Amazon. This can be whatever each of you chooses to make of it. I would have a lot of catching up to do for a Fountainhead scene--it may seem impossible, but I have not read it! So if you prefer works other than Rand, now's your chance to try to get something else in! Please cast two votes so we can get a winner for October and a runner-up for November, or two weeks later depending on the length of the read and depth of the discussion. Kim M.
  3. What great interest. Book clubs generally work by everyone agreeing on a book and reading it by a specified date. I've never participated in an on-line book club before, but in person everyone would meet on the 'due' date and then talk specifically about the book for a few hours. In the one I'm currently in a person is selected to prepare some questions that we can then discuss. Of course there is no need to stick to the current questions, freely ranging into other areas is accepted. For a large book like Atlas Shrugged, it may be best to break it up into sections (300 to 400 pages seems the most managable by those of us who are already busy). Since there have been a lot of replies, let's get started. I think we may need an initial idea list to vote for this month's selection. Once we accumulate some number of suggestions, we'll do a vote for this month's selection. We could set a monthly deadline of the 2nd Monday of the month (so the first discussion would start on October 11th). It may be best to start a new thread for each book discussion. Would it be agreeable to have the person whose submission is picked be the moderator/facilitator of the discussion and get us kicked off with their thoughts and perhaps some questions for us to post upon? So if Betsy submitted We the Living and the greatest number of votes selected We the Living for the first discussion, Betsy would open the new thread and post the book and the read-by date and, on the date itself, some questions in relation to the book that we could use to kick off discussion and perhaps her initial thoughts on her questions and other random thoughts. I know that ARI has Teacher's guides for many of Rand's books and many publishers are catering to the book club phenomenon as well by including Reader Guides to help kick off discussions. Ayn Rand's works may lend themselves to much more in-depth analysis, as Betsy pointed out. Since we're not limited to a two-hour get-together for each book, a thread devoted to that book that can go on indefinitely may be just the thing. This is how I would envision it working. Any other suggestions? To help get the ball rolling, I'll start collecting suggestions and the voting will begin whenever you see one you like (I'll post the current list with the person who submitted it and it's current vote total daily). The voting should be over by September 2nd so we have time to get the book and read it. We may want to pick two books (one for October and one for November) so that we can have plenty of time to order and read the books. So I think the winner and the runner up of the current vote will be the October and November book. We can pick the book next in-line while we're discussing the one we're reading in that thread. Any other suggestions? Is two months ahead enough? I guess the only other thing to mention is that the book should be available on-line (like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ayn Rand Bookstore) so every one can get it. I'll list my first suggestion as One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane. It needs to purchased in a collection called The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume II. The entire collection of three Mike Hammer novels is 517 pages and is listed at Amazon for $11.25. From one of the customer reviews "this one has Hammer facing a communist cabal in NYC while helping a progressive politician fight against a possible scandal". I've never read it, but I am interested in reading something from the Pulp Fiction 50's. Kim M.
  4. Book clubs have become quite fashionable thanks to Oprah Winfrey. I have joined a book club because I discovered my reading has dwindled quite a bit over the years. Unfortunately, I find that the types of books chosen are quite disappointing for my Objectivist sensibilities. Imagining that there may be other Objectivists out there who would be interested in expanding their horizons, reading more and discussing that reading with others sharing the philosophy, I am exploring the feasability of starting an Objectivist book club possibly right here on this forum (if allowable) or in a seperate group if there is enough interest. I think that choosing books that we, as Objectivists, might be more likely to enjoy may be quite interesting. There could be list of suggested books that might include Rand, some of Rand's favorites like Victor Hugo or even Mickey Spillane and Nevil Shute. Non-fiction could also be of interest, whether history or economics, politics or philosophy. Depending on whether or not there is any interest, the books for each month could be picked by a vote from suggestions or assigned by specific member for that month. The discussion could entail symbolism, writing styles and techniques, likes and dislikes. I have enjoyed the increased time I dedicate to myself and the interesting viewpoints of others. That my current book club selections and viewpoints are coming from some unwholesome philosophical assumptions I enjoy less. In expanding my literary horizons and reading things with the backdrop of Objectivism, I discover more about myself and Objectivism. In the hopes that there are others who would be interested in an Objectivism-oriented book club, I decided to post this. Thank you, Kim M.
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