Wednesday, 19 November 2008

and here we go now....

Brother cornbread has come up with the following excellent suggestions:

Life of pi by Yann Martel
"After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450 pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. ... Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God. Can a reader reasonably ask for anything more?"

A short history of tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
"A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is set in Peterborough, where 84-year old Ukranian immigrant Nikolai Mayevskyj announces to his daughters that he's in love and will remarry. The object of his affection is Valentina, a 36-year old old Ukranian woman with a visa about to expire and a pair of marvelous breasts. She's determined to use Nikolai to achieve the Western lifestyle she's assured she deserves, and he's willing to let her while he works on his book about the history of tractors. Meanwhile, his daughters, although markedly different in outlook and lifetime rivals, band together to thwart Valentina's ambitions. Valentina's turns their family home inside out, digging up old family secrets in the process. It's a battle of wills with all the participants shaped by their own pasts through recent Eastern European history. Marina Lewycka's novel is a comic look at family bonds and Western lifestyles and has received mostly positive reviews. The Telegraph says, "Lots more happens but the plot is really a vehicle for social satire, some good jokes and an overdose of slapstick. It adds up to a clever, touching story."

Rites of passage by William Golding
"An ancient ship of the line converted to general purposes is making her way from the South of England to Australia. She carries a few guns, some cargo, some animals, some seamen, some soldiers, some emigrants and a few ladies and gentlemen. There is a clergyman of the Church of England. There is Wilmot Brocklebank, lithographer, marine artist and portrait painter. There is a young army officer.
"Representing the higher echelons of administration is young Mr Talbot, setting out with the utmost confidence towards a distinguished career. But the voyage teaches him some unexpected things. It affords him more opportunities for observing the ceremonies that mark a progres through life - more chances for a mixture of acute observation and sheer misjudgement - than he could possibly record in his journal; though, for his godfather's entertainment, he tries his best. Though Talbot is mistaken in Deverel, instructed by Mr Summers, seduced by Miss Brocklebank, and shocked by Miss Granham, he finds it unnecessary in the event to keep an eye on Mr Prettiman. But it is a sadder and more responsible man who learns from the Reverend Robert James Colley what a bitter taste there is to remorse when it is unavailing. "

Any one of these three sounds promising. Unless anyone else is desperate to get started on a different book, all we have to do now is figure out a way to make the first choice! Any suggestions?

(Taking Cornbread's lead, we could take turns at proposing three titles each which should ensure we don't stay within our comfort zones!)


cornbread hell said...

even though i proposed it simply because of the title, having now read the synopsis, i vote for TRACTORS.

tonight i will blog about your virtual book club in hopes of attracting tens of thousands.

(but don't hold your breath. you and 5 others read my blog...)

Lily said...

lol, don't be daft, there's a least a dozen. I hope tens of thousands don't all descend upon me - I'll never be able to drag myself away from the computer. Ah, but, now there's two of us to deal with the hordes hehehehe

cornbread hell said...

so far i've thrown it out to my twitter and facebook *friends* and to one avid reader friend. tonight i will blog about it.

btw, you have my email, but... i don't have yours. is that fair?

Clippy Mat said...

i'm in.
i don't fancy life of pi. tried to read it once and didn't succeed, can't remember why now.
so i could try tractors because cornbread hell has already mentioned that one...of course i don't have a copy yet....
the choice may change i realize that. i will check back again.

Lily said...

Welcome on board clippymat!

dmarks said...

I just found this blog. Re-reading your profile, I am reminded to read "Gormenghast" again. Especially now that I know there is another story outside of the trilogy of long novels.

rilera said...

Lily, this sounds interesting.

Lily said...

Hi dmarks and rilera! Fancy joining us?