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Book Club?

OldschoolJohto

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Would folks be interested in reading an original fiction text together? (Pausing every chapter or so to discuss.) From what I've seen on Discord, a lot of us have similar taste in books -- seems like it should be obvious because we all write Pokemon, except that there are still so many wildly different sub-genres.

TLDR: we're reading Jagannath, a collection of short stories by Karin Tidbeck, through March. The table of contents is here. The audiobook is available on Hoopla for free with most library cards in the US -- possibly other countries too but I don't actually have any idea.

Nominations for future rounds of this:
Short stories available online for free - here
Sooner or Later, Everything Falls into the Sea -- short stories by Sarah Pinsker (ebook available on Hoopla)
 
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OldschoolJohto

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I’m between books right now, so I’m pretty open! I’ll toss in a few ideas from my goodreads, but I’m not married to any of these:

- Unseen City (nonfiction, human-animal coexistence)
- When the Emperor was Divine (fiction, Japanese interment camps)
- Jagannath (magical realism short stories)
- City of Saints and Madmen (fantasy with fungus and ????)
- Hidden Life of Trees (nonfiction)
- House in the Cerulean Sea (fantasy? Idk coworker recommended)
- Sparrow (young adult? Recommended by a friend who said it was devastating, in a good way?)
 
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Pen

"the cat is mightier than the pen"
I've read When the Emperor Was Divine before, so maybe not that.

Jagannath intrigues me the most out of these, and short stories might be a more manageable thing (people can drop in and out, and won't have to worry about falling behind). Also interested in the fungus one.

I don't tend to read non-fiction books about trees, but am very open to being pushed out of my comfort zone here if there's interest in that!
 

Negrek

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I think I'm most interested in Jagannath, City of Saints and Madmen, Hidden Life of Trees, and Unseen City. I was wondering if you might know any ways to, uh, conveniently obtain any of these? I forgot that the libraries I live near don't have as broad a selection as I'm used to and that that might be an issue. I should presumably be able to ILL for whatever I need, but I don't have experience doing that here and don't know how long it'll take to get an item in.
 

zion of arcadia

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Some books I've heard good things about but haven't read myself. The novels aren't super long either, most of them in the 150-300 page range.

Radio Silence by Alice Osman. YA contemporary

Indelicacy by Amina Cain. Feminist historical fiction (Victorian).

Every Heart a Doorway by Sean McGuire. Whimsical fantasy murder mystery.

Some short stories that might be of interest (haven't read them myself):

"Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. Sci-fi about a linguist tasked with communicating with aliens

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami. A collection of 17 short stories. If you know Murakami, you know he usually writes weird and surreal in a modern setting. This is pretty much more of the same.

"Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU" by Carmen Maria. Apparently it's blurbs of the show if they were directed by David Lynch. I have no idea what any of that means but it sounds like my kind of ludicrous.

"A Tiny Feast" by Chris Adrian. The King and Queen of Fairies adopt a child with terminal Leukemia.

We can also go here to check out a bunch of free short stories online.
 

OldschoolJohto

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@Negrek My plan was definitely Inter-library loan and/or digital collections. Does your library give you access to the Hoopla and Libby apps with your library card? (The audiobook version of Jagannath is on Hoopla for sure as an audio book. Didn’t check the others yet.)

But @zion of arcadia ’s suggestion of free online short stories might not be a bad idea either.
 

Negrek

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Ah, looks like it does! That should help. Although, yeah, free online shorts would also work well. Ah, I don't feel like I'm being helpful in actually deciding anything... I think pretty much all of these sound interesting, one way or another.
 

OldschoolJohto

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I’m definitely most interested in Jagannath right now because it’s been on my list for a long time, but would also not be upset about doing online short stories either.

Does anyone NOT have easy access to Jagannath? If so, that’s an easy deciding factor.
 

zion of arcadia

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@OldschoolJohto Let me check with my library on my day off (Tuesday) and I’ll get back to you. I don’t have a problem with Jagannath personally, however.
 

OldschoolJohto

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I feel like we can realistically commit to a story / collection by end of February and finish it by end of March. Do folks want to check in to discuss once per week (discussing 1-2 stories, probably) or every other week (once at midway point and once at the end)?
 

Pen

"the cat is mightier than the pen"
I feel like it's easier to fall off the bandwagon when everything is saved up for a few discussions, so I would be inclined towards the weekly check-ins.
 

zion of arcadia

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I’d probably find bi-weekly easier since I’m pretty busy, but I can always just check in every other week if needed.
 

OldschoolJohto

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So then we cool moving forward with Jagannath and posting thoughts by March 8th? If we do 2 per week we’ll end in mid-April. 3 per week we’d end March 29th. (It looks like there’s 13 stories.)
 

OldschoolJohto

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I’ve started on Jagannath! First story was short — got through it in one sitting while I was eating. 👌🏻

If this goes well, and we do a round two I want to nominate this collection of short stories, also available through my library’s digital collections on Hoopla: Sooner or Later, Everything Falls into the Sea - Sarah Pinsker. I’ve listened to the audio for two of the stories, but would revisit them and would be very excited to read the rest. Pinsker engages with a really diverse range of perspective characters.
 

Negrek

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I've put in an ILL request for Jagannath but not heard back yet. Wish I could find somewhere that has a list of the stories and ideally how many pages they are... Assuming they're all around the same length, then two per week with one week of three seems like a good way to go to me.
 

OldschoolJohto

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Yeah I’m not sure about length either because I’m listening to the audiobook. No luck finding it through your library’s digital collections, huh?

I like the new profile pic, BTW, @Negrek.
 

Negrek

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The e-book isn't available digitally, but like you said, the audio book is on Hoopla! I prefer reading to audiobooks, so I'm hoping the paper copy shows up eventually, but until then I'll listen along. How did you want to go about doing the discussion? Just post your thoughts about the chapters read, or do you intend to do specific questions, something else?

And thank you! It was a gift from Phoenixsong, and I'm glad you reminded me to put that in my signature.
 
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