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Polls - New Month!

Beginning of a new month means polls wrapping up last month. Discussion wasn't too lively around here for The Eyre Affair. Are we giving readers enough time? I know there's plenty of time to get hold of the books since we announce them in advance, but with all that's going on for each person, is a month a reasonable amount of time to read and discuss a book in a group like this? Please give me your opinion on that.

Did you read The Eyre Affair this June?

Yes!
6(31.6%)
Yes, but only some of it
0(0.0%)
No - didn't have time
6(31.6%)
No - wasn't a member then
3(15.8%)
No - wasn't interested
4(21.1%)

Rate The Eyre Affair!

5 - Best
1(5.6%)
4
3(16.7%)
3
2(11.1%)
2
1(5.6%)
1 - Worst
0(0.0%)
Didn't read
11(61.1%)

Do you plan to read I Capture the Castle?

Yes!
17(89.5%)
No - don't have time
2(10.5%)
No - no availability to book
0(0.0%)
No - not interested
0(0.0%)


Once again, please let me know if you have any suggestions, etc. Feedback here is really important, as is active participation. :)

Thanks!
- Charlotte

Coming Up

1. We've had a few suggestions about how to increase discussion on upcoming books. I'll need help with this, so if anyone wants to volunteer. I'll definitely be reading I Capture the Castle, so I will be sure to post my thoughts as I read. I will divide the book into chunks as follows, and at the end of every week, I'll post a place where you can put your thoughts, questions, loves, and hates, that far into the book. Feel free to read ahead or fall behind - the discussion boards will still be there, and I still want everyone to start their own posts, too.

Sections:
Saturday, July 5th - Book I: The Sixpenny Book (approx. 64 pages)
Saturday, July 12th - Book II: The Shilling Book (approx. 112 pages)
Saturday, July 19th - Chapters XI-XIII of Book III: The Two-Guinea Book (approx. 70 pages)
Saturday, July 26th - Chapters XIV-XVI of Book III: The Two-Guinea Book (approx. 85 pages)

2. So, remember to go pick up a copy of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and start reading!

3. Poll Results and Possible Interpretations...

- Many members read and rated The Book Thief very high. Perhaps because we had more time for this book we had more readers? I know I actually read this one and thoroughly enjoyed it. We also had great discussions.

- For Stardust, people who read it were in the minority... I personally just wasn't interested. I tried to read it but couldn't focus. It also didn't get the highest ratings.

4. HELP! With the discussions each week, I need someone to help me come up with questions to ask. There are reader guides all over the place. I just don't have time to do absolutely everything. I have a small reader's guide in the back of my copy of the book, so I'll certainly use that to help me out. If anyone wants to submit questions to me to be included, e-mail me (c.harrison42091@gmail.com) or let me know you want to run the discussion questions one week and it'll be all yours.

Sorry this was so long. Have a blast in July reading I Capture the Castle. There'll be polls soon about The Eyre Affair, and hopefully the group will really come together for this next book. :-D

Suggestion and question

Oh, and a suggestion?

What if we were to each post an initial reaction to the book of the month -- read the first one hundred pages and post our feelings on the novel thus far?


Let's add a question, too:

Should we be putting reviews under lj-cuts with spoiler alerts or is it okay to simply post all thoughts out in the open once we're done with a book?

My thoughts on "The Eyre Affair"

I've just finished reading "The Eyre Affair."

The premise of the novel is wonderful, the characters all have potential, the writing is readable and the plot is intriguing. Still, I have several complaints --

While I enjoyed the characters, there was never really a full examination of their personalities; I would have enjoyed feeling more connected to the characters through plot details than through the brief descriptions he gave. I didn't feel as though I knew them or identified with them.

I wasn't thrilled with the political aspect of it -- again, it felt like he didn't really delve deep enough into things but rather gave a scratched-surface overview of the situation, social structures, etc.

I was frustrated by his lack of explanation into things -- as with the political aspect, he seemed to glaze over a great deal of how and why things were the way they were. WHY did the Prose Portal work? How did the bookworms cause it to open? I understood the gist of it, but I would have liked there to be greater detail. Why did Acheron die because of the silver bullet -- we know he wasn't fully human, but where does the silver bullet factor in? How were some people able to jump in and out of books -- how did the general public not figure it out by now and do it willingly and at their discretion?

It bothered me that Acheron was killed so suddenly and, in a sense, easily -- it was anticlimactic for me, especially after the atrocious things he did -- one silver bullet and he's out? Meh. It wasn't really vindicating (is that the word I want? Hm..).

It was odd that it took 270 or so pages to finally REALLY address the novel "Jane Eyre" -- I kept waiting for it to come and it was delayed quite a bit more than would seem appropriate for the title of the novel. With the way the book went, the title would have been more appropriate had it gone along the lines of, "The Prose Portal," or something to that effect.

The end seemed a bit of a blur, as if he wanted to get it over with, and I didn't enjoy the vague and poorly written "mirroring" of "Jane Eyre" in the situation between Bowden, Thursday and Landen -- he barely noted it. In "Jane Eyre," you could suspect that Jane and St. John would potentially be together -- there was something hinting at it; not here. Along with that, the reconnection between Next and Park-Laine was ridiculously easy and cheesy (the way they spoke to one another at the end...ugh).

And what exactly was the deal with the Shakespeare aspect? All that and he didn't write the plays...and there was nothing really explaining how they figured it out or who DID write the plays or what have you? Anticlimactic again.

As much as I'm griping about it, it was readable...I just don't think I'd read it again. For me, if you're going to create another kind of reality, you have to have extensive explanations of things -- justifications for why and how and what's going on. I'm a "But why??" kind of person, and there were too many things left under-explained or simply unanswered for me. (I'm also a Harry Potter fan and that world is so defined, so detailed, and so in-depth that I think I now have a very high expectation for other books.)

Then again, my focus is SHOT lately (35 weeks pregnant at the moment -- yeah, my brain is fried, lol) so there may have been adequate explanation and I just didn't catch it.

The Eyre Affair

I have to start by saying that I am a huge fan of Jasper Fforde: I've read all of the Thursday Next books, as well as the Nursery Crime series. I've also been privileged to attend two of Fforde's readings, and I actually got to meet him! *insert fangirl squee here*

In my opinion, The Eyre Affair is just tremendous fun. To me, it reads like a conglomeration of all of the fantasies harbored by book lovers: what if you could pass back and forth between our world and the book world? What are our favorite literary characters really like? What would it be like to live in a world where people actually cared about literature, to the point of riots breaking out between Baconians and Marlovians? And of course, the time travel bits are fun too.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel is the inclusion of totally lame jokes. Some of them are blatantly obvious (who wouldn't get a kick out of Paige Turner or Jack Schitt?), but some of them I didn't realize until Fforde actually pointed them out at one of the signings I attended. For example, the Felixes were apparently inserted into the narrative solely so he could use that old vaudeville joke, "Haven't I seen your face somewhere before?" Also, Landen's name is a joke as well: apparently in the British version of Monopoly, Park Place is called Park Lane. So, if you are on Marvin Gardens and you roll an eight, you land in Park Lane. Landen Parke-Laine. Get it?  ^__^

A couple questions I came up with as I reread The Eyre Affair:
1. Is Thursday Next believable as a female character? I enjoy her immensely, but in my opinion she thinks like a guy. What do you think? And does it matter to the book at all?
2. How did you feel about Thursday and Landen ending up together? I have to admit, this portion of the novel didn't work so well for me. I almost wanted her to end up with Bowden Cable!

Anyway, I love this book, and I highly encourage people to continue with the sequels: those dangling plot lines will be resolved eventually, I promise.

Jane Eyre

I know there is a post similar to this... but:

I haven't read Jane Eyre and I know nothing about the story (totally ignorant, here). Should I still read The Eyre Affair - will this hinder my understanding/enjoyment of the book? Should I just SparkNote Jane Eyre and then read TEA?

Finish Jane Eyre first?

A quick question about this month's selection: Is it better to finish "Jane Eyre" before starting this book?

I'm about a hundred pages away from finishing "Jane Eyre" and wonder if I should wrap that up first so as not to spoil the ending for myself (its one classic that I actually DON'T know the ending to!). I just went to my local library today -- thanks to someone's suggestion! :) -- and took out "The Eyre Affair" so I'm ready to go but wanted to check this first.

Thanks! :)

EDIT: Thank you for your recommendations! I finished "Jane Eyre" last night and have started on "The Eyre Affair" this morning :) Thank you again!

Quick intro

Hello! I'm a new member -- 24, from CT, lifelong bookworm, yadda yadda, lol.

I'm happy to find a book club here on LJ where there are actually assigned books to read and discuss -- the other "clubs" seem to just be discussion groups about books in general.

I'm really excited to get started!

Introducing myself!

Hi everyone - I am new to the community and I am excited to join a new group of people who love books as much as I do! I am 23 years old and I live in CT. I am finishing up my Master's degree in Public Communication from American University and in order to keep sane with all my boring school books I have been devouring every bit of fiction I can find recently!

My favorite books are all the Jane Austen books, The Wives of Henry VIII series, and of course Harry Potter! I love historical fiction and any book with a good adventure or mystery.

I am planning on reading this month's book and joining in the discussion. I look forward to it!

-Katie

Polls and Some Mod Stuff!

Welcome to June. I hope everyone is enjoying THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fforde. Also, hello to all of our new readers! It's great to see new names in our members list.

That being said, the activity plummeted quite a lot for the discusson of Stardust. When we read The Book Thief (yes, we did have more time), there was so much talk! I'm going to do a few polls to maybe see where the problem was. Remember, I think the polls do track who voted what, but I'm not interested in names, I'm interested in numbers for these. So be honest! I'm also not going to put them under a cut because I want everyone (including new people!) to fill it out.

The question about the genres - pick up to 5 that you love.

Poll #1203250 The Book Thief

Do you plan to read The Eyre Affair?

Yes!
26(78.8%)
No, don't have time
3(9.1%)
No, no availability to book
1(3.0%)
No, not interested
3(9.1%)

What genres are you interested in reading?

Historical Fiction
0(0.0%)
Science Fiction
0(0.0%)
Fantasy
0(0.0%)
Contemporary
0(0.0%)
Classics
0(0.0%)
Drama
0(0.0%)
Humor
0(0.0%)
Realistic Fiction
0(0.0%)
Dark/Bizarre (think Palahniuk + Vonnegut)
0(0.0%)
Other (please put genre in comment on page)
0(0.0%)

Did you read The Book Thief in April/May?

Yes!
13(39.4%)
Yes, but only some of it
1(3.0%)
No, didn't have time
5(15.2%)
No, wasn't interested
0(0.0%)
No, wasn't a member then
14(42.4%)

Did you read Stardust in June?

Yes!
8(24.2%)
Yes, but only some of it
4(12.1%)
No, didn't have time
11(33.3%)
No, wasn't interested
4(12.1%)
No, wasn't a member then
6(18.2%)

Rate The Book Thief!

5 - Best
12(40.0%)
4
2(6.7%)
3
1(3.3%)
2
0(0.0%)
1 - Worst
0(0.0%)
Didn't read
15(50.0%)

Rate Stardust!

5 - Best
1(3.2%)
4
5(16.1%)
3
5(16.1%)
2
1(3.2%)
1 - Worst
1(3.2%)
Didn't read
18(58.1%)

Do you have any suggestions to make the group or its discussions better?



Thanks, everyone! Please stay active and post whatever and whenever you want. :) (Try to stay on topic, though, haha).