Next book after [The Leopard]?

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Next book after [The Leopard]?

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Fev 5, 2009, 10:15 am

Since it usually takes a few weeks to select a book, maybe we should start nominating books until Feb. 12th at noon, then vote for top 3 until 19th at noon, then vote for the winner until 26th. How does that sound?

Fev 5, 2009, 10:31 am

I'm still thinking Shakespeare.

Fev 5, 2009, 10:46 am

Sounds good to me. I would like to nominate:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Nana by Emile Zola

Fev 5, 2009, 1:01 pm

I am going to put East of Eden back in the ring.

Fev 5, 2009, 2:38 pm

I would like to nominate Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

Fev 5, 2009, 3:43 pm

I'd like to nominate Doctor Zhivago. I keep nominating it and people like the idea but then it slips through the cracks. Might this finally be the month we read it? :)

Fev 5, 2009, 6:02 pm

I'll echo East of Eden and Dr. Zhivago
Plus Hamlet

Fev 5, 2009, 6:51 pm

I'll go with all of the above... ;) Okay, if I *must* choose (and it's a tough choice!):

Doctor Zhivago
Dance to the Music of Time
Anna Karenina

Plus: Falling Man by Don DeLillo, and The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy because it was getting some good comments last year and I still want to give it a go. (I believe we said the first volume of trilogies, only.)

Finished with M. Goriot and his ungrateful daughters! Still trying to find time to make some sensible comments, but it was a great read, thanks to everyone who suggested it! And I have my copy of "The Leopard" ready to go!

Fev 5, 2009, 8:01 pm

I nominate:

Doctor Zhivago
The Forsythe Saga (The first volume of trilogies)

Fev 5, 2009, 8:05 pm

I'll nominate:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins


Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Fev 6, 2009, 8:42 am

I fancy a chunky one so I'm throwing Les Miserables back in the mix this time.

Fev 6, 2009, 8:53 am

cf. #10

And I renominate Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.

I imagine it's an important novel to understand German history, or.... ??

Fev 6, 2009, 11:55 am

I'll second Buddenbrooks and throw out Pale Fire.

Fev 6, 2009, 5:12 pm

I'll second Les Miserables, since I am deeply into French Lit this year and loving it.

Fev 9, 2009, 4:18 pm

I of course agree with kjellika in resubmitting The Forsyte Saga(The first volume of trilogies).

I do so with the full knowledge it will definitely not be chosen. However, it is a book that time and fashion have passed by and it is useful to hear of books and authors even if we don't read them.

Thank you kjellika.


Fev 10, 2009, 4:30 am

I'm also going to suggest Life and Fate because I just picked it up on a 3 for 2 foreign lit offer in Waterstone (damn you booksellers! I'll never save any money at this rate!). TLS describes it as "one of the greatest masterpieces of the twentieth century" and The Guardian says that it "demands to be talked about". It's back blurb says that it "aims to give as panoramic a view of Soviet society during World War II as Tolstoy did of Russian life in the epoch of the Napoleonic Wars" so it fits quite well with our group reading history.

I rest my case ;)

Fev 10, 2009, 7:15 pm


Life and Fate sounds like a fabulous read, a side to WWII I think most of us have not heard from; one more on my TBR list. I'm guessing from your description that this book is as big as a brick! I Just finished a brick, Count of Monte Crisco, but it was a five star brick -- warning -- do not read the abridged version of this great French adventure, I loved every one of the 1200 pages! Life and Fate could possibly draw me away from my 2009 French lit. marathon. Sold!

Fev 10, 2009, 7:45 pm

I have Life and Fate and plan to read it some time this year. It would be fabulous if I could have others read it with me!

Editado: Fev 14, 2009, 3:56 pm

This is the list for first round voting. It can be added to until noon tomorrow, but I wasn't certain how much time I would have during the day. After noon, vote for your top three choices. In one week, I will set up a poll vote for the top five titles.

Dance to the Music of Time. 1st movement, Spring by Anthony Powell
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Life and Fate by Grossman
Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Doctor Zhivago
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Falling Man by Don DeLillo
Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Nana by Emile Zola
Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

Fev 10, 2009, 10:39 pm

I'll vote for

Life and Fate by Grossman

Buddenbrooks by Mann

Nana by Zola

Fev 11, 2009, 1:42 am

My votes are:

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

Forsyte Saga by John Galswoirthy

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Editado: Fev 11, 2009, 1:44 am

fyi you have Mambo Kings on there twice.

My votes:

Dr. Zhivago
East of Eden

and thanks for herding the cats!

Fev 11, 2009, 4:53 am

So, I'm going to vote for:

Life and Fate by Grossman
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine

But they all sound great!

Editado: Fev 11, 2009, 5:20 am

I'll vote les miserables
I wouldn't mind re-reading the woman in white
Doctor Zhivago
I need to get hold of the Leopard soon!

edited to make touchstones work

Fev 11, 2009, 10:26 am

Fev 11, 2009, 10:49 am

Buddenbrooks or Hamlet.

Fev 11, 2009, 5:27 pm

Nana by Emile Zola
Life and Fate by Grossman
Les Miserable by Victor Hugo

Fev 12, 2009, 12:27 pm

Fev 12, 2009, 7:23 pm

I'm still on Balzac and am skipping The Leopard, but I do enjoy these posts. I think Anna Karenina or Master and Margarita would be a great choice, as would Nana or maybe even better, Germinal.

Editado: Fev 14, 2009, 1:39 pm

I think a discussion on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina would be great.

The Woman in White

Fev 14, 2009, 12:24 pm

Sandydog - please see message #20 - we're now in the phase where we're each selecting our top three from that list. Introducing more books will make us all discombobulated! Save them for the next round though.

Fev 14, 2009, 1:46 pm

I'd like to vote for:

Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Doctor Zhivago

Fev 14, 2009, 3:20 pm

I'll vote for:

Doctor Zhivago
Doctor Zhivago
Doctor Zhivago

(I'll be fine if Anna Karenina got nominated as well but...)

Fev 14, 2009, 4:18 pm

>37 teelgee:, Ooops, so sorry, 'got carried away!

Anna Karenina
Pale Fire

Fev 14, 2009, 8:19 pm

I'd like to vote for: Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

Fev 15, 2009, 5:17 pm

I've just joined, so if it's ok for me to vote I vote for
Life and Fate
Life and Fate
Life and Fate

Fev 15, 2009, 6:50 pm

You can definitely vote. I have a question. Shall I count all three votes if they are for the same book? A couple of people have voted like that and I do not want to make any assumptions about how to handle it. Some feedback please?

Fev 15, 2009, 7:20 pm

#43: I assume that if you repeat your vote, it doesn't actually count. So if I had voted three times for Anna Karenina, it'd just be one vote and just an indication that I was really really keen for Ms Karenina. :)

However, I always find it difficult to narrow the choice down to three (wah! Mambo Kings missed out! why can't I choose four??!?!), so I may not be the person to make a judgment call on people who are passionate about one read in particular.

Editado: Fev 15, 2009, 7:44 pm

One person, one vote per book, is my thinking. If you wanted to play strategically, like Survivor, you could cast the other two votes for books you're pretty sure won't win.

Fev 15, 2009, 10:22 pm

I was thinking that if you voted for the same book three times it would be three votes for that book. If that's not the case, I will change two of my votes to other books.

Fev 16, 2009, 1:24 am

IMO voting for the same book three times is not what we were asked to do. Listing the three books we most want to read was. If we allow the former then, we may as well each just vote for one book, otherwise it is not a fair vote.

Fev 16, 2009, 3:14 am

#47, englishrose, I agree.

Fev 16, 2009, 10:10 am

Looks like a strong consensus. I will only count one vote per title per person.

Fev 16, 2009, 10:57 am

If only I had known my sillyness would cause such an uprise!

Fev 16, 2009, 11:54 am

lilisin, a little uprising never hurt anything!

Fev 16, 2009, 12:04 pm

We are always uprising here about something! It's all good!!

Fev 16, 2009, 2:38 pm

OK--I vote for Life and Fate
Pale Fire and
Les Miserables


Fev 16, 2009, 2:59 pm

You are a good sport, aruba!

Fev 16, 2009, 6:58 pm

I will probably not be reading along with you, but Life and Fate is one of the most amazing books I've read in the past several years, but I have to warn you it is quite grim.

Fev 17, 2009, 1:24 pm

First post here, I hope you don't mind me intruding :)

I would like to vote for
East of Eden
Anna Karenina

Fev 17, 2009, 2:34 pm

Welcome ZanKnits. Of course you're not intruding! Anyone is welcome to join and vote for the next book. Especially since you voted for two of the three I voted for!!! ;o)

Fev 17, 2009, 6:24 pm

well, a little brown-nosing never hurt...:)

(I kid, I kid!)

Fev 17, 2009, 6:34 pm

Even though I've never seemed to get in sync with the group reads yet, I'll vote for:

Forsyte Saga
Life and Fate

Fev 18, 2009, 7:30 am

Final Vote for next book is at the following website. Choose only one. Voting will close at midnight, 2/24.

Fev 19, 2009, 9:21 pm

for all you folks that voted for Forsyte Saga be advised we are in the running....!!! definitely Far Out.

now it ain't gonna last and we are obviously going to finish out of the running, but to be tied for first place is Definitely a shocker.

so go check out the voting and see where Forsyte Saga is in the standing....i can not be..lieve it.

it is a bit like a may fly of a summer's cherish it while you can......

Fev 21, 2009, 9:22 pm

Okay....I am just throwing this idea out......if, when the poll closes, there are two stand out leaders.....shall we save ourselves this lengthy process and pick the next two books, or is that unfair?

Fev 21, 2009, 9:25 pm

That sounds good. Voting for everything is starting to become a real pain in the butt.

Fev 21, 2009, 10:25 pm

Yes hemlokgang that sounds good, but(with one "t") members need to start voting for Les Miserables, pleaseeeeeee I already have the book, it's a fantastic story with many plots and unforgettable characters!
With 35 people voting so far, and there are no clear standouts yet?!

Fev 22, 2009, 12:20 am

I'm happy to do two books! (When I started, we were doing two books: The Trial by Kafka and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce.) But that's also because the frontrunners at the moment are one I'd really like to read, and another that while I'm less keen on I've heard good things.)

What I'd like to be able to do (but I'm sure it'd be impossible/nightmarish) is to be able to change my vote as I go - if I voted for something that was last, to be able to switch my vote to my preferred of the frontrunners. As I said, nightmarish to control, so I'm not expecting anyone to allow me to do it. But one can dream. :)

Fev 22, 2009, 1:25 am

I think you can switch your vote in that poll until it closes. After that, you're out of luck!

I'm in favor of naming the runner up as the next book after the winner (rather than doing them consecutively, especially if they're long books). This does get tedious (we've been doing this for about a year now).

Fev 22, 2009, 4:27 am

#66> I think you can switch your vote in that poll until it closes.

Possibly, but I'm on a different computer right now so it's giving me the option to vote as a new person, which is just Not Fair. If I can change my vote using my work computer (where I cast my original vote), I might. But if you're going to do the top two as the next two non-consecutive reads anyhow (a fab idea, btw) then I'll just leave it as is.

We do seem to spend a lot of time voting! :)

Fev 22, 2009, 4:50 am

I know that The Forsyte Saga is a voluminous book (even the first volume of trilogies).
What about Pale Fire?
Buddenbrooks and Doctor Zhivago are quite loong novels as well.

#62 (and others)
I agree in picking the next two books (the top two) now. We SPEND a lot of time VOTING! (#67). We could make use of the spare time for reading, commenting and discussing ;)

Fev 22, 2009, 5:20 am

I was thinking consecutive rather than simultaneous. I don't want to miss any of the pleasure of either.

Fev 22, 2009, 5:31 am

I think we should vote for the next two books now (simultaneously), but read them consecutively, or did I misunderstand.............(???)

Fev 22, 2009, 5:51 am

Precisely, kjellika......

Fev 22, 2009, 5:56 am

I might have to order some in from the library, so I'm always glad of the notice! Top two for the next two consecutive books would be fine for me, whichever they are.

Fev 22, 2009, 8:17 am

I say if we're going to choose two we should do like we did with Artist and Trial. read them simultaneously, but take twice as long between selection processes. In other words we don't need to say, "Everyone, we're reading "xyz" first and then we'll read "abc". Just let people decide which order to read them in themselves.

Fev 22, 2009, 11:22 am

I have too many other commitments to read them simultaneously, but reading top two consecutively sounds like a great idea.

Fev 22, 2009, 1:26 pm

Let me see if I have geneg's idea right:

* We take the top two books.
* Readers can choose which one to read first, but threads are posted for both.
*We double the time to allow people to read both -- two months or whatever seems appropriate depending on length of books.

Just going to throw this out (and duck) - maybe we could do this for even more books? 3 or 4 at a time so that we can line up our reading? Not this time, but next.

Fev 22, 2009, 2:03 pm

I think we should read the top two novels consecutively. The only reason we did the Artist and Trial at the same time (I should know since I suggested it) was because they were at a dead standstill and they were both short so instead of bickering over it we just did both of them.

Doing two LONG books at the same time however would be a bit heavy handed, no?

Fev 22, 2009, 3:42 pm

I think we go with the winner first, runner-up second.......we can post threads for both..........someone usually pipes up when the time is right to start considering the next vote....I like having advance warning to sort of plan my reading, and three or four books would be great, as well as relieving the cumbersome voting process. I know it is kind of kooky, but I am doing a bunch of group reads and my book club read, so I try to gauge when to start each new book.

Fev 22, 2009, 4:01 pm

I have the same issue, hemlok - I don't want to read it so soon I'll forget important pieces, but want to give myself enough time before the group meets that I'm not rushing through it to finish. Have that issue right now with The Book Thief.

Fev 22, 2009, 5:43 pm

teelgee said:

'but want to give myself enough time before the group meets that I'm not rushing through it to finish.'

And I think if people choose to go with Forsyte Saga that it will be important not to rush the reading of this particular book. To go 'rushing through it to finish' will miss the rhythm of the writing and the pacing of the plot as it developes.

It is also possible to drink more than one wine with one's main course of a meal and some choose to do so.

Choice is pretty much a matter of personal preference.

I read and drink wine and try not to rush the enjoyment of either.

But that is just me.


Fev 23, 2009, 4:41 am

The only caveat that I would proffer to lining up books is that the last time we did two and suggested a longer reading time, in fact we didn't really get a longer reading time as the speedy readers finished quickly and wanted to move onto the next vote. It's something I can envisage happening again if people don't want to read both of the suggestions. If we do it, we need to be firm about when we're voting again. I must admit, the only group reads here I haven't participated in here have been the two where more than one book was on the go at one time. I just kind of got left behind by it all. It's easier to focus on a single one and everyone is in the same place you are. Either way, I'm in (at least potentially, in spirit).

Fev 23, 2009, 5:27 am

Is Pale Fire a long novel? How many pages (approx.)?

Fev 23, 2009, 10:40 am

A little shy of 350 pages is my guess, depending on edition.

Fev 23, 2009, 12:09 pm

I hope more members will vote.
Only 40 (out of 182) members have voted so far. I.e ~ 22%.

Editado: Fev 23, 2009, 12:58 pm

Due to its format, Pale Fire would probably take longer to read than a more conventional novel. It's written as a long poem with the bulk of the novel taking place in the footnotes to the poem, as written by our (unreliable) narrator. Even though I read this book many years ago in college, it's one of the books I voted for, and I hope it's chosen.

ETA--As I reread this it sounds like I voted for more than one book--I was thinking of the voting in another group--Pale Fire was the only book I voted for. :)

Fev 23, 2009, 2:27 pm

Let's see..........if the voting closes this week, and some folks will need a few days to get hold of the books.....shall we say no discussion of new nominations until the last week of April? Just a suggestion......

Fev 23, 2009, 6:50 pm

#85> hemlokgang, last weekend of April sounds good to me.

And, in case anyone was wondering, I was unable to change my vote. No biggie, I'm happy with the frontrunners. Now just to see which one ends up ahead at midnight! (Which is tonight for me, but probably tomorrow night for most of you. :)

Fev 24, 2009, 1:41 am

Darn, my library does not have either of the front runners.

Fev 24, 2009, 3:59 am

I'm not sure if Pale Fire is translated into Norwegian. I can't find it (in Norwegian or English) in Norwegian internet book shops, so I hope The Forsyte Saga will become one of the two chosen books. I've got paperbacks of the whole saga (Penguin Classics, 3 volumes) in English, and an old Norwegian edition (hardback) in 5 volumes.

Fev 24, 2009, 4:56 am

Okay, I found a copy second hand today, so snaffled it up.

My copy has "The Man of Property" (Parts 1, 2 & 3); "In Chancery" (Parts 1, 2 & 3); and "To Let" (Parts 1, 2 & 3 again).

So, is this the FULL trilogies of trilogies, or are there yet another two books out there...? And if this is the FULL trilogy, are we just doing "The Man of Property" or all of them?

Sorry if this was clarified before, I'm a bit sleep deprived and vague this week.

Fev 24, 2009, 9:29 am

I do not believe the group has chosen a book yet, however, the Forsyte Saga is a three part series with each part consisting of 3 parts. The entire series of books is a trilogy of trilogies.

The Forsyte Saga Trilogy : The Forsyte Saga, A Modern Comedy, End of the Chapter : 3 Volumes

The first part is Forsyte Saga that consists of: The Man of Property,(Interlude) Indian Summer of a Forsyte, In Chancery, (Interlude) Awakening
To Let.

Quite some time ago the group read War and Peace which is quite a bit longer than this first volume. Also the group has chosen to just read the first part of this trilogy.


Fev 24, 2009, 12:55 pm

So, it looks like it is Pale Fire and then The Forsyte Saga. Any volunteers for setting up the threads?

Fev 24, 2009, 4:13 pm

I can do The Forsyte Saga. When do you want it done?

Fev 24, 2009, 4:33 pm

The Forsyte Saga:
My "Penguin Classics" of Volume 1 has got 906 pages with a FORSYTE FAMILY TREE on pp. 8-9.
This volume consists of the three parts mentioned in message 90. Each of these parts is divided into three new parts. Should we set up nine threads for this volume of the saga? An average of approx. 100 pages/part (some parts are long and some of them are short,though).

I'm not going to read Pale Fire (cf. #88), so I'm hoping to spend some time reading The Forsyte Saga, mainly reading my English edition but also consulting the Norwegian version now and then.

I might set up the 'Saga' threads, but let's see the result first (diplomatic?)!
And I'd like some suggestions/ideas from other members. Should there be three (one for each of the main parts of the volume) or nine threads?

Fev 24, 2009, 6:51 pm

#93> I'm probably not reading Pale Fire either, but that's because I can't read poetry (it just doesn't stick, and I end up "reading" the one page over and over again and it's just a waste of time for me). I didn't realise it was going to be poetry! If I can get a library copy, I'll flick through, but I won't promise more than that.

And I think we're doing the first trilogy, which is called The Forsythe Saga, even though the whole trilogy-of-trilogies is also called that. So my edition (Wordsworth Classics) is about 300 pages, and has the three books "The Man of Property", "In Chancery", and "To Let" in it. And I think we're reading all of that (but not going on at this stage).

Editado: Fev 24, 2009, 8:34 pm

wookiebender--Please don't give up on Pale Fire. It's not poetry per se; it's a novel, and a very, very funny novel at that.The premise is that a deluded and self-important academic believes himself to have been an important influence on a major poet. He undertakes the task of annotating a poem written by that poet. You read a few words or lines of the poem, then there's a footnote which consists of pages and pages of (hilarious) self-delusional narrative by the academic. At least this is how I remember it. I read it many years ago, and am looking forward to reading it again. I'm not a poetry reader either, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all, so I really hope you give it a try. :)

Editado: Fev 25, 2009, 4:50 am

Only 300 pages? Curious. My "Penguin Classics" of volume 1 (the first trilogy. cf. #93) is about 900 pages.

The whole Forsyte Saga (Penguin Classics, three volumes) is more than 2,500 pages, so we could read volume 2 and 3 later (2010, -11, -12 .....)

Fev 25, 2009, 7:47 am

My copy of The Forsyte Saga contains the first trilogy and the two interludes plus an Introduction, Textual Note, Bibliography, Chronology, Forsyte Family Tree and Explanatory Notes.

Fev 25, 2009, 8:05 am

After reading about Pale Fire on Amazon I am intrigued and have ordered a copy.

Fev 25, 2009, 8:24 am

I started pale fire a few years ago and thought what I read of it was brilliant but I got distracted and I didnt get around to finishing it - can't remember why. Looking forward to restarting.

What is the system? Do we have the whole of March to read it?

Fev 25, 2009, 8:44 am

>99 Pummzie:, I imagine you can read the book(s) when you like. But there should be some threads for posting messages (cf. for instance #91,92,93)

#92, Urquhart, I'd like it if you do The Forsyte Saga threads! Are you ready?

Fev 25, 2009, 8:57 am

K, thanks Kjellika

Editado: Fev 25, 2009, 10:43 am

I'm also intrigued by Pale Fire. So thanks everyone for pointing me to it! I doubt it will be realistical for me to squeeze my reading of it into the imminent future, though, so unfortunately I don't count on participating in the discussions here.

#88, 93 Kjellika,
(Gosh it seems like I'm stalking you right now. I just answered you in another thread.) If you are interested in Pale Fire I found it available in English from (in four different editions!) I don't know whether it has been translated into Norwegian. There was a Swedish translation (Blek låga) published by Bonnier in 2002 but it is currently out of print.

Fev 25, 2009, 10:15 am

I am going to read Pale Fire as it just happens to be sitting on my shelf. I became interested in it after reading and absolutely loving The Egyptologist. Many reviewers compared it to Pale Fire.

Fev 25, 2009, 10:47 am

#96, I agree, the first volume appears to be around 900 pages.

I myself would prefer 3 threads: 1 for Man of Property, 1 for In Chancery and 1 for To Let. I think 9 threads would be too much to keep track of--at least for me.

Editado: Fev 25, 2009, 12:46 pm

Kjellika said:
"#92, Urquhart, I'd like it if you do The Forsyte Saga threads! Are you ready?".

I am all ready and have lots of great ideas....:)but I do not want to get in people's way.

Is Forsyte Saga going to be the second book after Pale Fire? If so, I am supposed to be patient and wait; right?

Please advise.....

Fev 25, 2009, 3:19 pm

Thanks Annix, I'm not going to read Pale Fire now, but concentrate on The Forsyte Saga.

I'm not sure any more. There are some "confusing" messages (my opinion is there, too) above about how the reading should be organized.

Members, please advise Urquhart.

Fev 25, 2009, 3:21 pm

I'm confused. Are we reading all three trilogies in the Forsyte Saga? I have read Man of Property many years ago. It's the first book of the first trilogy and would recommend 9 threads. As I recall, this book was for me a difficult read and I didn't move on to the other 8 books as I originally intended. I'm not sure I'm ready for another try but Pale Fire sounds intriguing and my library has a copy so I'll join in that one first.

Fev 25, 2009, 3:21 pm

I'm confused. Are we reading all three trilogies in the Forsyte Saga? I have read Man of Property many years ago. It's the first book of the first trilogy and would recommend 9 threads. As I recall, this book was for me a difficult read and I didn't move on to the other 8 books as I originally intended. I'm not sure I'm ready for another try but Pale Fire sounds intriguing and my library has a copy so I'll join in that one first.

Editado: Fev 25, 2009, 5:37 pm

No, we are not reading all three trilogies in the Forsyte Saga , only the first of them. And the first part of this first trilogy is Man of Property which is divided into three parts, and so are the next two parts of the first trilogy. It means that the first trilogy consists of nine parts (3x3) + two interludes.
(cf. ##90,93)

#104, wrmjr66.
I agree, three threads will do.

Fev 25, 2009, 6:05 pm

I agree with kjellika and wrmjr66, three threads will do for our reading of Forsyte Saga.

When people agree as to when they want the Forsyte Saga started, I will post:

1)An introduction for readers of the book and
2)Threads to cover: Forsyte Saga that consists of: The Man of Property,(Interlude) Indian Summer of a Forsyte, In Chancery, (Interlude) Awakening
To Let.

(Foot Note:
Athens in 480 to 431 had a wonderful flourishing democracy. Then in 431-404 things went progressively downhill to its failure due to lack of ability to agree on a course of action. Pericles for a number of years around 431 proved successful because he assumed very considerable executive powers in the democracy of the time. After his death came greater degrees of dissent and disarray, followed by defeat.)

Fev 25, 2009, 7:13 pm

#96> kjellika, you are quite right. I am sleep deprived this week and obviously cannot guesstimate the size of my books. Knew I should have picked it up and checked properly before posting! 900 pages it is. (My previous "300 pages" guess was based on: bigger than The Leopard which is less than 300 pages. D'oh!)

I will probably still skip Pale Fire. It does sound mighty tempting now, but I have a large number of reading commitments elsewhere, and it'd be good to have a break here once I finish reading The Leopard so I can get through them all.

The City of Sydney Library does have a copy of Pale Fire (hurrah!) but it's in the city branch (not terribly convenient for me) and for some reason their website won't let me get it sent to my local branch. Yeesh.

Fev 26, 2009, 12:56 am

Kind of amazing that all 11 copies of Pale Fire at our library are checked out!

My understanding (which may be totally off) is that the #1 book, Pale Fire, would come first; then the #2 book, Forsyte Saga, rather than discussing them simultaneously. Am I mistaken?

Fev 26, 2009, 1:20 am

>112 teelgee:, teelgee, I'm confused, so I'm not sure if you are mistaken, maybe we all are (or many of us).

All the same, I'm not going to read Pale Fire, so I start with The Forsyte Saga in a day or two, waiting for the threads to be done....

Fev 26, 2009, 9:09 am

kjellika said:
'so I start with The Forsyte Saga in a day or two, waiting for the threads to be done....'

so do people wish me to do the threads for TFS?

Fev 26, 2009, 10:23 am

Chiming in......I thought #1 book first, then #2. I suppose it makes sense to set up threads for both books for those folks who for one reason or another are only reading one of the two.

Fev 26, 2009, 1:11 pm

I'm new to the group and looking forward to Pale Fire.

What time frame is normal for these group reads? Do your read ___ pages a week? Or just when we get to them?

Fev 26, 2009, 3:21 pm

hemlokgang said:

"Chiming in......I thought #1 book first, then #2. I suppose it makes sense to set up threads for both books for those folks who for one reason or another are only reading one of the two."

With that said, I will proceed with the threads re: The Forsyte Saga.


Fev 26, 2009, 6:04 pm

#116> Just when you get the chance: read at your own pace, contribute whenever you're ready. (I've finished the first three chapters of The Leopard and haven't had a chance to write any comments as yet. And I'm sure there are others who have finished it altogether.) And welcome!

And to contribute to the generate consensus: Yes, I thought we were doing Pale Fire first, and then The Forsythe Saga. So, personally, I've got a few weeks to catch up with other reading, before starting TFS.

Fev 27, 2009, 12:45 pm

no. 116, I've only just started the Leopard, and the threads often stay active for a while.

Mar 2, 2009, 3:45 pm

I have just joined this group but am puzzled by 2 things:

1)Why do the books have to be so very long?

2)Why are all the books by dead people?

Would Chesil Beach or Saturday by Ian Mcewan count as a possible book to read?

I am going to read The Forsyte Saga that you folks have voted for but it does seem very long.


Mar 2, 2009, 3:49 pm

>They're not all dead, e.g., we read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie the other month.

Mar 2, 2009, 4:20 pm

I apologize and stand corrected; Salman Rushdie is indeed alive.

But aren't most of the authors considered by this group dead and aren't most of the books really long?

I mean isn't it like saying that the people who are the most long winded and write the most books have the most substance and quality and are therefore the best?

Is quantity really an indicator of quality?

Like I said, I have just joined the group and will read The Forsyte Saga, but to my way of thinking if a guy needs a trilogy of three books and each of those books is also a trilogy and if he really needs all those pages to say what he needs to say then maybe he is a bit of a wind bag and doesn't need to be read.

But I will definitely read this Forsyte Saga thing and give it a try; however my question does seem a fair and respectful one.

Mar 2, 2009, 4:43 pm

I am reminded of a note that J.R.R Tolkien added to The Lord of the Rings: many readers had remarked to him that it was not long enough.

Mar 2, 2009, 4:48 pm

We are "only" reading the first volume of TFS now (i.e the first trilogy, approx. 900 pages), and I can't see why the length of a book should disfavour it. Imo, regardless of length it's the style, the characters, literary quality (I guess you'll notice if there's no such quality), and much more that count.
Middlemarch and War and Peace are GREAT books, and there are lots of "short" great novels too: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, My Antonia, Animal Farm, Pan, Orlando.....

Mar 2, 2009, 5:19 pm

Kjellika, thanks for the heads up. Your comments are most instructive. I don't mean to be clumsy. As a new member I am just sort of trying to understand how everyone here views things.

Somehow I don't think people here will be reading My Antonia, Animal Farm....

Kjellika, could I ask a question about your comment:

'I can't see why the length of a book should disfavour it.' ???

The question is simple: who wants to listen to an old windbag drone on and on....Isn't that just suffering a fool gladly? I mean you go to a party and the person there talks on and on..... Wouldn't you rather be with a person who gets to the point? Isn't silence that is shared a nice thing? Don't short books respect in effect the importance of silence and not just talking on and on.......

I mean Charles Dickens and his Pickwick Papers has these characters and they are full of a lot of speeches. And it is obvious Dickens has fantastic facility with words, but after a while, I begin to wonder in that book if maybe Dickens has a problem. I mean seriously. He drones on and on skipping here and there and shows us tremendous facility with words but doesn't use them to communicate anything. Do you know what I mean?

Some of his other books are good, but jeesh with his Pickwick Papers it looks like his facility is in control of the plot rather than vice a versa.

Which is all by way of saying, it is nice when people write what they need to write and don't ramble. So Dickens rambled since he was paid by the word and had to stretch it out, but just because he makes money showing he has facility with words doesn't mean the book is going to be interesting rather than padded. Would you agree?

I betcha that this guy Galsworthy was paid by the word.....Maybe not, but you have to admit that a trilogy of trilogies is a whole lot of writing......

Thanks again for the guidance.


Mar 2, 2009, 5:24 pm

It's a fair question but On Chesil Beach presents the opposite problem - it takes an hour tops to read so it's probably not quite meaty enough for a monthly read. Also, I think one of the benefits of the club is that it encourages you to read things that are possibly a little foreboding or that you've been meaning to get around to for a while but there's always something easier /shorter that you end up grabbing off the shelf instead.

I personally have no preference for dead writers over the living but there are an awful lot of books by dead writers that I have been sitting on my shelf for a very long time that I want to read so I feel inclined to vote for them.

Of course, feel free to nominate anything you fancy for the next vote.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:28 pm

By the way Carmody, in my other monthly read group - Monthly Author Reads - February's book was My Antonia by Willa Cather and jsut about everyone loved it!

Mar 2, 2009, 5:29 pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:29 pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:40 pm

I mean you go to a party and the person there talks on and on..... Wouldn't you rather be with a person who gets to the point?

It depends. If the telling is well done and the subject fascinating, it can captivate me.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:41 pm

Thanks Pummzie for the help; every bit appreciated.

When you say about On Chesil Beach that:

'it takes an hour tops to read so it's probably not quite meaty enough for a monthly read.'

are you in effect saying that short, 1 hour books are too brief to be meaty and therefore that longer books have more meat? That in effect, longer is better and meatier but that short books can't offer sufficient material for discussion?

Doesn't that condemn me to listening to the guy at the dinner party who is the wind bag rather than the person who is silent in the corner and who I know has something to say but won't compete with the wind bad?

I am going to sign off now, since I know I have asked too many questions and I don't want you to think me a wind bag and rude and totally ignorant because I don't understand.

But I am grateful to people for their patient guidance and I am going to try this guy Galsworthy, even though it does seem long.



Mar 2, 2009, 6:35 pm

I may be wrong but I think the original intent of the group was to tackle great works of literature that you know you should read, but want some moral support in doing so. Hence the first several picks - War and Peace, Middlemarch, what have you.

Since then we have mainly stuck to the classics, but they are not always necessarily long and daunting ones.

Mar 2, 2009, 6:53 pm

For me, I like to have a reading group for some of the longer classics as an encouragement to finish it all. When the book is long, it is nice to get feedback from some other people. We have read some shorter books like The Trial, which I also found interesting. Actually, The Leopard was short, too. But I am more likely to want to group when I am reading something longer. And some of the older books are selected because they have stood the test of time. I could be wrong, but I thought that I saw that TFS won the Nobel Prize or maybe some other prize. Anyway, so far, I have enjoyed all the books that have been chosen. :)

Editado: Mar 2, 2009, 8:57 pm

I haven't said much here although I've been around from the beginning because the only book I've been through with you folks is The Leopard, a short book. People were talking about reading War and Peace in another group. They agreed to lend each other support and formed this group for it. The challenge was the length of the book. There are lots of competent long books, and I've been hopeful (though it hasn't worked for me) that this would be the place for encouragement to read them. I have an off line book group, and I don't need books prescribed for me.

I think that there are plenty of shorter works that many of us can take on on our own or in our other book groups. I really think the notion that a long work is a windy work is jejune and to be dismissed without consideration (I am a member of the curmudgeons group).


Mar 3, 2009, 5:17 am

I agree, now and then I need some moral support to manage voluminous books.

I don't like windbags, neither fictive nor factive ones.
The advantage with the fictive ones is that you can postpone or skip them. Quite more difficult when you are at work with persons of that kind.
I'm not sure about The Forsyte Saga. I'll have to read some more chapters, but i do like Galsworthy's characters and his style, so far.

Mar 3, 2009, 8:53 am

>135 Mr.Durick: rdurick and jejune.......

I really do think that with a library the size of 2,274 books you could have found an adequate word in English.

jejune.........????....give me a brake.

Mar 3, 2009, 9:01 am

to kjellika and others who have provided some guidance my many thanks.

As a new comer, I am trying to understand how it is done here and it just seemed to me that books like The Stranger of Albert Camus and his The Plague were meaty enough for discussion.

I guess I don't have a big library and haven't done enough reading to argue with people.

My thanks though to people who sought to help me and could do it without name calling.

(i mean how many times in your life have you been called a jejune?)

Mar 3, 2009, 10:04 am

I'm confused. . . I thought jejune was English (and an adjective).

Nobody here is saying The Plague isn't meaty and worthy of discussion but that, rather, this wasn't the original intention of the group. If you look at the group description:

"This is a "support group" of sorts for those of us reading some of the major works of literature. Come here to share your thoughts, struggles and triumphs about the current book."

It was started as a group where people read a book together to encourage others through the more difficult places so that they finish a book that is worth reading (although there may be struggles).

If you look around LT, most the groups are groups for discussing books. There's an existentialism group where they are already discussing Camus, etc. That's not to say that there isn't overlap and we won't discuss a book because it is discussed elsewhere! However, certain longer books lend themselves more easily to the split structured format that is set up for this group.

By all means nominate whatever book you fancy next round. The choice isn't decided by edict but instead by public vote.

Editado: Mar 3, 2009, 11:46 am

It seems to me the easiest thing would be just to read Pale Fire as it is not long by any definition. Nabokov does have the unfortunate quality of being dead, but as he was alive during at least some of our lifetimes (mine included), I think we can give him a pass.

Mar 4, 2009, 5:58 am

Confused Christina......

OED definition of jejune:


1. intellectually unsatisfying
2. puerile
3. (of idead, writings, etc) meagre, scanty; dry and uninteresting
4. (of the land) barren, poor

orig. = fasting from the Latin jejenus.

Mar 4, 2009, 9:06 am

Thats a good worrd. I like learning new words, how do you pronounce it? In my head I say it with a french accent:)

Mar 4, 2009, 9:28 am

>142 Rubbah:
"Thats a good worrd. I like learning new words"

I totally agree.

And it is even more fun to be able to use the new words we learn to communicate their special meanings.

Let's list the places we could use this word; I'll go first:

1-In our high school term paper.

2-In the cafeteria...

3-At Spring break down by the beach...


(golly this is fun; i never knew one word had so much flexibility...)

Mar 4, 2009, 11:37 am

Rubbah - as far as I can make out from my dictionary jejune is prounced j (as in jar) i (as in sit)
june (as in the month). No French in sight.

Mar 8, 2009, 9:07 pm

Here is an apropos quote from Nabokov's Pale Fire: Gradus had long been a member of all sorts of jejune leftist organizations.

Mar 8, 2009, 9:44 pm

:) - apropos indeed!