Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beach Read "Semi-Finals"

I decided to share more info on the books that were mentioned more than once in the beach read poll. I included a description and the approximate number of pages from the amazon ad, as well as how many mentions it got in the original poll. For comparison: Gone With the Wind has 1,024 pages. I started taking out all the blue linked words but it got to be too much trouble, so I left them. Also, I didn't include any books that any of us have read before. I also included if there is a movie version.

2 mentions
approximately 255 pages
animated film

from Wikipedia: "The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's adventure novel and a modern fairy tale published in 1961, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. It tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, drives through. He finds himself in the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he accepts a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom, acquires two faithful companions, and has many adventures. The book is full of puns, and many events, like Milo's sudden jump to the Island of Conclusions, are the consequences of taking English Language Idioms literally.

2 mentions
approximately 560 pages
no film
from Wikipedia: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is the first of Robert M. Pirsig's texts in which he explores his Metaphysics of Quality. The 1974 book describes, in first person, a 17-day motorcycle journey across the United States by the author (though he is not identified in the book) and his son Chris, joined for the first nine days by close friends John and Sylvia Sutherland. The trip is punctuated by numerous philosophical discussions, referred to as Chautauquas by the author, on topics including epistemology, ethical emotivism and the philosophy of science."

3 mentions
approximately 400 pages
1962 film

from enotes: "Published in 1934 by New York-based publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons, Tender Is the Night is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last works. Although the novel was generally well received and has come to be regarded as one of Fitzgerald’s most important works, it was less popular at its publication than his previous novels and was considered a commercial failure. More autobiographical than his other works, Tender Is the Night tells the story of American psychologist Dick Diver and his wife, the wealthy but psychologically unstable Nicole. Set largely in the small French coastal town of Tarmes between the years 1925 and 1935, the book portrays a cast of characters typical of Fitzgerald’s fictional universe: wealthy, idle, sophisticated, and, in many ways, “troubled.”

3 mentions
180 pages
film in production

from Wikipedia: "The Giver is a 1993 soft science fiction novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian; therefore, it could be considered anti-utopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan which has also eradicated emotional" depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of "Receiver of Memory," the person who stores all the memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. When Jonas meets the Giver, he is confused in many ways. The Giver is also able to break some rules, such as turning off the speaker and locking his door. As Jonas receives the memories from the previous receiver—the "Giver"—he discovers how shallow his community's life has become.

2 mentions
453 pages

from Wikipedia: "Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It has a distinctive non-chronological style where events are described from different characters' points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot. The novel follows Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the airmen of the fictional Fighting 256th (or "two to the fighting eighth power") Squadron are based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy."

2 mentions
560 pages
film in production

from Wikipedia: "The Book Thief is set in Germany before and during World War II. The story is told from the point of view of Death, who narrates the story and gives a whole new image to the "death" image we the people see. "Death" finds the story of the book thief, Liesel Meminger. Liesel's story begins when she and her brother are sent to a foster home by their Communist mother when she is interned in Dachau Concentration Camp. She later arrives at the home of foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, near Munich"
(this summary told the entire story, so I had to just cut it off randomly, lol)

A couple of these (I won't mention any names) seem a little depressing and heavy for the beach, so if they are chosen I will most definitely be bringing something else to read as well so I can sleep! ha ha! Make your voice heard again, and then we'll set up a final poll between the top two or three! :)


Carrie said... picks will not be a surprise! ha ha!
I am voting for....
The Book Thief or The Giver. If we picked The Giver I would also vote for The Phantom Tollbooth as a combo read because they are both so short.

heathcliff said...

The Phantom Tollbooth
The Giver
The Book Thief
Tender is the Night

Any of those are fine with me.

I've read The Devil In The White City.

Andy's Bethy said...

I didn't realize I was supposed to vote again - I already said I think that The Book Thief is fabulous. I just read Messenger, by Lois Lowry, and it was slightly depressing. Don't know if The Giver follows the same vein...
I guess The Book Thief isn't exactly light reading either, when I think about it. Thought provoking book, rather then sit and relax at the beach type book. Still, it would be fun to talk about as a group. I say go for it!

Anonymous said...

So I actually think that all of these sound pretty interesting. I trust you to make a good decision!


heathcliff said...

I'm leaning toward the phantom tollbooth