Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Freeper Reading Club?
Self | July 19, 2002 | PJ-Comix

Posted on 07/19/2002 4:54:20 PM PDT by PJ-Comix

Have you ever heard about reading clubs? This is where readers read a particular book at the same time. I think it would be fun to do something like that here. A book could be assigned and Freepers who wish to join in could read the book at the same time. Following the deadline date for completion, we could post our commentaries on the book.

Since it is < proprietary mode> my idea < /proprietary mode> I suggest that I be the one to make the book recommendations. Some folks have flamed me for supposedly looking down my nose at Sci-Fi books. However, this is not the case. I have read most of the books written by the major Sci-Fi writers such as Heinleain, Asimov, Vonnegut, etc.. However, I do feel way too much emphasis has been placed on Sci-Fi at the expense of other literature. Therefore I will tend to recommend books other than Sci-Fi (although I will sometimes recommend Sci-Fi books if it has socio-political implications).

Anyway, if you think my first recommendation will be From Here To Eternity, or Invisible Man (Ellison, not Wells) or Ann Coulter's current best seller, I am going to surprise you.

Here is my first book recommendation: Shane by Jack Shaefer. Although not about politics, this book has a lot to say about character. In fact, this country would be a lot better off if every schoolkid was REQUIRED to read it. Yes, the movie was very good, but the book is much better. I am leading off the Freeper Reading Club Book list with Shane because it is actually a long short story and is very easy to read. Most folks should finish it in under 4 hours of reading. However, I am setting August 12 as the due date for reading it and posting commentary. I read Shane years ago and was incredibly impressed with its message but I will be re-reading it again for this assignment. Shane is easily available at your local library or book store.


TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: readingclub
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-190 next last
Call it arrogance but somebody has to make the book club assignments. This is an easy book to read but has an important message. Please reply here if you want to engage in this reading project. If things work out I'll assign another book. I promise that my list will be very eclectic and ALWAYS interesting. I'll keep it to fiction at first but later I might assign non-fiction.
1 posted on 07/19/2002 4:54:20 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Count me in.
2 posted on 07/19/2002 4:57:27 PM PDT by Bahbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bahbah
i would love to be included...but shane??? if that's what you want...that's OK with me.
3 posted on 07/19/2002 5:00:03 PM PDT by contessa machiaveli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
PJ; If you want to read "The Mainspring of Human Progress" I will mail everyone a copy at no charge.

It is a history of liberty, since the beginning of recorded time. Delightful read 260 some pages, written by Henry Grady Weaver an ex vice president of GM.

He wrote it in 1948 because he didnt think the schools were teaching our kids about this aspect of history.
4 posted on 07/19/2002 5:05:30 PM PDT by BADJOE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: contessa machiaveli
Have you ever read Shane? Yes, it is a "Western" but it also transcends just being a Western. I think this is a very important book. When you read it, you will find out why. You folks who are happy with this choice because you think it is a Western, will be very surprised that it is much more than just a Western. And you folks who are disappointed to find out that it is just a Western will be pleasantly surprised for the same reason. This is why I chose Shane to lead off the reading list. It isn't what you think it will be.

Oh, and if you think you know what Shane is all about because you saw the move, you are wrong. And, as I stated, I wanted to start off the assignment with an easy read but one with an important message.

5 posted on 07/19/2002 5:07:08 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: contessa machiaveli
LOL. I'm going to give PJ a chance on this one and read it before I pass judgement. We can always do Proust at a later time.
6 posted on 07/19/2002 5:07:26 PM PDT by Bahbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BADJOE
The problem with the Mainspring book is that it isn't widely available. I want to assign books that are easy to obtain.
7 posted on 07/19/2002 5:08:18 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I'm in.
8 posted on 07/19/2002 5:10:46 PM PDT by Mr.Clark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Add me to the list. Never read the book, but Ill trust your recomendation. BTW, I hate westerns.
9 posted on 07/19/2002 5:15:23 PM PDT by Betty Jane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Bahbah
Shane is only 85 pages in the hardcover version. I found it to be completely different than the other "Westerns" I've read (and I've read a lot of Louis L'Amour). Here is a quote about why Schaefer's book is different than the other Westerns:

He [Schaefer] attributed his success in the genre to his study of the classics as a literature major, his experience on newspapers, and his fascination with western history. His hallmark was thorough research and historical accuracy.

10 posted on 07/19/2002 5:15:36 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Betty Jane
BTW, I hate westerns.

Good. Then you'll LOVE Shane. It isn't what you think a Western should be. Yes, it takes place in the West (actually at the tail end of the frontier era in 1889 which wasn't stressed in the movie) but it has an incredible message. After you read it, you will want every kid you know to read it for the message.

BTW, one purpose of this Reading Club is to get folks to read (and appreciate) books they might not ordinarily have tried. And, don't worry, it will be a long time before I recommend another Western. But, as I said, Shane IS different.

11 posted on 07/19/2002 5:19:14 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Not brown nosing here, but being familiar with your posts, I would be inclined to trust your selection.
12 posted on 07/19/2002 5:20:36 PM PDT by Bahbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
If yer into politics. You gotta read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
13 posted on 07/19/2002 5:20:43 PM PDT by Orblivion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Orblivion
I won't be putting Atlas Shrugged on the list. It wasn't the best of Rand's book and completely lacked subtlety. It was like getting hit over the head again and again with a Randian message club. BTW, Shane has a similar message but Schaefer doesn't slam you over the head with speeches that go on for dozens of pages.

p.s. The Fountainhead was a much better book but I won't be assigning that one either. But don't worry, down the road I will be assigning a Rand book but it will surprise you, especially since the characters in this book seem REAL.

14 posted on 07/19/2002 5:28:31 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
"He rode into our valley in the summer of '89. I was a kid then, barely topping the backboard of father's old chuck-wagon. . . . In that clear Wyoming air I could see him plainly, though he was still several miles away. There seemed nothing remarkable about him, just another stray horseman riding up the road toward the cluster of frame buildings that was our town. Then I saw a pair of cowhands, loping past him, stop and stare after him with a curious intentness."

I first read Shane over 30 year ago, and I've read it dozens of times since. Excellent suggestion. And the boy's name is Bob. Why they changed it to Joey for the movie I'll never know.

15 posted on 07/19/2002 5:30:49 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Count me in also. Shouldn't this be under general interest though?
16 posted on 07/19/2002 5:33:55 PM PDT by dixie sass
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Non-Sequitur
That is one interesting difference from the movie. Bob is an older man narrating his memories of his youth. This is one reason why Shane has much more depth than the movie. BTW, although I though Alan Ladd did a fine job I thought that the actor who played Chris, Ben Johnson, would have been perfect in the role of Shane. But as I said before, the book is MUCH BETTER than the movie.

And for you folks who don't like Westerns. Don't worry. This one is DIFFERENT.

17 posted on 07/19/2002 5:36:14 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: dixie sass
Shouldn't this be under general interest though?

Since my books will have socio/political implications, I posted the thread in this section.

18 posted on 07/19/2002 5:37:28 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Indexed.

Only problem I see is that it will take a bite out of my FReeptime. Maybe I'll carry Shane around with me to read while I'm waiting in line...

QUESTION: Can we listen to it on tape? Will that qualify? I spend a lot of time driving . . .

19 posted on 07/19/2002 5:40:21 PM PDT by Tourist Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Having read the book first I confess I was underwhelmed by the movie. It's almost impossible to translate an outstanding book into an outstanding movie, IMHO. Probably because a good book will suck you in and stimulates your imagination until you can visualize what the author is writing. Shane was like that. To Kill a Mockingbird was like that, too. Killer Angels is another. How can any movie compete with your own imagination?
20 posted on 07/19/2002 5:41:40 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Bahbah
I will tend to choose books that are both well written and important but are not all that well known. Therefore Stephen King and Tom Clancy books are off my list (although I enjoy reading them both) because they already have enough publicity for their books. I want my books to feel like surprising "discoveries."
21 posted on 07/19/2002 5:42:51 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Tourist Guy
OK, i will abide with PJ's recommendation. i've read thousands, yes thousands of books but i've never read shane. let's do it! PJ..what is the timeframe?
22 posted on 07/19/2002 5:45:24 PM PDT by contessa machiaveli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Tourist Guy
Maybe I'll carry Shane around with me to read while I'm waiting in line...

It's only 85 pages in the hardback version and should take less than 4 hours reading time. It helps that it is an interesting read.

QUESTION: Can we listen to it on tape? Will that qualify? I spend a lot of time driving . . .

Good idea but try to listen to the UNABRIDGED version.

p.s. A lot of books on tape are available on the Web but I don't know if Shane is.

23 posted on 07/19/2002 5:46:08 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Non-Sequitur
How can any movie compete with your own imagination?

I've only read two books where the movie version was better: The Loved One and Dr. Strangelove.

24 posted on 07/19/2002 5:49:28 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
The most insightful, helpful book I've read lately is "The Kneeling Christian", author unknown. I stumbled upon it in my Church library - it's wonderful.

While it's obviously not political, neither is there a more powerful force on earth to employ than prayer.

25 posted on 07/19/2002 5:50:59 PM PDT by mombonn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: contessa machiaveli
what is the timeframe?

August 12. About 3 weeks from now but since Shane can be read in about 4 hours or less, this is an easy deadline to meet. No posting about your impressions of Shane until August 12.

26 posted on 07/19/2002 5:51:27 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I've never joined a reading club, but I'm interested. Keep me posted. I'm off to get a copy of Shane .
27 posted on 07/19/2002 5:53:24 PM PDT by Dusty Rose
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I'll give credit where credit is due, To Kill A Mockingbird came close.
28 posted on 07/19/2002 5:53:44 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Let me recommend two books:

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. von Hayek
Comanding the Heights by Daniel Yergin

Far too many people lack even the most fundamental understanding of free markets and these two books are the best at giving this understanding.

29 posted on 07/19/2002 5:57:20 PM PDT by The Great RJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Non-Sequitur
One reason why I started off with Shane as an assignment is that I want to establish my credibility from the get-go. Yes, it is a Western and yet it transcends that genre so folks that hate Westerns will still enjoy it. My main requirements in the book assignments is that they be BOTH interesting and surprising. Yeah, I could assign yet more Clancey or King (and I enjoy them both) but where is the surprise? The purpose of this Freeper Book Club is to try out books that you might not be familiar with.
30 posted on 07/19/2002 5:57:49 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Okay then. I will read Shane. It is available on Amazon.com for $5.99. That's less than the price of seeing a movie and if the book is half as good as the people reviewing it there say it is, it will be worth every penny.
31 posted on 07/19/2002 5:59:39 PM PDT by SamAdams76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Great RJ
The Road to Serfdom by F. A. von Hayek
Comanding the Heights by Daniel Yergin

For the present, I will be sticking with fiction. Also I want to assign books that are enjoyable as a read.

32 posted on 07/19/2002 5:59:46 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I'll join. Who needs sleep anyway?

a.cricket
33 posted on 07/19/2002 6:00:38 PM PDT by another cricket
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
I have Shane as part of a larger book consisting of 4 Western stories including The Searchers. I bought it because I am interested in reading the book behind The Searchers movie but I will be re-reading Shane first for the assignment. Oh, and the book only cost me a buck.
34 posted on 07/19/2002 6:02:21 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Non-Sequitur
To Kill a Mockingbird is powerful. I graduated with an English/Spanish dual major.

I became a financial consultant. 'Splain that one, Lucy.

35 posted on 07/19/2002 6:02:51 PM PDT by mombonn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
A Freeper book club is an excellent idea. From what you said about the book, I think you made a good choise. Count me in.
36 posted on 07/19/2002 6:13:31 PM PDT by MattinNJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Sounds interesting.
37 posted on 07/19/2002 6:17:09 PM PDT by El Sordo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MattinNJ
I'll try to pick books that will appeal to as many people as possible. For example, I enjoyed A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America In Vietnam, however, I can see that a lot of folks wouldn't be interested in it so I won't be assigning it.
38 posted on 07/19/2002 6:21:38 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I'm in.

Is Shane as good as my favorite western by Zane Grey, Last of the Duanes, published post-humously after the author's death?

39 posted on 07/19/2002 6:23:14 PM PDT by BullDog108
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
I was thinking about starting a thread listing "The Worst Books Hyped as Classics," with the first book, on my list, being "The Catcher in the Rye." Count me in on the FR Book Club. By the way, I have read "Shane" already, several times. Great book. However, if you feel it is necessary I read it again, I will happily comply. In fact, I think I will read it again.
40 posted on 07/19/2002 6:25:49 PM PDT by stylin_geek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stylin_geek
I read Shane before but I'll be reading it again because I'm sure I forgot a lot of what was in there. I do remember that it was the BEST Western (without really feeling like part of that genre) that I ever read. Which is why I chose it.
41 posted on 07/19/2002 6:31:55 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: stylin_geek
I was thinking about starting a thread listing "The Worst Books Hyped as Classics," with the first book, on my list, being "The Catcher in the Rye."

Interesting fact. Salinger chose the name "Holden Caulfield" from the two stars of a postwar comedy movie. The stars were William Holden and Joan Caulfield. I don't remember the name of the movie right now but I believe Salinger chose that movie and the stars' names because the movie comedy was very middle America.

42 posted on 07/19/2002 6:34:49 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Diehard and Bladerunner were both better than the books they were based on. Along with "Forest Gump."

Shane is one of the few cases where the book and the movie are outstanding.

43 posted on 07/19/2002 6:36:52 PM PDT by stylin_geek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: stylin_geek
Shane is one of the few cases where the book and the movie are outstanding.

True but the book was MUCH better. A lot of the message of Shane didn't get into the movie.

44 posted on 07/19/2002 6:42:34 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: stylin_geek
Sometimes I agree with a book's premise but becauuse it was poorly written I won't be recommending it. A good example is Blood Trail. It had an important message in there somewhere buried under the poor writing. Sometimes authors get so carried away with their messages that they forget the books have to be INTERESTING. Atlas Shrugged had a good message that just didn't get out to many people because of all the speechifying by folks with wooden personalities. Rand had much better books when she wasn't slamming folks with her message.
45 posted on 07/19/2002 6:48:24 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Yes, I agree with you when it comes to Ayn Rand. I did like Atlas Shrugged but, a lot of characters were not really developed. Which is why I think The Fountainhead is a much better book. Good message, and great characters that are fully developed.
46 posted on 07/19/2002 6:57:32 PM PDT by stylin_geek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: BullDog108
Here are some bits from an online review of Shane. I have posted just enough here not to give away the plot:

At first glance, it seems like a clear cut case of good versus evil, right versus wrong, good guys in the white hats, bad guys in the black. But every time I reread the book, I find myself intrigued by the multitude of layers Jack Schaefer has woven into this fast-paced, exquisitely written story.....

First of all, the book is written in the first person, from the point of view of Bob Starrett, Joe and Marion's young son. If Bob doesn't see or hear it, it's not in the book.....

But that first person point of view is incredibly effective. Since Bob is only about ten years old, there's an entire layer of the story that he overhears and sees yet doesn't understand. And in his innocence he merely reports the words said, reports the emotions in the room, yet he doesn't label or judge -- or condemn.....

But the book is called Shane, and it's Shane who leaves me breathless even after countless readings. Jack Schaefer leaves me breathless, too -- for creating such a perfect romantic hero. Shane is a multifaceted, complicated man, filled with countless contradictions. Each time I read the book, I am struck by how effortlessly Schaefer has created such a hero without ever writing from Shane's point of view!.....

And that review above was written by a woman so, you see, Shane isn't only a guy's book.

47 posted on 07/19/2002 7:03:17 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
This is a great idea!! Ping me when the ball gets rolling!

PLEASE!!
48 posted on 07/19/2002 7:09:36 PM PDT by lizma
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
Here is some more interesting commentary about Shane:

For many readers, Shane strikes a deep personal chord. In his Foreword to the critical edition of the novel, for example, western historian Marc Simmons declares: "Shane has been an almost lifelong companion. I return to it whenever I need a bit of inspiration or a boost of energy." For him, as for countless others, the book's message is "as deep and vital as the man it describes."

49 posted on 07/19/2002 7:13:16 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: PJ-Comix
Excellent. I'm on my way to the library now....
50 posted on 07/19/2002 7:13:54 PM PDT by BullDog108
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-190 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson