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KEV67

Bookshop staff recommendations challenge

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This game/challenge is inspired by what they used to do in branches of Waterstones. They would be about four bookcases, in which a different member of staff would have put on display about twenty of their favourite books with a little blurb on why they thought it was so good. Each shelf tended to hold a different genre or type of book. For instance, you might get a member of staff who liked science fiction and had an interest in travel, so the top shelf would be sci-fi, the next shelf on literary fiction possibly with a dystopian tendency, the third shelf might be graphic novels, and the fourth, travel writing.

 

So the idea is you display twenty books on four shelves, each shelf representing a different genre or type of literature, and a short blurb to go with each one. You don't have to do them all at once. Take as long as you like.

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I am going to put Lamb of God by Ralph F. Wilson on shelf 4. I think that is the book I read. I went through a phase of reading origins of Christianity books. This is not one of those, but it is a beautifully researched book. Also religious and spiritual.

 

I have decided seafaring books are my favourite genre, so that is going to include Moby Dick, Midshipman Hornblower, and I am not sure what else.

 

The pre-20th century literary fiction shelf is going to include Great Expectations, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Jones, probably Wuthering Heights.

 

I am not sure what my third shelf is going to be. It might be 20th century British, in which case it would include I Claudius, Nice Work by David Lodge and something by George MacDonald Fraser. Might include Winged Victory by V.M. Yeates.

 

Edit:

________________________________________________________________________________________________

|                                                                                          Seafaring                                                                                    |

| Moby Dick              | Midshipman Hornblower | The Sea Wolf           | Master and Commander| The N****** of Narcissus |

| Herman Melville     | C.S. Forester                   | Jack London            | Patrick O' Brian              |  Joseph Conrad              |

|                                                                                  Pre 20th Century                                                                                |

| Great Expectations | Huckleberry Finn            |Tom Jones                | Wuthering Heights          | Mary Barton                  |

| Charles Dickens     | Mark Twain                     | Richard Fielding       | Emily Brontë                   | Mrs Gaskell                   |

|                                                                                20th Century British                                                                             |

| I Claudius               |  Nice Work                     | Winged Victory          | Mr American                     | Watership Down         |

| Robert Graves        | David Lodge                   | V.M. Yeates              | George MacDonald Fraser| Richard Adams          |

|                                                                                 Food for thought                                                                                 |

| Lamb of God           | Eating Animals              | Homicide                  |Why Nations Fail                 | The Bottomless Well  |

| Ralph R. Wilson      | Jonathon Safron Foer   | David Simon             |Acemoglu & Robinson        | Mills & Huber              |

 

I am bit worried that my bookshelf is a bit British and on the male, pale and stale side. But then I am British, male, pale and stale.

 

Edit: Pity the Mississippi isn't salt water. Then I would move it to seafaring. Then I could add New Grub Street to Pre-20th Century.

Edited by KEV67

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I like the idea, but I have been a bit distracted with some moderation issues over the last day or so, so please don't take the lack of a thoughtful reply personally! 

 

(I'm only in the market for drive-by pithy posts as things stand!)

 

So no change from usual, really...

 

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On 02/06/2021 at 11:00 PM, Raven said:

I like the idea, but I have been a bit distracted with some moderation issues over the last day or so, so please don't take the lack of a thoughtful reply personally! 

 

(I'm only in the market for drive-by pithy posts as things stand!)

 

So no change from usual, really...

 

I meant that I saw there was a challenges forum and I posted this in General Book Discussions, not that no one had replied. Is there any chance it can be moved?

Edited by KEV67

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22 hours ago, KEV67 said:

I meant that I saw there was a challenges forum and I posted this in General Book Discussions, not that no one had replied. Is there any chance it can be moved?

Done :).

 

This is a good game but it's hard! 

 

I'm going to give one shelf a go and I'll choose Fairy and Folk Tales (inspired by, not originals):

Once Upon a River - Dianne Setterfield

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke 

Melmoth - Sarah Perry 

Folk - Zoe Gilbert

Stardust - Neil Gaiman 

 

I was going to do a nineteenth century one but I can't decide what I want on it so I'll have to go away and think about it more :lol:.

 

(By the way I know it is the name of the book but you'll see that I edited the Conrad title. Just a note to everyone: when talking about that title, if we could star it out completely or refer to it by the American title 'A Tale of the Sea' that would be great. I'd rather not have that word on here in any context)

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One of my shelves will be books set around the time of WW2.

 

The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer

Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian

Henrietta's War : News from the Home Front 1939 - 42 by Joyce Dennys

Henrietta Sees It Through: More News from the Home Front 1942 - 45 by Joyce Dennys

Requiem For a Wren by Nevil Shute

Pied Piper by Nevil Shute

Vets Might Fly by James Herriot

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Hmm, this is a challenge! I’m working on mine….slowly.

But the general title will be Beasts & Super-Beasts :writing:

Edited by Marie H

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I am struggling a bit with my last food for thought book.I am interested in climate change and alternative energy. In that category the books that struck me the most were Sustainability Without the Hot Air by David Mackay, which takes you through the simple maths and physics of coming up with a sustainable energy plan for a nation, and The Bottomless Well by Mark P. Wells and Peter W. Huber. This is a book about energy, and why they think we will never run out. If I cannot decide between those, I could go for Alone in the Universe by John Gribbin. It is why he thinks there may not be much intelligent life out there.

 

I am struggling with the seafaring books too. If I liked Heart of Darkness more I would have chosen that over the Naughty word of Narcissus (a really rubbish title). The Naughty word of Narcissus is a good seafaring book, but it is not epic enough to be great. Lord Jim is just too miserable. There is The Old Man and the Sea. My father loved that, but I am not sure about Hemingway. I am not sure about The Sea Wolf neither.

 

I am struggling with Pre-20th century. I want to include New Grub Street by George Gissing, but who would I leave out. Great Expectations and Huckleberry Finn are going nowhere. If I changed it to 19th century classics I would have to leave out Tom Jones, but that is a great book. Wuthering Heights is a great book. It's like a long prose poem. I really like Mary Barton too.

Edited by KEV67

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This is taking up a lot of my thinking time. I have renamed the top shelf from Seafaring to Maritime so I could put Huckleberry Finn in place of N***** of Narcissus. I reckon the boss would be leery of having that book title prominent on a shelf, notwithstanding that the same word is used over a hundred times in Huckleberry Finn. N***** of Narcissus is a shortish story and usually comes bound up with other seafaring tales. There is only so much Conradian misey I would want to inflict on a reader. I've renamed the second shelf and added New Grub Street. I've renamed my third shelf too, and replaced Watership Down with Lionel Asbo. I loved Watership Down as a child, but found it difficult to read as an adult. Lionel Asbo made me laugh out loud.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

|                                                                                         Maritime                                                                                      |

| Moby Dick              | Midshipman Hornblower | The Sea Wolf           | Master and Commander| Huckleberry Finn            |

| Herman Melville     | C.S. Forester                   | Jack London            | Patrick O' Brian              |  Mark Twain                    |

|                                                                                  British Classics                                                                                   |

| Great Expectations | New Grub Street            |Tom Jones                | Wuthering Heights          | Mary Barton                  |

| Charles Dickens     | George Gissing              | Richard Fielding       | Emily Brontë                   | Mrs Gaskell                   |

|                                                                                British Literary Fiction                                                                          |

| I Claudius               |  Nice Work                     | Winged Victory          | Mr American                     | Lionel Asbo                |

| Robert Graves        | David Lodge                   | V.M. Yeates              | George MacDonald Fraser| Martin Amis               |

|                                                                                 Food for thought                                                                                 |

| Lamb of God           | Eating Animals              | Homicide                  |Why Nations Fail                 | The Bottomless Well  |

| Ralph R. Wilson      | Jonathon Safron Foer   | David Simon             |Acemoglu & Robinson        | Mills & Huber              |

 

I am considering taking out Homicide. It is a great book, but I might hold it back for another set of shelves. I might substitute The Sea Wolf too.

Edited by KEV67

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________________________________________________________________________________________________

|                                                                                         Cruises                                                                                         |

| Moby Dick              | Midshipman Hornblower |  N**** & Narcissus   | Master and Commander| Huckleberry Finn            |

| Herman Melville     | C.S. Forester                   | Joseph Conrad        | Patrick O' Brian              |  Mark Twain                    |

|                                                                                  British Classics                                                                                   |

| Great Expectations | New Grub Street            |Tom Jones                | Wuthering Heights          | Mary Barton                  |

| Charles Dickens     | George Gissing              | Richard Fielding       | Emily Brontë                   | Mrs Gaskell                   |

|                                                                                British Literary Fiction                                                                          |

| I Claudius               |  Nice Work                     | Winged Victory          | Mr American                     | Lionel Asbo                |

| Robert Graves        | David Lodge                   | V.M. Yeates              | George MacDonald Fraser| Martin Amis               |

|                                                                                 Food for thought                                                                                 |

| Lamb of God           | Eating Animals              | Alone in the Universe |Why Nations Fail               | The Bottomless Well  |

| Ralph R. Wilson      | Jonathon Safron Foer   | John Gribben              |Acemoglu & Robinson      | Mills & Huber              |

 

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