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Thread: Backroom Book Club (July) - "7000 Days in Siberia"

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Post Backroom Book Club (July) - "7000 Days in Siberia"

    Per lady Prole's request, I am posting a run-off poll for every book from the initial list that garnered four or more votes. Have at it, lads! The options are:

    Guns, Germs, and Steel (The Fates of Human Societies)

    Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. Yet his survey is binocular: one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye--and his heart--belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work for more than 30 years.


    Maus : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History/Here My Troubles Began

    Art Spiegelman's "Maus: A Survivor's Tale" is a unique and unforgettable work of literature. This two-volume set of book-length comics (or "graphic novels," if you prefer) tells the story of the narrator, Artie, and his father Vladek, a Holocaust survivor. "Maus" is thus an important example of both Holocaust literature and of the graphic novel. The two volumes of "Maus" are subtitled "My Father Bleeds History" and "And Here My Troubles Began"; they should be read together to get the biggest impact.

    Artie is a comic book artist who is trying to create art that is meaningful, not just commercial. As the two volumes of "Maus" unfold, he gradually learns the full story of his father's history as a Jewish survivor of the World War II Holocaust. There is a complex "book within the book" motif, since the main character is actually writing the book that we are reading. This self-referentiality also allows Spiegelman to get in some satiric material.

    The distinguishing conceit of "Maus" involves depicting the books' humanoid characters as having animal heads. All the Jews have mice heads, the Germans are cats, the Americans dogs, etc. It is a visually provocative device, although not without problematic aspects. To his credit, Spiegelman addresses some of the ambiguities of this visual device in the course of the 2 volumes. For example, Artie's wife, a Frenchwoman who converted to Judaism, wonders what kind of animal head she should have in the comic.

    "Maus" contains some stunning visual touches, as well as some truly painful and thought-provoking dialogue. Vladek is one of the most extraordinary characters in 20th century literature. As grim as the two books' subject matter is, there are some moments of humor and warmth. Overall, "Maus" is a profound reflection on family ties, history, memory, and the role of the artist in society.


    Seven Thousand Days in Siberia

    Written with calm courage in a matter-of-fact style, this searing diary is one of the fullest, most shocking accounts yet of the Soviet prison-camp system. Rewarded for his work as a communist in his native Austria and in Yugoslavia, Stajner was sent to the U.S.S.R. to run a print shop in 1932. Four years later, the victim of a Stalinist purge, he was sentenced to an initial 10 years in Siberian prisons, then to another 10. His journal recreates the regimentation, irrationality, thought control and sadism of the Gulag system. The reader learns of nuns murdered by NKVD soldiers, harems of women prisoners, executions committed in assembly line fashion, the mass slaughter that accompanied Soviet collectivization of farming. Now living in Yugoslavia, Stajner believes his ordeal was the fault of Stalinism and not of true socialism. His remarkable firsthand account stands as a condemnation of an unfree society.
    Last edited by Lemur; 06-28-2007 at 19:13.
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  2. #2
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    We can vote again! Hip-horray!
    I guess?
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I hate voting european style with runoffs. Whichever one got the most votes in the first election should win, even if it wasn't my choice.

    Anyway, I revoted my choice (which apparently was at least a finalist).
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Maus. One hopes miz prole arrives safely in sin city.

    If this poll goes 50-50, I suggest Proletariat flip an actual coin, we trust her report of the result, and 'go' with whatever selection is made. I will certainly abide the will of the backroom.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Come on, 7000 days.

    And how did I get roped into being part of the BBC?! It's all a trap, I say!

    Crazed Rabbit
    Last edited by Crazed Rabbit; 06-29-2007 at 06:58.
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Ser Clegane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Voted for GG&S - ordered that one a while ago and did not manage to read it yet.
    Perhaps with some "peer pressure" I will finally get around

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Hasn't just about everyone read MAUS already, I say 7000 days in Siberia and I don't even like Bradd Pitt.

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    Medical Welshman in London. Senior Member Big King Sanctaphrax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Hasn't just about everyone read MAUS already, I say 7000 days in Siberia and I don't even like Bradd Pitt.
    Are you sure you aren't thinking of Seven Years in Tibet?
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    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I've perused Maus but I want to fully read all three. Voted Maus, though.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Big King Sanctaphrax
    Are you sure you aren't thinking of Seven Years in Tibet?
    Nice catch.

    Anyways, Houellebeque's newest sucks.

  11. #11
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    So, "Siberia" it is then, yes? I've ordered it 'used' through Amazon.com's 'marketplace' feature. Should have it next week. Total cost, with shipping: $9.44. Much better than the $30 list price.

    Siberia. Brrrrr (shiver). Should make good reading on hot July days. :)
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  12. #12
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Kewl, that one and GGS were the only ones I haven't read already, and GGS doesn't sound like my thing anyway. Can we start nominating for next month? Two books I think everyone can (and should) enjoy.

    Wild Swans, three daughter of China: Yu Chang
    100 years of solitude: Gabriel Garcia Marques

    Both books describes the life of three generations in very different parts of the world, and both are truly epic.

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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan
    So, "Siberia" it is then, yes? I've ordered it 'used' through Amazon.com's 'marketplace' feature. Should have it next week. Total cost, with shipping: $9.44. Much better than the $30 list price.

    Siberia. Brrrrr (shiver). Should make good reading on hot July days. :)
    Mine's on it's way too.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
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    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I guess I won't be in the club this month.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I'm actually a bit lower on money than I thought, I had to find out, so I don't know yet, also have some exams in two weeks.
    But I'll see what I can do, after all I even voted for that book.


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    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    Mine's on it's way too.
    You guys must've snagged all the cheap ones. 19$ with shipping here, but it looks like it's really gonna be worth it.

  17. #17
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Welcome back, Prolie. Did you break the bank at Circus-Circus, or have mercy on them?

    Me, I only go to Vegas to visit my money (the stuff I left there years ago). :)
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  18. #18
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    For once in my life I did pretty well gambling. Went up about two grand playing craps, which basically means I broke even for most of the travel, lodging and food, and was also able to splurge on some unnecessary stuff in Caesar's Forum.
    All in all a great weekend.

  19. #19
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Glad you had fun in Sin City Prole, especially on their dime. I just ordered a used title from Amazon for $9.75 .
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

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    Medical Welshman in London. Senior Member Big King Sanctaphrax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I've ordered mine from an Amazon.co.uk markeplace seller, nine quid.
    Co-Lord of BKS and Beirut's Kingdom of Peace and Love.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I was so smug, I figured I could find it somewhere in the Southeastern Wisconsin library system. Wrongo. It's gonna set me back $13, all told. This depressing tale of tragic loss and pain had better be a darn good summer read!
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    I was so smug, I figured I could find it somewhere in the Southeastern Wisconsin library system. Wrongo. It's gonna set me back $13, all told. This depressing tale of tragic loss and pain had better be a darn good summer read!
    Unbelieveable. Wisconsin is held in very high repute among librarians here (I dated several back in the old days). Sorry, man.

    But hey, look at the bright side, BKS, a student, is forking over almost 20$ - if I got the currency conversion right.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  23. #23
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    You know guys, I was just kidding, the book is nothing special...

    After spending so much money, I guess I am going to be if you don't like it.

  24. #24
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Apparently Borders here doesn't have it in stock, nor is it even listed.

    They do however have 7000 years of Jewelry I'll just walk er mince my way out of this thread until I can find a real bookstore.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Haha! My library system has it! Western Washington libraries for the win!



    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

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    Medical Welshman in London. Senior Member Big King Sanctaphrax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    But hey, look at the bright side, BKS, a student, is forking over almost 20$ - if I got the currency conversion right.
    It's not too bad, relatively. The standard price for a new paperback in the UK is eight pounds.
    Co-Lord of BKS and Beirut's Kingdom of Peace and Love.

    "Handsome features, rugged exteriors, intellectual chick magnets, we're pretty much twins."-Beirut

    "Rhy, where's your helicopter now? Where's your ******* helicopter now?"-Mephistopheles.



  27. #27
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    € 7,60

    (= $ 10.30, £ 5.15)
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  28. #28
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    I'm certainly going to check online with my library system before I vote next time. How dare someone's ultimate tale of suffering and hardship cost me money?
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    Sheesh, have to wait until the 12th at the earliest. Think I paid the most in the thread for the longest wait. :P

  30. #30
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Book Club (BBC) July Run-Off

    My earliest delivery date is also the 12th thru the 26th. You might not finish this one last after all.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

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