STEEPSTER BOOK CLUB: Add your book nominations here!!

I am so pleased that there is interest in a book club here on Steepster!

This is the thread to add your Official Book Nominations for MAY 2010! I’ll be taking them until Sunday April 18th at Midnight. If you see a book that you would like to nominate already mentioned in the thread, there is no need to nominate it again. You can cast your vote for it once I put up the voting thread.

The voting thread will contain a list of the nominations and you can cast a vote for one book for May’s book club selection. That vote will be open for one week, and close Sunday April 25th. I will then announce May’s selection on Monday April 26th, and we will start on May 1st!

I will be doing research on how to best conduct an online book group. I have run an in person one, but never online! My gut tells me to keep it on Steepster, and have it be a thread on Discussions we can add to as we wish. The main thread message will be reading guidelines/questions to think about/etc.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to add them to the other book club thread for the sake of clarity, or PM them to me, and I am also available at
j m a n n i AT u a r t s DOT e d u via email. I love suggestions and I want this to be a collective effort. Please tell me if something doesn’t make sense, or can be done a better way.

Interested in leading the group in some capacity (taking nominations, doing the vote, guiding the discussion) for JUNE? PM or email me :)

xoxoxoxxoxo Thank you all so much for making this exciting, interesting, and fun!! I love you guys!!!

EDIT: I really like Doulton’s idea about choosing ahead. How about we make the runner up book June’s book and #3 July’s book to save us some picking angst? Then we can see how that works and see if a three month choosing cycle works for us?

62 Replies

To get us started, here are the books we mentioned on the other thread:

1. Harney & Sons Guide to Tea
2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
3. A Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs
4. Chicken Soup for the Tea Lovers Soul
5. Three Cups of Tea
6. any/all of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books
7. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
8. The Great Gatsby
9. Tess of the d’Urbervilles

I just did some quick scanning of our previous thread, so if I left something off, please nominate it :) Thank you!!!

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LENA said

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency (Series) by Alexander McCall Smith frequently refer to “bush tea” or rooibos. The newest book in the series is titled Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. I highly suggest reading the series. They are quite charming and quick reads.

The 1st book was also adapted into a mini series for HBO. It is also highly entertaining…and tea relevant.

gmathis said

I’ll second that endorsement … haven’t read the latest, but they’re definitely tea relevant!

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Doulton said
“Perhaps there can be too much making of cups of tea, I thought, as I watched Miss Statham filling the heavy teapot. Did we really need a cup of tea? I even said as much to Miss Statham and she looked at me with a hurt, almost angry look, ‘Do we need tea? she echoed. ’But Miss Lathbury…’ She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realise that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental. It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind. I mumbled something about making a joke and that of course one needed tea always, at every hour of the day or night.”

— Barbara Pym (Excellent Women)

I’m always fond of books by Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor and those other mid-century middle-brow authors for whom the taking of tea is an essential backdrop.
I also like almost everything published by Virago Modern Classics and by Persephone Books. I’m not nominating them, but I cannot resist an opportunity to mention them.

I’m sure you’re already in them, but if not, there is a Virago and a Persephone group on LT. I’ll sometimes read their threads when they’re in Hot Topics.

Also, I’ve wanted to read a Pym at some point.

Janefan said

I have not yet read any Pym either, but would like to!

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Cofftea said

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea (free Kindle version on I’d think this’d apply to Kindle for PC as well which is a free download)

Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies Table Our Journey Through the Middle East

Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance by Tom Reynolds

Hot Tea…Cold Case: A Stephen Blackman Mystery by D.G. Stern

Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series

SoccerMom said

LOL at the title Hot Tea…Cold Case!

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k_t_bug said

I would like to suggest: For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. I heard a review of this book on NPR last week. This is the book’s description from Amazon:

A dramatic historical narrative of the man who stole the secret of tea from China

In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China-territory forbidden to foreigners-to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. For All the Tea in China is the remarkable account of Fortune’s journeys into China-a thrilling narrative that combines history, geography, botany, natural science, and old-fashioned adventure.

Disguised in Mandarin robes, Fortune ventured deep into the country, confronting pirates, hostile climate, and his own untrustworthy men as he made his way to the epicenter of tea production, the remote Wu Yi Shan hills. One of the most daring acts of corporate espionage in history, Fortune’s pursuit of China’s ancient secret makes for a classic nineteenth-century adventure tale, one in which the fate of empires hinges on the feats of one extraordinary man.

SoccerMom said

This one does sound interesting!

B HILL said

Just sent it to my Kindle!

Lori said

Ooohhh- this book sounds good!

Rabs said

I remember hearing about this and kept meaning to try and figure out its title so that I could add it to this discussion. Thank you so much!

Janni select said

That sounds fascinating! :)

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I haven’t read through this thread yet but I just wanted to post about something I’ve seen used on LibraryThing that I thought worked pretty well. It was a larger group than any of my online book clubs and so is the group here. There would be a thread to take nominations. They limited it to X many nominations per person. I don’t think we’d need to do that here. Then people could second as many nominations as they wanted. Any nomination that was seconded would make it to a poll. The first and second vote gatherers were the next two month’s group reads.

Okay, I just read the first post and Jacqueline is doing something very similar to this. But I’ll leave this post up just for info.

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The Brothers Karamazov by
<— Fyodor Dostoevsky

A heavy and revelatory read for anyone with a spiritual bent and penchant for realism. Absolute realism to the point of the surreal. (And there is tea involved.)

Meghann M said

I’ll second that nomination as I enjoyed discussing this book when read in college years ago. I think at that time the discussions were over my head, but I’d welcome another go at it.

Janni select said

I’m always up for Dostoevsky. That may indicate a problem on my part, LOL. XD

It’s true . . . in order to truly enjoy and appreciate his writing the reader must share some of his sentiments. And apparent troubles. There is no problem with that though. The beautiful thing is that, especially in his later work, he does not revel in the strife of his characters but instead moves toward themes of redemption, transcendence and salvation.

Definitely give it another go, Meg. Just know that it is a potentially great emotional investment (as most good novels are) and you will get what you put into it.

Oooh, I want to read this and I have a copy of it.

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Ricky admin said

Can we start a kickstarter project for Jacqueline to write a novel about her cupboard and the mysterious characters who reside in it? =]

lolololol!!! this is the ONLY time me ’n Dostoevsky will be mentioned in such close proximity!

muhahaha i think this is a wondrous plan can i be the photographer :)

SoccerMom said

I would so read her book. I love reading about the antics going on in her tea cupboard. :)

Janni select said

@Jacqueline: Except for in the title of your forthcoming autobio, Me n’ Dostevsky. XD

To bring another LibraryThing idea over here: There are group story threads where each poster adds X many words or X many sentences. Since so many of us personify the teas in our cupboards, it might be fun. I think one to three sentences per post would work well here.

Ricky admin said

I like the title of the book. Jacqueline & Dostevsky!

@AmazonV you can definitely be the photographer! =]

@chrine I was thinking the same thing! Except with photos. Everyone submits some photos and then we’ve got ourselves our very own Steepster tea photo book or something like that…
we really could

Ricky admin said

That’s what I was planning on using! =]

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Meghann M said

How about ‘The Tea House on Mulberry Street’? I don’t have a link but the description on amazon looked interesting.

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“The 4-Hour Workweek” per steepster select

SoccerMom said

AmazonV- Did you cave? :)

sigh yes i wanted that book anyway – and i ended up with 3 samples of teas i wanted to try

SoccerMom said

LOL I thought you might have.

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