Author Topic: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!  (Read 4033 times)  

Offline KindleGirl

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Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
« on: August 28, 2011, 07:05:57 am »
The reading and discussion of the September book will be starting in a few days. If you haven't picked up the book yet, go run and do that and come back to join our leader, Leslie, for some great discussions.



Meet Bob the Book, a gay book for sale in a Greenwich Village bookstore, where he falls in love with another book, Moishe. But an unlikely customer separates the young lovers. As Bob wends his way through used book bins, paper bags, knapsacks, and lecture halls, hoping to be reunited with Moishe, he meets a variety of characters, both book and human, including Angela, a widowed copy of Jane Austens Mansfield Park, and two other separated lovers, Neil and Jerry, near victims of a book burning. Among their owners are Alfred and Duane, whose on-again, off-again relationship unites and separates our book friends.
Will Bob find Moishe?
Will Jerry and Neil be reunited?
Will Alfred and Duane make it work?
Read Bob the Book to find all the answers...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 06:27:13 am by Leslie »

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    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - starting soon!
    « Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 07:24:22 am »
    Thanks, KindleGirl. I am looking forward to getting going with our group reading of Bob the Book. I picked this book for a few reasons: it's an award winner (Lambda Literary Award for gay debut fiction); it had lots of great reviews; I really enjoyed it; and the author wrote a reading guide which should help us in our discussions! If you are undecided about joining us, here are a few reviews which I hope will help to persuade you to give this book a try.

    http://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/12/07/bob-the-book-by-david-pratt/

    http://blog.outinprint.net/2010/10/31/bob-the-book--david-pratt-chelsea-station-editions.aspx

    http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2011/05/28/bob-the-book/

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 06:29:14 am »
    So let's kick off this reading klub, shall we? I wonder how many people are interested in joining me to read Bob the Book. If you could "sign in" as it were and let me know you're here, that would be helpful.

    I've been hunting around for resources and found a few, which I'll be posting. First up is a YouTube of the author, David Pratt, discussing the book and reading a chapter at a bookstore in the midwest last November.

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NRcZTnhjuI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NRcZTnhjuI</a>


    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 06:30:39 am »
    Here's another YouTube...I think he is reading from Chapter 3.

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0394GZ9Y1bo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0394GZ9Y1bo</a>

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 06:33:53 am »
    For anyone who may be in the Pittsburgh area, I came across this announcement:

    Bob appears at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, 210 Grant Street @ Third Avenue at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 8th.

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Geemont

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 05:14:56 pm »
    I'm in. I finished the book last week.  I'll refrain from comments for the moment, though my Goodreads rating is 3 stars, maybe closer to 3.5 stars.

    Oh yeah, didn't I read somewhere that all the Bob books were named Eric?

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 07:08:07 am »
    Hi Geemont, welcome! Hopefully a few others will join us and we can get a little bit of a discussion going.

    Yes, I read that the book, Bob the Book, is about Bob, the actual book is named Eric.

    I cam across this interesting tidbit about how Bob the Book came to be:

    What is a Gay Book?

    When I first began writing, I attended many gay literary conferences, including the erstwhile OutWrite in Boston. Panelists would talk about the art, meaning and plight of gay books. Inevitably someone would say, We have to define what we mean by a gay book, and someone else would always say, Its a book thats attracted to other books of the same gender! (Knowingly or not, they were paraphrasing the playwright Robert Patrick, when asked what a gay play was.)

    Fast forward to 2001. I had just received my MFA in Creative Writing. Our first summer, a group of us created a project called 101 Stories in 101 Days to keep us writing during a summer break of exactly 101 days. We each had to write one self-contained piece a day and post it online for others to read. The project was thus public and performative, and such a success that we repeated it the next summer.

    By  the middle of that  summer, I d grown tired of being literary. I wanted to stick a thumb in the eye of literature. That old gay book quip popped  into my head, and I thought, why not? So Bob the Book was born, a chapter a day (with three or four days between each) over six weeks. My classmates loved Bob (and Bob), and so I submitted him (it?) to a gay novel contest. It (he?) did not win, but one of the judges, Jameson Currier, told me he  loved  the book and  that, if he were a publisher, he would publish it.

    Fast forward  to April 2010. I had largely given up writing for a real (and time-consuming) day job. Then I received an e-mail from Jim Currier. He had indeed become a publisher. And he indeed wanted to publish Bob. The thumb-in-the-eye, spur-of-the-moment idea would be a real  book.

    I thank you very much for reading that book. It takes a great effort to  read anything for pleasure these days, so Bob greatly appreciates your time and attention, and so do I!

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Geemont

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 10:22:42 pm »
    Well, then there is something more to say...

    So books can "fall in love" with other books, especially those shelved next to each other.  OK, my Bob is a Kindle edition, but there is still an order in my "Literature, Fiction" collection, and his current proximity books are The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut and Snopes: The Hamlet, The Town, The Mansion by William Faulkner.  I think my Bob will not find his soul mate next door.

    Offline Geemont

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 07:53:25 am »
    Nobody else reading?

    What was your favorite non-bob book?  I liked the Beckett book who, apropos, couldn't remember his name. I also liked the Malory defending the other books from the right-wing book. 

    Offline 1131

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 09:39:24 pm »
    I'm planning to read Bob, in fact he is up next.  Right now Bob is resting in my archives between Bloody Crimes and The Body in the Library.  I wonder if he is enjoying the neighborhood.

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 11:50:45 am »
    Hi everyone,

    This book klub seems to have a hard time getting started. I have to be honest, I am dealing with a work crisis in real life which is distracting me from everything else so I haven't had a lot of spare time for various activities, including leading a discussion here. I apologize for that.

    The author has written two study guides, one for book clubs and one for young readers. Here are the links. Do we want to discuss any of the questions?

    http://www.chelseastationeditions.com/documents/bobstudyguide.pdf

    http://www.chelseastationeditions.com/documents/BobtheBookbyDavidPratt-YoungAdultReadingGuide.pdf

    Let me know what works for you. Thanks!

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline 1131

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 11:16:13 pm »
    The author has written two study guides, one for book clubs and one for young readers. Here are the links. Do we want to discuss any of the questions?

    http://www.chelseastationeditions.com/documents/bobstudyguide.pdf

    http://www.chelseastationeditions.com/documents/BobtheBookbyDavidPratt-YoungAdultReadingGuide.pdf
    I checked out the questions in the 1st link.  I'll start with an easy one for me to answer.
    "At the end of the novel, one plot strand is deliberately left undone. How did you respond to this? Were you disappointed? Or did
    it seem consistent with the rest of the book?"
    I don't like books with unfinished plot lines.  I don't get why it's done and it ticks me off.  For me, it reduces my enjoyment of the book.

    Something I thought about a lot when I was reading the book:
    When the books are taking about being owned, given away, sold and gifted I kept thinking how it mirrored slavery.  Sold away from the ones they love with no say, no choice about where they were going to live and how they were going to live.  I don't know, maybe I read too much history.

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 04:56:34 am »
    Refresh my memory...what plot line was left undone?

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Geemont

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 07:33:08 am »
    Refresh my memory...what plot line was left undone?

    Owen.  He gave away all his books and left the novel.  I think that was the point.  Bob was told from the point of view from the books and once gone there was no way for the book to know the rest of the story.


    I didn't pick up a slavery vibe: but I basically keep every book I buy.  Occasionally I buy books as gifts but there bought as gifts from the beginning.

    The strongest part of Bob, to me, was the story of the book burning.  How some people can think and believe in those kind of things with such hate goes against the my left of center core.  And the scene in the basement where the boys is told what is sin and what is not was good example the hypocrisy of the organization.

    Offline 1131

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 07:43:39 pm »
    I see the point of not being able to finish Owen's story when I get away from the irritation of something not being finished.  Thanks for pointing that out.
    I think the book burning was very powerful, as it was intended to be.  I got the slavery connection from the buying and selling with the books having no say.  The part that got me started on that was at the Armory.  Angela was sold because her owner needed money, the books wondering what their fate would be, trying to make themselves heard as well as later sections where the books had no say in their own fate.  It made me think of the stories of slavery where families were torn apart, connections broken and new connections made because you would never see the other person again.  Reminded me of Jerry and Neil's story.  Like I said, I probably read too much history. 
    The book burning also got me thinking about intolerance and hypocrisy.
    For such a short easy read, this book has a lot to it.
    On another note - when I moved earlier this year, I gave several hundred books to the library, hmm...

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #15 on: September 22, 2011, 06:16:03 am »
    I wonder how all those books that went to the library are doing...hmmm...  ;)

    One thing I was thinking was, do all books have personalities? In one way, yes, they would, just like all people have personalities. But then I don't know all the people and I don't like all the people I know. I wonder if books that have personalities that flourish are the books who have owners who like them and see them as valuable/important.

    Well, maybe not (thinking as I type this). That would make the books too dependent on their owners and the point was that they are independent beings with their own thoughts and emotions. But then again, they are dependent to be able to move and so on.

    I keep going back to Toy Story (the movie) which, to me, is an obvious inspiration for this book. One of the differences with the toys is that they were all different and could bring necessary resources to a situation to get things done (a car could drive, a plane could fly, etc.). Books are all the same with their only differences being size, number of pages, whether they have pictures and so on.

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline 1131

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #16 on: September 25, 2011, 09:00:12 am »
    Didn't the books personalities come from their content?  Bob, Moishe, Luke and Neil are gay because of their subject matter.  Just as Sunny is annoying because of her subject matter.  In addition Moishe is a scholarly text and is very serious.  All of my books have personalities.  It comes from the writting style and subject matter. 

    Quote
    I wonder if books that have personalities that flourish are the books who have owners who like them and see them as valuable/important
      Maybe this is how best sellers are created.

    Going back to the questions you posted the link to.  "What do you think the character of Bob has learned by the end of the story?"  Bob's growth was the central theme (for me).  He went from idealistic to disillusioned, realistic with several other stops along the way.  I got the feeling from the book that Bob will keep growing and changing.  That's one of the things I like about the story.

    Offline Geemont

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #17 on: September 25, 2011, 08:14:59 pm »
    I can kind of see were the analogy to slavery might come in; however, the buying, selling, and trading of human is immoral, but the same can't be said for books.

    As for what Bob learned?  I dunno, maybe the acceptance of his fate.  That's the problem with the books--they're pretty much passive with the rare exception of throwing themselves off shelves.

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: Book of the Month club - September - Bob the Book!
    « Reply #18 on: September 30, 2011, 08:42:14 am »
    I apologize for not being a livelier group leader. This has been a ghastly month for me work-wise and I just didn't have the time and energy to focus on fun stuff. Even so, thanks for joining in and contributing to our very limited discussion. I appreciate your support!

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

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