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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Club: The Story of the Stars

I'm re-working the book club concept a bit; instead of posting updates and leading with discussion questions I'm just going to keep you all updated on what I'm reading (after the initial interest in book club there was very little discussion). People can read along and voice their thoughts as they wish, but it's less structured, less compulsion on anyone to participate. I do hope people will still be reading with me and voicing their thoughts on the books.
Anyway, this week I've been skimming through The Story of the Stars, an early Christmas present from a friend. It was published in 1903 and covers both the anecdotal "first experience of starlight at night," "stars in poetry," and scientific descriptions of stars and nebula. It's truly wonderful. I think I first became fascinated with the night sky by senior year in Hawaii--one notable reason being the stars were brighter there than I had ever experienced before and the more practical explanation of my chosen science class that year being Astronomy (also the first time I ever really was engaged during science class). We even had an evening field trip out to an old airfield where a group of amateur astronomers gathered with their (ridiculously expensive) telescopes. We were allowed to wander from telescope to telescope asking people what they were looking at and peeping through the lenses. The beauty of the Swan constellation (Cygnus) with the North America Nebula weaving through it is ingrained in my memory.
The next novel I'll be working my way through is The Picture of Dorian Gray.

9 comments:

MintJulep said...

Oh Dorian Gray, it's been 20 years since I last read it and had my copy stolen... hmmm, makes a good purchase for my XMas.
http://fashionfauxpas-mintjulep.blogspot.com

penny@noblog.de said...

dont hide hor hair, Rebecca. It looks beautiful that short. Wished I had the courage to cut mine like this.

Hugs
Penny

Aleksandra said...

This books cover looks so pretty, I'd love to read it :)
Stars fascinate me too, but as my friend studies Astronomy his stories and explanations took away a bit of romanticism: he deals with things I absolutely don't understand, like quantum physics and such...

Kitsune-kun said...

ok - super weird coincidences. I read anna karenina over the summer and I just started the picture of dorian gray a couple of days ago....if you pick nicholas nickelby or david copperfield for the next one, ima fureak out.

I really meant to get in on the tolstoy discussions- I loved the book- but these past weeks have gotten incredibly busy for me. there was a point you made I wanted to write about though- is it too late now to comment in the coming days? I understand if it just feels irrelevant by now.. where is the best place for book discussion? on the particular post in question?

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

@Kathryn, it's never really too late to add to the discussion. The post with the questions or specific to the novel is the best place to add your thoughts. There was just so little discussion last week and I don't know if people weren't reading or weren't interested in the questions, but I can't really force participation, so it's easier for me if the posts are less driven by participation...since lack of that makes a book "club" impossible! :)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

I love all your star-themed photoshoots. :)

Re: Anna Karenina, I really wanted (want) to participate in that too, but simply didn't have time to finish the book this particular month and didn't want to join the comments in case the plot got given away (although I'm sure it's no great surprise).
Anyway, I expect I'm not the only one who didn't get around to finishing in time!

Bronté Collett said...

I feel like - for me anyway - Anna Karenina was a bit too intense for the first book..it was a really difficult read when you had other things like Christmas, exams, school, homework and jobs to distract you from it. At least for me I never had the time of day to get into such a heavy book.

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

@Bronte, @Emily yeah I think you both have good points. The problem is there will always be things interfering or people who don't finish on time--that's fine, but I can't really set a schedule around each individual who wants to participate lives. I also understand Anna Karenina was intense this time of year, but it was also the most agreed upon when I wrote the first post; I went with popular opinion. But without people adding their voice to the discussion even saying--I only got partway, or I never had a chance to finish, or I couldn't start this week--there is no discussion. I can continue to write book club posts if people want that--and to lead discussion with prompts, but to me it seems as if it isn't wanted when no one responds. I want a book club, but I also want to create content on the blog that engages people--no one seemed very engaged the last couple of weeks of book club so why beat a dead horse, eh?

Salt Water Star Dust said...

Your star book is truly gorgeous, I love the illustrations! And Dorian Gray has been one of my favorite books since high school, what a great excuse to re-read it. I'm looking forward to the discussions.

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