Book Discussion

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Book Discussion

Postby theoldlibrarian » Tue May 04, 2010 5:24 pm

I thought I'd make a thread for talking about various Non TP Literature as an alternative to the Monthly Discworld discussion and seeing if it worked.
What better place to start than with the works of the great Dr Seuss. An American man who lived for 87% of the 20th Century. He wrote many influential pieces one of which I consider to be one of the greatest books of all time "The Butter Battle Book".
The first time I was acquainted with the readings of Dr Seuss was when I was doing children's book reviews and he had just published "The Lorax". Dr Seuss wrote about Patriotism, economics, the environment and war in a way children could understand, adults could learn from and did it all in his own rhyming and style.
Would anyone care to argue, elaborate, blow my theory sky high or even kindly tell me to refrain from talking?
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue May 04, 2010 6:13 pm

I think you've got an interesting idea here, but can I suggest a way of doing this? :)

You've told us The Butter Battle Book is a particularly good book by Dr Seuss, but it's one of his I've never heard about. How about a synopsis and your reasons for rating it so highly?

Convince us that we need to read this book. :)

How about giving us your top five books by this author?

I'm currently reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - in that book the members of the society each read a book and then try to persuade the other members to read the same one. Once more than one person has read it, they are able to discuss the positive or negative sides of the book and maybe persuade even more members to read it.

So - tell us more about The Butter Battle Book and why it means so much to you. :D
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed May 05, 2010 2:25 am

Nice idea OL. :idea:

But I agree with Tony, you should make us want to read it.

Dotsie made me want to read Whit (Iain Banks) and I'm halfway through and it's brill. :P

PS: Are you a woman or a man? I thought you were a woman, but someone recently implied you were a man. Maybe I missed something. :?
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Postby theoldlibrarian » Sun May 09, 2010 7:46 pm

Sorry I've been away for a while. I thought the thread would be a good idea because sometimes on the forum it feels like we're too focused around the Broken Drum.
Everybody who has children should read the Butter Battle Book and The Lorax because kids love the rhyming and the pictures. If you don't have kids you should read them because they're short, easily available in all good libraries but most of all because Dr Seuss is a severely under-rated writer. He wrote about all the greatest flaws of humanity and if people just bore them in mind more often the world would be a better place.
Here are two videos but I don't think they capture the full magic of Seuss's writing: The Butter Battle Book
The Lorax
There are also other good books by Seuss but I won't go into them.

Pooh: Im not telling but you could check my profile for clues :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 09, 2010 8:29 pm

Dr Seuss may be underrated in Britain, but he's very popular in the US. He was a political cartoonist as well as a childrens' writer.

The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch and Horton are three of his most famous creations. I'm sure I read them to my kids when they were young - they are great read-aloud books. I've certainly read Green Eggs and Ham. :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun May 09, 2010 10:18 pm

theoldlibrarian wrote:Pooh: Im not telling but you could check my profile for clues :)


You could be a bearded-lady in a circus. :lol:
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Postby swreader » Sun May 09, 2010 11:00 pm

Glad you're recovered from your cataract surgery--I'll be facing that one of these days. I've read some of Dr. Seuss, and of course enjoy him. Did you know that The Butter Battle Book was banned at one time in the US? That puts Seuss in some very good company (Mark Twain--Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn; Harper Lee--To Kill a Mockingbird). Will try to look at your link later.

Have you heard of or read my favorite children's author, Byrd Baylor? Her books are available in the UK & the US. She lives just outside Tucson, and writes incredible verse about the Southwest. Here's a link to the Amazon Byrd Baylor Page Her Desert Voices has had two poems commissioned as symphonic poems. But my own very favorite is The Table Where The Rich People Sit.

And for the rest of you--the books are incredible insightful and beautifully illustrated. If you went to Phoenix for the convention, you really must get and read one.
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Postby theoldlibrarian » Mon May 10, 2010 5:20 pm

No I did not know it was banned but it makes perfect sense that it was. Baylor is also a great young person's writer. She truly has beautiful style :)
Tony, I didn't so much mean that the books were underrated seen as they are some of the most read and loved children's books on both sides of the Atlantic but that they aren't held in quite the literary esteem that they should be.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon May 10, 2010 5:26 pm

We watched the links and thoroughly enjoyed them. I agree the message in there is very clear and it has the plus of being funny too. It did remind me of the Big-Endians from Gulliver's travels. :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon May 17, 2010 6:38 pm

To continue this discussion. :)

It's pretty obvious that when this book came out it was very much an anti-Cold War book with the stalemate at the end and the possibility of mutual destruction.

Would you say that the message is still as relevant today?
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Postby theoldlibrarian » Mon May 17, 2010 8:06 pm

Clearly based on the cold war but still just as relevant because it teaches about the human condition and civilization. Ill say exactly what when I have a little more time.
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