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  #1  
Old Jan 24th, 2021, 01:22 PM
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Book Nominations for March 2021

The March 2021 RPGX Book Club Selection is...
Dice Roll:
d4 4

Accepted Nominations
# Title* Author Nominator
1 The Four Feathers A.E.W. Mason Baxder
2 Phédre Jean Baptiste Racine Bothers
3 Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami Lashiec
4 The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera Wishkamon
*These link to the book's Amazon RPG affiliate page when available; your purchase via this link will support this site!

amazon link

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, nominated by Wishkamon!

Nomination320 pages

Synopsis: The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a 1984 novel by Milan Kundera, about two women, two men, a dog and their lives in the 1968 Prague Spring period of Czechoslovak history. IT tells the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places; brilliant and playful reflections; and a variety of styles to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers.

How it fits the theme of unrequited love: An interesting take in which the subject of the persons love is available physicaly, but not mentaly.

A brief thought on why it would be a good book to discuss: Another recomendation by a friend, i'm so sorry, but thats all I got ^^;


You can support RPGX by picking up a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being from the linked image above, or from Book Depository. (Shockingly, there is no Kindle version of this edition!)

You can begin reading right away, but please refrain from discussing the book's contents until the first section's discussion thread opens on March 1st. You can find the complete discussion schedule in the Schedule post, or in the book's Schedule and General Discussion thread once we begin the read.

Thanks to everyone for the great submissions for our first themed read!


Last edited by Baxder; Jan 31st, 2021 at 11:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old Jan 25th, 2021, 12:55 PM
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The Four Feathers by A.E.W Mason
239 Pages
Colonial Literature

Synopsis: In this soaring romantic epic, Harry Feversham, an officer in the colonial-era British Army, discovers the meaning of courage after shamefully resigning his commission in the name of love. As he does, those closest to him discover the value of true friendship tempered by the trials of redemption.

How it fits the theme of unrequited love: One of those friendships is most deeply tested when Harry is shunned even by his fiance for his act of cowardice. While on his quest for redemption, another vies for her affections, but only one will carry them in the end.

Why this book: The Four Feathers is my favorite book, and I don't pick favorites. What I like most about it is its multifaceted telling of one man's quest for redemption, and the prominence of friendship in it. I'm really stoked that it fits the theme!

Discussion questions:
1 - Do you agree with Harry's fateful decision? Do you believe he was motivated by love or was that simply a convenient cover for his cowardice?

2 - Discuss Harry's relationship with his father. Do you think the General is capable of understanding his son? What is the source of his confusion regarding Harry?

3 - What does it mean that "the true music never complains?"

4 - Discuss the varying opinions of the desert and the characters' purpose there. Some love both, some dislike one more than the other. Can you infer the author's opinion on colonialism from them? Or is he simply stating the classic soldier's struggle?

5 - What is the book's take on women and relationships? Would it have been progressive at the time? How much of the book's differences between men's and women's psyches ring true?

6 - What do you think of Harry's quest to regain his honor? Would you have gone to such extreme measures to do so? What were his deepest motivations; love or honor? Are there any "codes" in modern Western society that demand such strict keeping to?

7 - Discuss Jack's affliction. How much did it change his character, if at all? Would he have come to the same conclusion in the end if it wasn't there?

I have read The Four Feathers multiple times and find it to be deeply moving, though admittedly in a very romantic way.

RPGX Amazon affiliate link (Paperback)
RPGX Amazon affiliate link (Kindle)
Anywhere else (Goodreads)

Last edited by Baxder; Jan 25th, 2021 at 12:56 PM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 02:42 PM
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NominationPhédre by Jean Baptiste Racine
A play of 5 Acts (I don't have a number of pages, as it'll vary by translation - most editions I can see are between 50 and 100 pages)
Dramatic tragedy (classical)

Synopsis: Racine's Phédre is a 5-Act interpretation in French of Seneca's tragedy Phaedra. Phèdre is dying, and her husband Thésée (Theseus, the King of Athens) is absent, thought to be dead - raising some difficult questions about his succession. Phaedra confesses to her love for her stepson, Hippolytus, thinking that his claim to the throne could be protected if they were to marry. Hippolytus is saving himself for Aricia and is very much not down with the incest plan. To make matters worse, news suddenly arrives that reports of Theseus's death may have been exaggerated.

How it fits the theme of unrequited love: HOO BOY, well. It's all in the synopsis, baby. This one is about as unrequited as it gets.

A brief thought on why it would be a good book to discuss: I love a bit of Classical tragedy. One of its enduring fascinations for me is how we're still able to reimagine and reinterpret these stories many hundreds of years after they were written (Seneca's version dates from before 54 AD, and Racine's was first performed in 1677).

Discussion questions:
* How is love presented in Phédra?
* What is the message of the play to readers/the audience?
* How does Oenone serve as a foil for Phédre?

Whether or not you have read the book: I have neither read nor seen the play.

Where to get it:
* Naturally there are copies to buy available on Amazon, but you can also view an English-language translation by Robert Bruce Boswell at Project Gutenberg.
* You can rent a production of the play with Helen Mirren in the titular role from the British National Theatre website, until November 2021. This version uses the 96-page translation by Ted Hughes.

Last edited by bothers; Jan 30th, 2021 at 07:14 AM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 03:32 PM
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  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • 298 pages
  • Coming of age/romance
  • Synopsis:A young student in 1960's Tokyo develops relationships with two women. One woman is outgoing, living her days to the fullest. The other is troubled and withdrawn. Our male protagonist must find himself during these two relationships and through a country that is shifting the way it thinks about government and the status quo.
  • How it fits the theme of unrequited love:I mean, one of the relationships ain't gonna work out, right? I imagine the breakup isn't mutual at least one time.
  • A brief thought on why it would be a good book to discuss: Murakami developed a sudden and strong following in Japan because of this book, which published in 1987. Let's see if a million screaming fans can be wrong. Also, the story seems rife with opportunities to dive into the connections lovers make between each other for better or worse.
  • Discussion question:
    • What does the protagonist realize about himself with each relationship? Does he change at all?
    • How does the cultural shift in Japan play a role in this story?
    • Is there a deeper reason why one or both of these relationships is unrequited?
    • What does this novel teach us about the connections we make with other people, especially lovers?
  • Whether or not you have read the book:Never even heard of it. I'm vaguely aware of Murakami's other works, though. I hope these discussion questions end up being valid!
  • Where to get it if you fear Amazon:https://www.bookdepository.com/Norwe...8681718&sr=1-3.
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Last edited by Lashiec; Jan 29th, 2021 at 03:35 PM.
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Old Jan 30th, 2021, 07:05 AM
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NominationThe Unbearable Lihtness of Being by Milan Kundera

320 pages

Synopsis: The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a 1984 novel by Milan Kundera, about two women, two men, a dog and their lives in the 1968 Prague Spring period of Czechoslovak history. IT tells the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places; brilliant and playful reflections; and a variety of styles to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers.

How it fits the theme of unrequited love: An interesting take in which the subject of the persons love is available physicaly, but not mentaly.

A brief thought on why it would be a good book to discuss: Another recomendation by a friend, i'm so sorry, but thats all I got ^^;

Discussion questions:
* How would you describe the three central relationships of the novel--Tereza and Tomas, Tomas and Sabina, Sabina and Franz?
* What kinds of being carry the attribute of lightness? How is the "lightness of being" of the novel's title presented? In what ways is it "unbearable"?
* Kundera insists that "the criminal regimes were made not by criminals but by enthusiasts convinced they had discovered the only road to paradise." What visions or versions of paradise are presented in the novel? By whom? How does each vision/version of paradise affect the lives of its enthusiasts and the lives of others?


Whether or not you have read the book: I have not! I know it might be a bit sexy, but I'm not entierly sure how sexy....

Where to get it:
amazon link
Or bookdepository
[/QUOTE]
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Last edited by Wishkamon; Jan 30th, 2021 at 07:07 AM.
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