Dit onderwerp is gemarkeerd als "slapend"—het laatste bericht is van meer dan 90 dagen geleden. Je kan het activeren door een een bericht toe te voegen.
Our mission statement*
Ducks book camp – aka the Beast. We are driven, energetic, motivated, and dynamic …designed to um…get through the entire book. Do not think “Ducks boot camp will get me in reading shape.” You are asking for miserably long days, however, in the end, if you survive, and reach the of Ducks, you will definitely be in the best reading shape of your life. We shall push you ourselves to get to the end in a safe, kind (?) friendly (?) way. We shall be challenged, while burning through brain cells (?) for a leaner brain in minimal time. Prepare to experience reading you will never regret.
*yes, pulled from actual bootcamp websites
So, this is the planning thread to check interest, maybe discuss if CR is even the right format for this kind of group read (will this work?), and, assuming all good, layout a schedule.
1. start this thread
2. check interest here
3. make a plan here, this month
3. buy the book (if you don't have it)
4. start reading the book on March 1
So, step one is complete. 🙂
Whose in? Post here if you're interested and let's check that we actually have a group.
(several people expressed interest on my thread. I'll send PMs)
When you are all sinew, struggle and solitude, your young -- being soft, plump, vulnerable -- may remind you of prey
Recruit Morris reporting for duty, SIR!
I have the UK paperback edition of Ducks, Newburyport, which I purchased in London in September, so I am eager and ready for Basic Duck Training.
I have to finish U.S.A. first and will join late-March or April.
I'm in. Definitely maybe. I'm certainly in for giving it a go, but if it's not working for me (the book, not the group) I'm giving myself permission to bow out. It's way too long for reading heroism.
Looking forward to upping my P.T. with that extra kilo in my backpack to and from work.
I'm hoping I can keep up with the group reading pace. 300 pages a week is about my usual pace, as some days I don't get reading at all.
I've not done a group read on LT before - how do they typically work? Do we just metaphorically pass the smelling salts when someone's flagging, or is there spoiler alert chit chat as people work their way through it? Or all of the above?
>6 kidzdoc: that’s the spirit!
>7 arubabookwoman: i have pacing-coordination ideas. Coming later.
>8 klarusu: tattoos are absolutely required. But we need a design
>9 ELiz_M: awesome quote! Dos Pasos might prefer the opening mountain lion. Wondering if the these ducks are merely prey...
>10 AlisonY: I have two paces in mind, and both are well under 300 pages. I have a 5 week and 8 week plan of 200 or 125 pages a week. 8 weeks because I like slow, 5 weeks because, well, 200 pages is a lot of required reading. We could push a fast pace, but I honestly don’t think it’s worth it. Let’s be lazy and talk more.
(If it doesn’t work for me, I’ll jump ship too. Just so everyone knows. Boot camp dedication has it’s limits).
As for how group reads work here in CR...well, typically they don’t. That’s why we don’t have many. (See Litsy where they work really well.). So, I’m trying to think of ways to make it work. I think if everyone really wants to read the book, it will work. And I think (hope) slow and lazy is the way - as a group. Here, with a thread for each part, in theory, anyone can read at any pace. If you’re faster, limit discussion to place in specific thread. If you’re slow, come to thread as you like. But - best if a few are roughly on a similar pace.
- Limited Edition. United Kingdom: Galley Beggar Press. 4 July 2019. ISBN 978-1910296974. 1,022 pages
- First Trade Edition. United Kingdom: Galley Beggar Press. 4 July 2019. ISBN 978-1910296967. 1,030 pages
- United States: Biblioasis. 10 September 2019. ISBN 9781771963077. 1,040 pages
- Kindle ??
Darryl, you probably have the First Trade Edition.
Liz, you probably have the US Biblioasis edition (this is what I have)
103-104 .... begins: “When they were ready, she would take them outside the dark and narrow den.”
158 list: NO HOMEWORK NIGHT)
189 LET THEM EAT CAKE
231-232 .... begins: “She had seen him in the forest.”
360-361 .... begins: “To her kittens, she was a great beauty.”
396-397 .... begins: “Puddles favored by crows have a sweet, earthy taste.”
444 TOP SHELF
485-487 .... begins: “Mountain lions, being stealthy, see more people than people see lions.”
581 .... begins: “The shock of losing her cubs reverberated like rain on water.”
619-621 .... begins: “When so tired she could no longer step safely, the lion hid herself for sleep,”
635-662 list: the sun will rise and set every day
732-733 .... begins: “She drifted through populous areas and remoter spots.”
776-777 .... begins: “A lot of wilderness exists between the cracks,”
862-863 .... begins: “Another rifle shot, and it was she who crawled and cowered through the forest.”
1021-1022 thanks to
.... = mountain lion sections separated from text on either end by a line with four dots.
I've done a lot of group reads on LT and generally people give a heads up with a chapter number (or page number in this case) in bold so people can skip that post if they are worried about spoilers.
Personally, I'm not expecting any huge plot surprises in a book like this and won't worry about reading spoilers. In fact, I've found in other big stream of consciousness books that I've read that it helps to know a little bit about what is coming. It keeps me engaged and paying attention when otherwise the words can sort of wash over you without meaning much.
I went ahead and got the best quality duck tattoo money could buy. Cause you guys all said you were in with getting the group tattoo, right?
I realise I've set the bar high here, but, you know... just do your best.
Since our book is all one sentence there are no (known) natural phase or topic breaks. Even pages numbers won’t do. But we do have some the break points I posted above. >13 dchaikin: So I plan to just arbitrarily use those.
So, my point here. Please let me know your thoughts on the pace. We essentially have the following options
- 1 week, 1000 pages (no!)
- 2 weeks, 500 pp/wk
- 3 weeks, 333 pp/wk
- 4 weeks, 250 pp/wk
- 5 weeks, 200 pp/wk
- 6 weeks, 167 pp/wk
- 7 weeks, 143 pp/wk
- 8 weeks, 125 pp/wk
- 9 weeks, 111 pp/wk
- 10 weeks, 100 pp/wk
As an example, the 5 week plan would look like this (page numbers are US edition)
Week 1. 1-189 - pta sign: LET THEM EAT CAKE
Week 2. 189-397 - 4-dot break begins: “Puddles favored by crows have a sweet, earthy taste.”
Week 3. 397-581 - 4-dot break begins: “The shock of losing her cubs reverberated like rain on water.”
Week 4. 582-777 - 4-dot break begins: “A lot of wilderness exists between the cracks,”
Week 5. 777-988 and appendix
Just curious, does anyone here do one book at a time? Because, for me, the 4-week pace means this is my March book. Whereas with a slower pace, I’d mix. If I were a one-book-at-a-time person, then I would prefer the 4-week pace.
It's so hard to know, because sometimes I feel like if I stretch out a long book too much, I never get the flow of the book or get immersed in it. So, to be honest, no matter what pace you set, I will play it by ear to get my best reading experience. But I think it's a good idea to set a general pace for discussion.
(I like 8 weeks personally, so that would move the average to 6.)
And, Gary is not the only one. See this Washington Post reviewer:
Reading ‘Ducks, Newburyport’ is mentally taxing — and physically exhausting by Scott Bradfield
It didn't help that I ordered The Golden Notebook in the same order which is supposed to be an April-June group read for me.
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann review – pushes narrative to its limits by Alex Preston
FYI - I found both reviews helpful and not spoiling anything.
I tend to read more genre books than general fiction because I like my books structured and with a storyline (yes, I am oversimplifying) - stream of consciousness never appealed to me. Both reviews are awesome and both tell me why this is a good book and why I most likely won't enjoy it.
Take Ulysses - I did read the thing and I did not hate it. I can see why it is considered a great novel. And it is just not my thing. Give me a story where something happens... :)
Will I never read Ducks? Who knows. One day, I may be in the mood for it. But I am much happier in genre-land just now - so I will just listen to what everyone thinks and stick to the books I enjoy just now.
>36 dchaikin: Thanks! :)
US Biblioasis and UK Galley Beggar Press page numbers. All occur at a break of some sort, as noted.
March 7: US 1-189 : UK 1-199 ending at the PTA sign: LET THEM EAT CAKE, ~19%
March 14. US 189-397 : UK 199-406 - 4-dot break begins: “Puddles favored by crows have a sweet, earthy taste.”, ~39%
March 21. US 397-581 : UK 406-591 - 4-dot break begins: “The shock of losing her cubs reverberated like rain on water.”, ~57%
March 28. US 582-777 : UK 591-786 - 4-dot break begins: “A lot of wilderness exists between the cracks,”, ~76%
April 4. US 777-988 : UK 786-998 and appendix
Eta uk edition page numbers
We have Mallards in our pond out the back at various times (usually until the smaller but more bullish Moorhens chase them off their turf). I'll try not to think ill of them if this readathon becomes at all painful.
So my p189 is your p198? Good to know. if you get really bored, send me the UK page numbers and I’ll add them.
edit: I just re-read large parts of the discussion here. My preferred pace would be 7 weeks and a start around mid-March would be fantastic. I'm not saying I'm in yet, though.
One sentence... This is going to be Ulysses all over again.
However, the schedule is set. See >43 dchaikin: (I'll bold the title so it stands out a bit better). The plan was to start reading March 1. Sorry about pushing the schedule a bit, but if you do read in 7 weeks, you can simply post as you catch up.
>53 VivienneR: You can share Annie's, but we have lots more: 🍿🍿🍿
"The pro tip on how not to feel overwhelmed by Ducks, Newburyport: Mentally replace every instance of "the fact that" with a period."
>56 valkyrdeath: huh. I wonder how this idea will impact my reading of the book. And I wonder what the author’s take on this might be. Seems strange to be a simple gimmick...seems curious too. I take it “the fact that” is the most common phrase in the book?
>57 japaul22: aw, hope you join us sooner or later, Jennifer.
>59 klarusu: I’ll post a reminder here on March 1 - our official kickoff date (but I think once you get that tattoo, it will serve you a permanent reminder.)
>62 tungsten_peerts: it’s a dangerous thread, Glenn. You might end up joining is if you acquire a copy. I suspect...I suspect responses will vary. It may require some patience, or it may not hold up. But I think we’ll all enjoy. But, really, if you’re interested, it’s a good time to try, with some crowd encouragement. We’ll start March 1. See >43 dchaikin: for the schedule.
Mark (thorold) posted a nice little quote on poetry and ducks in the interesting articles thread.
Coleridge once described poetry as “wild ducks shaping their rapid flight in forms always regular”. That’s one way of looking at literature, everything unusual being absorbed into the larger flight pattern of a given work. But another perspective might focus less on the regular forms than on the wild ducks. This way of looking at literature places the onus on the random encounter – the moment when one duck peels off.
His post is here:
The source is an article in the Guardian by Will Harris, here:
(If you start Mar 1, read 31.5 pages a day to meet the March 7 discussion. 🙂 )
Thanks for posting. I’ll checkout the article when I get some time.
Wonder if anyone wants to listen and tag along with our group. It would be nice to have an audio perspective. Well...45 hours is a lot to ask for nice.
This image seemed a fitting start to the month 😂
I'm going in ... I may be some time!
Good reminder to keep an open mind with language...but it has me wondering about ducks’ crimes against god.
I don’t have a great kickoff post. I was going to at least provide a picture, but my phone is protesting. I’m sitting in a coffee shop after dropping my daughter off at Hebrew school. I have 2 hours, a perfect place to begin.
I’ve lost track of who is in and who so out, who is starting today, or has already started (anyone? I don’t think so) or who will try this out later. So, please take a moment to post an update one way or the other.
(I might drop a reminder in some private messages.)
- US 1-189
- UK 1-199
- Kindle/ebook ~19%
ending at the PTA sign: LET THEM EAT CAKE, ~19%
ETA : 🍿 will be served (no calories!)
How are you thinking discussion should work? I've done a lot of group reads on LT and there seem to be two different models, both of which have pros and cons.
One is for everyone to discuss as they read at their own pace, but mark the post with a heading for where it is in the book. We could do section 1, and then whatever we want to say. That allows for people to comment as they read instead of saving up comments for a certain time.
Or we can discuss only the section that we've planned to complete on the dates we've completed. This usually creates more discussion, BUT rules out people who aren't reading at the designated pace and also means that people who've read ahead need to save up their comments for each section separately.
Just curious, because I already have a few initial comments I'd make, but I want to go along with what will work best for the group and wasn't sure if I should wait til March 7!
My only plans are to start a new thread every Saturday. So, this thread should do till then March 7.
I have a rough picture in mind on how we will use each thread, but no guidelines. Certainly, I have Litsy in mind, but I know it doesn’t exactly apply. We’ll have to see what works and be flexible. If something works for everyone, I’ll keep doing that!!
I am going to post as if we’re all on the planned pace (even if I’m not). And I encourage us to use that pace as a discussion structure - a reference. So, if you’re on page 400 today, consider yourself ahead. If you haven’t started yet, consider yourself behind the “official” pace.
Having said all that, I encourage everyone to post whatever is on your mind here till Saturday. It’s a good place to collect our initial impressions. I think it’s a really good idea to note where you are before posting, when applicable.
Short answer: Post your initial thoughts here.
I've actually been wondering to myself how she has such a long stretch of time to think with 4 kids.
>86 ELiz_M: Liz, I think 30 minutes to an hour would be my ideal stretch. It’s a lot of anxiety to take in at once.
>87 japaul22: I like this question. Feels like it all happens at once so far, just one strung-out thought.
>85 AlisonY: I found a rhythm, but my brain is rewiring and I think it will be different when I pick it up again. Will see what happens as it goes along.
So far I find myself oddly drawn to keep returning to it to read some more, but to say I love it would probably be a step too far.
I now get why there will be no spoilers if anyone posts early...
I will also say that I'm really connecting to this since this narrator is probably about the same age as me and I also grew up in the Midwest (even went to school in Ohio) so I'm really getting all of her references that may be obscure to others.
Speaking of obscure references, my mother made porcupine meatballs regularly (pg. 54) and FLORENCE Y'ALL on page 67 is a reference to a water tower in Florence, KY that I used to drive past regularly when I lived in Cincinnati. The story is they wrote "florence Mall" on the water tower and then found out they weren't supposed to advertise on the water tower so they replaced the M with a Y'.
My approach is different to yours and Dan's, I think. Now that I'm in a reading rhythm, I find that my brain is wired to keep connected to the main track of her train of thought and is actively avoiding getting derailed by the word associations or the 'the fact is' tic, both of which cause me to lose my thread at times. The plus with this approach is that I find I'm keeping track of the true story better. The negative is that there's a risk I'm missing out by not spending enough time thinking about the other stuff.
And I am googling things here and there. For example, I had never heard of the sinking of the Bourgogne. There’s a wiki article about that, but I was unable to find a book about it. (I think she implies she gave her husband a book about it, but maybe I wasn’t reading closely enough).
>93 AlisonY: I’m noticing some plot, and I’m trying to find the rhythm, but you’re having better success than me. I like that idea. This book presses me to stay on the words, because if I drift off focus looking for big picture I quickly get lost. So, then I slow down again.
But it’s interesting as there is some thought. It’s not all happening at once, but happening as her days happens.
>92 japaul22: Also, really cool about your Ohio connection with the author. I keep wondering whether she had to go back and spend time in Ohio to write this, or whether she had enough in memory from childhood to construct it all.
>95 Dilara86: interesting. The book she got her husband was specifically about the disaster. So, I don’t think that’s it. She doesn’t mention the author. She might have mentioned the title...
I'm up to page 114 on Ducks, and I'm now really starting to feel the love. I feel like there's more of a story coming through in the narrative - at least some of the snippets are collectively starting to make more sense. I've now got better wired into taking in and enjoying all of the writing, including the word associations, which feels like a development from where I was yesterday.
I'm thinking back a little to Knausgaard's writing as I read, in that the logical side of my head thinks it's preposterous that this should work, but the emotional side is really starting to get invested in it nonetheless.
*doubletalk is, I think, a Philadelphia thing. I’ve only heard It once. Someone talks, and after they finish the sentence or phrase, they keep talking, almost like a grumble. It’s sometimes garbled, sometimes the words are clear, but it’s always extra, unnecessary and most closely resembles an “um” or “uh” kind of pause.
Seems like everyone posting is holding a good pace. I’m struggling. Got to page 91 this morning, but that’s 14 pages from my goal today, and to read 21 pages this morning, I had to take a break. Anyone else having issues?
>103 arubabookwoman:/>104 arubabookwoman: aren’t they, fascinating. All the relatives over 100 years later. Several comments mention Victoire La Casse (or Lacasse) as the lone woman survivor and that she wrote an account. There is a gruesome quote from the Gide book ( >95 Dilara86: ). And one poster said they were writing a book on the Bourgogne.
I'm not sure the book is "going" anywhere and I'm fine with that. I'm just enjoying discovering snippets of facts about her life and where she is in her day amongst all the rest of the nonsense brain chatter.
I'm not one to get distracted by looking up references I don't know, so that isn't bothering me.
I'm surprised that I like the sections about the lioness. It's such an interesting contrast. I find those sections very calming and necessary. It occurred to me that it sets up an interesting contrast between the human condition of stress and overthinking but physical comfort and safety vs. the lion's calmer inner being but more stressful physical danger.
Do we know her name yet? I'm on page 100 and haven't noticed it yet.
I haven't caught her name.
>108 ELiz_M: I might fall back, but for now I'll try to keep the 5 week pace.
It seems this is a book where everyone has to just find their own way, their pace, their own purpose for reading it... our own balance of what we are or aren't ok with. Brings up some ideas of questions.
My thought process is like this: for me, 15 pages a day is about perfect. Stress free reading. I’ll enjoy it and could go on doing that forever. I’ve been pushing trying to get 35 pages a day. I can do it, but it’s a little stressful and 5 weeks is a long time to push that way.
I think Liz is following the 15 ppd pace. And theaelizabet, who read this recently, also suggested that pace to me.
Then I come here and see >110 AlisonY: and >111 japaul22: and I’m thinking it’s not just me, and maybe the pace is the issue. But is it the pace?
On a separate note my reading style has changed. I’m less focused on the word associations, more focused on the more drawn (still kind of random) stuff. If you like, I’m seeing more picture and less noise. Also my reading has sped up. I zoomed between the second and third mountain lion sections (from 3 min/pg to 2.5, “zoomed” is relative). And I think I like this better, reading it this way. Anyway, interesting to me.
That being said I like it very much. As the mother of 5 kids, with a chaotic family life, and daughters who during their teenage years were very critical of me, I’m finding I really identify with the narrator. And though she keeps saying she has a terrible memory, I’m intrigued by the things she does remember, and the way her mind works.
When my memory faltered, I used to tell the kids it was because I gave them each half my brain when they were born.
I’m battling neck issues this week, peaked yesterday. My doctor blames my standing all day at work and not the book. I stand all day at work because of my neck, so that was discouraging. But she gave what I needed and at least not much pain today.
I’m on page 180, so should just slide in on time tonight (although I’m supposed to lead a discussion on Willa Cather’s My Mortal Enemy tomorrow too, and I neglected it all week. Might be a busy reading night...)
I reached the week 1 target yesterday, so here are my brief thoughts (+ and -) so far:
+ Now that I'm in the groove of the prose style and it flows nicely in my head, I'm enjoying the narrator's thoughts. She covers a lot of different random topics, but there's more depth to it than I expected. I'm identifying with the random worrying.
+ I think it's pretty smart how her narrative approach makes you think about how we think, not just what we think. In that way it's different from stream of consciousness, as we don't think in nicely formed sentences - we jump around topics, not finishing one thought before we get distracted with something else. It seems so obvious now Ellmann has done it, but I think she's the first person to portray the reality of the thought process so well.
- She brushed past her older kids coming into the kitchen before they went out to school. I would have liked that interaction to have evolved, especially with the older daughter, which would have built up the story a little more. Maybe that's still to come.
- If it continues as I expect with more of the same for the next 800 pages, I think I'm going to be frustrated that she didn't call it time at 300 pages or so.
Would you mind reposting the heart of this over on the discussion 1 thread?
ETA- oops, you already did. 😊