***Group Read: The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

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***Group Read: The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

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Bearbeitet: Mrz. 31, 2011, 8:01am

Some of us are planning to do a group read of The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James. Discussion can begin anytime after March 15.

From the first 25 messages below, a consensus emerged to have separate threads for sections of the book. Each thread will open on the date shown below, and links will be added as threads are created:

Chapters 1-11 (March 15)
Chapters 12-22 (March 19)
Chapters 23-33 (March 23)
Chapters 34-44 (March 27)
Chapters 45-55 (March 31)

Mrz. 1, 2011, 11:53am

Thanks for the link!

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 1, 2011, 12:44pm

Linking to this one on the group wiki...

Oops, somebody beat me to it! :)

Mrz. 1, 2011, 1:12pm

>3 drneutron:: Laura is efficient!

Hi Laura, what do you think about setting up separate threads for different sections of the book to allow people to comment as they read along and also to accommodate slower readers? My copy has 548 pages and 55 chapters. That's a lot of discussion to wade through if one is late picking up the book.

I'm looking forward to finally reading this book. I've been wanting to read it for years, but was a bit intimidated by James. A support group will be most appreciated!

Mrz. 1, 2011, 1:29pm

I've been wanting to read it for years, but was a bit intimidated by James. A support group will be most appreciated!

You've practically taken the words out of my mouth Donna! I also think it's a good idea to have separate threads for different sections to accommodate varying reading rates.

Laura, thanks so much for sending pm's to let us know about this thread. That's very efficient indeed! I've got this thread starred and will look forward to joining the discussion come mid-March.

Mrz. 1, 2011, 1:33pm

Donna, me too! Nice to have help to get through the challenging reads! And I am a slow reader, also.

Mrz. 1, 2011, 2:30pm

>3 drneutron:: Just trying to save you a little time, Jim!

>4 Donna828:: Donna, separate threads for different sections is a great idea. I noticed they're doing something like that with War & Peace. Seems like we could break the 55 chapters down into chunks of 10 chapters, or maybe 11 to make it an even 5 threads. Does that make sense?

>5 Smiler69:: thanks so much for sending pm's to let us know about this thread. No problem Ilana. The original discussion about this was on Donna's thread, I think, and I tried to keep track of those who expressed interest. If I missed anyone, I apologize. I hope others will join, too, once they see the thread.

Mrz. 1, 2011, 9:05pm

Hi Laura, Thanks for the PM! Please count me in and I also ditto Donna's remarks. I'm such a slow reader that splitting up the book into sections would help make this chunkster a little less intimidating.

Mrz. 2, 2011, 1:55am

I am interested in joining in on the Portrait of a Lady read. I agree that breaking the book into more manageable sections for discussion sounds like an ideal way to tackle this . . .

Mrz. 2, 2011, 1:55am

I am interested in joining in on the Portrait of a Lady read. I agree that breaking the book into more manageable sections for discussion sounds like an ideal way to tackle this . . .

Mrz. 2, 2011, 5:52am

It's great to see you all here so far! Seems we have consensus on breaking the book down into sections. I will do so closer to the 15 March start date.

Mrz. 2, 2011, 7:48am

I would love to join in this group read too. I had Portrait of a Lady on my list for March anyway, but this will increase the odds that I get to it.

Mrz. 2, 2011, 11:36am

Looks like we'll have plenty of people joining in Laura. Once group read threads are on the wiki, they seem to attract lots of people from the group. The more the merrier, since it makes the discussions that much more interesting, right?

Mrz. 2, 2011, 12:51pm

>13 Smiler69:: Absolutely!

Mrz. 2, 2011, 2:57pm

I've been thinking about the "book section threads," with the initial idea being 5 threads of 11 chapters each. Questions for the group:
1. Does this feel like the right number of threads?
2. How are you planning to approach your reading?
a) I want to dip in and out of this book while reading something else, recognizing it might take me several weeks to finish.
b) This will be my primary read.

The responses to #2 will influence when sectional threads are created. For example, if most people are going with 2a, I could create a new section every week, over a 5-week period. On the other hand, if a number of people prefer 2b, I'd create sectional threads all at once to accommodate those who want to move more quickly.

I'm open to all sorts of ideas & suggestions here, too.

Mrz. 3, 2011, 12:32am

This will be my first group read with LT, but it seems like a good number of threads. My inclination would be to read other books at the same time, because it is such a long book . . .

Mrz. 3, 2011, 3:02am

I'm not sure yet but would really like to join in.

1: Yes

2A - it's not just the length of this book, I have other books I really need to read

Mrz. 3, 2011, 7:00am

1. Yes, 5 threads w/11 chapters seems doable.
2. definately a! Dipping in and out

Thanks for taking the time to organize this group read.

Mrz. 3, 2011, 9:10am

>15 lauralkeet:: Thanks for being so organized, Laura.

1) I like the way you've divided the book into 5 "chunks."

2) I've committed to reading Portrait for the March TIOLI Challenge so I'm going for option "B" - although I plan to spend the last two weeks of the month on this book with something lighter for a companion read. Dragging out Middlemarch over the period of 2 months last fall didn't work for me. I'll be taking notes on Portrait so I can post my comments with the group at the appropriate time.

Mrz. 3, 2011, 9:28am

1. Yes, the 5 chunks seems like a good way to organize it.
2. a and b I almost always have multiple books going at once, but I'm hoping to finish Portrait within the month of March, anyway. I'd be more than happy to participate in group discussions that go on longer, though, so I don't think it really matters to me when the threads are set up.

Mrz. 3, 2011, 11:33am

I can only echo what Donna said in #19 and andd that I'm looking forward to having some help reading James, who can be a bit weighty.

Mrz. 3, 2011, 10:28pm

If everyone who will participate in this group read wishlisted The Portrait of a Lady, would that be enough to get this title onto LTs Top 50 wishlisted books? I'd really like to be able to fit it into TIOLI challenge #7 if possible . . . just a thought :^)

Mrz. 3, 2011, 10:40pm

Wishlisted it. Although I am checking it out of the library, I would like a copy someday.

Mrz. 4, 2011, 12:02am

#22 I managed to fit it into Madeline's challenge #1. If there's no city named on pages 17 of your edition, you can try to get creative like me and check proper nouns in wikipedia. There are many, many strange town names out there!

To answer your questions Laura, I'm pretty much with Donna too. I'm fine with the number of threads you suggest, and while I won't be reading this book exclusively, I still want to finish it in March because of TIOLI. If possible considering I've entered about two dozen books there so far!

Mrz. 4, 2011, 11:36am

I'm hoping I can read this, but I'm also doing two other group reads this month, so I'm not sure.

If I do read it, I will be reading it in pieces, working around the other reads. Thanks for organizing this! :)

Mrz. 7, 2011, 11:39am

Thanks for the link! My books are all in boxes right now, but I hope I'll get them unpacked (or at least the box with this book) in time to join in.

Mrz. 8, 2011, 8:20pm

Our group read is one week away! I edited Message #1 to reflect our discussion about creating separate threads. There will be 5 sections of 11 chapters each, with each thread created 4 days apart. This seemed a good "middle ground" between those who want to read this book slowly, and those who are trying to finish it for March TIOLI.

Mrz. 8, 2011, 8:22pm

I had hoped to do this group read with everyone but realistically I won't be able to. My husband is having knee replacement surgery on March 14th and my time on LT will be limited while he's in the hopital and getting back on his feet.

Mrz. 9, 2011, 10:37am

I'm sorry to say, although i was looking forward to participating, I too must bow out. Family health issues are draining all my reading energy.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 9, 2011, 10:38am

>28 phebj:: sounds like you have your priorities straight, Pat! We'll miss you of course, but I completely understand.
>29 Carmenere:: sorry about your news, too, Lynda!

Luckily Henry James will always be there, patiently waiting for your attention :)

Mrz. 9, 2011, 11:01am

I'll be traveling the first week so I picked up the audio version of The Portrait of A Lady. Eighteen discs!! I'll probably only listen to a few of them to break up the trip to Texas. I'd much rather read the print version.

One of the great things about group reads is that the discussion is there for whenever the book gets read. Pat and Lynda, you'll be privy to our thoughts when things calm down and you can get to the book. Best of luck to both of you.

Mrz. 9, 2011, 1:27pm

>31 Donna828:: the discussion is there for whenever the book gets read.
So true! Great thought, Donna.

Mrz. 10, 2011, 12:54pm

I have already started this book a while ago but will join in on the read group so now I will just go back and refresh what I have already read. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrz. 10, 2011, 12:56pm

Welcome, ALWINN, nice to have you with us! You are now the resident expert by virtue of having started the book already. I'm holding off until at least Monday.

Mrz. 11, 2011, 5:31pm

If my copy surfaces I'll try to join in although I've got a few other reading commitments for the same time.


Mrz. 11, 2011, 5:35pm

Got my copy the other day and I'm ready to go!

Mrz. 12, 2011, 3:51pm

I've just made a tentative start, reading the first couple of pages to get a sense of what's to come and am completely charmed. Looking forward to our discussions!

Mrz. 12, 2011, 7:46pm

For those interested, I've set up a thread for a Jane Eyre group read in April: http://www.librarything.com/topic/111969

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 12, 2011, 7:59pm

OK, I'm back in, at least off and on in. I read the first 2 chapters and like Ilana I became enthralled by James style. So, I'll keep pace as best I can.

Mrz. 12, 2011, 8:45pm

>37 Smiler69:,39: this is great news! I'd like to finish my current read before starting James but will start reading Monday no matter what.

Mrz. 13, 2011, 12:45am

I've got several books going at the same time and I'm determined to finish this one in March for the TIOLI challenge, which is why I thought I'd start a couple of days early to give myself a chance. I've read the first three chapters today and look forward to seeing what people have to say about it.

Mrz. 13, 2011, 12:27pm

I read the Preface by James and could not make heads nor tails of it, but then when I started the book itself, I loved it. I have read 5 chapters.

Mrz. 13, 2011, 9:32pm

I read the first 4 chapters today and like Ilana, Lynda, and BJ, I am captivated! I love the descriptions of the elderly American man and his wife.

Oh, and BJ, I'm so glad you made that comment in #42 about the preface. I endured about 3 pages of it, and then decided life is just too short.

Mrz. 13, 2011, 9:40pm

I don't know if i BELONG here...

for one, I don't "do" group reads...and I last read The Portrait of a Lady when I was 36...many years ago..

I would love to "lurk" but that's all I can offer, right now.....

.......except, for the fact that I really love the work(s) of Henry James


Mrz. 13, 2011, 10:07pm

You don't have to belong. You can pretend you belong.


Mrz. 13, 2011, 10:10pm

I am just so happy to see this many people enjoying Henry James. I have heard many negative comments about his writing. That was the main reason that I thought a group read would be the perfect intro for me. Overall, I am very happy with the book so far.

Mrz. 13, 2011, 10:33pm

Jude, this is by no means an exclusive club. You can lurk, you can comment, you can do what you please! I'm glad you've come over for a visit! :-)

Mrz. 14, 2011, 7:39am

>44 jdthloue:: Jude, I agree with Ilana in #47. Lurk to your heart's content, and chime in if you feel so moved!

Mrz. 14, 2011, 11:09am

I'm hoping to start this book soon...as soon as I finish Pride and Prejudice. I have a hard time concentrating on more than one group read at a time. :) I'm so glad to hear you are all enjoying it so far!

Mrz. 18, 2011, 9:24pm

I just created our second sectional thread. Discussion can occur in any & all threads depending on where you are in the book. Links can be found in message #1.

Mrz. 19, 2011, 3:43pm

I should be starting the book sometime between tonight and Monday, depending on how long it takes me to get through the criticism in the back of the Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice.


Mrz. 19, 2011, 3:45pm

Welcome, Robert! Glad to have you with us.

Mrz. 19, 2011, 11:08pm

I just realized last into the night last night that I inadvertently put a spoiler into my comment on the first spoiler thread. Just remembered about it now. I was sure I hadn't read past the 11th chapter yet! Apologies about that, I'm a bit of a scatterbrain like that! I'll go edit my comment right away and copy/paste into the next thread.