December's Book & Something New

The image of this vintage poster may give you a hint as to which book was voted in for December…& won by the slimmest of margins—8/10ths of a point.

Before I tell you the book, I wanted to announce that we’ll be testing out a new voting method. We’ve been using the current methodology for 2 years & it’s sufficed for our needs. However, another type of survey using a Likert Scale which allows for degrees of opinion, could produce an even better result. It can also help us capture whether someone has read a book & whether they recommend it or not after reading.

Before we make the change to this new methodology, we’d like to test it out. To do so, we need the help of everyone who participated in the Jamaica vote to help us test out a Likert Scale survey. This will not affect the choice of December’s book as that has already been decided, but what it will do is determine whether we should remain with our current methodology or switch to this new method instead. This is a critical decision since the book choice is so important to this club. To that end, I would ask that everyone who participated in the Jamaica vote to privately message me so that I can send you this special Likert Scale test survey. With inputs from both the test survey & the original voting method using the opinions from the same people, we can then compare & contrast using real data making it clear which methodology is best.


“Bringing history to life via the quixotic character of Hartley Fudges is an impressive enough feat, but it is Winkler's uncanny ability to add uproarious humor to this shameful history that sets The Family Mansion apart from the standard fare of historical fiction.

Winkler may be the best novelist you've never heard of with a brilliant, irreverent recasting of Europe's colonization of Jamaica. This lyrical and engaging novel transports readers to his native country’s sugar cane plantations in the tumultuous years before the abolition of slavery.

The Family Mansion tells the story of Hartley Fudges, whose personal destiny unfolds against the backdrop of 19th-century British culture, a time when English society was based upon the strictest subordination and stratification of the classes. Hartley's decision to migrate to Jamaica at the age of 23 seems sensible at first. But for all its fabulous wealth, Jamaica was a difficult and inhospitable place for an immigrant. The complex saga of Hartley's life is revealed in vivid scenes that depict the vicissitudes of 19th-century English and Jamaican societies.

‘The Family Mansion is written with the comic sensibility of Wodehouse and the insightful social comment of Orwell.’ -Midwest Book Review

‘Winkler's fiction magics the island into a place of rough-edged enchantment.’
-The Independent

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Happy reading!