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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 68

post #1006 of 2310
There were several books both pro and con that I didn't agree with...
post #1007 of 2310
78. The Sense of An Ending 2011 Julian Barnes

THE LIST

Won the Booker Award in 2011.

Addresses the lifelong relationship between a man and his first girlfriend, who dumps him for his closest friend in their early 20s.

That friend then kills himself a year or so later.

In a very surprising ending we find out why.

I really didn't care for it.
post #1008 of 2310
25. The Book of Kells, by Bernard Meehan (2012)

This is quite possibly the most beautiful book I've ever read. It's certainly the only one I've read with a magnifying glass handy to make sure I didn't miss any of the details.

I have seen the Book of Kells personally, but nothing prepares you for the wealth of fascinating detail that Bernard Meehan reveals in his erudite discussion of the book. He goes into its history, structure, script, illustrations, symbolism, authorship, physical structure and a whole lot more. Meehan highlights fine aspects of the illustrations that the untrained eye would never see, they are so tiny. The artistry and calligraphy he describes are breath-taking and engender awe for what these scribes and artists were capable of more than 1200 years ago.
post #1009 of 2310
Clockwise counting 53/50: Graham Greene - The Heart of the Matter (1948)

On the 1001 list.

Scobie, Deputy Commissioner of Police in a West African city, suffers from excessive pity but lack of true love. His Catholic faith throws him into a moral crisis when he starts a love affair with a much younger woman. This is one of Greene's best efforts, almost up to the standard of The Quiet American, The End of the Affair or The Power and the Glory. I liked it a lot. I guess this means I am done with Graham Greene, I have now read all his famous work and some of his less famous. 
post #1010 of 2310
Clockwise counting 54/50: Leo Tolstoy - The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886)

On the 1001 list.

This small book tells the story of the mental torture that High Court Judge Ivan Ilyich experiences when he falls ill and eventually dies at the age of 45. Ilyich lived an unhappy and meaningless life, albeit with an impressive career and some financial success. It seems his mental and physical torture is the result of a wasted life. A sad story indeed. Highly recommended.
post #1011 of 2310
Why must you insist on writing better summaries than I? smile.gif
post #1012 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

 

30. Leviathan Wakes

 

This is what SF should be: deep, gritty, entertaining, reflective and though provoking. The story follows two distinctly different men - Holden and Miller - one who views people are essentially good-natured and the other who views humanity as essentially flawed and evil. Both accidentally play major roles in shaping current events as a war slowly begins between different parts of the galaxy.

post #1013 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Why must you insist on writing better summaries than I? smile.gif

Sorry, it was a mistake.
But thanks for getting me into Ivan Ilyich. I don't think I will ever forget that story. Hope we will both last a lot longer and a lot happier than Ivan.
post #1014 of 2310
I've accomplished both. And am very grateful to WHOEVER IS RUNNING THINGS (WIRT).
post #1015 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

 

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

 

Philosopher Alain Badiou writes an impressive analysis of the mechanics of France that have allowed Sarkozy (and other like him) an overwhelming grip of power. Beginning by characterising this era as one governed by fear, disorientation, impotence and a genuine lack of any Leftist political assertion, Badiou's writing is cutting, succinct, deep and, at times, playful. This series of writings covers everything from why voting is not political, to how the Left barely exists any more within the political sphere of France (and elsewhere).

 

Stimulating, difficult, challenging. REally enjoyed, but often felt fatigued - thank goodness it was on the shorter side.

post #1016 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

 

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

 

Jumped on the bandwagon - seems quite like Walden in that it pre-empts a lot of problems of the modern day (unfulfilled feelings left after a life in the rat race letting life make a person's choices),

post #1017 of 2310
It seems like I'm handing out assignments. I like it. smile.gif
post #1018 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

There were several books both pro and con that I didn't agree with...


What are those?

post #1019 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

 

33. The Devil

 

Another Tolstoy short story. This follows a man who, while rebuilding his father's estate, satisfies himself screwing a peasant girl - quite impersonally. While life happens around him, he ends up married, but simply disinterested in his wife. He continues to lust after the peasant girl, and is afraid and ashamed of his lust, while others seem completely nonchalant.

 

Running along similar lines to Death of Ivan Illych - this story deals with the consequences of thoughtlessness, and the problems that arise from allowing life to 'just happen' or following a, relatively, socially normal life.

post #1020 of 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldGrins View Post


What are those?

It being a 1001 book list, I've only encountered a few so far:

Should be On:

By the Banks of the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept- Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist- Same Author
No Country for Old Men- Cormac McCarthy
The Road- same author

Blood Meridien and All the Pretty Horses are on the list, but I don't think they're as good as the two above


No Way:

Jonathon Foer- Everything is Illuminated
Pastoralia- George Saunders
The Clay Machine Gun- Victor Pelevin
How Late it Was, How Late- Thomas Kelman
The Emigrants- WG Sebald
If Not Now, When- Primo Levi
In The Heart of The Country- J.M. Coetzee
The Tale of a Tub- Jonathon Swift
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