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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 8

post #106 of 1896
24. A Rumor of War- Philip Caputo
"Novel" based on the author's experience in the Vietnam War. It is one of the definitive accounts, and I believe the first, having been published in 1977. That era and war fascinate me. Had it gone on another 2 or 3 years I would have been drafted. So I did some research on line to select the book I felt would be the best to read.
It didn't disappoint. Captured the emotions of a young officer and the conditions, frustrations, and emotions of a Marine Infantry person in country. I recommend it highly.
post #107 of 1896
Clockwise counting 22/50: Julian Barnes - Talking It Over (1991)

My 3rd Barnes to date and it is a good one. Normal people, upsetting circumstances, a menage-a-trois. Well, a good read...and disturbing.
post #108 of 1896
Clockwise counting 23/50: Richard T. Kelly - The Possessions of Doctor Forrest (2011)

Gothic horror for the 21st century and a new twist on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This novel was just released a week or so ago and I picked it up on recommendation by a trustworthyish newspaper. Intriguing story about three doctors, old school friends, the inexplicable disappearance of one of them and the horrible events that follow. A pleasant surprise.
post #109 of 1896
No spoilers in any of my reviews 1. The Sun Also Rises - Mixed feelings about this one. I am not too fond of Hemingway's style, although I feel this novel captures it best. It involves some of my favorite subjects (travel, Paris, San Fermines and Bull Fighting) yet I was never fully entranced. I respect the book, although I cannot say I love it. I will most likely read it again just for the hell of it. 2. 1984 - Surprisingly never read this until now. First third was all deja vu as it has been prominent in pop culture for so long. The middle was interesting, yet I feel this book fully shines in the last third. It is an amazing study on societal structure and the levels of the human mind. Glad I finally got around to this classic and would recommend it fully. 3. Currently on War and Peace - About 1/4 done, giving myself roughly ten more days. 4. Also on The World Of Caffeine - Interesting if you have an espresso obsession. To Read List; The Idiot, Death in the Afternoon, More Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Science of Espresso, 120 Days of Sodom (yeah yeah...) also I should read Atlas Shrugged, although I hated the first 100 pages and her philosophy is barely even that...But for arguments sake I really should. I like the idea of shooting for 50, I'm so unorganized with my reading this is a great way to stay on top of it.
post #110 of 1896
25. The Rape of Nanking- Iris Chang
Big departure for me- nonfiction and depressing subject. Chronicles Japanese atrocities committed on the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Excellent book. Appalling subject matter.

Halfway there with a little to spare!
post #111 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClambakeSkate View Post
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
6. How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce - 3rd autobiography so far, I like 'em. Disclaimer: I am not familiar with Lenny Bruce as a comedian. This book was actually mentioned in David Lee Roth's book, so I was intrigued to check it out. It started off very interestingly. He was riding around the country in his convertible with his hot stipper girlfriend/wife pulling scams dressed as a priest and performing in nightclubs. Then he got arrested for using the word 'cocksucker' in his act and the whole second half of the book is basically a word for word account of his court proceedings. It was painful to read.

7. Life by Keith Richards - 4th Autobiography, 3rd of a Musician. This book started off horribly. The tales of him learing to play guitar in his early childhood were pretty great, but then the next 200pgs of the book is basically a list of names of people he knew/met/admired and places he'd been/lived. Seriously it's like 40% of the words in the book are capitalized proper nouns. Luckily, the second half of the book is pretty strong when he's discussing his struggle with drugs and losing his mind. It was OK overall. Too long for what it was.

8. You Suck by Christopher Moore - OK, so this is a sequel to a book I read about 8 years ago (Bloodsucking Fiends) that I remembered enjoying enough to want to read this one. It was pretty meh. It's kinda like the movie 'The Hangover' but with vampires and goth teenagers thrown in. The pages from Abby Normal's diary were the most memorable part of the book, but even that gimmick wore thin pretty quick.

9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - I'd never read this book. I've watched a few of the various movie versions of the stories over the years, but was never blown away by any of them. Reading this book is very difficult. It's just a bunch of incredibly detailed accounts of some very unusual events. I found my mind wandering a lot. I don't know, I think you need to be under the influence of some sort of psychedelic substance to really appreciate what's going on. I plan on doing that when I read 'Through the Looking Glass' later this year.

10. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - I knew nothing about this book other than it was a classic and is on everyone's 'must-read' lists. It's quite a crazy book. Time-traveling, alien abductions, POW camps, plane crashes, rich fat wives, contemplations of the value of life, this book has it all. I will read this again. By the time I was comfortable with the pacing and structure of the book I was already 3/4 of the way through it. So it goes.

11. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig - This book is supposedly a "must-read" but I did not love it. I think it took me close to a month to get through this one. But I didn't want to give it up because there were some interesting parts sprinkled through out. I'm glad I read it, but will NEVER want to read it again. Made me want to go live in Montana.

12. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - I read all of the Dexter books, and I enjoyed them as the cheap, easy books that they are meant to me. No literary genius in here. Quick reads with decent returns. I like the tv show and I like the books. I like how they're each a bit different from each other but the character are essentially the same.

13. Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay - See #12.

14. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink - Pretty interesting book. The title of the book pretty much explains what the book is about. A former co-worker recommended it to me after I tendered my letter of resignation in order to pursue a more pure and simple life. There are good points in it, but it already seams slightly out-dated. I believe it was written in 2004 or so.

15. Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay - See #12.

16. Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay - See #12.

17. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis - Holy shit this was an awesome book. I'd seen the movie when it came out, it was good, but not great. The book is fucking GOLD. I was laughing out loud on several occasions. The scene when Patrick Bateman is christmas shopping is probably the funniest passage I've ever read in my life. This book has a place in my Top 5 easily. AMAZING BOOK.

18. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Classic. I read this in high school but wanted to read it again. It reminds me of all the reasons I left NYC. People lusting after 'luxury' and doing anything they can to be in the upper crust of society. Good book, but because the characters are so realistic it makes me a little sick.

19. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling - I read all of these Harry Potter books for the first time. A few of my ex's had been into these and I actually worked in a Borders book store when #5 and #6 were released and saw all the freaks that were into these. I thought 1-5 were OK but the last 2 were actually pretty cool, the last book especially. All the play-by-play of Quiddich is what bored me the most.

20. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - See #19.

21. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis - After loving American Psycho I gave this one a try. It was great but in a totally different way. Where American Psycho worked on various extremes of human behaviors, Less Than Zero is just a monotonous boring recollection of a rich 20-something's summer vacation. I've heard this book compared to The Catcher in the Rye (one of my favs of all time) and I would have to agree with that. It's like reading some rich asshole's diary. It wasn't the masterpiece that American Psycho was, but it was pretty great.

22. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - See #19.

23. Survivor: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk - So this is supposed to be his 2nd best book behind Fight Club. I actually liked this more than Fight Club. The final scene where the narrator demands nothing less than perfect etiquette when the passengers on the plane are eating their meals is one of the most memorable passages in any book I've ever read. This is a crazy book and I definitely would recommend it to anyone that hasn't read it.

24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - See #19.

25. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.K. Rowling - See #19. It starts getting good here.

26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - See #19.

27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - See #19. Easily my favorite of all of them. Great way to end the series. The epilogue sucked, but that's OK.

28. No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy - Loved the movie, but HOLY SHIT, this is beautifully written book. I've seriously never read anything that I can describe so confidently and definitely as 'beautiful'. If you watch the movie, you get the story, but reading the book is a whole other experience. JUST FUCKING READ IT.

29. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I read this because I saw about a million people reading it on the subway when I lived in NYC. I loved the setting of the story (tiny island in Sweden) but the story was pretty generic. I didn't love it. I may try the next book in the series but I'm not really going to keep my hopes high.

30. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern - Haha, this book was pretty funny. It's very stupid and won't win the Pulitzer prize but I was laughing out loud several times while I was reading it. It's a quick read and I would recommend it if you like dumb humor.
post #112 of 1896
26. The Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

About a New York Regiment in the Civil War. Excellent read, particularly given the fact that Crane was only 21 and never went to war. And sadly died before he turned 30 of TB.

I've been reading Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury for close to 3 weeks. Slow going...
post #113 of 1896
My daughter presented me with a brand new copy of War and Peace for Father's Day.
post #114 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My daughter presented me with a brand new copy of War and Peace for Father's Day.

2011 27 Book Challenge?
post #115 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeirpont View Post
I haven't read Don Quixote, so I'm going to give that a shot. I have four books I want to read. 1. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion - Peter Wood 2. Don Quixote 3. Encyclopedia Black Folklore and Humor - Henry D Spalding 4. An Area of Darkness - V.S Naipaul
Ok, I'm going to really do this, starting with Don Quixote. I have over 250 unread books so it will be a long journey.
post #116 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHero View Post
2011 27 Book Challenge?

That's what I was thinking. I told her it would be number 50.
post #117 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My daughter presented me with a brand new copy of War and Peace for Father's Day.

Anna Karenina is a bit of a project but absolutely brilliant and many consider it to be the perfect novel. So I started off on War and Peace with healthy enthusiasm, was deflated around page 50. Maybe one day but not within the 2011 50.

The other one you are reading, The Sound and the Fury, is one of my all-time favourites but not easy!! I was in my early 20s then and it was after all not too many pages. Much of the novel takes place in the mind of a retarded narrator (as you will have noticed already); maybe that's why I felt right at home there in the deep South. I am tempted to re-read it.

I am currently busy with one Martin Amis and one Gustave Flaubert but I am being distracted by lots of work, a big and noisy family and crucial visits to my tailor. Would hate to end the year at 49.
post #118 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post
Anna Karenina is a bit of a project but absolutely brilliant and many consider it to be the perfect novel. So I started off on War and Peace with healthy enthusiasm, was deflated around page 50. Maybe one day but not within the 2011 50.

I'm reading War and Peace right now as part of the 50, along with Anna Karenina later. I would strongly suggest keeping up the read. Even just 10 pages a day is fine, once it gets going (maybe page 150) and you get a feeling for each family it becomes fantastic and easy.

It is daunting at first, but once you get into it it really becomes a simple and almost modern book. There are times when I completely forget what era this is in, as I am completely relating to everything going on with these families.

Don't rush it, but stick with it. It's an amazing, and surprisingly fun, read.
post #119 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bale Patton View Post
I'm reading War and Peace right now as part of the 50, along with Anna Karenina later. I would strongly suggest keeping up the read. Even just 10 pages a day is fine, once it gets going (maybe page 150) and you get a feeling for each family it becomes fantastic and easy.

It is daunting at first, but once you get into it it really becomes a simple and almost modern book. There are times when I completely forget what era this is in, as I am completely relating to everything going on with these families.

Don't rush it, but stick with it. It's an amazing, and surprisingly fun, read.

I'm reading 3 others currently and when I'm finished I may start. 2 other goals are Don Quixote and Dante's Inferno. I need another bio and I think I'll do Malcolm X.
post #120 of 1896
27. Tiger Force- Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss
Story of a recon force in Vietnam and the atrocities and war crimes they committed. Make the My Lai massacre look small in comparison. Ultimately, the Pentagon covered it up. The authors won the Pulitzer Prize for the book.

Bought a shit load of books today at the half price book store (funny that never occurred to me before), and got a couple of boxes out of storage. I may even have enough now to finish the 50...
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