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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 96

post #1426 of 2249
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree

 

5. Polysyllabic Spree

 

Nick Hornby wrote a regular column for a magazine about what he was reading and why. This is a published collection of those articles. While some articles are insightful and interesting (his review of books on autism was fascinating) much of the articles rehash previous ideas, without an elaboration (for example, that authors should be alowed to take some libertis with their prose). Honestly, I found this disappointing, and spent the last 50 pages or so waiting for it to end. However, I did pick up 4-5 recommendations for novels/texts based on the reading, so, based on that metric, it wasn't a complete waste of time.

 

Edit: gotta stay 1 step ahead of CD this year. Already falled behing clock and steve. :S

post #1427 of 2249
Jesus whiz, this thread has me wondering whether any of you guys watch TV anymore.. Four novels? Already? frown.gif

As a result, I've begun listing all media I consume, not just books, and am hoping this will shame me into making better choices. (Even if they are just better film choices). My goal this year is the equivalent of 70 300-ish page novels, I guess. Please hold me to it. biggrin.gif
post #1428 of 2249
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Jesus whiz, this thread has me wondering whether any of you guys watch TV anymore.. Four novels? Already? frown.gif

Nothing on TV at this time of year.

Matt you shouldn't have any trouble. I have to get back to studying pretty soon, and that'll slow me down.
post #1429 of 2249
Only TV I watch is English Premier League football. TV is mainly for kids and seniles.

I don't think there is a chance for me of repeating 100 books this year. 50 is my minimum but 75 or so would be nice. I hope half of those will be at least halfway serious.

Good to see that there are more of us taking the challenge in 2014!
post #1430 of 2249
Clockwise counting 06/50: Elizabeth Jane Howard - The Light Years (1990) 

The first of 5 thick volumes that constitute a family saga that has been called "The Cazalet Chronicles".  A kind of Forsyte Saga for the second world war years but probably even more of a soap opera than Forsyte. It took me well into half of the 550 pages before I started to get an interest in this complex narrative of an extended upper middle class London trading family. The story is told from the perspective of numerous characters and it keeps switching perspective every few pages.

At the end of the book it is late summer 1938 and Chamberlain has just returned from the Munich peace talks with Hitler. A number of key characters are facing big challenges in their lives and I realize that this story of the Cazalet family now has me hooked. I will need to follow this through and can look forward to at least another 2,000 pages of non-essential but entertaining fiction.
post #1431 of 2249
klewless book 2/50:






Don't Ever Get Old - Daniel Friedman

This was a decent read. Grizzled WW II vet & retired Memphis cop leads his naïve grandson through one last adventure. Dark humor ensues as main character uses old age to excuse anything that comes out of his mouth. Author comes across as unsure if he wanted to satirize the aging process, or craft a whodunit. Some funny bits, but book dragged on near the end.
post #1432 of 2249
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Matt you shouldn't have any trouble. I have to get back to studying pretty soon, and that'll slow me down.

 

You were crushing me in the holidays - I think I finished 7-8 books since I finished work, you were dominating me then.

 

If clockwise isn't going to hit 100 this yeear I'll be surprised - 6 already and there's still the better part of 20 days left in January.

 

 

Welcome to all the new participants: it's great to have new people on board - looking forward to reading about your reading this year.

post #1433 of 2249
7. Love's Work- Gillian Rose 1995

LIST

A confrontation with ovarian cancer (she died shortly after the completion of the book) led to this searing memoir. Discusses love, friendship (she describes each illness and death of her friends, as well as her own), and sex. Discusses her visits to Auschwitz and Jerusalem, and her flirtation with Protestantism and her time as an agnostic.

Rose was a college professor and one of England's distinguished thinkers.

I wish I could say I liked the book. It is extremely well written. But I thought it morbid in the end.
post #1434 of 2249
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect

 

6. Armageddon in Retrospect

 

A collection of Kurt Vonnegut's writing regarding war: it spans speeches, fiction and non-fiction, as well as a beautiful selection of drawings. While predictably anti-war - there was an incredible sense of perspective and interest. The highlight, for me, was a story about a POW camp where the only winner was a weasly little fucker who played the Nazis and the prisoners both, and remained one step ahead of all. Much lamentation about Dresden resounds, glad this was on the shorter side.

post #1435 of 2249
8. Junky William S. Burroughs 1953

LIST

The quintessential biography of a heroin addict.

I liked it.
post #1436 of 2249
Cocaine by Pitigrilli

“Cocaine is a brilliant black comedy that belongs on the same shelf as Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies and Dawn Powell’s The Wicked Pavilion.” - Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls

AppleMark
post #1437 of 2249
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun

 

7. South of the Border, West of the Sun

 

I have a few things to say about this book:

- This has to be, easily, one of the best titles in published history - the cadence is absolutely perfect.

- The book was fucking great: it's a narrative that tracks the different relationships that one man has, but more than that is really abot how people relate, and how we work together, despite our inherently selfish nature. It's beautiful, completely realistic, and very profound, without being ostentacious.

- As always, Murakami's ability to write about characters who are simultaneously unique, but incredibly ordinary is such a strenght of his writing and an absolute joy to read.

 

- With lines like: "As I drove away, I thought this: If I never see her again I will go insane.Once she got out of the car and was gone, my life was hollow and meaningless." Or: "I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a newpersonality. I suppose it's part of growing up, uet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different e, I could be free of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself - as long as I made the effort."

 

Prose that is simultaenously to the point, yet meanders [pleasantly along at no great pace is incredibly balanced and engaging.

 

Highly recommended. My favourite Murakami so far (sorry Dance, Dance, Dance).

post #1438 of 2249
LM, given that you've really been getting into Murakami lately, have you read "Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words"?

It's written by Jay Rubin, one of the English translators of Murakami's works - he translated "The Wind-up Bird Chronicles", "Norwegian Wood", "after the quake", "After Dark" and "1Q84" (along with Philip Gabriel, another long-time translator of Murakami's work).

"Murakami and the Music of Words" is part-biography of Murakami, part-literary criticism and also partially a discussion of translation, examining the differences between languages and how to best decide how to translate a concept or phrase from one language to another while still retaining the essence or the wit contained in the original sentence.

Well worth a read as a companion to Murakami's novels and other writing.
post #1439 of 2249

I'll have to check it out - I have Norweigan Wood and The Windup Bird Chronicle left to read of his.

 

I tend to go through authorial phases - I'll read most of/much of an author's work (for example, last year I read a lot of Chabon and Diaz) - so the companion will be a cool retrospective I think.

post #1440 of 2249
I have read the Rubin book on Murakami and thought it was good. I read almost all Murakami's books a few years ago and became a huge fan. His latest couple of books have however disappointed me.
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