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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 120

post #1786 of 2053
This is a great thread. I just read all of it, maybe next year I'll join you. I generally read 20-30 a year, though.

Anyway, I wonder if you guys can give me some recommendations. Spanish is my first language, but I haven't really read anything in my language since I was in high school, 10 years ago.

Can you recommend me some Hispanic authors?

I have gotten a couple I'll try out of this thread--Javier Cercas, Javier Marias, maybe Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

I've already read some works of the most famous authors like Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Borges, and some I don't recall right now. Borges' short stories (Fictions, The Book of Sand) have been my favorites. I also like Jorge Ibargüengoitia, but he's not so well known.
post #1787 of 2053
I'd kill to be able to read Reinaldo Arenas in Spanish. Jose Lezama Lima is almost in the same rank, and Cabrera Infante ain't half bad, either. Jose Donoso's Obscene Bird of Night will also blow your mind. Oh -- and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo for something shorter, I guess.

Thanks for the list! Hopefully some of that is available in translation. fistbump.gif
post #1788 of 2053
Depends what sort of fare you’re looking for, but I’ve really enjoyed Arturo Perez-Reverte in translation, especially his Captain Alatriste swashbuckling series. He’s written some good thrillers too, like The Flanders Panel and The Seville Communion.
post #1789 of 2053
51. The Ferguson Rifle Louis L'Amour 1978

A famous gun, a treasure, the bad buys and a girl.

The history of the rifle is pretty interesting when researched.
post #1790 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

I'd kill to be able to read Reinaldo Arenas in Spanish. Jose Lezama Lima is almost in the same rank, and Cabrera Infante ain't half bad, either. Jose Donoso's Obscene Bird of Night will also blow your mind. Oh -- and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo for something shorter, I guess.

Thanks for the list! Hopefully some of that is available in translation. fistbump.gif

Thanks! I've read Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo and some short stories, it's good. I'll look those others up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Depends what sort of fare you’re looking for, but I’ve really enjoyed Arturo Perez-Reverte in translation, especially his Captain Alatriste swashbuckling series. He’s written some good thrillers too, like The Flanders Panel and The Seville Communion.

I'm looking for almost anything good, really. My favorite genre is SF but I don't think there's much in Spanish.

I was put off by Perez-Reverte's Queen of the South, it was big here in Mexico for a while and I had a few chances to read a couple pages.

I will give Alatriste's series a try, though. At least the first book.
post #1791 of 2053
Klewless title 34/50: Field of Prey by John Sandford



The Lucas Davenport series is now up to 24...There was a lull in the books numbering in the late teens, but Sandford is back with a vengeance. These are fantastic police procedurals, and it is a treat for the reader experiencing the characters from his other series (Virgil Flowers) visit the Prey storyline. This series does NOT have to be read in order. Sandford is a master of the genre, worth reading.

Klewless title 35/50: Buried Angels by Camilla Lackberg



Unfortunately this is not one of the better titles in this series featuring Swedish policeman Patrik Hedstrom. This book is in need of some serious editing, and has no business coming in at 400+ pages. There is a forced progression of the series storyline. The series must be read in order, so don't jump in here unless you have been keeping up with events the author has already serialized in Fjallbacka Sweden. Lackberg has always been mildly entertaining, but this one is not up to par.
post #1792 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by leipergrey View Post


I was put off by Perez-Reverte's Queen of the South, it was big here in Mexico for a while and I had a few chances to read a couple pages.

I will give Alatriste's series a try, though. At least the first book.

I also tried to read Queen of the South and thought it was awful, couldn't finish it. I did however really enjoy his Club Dumas.

Of those authors you mentioned in your earlier post, Javier Marias is one of my huge favorites. A lot more demanding than Perez-Reverte's entertainment but well worth the effort. Best place to start is either A Heart so White or Tomorrow in the Battle Think On Me.
post #1793 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by klewless View Post

Klewless title 35/50: Buried Angels by Camilla Lackberg

Unfortunately this is not one of the better titles in this series featuring Swedish policeman Patrik Hedstrom. This book is in need of some serious editing, and has no business coming in at 400+ pages. There is a forced progression of the series storyline. The series must be read in order, so don't jump in here unless you have been keeping up with events the author has already serialized in Fjallbacka Sweden. Lackberg has always been mildly entertaining, but this one is not up to par.

Although I am Swedish, I never read Läckberg. I heard from reliable sources that her novels are too simplistic, true? She is however very successful and she proved to be an excellent dancer in Sweden's Dancing with the Stars a couple of years ago. Not that I would ever watch that TV show myself but anyway...
post #1794 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Although I am Swedish, I never read Läckberg. I heard from reliable sources that her novels are too simplistic, true? She is however very successful and she proved to be an excellent dancer in Sweden's Dancing with the Stars a couple of years ago. Not that I would ever watch that TV show myself but anyway...


Yes...and they have become more simplistic as the series has progressed. My thinking on this situation is that as she gains readers, there is increased pressure from the publisher to churn the books out. Like most best selling authors, that puts her on the 1 book a year requirement, at which point most writers no longer have the ability to actually produce with the same depth that made them popular in the first place.
post #1795 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by leipergrey View Post

I was put off by Perez-Reverte's Queen of the South, it was big here in Mexico for a while and I had a few chances to read a couple pages.

I will give Alatriste's series a try, though. At least the first book.

Queen of the South was god-awful. Don’t take that as representative of his work. If you like stuff like The Three Musketeers, the Alatriste books are fun. Most of the rest of his fiction is pretty good, but very different to his historical fiction.
post #1796 of 2053
29. The Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly ObscureThe Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure by John Lloyd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ll start by saying that I am a fan of QI. I enjoy my weekly dose of the weird and wonderful arcane trivia that Stephen Fry and his panel wheel out for our amusement. There is also nothing like the air of superiority that you can bask in when you realise that Fry is talking complete bollocks, and that you actually know him to be wrong.

The Book of the Dead is pretty much the book you’d expect this research team to produce. It’s a collection of potted biographies about 68 people who are to a greater or lesser extent well-known. The focus of each biography is on the more unusual aspects of the subject’s life, as you’d expect from these authors.

It’s a mixed bunch; some people such as Freud, Marx or Casanova are so well-known that the book adds little to our knowledge of them. It was interesting to find out more detail about people I was aware of but knew very little about, such as Pieter Stuyvesant, Santa Ana and Buckminster Fuller. The thing I enjoyed the most however was finding out about people I knew nothing of who were really quite remarkable, including 16th Century scientist John Dee, Shakers founder Ann Lee, the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessao and courtesan Cora Pearl.

The book is organised into themes and subjects grouped under things they have in common. Some of this is straining a bit: people who liked monkeys, or people who were “driven” (which could be almost anybody in the book, really). I think the authors are really stretching a point when they included Howard Hughes under the rubric of people with eating disorders. Lloyd and Mitchinson don't seem to derive much insight from these shared groupings. There is a cursory summary at the end of each chapter, but no real inferences drawn.

This is a great book for dipping into new and again and flipping back and forth at random. I suspect even the most erudite - perhaps even Stephen Fry himself! - would be bound to come across something new and interesting. Which I guess is the point.




View all my reviews
post #1797 of 2053
123020.jpgcontagion.jpg


NEW, LESS-BULSHITTY NUMBERING SYSTEM!

18. Emporium, Adam Johnson (2002)
19. Contagion, Brian Evenson (2000)




TWO COLLECTIONS THAT WERE OKAY, BUT FELL SHORT IN VARIOUS WAYS.

In his early thirties(?), Brian Evenson was young when he wrote this, and it shows. What could have been perfectly good trash fiction instead falters under a healthy dose of pretension: pretension toward literariness, pretension toward continental philosophy (ugh). This was a letdown, as he is well-respected in small, university-bred 'speculative' fiction circles. Unfortunately, this might have more to do with the meddling of his former employer, religious baddies from Brigham Young University, who threatened to fire him over his violent work. I remain hopeful: two stories were truly good, and bear revisiting.

Adam Johnson is an interesting study, as he would go on to to edit himself for length and boringness and learn, generally, to perfect the kind of bland and inoffensive literary narrative that wins prizes -- grabbing himself -- unbelievably -- a Pulitzer in 2013. This, I fear, might be the clearest example of what people mean by the workshop story: vanilla narratives, over-reliant on sense impressions as they are mandated in school, varnished by a fussy style that almost holds everything together, but not quite. It's hard to dislike Johnson. These stories are almost there. His first novel, Parasites Like Us, was almost there. (A great beginning and end, flat-lined by a long middle that just meanders in what it thinks a good novel should do). I'll still take a crack at his prize-winner.
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Edited by noob - 6/1/14 at 3:19am
post #1798 of 2053
16 GLOW by Ned Beauman read his previous novel The Teleportation Accident a couple of years ago and found it quite an enjoyable. This book received very favourable reviews in a number of papers. Something of a departure from my excursion into Scandi Noir now to new British Sci Fi.
post #1799 of 2053
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
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

 

35. Girt

 

CD's review of this last year prompted me to grab this book at the library. It was hillarious and enjoyable and I can't wait to read the follow up that should be released soon.

 

GF: review Glow - was it good? I almost bought it the other day in Dymocks.

post #1800 of 2053




Novel 20. Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen (2008)


Here's one I've been putting off for, oh...six-ish years! Time flies and it sucks. Another unwitting double adventure, except different, and recommended. The cover alone feels personalized and makes me want to hold it. And I did.
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