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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 127

post #1891 of 1935
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

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
36. Museum of Innocence
37. Neverwhere
38. The Ghost's Child
39. Picnic at Hanging Rock
40. Submarine
41. Name of the Wind
42. Wise Man's Fear
43. A Million Little Pieces
44. The Promise
45. Father's Day

45. Father's Day
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Tony Birch's short story collection Father's Day revolves around fathers, sons and the relationships between and because of them. A series of stories that sprawl over Melbourne's Inner-North (from Cartlon to Abbotsford), these stories display an excellent sense of place - and I enjoyed how nostaglic and timeless the settings were, apart from a few cues all stories could have been set in the 50s, 70s, or now. Pubs, the Yarra, the Races (all types), commission flats, trams and trains abound in this story that flits between the severe summer and overcast winter of Melbourne - with a few peeks at the seasons in between.

His prose is, in my opinion, fantastic in this collection. Each story is concise, and short - like Carver in that regard - but there's a real sense of Australiana, a casual and conversational nature to the writing that is both enticing and completely and uniquely Australian. Birch writes with understatement and brevity - and his stories never talk down to readers or alienate them. There were a few stories were I was left asking myself 'ok, I wonder what that was really about' - I was really curious and enticed (again, like reading Carver).

However, there are some very funny and bizarrely absurd moments - matter-of-fact and straight up.

Alongside Shadowboxing, this is an excellent collection that is, as far as I am aware, some of the best fiction being written in Australia currently. Anyone who loves short stories I would implore you to try and get a hold of these collections - if you're interested enough let me know, I'll probably be scanning one or two stories to use for class and would be happy to pass it along.
CD and GF - get on this book.

On it.

Out of curiosity, what year do you teach Matt? What age do you think Birch will appeal to?
post #1892 of 1935

I teach Year 7 and 10 for English (and Year 8s for Humanities!).

 

Many of the stories would work for either year level - the language isn't intimidating, thematically they aren't imposing and length wise they are very accessible*.

 

 

 

 

*Has successfully used Vonnegut with Year 7s for 3 years running.

post #1893 of 1935
Similar to my wife, who is teaching year 7 and 10 English. Amusingly, my son's GF teaches Grade 6 at one of the feeder primary schools; makes for some "interesting" discussions re NAPLAN literacy results at times.
post #1894 of 1935
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Similar to my wife, who is teaching year 7 and 10 English. Amusingly, my son's GF teaches Grade 6 at one of the feeder primary schools; makes for some "interesting" discussions re NAPLAN literacy results at times.

 

Ahhhh! Some very terse discussions I can imagine.

 

As an aside, one thing that I've found fascinating, is talking to Primary School Teachers about the work they'd expect of Year7s - often the expectations of Year 7s at High Schools are so low. Students in Year 6 are expected to lead, achieve, demonstrate consistent ability, behave exceptionally, all the good things, yet most high schools, and most high school teachers, treat them like babies and them complain when Year 7-9 aren't as productive as they'd like. Surprisingly few teachers can see where the issue lies!

 

I just can't stand teachers/teaching that talks down to students! Such a waste/wank.

post #1895 of 1935
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post


*Has successfully used Vonnegut with Year 7s for 3 years running.

Which one?
post #1896 of 1935

Short stories.

 

"EPICAC", "Billy the Kid" and 'The Kid Nobody Could Handle".

 

EPICAC and Billy the Kid usually have pretty good responses, TKNCH is a bit harder (prose a little less familiar).

post #1897 of 1935
63. The Brass Verdict 2008 Michael Connelly

Title refers to a verdict rendered by a bullet. Mickey Haller (the Lincoln Lawyer) and Harry Bosh (another Connelly series hero) work together to solve a murder case and a corruption case.


B
post #1898 of 1935
6 The Circle by Dave Eggers

This is a very edgy book straight way from the opening pages you realise that their is trouble in this weird coroprate paradise so to speak. I don't know what he has taken from Scientology but imagine a mutant Facebook, Google, Apple monster cult that has perfected the art of total immersion and supply for the internet with one portal that synchs all your devices, sites and cloud based services to deliver you the optimum web experince. I regret not buying it, will see if i can find a second hand copy as I know Mrs GF would enjoy this as its one of those books worth adding to your personal library. I'm only 70 pages in but I am hooked and would highly recommend this book. ALL THAT HAPPENS MUST BE KNOWN!

Two thirds of the way through this and it getting weirder, darker and more Orwellian by the moment.
SECRETS ARE LIES PRIVACY IS THEFT

Finished reading this last night OMG I don't think I will be ever able to look at social media the same way again and this AM I was posting on a news site then went back to note how many 'add reputation' my comments had attracted, shudder. I think I need to back to Nordic Noir to get my perspective back on life.
Edited by Geoffrey Firmin - 7/15/14 at 8:22pm
post #1899 of 1935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

ALL THAT HAPPENS MUST BE KNOWN!

Should be the new SF tag line.
post #1900 of 1935

GF: reviews that are grammatically subversive always win me over.

post #1901 of 1935
LM

Interesting review on Fathers Day, found a copy in ACT public library cattle dog and requested it. I haven't had as much fun with a library card for years as I have had recently.

More so since there is no room in my library for anymore books and Mrs GF doesn't want more IKEA Billy shelving in the 'shared ' study, oh for a man cave.
post #1902 of 1935
64. The Fifth Witness Michael Connelly 2011

Mickey Haller gets another guilty client off, only to have the police discover she killed someone else at the end of the book.

Good Times. Courtroom drama. What's not to like?

B
post #1903 of 1935
35. Belomor
BelomorBelomor by Nicolas Rothwell

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Belomor is a series of four tentatively linked stories through which Nicolas Rothwell examines the interactions of widely different lives. The settings shift between Europe, South America and outback Australia. There is little in the way of plot; the novel is mostly poorly-defined characters philosophising to one another, mostly about - as one character puts it - “What’s your part in all this? Who are you?”

The trouble is that these dialogues are forced, stilted and unnatural, and the characters barely believable. Road builders encountered by chance in the remote wilderness chat about Karamazov and Chekhov with an art dealer, for example. The whole thing is far removed from any sense of reality, which undermines the whole concept - what attention should be paid to philosophy that is spouted by such shallow and unbelievable actors?

There is a lot of good writing here - Rothwell excels at describing the Australian outback - but in the end I found this novel irritating and wished for it to just end. It’s a shame, because this could have been so much better.


View all my reviews
Edited by California Dreamer - 7/15/14 at 6:24am
post #1904 of 1935
5 The Keeper of Lost Causes A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen

While going to see Calvary the other day I noticed a poster advertising this as part of the Scandinavian Film Festival it also noted that it was a NYT bestseller. So being a victim of lure of advertising i found it in the local public library. The film is due for mainstream release in Oz in the coming month.
post #1905 of 1935

14. Style and the Man by Alan Flusser.

 

This is the third book released by Alan Flusser, the designer for the movies Wall Street and American Psycho. This is the lightest read among his three books, the most detailed and intricate being his second book Dressing the Man and in the middle is his first book Clothes and the Man. It is important to note that all three books are about classic formal menswear so do not expect to find anything about jeans or polo shirts here.

 

His first book Clothes and the Man was a light read made for the average reader who simply wants to dress better. This by far is still my favorite because it is the most comprehensive without getting too much into the technicalities. His second book Dress and the Man may well be an introductory book for someone who aspires to be a haberdasher. The book is full of vivid illustrations and goes into the deep intricacies of color, pattern and proportion. Unless you are highly passionate about formal menswear I don't recommend getting it.

 

The third book Style and the Man is in essence a watered down version of the book Dress and the Man with emphasis on bespoke dress shirts, suits, trousers and shoes. The book can be finished in an hour and a half which I think is perfect for people who want to buy formal menswear as soon as possible. 

 

If you already have any of the first two books you can probably skip the third book.

 

However if you're the average joe who simply wants to learn how to dress better as soon as possible, you should get the third book together with John Bridges' A Gentleman Gets Dressed. The former is your technical handbook while the latter is your general style etiquette guide for different occasions.  The former is all about formal menswear while the latter likewise covers appropriate dressing for casual occasions like a garden barbecue.

 

It goes without saying that you have to live in a rather cooler part of the world to appreciate this. If you live in a rather warm or tropical city, you'll probably find little or no use of the books since you'd rarely wear suits or dress shirts.

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