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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 26

post #376 of 2114
22. The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler 1939
I dunno- I've been on this whodunit jag recently, with a bit of hoi polloi tossed in to sweeten the measure.
My 2nd favorite so far, after Roger Ackroyd. Gangster/Cop/Robber fast paced plot. Centered around the exploits and crimes of 2 daughters in a rich family. I definitely prefer Chandler over Hammett.
Cross another off the list, although I switched to the 2010 list which set me back about 10 books. frown.gif
post #377 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

22.
Cross another off the list, although I switched to the 2010 list which set me back about 10 books. frown.gif

With the "1001 books" iPhone app, I get the following data:

2006 edition - 149 / 1001
2008 edition - 116 / 1001
2010 edition - 116 / 1001
All 3 editions - 158 / 1001 (12.2 %)

I have a much higher percentage on 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, only counting albums I actually own. But it was always easier listening through a CD compared to reading a book.
post #378 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

With the "1001 books" iPhone app, I get the following data:
2006 edition - 149 / 1001
2008 edition - 116 / 1001
2010 edition - 116 / 1001
All 3 editions - 158 / 1001 (12.2 %)
I have a much higher percentage on 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, only counting albums I actually own. But it was always easier listening through a CD compared to reading a book.

I'm only at 6% for 2010. frown.gif My goal is 10 by the end of the year.

I should check out the CD thing. Probably much farther there as well, although I'm a notorious one song kinda guy. Nevertheless, that song is usually a deep cut.
post #379 of 2114
Okay, time for me to update my totals. I read some of these quite a while ago, so the synopses might not be so great.

5. Shoplifting From American Apparel by Tao Lin
This guy is kind of infamous for having a very unconventional style. It's very blank and unadorned feeling - which I think is an intentional stylistic decision on the writer's part. Anyway, this is about the driftings of unmoored youth in the 21st century. The characters mostly have few prospects, few goals, and little in the way of things to do. There's a mixture of sadness, rage, and joy expressed throughout the book, and this left me feeling a bit weird. Not for everyone, but this is a cheap, short introduction to Tao Lin's style.

6. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
Supposedly seminal science-fiction. I did not care for this at all. At times way too didactic, and at other times boring inventories of various species of alien. The narrative picked up a bit in the second half of the story, but at this point in the history of science-fiction it's pretty much standard fare. Not recommended at all.

7. Land Grid by Mike Kitchell
This is a chapbook with three short stories in it that a guy I kinda/sorta know wrote. There's a strong element of psycho-sexual, sometimes "Lynchian" horror running through the whole thing. It's totally sold out, but you can download the PDF via his website. It's still a bit rough around the edges in places, but he's constantly releasing new stuff and refining his style.

8. The Leviathan by Joseph Roth
Another short one. A story about the downfall and possible redemption of a Jewish coral merchant in Tsarist Russia at the close of 19th century. Works in an interesting allegory about sin and temptation and - maybe - the devil. I highly recommend it.

9. Customer Service by Benoît Duteurtre
A story about alienation as a result of the customer service industry in the modern era. Started out with a bit of a Kafka-esque feeling (specifically as in The Trial), but then took a few twists and turns that were both expected and unexpected. I had mixed feelings on this, and you might relate to it more or less than I did, depending on your political feelings and your past experiences with customer service.
post #380 of 2114
23. Beloved 1987 Toni Morrison
About the transition of African Americans from slave to "free" after the Civil War. Rich, textured, excellent story telling. I can't really say much more without spoiling the story. I didn't like it at first, but it finished very strong. I recommend it highly.
post #381 of 2114
24. Casino Royale 1953 Ian Fleming
The first of the James Bond books. Involves gambling, the Russian Secret Service, and, of course, Bond getting a bit of tail. Quick read. Good read. Another off The List.
post #382 of 2114
Clockwise counting 15/50: Guy de Maupassant - Bel-Ami (1885)

The excellent introduction in my Oxford World's Classics edition of this novel talks about "ferocious self-interest and prostituted values". That is exactly what this novel is about and it is a remarkable example of literature as great art, narrowly the best novel I have read this year. 

The story is about George Duroy, handsome ex-soldier who is making it to the top of late 19th century Paris society. Duroy has a poor country-boy upbringing and he never managed to pass his university degree; he is depressive, lacks self confidence as well as any skillset required for success. He does however discover that he has "a way with women" and he ruthlessly exploits his charm to further his career. 

Everything revolves around money, sex and power in this entertaining novel, which is full of interesting characters, all who feel very much contemporary to a reader 127 years later. De Maupassant has three novels on the 1001 list and I aim to read all. He was otherwise most well known for his large output of short-stories, said to be the pinnacle of short-story writing, so I guess I will one day get going on his collected stories (in 9 volumes!).

150/1001 (old edition)
159/1294 (all editions)
post #383 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwyhajlo View Post

8. The Leviathan by Joseph Roth
Another short one. A story about the downfall and possible redemption of a Jewish coral merchant in Tsarist Russia at the close of 19th century. Works in an interesting allegory about sin and temptation and - maybe - the devil. I highly recommend it.

Last year I read Joseph Roth's earlier and longer masterpiece, The Radetzky March. It left a strong impression on me and taught me a lot about the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its dying days.
post #384 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Last year I read Joseph Roth's earlier and longer masterpiece, The Radetzky March. It left a strong impression on me and taught me a lot about the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its dying days.

Yes! I've heard great things about that book. It's somewhere on the ever-lengthening list. The Austro-Hungarian Empire is very fascinating to me.
post #385 of 2114
25. The Glass Key Dashiell Hammett 1931
I think the reason I don't like Hammett as well as Chandler is that Chandler's stories revolve around a single character and location. However, this book was excellent. Story of a political campaign, and a murder that could make or break either side. The killer was a surprise to me and I'm always pleasantly surprised when that happens.
Cross Another off The List.
post #386 of 2114
26. The High Window 1942 Raymond Chandler
Lots of people get murdered, and it's pretty much surprising who does whom. Stolen $10K coin, and someone gets pushed out a High Window. Not on The List, but a good read nonetheless. I'm becoming a Hammett/Chandler aholic.

Guess I am on pace for 100, but plans would be all list once I hit 50.
post #387 of 2114
Have you seen the movie adaptation?

445

You are definitely kicking my butt so far! I drastically underestimated the amount of school work I had left to finish up.
post #388 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwyhajlo View Post

Have you seen the movie adaptation?
445
You are definitely kicking my butt so far! I drastically underestimated the amount of school work I had left to finish up.

No. That's one of my next projects...
post #389 of 2114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

No. That's one of my next projects...

Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1000 Essential Movies is probably the place to go, if you're looking for another project of that sort at some point. Taste-wise I find him incredibly reliable and supremely catholic.
post #390 of 2114
27. The Hunger Games v.1 2008 Suzanne Collins
I saw the movie, thought it was excellent, and decided to read the book. Set in a future dystopia where the Capitol of a country made up of 12 provinces had to put down a rebellion 75 years or so ago. Since then every year 2 representatives, 1 male and 1 female, from each of 12 districts fight to the death every year in a pageant called The Hunger Games. The book tells the story of how the protagonist wins.
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