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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 30

post #436 of 1896
40. The Big Nowhere James Ellroy 1988
Story of 3 LA Cops (1 a special deputy) consumed by ambition for different reasons. The 2 regular cops are both killed more or less in the line of duty. The cop-for-hire is on the lam as the book ends. 2nd of LA Quartet. Excellent read.

41. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson 1886
The famous novella about a doctor who creates a monster whilst fiddling around with chemicals. As the story progresses he is less and less able to control his transformations. I didn't care for the book; I only read it because it's on The List and I never have.
post #437 of 1896
42. The Remains of The Day 1988 Kazuo Ishiguro
Centers around an English butler and lifetime of service. The dos and donts, the organization of the rest of the household. To say he is stuffy is the supreme understatement. I found the book extremely sad in that he was a man who didn't take a chance...stayed on Frost's traveled road. I could never live my life that way and it depresses me to read about someone who could.
43. The Elegance of The Hedgehog 2006 Muriel Barbery
I had to read this one because we have one.
The story of a Parisian concierge. The discoveries she makes about herself and the sweetness and friendship she enjoys in the latter part of life. I'd recommend it much more highly than the book above.

Cross 2 more off the list.
post #438 of 1896
Clockwise counting 27/50: Shusaku Endo - Deep River (1993)

Another really good novel by Endo and another to strike off the list of 1001. This is about a group of Japanese tourists who each on some kind of spiritual search join a group tour to India and, in particular, Varanasi on the Ganges river. Although Endo is a Christian Japanese writer, the novel is multi-cultural in its perspective and wants to bring through a message about the common denominators of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. The characters in this novel each have his or her unique and painful story and may only find solace in the cleansing effect of the holy Ganges river. My favorite by Endo so far is Scandal but this one is also very good! 
post #439 of 1896
44. All The Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy 1992
I like McCarthy and this book is the best I've read so far. Story of a 16 yr old who leaves home in San Angelo, TX and rides 1,000 miles + South into Mexico. The description of him coming of age is as only McCarthy can describe. He is a drifter and we are left with an image of him riding off into the sunset.

Another one off the list
post #440 of 1896
Only just stumbled on this thread. Out of curiosity, I thought I''d see how I'm going this year. Looks like 50 books is doable, so I'm in. I'll only review these in brief: a lot of what I read early this year was lost in a fog of painkillers and tiredness.

1. New Collected Poems, Tomas Transtromer. A mistake. This book reminded me why I don't read poetry.
2. Between the Assassinations, Aravind Ardiga. Enjoyed this. He is great at portraying the lives of the Indian underclasses.
3.The Locked Room, Sjowall and Wahloo. Been reading theMartin Beck series in order. The progenitors and inspirers of a lot of the Scandinavian detective fiction that's so big now, as well as a lot of other crime fiction writers.
4.Outrage, Arnaldur Indridason. Sorry Arnaldur, but a Reykjavik mystery without Erlendur is a waste of your time and ours.
5.The Discovery of France, Graham Robb. Social history of regional France, with a lot of surprising details.
6.The Abominable Man, Sjowall and Wahloo. Martin Beck again.
7.One Thousand and One Nights, Hanan al-Shaykh. Just OK. A clever construction revealed at the end, but it lacks the elegance and excitement of other translations I've read.
8.People Who Eat Darkness, Richard Lloyd Parry. A true crime story with a creepy villain, but it lacked impact because the crime wasn't as widely reported here as in the UK.
9.Angelmaker, Nick Harkaway. Seriously, what is it with automata? They seem to be everywhere now, in films, radio shows, books, even Peter Carey's new novel has one! This was an unpretentious page-turner with some fun ideas. I'd be willing to give a sequel a go.
10.Quarterly Essay 44: Man-made World: Choosing Between Progress and Planet, Andrew Charlton. Charlton was one of Kevin Rudd's inner circle, and so was at the eye of the storm in Copenhagen. This essay makes it clear just how big a challenge for Australia achieving our targets will be, and what we will have to be prepared to sacrifice to get there. Charlton puts his faith in technological breakthroughs.
11.His Illegal Self, Peter Carey. Hated it. Carey should not try to write realistic novels. His brilliance is in magic realism and grotesqueries.
12.The Cartographer, Peter Twohig. Excellent first novel about a young boy who witnesses a murder and retreats into mapmaking and superherodom. Should appeal to those who liked TJ Spivet. Especially good for Melbournians, as the young cartographer's maps being our inner city in the 50s to life.
13.Autumn Laing, Alex Miller. Good novel about a fraught adulterous affair between a socialite patron of the arts and an up and coming artist. Based on the lives of well-known arts patrons John and Sunday Reed, and the artist Sidney Nolan, with whom Sunday had a torrid affair.
14.The Last Word, Ben Macintyre. Brilliantly funny series of articles about the English language, from the pages of The Times.
15.Macbeth, Fiona Watson. Watson spent about 70% of the book getting to the point where Macbeth is born, and had nothing to add to our knowledge of the Scottish king, other than he once visited Rome. Shot through with flights of fiction, as if the book wasn't padded enough. A travesty of a history, and deeply disappointing.
16.We the Animals, Justin Torres. Just OK. The big reveal at the end is telegraphed from a mile off.
17.Point Omega, Don de Lillo. Let's just say it's not de Lillo's best, shall we?
18.Quarterly Essay 45: On the Importance of Animals, Anna Klein. While I"ll never become a veg, the section Klein wrote on the use of animals in experimentation convinced me that our ethics in this area fall well short.
19.John the Revelator, Peter Murphy. Covered with fulsome attestations from Irish novelists, none of which it lived up to.
20.Eleven, Mark Watson. Clever novel about the impact on people's lives of even small events, and not at all what you'd expect from a stand-up comedian
21.Melbourne, Sophie Cunningham. A portrait of a year in my home town, starting from Black Saturday 2009, the day when the State went up in flames. She captures the place and its sub-cultures brilliantly
22.He Died With His Eyes Open, Derek Raymond. The first of the Factory novels, a classic of hard-boiled UK crime fiction. Now where can I find the rest of them? Aargh!
post #441 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Only just stumbled on this thread. Out of curiosity, I thought I''d see how I'm going this year. Looks like 50 books is doable, so I'm in. I'll only review these in brief: a lot of what I read early this year was lost in a fog of painkillers and tiredness.
1. New Collected Poems, Tomas Transtromer. A mistake. This book reminded me why I don't read poetry.
2. Between the Assassinations, Aravind Ardiga. Enjoyed this. He is great at portraying the lives of the Indian underclasses.
3.The Locked Room, Sjowall and Wahloo. Been reading theMartin Beck series in order. The progenitors and inspirers of a lot of the Scandinavian detective fiction that's so big now, as well as a lot of other crime fiction writers.
4.Outrage, Arnaldur Indridason. Sorry Arnaldur, but a Reykjavik mystery without Erlendur is a waste of your time and ours.
5.The Discovery of France, Graham Robb. Social history of regional France, with a lot of surprising details.
6.The Abominable Man, Sjowall and Wahloo. Martin Beck again.
7.One Thousand and One Nights, Hanan al-Shaykh. Just OK. A clever construction revealed at the end, but it lacks the elegance and excitement of other translations I've read.
8.People Who Eat Darkness, Richard Lloyd Parry. A true crime story with a creepy villain, but it lacked impact because the crime wasn't as widely reported here as in the UK.
9.Angelmaker, Nick Harkaway. Seriously, what is it with automata? They seem to be everywhere now, in films, radio shows, books, even Peter Carey's new novel has one! This was an unpretentious page-turner with some fun ideas. I'd be willing to give a sequel a go.
10.Quarterly Essay 44: Man-made World: Choosing Between Progress and Planet, Andrew Charlton. Charlton was one of Kevin Rudd's inner circle, and so was at the eye of the storm in Copenhagen. This essay makes it clear just how big a challenge for Australia achieving our targets will be, and what we will have to be prepared to sacrifice to get there. Charlton puts his faith in technological breakthroughs.
11.His Illegal Self, Peter Carey. Hated it. Carey should not try to write realistic novels. His brilliance is in magic realism and grotesqueries.
12.The Cartographer, Peter Twohig. Excellent first novel about a young boy who witnesses a murder and retreats into mapmaking and superherodom. Should appeal to those who liked TJ Spivet. Especially good for Melbournians, as the young cartographer's maps being our inner city in the 50s to life.
13.Autumn Laing, Alex Miller. Good novel about a fraught adulterous affair between a socialite patron of the arts and an up and coming artist. Based on the lives of well-known arts patrons John and Sunday Reed, and the artist Sidney Nolan, with whom Sunday had a torrid affair.
14.The Last Word, Ben Macintyre. Brilliantly funny series of articles about the English language, from the pages of The Times.
15.Macbeth, Fiona Watson. Watson spent about 70% of the book getting to the point where Macbeth is born, and had nothing to add to our knowledge of the Scottish king, other than he once visited Rome. Shot through with flights of fiction, as if the book wasn't padded enough. A travesty of a history, and deeply disappointing.
16.We the Animals, Justin Torres. Just OK. The big reveal at the end is telegraphed from a mile off.
17.Point Omega, Don de Lillo. Let's just say it's not de Lillo's best, shall we?
18.Quarterly Essay 45: On the Importance of Animals, Anna Klein. While I"ll never become a veg, the section Klein wrote on the use of animals in experimentation convinced me that our ethics in this area fall well short.
19.John the Revelator, Peter Murphy. Covered with fulsome attestations from Irish novelists, none of which it lived up to.
20.Eleven, Mark Watson. Clever novel about the impact on people's lives of even small events, and not at all what you'd expect from a stand-up comedian
21.Melbourne, Sophie Cunningham. A portrait of a year in my home town, starting from Black Saturday 2009, the day when the State went up in flames. She captures the place and its sub-cultures brilliantly
22.He Died With His Eyes Open, Derek Raymond. The first of the Factory novels, a classic of hard-boiled UK crime fiction. Now where can I find the rest of them? Aargh!

Welcome. We are the erudite (read snobs) of the Forum,smile.gif
post #442 of 1896
It's true. The intellectual elite. Welcome!

I read most of the Sjöwall / Wahlöö books a life time ago. Wouldn't mind picking them up again and in chronological order this time. I will make that a project for the future.
post #443 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

It's true. The intellectual elite. Welcome!

I read most of the Sjöwall / Wahlöö books a life time ago. Wouldn't mind picking them up again and in chronological order this time. I will make that a project for the future.

Reading them in order does make sense. There are quite a few back-references.
post #444 of 1896
23. City of Bohane, by Kevin Barry.
Easily the best book I've read so far this year, City of Bohane is an extraordinary first novel. Barry's great achievement is to immerse the reader utterly in a geography, culture, tribalism, fashion and argot of his own invention and make it utterly believable. He peoples Bohane with a set of memorable characters and tells a twisted story of plot and counter-plot between and within the gangs of Bohane. In some ways, Barry's book reminds me of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, although I think his story is told on a grander scale.

With the blessin' of the Sweet Baba Jay all the fiends of the SF Fancy will read this book, ye sketchin'?
post #445 of 1896
Clockwise counting 28/50: Alain de Botton - How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997)

I usually don't read self-help books but this wasn't bad at all, particularly for someone who, like me, has a vague plan to start the big project of reading Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. De Botton shows how Proust's masterpiece can be a life-changing experience. 
post #446 of 1896
45. LA Confidential 1990 James Ellroy
A very intricate but exciting detective tale. At least 4 plot in plots, heroes who change into villains and vice versa. Ultimately it's about courage and honesty. Who has it and who doesn't and how the 3 main characters acquire both. This is the third of the LA quartet books. It will be hard for White Jazz to beat it...
post #447 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

45. LA Confidential 1990 James Ellroy
A very intricate but exciting detective tale. At least 4 plot in plots, heroes who change into villains and vice versa. Ultimately it's about courage and honesty. Who has it and who doesn't and how the 3 main characters acquire both. This is the third of the LA quartet books. It will be hard for White Jazz to beat it...

Which one is your favorite so far Steve? Unfortunately, I thought White Jazz weaker than the first three. But I read those books a long time ago and can't fully separate them in my mind.
post #448 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

23. City of Bohane, by Kevin Barry.
Easily the best book I've read so far this year, City of Bohane is an extraordinary first novel. Barry's great achievement is to immerse the reader utterly in a geography, culture, tribalism, fashion and argot of his own invention and make it utterly believable. He peoples Bohane with a set of memorable characters and tells a twisted story of plot and counter-plot between and within the gangs of Bohane. In some ways, Barry's book reminds me of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, although I think his story is told on a grander scale.
With the blessin' of the Sweet Baba Jay all the fiends of the SF Fancy will read this book, ye sketchin'?

This one looks like a must-read! It has got raving reviews in all the serious papers and I loved A Clockwork Orange. A pity I have just received a wheel barrow full of other stuff from amazon. Maybe later this year.
post #449 of 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Which one is your favorite so far Steve? Unfortunately, I thought White Jazz weaker than the first three. But I read those books a long time ago and can't fully separate them in my mind.

So far LA Confidential. By far.

City of Bohane sounds good as well...I need a number 50. I don't want to spend another 6 weeks on Anna Karenina.
post #450 of 1896
46. The Affair Lee Child 2011
My brother gave me this book a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't initially going to read it, because it was hoi polloi and over 500 pages long. I read it in less than a day and it was a very pleasant surprise. A murder mystery with a couple of major plot twists that has the reader going one way, then coming back the other way by surprise. I highly recommend it.

I AM leaning toward Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky for #50. One must keep with traditions.

Or maybe Gravity's Rainbow.
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