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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 4

post #46 of 2107
so far last month I read:

1) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition by Jared Diamond
2) The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt
post #47 of 2107
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post
Thanks for the shelfari idea. Anyone actually uses this and is it good?

I post the books I've read there.
I've received some fairly reliable book recommendations from other Shelfari users.

It is what it is.
post #48 of 2107
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
How'd you like it?
It was ok. It started off preachier than I'd like but the last part was a lot better. I find that a lot of nonfiction is usually frontloaded with the good ideas but this was kind of the opposite. It also had a lot of interesting questions regarding the ethics of eating meat (as a former vegetarian I think it's really interesting) Just finished Phillip K. Dick's Ubik. I thought it was ok. It felt like too much mindfuckery for the sake of mindfuckery (Donnie Darko style).
post #49 of 2107
4. Decision Points- George W. Bush Considering my political leanings, better than I thought. Perhaps W has a side after all. Organization was willy-nilly. Other than that it was so well written I think Manton did the deed.
5. Joseph Conrad- yeah I know it's less than 200 pages, but it's a solid read nevertheless. Thought it was awesome, especially the prose. And that Conrad's native language isn't English. Was bummed to find out how much Coppola lifted from this for Apocalypse Now. I always thought the movie was more original...
6. J.D. Salinger- Catcher in the Rye- don't know what all the fuss is about this being a "modern classic" . Stream of consciousness, 1st person rambling about a ne'er do well who is secretly quite hurt by his young brother's death. ZZZZ
7. Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse Five- About a person's experience with the fire bombing in WW II which haunts him the rest of his life. And so it goes.
post #50 of 2107
I'm in for this. Getting rid of my TV and computer soon, and just bought a Kindle, will hopefully be reading a lot. May be too late to hop on board, but fuck it, I'll give it a try...

So far this year I've read:

1. Evolution of a Cro-Magnon by John Joseph - 3rd time reading this. It's fucking amazing, I love this book so much, probably one of the best books I've ever read, no lie. It's not literary or sophisticated in any way, but the way that John Joseph writes like he's sitting there telling the reader the stories about his life is crazy.

2. Crazy From the Heat by David Lee Roth - I told someone that I was reading the John Joseph book and they suggested this. David Lee Roth seams like a much deeper and more interesting guy than he gets credit for. I loved this book. I tracked down a 1st edition copy for a christmas gift for someone that loves reading and music.

3. ReImagining Detroit by John Gallagher - I'm moving to Detroit in a few weeks so I've been reading up on the city as much as possible. This book mostly envisions a Detroit of the future that relies on urban farming and progressive thinking to survive rather than hoping the motor industry comes back to it's former glory. Interesting book.

4. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - Love the show, can't wait for it to come back on. I guess the book was pretty good. Good popcorn book you could say. I was worried that it would be exactly the same as the show but by the end of the book it had turned in a different direction completely. I've heard that the later books completely veer from the show storyline. I will most likely be reading the whole series eventually.

5. When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris - Classic Sedaris here. No more, no less. A few people who I've spoke to about it have lost interest in this guy and I can see why. His stories ramble on a bit, and rarely have any 'punch' to them, but they're great for reading on the subway to and from work. If you like Sedaris' past work, there's no reason not to like this book.
post #51 of 2107
Clockwise counting 4/50: Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Social commentary and love story; remarkably easy to read and engaging considering it's almost 200 years old. The story is about pride and about prejudice but also about social standings, wealth and ambitious social climbing. First time I read one of those great English female novelists; did it to please my wife but was surprised by how much I liked it. Maybe soon on to Wuthering Heights but I first have a thick male author to finish off. 4 of 50 at end of February is a bit off the pace but I remain optimistic.
post #52 of 2107
3.) The Carpentered Hen by John Updike This is a collection of Updike's earliest poems. Most were written during his days at Harvard and Oxford (can you imagine? ), and many are based on passages/captions/etc. he pulled from LIFE magazine issues. The verse is very light-hearted and in many instances pretty funny. While not a magnum opus, there are flashes of brilliance here and there, and I am told that his later poetry is just phenomenal. So I'm sure some of those collections will pop up on this list as the year goes on. This is the type of stuff I like to read after a long day at work. Fun and simple.
post #53 of 2107
4.) Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class by Robert H. Frank This was a rather interesting book. Pretty good, could've been pretty damn good if it weren't for the horrendous writing that almost all economists employ. Describes causes behind rising inequality, argues that the concentration of wealth in the upper tiers of society has led to "expenditure cascades" for everybody in the under-classes; because the upper class is spending so much more, that effect trickles down to those in the middle and lower classes and the bar for normalcy is raised. Frank proposes a very interesting progressive consumption tax as a potential remedy. Interestingly enough, Friedman proposed a very similar one in the 50s.
post #54 of 2107
I'm reading this Keith Richards book and I'm thinking of stopping half way through. It's horrible.
post #55 of 2107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
4. Decision Points- George W. Bush Considering my political leanings, better than I thought. Perhaps W has a side after all. Organization was willy-nilly. Other than that it was so well written I think Manton did the deed.
5. Joseph Conrad- yeah I know it's less than 200 pages, but it's a solid read nevertheless. Thought it was awesome, especially the prose. And that Conrad's native language isn't English. Was bummed to find out how much Coppola lifted from this for Apocalypse Now. I always thought the movie was more original...
6. J.D. Salinger- Catcher in the Rye- don't know what all the fuss is about this being a "modern classic" . Stream of consciousness, 1st person rambling about a ne'er do well who is secretly quite hurt by his young brother's death. ZZZZ
7. Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse Five- About a person's experience with the fire bombing in WW II which haunts him the rest of his life. And so it goes.

8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn- WONDERFUL book. Traces development of a young girl in the 20s or thereabouts. Oh yeah- in Brooklyn.
9. A Brave New World- Aldous Huxley- Portrays the future death of individualism and the absolute rule of socialist pleasure (sounds alright by me). Wasn't impressed.

WOW- at this pace I might make 50, add some really good books to my library, and feel like an educated person. Even though I know I ain't.
post #56 of 2107
Clockwise counting 5/50: H.G. Wells - The Island of Dr Moreau (1896)

Shipwrecked gentleman meets crazy scientist who is running a private horror show on a small island. One of the classics in sf / horror can be highly recommended, a short and exciting read. Must look for more of Wells' stuff.
post #57 of 2107
This is great fun. Kudos to the OP.
post #58 of 2107
Clockwise counting 6/50: H. Rider Haggard - She (1887)

One of the all-time most popular and spectacular adventure stories. A couple of gentlemen from Cambridge go in search of the past and find a lost empire somewhere in Africa; their lives are forever changed by a frightening but irresistible timeless beauty, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. I liked this!

Behind the pace, must speed it up or take 4th quarter off from work.
post #59 of 2107
Clockwise counting 7/50: Kate Chopin - The Awakening (1899) On a roll with the classics. Louisiana housewife wakes up to the fact that marriage and motherhood have repressed her sexual desires and chances for self expression. Lots of parallels to one of the greatest novels ever, Anna Karenina, but a much easier and faster read.
post #60 of 2107
So I can participate, please be sure to friend me on Shelfari

http://www.shelfari.com/o1514159703

I'm reading the Arthur C. Clarke collection at the moment.
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