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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 6

post #76 of 2324
Clockwise counting 14/50: Joseph Roth - The Radetzky March (1932)

A modern classic about the end of an era and the death of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We follow one family, three generations of men - grandfather, father and son whose life stories are intimately involved with the emperor, Kaiser Franz Josef. This is a very good book, beautiful narrative and a fascinating story about Europe before the first world war. There is a reason for classics being classics. I can see more old stuff coming up in my pursuit of the 50.
post #77 of 2324
13. The Old Man and The Sea- Hemingway
won the '53 Pulitzer prize and I can see why. It's about life- the struggle between man and the elements, man and his environment, man and his own mortality. And what possessions are really important to our existence. 2 big thumbs up.
14. Catch 22- Joseph Heller- I had a really tough time wading through this. Didn't really like it till the last 100 pages. Shows the absurdity of war in all its different phases. Features WW II aviators, but I could swear it got lifted to MASH.
15. Night- Elie Weisel
This received the Nobel Prize in '86 and there seems to be some controversy in major elements of the book. Nevertheless, one cannot underestimate the chilling effect of what men did to men, and how other men ignored it...
post #78 of 2324
May need to look for more 200-pagers to get the 50 done in time. It's a tough challenge for the working class.
post #79 of 2324
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post
May need to look for more 200-pagers to get the 50 done in time. It's a tough challenge for the working class.

I've been looking for real classics on everyone's must read list.

Some are short. Some have been 500 pages, But I'm very happy with the diversity and quality of what I'm reading.
post #80 of 2324
I've noticed you are covering a bunch of must-reads. I have in the past read 8 of your 15 to date.

The one where I disagree with your review is Catcher in the Rye, I am a big Salinger fan and also loved all his other work as much or more. I am probably 200 years older than you, which could explain some differences in taste.
post #81 of 2324
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post
I've noticed you are covering a bunch of must-reads. I have in the past read 8 of your 15 to date.

The one where I disagree with your review is Catcher in the Rye, I am a big Salinger fan and also loved all his other work as much or more. I am probably 200 years older than you, which could explain some differences in taste.

I have always read, but only the good stuff for school.

Instead I've been a serial reader-

Science Fiction- Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert.

Anne McCaffery.

All the Tarzan books.

Most of the WEB Griffin books- which I put on hold. Ain't gonna read 50 if they're all 700 pagers.

I sincerely doubt you're 200 years older than me. 10 tops.

I'm really enjoying this...
post #82 of 2324
16. The Stranger- Albert Camus
Most consider Camus an existentialist, but he rejected the label, and considered his works to be concerned with facing the absurd. Definitely applies to The Stranger. Youngish (typical SF age!) seems to have everything going for him. Then his boss offers him a promotion which he turns down. His girlfriend asks him to marry her and he turns her down. But he does get mixed up with a pimp and kills one of his enemies in supposed self defense. Gets the death penalty. Absurd, no?
Recommend
17. The Color Purple- Alice Walker
Pulitzer Prize Winner 1983
Takes place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. In the beginning it seems that almost all of the main characters' lives are hopeless. But by the end, most have found some sort of redemption.
Also Recommend
post #83 of 2324
Clockwise counting 15/50: Dorothy L Sayers - Clouds of Witness (1926)

First time I read a Lord Peter Whimsey book and I liked it a lot. Well written, funny and an interesting mystery. Sayers wrote 10 novels with Whimsey as the main character and this, the second, was recommended to me as the right place to start. The first is said to be weaker. I will definitely read some more Whimsey books.
post #84 of 2324
Never participated in a challenge but I have been reading like a fiend this year thanks to the availability of e-books. Mostly recent works. So far I've knocked out: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt - Edmund Morris The Emperor of all Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee La carte et le territoire - Michel Houellebecq Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Van de Zoet - David Mitchell Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor - Hervé This Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov Stuff White People Like - Christian Lander The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco The Forever War - Dexter Filkins War - Sebastian Junger The Postman Always Rings Twice - James Cain Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe The Sea - John Banville Freedom - Jonathan Franzen Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz The Final Solution - Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon Makeshift Metropolis - Wytold Rybczynski The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson A Year in the Merde - Stephen Clarke EDIT: for the sake of adding something of public utility, the bold titles were particularly good and the italicized ones particularly bad. Those that are neither were somewhere in between.
post #85 of 2324
Holymadness, I think you earnt a vacation until June 30. You reached the half way point early.

Agree fully that e-books make reading faster, easier and for some reason more attractive but miss the feeling of putting nice looking leather bound beauties in my book shelves.
post #86 of 2324
18. The Pearl- Johm Steinbeck- SHORT but excellent morality tale, considered by most to be 2nd only to Grapes of Wrath, which I read a year or so ago. Poor pearl diver finds huge priceless pearl. People in his village try to steal it. Pearl merchants try to cheat him for it. Bandits track him for it. The ultimate irony is he loses that which he sought it for.
Highly Recommend
19. Tarzan of the Apes- Edgar Rice Burroughs
Read this entire series in high school. Decided to re-read it because it was on one of the best 50/100 books I culled from the Internet. Romance in the Jungle. Good Guy. Bad Guy.
Great page turner for an airplane ride.

Am now returning to the bad habit of reading 3 books at once. 2 waders. Hopefully the third will be a bit of a swim.
post #87 of 2324
Clockwise counting 16/50: Aldous Huxley - Crome Yellow (1921)

Huxley's debut novel is a light but "intellectual" read. Part romantic comedy, part social satire and full of magnificent and crazy ideas. A group of interesting characters are vacationing in Crome, somewhere on the English countryside, and they spend most of the novel talking and engaging in social games. The main character, a frustrated unpublished poet, does not play the game well.

This was my first Huxley. I will consider Eyeless in Gaza as part of my 50 for 2011.
post #88 of 2324
Clockwise counting 17/50: H.G. Wells - The Time Machine (1895)

Very good short read and a true classic. This is the account of the Time Traveler, a pretty grim story about what the world would look like some 800,000 years into the future. My second Wells this year and I may add one or two more. I'm a bit behind pace so may need a bunch of shortish quick novels to make up for the slow start.
post #89 of 2324
I read The Island of Doctor Moreau not long ago and really enjoyed it. Full of dread and suspense. My girlfriend also appreciated The War of the Worlds. H.G. Wells seems to have been overlooked as a good writer and instead remembered as a teller of science fiction tales. I guess even the passage of a century can't make sci fi respectable.
post #90 of 2324
Same here, started with Dr Moreau as part of this 50 books challenge. I now have War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man left on the list of mandatory Wells novels. After 100+ years, his books don't feel dated at all.
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