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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 53

post #781 of 1927

Only 7 books, and people have more than 3 times that many.

 

I've been happy with my progress this year (shooting for 60 books), but bloody hell, book jealousy.

 

Also, having trouble getting into anything serious. If it's not autobiography, fantasy, sci-fi or ridiculous fun I can't read it (tried in cold blood, got up to page 50 and put it down, same with some other books).

post #782 of 1927
7=84. Plenty to be proud of, dude. Like I said mine will be going WAY down at the end of this month. Try some of my list books. They've all been pretty good. Have you tried Asimov,Anne McCaffery, Frank Herbert? Stranger in a Strange Land is awesome. Chandler?Hamett are very good and short. The Postman rings twice? The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was absolutely awesome. You didn't know who did it until the last page and it was a complete surprise. The LA quartet is also great. And thrillers, well they're in a category all their own. smile.gif

Cormac McCarthy- The Road, The Border Series, No Country for Old Men.

Or try Boxall's list. There's even a check off sheet. I read 50 off that list last year and only 5 were duds.

I really liked In Cold Blood. Breakfast at Tiffany's was a stinker though.
post #783 of 1927
25. The Devil's Elixir 2012 Raymond Khoury The previous heroes Sean and Tess are pursued by a Mexican drug lord. Not your average Mexican drug lord, but one's who's been in the jungle and extensively spoken with shamans. Developed paralysis causers and powerful hallucinogens which always result in a (very) bad trip. And a very limited supply of something that allows one to view all of their previous lives at once. He has a small amount of it, but is ruthless to solve its formula and manufacture it for mass distribution. He eliminates anyone who gets in his way-kidnaps scientists, and kills law enforcement agents who try to protect them.

He's a really, really bad guy.

I liked it, but not as much of the other thrillers I've read.
post #784 of 1927
26. Veronika Decides to Die 1998 Paulo Coelho

LIST

A mid-20s woman decides her life is boring and she can only look forward to more of the same so she attempts suicide. She's discovered before she dies and is sent to an asylum to recover. She's told she only has 5-7 days to live because of the damage she has done to her heart. She treats the next week completely differently, and comes to treasure the things in life so many of us take for granted. And acquires a strong desire to live.

The reader can't help but join her in her feelings and root for a different ending for her... And sure enough the doctor has duped her and given her drugs to simulate the condition. But how to tell her? All of the alternatives would produce a negative or disastrous result.

He doesn't, leaving her to believe that each day is a miracle.

Coehlo is a masterful writer. I can't wait to read more of his books.
post #785 of 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

26. Veronika Decides to Die 1998 Paulo Coelho


Coehlo is a masterful writer. I can't wait to read more of his books.


Only book i've attempted to read by him was Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
I really enjoy it and have heard great things but it is not an easy read. He does enjoy using his complex words.
Every time i try to pick it up again and plow through i get frustrated and put it down after a couple pages.
This is a book I MUST get through for personal benefit. Finding it very difficult tho.

post #786 of 1927
27. On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan 2007

LIST-08/10

The story of a young couple's relationship its denouement, and a brief discussion of their life afterward. It is 1962. Most young adults remain virgins until they're married. Our couple is no different, but on their wedding night the woman is, at least temporarily, frigid. The relationship dissolves that night, followed by a quick divorce.

Poignant. But VERY sad. Excellent. A definite read.
post #787 of 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

7=84. Plenty to be proud of, dude. Like I said mine will be going WAY down at the end of this month. Try some of my list books. They've all been pretty good. Have you tried Asimov,Anne McCaffery, Frank Herbert? Stranger in a Strange Land is awesome. Chandler?Hamett are very good and short. The Postman rings twice? The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was absolutely awesome. You didn't know who did it until the last page and it was a complete surprise. The LA quartet is also great. And thrillers, well they're in a category all their own. smile.gif

Cormac McCarthy- The Road, The Border Series, No Country for Old Men.

Or try Boxall's list. There's even a check off sheet. I read 50 off that list last year and only 5 were duds.

I really liked In Cold Blood. Breakfast at Tiffany's was a stinker though.


I have lots to read, but I'm coming off holidays and am back to work so the total goes down.

 

I'm also reading Cryptnomonicon (which is like 1200 pages of epic), so that'll take me another 2 weeks (if I'm lucky).

 

At least this thread is keeping me focused.

post #788 of 1927
Clockwise counting 17/50: Jim Lynch - Truth Like The Sun (2012)

This book will definitely be a much better read if you know the city of Seattle intimately. I don't know Seattle at all. 

It is the story of a city and of the great man Roger Morgan who made the Seattle World Fair happen in 1962. We follow Morgan's story in 1962 when he is young and invincible and in 2001 when he is running for mayor at the age of 70 and old ghosts are creeping out of the wardrobe. 

I felt the story had potential and that much of the book was very well written, however it all fails to come together in the end. The fictitious Morgan remains an enigma and the corruption scandal and underworld manipulations that form much of the exciting backdrop of the novel never get a proper treatment. A decent read but ultimately not satisfying.
post #789 of 1927
Clockwise counting 18/50: James M Cain - The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)

A unpleasant drifter comes across Greek immigrant motel owner Nick and his sexy wife Cora. Drifter and Cora engage in a passionate and sadomasochistic relationship and conspire to kill Nick. This is a classic crime novel with all the ingredients of a Greek drama. A must-read and obviously on the list of 1001.
post #790 of 1927
Clockwise counting 19/50: Harriet Lane - Alys, Always (2012)

 A female subeditor of the book pages of a minor UK newspaper is telling this story in first person. She comes across a traffic accident, exchange some last words with a dying woman and discovers that the victim of the accident was the wife of a famous novelist. From here on Frances, who is telling the story, starts to manipulate her way into the lives of the novelist and his two grown children. 

This is a disturbing story, particularly since you feel that the author treats Frances with sympathy. Some reviewer has made comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Daphne Du Maurier. The creepiness is very similar but I consider Highsmith in particular to be the superior writer.
post #791 of 1927
28 Touch The Devil 1982 Jack Higgins

Liam Devlin and his friend Martin Brosnan are brought of retirement to kill their old compadre Jack Barry, who has gone extremely violent. There are girlfriends all around and lots of shooting. The heroes and heroines win in the end.

OK... For a thriller. Definitely not if you want to read a real book.
post #792 of 1927
Seems like this is my year of finishing series. I present my 2nd book of 2013 (, I'm about a dozen books behind last year at this time, but that's a working life for you)
2. Woken Furies
Richard Morgan

I actually owe this entire series to my secret santa from 2011, as he was the one who started me on it. Cyberpunk/futurist setting, where digital minds are commonplace, and death is expensive, but life is cheap. I can't really review the plot without getting into the last 2 novels of the trilogy, but I found it lacking compared to the earlier works. It was a decent novel, but only for fans of the series. And an unfitting end, with too many unanswered questions to be the final instalment. I still suggest the series as a whole to anyone who's a fan of Neil Stephenson, William Gibson, et al.
post #793 of 1927
29. Confessional Jack Higgins 1985 I believe this is Liam Devlin's swan song. A number of terrorist acts have been committed by the same man over 20 years. Turns out he's a half Irish/half KGB buried deep into a cell in Ireland. When he's finally unmasked he's a parish priest attached to Devlin's own parish and an old friend of Devlin's. He conspires to kill the pope, and is only foled at the last minute.

OK... Definitely no List material.
post #794 of 1927
Clockwise counting 20/50: Philip Roth - The Professor of Desire (1977)

I thought this was a better book than the more famous Portnoy's Complaint, not as much comedy but in some way more mature and "reasonable". The topics under investigation are sexual desire, Jewish family relations and comparative literature. Some knowledge of Chekhov's and Kafka's writings will be useful to fully appreciate the ingenious monologue of Professor David Kepesch, our protagonist. I guess I am trying to read all of Philip Roth's books but it will take me a long time.
post #795 of 1927
30. Thunder Point 1993 The story of how Sean Dillon came to become a member of Brigadier Ferguson's group. Rescued from a Yugoslavian prison after Ferguson had him set up.

An aluminum Nazi brief case is discovered hanging on a reef inside a German U-Boat. Before the discoverer can return to retrieve it, he perishes in a freak traffic accident. Dillon and Co.return to the virgin Island and retrieve the case, having to dispense with bad guys along the way.

One of the better Higgins' so far, but then I am fascinated by Nazis.
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