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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 82

post #1216 of 3286
Thank you gentlemen.
post #1217 of 3286
Highly Recommend Leviathan Wakes for you Steve B - SF maybe 500 pages?
post #1218 of 3286
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Highly Recommend Leviathan Wakes for you Steve B - SF maybe 500 pages?

Thank you Matt!
post #1219 of 3286
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

33. The Devil

34. Lucifer's Hammer

35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union

36. Rainbows End

37. Palimpsest

38. Red Shirts

39. Caliban's War

40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

41. The Communist Hypothesis

42. While Mortals Sleep

43. Spin

44. Werewolves in their Youth

45. Heart of Darkness

46. A Model World

47. Throne of the Crescent Moon

48. Darkness at Noon

49. Abaddon's Gate

50.  Into the WIld

51. Ready Player One

52. 1Q84

53. Red Pony

54. Bright lights, big city

54. Bright lights, big city

 

Great novel - literally stayed up all night to finish it. Well written, racy, reflective, powerful: tells the story of a young man in New York whose life is essentially one big mess/cycle of destruction: keys into classic hallmarks of the 80s - hedonism, change in drug use, conformity, etc. Highly recommended: definitely helps me understand books like American Psycho considering I didn't really live in the 80s (all 1.5 months of the last year).

post #1220 of 3286
46. Don't Point That Thing at Me, by Kyril Bonfiglioli (1972)

Don't Point That Thing at Me is the first of a series of novels about the Hon. Charles Mortdecai, a dissolute and amoral art "dealer" (read "thief") who lives in Piccadilly with his thuggish valet Jock. Mortdecai comes from the landed gentry but is more likely to be involved with far more disreputable and often illegal activities.

In this first instalment, Mortdecai gets his hands on a stolen Goya on behalf of a wealthy and shady American client. This client has also decided to go in for a bit of blackmail, the consequences of which rebound on the unsuspecting Mortdecai in spectacular and often painful fashion.

The plot is wildly improbable from start to finish, but Mortdecai is a brilliant character that the reader warms to readiy. The narration is droll and arch, with some acid comments on matters such as the aristocracy, sex and airline food that provoke sputtering laughter. The Mortdecai books are not easy to find, but worth seeking out.
Edited by California Dreamer - 9/18/13 at 11:29pm
post #1221 of 3286

SB: Also read Spin - so great.

post #1222 of 3286
Clockwise counting 80/50: Fred Vargas - The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (2013)

I have discovered a new favourite! French police superintendent Adamsberg is a peculiar depressive existentialist who goes his own way in life and in his murder investigations. His team of policemen are all odd and interesting characters. And the case of the ghost riders is a strange one indeed. 

In a small town in Normandy, a Medieval legend about "the Furious Army" is still very much alive. The legend has it that the ghost army is picking out unpunished evil doers, kills them in a gruesome fashion and brings them to hell. When well-known bad people from Ordebec starts dying, Adamsberg sets out to discover who is making the legend into a real nightmare and why. 

Female French author Vargas has a unique style in modern crime fiction and she has won a number of awards for best European crime novel. Recommended!
post #1223 of 3286
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

33. The Devil

34. Lucifer's Hammer

35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union

36. Rainbows End

37. Palimpsest

38. Red Shirts

39. Caliban's War

40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

41. The Communist Hypothesis

42. While Mortals Sleep

43. Spin

44. Werewolves in their Youth

45. Heart of Darkness

46. A Model World

47. Throne of the Crescent Moon

48. Darkness at Noon

49. Abaddon's Gate

50.  Into the WIld

51. Ready Player One

52. 1Q84

53. Red Pony

54. Bright lights, big city

55. All the pretty horses

55. All the Pretty Horses

 

ATPH continues my love-confused relationship with Cormac McCartney. While the Road and No Country for Old Men were superb, I found this book hard going. At many points, the narrative seemed to stumble and fall flat, and the character development, while somewhat rich, was incredibly implicit. McCartney's prose is strikingly individual and defies convention, but significant amounts of dialogue were in Spanish, and simply were lost on me - many of the nuances of character's choices, reasons, context and information were completely lost due to this choice.

 

A drawn out ending, undeniably McCartney, I didn't dislike it, but I didn't find it as extravagantly amazing as most of the reviews I've read seem to. Perhaps there is just something I'm missing.

post #1224 of 3286
Clockwise counting 81/50: Philip K Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

I had to read this classic after the brief discussion earlier in the thread. I am not that big on sci/fi but I have read a few I really enjoyed and I thought Blade Runner was excellent. Also, this Dick book is a List book.

The novel tells us a lot more about humans than it does about androids. Its main strength, in my view, is the dystopic description of life on earth after World War Terminus. Shame on Rick Deckard for engaging in illegal sexual relations with an android. But all too human.

I agree with its inclusion among the 1001 and it is thus a mandatory read.
post #1225 of 3286
47.. Demon Fish, by Juliet Eilperin (2012)

Demon Fish is not so much a book about sharks as about shark conservation in the face of the depredations of commercial fishing and adventure tourism. A reader who comes to this book expecting to learn about the animals themselves, as I did, is likely to be disappointed.

Eilperin places sharks within an evolutionary and cultural context that goes back to pre-history. Civilisations across the globe, from PNG to the Aztecs to the Chinese, have revered sharks. In the latter case, this has transmuted into a cultural eating practice that threatens sharks' very survival and, with them, a host of other creatures in the oceanic food chain.

Most of the book is devoted to Eilperin reiterating her message that global conservation measures are needed urgently, with stories from around the world of the impact of shark exploitation and some isolated examples of communities that have found ways of living with sharks rather than killing them for profit.

In the end though, Eilperin comes across as somewhat naive. Anyone who has observed the world's progress on dealing with climate change will realise how untenable are her calls for a globally co-ordinated effort on shark protection. After all, if we can't co-operate in our own interest we're unlikely to do so on behalf of another species. Similarly, the workings of the International Whaling Commission are a perfect study of the likely response when calls are made to restrict the exploitation of a resource some countries see as part of tbeir cultural heritage.

In short, Eilperin's hoped-for solution is never going to happen, and her book might have been stronger had she acknowledged that and set out some new ideas for long-term shark survival. As it stands, the sinking feeling one takes away from her book is that the damage is irreversible and we may be one of the last few generations of humans to see these wonderful animals in the wild.
post #1226 of 3286
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Highly Recommend Leviathan Wakes for you Steve B - SF maybe 500 pages?

Wasn't recommended for me but I am now reading it anyway. In parallel with some others, as per my normal modus operandi. Promising start, it reads more like a classic adventure story than the existential angst of Electric Sheep or indeed most SF I have read previously.
post #1227 of 3286
Clockwise counting 82/50: Fred Vargas - Seeking Whom He May Devour (1999)

The second novel in the series about the very unusual policeman Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. A number of wolves have crossed the border from Italy over into a nature reserve in the French alps. Local sheep breeders are suddenly experiencing a large number of senseless killings where wolves are killing sheep without touching the meat. It is soon discovered that it must be one and the same wolf behind all the attacks, an uncommonly large animal who will not let itself be tracked down. The wolf moves over from sheep to human victims and local people start to talk about a werewolf. An exciting mystery with interesting characters. I will read more Vargas.
post #1228 of 3286
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

33. The Devil

34. Lucifer's Hammer

35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union

36. Rainbows End

37. Palimpsest

38. Red Shirts

39. Caliban's War

40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

41. The Communist Hypothesis

42. While Mortals Sleep

43. Spin

44. Werewolves in their Youth

45. Heart of Darkness

46. A Model World

47. Throne of the Crescent Moon

48. Darkness at Noon

49. Abaddon's Gate

50.  Into the WIld

51. Ready Player One

52. 1Q84

53. Red Pony

54. Bright lights, big city

55. All the pretty horses

56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush

 

56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush

 

Vastly enjoyable story about two friends trying to climb a mountain despite complete lack of climbing experience, appropriate equipment, etc. Particularly loved the descriptions of various parts of Afghanistan, and the understanded quality of the book.

 

A classic of travel writing, and a book that really made me empathise with the exploration of a new area - something that seems almost impossible in our lives now.

post #1229 of 3286
48. Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, by David Hunt (2013)

Probably my all-time favourite book is 1066 And All That, a hilarious twist on English history. With Girt, David Hunt has delivered the Australian history equivalent, a side-splitting piss-take on the early Australian colonial history we were all fed in school, covering the period to the end of Lachlan Macquarie's Governership.

I mostly read Girt whilst in public, and can only wonder what others thought of my constant collapses into helpless laughter as I read Hunt's wry and outrageous commentary on some of our most sacred cows. Even the footnotes reward careful reading as they are peppered with scabrous jokes and amusing trivia.

Obviously such a book will appeal most to readers well-versed in Australian history and society, but I think others will still find plenty to laugh at, even if some references puzzle them.

Hunt says he aimed to write an Australian history that was both accurate and amusing. I think he's achieved that in spades, and am delighted to know that he is working on future instalments.
post #1230 of 3286

Keen. Bean.

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