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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 156

post #2326 of 3283
55. The Devotion of Suspect X

Japanese thriller that is not so much a whodunit as a will-they-get-away-with-it?. It’s an intriguing setup, where a shy mathematician decides to help his neighbours cover up a crime. The cops happen to enlist the services of a physicist who is a former colleague of the mathematician. A tripartite dance of logic and deduction ensues. For most of its length. I though this book was pretty ordinary, but then Higashino pulls off a plot twist that leaves you gasping. Very good overall.

56. Big Little Lies

This book opens up a bit like The Slap, where an incident of violence among playing children sets off a chain of events embroiling the parents in acrimonious disputes. It’s set in a kindergarten in a posh Sydney seaside suburb, and the wealthy mother of the injured child wields all of her influence to make life hell for the single mother of the little boy alleged to have hit her. Other mothers who don’t like the wealthy woman much anyway support the newcomer, and it’s on for young and old.

The novel is structured so that the reader is aware that somebody has died as a consequence of all this, but you are kept in the dark as to who that is and how it happens until the last act. The book is an easy and fast read, but it’s not inconsequential, addressing issues such as domestic violence, class snobbery, and single parenthood in an interesting and approachable manner. Recommended.

57. Broken Monsters

A somewhat grisly thriller, which kicks off with the discovery of the corpse of a boy who has been cut in half and attached to a deer’s body. The story revolves around a hard-boiled divorced woman cop, her rebellious teenage daughter, a blogger seeking to become a journalist, a struggling artist and an ex-con trying to go straight. Beukes sets up a pretty good plot, but the last act devolves into a morass of hallucinations, metaphysics and silliness, wasting a lot of good ideas. Pretty unimpressive, given its reputation.
post #2327 of 3283
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

38. The Ghost's Child

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

40. Submarine

41. Name of the Wind

42. Wise Man's Fear

43. A Million Little Pieces

44. The Promise

45. Father's Day

46. Swan Book

47. Red Seas under Red Skies

48. Republic of Thieves

49. Labyrinths

50. Carpentaria

51. Snow

52. Straw Dogs

53. Wrong about Japan

54. Wish

55. Monkey's Grip

56. The Plains

57. Wild Abandon
58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki
59. Homage to Catalonia
60. Oliver Twist
61. Trilobites and other stories
62. The Narrow Road to the Deep North
63. Paddle your own Canoe
64. When Gravity Fails
65. Glow
66. Holy Fire
67. The Outsider
68. Taipei
69. Dispatches
70. The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ
71. Leaving the Sea
72. Annihilation
73. Authority
74. Tigerman
75. Stanely Kubrick: Interviews
76. Brooklyn
77. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
78. The Strange Library

 


77. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

 

Another book I 'had' to read for school next year, but this one was really enjoyable - I can see why it is so often recommended. It's a story told from the perspective of a child with autism and it's consistently insightful, funny, provocative and joyful.

 

78. The Strange Library

 

Yawn. Why was this published? Does it even count as a book for this list? Sub 20 minute read.

 

I'm sorry my reviews are going to shit, but cbf right now.

post #2328 of 3283
Sad to see these crappy reviews of Strange Library, after I bought it for someone’s Christmas present. Erk. I gave her the new Neil Gaiman and she loved that, so i guess i’m OK.
post #2329 of 3283
Clockwise counting 122/50: Ross MacDonald - The Drowning Pool (1950)

He was maybe the only one worthy to be compared to Raymond Chandler, at least as it comes to LA-based private detective noir fiction. This is actually the first book I read in MacDonald's long series about private investigator Lew Archer and I liked it a lot, maybe even more than I like Chandler's Philip Marlowe books. A beautiful woman married into a family with money receives a blackmail letter which threatens to expose infidelities. Archer gets the task to locate and stop the unknown blackmailer. We get introduced into a world of moral ambiguities and cynical money hunger. Archer is an excellent and always interesting protagonist and the language really enjoyable. I will read more Archer books in the near future.

This is my last one for 2014 and with a final score of 122 I achieved an average of one book read for each 3 days. It's hard to ever improve on that average without resigning from work and private life. I will now reset the counter and humbly make a bid for 50 books in 2015.

Happy New Year to all of you fanatical book readers!!
post #2330 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Clockwise counting 122/50: Ross MacDonald - The Drowning Pool (1950)

He was maybe the only one worthy to be compared to Raymond Chandler, at least as it comes to LA-based private detective noir fiction. This is actually the first book I read in MacDonald's long series about private investigator Lew Archer and I liked it a lot, maybe even more than I like Chandler's Philip Marlowe books. A beautiful woman married into a family with money receives a blackmail letter which threatens to expose infidelities. Archer gets the task to locate and stop the unknown blackmailer. We get introduced into a world of moral ambiguities and cynical money hunger. Archer is an excellent and always interesting protagonist and the language really enjoyable. I will read more Archer books in the near future.

This is my last one for 2014 and with a final score of 122 I achieved an average of one book read for each 3 days. It's hard to ever improve on that average without resigning from work and private life. I will now reset the counter and humbly make a bid for 50 books in 2015.

Happy New Year to all of you fanatical book readers!!

The Drowning Pool seems very interesting.

122. Barry Bonds: Love Me or Hate Me and the Making of an Antihero

Jeff Pearlman 2007

The biography of the controversial Barry Bonds. I must preface things by admitting myself to be in the former category. In fact, Bonds is the reason why I remain a Giant fan to this day.

Perlman did 58 interviews for the book, but it winds up being the typical sports biography. It did, however, remind me of the fact that Bonds' father Barry, in addition to being a pretty successful player in his own right, was also an alcoholic. I believe this accounts for much of Bonds' complexity and megalomania. But maybe I'm just being easy on him. Pearlman certainly wasn't.

3 straight years of 120 plus. I wish I could say I haven't enjoyed it, but I have. But I do want to read better books this year.

Congratulations to all and a happy New Year! Lots of people read a lot of books this year!
post #2331 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

The Drowning Pool seems very interesting.

122. Barry Bonds: Love me or Hate Me and the Making of an Antihero

Jeff Perlman 2007

The biography of the controversial Barry Bonds. I must preface things by admitting myself to be in the former category. In fact, Bonds is the reason why I remain a Giant fan to this day.

Perlman did 58 interviews for the book, but it winds up being the typical sports biography. It did, however, remind me of the fact that Bonds' father Barry, in addition to being a pretty successful player in his own right, was also an alcoholic. I believe this accounts for much of Bonds' complexity and megalomania. But maybe I'm just being easy on him.

3 straight years of 120 plus. I wish I could say I haven't enjoyed it, but I have. But I do want to read better books this year.

Congratulations to all and a happy New Year! Lots of people read a lot of books this year!

Congratulations Steve! 3 years with 120 plus is amazing. I trust you will be changing the thread title to "2015 50 book challenge" in the early morning hours of New Years Day! Time to uncork the champagne here in Sweden... now 10 minutes to the countdown.
post #2332 of 3283
So I thake it this is on again for 2015 was a bit annoyed I didnt get to 80 and found some very interesting books through peoples reviews. I have Napolen The Great by Andrew Roberts a three and half pound tome to read at night in January while on holidays and The Siege by Arturo Perez-Reverte to read at the beach while (not) distracted by a cornucopia of female flesh at Mollymook and Bondi Beach over thbe coming weeks.

Congratulations to Steve B. and clookwise each with over 120 books quite an acomplishment gentlemen.
post #2333 of 3283

So which books from 2014 stood out to you fellas, I reckon these were the best books I read this year:

 

1. South of the Border, West of the Sun - Murakami
2. Shadowboxing - Tony Birch
3. The Glass Canoe - Ireland
4. Museum of Innocence - Pamuk
5. Snow - Pamuk
6. Glow - Beauman (this was, I think, my favourite book of the year!)
7. Father's Day - Tony Birch
8. Narrow Road to the Deep North - Flannagan

9. When Gravity Falls - Effinger

post #2334 of 3283
Of my 122, the following 14 stood out as truly memorable:

Edith Wharton - Ethan Frome
Anthony Trollope - Phineas Finn
Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall
J.P. Toussaint - Running Away
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Naguib Mahfouz - Miramar
Patrick Modiano - L'Herbe de Nuits
Philipp Meyer - The Son
Sarah Waters - The Paying Guests
Haruki Murakami - Colorless Tsukune Tazaki
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
Yasuri Kawabata - The Sound of the Mountain
Marlon James - A Brief History of Seven Killings
David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks
post #2335 of 3283
My favourite reads for 2014 were:

Lily King - Euphoria
Leif Persson - Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End
Edwatd St Aubyn - Lost for Words
Daniel Woodrell - Winter’s Bone
Adam Johnson - The Orphan Master’s Son
Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues
Jean-Claude Izzo - One Helluva Mess
Tony Birch - Shadowboxing
Margo Lanagan - Sea Hearts
Graeme Simsion - The Rosie Project
post #2336 of 3283
We are probably suffering from the 2014 hangover and entering the new year carefully. Already 2 days gone and no book entries from either Australia or Europe. US is still up and presumably reading through January 2 so maybe Steve B will get the first book for 2015?

Any targets for 2015, gentlemen? Just 50 or something more ambitious? I will aim for 100 but far from sure it is doable this year. And will we get more participants in 2015? I think we had 6 who made over 50 in 2014. Not bad for a style forum, it's hard to move from the mirror to the library.
post #2337 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

My favourite reads for 2014 were:

Lily King - Euphoria
Leif Persson - Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End
Edwatd St Aubyn - Lost for Words
Daniel Woodrell - Winter’s Bone
Adam Johnson - The Orphan Master’s Son
Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues
Jean-Claude Izzo - One Helluva Mess
Tony Birch - Shadowboxing
Margo Lanagan - Sea Hearts
Graeme Simsion - The Rosie Project

I read the whole Izzo Marseille Trilogy this year. They are all good but I think book number 2 was the best. I kind of overdosed on Mediterranean noir in 2014 but will read a few more in 2015 to get "closure". I am Swedish so should probably get more into Scandinavian noir but it feels a bit too close to home.

Leif GW Persson is a cult figure in Sweden and a very entertaining TV personality. I am surprised his books get such a big following abroad. May try the series you and GF are reading.
post #2338 of 3283
I am reading another Hammond Innes now. Really entertaining adventure in a frozen Canadian setting.

Anyone else who has read Hammond Innes, Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley? The latter two I haven't touched after the age of 20 but Innes is very similar to MacLean and Bagley. Another author who wrote excellent albeit somewhat juvenile adventure novels was Wilbur Smith. His early novels were great, I especially remember When the Lions Feed and The Sunbird.
post #2339 of 3283
Target for 2015 is, again, 70. Maybe this time I will get remotely close to achieving it. I expect to nail my first book this week, but the heat wave has turned my brain to mush.
post #2340 of 3283
I am aiming for 50 to begin with and take it from there. However increased work loads may put a dent in that.


My reading beings in earnest next Tuesday currently I am dropping in and out of Marcus Aurelius Meditations finding some inspiration and solace with a bit of Stoic wisdom. I have two copies which i may just leave on bedside table for the year so i can dip in and out of it as required.
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