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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 158

post #2356 of 3274
4. The Strong Shall Live Louis L'Amour 1980

A collection of Western short stories. My favorite so far.
post #2357 of 3274
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God

The Sun is GodThe Sun is God by Adrian McKinty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Will Prior is a former military policeman who seeks refuge in remote parts of German New Guinea after the horrors of the Boer War. While there he is pressed into assisting his friend Hauptmann Kessler to investigate a mysterious death on a secluded island.

The denizens of the island are a cult of sun-worshippers called the cocovores who have left the trappings of Imperial Europe behind. They welcome Prior and Kessler, but are dismissive of the need for their investigation, given that the deceased suffered from malaria. As Prior spends more time on the island he becomes much more concerned about what is going on there.

This book is more like a Rider Haggard colonial adventure than a gritty detective story, and is a breezy read. It's loosely based on factual matters, but there is a fair bit of invention from McKinty. Some of it seems fairly silly, and the author does show a worrying concern about penises, but it's not a bad read. I much prefer Euphoria as a novel about New Guinea, in that it convincingly immersed the reader in the native jungle setting, whereas in The Sun is God, New Guinea and its inhabitants are pretty much just wallpaper for McKinty to move his characters in front of.



View all my reviews
post #2358 of 3274
5. Six Years Harlan Coben 2014

Hard to do a summary on this without giving it away. An unrequited love becomes requited over the space of-you guessed it-six years.

One of the best mystery/thrillers I've read in a while. Highly Recommended.
post #2359 of 3274
50 The Siege by Arturo Pérez-Reverte I have read previous novels by this author some years ago The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas and found them vrey entertaining.This is no exception it draws from a number of sources to construct a very solid narrative and moves along at great pace. Perfect book for relaxing by the seashore to be honest, well that is when one is not enjoying the cornucopia of female flesh that is strutting past.
post #2360 of 3274
3/50 Quartet for the end of time - Johanna Skibsrud

Four interconnected people chronicled as they go through various lesser known events of 20th century US history, set up in the to resemble the piece of music with the same name as the book.

Such a great concept that I really wanted to enjoy this, but I couldn't. Overly descriptive, often rambling and ill formed characters. Don't waste your time.
post #2361 of 3274

Hope this isn't breaking the rules too much, but I only plan on doing 30. I'm still a student and I'd assume we read the equivalent of 20 books or more over the course of a year, so I feel like 30 books is a more accomplishable task.

 

1. Dune by Frank Herbert

I found it to be a very good read. Interesting protagonist and unique setting, understandable that it's the best-selling sci-fi novel.

 

2. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

The continuation of the Dune series. Quite a bit shorter than the first book and not as enjoyable, but it wasn't exactly a bad read, and I plan on reading all 6 novels by Frank Herbert.

 

After the third novel in the series I plan to take a short break from the Dune universe and read some Murakami. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to start with Murakami, as I've never read anything by him before?

post #2362 of 3274

1. A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

 

An Australian novel set in a post-climate change Melbourne - a world where there are distinct haves and have nots. Caddy is the main character, and the novel basically charts her everyday existance as it is interrupted by a friend finding a series of maps that allow him/others to move between realities, at times ending up in others' imaginations. The strength of this book was, by far, the description of Melbourne/the World in a climate change fucked era.

 

2. Acceptance

 

The final book in 'the reach' trilogy was also the most interestingly written. Using a mixture of characters, perspectives and narration (moving between first, second and third person) this novel wraps up the triology in a, largely, unsatisfying way. The cause of the mysterious 'Area X' is revealed, but isn't very satisfying, and the novel concludes, but without anything really having changed from the first novel. Overall, I felt that the first novel was excellent, but the latter two were just OK. I sometimes feel that authors/readers should want tension and enjoyment over a neatly finished, completed or explained work - as the attempts to wrap this series/world up in a nicely concluded way detracted from the work itself.

 

3. Shipbreaker

 

A bio-punk novel that's aimed at tweens/teens. Pretty fun, but not as good as 'The Windup Girl' (the writer's other novel I've read). Thematically similar, however, mainly looking at how technological and climate changes increase the gap between rich and poor and disenfranchisement is rife and impossible.

post #2363 of 3274
6. A Visit From the Goon Squad 2010 Jennifer Egan

LIST

Because of its unusual narrative structure, this book can be characterized as a novel or as a collection of linked short stories. A Visit from the Goon Squad has 13 chapters, all of which can be read as individual stories, and does not focus on any single central character or narrative arc. In addition, many of the chapters were originally published as short stories.
Most of the stories in the book concern Bennie Salazar, an aging rock music executive; his onetime assistant, Sasha; and their various friends and associates. The book follows a large cast of mostly self-destructive characters as they grow older and life sends them in directions they did not intend to go in. The stories shift back and forth in time, moving from the late sixties to the present and into the near future. Many of the stories take place in or around New York City, although some are set in California, Italy and Kenya.

A Visit From the Goon Squad also won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The book was excellent, and makes 3 straight great books from the LIST to start the year. I think I shall make the effort to read more of them this year.
post #2364 of 3274
4/50 The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

Much better than the film, the constant paranoia and insecurity really makes this.
post #2365 of 3274
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists
2. Acceptance
3. Shipbreaker
4. Winter's Bone

 

4. Winter's Bone

 

Forgettable.

post #2366 of 3274
Clockwise counting 03/50: Edward Wilson - A River in May (2002)

Before Edward Wilson became an excellent author of spy novels, he wrote this debut novel based on his own experience with the Special Forces in the Vietnam War. It's a book full of indignation and with a focus on the suffering of the Vietnamese. The protagonist is a US Lieutenant of Mexican origin who has volunteered for Vietnam to make amends for a personal tragedy or possibly to seek his death. The brutal experience of war will fundamentally challenge his loyalties.

This is a really good war novel and quite different from Wilson's later spy novels. All books I have read by Wilson have been good and this one is no exception.
post #2367 of 3274
7. Long Ride Home 1989 Louis L'Amour

A collection of posthumously published short stories. Just OK.

I ordered A River in May. I'm looking forward to it.
post #2368 of 3274
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishGent View Post

3/50 Quartet for the end of time - Johanna Skibsrud

Four interconnected people chronicled as they go through various lesser known events of 20th century US history, set up in the to resemble the piece of music with the same name as the book.

Such a great concept that I really wanted to enjoy this, but I couldn't. Overly descriptive, often rambling and ill formed characters. Don't waste your time.

Pitty I've see the Quartet for the end of Time performed a couple of times and have a recording of it, the genesis of the work is a remarkable story,
post #2369 of 3274
5/50 Tsukuru Tazaki - Murakami

It's already been reviewed and I wasn't sure what to expect. This ended up being one of my favourite from Murakami, despite the loose ends. Maybe it's the closer to real life nature of the story, or just the easy flow.
post #2370 of 3274
8. I Am a Barbarian 1967 Edgar Rice Burroughs

Traces the life of a Briton slave attached to the Emperor Caligula from the age of five until his assassination at 29. Surprisingly, it's a pretty humorous read, and I enjoyed it very much.
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