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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 200

post #2986 of 3283
Rereading Peter Watts' Blindsight and Echopraxia. Brilliant, nihilistic, hard sci-fi. Love it.

Book before was Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble. Somehow the book was stupider than the title. Think I'm done with the whole Jack Reacher series.
post #2987 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

I've heard The Wasp Factory is pretty intense - I think I'll probably check it out sooner rather than later. No one's told me anything about the plot or the characters, just that it's fucked up.

I read all that author's books (Ian Anderson, IIRC). Wasp Factory is definitely the best, although he's got one about a lord and lady in a manor in some unnamed war-torn European country that's pretty good.
post #2988 of 3283
List (Click to show)
1. Hicksville
2. Slaughterhouse 5
3. Firefight
4. Snow Leopard
5. The Rehearsal
6. Lagoon
7. Solo Faces
8. Breath
9. The Internet is Not the Answer
10. A Sport and a Past Time
11. White Teeth
12. The Bell Jar
13. The Invisible Man
14. The Subtle Knife
15 Consider Phlebas
16. The Amber Spyglass
17. The Liar's Key
18. 1000 Splendid Suns

 

18. 1000 Splendid Suns

 

This is a really heart-breaking book about two Afghani women and their lives through childhood, marriage, war and abuse. Initially starting with Mariam - a bastard daughter of a local businessman - the story shows how ruthlessly Afghani society treats its women, Mariam is neglected and her father refuses to acknowledge her. When her mother dies, her father marries her of to a man 3 or 4 times her age: Rasheed, who lives in distant Kabul.

 

Mariam is unable to bear child for Rasheed, and he begins abusing and raping her continually. 

 

When a new war breaks out, another girl, Laila becomes the focus of the narrative. Laila is relatively lucky - she is living in a progressive time for Afghani women (the communist government) and she goes to school, spends time with friends and her family are supportive. However, this changes when her parents die as tension is renewed in 1989 and she ends up taking shelter in Rasheed's house where he marries her.

 

Never-the-less tragedy continues for both women, and until the end of the novel it's a story very much about failure and struggle. The happy ending was welcomed, but seemed too fairytale against the length and consistency of abuse, imprisonment and mistrust earlier in the novel.

 

Khaled Hosseni is a famous writer, I guess, and I can see why. The novel is fast moving, easy to get absorbed in and manages to convey a lot very quickly. This is not a literary classic to be absorbed by University students till the end of days, but it is a very good read about a reality none of us have to comprehend.

post #2989 of 3283
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll
1. The Whisperer
2. The Vanished Ones
3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia
4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
5. The Lost Girls of Rome
6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
7. Never Mind
8. The Vegetarian
9. Man on Fire
10. Comfort Zone
11. The Invisible man From Salem
12. Red Light
13. Balancing Act
14. Crimea: The Last Crusade

15. Misterioso
Misterioso (Intercrime, #1)Misterioso by Arne Dahl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Paul Hjelm is a cop who achieves notoriety by gunning down a hostage-taker. Internal Affairs are less than impressed with his actions, but public approval saves him. Still, he gets transferred to join a new team in Stockholm called the A Unit.

The A Unit has been asked to investigate the strange murders of some of Sweden's leading industrialists, all despatched with two shots to the head. The method of their killing, along with other evidence, suggests some kind of organised crime connection, and Hjelm and his new colleagues pursue that line vigorously, some employing the carte blanche they have been given to get a result.

Like all good Scandinavian cops, Hjelm is a brooding type with personal problems; in his case his wife is leaving him due to his workaholism. I felt this was a little cliched and a little too unchallenging to put him up there with great brooders like Erlendur, Varg Veum and Wallander.

While Dahl signals early on who the villain is, that does not detract much from the plot. There are plenty of twists and some moments of shock before the denouement, and some of the means by which the A Unit solves the crime are quite original. As the first book in a series, I certainly think Misterioso shows enough promise to give the next book a whirl.


View all my reviews
post #2990 of 3283

1. Paper Towns - John Greene

Something quite easy to read, I enjoy coming of age novels. I got through it rather quickly, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

2. Shogun - James Clavell

Took me quite some time to read, but amazing book. I read a solid chunk(60-70%) whilst I was hoping around Japan, and went to some of the locations in the book which was really quite amazing.

It also seemed to be quite historically accurate, however I feel that it just ends abruptly, but at peace. If travelling Japan I can't recommend it enough, but be warned, it is very, very long.

3. The Man in the High Castle - Phillip K. Dick

Advertisements for the television show is what got me interested in this, so I picked it up. Dick paints a really interesting world, and conveys how bleak life would have been. It was quite short, and not much really seemed to happen in the book, a few promising ideas, but it was more about individuals lives. I would have liked to see some of the different story arcs that are briefly introduced develop.  I believe the television show expands on it.

post #2991 of 3283
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. Hicksville
2. Slaughterhouse 5
3. Firefight
4. Snow Leopard
5. The Rehearsal
6. Lagoon
7. Solo Faces
8. Breath
9. The Internet is Not the Answer
10. A Sport and a Past Time
11. White Teeth
12. The Bell Jar
13. The Invisible Man
14. The Subtle Knife
15 Consider Phlebas
16. The Amber Spyglass
17. The Liar's Key
18. 1000 Splendid Suns
19. The Windup Girl


19. The Windup Girl

 

Spied this sitting in the local library's shelves and couldn't resist a re-read.

 

This novel is beyond it's time - this is the WIlliam Gibson of now, or 2010. Anyway, the novel is essentially a genre in of itself (bio-punk?) and takes place post global warming. The author (whose name is so complex I won't even try to write because I know CD will correct me) manages to craft a convicning future where the changes brought on by climate change are incorporated into the society in every way: linguistically, economically, culturally, politically, etc, this is a much more in-depth future than most SF books.

 

Anyway, this book is fucking rad. It's set in Thailand, it has everything from ghosts to mechanical prostitutes, to genehack technology to massive elephants. It's inventive, it's scarily accurate, and it is what I imagine reading Gibson in the 80s felt like. It follows several characters, some of whom are foreigners who are looking to open up the closed off Thai kingdom (retreating from an era of capitalistic greed, engineered plagues and forced reliance on AgriCorps), some of whom are looking just to get by.

 

If you have an interest in good books and haven't read this please do, or at last read a proper review of it. Sorry, for some reason I couldn't find my writing groove tonight.

 

That being said, it IS good to be on a roll with reading.

post #2992 of 3283
That's a great book. If you like it, you might also give Oryx and Crake a read.
post #2993 of 3283

Huh.

 

One of my colleagues is reading that to their class and keeps telling me to give it a go. Will add to my backlog.

post #2994 of 3283
16 BAD BLOOD by Arne Dahl

Of course the first book in the series was not in the public library and I coundn't get on the wating list. Merde!

So as this is book 2 I spoiler it for CD
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
To be honest I found this a bit dry in terms of both the story and character devvelopment. It has some interesting twists and turns in relation to the narrative arc. However I found it over all very dry and to be honest the ending did not make sense, it sucked. Grabbed another one in the series but not the most entertaining Scandi Noir I've read.
post #2995 of 3283
List (Click to show)
1. Hicksville
2. Slaughterhouse 5
3. Firefight
4. Snow Leopard
5. The Rehearsal
6. Lagoon
7. Solo Faces
8. Breath
9. The Internet is Not the Answer
10. A Sport and a Past Time
11. White Teeth
12. The Bell Jar
13. The Invisible Man
14. The Subtle Knife
15 Consider Phlebas
16. The Amber Spyglass
17. The Liar's Key
18. 1000 Splendid Suns
19. The Windup Girl
20. Fire Colour One


20. Fire Colour One

 

A pretty cool novel about a teenage girl meeting her estranged father. Iris, an arsonist whose neglectful mother wrecks many parts of her life, gets to know her father as he slowly dies. A slight tinge of revenge exists, and a very John Green-esque novel.

 

Similarly to Fault in our Stars the female protagonist is a-typical, but very relateable, the ending gives a lot back to the story and there are some really improbable parts of the text. Even though these exist I still really enjoyed reading the novel and would recommend it for lots of people - especially teenage girls.

post #2996 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. Hicksville


2. Slaughterhouse 5

3. Firefight

4. Snow Leopard


5. The Rehearsal


6. Lagoon


7. Solo Faces


8. Breath

9. The Internet is Not the Answer

10. A Sport and a Past Time


11. White Teeth


12. The Bell Jar


13. The Invisible Man

14. The Subtle Knife




15 Consider Phlebas


16. The Amber Spyglass


17. The Liar's Key

18. 1000 Splendid Suns

19. The Windup Girl



19. The Windup Girl

Spied this sitting in the local library's shelves and couldn't resist a re-read.

This novel is beyond it's time - this is the WIlliam Gibson of now, or 2010. Anyway, the novel is essentially a genre in of itself (bio-punk?) and takes place post global warming. The author (whose name is so complex I won't even try to write because I know CD will correct me) manages to craft a convicning future where the changes brought on by climate change are incorporated into the society in every way: linguistically, economically, culturally, politically, etc, this is a much more in-depth future than most SF books.

Anyway, this book is fucking rad. It's set in Thailand, it has everything from ghosts to mechanical prostitutes, to genehack technology to massive elephants. It's inventive, it's scarily accurate, and it is what I imagine reading Gibson in the 80s felt like. It follows several characters, some of whom are foreigners who are looking to open up the closed off Thai kingdom (retreating from an era of capitalistic greed, engineered plagues and forced reliance on AgriCorps), some of whom are looking just to get by.

If you have an interest in good books and haven't read this please do, or at last read a proper review of it. Sorry, for some reason I couldn't find my writing groove tonight.

That being said, it IS good to be on a roll with reading.

Give Water Knife, by the same author, a go.
post #2997 of 3283

I've been following this thread for a long time with the intent of reading things that catch my interest. I just placed a massive order for (physical)books on Amazon. 

 

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. 

post #2998 of 3283
38. The Closers- Michael Connelly

Bosch rejoins the LAPD in the elite Open and Unsolved Cases bureau and is reunited with his old partner, Kiz Rider.

They solve a 17 year old murder and in the process force a corrupt assistant chief to resign from the force.

Excellent Read.
post #2999 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post


Give Water Knife, by the same author, a go.

 

Been there, done that :)

post #3000 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

16 BAD BLOOD by Arne Dahl

Of course the first book in the series was not in the public library and I coundn't get on the wating list. Merde!

So as this is book 2 I spoiler it for CD

Thanks.

Have you tried using the National Library's Gateway service to track down library books you can't get hold of?

The South Australians really have this sussed. One library card covers every library in the state, even for visitors. You can borrow a book anywhere, and return it anywhere else in SA. Fantastic system.
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