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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 207

post #3091 of 3288
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
21. The Player of Games
22. The Buddha of Suburbia
23. Prince of Thorns
24. King of Thorns
25. Emperor of Thorns
26. Oryx and Crake
27. Use of Weapons
28. The long way to a small angry planet
29. Heart goes last
30. Generation A
31. The Medium is the Message
32. Them
33. The psychopath test

33. The Psychopath Test

 

Another Jon Ronson novel - this one about the madness industry. The novel romps along at a good pace - it's much more focused than 'Them', and has a lot of interesting ruminations on madness and insanity. Ronson takes a course that enables him to identify psycopaths, and then goes around realising how warped his perception of other people has become because the test is constantly running through his mind. He also then reflects on how journalism and TV are, essentially, forms of madness detection - where creators try to find people that are just insane enough (but not too insane) to be useful to a story - he is, I think, quite critical of this, and critical of himself. The chapter on child mental illnesses was, I think, particularly interesting and revolves around the idea of labels as solutions in of themselves.

 

This is, by no means, a definitive guide to psychology - something Ronson stresses, but it's a pretty interesting look at how people think about, find, discuss and judge various forms of mental illness. Probablty his most thought-provoking.

post #3092 of 3288
Matt

Read Foucault on madness and the medical industrial complex.
post #3093 of 3288

GF always trying to get me to raise the bar.

post #3094 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

GF always trying to get me to raise the bar.

Its just my pedagogic nature at work.smile.gif

31 An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus by William Todd Schultz
A psychobiographical study of Arbus that examines the process and production of her photographs and how her "Otherness" was subjectively produced by her experiences of a warped family and alienation from middle class society which in turn directed her working methods and selection of photographic subjects.
post #3095 of 3288
57. Last of The Breed- Louis L'Amour

An American pilot is shot down and captured by Cold War Russians just before the time of Gorbachev. He escapes his Siberian prison camp and proceeds to lead the Russians on a wild goose chase up the Siberian peninsula where he can cross the Bering Strait like his forefathers.(In addition to being an Air Force major he is a full-blooded, creature of the forest Sioux, and a former decathlete who barely missed the Olympics).

Strained credulity in a number of places (what L'Amour novel doesn't), but overall an excellent read.
post #3096 of 3288
58. The Lonesome Gods- Louis L'Amour

Epic western tale of Johannes Verne's life, accomplishments, and loves in early Southern California. Incorporates many of the historic developments and geographic expansion of Los Angeles.

A must-read for any L'Amour or Western fan.
post #3097 of 3288
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
20. Fire Colour One
21. The Player of Games
22. The Buddha of Suburbia
23. Prince of Thorns
24. King of Thorns
25. Emperor of Thorns
26. Oryx and Crake
27. Use of Weapons
28. The long way to a small angry planet
29. Heart goes last
30. Generation A
31. The Medium is the Message
32. Them
33. The psychopath test
34. Essentialism
35. Signs at the End of the World
34. Essentialism
 
Read a really positive recommendsation of this book, read the book, not really worth it. I guess if you're the sort of person who never has time for anything and can't seem to realise that working less = living more then, yeah, sure, pick up this book. If you're some what logical and reflective, you've already worked out most of what espoused in this Silicon valley shit show. Vapid SF bullshit, crass ugly aspect of capitalism as wide-eyed start up lunatics gllefully smash apart the world. I hate tech start up culture.
 
35. Signs at the End of the World
 
Yuri Herrera is a Mexican writer and has managed to write a novel that could take place anywhere from, like, 1950 to 2050. The story follows one young Mexican girl who is sent to America to find her lost brother. She crosses the border illegally, meeting only a few characters along the way - one cop, one smuggler, a few other movers. Retrospectively, Herrera manages to convey a lot about the people involved in that action with almost no characterisation - which is pretty remarkable. Once the protagonist has found where her brother is things take an unexpected, but not unpleasant, turn.

Worth a quick read if you're interested in Mexico
post #3098 of 3288
32 The Black Echo by Michael Connelly The first Bosch novel, after I've read seven of them, about a hundred and thirty pages in and it has all the hallmarks of what makes this series so good, cold blooded crime, LA Noir and more. Harry is definitely a true detective. And their is a new novel coming out later this year.
Edited by Geoffrey Firmin - 7/7/16 at 4:57am
post #3099 of 3288
59. The Haunted Mesa- Louis L'Amour

A mish-mashed tale of the supernatural or Louis L'Amour trying to do Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian series.

Odious.
post #3100 of 3288
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
16. The Lost Sailors
17. Black Run
18. The Natural Way of Things
19. Piano Lessons
20. Pedigree
21. Sing Fox To Me
22. Mister Roberts
23. Talking To My Country
24. The Bricks That Built the Houses
25. Oblivion
26. The Sixth Extinction

27. The Cruel Stars of the Night
The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)The Cruel Stars of the Night by Kjell Eriksson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Kjell Eriksson's police procedural is set in Uppsala, Sweden, where Inspector Ann Lindell's team are investigating the brutal murder of two old men. Meanwhile the local police have been informed of the disappearance of a local history professor.

Lindell's investigation plods along for about half the book, developing twin plot lines about the dead farmers and how Laura, the professor's daughter, is coping with her father's disappearance. Ericksson then reveals a plot twist, but takes his time developing it, which is a bit tedious.

The book has far too many elements of a soap opera in it, and the climax is brought about when Lindell makes one of the most dead ordinary, cliched mistakes in crime fiction, something which nobody can really credit in a character such as hers. It's clearly done solely for plot purposes, is at odds with her character, and it's a pretty facile and boring plot twist at that.

While I point out these disappointing areas, I did like Eriksson's prose style, which is quite lyrical and philosophical at times. I'm prepared to give him another go, by reading The Princess of Burundi, which appears to be the high water mark in the Lindell series.


View all my reviews
post #3101 of 3288
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
16. The Lost Sailors
17. Black Run
18. The Natural Way of Things
19. Piano Lessons
20. Pedigree
21. Sing Fox To Me
22. Mister Roberts
23. Talking To My Country
24. The Bricks That Built the Houses
25. Oblivion
26. The Sixth Extinction
27. The Cruel Stars of the Night

28. Normal
Normal: The Most Original Thriller Of The YearNormal: The Most Original Thriller Of The Year by Graeme Cameron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


To read Normal is to occasionally have to question yourself. Graeme Cameron's first person account of a serial killer is laced with mordant humour that causes you to laugh and then think "how could I have laughed at that?". (For example, his wry observation that the girl in McDonalds looked like she'd make good hamburgers).

At the outset, Cameron's unnamed anti-hero is indulging his usual urges with ruthless efficiency. He captures a young girl and stows her in a dungeon underneath his garage. But something is starting to go strange in this psychopath's makeup. He starts to show little signs of empathy, letting a potential victim go and allowing his prisoner, Erica, additional luxuries. Worst of all, he may be falling in love.

As the police net closes around him, he tries to imitate "normal" for both them and for the girl that he is attracted to, which causes him great stress and conflict, as it's something he has no idea how to do. Meanwhile, the problem of Erica in the dungeon just gets trickier.

This book reminded me a bit of American Psycho with its deadpan first person account of a psychopath's life. Normal is less gruesome and a bit more lighthearted than that, but it's an original enough approach to keep you glued to the end.


View all my reviews
post #3102 of 3288
Started reading Atonement waiting for my last couple of shipments of L'Amour books.

So far pretty tedious.

Tell me it gets better...
post #3103 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Started reading Atonement waiting for my last couple of shipments of L'Amour books.

So far pretty tedious.

Tell me it gets better...

Hated Atonement, but I think I'm in the minority.
post #3104 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Hated Atonement, but I think I'm in the minority.

We're in the same club I was just furious with that stupid girl and her actions. Mrs GF was happy when I finished it.
post #3105 of 3288
Quote:

Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

 

32. Them

 

Jon Ronson is a really entertaining writer who manages to write about people and topics that beg for derision with some wit, humanity and empathy. In this book he talks to extremists, conspiracy theorists and fringe theorists about a range of topics. In many cases people blame the Jews (Ronson is one) for the ills of the world and assume there is a small oligarchy controlling and manipulating all aspects of social, political and economic life.

 

 

Absolutely. I really enjoyed this book. Ronson is an amusing writer and his earlier book, "Men Who Stare at Goats" is also well worth reading. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

27. The Cruel Stars of the Night
The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)The Cruel Stars of the Night by Kjell Eriksson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Kjell Eriksson's police procedural is set in Uppsala, Sweden, where Inspector Ann Lindell's team are investigating the brutal murder of two old men. Meanwhile the local police have been informed of the disappearance of a local history professor.

 

 

 

For those of you who enjoy Scandinavian crime writing, have you tried some Japanese crime/mystery writing? 

 

I noticed a few months back that one of my wife's favourite authors, Keigo Higashino, has had a few of his books translated into English, including "Malice", "The Devotion of Suspect X" and "Salvation of a Saint". 

 

Higashino is an excellent writer and the books are well translated from the originals. Hopefully, there will be more translations to come. 

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