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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 209

post #3121 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

Fox

Have you read Time Out Of Joint by PKD?

Only read The Man in the High Castle. Was thinking the next one by him would be Minority Report.

post #3122 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post
 

Only read The Man in the High Castle. Was thinking the next one by him would be Minority Report.

 

Quite different to the movie, and originally published as a short story.

 

My favourite Dick novel - written before he really started to get pretty surreal - is "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", later filmed as Blade Runner. 

 

I love Blade Runner but, with the exception of the visuals and Rutger Hauer's off-the-cuff additions to Roy Baty's speech, the book is better, deeper and more philosophical than the movie. 

post #3123 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
36. The Wasp Factory
37. Sapiens

 

36. The Wasp Factory

 

Iain Banks' novel is about a very, very, very strange teenager who spends the novel admitting his crimes and passions. All the time his brother, Frank, who has escaped from an asylum is returning to their family home, which adds tension and moves the story along. Really bizarre, a bit messed up, and kind of gross.


37. Sapiens

 

A 10/10 non-fiction romp through the history and (possible) near future of man kind. It would be impossible for me to summarise this properly, but suffice to say each chapter taught me a lot, and the author strikes a good balance between opinion and sharing what anthropologists/linguists know and don't know. Incredibly thought-provoking and definitely worth the hefty time it takes to read. Recommended to all, I'd struggle to think of who wouldn't like this book.

post #3124 of 3288
35 Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly Another Bosch with some interesting twists and tragic turns in the narrative. Can see what they took form this for the second series and why they changed it to a local setting.

Fox try The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch that is seriously the weirdest novel PKD wrote.
Edited by Geoffrey Firmin - 7/25/16 at 10:12pm
post #3125 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

[Really bizarre, a bit messed up, and kind of gross.

Sums Wasp Factory up in one sentence.
post #3126 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
 

 

Quite different to the movie, and originally published as a short story.

 

My favourite Dick novel - written before he really started to get pretty surreal - is "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", later filmed as Blade Runner. 

 

I love Blade Runner but, with the exception of the visuals and Rutger Hauer's off-the-cuff additions to Roy Baty's speech, the book is better, deeper and more philosophical than the movie. 


Cool, I'll definitely have to check it out. I haven't seen Blade Runner, I'll watch that after reading the book.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

 

Previous Books (Click to show)

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.

4. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

My first real look into philosophy. I enjoyed it, however I feel that I got about 40% of his message clearly, but a lot of it went over my head. I will be going back to it shortly. The stoic philosophy is really great, and there are many principles I will apply to my life.

5. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

Close to calling this 10/10. Ansari discusses the differences between dating today, and dating in the past(predominantly within a 50 year range). He interviews many people from all different age groups, and runs focus groups across various cities and countries. As someone who goes on plenty of dates, I found it a very interesting, insightful, and also entertaining book. I decided to pick it up after binge watching his TV show, Master of None, which I can also recommend.

 

In the book he also cites a plethora of studies and works alongside many academics from both social and cognitive sciences. He notes one study that is particularly interesting. I personally find that lots of younger people cannot converse in real life. The study argues that due to the use of texting and social media, where one can retype and think before they send, constructing many variations of what they wish to communicate, that the muscles in the brain used for spontaneous communication are not being developed properly.

 

6. The Year of Living Dangerously - Christopher Koch

I've developed a new habit since reading Shogun in Japan to read a book that resolves around the country I am traveling in, preferably about a foreigner in a strange land. I consulted r/books and was recommended The Year of Living Dangerously. It resolves around an Australian journalist working in Jakarta during the year 1965 (the year in which a failed coup occoured, followed by mass political purge). I really enjoyed it, however felt that the first two thirds of the book was stronger to the last. I also found the end a little rushed. I felt that the characters in the book were quite interesting, especially Billy Kwan, the sidekick of the story.

 

I'm looking forward to watching the film when I get home from 1982, starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hunt(whom won the Oscar for best supporting actor for her portrayal of Kwan).

7. The Old Man and the Sea

First foray into Hemmingway. Was surprisingly quite easy to read. It was enjoyable, however, I'm glad it was no longer than it was. The narrative suited a ~100 page book.

 

I'm quickly approaching my goal of 15 books by the end of the year. It helps being on holiday's as well as reading shorter books this week. In my search for a couple of shorter books I can do in a day, I chose the Old Man and the Sea, as well as Animal Farm, which I have been meaning to read.

 

I've picked up Dan Brown's Inferno for the journey home. I enjoyed The Lost Symbol when I read it several years ago, and pulp fiction is nice for flying.

post #3127 of 3288
36 The Reversal by Michael Connelly Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer join forces at the bequest of the powers that be to correct a miscarriage of justice. Or do they? Interesting narrative in that it switches from 1st to 2nd person in the telling of the tale. Nothing spectacular to be honest but better than Nine Dragons.
post #3128 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

36 The Reversal by Michael Connelly Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer join forces at the bequest of the powers that be to correct a miscarriage of justice. Or do they? Interesting narrative in that it switches from 1st to 2nd person in the telling of the tale. Nothing spectacular to be honest but better than Nine Dragons.

Love the Micky Haller books. Have you ever seen The Lincoln Lawyer movie?
post #3129 of 3288
Living in Los Angeles, I love those books
post #3130 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Love the Micky Haller books. Have you ever seen The Lincoln Lawyer movie?

Didn't know there was a film will check it out at some stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venividivicibj View Post

Living in Los Angeles, I love those books

Australian writer Peter Corris has a series involving Cliff Hardy which is set in Sydney always interesting to see his descriptions of familiar environments. Been years since I read any.
post #3131 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
29. The Shepherd's Crown
30. Vixen
31. The Heart Goes Last

32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War
Firing Line: Australia's Path to War (Quarterly Essay #62)Firing Line: Australia's Path to War by James Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


While the title suggests some kind of historical subject, Brown's essay is more about the process by which Australia chooses to go to war and discussing what we should consider fighting for. In an era when our staunch ally is squaring off against our greatest trading partner militarily, what path should Australia choose?

Brown's point is that Australia's thinking about warfare is mired in WW2 tropes and our process for committing troops to war - virtually at the whim of the Prime Minister - is woefully inadequate, as is our planning for war and its aftermath. The one thing that can be certain is that the Australian people will not get a say in whether they go to war, or why.


View all my reviews
post #3132 of 3288
Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post
 

Previous books. (Click to show)

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.

 

4. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

My first real look into philosophy. I enjoyed it, however I feel that I got about 40% of his message clearly, but a lot of it went over my head. I will be going back to it shortly. The stoic philosophy is really great, and there are many principles I will apply to my life.

5. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

Close to calling this 10/10. Ansari discusses the differences between dating today, and dating in the past(predominantly within a 50 year range). He interviews many people from all different age groups, and runs focus groups across various cities and countries. As someone who goes on plenty of dates, I found it a very interesting, insightful, and also entertaining book. I decided to pick it up after binge watching his TV show, Master of None, which I can also recommend.

 

In the book he also cites a plethora of studies and works alongside many academics from both social and cognitive sciences. He notes one study that is particularly interesting. I personally find that lots of younger people cannot converse in real life. The study argues that due to the use of texting and social media, where one can retype and think before they send, constructing many variations of what they wish to communicate, that the muscles in the brain used for spontaneous communication are not being developed properly.

 

6. The Year of Living Dangerously - Christopher Koch

I've developed a new habit since reading Shogun in Japan to read a book that resolves around the country I am traveling in, preferably about a foreigner in a strange land. I consulted r/books and was recommended The Year of Living Dangerously. It resolves around an Australian journalist working in Jakarta during the year 1965 (the year in which a failed coup occoured, followed by mass political purge). I really enjoyed it, however felt that the first two thirds of the book was stronger to the last. I also found the end a little rushed. I felt that the characters in the book were quite interesting, especially Billy Kwan, the sidekick of the story.

 

I'm looking forward to watching the film when I get home from 1982, starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hunt(whom won the Oscar for best supporting actor for her portrayal of Kwan).

 

7. The Old Man and the Sea

First foray into Hemmingway. Was surprisingly quite easy to read. It was enjoyable, however, I'm glad it was no longer than it was. The narrative suited a ~100 page book.

 

I'm quickly approaching my goal of 15 books by the end of the year. It helps being on holiday's as well as reading shorter books this week. In my search for a couple of shorter books I can do in a day, I chose the Old Man and the Sea, as well as Animal Farm, which I have been meaning to read.

 

I've picked up Dan Brown's Inferno for the journey home. I enjoyed The Lost Symbol when I read it several years ago, and pulp fiction is nice for flying.

 

8. Animal Farm - George Orwell

Great metaphor to Orwells view of the Soviet Union, thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn't find it predictable at the time, but the ending is obvious looking back.

 

9. Inferno - Dan Brown

Absolute rubbish. Maybe I only enjoyed The Lost Symbol because I was younger, but this was atrocious. It has good content and honestly and interesting plot line but the delivery was terrible. The twist was just plain dumb, and introduced several plot holes. The 180 by virtually every character at the end just didn't make sense. There were several introduced story arcs that were contradicted by "twists", that were never explained as to what they meant.

post #3133 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
36. The Wasp Factory
37. Sapiens
38. Lost Spaces

 


38. Lost Spaces

 

This is a really weird book. It's ostensibly a travel book, but actually ends up more of an academic exposition on the topic of places undiscovered or unmapped. Rather than talk about places that haven't been found, per se, the author explores one place per chapter that has been erased, destroyed, or not considered an actual place. There are some really interesting chapters - especially on places used by secret police or the chapter on places erased for health reasons (asbestos mines, etc). Some really interesting insights about landscape and place - one of my favourites: "place isn't a backdrops, it is meaningfully a part of who we are."

post #3134 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

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.

 

4. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

My first real look into philosophy. I enjoyed it, however I feel that I got about 40% of his message clearly, but a lot of it went over my head. I will be going back to it shortly. The stoic philosophy is really great, and there are many principles I will apply to my life.

5. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

Close to calling this 10/10. Ansari discusses the differences between dating today, and dating in the past(predominantly within a 50 year range). He interviews many people from all different age groups, and runs focus groups across various cities and countries. As someone who goes on plenty of dates, I found it a very interesting, insightful, and also entertaining book. I decided to pick it up after binge watching his TV show, Master of None, which I can also recommend.

 

In the book he also cites a plethora of studies and works alongside many academics from both social and cognitive sciences. He notes one study that is particularly interesting. I personally find that lots of younger people cannot converse in real life. The study argues that due to the use of texting and social media, where one can retype and think before they send, constructing many variations of what they wish to communicate, that the muscles in the brain used for spontaneous communication are not being developed properly.

 

6. The Year of Living Dangerously - Christopher Koch

I've developed a new habit since reading Shogun in Japan to read a book that resolves around the country I am traveling in, preferably about a foreigner in a strange land. I consulted r/books and was recommended The Year of Living Dangerously. It resolves around an Australian journalist working in Jakarta during the year 1965 (the year in which a failed coup occoured, followed by mass political purge). I really enjoyed it, however felt that the first two thirds of the book was stronger to the last. I also found the end a little rushed. I felt that the characters in the book were quite interesting, especially Billy Kwan, the sidekick of the story.

 

I'm looking forward to watching the film when I get home from 1982, starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hunt(whom won the Oscar for best supporting actor for her portrayal of Kwan).

 

7. The Old Man and the Sea

First foray into Hemmingway. Was surprisingly quite easy to read. It was enjoyable, however, I'm glad it was no longer than it was. The narrative suited a ~100 page book.

 

I'm quickly approaching my goal of 15 books by the end of the year. It helps being on holiday's as well as reading shorter books this week. In my search for a couple of shorter books I can do in a day, I chose the Old Man and the Sea, as well as Animal Farm, which I have been meaning to read.

 

I've picked up Dan Brown's Inferno for the journey home. I enjoyed The Lost Symbol when I read it several years ago, and pulp fiction is nice for flying.

 

8. Animal Farm - George Orwell

Great metaphor to Orwells view of the Soviet Union, thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn't find it predictable at the time, but the ending is obvious looking back.

 

9. Inferno - Dan Brown

Absolute rubbish. Maybe I only enjoyed The Lost Symbol because I was younger, but this was atrocious. It has good content and honestly and interesting plot line but the delivery was terrible. The twist was just plain dumb, and introduced several plot holes. The 180 by virtually every character at the end just didn't make sense. There were several introduced story arcs that were contradicted by "twists", that were never explained as to what they meant.

10. Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals

Great read. The stories are great, they're crude and won't be to a lot of people's taste but not everything is going to be The Notebook

post #3135 of 3288
37 The Greenwich Apartments by Peter Corris Cliff Hardy is a laconic Sydney PI whose snappy repartee is anchored in the Noir tradition. In this tale from the mid 80's, the Monorail and Darling Harbour are still under construction, Cliff is hired to seek answers for a bereaved father whose talented cinematically obsessed daughter was murdered. The police stupidly peddle the idea it was about porn. But the truth is out there and its up to Cliff to unearth it. What follows is an interesting tale of the complications of love, greed corruption and power which winds its way form the City to Glebe and Cliff's domestics through the shadows of Kings Cross the leafy surrounds of the upper North Shore and the back streets of Balmain.

First time I have read one of these in years. Will probably seek more out from the local library. Its interesting reading about a familiar environment and picturing it mentally based on the narrative language and how Corris combines the shadier stories of the urbane denizens of the day as he trawls through high society, big business and the netherworld of Sydney. The result is a distinctly Australian Noir which upholds the tradition without being obsequious.

A good yarn which is fast paced, well written and highly entertaining.
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