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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 213

post #3181 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

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


34. Essentialism


35. Signs at the End of the World


36. The Wasp Factory


37. Sapiens


38. Lost Spaces


39. What Money Can't Buy


40. Seveneves


41. Flowers for Algernon


42. A Crown of Cold Silver


43. Central Station


44. Why People Photograph


45. The Wheel of Oshiem

46. Red Rising


47. Golden Son

48. Morning Star





48. Morning Star


End of the trilogy. The book seems locked in a cycle of betrayal-redemption (which I think is deliberate) until that cycle is broken. Good times, but as is often the case with a trilogy, ready for it to end when it does. Sometimes I wonder about you guys reading the detective novels, whether sometimes you enjoy the character/book but at the same time tire of it when it's nearing the end.

I don't think the detective ever dies. Just the writer.
post #3182 of 3283

I just finished book #55 Charles Willeford's Miami Blues, which is the first book in the Hoke Moseley series. The writing style reads very similar to James Crumley's, although a little less descriptive and to the point (a la Elmore Leonard I suppose, who wrote the introduction to the novel). Therefore, you can expect a bit of crusty nostalgia, dry satirical remarks, and tired grumpiness in this detective novel. I liked it. I'm going to start on the rest of the series.

post #3183 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
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
39. What Money Can't Buy
40. Seveneves
41. Flowers for Algernon
42. A Crown of Cold Silver
43. Central Station
44. Why People Photograph
45. The Wheel of Oshiem
46. Red Rising
47. Golden Son
48. Morning Star
49. The Meat Tree

 

49. The Meat Tree

 

Promised a lot and didn't deliver. This was supposed to be a cool re-telling of a Welsh myth - instead it misses the mark and is a boring and frustrating read. I think that the poet who wrote this was trying to adopt her writing into a genre (SF) that she wasn't versed in. So it's boring and annoying to read.

post #3184 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

45 Grant and I, Inside and outside of the Go Betweens by Robert Foster
For any one who had a misspent, (well spent) youth of sex and drugs and rock n roll this is the book for you more so if your a man of certain age and Australian. And or anyone who lived through the 1980's independent music scene anywhere to be honest.

This is an entertaining, intriguing memoir of life trials and tribulations in one of Australia's best, in terms of artistic talent, rock bands. Its also a musicological and social history of the post punk period and beyond, spanning Australia and beyond.

The Go Betweens never cracked it big time or had a Top 40 hit, when you consider the lyrics of Streets of Your Town with the line "And this town is full of battered wives" how could that make it to the top of the pops, when at that time domestic violence was tragically par for the course in all levels of society.

Above all its the story of a creative bromance between Robert Foster and Grant McLennan.

Got that one, and looking forward to reading it. My favourite Go-Betweens story is when they were due to play a set on a big US TV show. Foster (a cross-dresser) asked McLennan if it would be a good time to wear his new yellow dress, to which Grant said absolutely, it would be the perfect time.
post #3185 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
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
33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
34. Fever of Animals
35. Our Souls at Night
36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
37. She Will Build Him a City
38. Quota
39. The Secret Chord
40. Beast

Been away on holidays and trying to up my reading. Haven't had time to write full reviews, but here's some snippets.

41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. **
This starts off with a very interesting premise about wealthy people getting themselves cryogenically frozen to achieve immortality. However the second half of the book mostly drops this plot line and is almost entirely the vapid musings and philosophising of a not-very-appealing narrator, the son of the billionaire who funds the research.

42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson ****
Award-winning Scandi noir about the death of a small-time crim who went straight and became a renowned aquarium hobbyist. Suicide or murder? I enjoyed this one. It has a few good twists, but it suffered from the all-too-common problem with translated detective novels where the first novel translated is well into the series, and the reader is left baffled with some of the characters and their situations.

43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump ***
Essay by Paul Keating's speech-writer, Don Watson. Watson, an astute political observer, examines the rise of anti-establishment politics in the USA in spots such as Madison, Milwaukee and others, and the nature of their attraction to a maverick candidate.
post #3186 of 3283
69. The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour- Volume 4, Part 2- The Adventure Stories

Not as good as his Western stories, but I enjoyed the adventures of the three main characters, and wondered why he never developed them into novels.

2 books to go...
post #3187 of 3283
47 The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer A brother & sister writing team and the first book in the series. The translation is efficient as it captures the main police protagonists in depth, mind you I'm starting to believe that their are particular archetypes working in this genre which a lot of writers are adhering too, albeit with some variations on the theme and crimes committed. The criminals in this have a weird sense of topical social justice operating and it interesting to see the how the public is embracing their cause in the narrative. Overall the narrative has depth and moves at a logical pace in terms of a police procedural. Interesting read but so far nothing to overtly separate it and make it stand out from the pack of Scandi Noir I've been reading in the past couple of years.

I have the next book which I will tackle this long weekend between bouts during the annual Festival of the Boot.
post #3188 of 3283
Wait, DeLillo's got a new one already? He seems to be getting briefer and more obtuse with each passing year -- but I found his audio books -- read by Will Patton and and Campbell Scott -- supremely entrancing. Soporific in the best way, perfect for bedtime listening.
post #3189 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
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
33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
34. Fever of Animals
35. Our Souls at Night
36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
37. She Will Build Him a City
38. Quota
39. The Secret Chord
40. Beast
41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. **
42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson ****
43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump ***





44. Gold Fame Citrus
Gold Fame CitrusGold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Watkins' debut is a dystopian novel set in a California where endless drought has caused a vast dune sea to engulf the Mojave and the Sierras, creating a society of climate refugees desperate for water and for escape.

Luz and Ray are two such displaced persons. Living in a mansion abandoned by a starlet, they decide to take her vintage Karmann Ghia and head for Seattle and safety. On the way, they steal a child, Ig, from a group of drifters.

Coming to grief in the dune sea, Luz is found by a group of survivalists living on the edge. Their leader, Levi, has big dreams in which Luz and Ig both play a part.

This is a pretty good book, albeit with a few confusing loose ends and, frankly, terrible sex scenes. It reminded me somewhat of The Road, Lord of the Flies, and even Dune at times. Watkins is a talent to watch.


View all my reviews
Edited by California Dreamer - 9/30/16 at 6:06am
post #3190 of 3283

56. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

 

A legal thriller about a prosecutor (Rusty Sabich) in charge of a murder investigation whose victim was a fellow colleague he had been infatuated and sleeping with despite his marriage. Things get slightly bizarre when Rusty himself is charged with her murder.

 

While I suppose most thrillers are entertaining due to their plot or pace, this novel is actually a bit lengthy with some in-depth reflection on Rusty's part. However, I think the most intriguing part is actually how Turow richly layers the fictional town with a pervasive sense of human corruption. There is a very large cast, each one of which probably could have his or her own novel based on what we gather from Rusty's POV.

post #3191 of 3283
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.

 

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

 

11. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon

My second foray into Pynchon. Really enjoyed it although found a few parts difficult to follow. Was disappointed a few plot lines were not fully explained, but that is his charm.

 

Edit: Up next, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.


Edited by Foxhound - 10/3/16 at 8:20pm
post #3192 of 3283
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is pretty fun to read. Bladerunner is a fun watch too

I started and quit so many times on V. Pynchon's writing style is a little ADD.
post #3193 of 3283
Weird. V. was pretty much the only thing of his that hooked me immediately, so much that I bought different versions of the book to read. By Gravity's Rainbow he seemed to have internalized the claims of 'genius' a little too much, and the prose just seemed a little off (though it was really easy to take a red pen to it and carve it in a way that its beauty really jumped out). I hate it as it's one of the Really Big Books that truly felt unwelcoming.

I'm really curious to see how his latest efforts read.
post #3194 of 3283
I enjoyed Bleeding Edge but found Gravity's Rainbow a bit of a chore.
post #3195 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob in 89 View Post

Weird. V. was pretty much the only thing of his that hooked me immediately, so much that I bought different versions of the book to read. By Gravity's Rainbow he seemed to have internalized the claims of 'genius' a little too much, and the prose just seemed a little off (though it was really easy to take a red pen to it and carve it in a way that its beauty really jumped out). I hate it as it's one of the Really Big Books that truly felt unwelcoming.

I'm really curious to see how his latest efforts read.

just hasn't clicked with me yet i guess
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