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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 52

post #766 of 3288

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

 

6. The River of Doubt

 

What an excellent book. Theodore Roosevelt, after losing the presidential election of 1912, is given an opportunity to venture into the Amazonian wilderness on a relatively safe journey. After a speaking tour in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, he decides to re-route the expedition to visit the River of Doubt: a previously unexplored, unmapped, unknown river in Brazil.

 

Along the way many people die, or leave, and Roosevelt undergoes some dramatic changes.

 

Excellent read.

 

7. The Pearl

 

Probably the least Steinbeck-like Steinbeck book I've read (unsurprisingly). The only flashes of his brilliant prose come on the introspection of Juana (the main female character). Short, sharp, but predictable. Good book for students to read.

post #767 of 3288
Clockwise counting 15/50: Kevin Powers - The Yellow Birds (2012)

Southern boy enlists, is sent to war in Iraq and traumatized by his experiences.  This novel was awarded the Guardian First Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It is indeed a very good novel, written in a beautiful poetic language and raising eternal questions about what is the truth and what are lies. Highly recommended for all but the gung-ho.
post #768 of 3288
22, Riding the Rap 1995 Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens, U.S. Marshal, denizen of Miami falls into a bungled hostage kidnapping plot. Raylan is taciturn, with a dry sense of humor, The characters are all caricatures. The plan completely falls apart and the only real question is can the hot young fortune teller really tell fortunes

I liked the book. So far Leonard is my favorite crime/mystery writer.
post #769 of 3288
Clockwise counting 16/50: Iris Murdoch - A Severed Head (1961)

London wine trader Martin is well off and self satisfied with a beautiful and charming middle aged wife and a beautiful and charming young mistress. When his wife falls in love with her psychoanalyst who is also Martin's very good friend, a series of obsessive love entanglements follow. This is very strange and funny novel with a sinister edge. I liked it a lot.

This was actually my first Iris Murdoch book and I believe she was a bit of a genius. I will soon start to explore some of her other novels. She has numerous books on The List and this was obviously one of them.
post #770 of 3288
I feel like a sluggard around here. Better get my skates on.

5. The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng (2012)

Judge Teoh Yun Ling has retired due to illness. She returns to her mountain home, where her memories of the past are rekindled. Yun Ling was a survivor of a Japanese concentration camp. After the war, she is determined to honour her dead sister by building a Japanese garden. Ironically, the only man who can help her with this is Aritomo, a Japanese gardener who was a loyal servant of the emporer in whose name Yun Ling and her family were brutalised.

Tan does a great job of exploring Yun Ling's deep and conflicted emotions about the Japanese, family, and the circumstances  of her survival. His writing is beautiful; his evocation of Aritomo's garden amid the Malaysian hill country it is nestled in make you feel as if you are actually there.

For me, this is the book that should have won the Booker. It is a far more original concept than Hilary Mantel's, and memorably written.
post #771 of 3288
1. In search of lost time - The captive. Marcel Proust.
The narrator jealously guards his mistress in his Parisian apartment. A later episode sees the narrator attend a party at the Verdurins', where he again carefully observes social interactions and is privy to the machinations which lead to the split between the baron and his homosexual lover. The unrevised nature of the work means deaths of various characters are described or mentioned in passing only for them to reappear later. (I think this adds to the atmosphere of the work, a certain madness to the very idea of such a novel.)

2. The pirates of Tarutao. Paul Adirex.
Describes the descent to piracy by the wardens and prisoners of the penal colony due to lack of supplies in WW 2. I read this because I was travelling to the islands around this area of Thailand.

3. The birth of particle physics.
Collection of essays by physicist who contributed to the start of particle physics from about 1930-1950 (including Dirac and Schwinger), based on a conference held in 1980. Interesting to note how important cosmic ray physics was at the time, discovery of the electron, muon, and eventually pion and strange hadrons.
post #772 of 3288
Lots more participants this year. Glad to have you!
post #773 of 3288
Marcel Proust and particle physics. 50 will definitely be an achievement!

I have my best start since I was 11 years old. 16 within 1 month!
post #774 of 3288
23. The Lincoln Lawyer 2005 Michael Connelly An LA defense attorney who does most of his business out of the back of a Towne Car (hence Lincoln Lawyer) draws an assault case. He's hired by a high end, "franchise" client to defend the victim. Franchise meaning a client who has deep pockets and a long case. While clearing his man of this particular crime, he finds that the same man has perpetrated a worse crime and he advised the person who took the rap for it to plea guilty and go to San Quentin.

Lots of action and drama here. I loved it.
post #775 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Marcel Proust and particle physics. 50 will definitely be an achievement!

Akula's cheating. For him, particle physics is like pulp novels for the rest of us. :-)

Welcome, Akula. Good to see another Aussie member in here.
post #776 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

23. The Lincoln Lawyer 2005 Michael Connelly An LA defense attorney who does most of his business out of the back of a Towne Car (hence Lincoln Lawyer) draws an assault case. He's hired by a high end, "franchise" client to defend the victim. Franchise meaning a client who has deep pockets and a long case. While clearing his man of this particular crime, he finds that the same man has perpetrated a worse crime and he advised the person who took the rap for it to plea guilty and go to San Quentin.

Lots of action and drama here. I loved it.
Have you seen the movie too? It's pretty good.
post #777 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1os View Post

Have you seen the movie too? It's pretty good.

No? When did it come out? I usually won't go to a movie unless I've read the book first.
post #778 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

No? When did it come out? I usually won't go to a movie unless I've read the book first.
In 2011. Great role for Matthew McConaughey, imo.
post #779 of 3288
I like him too. I will have to rent it. Thanks!
post #780 of 3288
24. Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure 1749 John Cleland

LIST

If it wasn't on the list I don't think I would have read this. It's far and away the oldest book I've read so far.

Sort of a mixed bag. Erotica is boring at first, but gets better in the second half. An orphaned country girl sets out for London and finds prostitution to be the only paying job for an attractive female. The book recounts single exploits, being a kept woman, and finally being left with a fortune by a man she has cared for, more than simply being his sex object. The story ends extremely well when she finds the original and only true love of her life after inheriting the money and marries him.

Nice work if you can get it.

So, 24 in a month... Job starts 3/1 so I'm going for 50 by then. Certainly by the end of March

Oh, and I'm planning on working on the "too fat" part. Well contemplating anyway. smile.gif Gym time would seriously cut into reading time.
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