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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 63

post #931 of 3286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

63. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 1963 Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Chronicles a day in the life of a prisoner in a work camp in Siberia in 1951. Not as depressing as one might expect.

I wouldn't read it unless you are ball-and-chained to The List.

That was assigned to us in 7th grade... goes without saying it was a step up from Chronicles of Narnia.
post #932 of 3286
Clockwise counting 42/50: Philip Roth - The Anatomy Lesson (1983)

The third instalment in Roth's series of books about acclaimed but deeply troubled Jewish author Nathan Zuckerman.  This continues in the funny and intelligent vein of tragicomedy that the earlier Zuckerman Unbound already launched. In this book Zuckerman suffers from an undiagnosed but terrible "chronic pain" for the past 18 months. A string of girlfriends take care of his needs (food and sex) on a play mat on the floor of his apartment. In addition he is developing a habit of painkillers and tranquilizers washed down with vodka or Dom Perignon. As the story unfolds, Zuckerman gets increasingly unhinged and eager to turn his back on literary fame. Roth's writing is brilliant!
post #933 of 3286
Clockwise counting 43/50: Philip Roth - The Prague Orgy (1985)

A short "epilogue" style novella to follow the Zuckerman trilogy, The Prague Orgy finds Nathan Zuckerman in 1970s paranoia-inducing communist Prague in search for the lost stories of a Yiddish writer. This is not the same Zuckerman as in the previous novels and it is only by name we recognise that this is the same protagonist. It is a satirical story with a political touch and of course a heavy dose of Roth's typical dark humor.

Good but much less so than the preceding Zuckerman trilogy. On to heavier stuff.
post #934 of 3286
I went to a very conservative private school. I would never have had that as a reading assignment. We had The Hobbit, then an entire class in LOTR in 8th grade. Which somehow I managed to avoid.

CW- you're getting very, very close.

Thank you for your advice on The List. Figure I can get at least 60 more by year's end if I don't read anything else.

My goal for the year is 120.
post #935 of 3286
64. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 1962 Ken Kesey

LIST

Story of life in a mental hospital as seen through the eyes of the Chief, a rather large half Indian who pretends to be deaf and dumb until near the end of the book. The main characters are Randle McMurphy the reprobate and Ms. Ratched the nazi nurse. Battle rages between them until a final night of debauchery that results in drastic changes.

I really liked the book but kept trying to compare it to the parts of the movie that I remembered. Which is why I try to read the book before the movie.

And I will now rent or buy the movie. IIRC it won Best Picture in '75?
post #936 of 3286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

64. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 1962 Ken Kesey

LIST
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Story of life in a mental hospital as seen through the eyes of the Chief, a rather large half Indian who pretends to be deaf and dumb until near the end of the book. The main characters are Randle McMurphy the reprobate and Ms. Ratched the nazi nurse. Battle rages between them until a final night of debauchery that results in drastic changes.

I really liked the book but kept trying to compare it to the parts of the movie that I remembered. Which is why I try to read the book before the movie.

And I will now rent or buy the movie. IIRC it won Best Picture in '75?

That review could do with a spoiler warning, JIC.

One Flew Over is one of the few novels I've read multiple times. The first time was for college, but then a few more times for fun. Another I've read repeatedly is Catch-22.
post #937 of 3286
Good point. I will edit. Everyone reads spoiler though.

The only books I've re-read are sci-fi.

I especially like the director's cut of Stranger in a Strange Land.
post #938 of 3286
65. The Bluest Eye 1970 Toni Morrison

LIST

Morrison's usual fare- relating the experience of being a black woman in America. This book focused on children, and I found it much more appealing than the other two books I've read. This was her first book, and IMO the others weren't nearly as good. Even Sula, which won her the Pulitzer Prize.

A great read.
post #939 of 3286
8. Kassandra - Christa Wolf

King Priam's daughter Kassandra, a priestress of Troy, is captive outside the gates of Mycanae. As she awaits her execution, she recalls the story of her life in Troy, the relations within the ruling family, and the political decisions which led to war and eventual defeat. As the war progresses, her unwillingness to adhere to the official doctrine of the powerholders and to believe their propaganda leads to an alienation with her father, and her eventual ostracism. Shortly before the end of the war she finds some solace with a matriarchal community living near the city.

Took me a while to read this, I was busy with my work and I also had to get used to reading German again.
post #940 of 3286
I'd been wondering where you'd gotten to Akula. I think you ought to be getting degree of difficulty bomus points.
post #941 of 3286
Do you ever read mysteries, bestsellers, lighter fare, Akula? And... does your name mean shark?
post #942 of 3286
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

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

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

 

25. The Well of Ascension

 

Ripper read. I know I said I had a fantasy overload, but whatever, these came in from my brother and I thought I'd get through them.

 

Great writing, but dragged a bit at the end (like the first in the series). Sanderson seems to build the story towards a logic climax, and then have a second climax beyond the end that seems to be, almost, rushed or unnecessary. Masterful use of character, narration and mechanics. Dialogue is a little weak, but doesn't hold the book back.

 

On track to get 60 books in by the end of the year :)

post #943 of 3286
18. Midwinter Sacrifice, by Mons Kallentoft (2011)

Midwinter Sacrifice is the first of a series of books featuring detective Malin Fors, set in the freezing environs of Linkoping, Sweden. Fors is investigating the case of a man found dead, hanging from a tree in the forest. In the process she tangles with a local family of outsiders whose daughter was raped and murdered, potentially by the victim.

As with all Scandinavian detectives, Malin's home life is portrayed as a mess. She is separated from her husband, and her 13 year old daughter is blossoming into womanhood, something Malin is not ready for.

A strength of this novel is Kallentoft's description of the bleakness of the Swedish countryside in mid-winter. But the similarities between Malin and The Killing's Sarah Lund are unmistakeable, and that doesn't help the book. The plot is slow to develop and gets pretty clumsy towards the end. I thought Kallentoft's practice of inserting commentary by the victim from betond the grave did nothing for the book either. On the whole, this is a mostly unexceptional Scandinavian crime novel. 
post #944 of 3286
66. The Sun Also Rises 1926 Ernest Hemingway

LIST

A writer and his buddies (one female) travel around Spain and France. They drink. They watch the bull fights. They drink. Did I mention they drink?

Don't read it.
post #945 of 3286
It's interesting how divisive Hemingway is, I absolutely loved Fiesta (the sun also rises), definitely one of his best books in my opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Do you ever read mysteries, bestsellers, lighter fare, Akula? And... does your name mean shark?

I read for entertainment but I generally don't find lighter fare entertaining (modulo an occasional eccentric "non-literary" choice). And yes akula means shark in russian, it's an old alias from when I played computer games.
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

I'd been wondering where you'd gotten to Akula. I think you ought to be getting degree of difficulty bomus points.

Thanks for the encouragement, though I think I generally read slower than the others posting in this thread, I quite enjoy posting here even though I won't get to fifty.
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