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2017 50 Book Challenge - Page 174

post #2596 of 3324
Old stock and the dollar’s decline, probably.
post #2597 of 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Old stock and the dollar’s decline, probably.

Hard to say depends when it came out as most books over 12 months old either end up pulped or in remainder book stores either way Its a steal would love to see HH play live again last time was 2007.
post #2598 of 3324
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses


25. Last Winter We Parted
Last Winter We PartedLast Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


For a relatively short novel, Last Winter We Parted certainly put me through a roller-coaster. It has an intriguing opening that sucks you in, but before long it was getting seriously weird and rather irritating. I even got to the point where even the fonts were annoying me; not a good sign.

The book starts with a journalist interviewing a man on death row, with a view to writing a book about his crimes. He has been found guilty of killing two women, but claims that he is innocent. In his research, the journalist encounters the murderer’s sister, a seriously kinky woman who provokes him and seduces him into rough sex, but then asks him to “save her”.

Nakamura unfolds his plot by switching between narrative chapters and “archives”, which are presumably source documents that the journalist has collected. This is where the fonts come in; the “archive” chapters are for some reason in smaller type than the rest of the book, and I found them almost impossible to read. I couldn’t see any real purpose in doing this.

Just as I started to banish this book to the outer reaches of one-stardom, Nakamura unveils some bravura plot twists and the end result is one of the most grisly and twisted thrillers that I’ve read in quite a while. The author has managed to fit a serpentine and complicated story into a brief novel and, in doing so, demonstrates what an exceptional writer he is. I’m certainly going to read more by Nakamura.



26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society
The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyThe Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Ella Milana is a relief teacher in the Finnish village of Rabbit Back. The town is crazy about books, and the entire populace hungers to be invited to join the Rabbit Back Literature Society, a select group of elite local writers established by the town’s most noted resident, globally-renowned children’s author Laura White.

At the outset of the novel, Ella notices some strange things going on with books from the Rabbit Back library; they seem to be changing themselves and are unrecognisable from the versions that she knows. After a contretemps with librarian Ingrid (a member of the Society) she steals some books to look into this more thoroughly.

Shortly afterwards, Ella is shocked to learn that she has been invited to be the tenth member of the Rabbit Back Literature Society, the first appointee for decades. A reception is arranged at Laura White’s house to induct her. At that reception, Laura White suddenly disappears and the house fills with snow.

Laura is determined to dig deeper and find out what is going on in the Society, in part to further her work as a researcher. She discovers The Game, a bizarre ritual that Society members play on one another to extract information. Ella decides to use The Game to learn the Society's secrets, but she must expose her own vulnerabilities in the process.

This novel has all the makings of a fantastic Scandi noir - a damaged protagonist, a secret society, a dark forest, a bizarre ritual, scary animals, mysterious disappearances and grotesque characters. Despite that, it reads like a breezy and light story, with little if any dark elements. Somehow Jaaskelainen completely misses the mark and delivers only fluff where there could be serious grist to his mill. The book reminded me more of Mr Penumbra than Martin Beck, and is all the poorer for it.

View all my reviews
post #2599 of 3324
28 Possibilities a biography by Herbie Hancock Read about a third of last night could not put it down, aside from the historical perspectives the musical insights are fascinating and stimulating. Working from home today so I've pulled out a fair bit of the music he has mentioned and will be listening to it. At this rate probably stay up all night and finish it.
post #2600 of 3324
20/50 I, Sniper - Stephen Hunter
21/50 Borkmann's Point - Hakan Nesser
post #2601 of 3324
27 The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling post 9/11 the future is now brand of post cyberpunk fiction.
post #2602 of 3324

Finally a future I understand

post #2603 of 3324
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists

2. Acceptance

3. Shipbreaker

4. Winter's Bone

5. Dhmara Bums

6. Istanbul

7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan

8. Holy Bible

9. The Boat

10. Collected Stories

11. Lost and Found

12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman

13. White Noise

14. Clariel

15. Off the Rails

16. Sabriel

17 Hitler's Daughter

18. Quack this Way

19. Grapes of Wrath

20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar

21. The Twelve Fingered Boy

22. Riders of the Purple Sage

23. The Sheltering Sky

24. How to Travel the World for Free

25. Deliverance

26. Trigger Warning

27. It's Complicated

28. Fight Club

29. Past the Shallows
30. Wonderboys
31. It's what I do
32. A Long Way Down
33. Men Who Stare at Goats

 

33. Men Who Stare at Goats

 

A potentially true story of the US Army's foray in psychic warfare, the experiments culminating in many torture tactics used during Iraq. It's hard to know where fiction starts and ends in this book, and I guess that's kind of the point. Really enjoyed this.

post #2604 of 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists


2. Acceptance


3. Shipbreaker


4. Winter's Bone


5. Dhmara Bums


6. Istanbul


7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan


8. Holy Bible


9. The Boat


10. Collected Stories


11. Lost and Found


12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman


13. White Noise


14. Clariel


15. Off the Rails


16. Sabriel


17 Hitler's Daughter


18. Quack this Way


19. Grapes of Wrath


20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar


21. The Twelve Fingered Boy


22. Riders of the Purple Sage


23. The Sheltering Sky


24. How to Travel the World for Free


25. Deliverance


26. Trigger Warning


27. It's Complicated


28. Fight Club


29. Past the Shallows

30. Wonderboys

31. It's what I do

32. A Long Way Down

33. Men Who Stare at Goats

33. Men Who Stare at Goats

A potentially true story of the US Army's foray in psychic warfare, the experiments culminating in many torture tactics used during Iraq. It's hard to know where fiction starts and ends in this book, and I guess that's kind of the point. Really enjoyed this.

That was a bit of a strange one. Would you call Ronson’s stuff gonzo journalism?
post #2605 of 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post


That was a bit of a strange one. Would you call Ronson’s stuff gonzo journalism?

 

Definitely - his discoveries are as much a part of the narrative as the different aspects of the psychic army core he expands on.

 

List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists

2. Acceptance

3. Shipbreaker

4. Winter's Bone

5. Dhmara Bums

6. Istanbul

7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan

8. Holy Bible

9. The Boat

10. Collected Stories

11. Lost and Found

12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman

13. White Noise

14. Clariel

15. Off the Rails

16. Sabriel

17 Hitler's Daughter

18. Quack this Way

19. Grapes of Wrath

20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar

21. The Twelve Fingered Boy

22. Riders of the Purple Sage

23. The Sheltering Sky

24. How to Travel the World for Free

25. Deliverance

26. Trigger Warning

27. It's Complicated

28. Fight Club

29. Past the Shallows
30. Wonderboys
31. It's what I do
32. A Long Way Down
33. Men Who Stare at Goats
34. Boxer Beetle

 

34. Boxer Beetle

 

This is a weird story that's simultaneously about a Fascist scientist and someone forced to retrace his steps decades after his death. It's an immature novel that didn't really excite me or grab me. The characters were a bit too over the top without the narrative to justify such a choice, the narrative itself wasn't that interesting, and almost every character was homosexual, which got tiresome for me.

 

I loved Glow - and found it to be enthralling - this is an earlier novel by Ned Beauman and I can see stylistic continuity, but his style and narrative just don't work that well in his earlier work.

post #2606 of 3324
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses
25. Last Winter We Parted
26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society


27. Rituals
RitualsRituals by Cees Nooteboom

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


I simply could not get into this book. I think it was one of those cases where the protagonist is so lacking in appeal or empathy that you do not get interested in him, and thus don’t care about anything that happens. I had to force myself to finish this and, if the book wasn’t so brief, I would not have bothered.


View all my reviews
post #2607 of 3324
26 Operation Napolen by Arnaldur Indridason A fast paced thriller which deals with some interesting historical facts about the end of the second world war and post war dynamics. I enjoyed it ad as it was an interesting telling of a old conspiracy story no matter how implausible it maybe.
post #2608 of 3324
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists

2. Acceptance

3. Shipbreaker

4. Winter's Bone

5. Dhmara Bums

6. Istanbul

7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan

8. Holy Bible

9. The Boat

10. Collected Stories

11. Lost and Found

12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman

13. White Noise

14. Clariel

15. Off the Rails

16. Sabriel

17 Hitler's Daughter

18. Quack this Way

19. Grapes of Wrath

20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar

21. The Twelve Fingered Boy

22. Riders of the Purple Sage

23. The Sheltering Sky

24. How to Travel the World for Free

25. Deliverance

26. Trigger Warning

27. It's Complicated

28. Fight Club

29. Past the Shallows
30. Wonderboys
31. It's what I do
32. A Long Way Down
33. Men Who Stare at Goats
34. Boxer Beetle
35. This is How You Lose Her

 


35. This is How You Lose Her

 

You know how there are certain books you return to every few years, despite the fact you know them backwards? Yeah, this is one of those for me.

 

It's a series of short stories about love and loss. The writing is great, vivid, irreverent and joyous. The stories are a touch repetitious, but deliberately so. Equal parts cloyingly romantic and austerely harsh.

 

Jump on it if you haven't.

post #2609 of 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists


2. Acceptance


3. Shipbreaker


4. Winter's Bone


5. Dhmara Bums


6. Istanbul


7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan


8. Holy Bible


9. The Boat


10. Collected Stories


11. Lost and Found


12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman


13. White Noise


14. Clariel


15. Off the Rails


16. Sabriel


17 Hitler's Daughter


18. Quack this Way


19. Grapes of Wrath


20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar


21. The Twelve Fingered Boy


22. Riders of the Purple Sage


23. The Sheltering Sky


24. How to Travel the World for Free


25. Deliverance


26. Trigger Warning


27. It's Complicated


28. Fight Club


29. Past the Shallows

30. Wonderboys

31. It's what I do

32. A Long Way Down

33. Men Who Stare at Goats

34. Boxer Beetle

35. This is How You Lose Her


35. This is How You Lose Her

You know how there are certain books you return to every few years, despite the fact you know them backwards? Yeah, this is one of those for me.

It's a series of short stories about love and loss. The writing is great, vivid, irreverent and joyous. The stories are a touch repetitious, but deliberately so. Equal parts cloyingly romantic and austerely harsh.

Jump on it if you haven't.

Is this cheating? smile.gif

Anyway, it was you who put me onto this book originally, and I don’t regret it for a moment. A great read, one of my favourites from last year.
post #2610 of 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

26 Operation Napolen by Arnaldur Indridason A fast paced thriller which deals with some interesting historical facts about the end of the second world war and post war dynamics. I enjoyed it ad as it was an interesting telling of a old conspiracy story no matter how implausible it maybe.

How does this compare to his Erlendur books?
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