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2017 50 Book Challenge - Page 50

post #736 of 3318
Late start to the year put here goes:

1. A Memory of Light- Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (Book 14, Wheel Of Time)

The final chapter of a true epic, this book, like the previous 2, was written by Brandon Sanderson, finishing what Jordan started some 20 years ago. A true fantasty masterpiece, it was the 14th novel in the series, and managed to bring a huge number of plot lines and characters to a satisfying conclusion. Sanderson played it safe, and stayed true to the characters that Jordan created. It felt though, that at times the ending was not the original one intended, as some major characters had unsatisfying roles, and some plot points felt rushed. Mind you, the book still clocked in at around 200k+ words, so little truncation doesn't hurt.
I recommend the series to anyone who likes LoTR, GoT, or other fantasy works. Just be prepared for a long haul.
post #737 of 3318
Didn't know there was a 5th...I think you'd like Bangkok 8.
post #738 of 3318
Bangkok 8 is the first and (unfortunately) remains the best of the 5.
post #739 of 3318

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine


5. Wake in Fright


An Australian classic about a Sydney schoolteacher who is bonded in a remote country town. When the holidays roll around, he leaves with the intention of holidaying in Sydney all of summer. Unfortunately, some problems delay him and he spends a hellish week being effectively destroyed by the culture of Australians west of the Dividing Range.


Since I currently live west of the DR this was a great read, and even though it's edging 40 years old, a lot is still relevant and accurate.

post #740 of 3318
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

5. Wake in Fright

Oh yeah! What a great book (and film) that was.
post #741 of 3318

You should hae come to the meetup last week and talked books with us!

post #742 of 3318
I try to go to those, but last Fri was just too flat out.

Are any of you guys on Goodreads?
post #743 of 3318
Clockwise counting 8/50: Philip Roth - Goodbye, Columbus (1959)

Roth's first book is a story collection with one longer novella and 5 short stories. It is, like almost everything he has written thereafter, a satirical and funny look at modern neurotic American Jews. I like Philip Roth's books, they are always entertaining and insightful. He wrote even better later in his career but his debut is not bad at all. It won the National Book Award 1960.
post #744 of 3318
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Are any of you guys on Goodreads?

I am using Shelfari. Good way to keep track of my reading.
post #745 of 3318
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Bangkok 8 is the first and (unfortunately) remains the best of the 5.

I thought 3 and 4 were just a notch behind.

2 sucked and I'll take your word that 5 did as well.
post #746 of 3318
14. The Overlook Michael Connelly Detective Harry Bosch is brought into a case regarding an execution on the Mulholland Overlook. 360 vials of cesium are also stolen. While everyone on the FBI is convinced it's a terrorist act. Harry solves it as an intricate murder case.

Much better then the last Connelly I read.
post #747 of 3318
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

I thought 3 and 4 were just a notch behind.

2 sucked and I'll take your word that 5 did as well.

I didn't really think that 2 and 5 sucked, just that they paled in comparison to Burdett's best writing. One thing that irritated me about 5: Sonchai is in earlier books frequently addressing the reader as "dear farang" (i.e. dear foreigner / westerner) when he explains some particular difference between Thai and Western thinking... in Vulture Peak he does this more than ever (too much) but he now, throughout the whole book, uses the acronym DFR for "dear farang reader". It just seemed silly (and made me think of FDR).
post #748 of 3318
4. The Lighthouse, by Alison Moore (2012)

The Lighthouse was on the 2012 Booker shortlist. It's a relatively short novel about Futh, a middle-aged man who goes on a hiking trip in Germany after separating from his wife.

Since childhood, Futh has carried with him a perfume bottle in the shape of a silver lighthouse, as a momento of the mother who walked out on him and his father when he was little. When he arrives in Germany he stays at a hotel run  by Ester who is stuck in a loveless marriage. Ester also has a similar lighthouse, although hers is made of wood.

Futh hikes in the Rhine valley, all the while reflecting on his past life and Its various disappointments.

The problem with writing novels about shy loveless people is that the author can fail to make them interesting. That's my problem with this book. I couldn't bring myself to care about Futh, Ester or any other character in this dreary novel.
post #749 of 3318
Clockwise counting 9/50: Philip Roth - Portnoy's Complaint (1969)

The novel that made Philip Roth's name is a long monologue by 35 year old Alexander Portnoy, complaining to his psychoanalyst about how his Jewish upbringing has ruined him. Portnoy's complaint is defined as "A disorder in which strongly felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature..." 

This novel is very funny albeit somewhat repetitive. It is full of explicit descriptions of Portnoy's degrading sexual adventures. The story reminds me of Woody Allen, just a bit drier and with less slapstick. Although Roth is writing very specifically about a Jewish experience, this book and all Roth's writing apply equally to the experience of "modern Western man".
post #750 of 3318
15, Vanishing Point 2004 David Markson


The protagonist, simply named "author" is organizing a series of epithets and anecdotes. Most are rather pithy, and contain only one or to lines. However, he suffers what appears to be a stroke at the end.

Excellent book. Recommend It.
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