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2017 50 Book Challenge

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    16. Rivers West Louis L'Amour 1975

    A young French Canadian foils a plot to make the Louisiana Purchase a separate kingdom, and wins the girl.

    Pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Clockwise counting 08/50: Georges Simenon - The Saint-Fiacre Affair (1932)

    Commissaire Maigret returns to the small city of his childhood. A countess dies of heart attack during mass but the death has been pre-announced as a crime by an anonymous person well before the event. Maigret is surprisingly passive throughout the story and the explanation is gradually unraveled through psychological games played between the most likely suspects. An unusual Maigret mystery which is a bit lacking in atmosphere.
     
  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    That sorta goes without saying, doesn’t it?
     
  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    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
    [​IMG]
    Murder on the Eiffel Tower
    by Claude Izner
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    Murder on the Eiffel Tower is the first in a series of crime novels about a 19th Century Parisian bookseller, Victor Legris. Claude Izner is actually a pen name for two authors who are both Parisian booksellers, so I guess their choice of hero is unsurprising.

    The book is set during the Paris Exposition, at the time when the Eiffel Tower was first opened. Victor is asked to write a literary column for a new magazine, just as a series of strange deaths starts occurring. The victims seem to have been stung by a bee and died very quickly. As Victor learns more about this story, he has some disturbing doubts and decides to investigate. The only thing linking these deaths seems to be that the victims all visited the Tower.

    The strongest aspect of this book is the way the authors capture Paris during the Expo. They are very effective at describing the impact that this strange new structure, and the Expo overall, has on Parisians and visitors alike.

    Unfortunately, Victor is too bland and hapless a character to build a series around; he’s certainly no Rebus, Wallander or Erlendur in terms of character depth. Overall the book is lightweight. For lovers of this genre, where detective and historical fiction meet, I’d recommend Boris Akunin’s Fandorin series instead.
    View all my reviews
     
  6. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    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

    9. The Boat

    This is a collection of short stories that center around feelings of isolation, powerlessness and pressure. Some of them are good (the first one is excellent, and another captures so beautifully the issues with masculinity in rural Australia I was shocked how well Nam Le articulated them), others are a bit beige for me (the story of a man caught between his hit man job, and his friends, in particular, seemed pointless).

    I didn't mind this collection - but I felt like the writer has strengths he is hesitant to play to - the biographical and the Australian story were head and shoulders above the rest - and I think that if Le explores these settings and memories more broadly he will be an excellent writer. The stories about New York artists, Vietnamese people on a boat, etc, didn't say anything new - didn't really communicate much, and felt languid compared to the others.
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Yep.
     
  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    47 The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg Why in God's name did I bother, there has to be a better cure for insomnia than this. 10:04 by Ben Lerner arrived to day in the post prior to ordering it I read a number of good reviews.
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    17. The Riders of High Rock Louis L'Amour 1951

    The first Hopalong Cassidy novel.

    Cayouses, palouses, and hombres. Camaraderie and foiled rustlers, but no girls gotten in this one.

    Good read, especially for learning WesternSpeak.

    I've read 80 of these so far, but I have 20 more to read in my possession, so I think it fair to assume there are more than 100 to read in all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  10. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I neve knew that Louis L’Amour wrote Hopalong Cassidy. I always thought that the Lone Ranger was cooler than Hopalong, and Zorro left them both for dead.
     
  11. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    46 10:04 by Ben Lerner A post postmodernist take on the novel i think. Just the thing to have on your bedside table at the end of the day, interesting bedtime material.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    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
    [​IMG]
    How To Be Both
    by Ali Smith
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Not knowing much about it, How to be Both was a bit of a surprise. The first part of the book is fairly standard contemporary fiction: a young girl, George, is dealing with the death of her mother and confused about her emerging sexuality. Her reminiscences about her mother include a whirlwind trip to Ferrara, Italy, to admire a breathtaking palace fresco painted by a mysterious artist about whom very little is known, other than a written request for a raise from the commissioner of the work.

    The first half of this novel describes George’s growing interest in this artist and more about her relationship with her mother, until she arrives at a point where she is sitting in a gallery observing people visiting one of the artist’s works, and experiences a major shock.

    Smith then suddenly shifts the ground under the reader’s feet. Suddenly the book is not about George, but about the artist, who both exists in real time observing George (thinking that this must be Purgatory) and recounts details of life in Renaissance Ferrara and the creation of the fresco. As the second half proceeds we see growing similarities between George and the mysterious artist.

    The theme of how to be both is played with. Smith tosses up a few candidates for “both", such as sexuality, being alive or dead, past and present, made and unmade. The book is about all of these questions and the potential for ambiguity that is present in them.
    View all my reviews
     
  13. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Have just ordered it from amazon after seeing some very positive reviews. Hope it's as good as advertised...
     
  14. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Clockwise counting 09/50: C.J. Sansom - Dark Fire (2004)

    Another thick and satisfying historical crime / adventure novel. This is the second book in Sansom's series about Matthew Shardlake, a hunchbacked lawyer in 16th century Tudor England. Thomas Cromwell is surrounded by enemies, the ever more powerful Duke of Norfolk and others. He is concerned that he is starting to fall out of favour with Henry VIII and he enlists Shardlake to help him locate a terrible ancient weapon called Greek Fire or Dark Fire (petroleum based fire bombing). In an intricate political game between the leading personalities of 1540 England, a number of people start getting murdered.

    Sansom's books are exciting and intelligent with what appears to be very credible descriptions of London almost 5 centuries ago. Shardlake is a sympathetic and unusual hero and the mystery keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Really nice!
     
  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    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

    10. Collected Stories

    Peter Carey's collected works are, if anything, inconsistent. Several of the stories were fantastic - evocative, beautiful, sharp, interesting. The majority were, however, meandering, pointless, oddly written (mini chapters within a short story makes little sense, especially for stories a page and a half long).

    Not bad.
     
  16. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Was this the same as The Fat Man In History, or something else?
     
  17. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    Have good feedback on the new novel have it on the reading list for the year.
     
  18. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I used to be a Carey completist, but I’ve gone off him recently. Parrot and Olivier aside, none of his recent stuff impressed me much, and His Illegal Self was just awful. I’ve been avoiding Amnesia, as a result.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  19. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed my Life as a Fake and The Chemistry of Tears, Parrot and Oliver I tried to read but could not get into it.
     
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Chemistry of Tears was OK, but I thought it suffered from being part of a bit of a bandwagon going on then with stories about automata; it came across as less original as a result.

    My Life As a Fake goes back about 10 years now, so I don’t include that when I talk of his recent work.
     

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