1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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
    [​IMG]
    Levels of Life
    by Julian Barnes
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Levels of Life is a series of three connected essays that Julian Barnes wrote in memory of his wife. He first looks at life above the ground, writing about the dawn of the aeronautical age and its impact on human technology and philosophy. Then he segues to life on the ground and discusses love and its potential disappointments, using an Englishman’s courtship of Sarah Bernhardt as his exemplar. Finally he moves to the real point of this book: life below the ground, what happens after the death of a loved one. While the first half of this book is interesting and chatty, it does not prepare you for the second, where the author changes gear. Barnes writes a compelling and moving treatise on grief, as he experienced it. It is full of wisdom and deep feeling. Very much worth reading.
    View all my reviews
     
  2. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    

    I’ve read a fair bit of Moorcock. Years ago I tackled the Eternal Champion series, but only got about halfway through. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I might look for that one.

    Have you read Pullman’s book The Scoundrel Christ? That’s on the remainder tables these days, and might be worth a look.
     
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    
    I liked that one too. Barnes is almost always very very good.
     
  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    

    No did consider it as i read some very good reviews at the time of its release, it provoked a bit of controversy in some circles but was other wise engaged so didn't pick it up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  5. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 16/50: Anthony Quinn - Curtain Call (2015)

    Very nice novel about some interesting characters in London 1936. We follow an elderly homosexual well known theatre critic, his loyal secretary, a successful portrait painter, an escort lady and a stage actress. These people's lives intertwine as a serial killer terrorises the city. The novel reminded me of Sarah Waters historical novels and the characters gave me a Somerset Maughamesque feeling.
     
  6. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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

    16. Sabriel

    Great YA fantasy. Massive guilty pleasure and nostalgia trip. Necromancer that controls the dead with music. Pretty baller.

    17. Hitler's Daughter

    Had to read this for school. Kids milling at a bus stop tell stories to pass the time. One morning a girl starts telling a story about a fictional daughter of Hitler, which prompts the main character the ask a lot of questions, think a lot about the nature of story telling and generally get sucked in.
     
  7. Fueco

    Fueco Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,793
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Where The Buffaloes Roam
    Up to number three, with two more which will be finished in the next few days... I got kind of a late start after not reading much in January.

    Sorry, all non-fiction so far this year...

    1. The Race Within: Passion, Courage and Sacrifice At The Ultraman Triathlon (Jim Gourley, 2015) -I'm biased towards this book because I'm mentioned in it, and I know the author. It's a pretty solid glimpse into the world of ultra distance triathlon...

    2. Wild! -Cheryl Strayed -Yeah, it's an Oprah book club selection, and is clearly aimed at women, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It probably helps that I've visited a number of the places she mentions in the books and can vividly imagine a lot of the scenes. I haven't seen the movie yet...

    3. Let My People Go Surfing -Yvon Chouinard. I finally got around to reading the business/responsible living manifesto by one of my climbing heroes. It didn't disappoint.



    I'm currently working my way through the following books:

    A Fighting Chance -Elizabeth Warren
    True Fit: A Collected History Of Denim
    Lord Jim: Joseph Conrad
    Unsurpassed: The Story Of Tommy Goodwin, The World's Greatest Distance Cyclist -Godfrey Barlow
     
  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    

    If you haven't read this I would highly recommend it The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    

    I read that one. I thought it was a more worthy Man Booker winner than The Luminaries.
     
  10. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    

    The crucification in that was the most physically brutal interpretation I have ever read, while on JC Quarantine by Jim Crace is worth reading if you haven't read it.

    Also The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago.

    All that said on JC the Faust story and theme is one of my personal fictional favourites in both books and film.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  11. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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
    [​IMG]
    The Seventh Day: A Novel
    by Yu Hua
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    It was quite interesting to read The Seventh Day immediately after finishing Julian Barnes’ treatise on grief in Levels of Life. Yu Hua covers somewhat similar philosophical ground, albeit in the form of a novel.

    At the start of the book, Yang Fei has died and visits the funeral parlour of the after-life. As an orphan, he has nobody to mourn him or pay for his burial, so his fate is to wander the spirit world. As he does so, he encounters people from his past, and learns more about his death, what the after-life is like and a greater understanding of his corporeal life. We learn about the lives of the people he meets in the after-life as well, notably the pretty suicide Mouse Girl.

    This is a beautifully-written book with a gentle narrative, but not without some wit and humour. The story of the game-playing skeletons Li and Zhang was quite funny as were some of Yu’s dry observations on modern China.

    At times the book is a little overly sentimental, but overall it is a moving and thoughtful fable about grief, loss and the great equaliser that is death.


    View all my reviews
     
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    
    There’s always this one: :) [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  13. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    42 Absent Without Leave The Private War of Private Stanley Livingston by Paul Livingston A memoir of his fathers military service which combines historical fact probability and Mr Livingston's unique humour. Highly entertaining and funny in equal parts.
     
  14. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    

    I’ve bought that one, and it’s on my list. Imagine Flacco coming out with a war memoir.
     
  15. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 17/50: Ben Lerner - 10:04 (2014)

    This is a funny, intellectual, New York art novel. Partly wonderfully written but as a complete work of art ultimately flawed and, considering some of its rave reviews, disappointing. It's an autobiographical post-modern Philip Roth-style novel about a neurotic novelist and his friends, girlfriends and acquaintances. I laughed at some brilliant passages but yawned through most of the book. And the randomly inserted poetry was not pleasant.
     
  16. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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


    18. Quack this Way

    This is an interview between David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner. It is basically two authors (albeit from very different backgrounds - DFW nonfiction essays and fictional writing, BG from a legal and linguistic POV) talking about writing, language, words and how we think through the language that we use. It is candid, to the point, eloquent and informative. I really, really, really enjoyed this short read. It's something I wish I taught in schools as there is so much excellent information and genuine engagement in such a short amount of time.

    DFW maintains his characteristic 'nice guy intellectual' personality, and even when criticising a movement, usage or trend manages to be polite and informative. Bryan Garner is a great interviewer, who asks good questions and genuinely loves who he is speaking to. His introduction was obviously very heartfelt.
     
  17. EnglishGent

    EnglishGent Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    629
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere in my own mind
    Work and family have slowed me down recently, however:

    6/50 Fall of Giants - Ken Follett
    Nothing amazing, but a good story of interlinked families upto and during World War 1
    7/50 Winter of the World - Ken Follett
    Inter war years sand through World War 2, a little edgier but still fairly tame
    8/50 A Most Wanted Man - John Le Carre
    Not as good as his Cold War stories, but an enjoyable read
    9/50 The Son - Phillip Meyer
    I almost forgot to add this. Appreciate the recommendation Clockwise, was definitely a a step above American Rust

    Working my way through The Kills - Richard House, so far so good
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  18. Fueco

    Fueco Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,793
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Where The Buffaloes Roam
    Just finished #4... And my second this week. I'l catch up. [​IMG]

    Sorry, all non-fiction so far this year...

    1. The Race Within: Passion, Courage and Sacrifice At The Ultraman Triathlon (Jim Gourley, 2015) -I'm biased towards this book because I'm mentioned in it, and I know the author. It's a pretty solid glimpse into the world of ultra distance triathlon...

    2. Wild! -Cheryl Strayed -Yeah, it's an Oprah book club selection, and is clearly aimed at women, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It probably helps that I've visited a number of the places she mentions in the books and can vividly imagine a lot of the scenes. I haven't seen the movie yet...

    3. Let My People Go Surfing -Yvon Chouinard. I finally got around to reading the business/responsible living manifesto by one of my climbing heroes. It didn't disappoint.

    4. Unsurpassed: The Story Of Tommy Goodwin, The World's Greatest Distance Cyclist -Godfrey Barlow


    I'm currently working my way through the following books:

    A Fighting Chance -Elizabeth Warren
    True Fit: A Collected History Of Denim
    Lord Jim: Joseph Conrad
     
  19. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 I feel a bit of a fraud counting a children’s book, even if it is more than 100 pages. Still, they don’t all have to be The Luminaries, do they?
    [​IMG]
    Fortunately, the Milk
    by Neil Gaiman
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Fortunately the Milk is a tall story for children. Two children left at home with their dad need milk for breakfast. Dad goes to get some and takes ages. When he gets back he spins a wild imaginative tale explaining where he’s been.

    The story is chock-full of elements that will appeal to children: aliens, pirates, dinosaurs, vampires, the lot. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are perfect - very much in the style of Robert McCloskey or Dr Seuss. Gaiman has come up with yet another winner, perfect for young readers or for reading to children.
    View all my reviews
     
  20. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,991
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    41 Vivid Faces The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923 by R.F.Foster
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by