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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    It's more than 5 years since I read it, but I seem to recall thinking that the characters were pretty much stereotypes, especially Sando, that Eva taking up with Pikelet was pretty unbelievable and that the whole thng was steeped in macho one-upmanship. After waiting so long for a new Winton novel, it was a big let-down.
     
  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I can see where all that comes from, oddly though stereotypical characters don't bother me too much, I've no idea why. I feel that the sex in most of Winton's novels is highly improbable (worst offender of this that I've read is definitely Dirt Music).
     
  3. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    Trivia; I ran a Writers night in a pub in Fremantle back in 86. Got Winton as a reader for one night then discussed fiction over a beer or two.
     
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    27. Trunk Music -Michael Connelly

    Bosh finds a body in the trunk of a Rolls Royce in the Hollywood Hills. The decedent visited Las Vegas often, and ultimately this takes Harry there, splitting the investigation with Los Angeles. He must tiptoe around an FBI organized crime task force to ultimately solve the case.

    He also re-connects with his love interest from the first book, and marries her.

    I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others I've read so far- too contrived.
     
  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I don't suppose you told him any stories about the two weird families living in a ramshackle house on your street?
     
    2 people like this.
  6. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll 1. The Whisperer 2. The Vanished Ones 3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia 4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant 5. The Lost Girls of Rome 6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
    7. Never Mind
    [​IMG]
    Never Mind
    by Edward St. Aubyn
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    Six obnoxious upper-class English people get together for dinner at the chateau of the Melrose's, in the South of France; on the periphery is five-year-old Patrick Melrose, the confused and cowed victim of his father's breathtaking cruelty.

    That's pretty much it. There's nothing in this novel to get excited about, and no character to really identify with. Not even Patrick, whom the author makes clear is just as much a bully as his father, given the chance.

    The Melrose novels have a huge reputation, but I doubt that I'll bother, on the evidence of this one.
    View all my reviews
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    28. Angel's Flight- Michael Connelly

    Bosh solves a case involving the slaying of a high profile civil rights attorney. Lots of other good stuff I don't want to give away.

    Much better than the last one I read.
     
  8. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Well-Known Member

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    Connely is great. Even better when you're in Los Angeles and you know all the landmarks he's talking about.

    Steve B. I've read Connely/Baldacci/Lee/Deaver and love them. Who should I read next?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Daniel Silva and Stephen Hunter. W.E.B. Griffin's Badge of Honor series for cop stuff, but IMO it's inferior to Connelly's.

    I'll have to try Deaver.

    As you know, I lived in LA for 10 years and know just enough of the landmarks to whet my appetite.
     
  10. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll 1. The Whisperer 2. The Vanished Ones 3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia 4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant 5. The Lost Girls of Rome 6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? 7. Never Mind
    8. The Vegetarian
    [​IMG]
    The Vegetarian
    by Han Kang
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Kim Yeong-hye is an unremarkable, submissive Korean housewife, until one night she has a dream and decides to turn vegetarian. Initially just an irritant, her behaviour starts to tend towards the bizarre, according to her meat-eating husband and family. The more they try to force her to conform and eat meat, the firmer her resistance becomes.

    Han Kang's book looks at Yeong-hye's nonconformism through the eyes of others; her husband, her artist brother-in-law and her older sister. None of them understand her rebellion, but each responds in a different manner.

    This book is beautifully written and Han Kang makes a virtue of Yeong-hye's taciturn recalcitrance. The three chapters are uneven - especially the last, which drags quite a bit. The middle chapter, told from the brother-in-law's point of view, I thought was the best; romantic, sexy and somewhat shocking, while getting to the heart of Yeong-hye's malaise.
    View all my reviews
     
  11. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    7 Lost Light by Michael Connelly Harry Bosch is retired from the LAPD but still is burning a light for those lost souls seeking justice, or is it revenge upon those who crossed the line. Either way its righteous vengeance for the dead and saving tax payer dollars on incarceration which appears to be the rule that Harry lives by. Solid American Noir which confuses the moral boundaries about crime and retribution as Harry encounters bent cops, the FBI, the mean streets of LA and a posse of vile money grabbing thieves who think they have outwitted justice as he seeks out the truth to a memory of murder which won't go away.

    A complex well written story with enough twists and turns which don't play out til the last pages when Harry finally puts the pieces together. I liked the reference to the restaurant in Heat where Pacino and De Niro sit and talk like to two regular guys.

    Would have liked to engage with this series in chronological order but public libraries don't work this way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  12. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Well-Known Member

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    Deaver is simliar to the original Sherlock Holmes-style. Clues are planted (which you may or may not catch), and then everything is pulled together at the end.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Try ABE books. 3.00 here shipped. I've fortunately been able to read them in succession.
     
  14. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    1. Hicksville
    2. Slaughterhouse 5
    3. Firefight
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. The Rehearsal
    6. Lagoon
    7. Solo Faces
    8. Breath
    9. The Internet is Not the Answer
    10. A Sport and a Past Time

    9. The Internet is Not the Answer

    An incredibly confrontational book that criticises the internet's disruption and the practices of many internet businesses. Taking on conventional and popular logic that the internet is a more efficient and, therefore, better future the author examines how the internet is, in many ways, worsening problems in society. He looks at how internet companies replace robust industries providing decent jobs with cushy 1%'er jobs and shitty non-unionised labour, as well as arguing that the ways that the internet effects other industries worsens the quality that those industries provide (music and photography being two such examples).

    His final chapter is about how these problems might be able to be halted, but it is hard to take such optimism seriously - after painting internet mega-corps as untrustworthy, exploitative, dangerous and selfish to the detriment of counties, communities, privacy and creativity his concluding ideas seem way too hopeful for me.

    An excellent addition to the critiques laid out in 'The Shallows'.

    10. A Sport and a Past Time

    OK, so I really liked 'Solo Faces', but this novel fell a bit flat. Suffering from a Hemmingway-esque severity, it was hard for me to really engage with the characters or the narrative - without any commentary on their feeling, aspirations, thoughts, etc, I find books really repetitive and difficult to engage with. I find my eyes glazing over and pages moving slowly.

    The blurb compares this novel to Lolita - and certainly there's some merit there: it's erotic, involves driving endlessly, and also is about a relationship that moves between versions of one-sidedness. But it lacks Nabokov's prose, and the essential human elements provided by Humbert's narration.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Loved The Shallows, although I was a bit embarrassed reading it on my phone. I should seek this out.
     
  16. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    8 The DROP by Michael Connelly Harry Bosch is back on the job dealing with a cold case whose DNA has raised problems, then is handed a political hand grenade in the form of a suicide of Councilman's bagman fixer son by the top brass, or is it murder?

    And throw in a pedophile dealt prison justice who is linked to a sick twisted serial killer to keep it interesting. Just another day at the office where greed corruption and murder collide on the mean streets of LA. Fast paced American Noir of the highest caliber.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    29. West of Dodge Louis L'Amour

    A collection of Western short stories. Published posthumously. Most of these were really short, and just as I started to get into a story, it ended.

    I wouldn't recommend it.
     
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    30. The Man Called Noon Louis L'Amour

    A man is struck by a bullet to the head in a failed assassination attempt, and acquires amnesia. He spends the rest of the book figuring out who he is and foiling various and sundry plots. He finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and gets the girl.

    I really enjoyed this one.
     
  19. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    9 The Black Box by Michael Connelly Harry Bosch is haunted by an obligation to the victims whose murder he was never able to solve. This novel is focused upon the case of Snow White whose murder occurred during the 1992 LA riots. A tale of intrigue, politics, family life and Harry's individual interpretation of justice. Great American Noir by a master of the genre.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    31. Utah Blaine Louis L' Amour

    Interesting plot line and set of circumstances. The book opens with the lynching of a rancher by his foreman and a group of rapacious vigilantes. Blaine happens to be hidden close to the scene by chance, and is able to cut the rancher down and save his life. Utah then goes on to wage a one man war eliminating the perpetrators. He is successful, and wins the girl in the process.

    Really liked this one. Highly recommended,

    L'Amour's books from the 50s and 60s are my favorites (1954 in this case).
     

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