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. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,993
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    

    The life of a freelancer/contractor under the current government ensures I have time to read.:censored::censored: and I split my reading into two steams one for daylight hours and nighttime which is about half an hourt before sleep.

    Also do not read The Fountainhead its bad for your mental health.:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife
    15 Consider Phlebas
    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns
    19. The Windup Girl
    20. Fire Colour One
    21. The Player of Games
    22. The Buddha of Suburbia
    23. Prince of Thorns
    24. King of Thorns
    25. Emperor of Thorns
    26. Oryx and Crake
    27. Use of Weapons
    28. The long way to a small angry planet
    29. Heart goes last
    30. Generation A
    31. The Medium is the Message
    32. Them
    33. The psychopath test
    34. Essentialism
    35. Signs at the End of the World
    36. The Wasp Factory
    37. Sapiens
    38. Lost Spaces
    39. What Money Can't Buy
    40. Seveneves
    41. Flowers for Algernon
    42. A Crown of Cold Silver
    43. Central Station
    44. Why People Photograph
    45. The Wheel of Oshiem
    46. Red Rising
    47. Golden Son
    48. Morning Star
    49. The Meat Tree
    50. The True History of the Kelly Gang


    50. The True History of the Kelly Gang

    So 2 weeks of reading this book have left me a little bit confused. For those of you who have read it (presumably GF and CD) you might have had a very different experience from me.

    Basically this is a fictionalised biography of Ned Kelly - an Australian bushranger who remains a controversial figure seen as both a man with integrity who fought against institutional cruelty and harshness, or someone who was basically little more than a criminal with a sense of style. In any case this novel does little to elaborate on either side of how Australians view Kelly today.

    I found the novel hard to read. It's written as if an uneducated bushranger wrote it (well, sort of) and is devoid of much punctuation and grammar. While other novels that feature this absence, like The Road for example, I've found fine enough this one I really struggled to follow at times. Parts of the narrative didn't make much sense (like where 2 of the 4 members of the gang came from and why they were there) and key points of Ned Kelly's rise and fall weren't really examined - which is odd. For example the Fitzpatrick moment happened and for such a momentous part of the story it was left hanging. Perhaps this is the author's choice to try to retain some mystery in Kelly's life, but it seems odd to spend so many pages writing about these events and keep the creativity out of one of the most important events.

    I didn't love this book, I don't even know if I'd say I liked it. There were parts or sections I really enjoyed, but a lot of it I found hard to keep a hold of.
     
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    
    Happy 50th!
     
  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,993
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    Matt

    Congratulations on the 50th.

    I've never read that Carey book. Ever read Bliss?
     
  5. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I don't think so - I read 2-3 Carey books in 2014 and, apart from Strange in Japan, I can't remember which ones they were (just whatever was kicking around in the library in Warrnambool).
     
  6. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Glenn Greenwald is a great writer so far.
     
  7. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Matt, I noticed that Harari has just published a kind of follow-up to Sapiens called Homo Deus, which looks at the future of humankind.

    I've read Carey's Kelly book. I think he did pretty well to take the only surviving example of how Kelly expressed himself - the Jerilderie letter - and extend that to a book written in the voice of an historical figure. The proof is that when he gets to the writing the letter, it blends in seamlessly with the novel's voice. The story, of course, is one that all Australians are familiar with, so there were few plot surprises. In the end it came across as a successful technical exercise in capturing a character, and little more.
     
  8. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Congrats to Matt and GF on getting to 50. I need to work harder at it; not far away now.
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act 14. Crimea: The Last Crusade 15. Misterioso 16. The Lost Sailors 17. Black Run 18. The Natural Way of Things 19. Piano Lessons 20. Pedigree 21. Sing Fox To Me 22. Mister Roberts 23. Talking To My Country 24. The Bricks That Built the Houses 25. Oblivion 26. The Sixth Extinction 27. The Cruel Stars of the Night 28. Normal 29. The Shepherd's Crown 30. Vixen 31. The Heart Goes Last 32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War 33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 34. Fever of Animals 35. Our Souls at Night 36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West 37. She Will Build Him a City 38. Quota 39. The Secret Chord 40. Beast 41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. ** 42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson **** 43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump *** 44. Gold Fame Citrus 45. The Rules of Backyard Cricket
    46. The Association of Small Bombs
    [​IMG]
    The Association of Small Bombs
    by Karan Mahajan
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Three boys visit a Delhi market. A bomb planted by Muslim activists goes off, and two of the boys - Hindus - are killed. The third boy Mansoor, a Muslim, survives.

    Mahajan explores the aftermath of the bombing, knitting together a plot that spans the subsequent decades by looking at the impact on the victims' family, the survivor and his family and the terrorists. There is no attempt to define heroes and villains here; all are fallible humans whose experience is blighted by this single event.

    A thoughtful and sensitive book.
    View all my reviews
     
  10. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    That sounds likea really worthwhile read.

    And I am actually reading the Homo Deus book at the moment!

    Thanks for adding to the Kelly stuff, I must admit Kelly's story/letter are definitely not familiar to me (whoops) so I'm a babe in the woods with this stuff.
     
  11. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,993
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    52 The Museum Of Modern Love by Heather Rose This is one of the most engaging, stimulating and intellectually observant books I have read in a long time. Its a joy to read. The narrative is focused on the 'The Artist is Present' at MoMa by the performance artist Marina Abramovic in 2010. For seventy five days she sat and silently engaged people who came and sat with her. It intertwines the lives and observations of audience members with the event and how Abramovic affects their lives either directly by sitting of simply watching as the performance unfolds.

    Her performance is the fulcrum upon the other events of the narrative focus and move it forward. It provides a richness of human observation seen through the eyes of its principal characters. Its also interesting how the author has used other principal and peripheral actors to provide insight into Abramovic's method and aims as an artist. I found it moving on a number of levels as its multilayered narrative examines the event from the complexities of life which the central observer is entangled in. As a book about an art event it works principally by providing a perspective on how individuals lives were/are affected by art. Highly recommended.

    I have seen a number of Abramovic performances in Sydney during the last couple of years which were engaging and creatively stimulating on a number of artistic and personal levels. Recently a storm broke out over comments Abramovic wrote back in 1979 in her journal about Australia's first people and were to be published in a memoir. Public outcry has seen the section pulled but it raises a number of uncomfortable questions about Abramovic and her failure to public apologise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act 14. Crimea: The Last Crusade 15. Misterioso 16. The Lost Sailors 17. Black Run 18. The Natural Way of Things 19. Piano Lessons 20. Pedigree 21. Sing Fox To Me 22. Mister Roberts 23. Talking To My Country 24. The Bricks That Built the Houses 25. Oblivion 26. The Sixth Extinction 27. The Cruel Stars of the Night 28. Normal 29. The Shepherd's Crown 30. Vixen 31. The Heart Goes Last 32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War 33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 34. Fever of Animals 35. Our Souls at Night 36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West 37. She Will Build Him a City 38. Quota 39. The Secret Chord 40. Beast 41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. ** 42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson **** 43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump *** 44. Gold Fame Citrus 45. The Rules of Backyard Cricket 46. The Association of Small Bombs
    47. Moonstone: the boy who never was
    [​IMG]
    Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was
    by Sjón
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Mani Steinn ("Moonstone") is a rent boy living in Reykjavik in 1918. The war is ending, Iceland is creeping towards independence from Denmark and the Spanish flu is sweeping the town. The orphaned Mani lives with an old woman and, when not plying his trade, pursues his twin obsessions of cinema and the enigmatic girl Sola G.

    This book is a bit of a departure for Sjon, whose previous novellas have had more of an air of fable and magic about them than this one. Moonstone is not without those elements but it is more candid and confronting than previous Sjon works that I've read. I'd say I enjoyed this the least of any Sjon work so far, although I would still continue to read him.
    View all my reviews
     
  13. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    
    Interesting notification today ... [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Has anyone read anything by Edward Luttwak?
     
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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

    New author to me. What's his genre?
     
  16. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,774
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    He writes about ancient warfare and modern international relations and conflict.

    Back in the 1970s or 1980s, Luttwak wrote a book about Roman military organisation and fortification that was a bit controversial and which attracted quite a bit of discussion. He's also written quite a lot about the situation in the Middle East and South Asia over the past few decades, but he's not really taken that seriously as an international relations scholar.
     
  17. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act 14. Crimea: The Last Crusade 15. Misterioso 16. The Lost Sailors 17. Black Run 18. The Natural Way of Things 19. Piano Lessons 20. Pedigree 21. Sing Fox To Me 22. Mister Roberts 23. Talking To My Country 24. The Bricks That Built the Houses 25. Oblivion 26. The Sixth Extinction 27. The Cruel Stars of the Night 28. Normal 29. The Shepherd's Crown 30. Vixen 31. The Heart Goes Last 32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War 33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 34. Fever of Animals 35. Our Souls at Night 36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West 37. She Will Build Him a City 38. Quota 39. The Secret Chord 40. Beast 41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. ** 42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson **** 43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump *** 44. Gold Fame Citrus 45. The Rules of Backyard Cricket 46. The Association of Small Bombs 47. Moonstone: the boy who never was
    48. Grant & I
    [​IMG]
    Grant & I
    by Robert Forster
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Robert Forster's account of the career of great Australian indie band the Go-Betweens is at different times witty, heart-warming and, ultimately, sad. There are revelations here, such as the deep acrimony that the band broke up in, and the sickness that afflicted both leads in the band's final years. This is an excellent rock-and-rolll story, with the quirky erudition of its flamboyant author shining through. There are times when Forster's self-regard becomes a bit much, but this is still a great read and an affectionate account of one of Australia's most under-appreciated bands.
    View all my reviews
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  18. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife
    15 Consider Phlebas
    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns
    19. The Windup Girl
    20. Fire Colour One
    21. The Player of Games
    22. The Buddha of Suburbia
    23. Prince of Thorns
    24. King of Thorns
    25. Emperor of Thorns
    26. Oryx and Crake
    27. Use of Weapons
    28. The long way to a small angry planet
    29. Heart goes last
    30. Generation A
    31. The Medium is the Message
    32. Them
    33. The psychopath test
    34. Essentialism
    35. Signs at the End of the World
    36. The Wasp Factory
    37. Sapiens
    38. Lost Spaces
    39. What Money Can't Buy
    40. Seveneves
    41. Flowers for Algernon
    42. A Crown of Cold Silver
    43. Central Station
    44. Why People Photograph
    45. The Wheel of Oshiem
    46. Red Rising
    47. Golden Son
    48. Morning Star
    49. The Meat Tree
    50. The True History of the Kelly Gang
    51. Homo Deus
    52. The Revenant


    51. Homo Deus

    So It's no secret here that I really enjoyed Sapiens - which was a short history of human kind up until the present. In this next book the same author writes about some directions that the future could take the human species.

    The book can be boiled down to three questions - and let's see if I can remember exactly what they are:
    1. Are humans essentially just a series of algorithms as current biological dogma would have it?
    2. Can intelligence be uncoupled from consciousness or are they mutually inclusive?
    3. Is data generation and processing the next big religion/myth/narrative that will guide and change human interaction and behaviour

    I might have those slightly wrong - sorry. The book is filled with so many insights and a lot of great information. At times it's quite pessimistic, and the author is constantly able to justify this pessimism. Certainly it's hard not to feel pessimistic about the future. Yet at the same time he reminds us that what makes our age unique is pace. In the 1300s a person could pretty much predict life in the 1400s - there might be some minor changes, but more or less peasants worked, lords lorded, wars raged and priests preached. Now it's impossible to say even what 2030 will look like.

    Not as interesting as Sapiens, but I think that comes from the difference between basically re-telling a bunch of interesting stories and information compared with speculation.

    52. The Revenant

    From one extreme to another. The Revenant is the PERFECT airport book. I smashed this is a train and plane journey and loved it. It's a simple story of revenge with the right number of characters, the right amount of struggle, and the right depth.

    I'm now kind of interested in the fur trapping era of the US West. Rippa read.
     
  19. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    70. The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, v.5 Frontier Stories

    Pleasant read; very few from other collections.

    1 book to go...
     
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act 14. Crimea: The Last Crusade 15. Misterioso 16. The Lost Sailors 17. Black Run 18. The Natural Way of Things 19. Piano Lessons 20. Pedigree 21. Sing Fox To Me 22. Mister Roberts 23. Talking To My Country 24. The Bricks That Built the Houses 25. Oblivion 26. The Sixth Extinction 27. The Cruel Stars of the Night 28. Normal 29. The Shepherd's Crown 30. Vixen 31. The Heart Goes Last 32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War 33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 34. Fever of Animals 35. Our Souls at Night 36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West 37. She Will Build Him a City 38. Quota 39. The Secret Chord 40. Beast 41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. ** 42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson **** 43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump *** 44. Gold Fame Citrus 45. The Rules of Backyard Cricket 46. The Association of Small Bombs 47. Moonstone: the boy who never was 48. Grant & I
    49. The Wallcreeper
    [​IMG]
    The Wallcreeper
    by Nell Zink
    My rating: 1 of 5 stars

    Tiffany and Stephen are American birdwatchers living in Berne, where Stephen is some kind of researcher. At the start of the novel, there is an accident and Tiffany loses a baby. A wallcreeper is hurt in the accident, and they take it back home with them.

    And that's pretty much all we hear about the wallcreeper. It drops from sight soon enough, which makes one wonder at the title.

    The two seem to have an open marriage, and Tiffany engages in desultory sex with a variety of uninspiring partners. Zink can't write a sex scene to save her life, so this might not have been a wise plot element for her to go with. The two of them get involved in environmental protests for obscure and unconvincing reasons, and the actions they choose to take are, frankly, ridiculous. The ending is manipulative and contrived.

    This book really is terrible.
    View all my reviews
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by