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. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Depends if you're going for quality or quantity.

    3 of the last 5 list books I picked up were awful (Pastoralia, Emigrants, and Everything is Illuminated). If they don't grab me in 30-40 pgs I turn them back in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Everything is Illuminated was fucking awful.

    So bad.
     
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    

    Haven't read it. Will save til last. Too busy with work here, I am afraid of slowing down. Had planned to keep a pace of 10 per month this year.

    Your pace is still furious Steve, I thought you would also slow down after starting a new job? Or is the job allowing you to read a lot while working, Head of Vigilant Monitoring of nuclear power station control room?
     
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Haven't started it yet. :(

    My employer needs a signed contract and they haven't gotten it.

    So I read. And read.

    There's a 2950 and a 3400 page book on the 2012 list. I plan on reading THEM last.

    I don't have much attention span past 500 pages. Learned that with War and Peace.

    60. Deliver us From Evil David Baldacci 2010.

    Ick. That is all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  5. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    24. A Scanner Darkly

    Phillip K Dick is a writer that I find, often, a bit overblown. While DO Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is amazing, and still one of the most intruiging and beautiful books I've read, very little else of his has ever really excited me. Man in a High Castle was pretty poorly dated, and A Scanner Darkly was severely disappointing.

    A very incoherent story that doesn't really seem to head anywhere (meandering pointlessly and boringly through about only 4 locations) there are no major revelations, nor are any of the complications brought on by the main character's use/abuse of drugs particularly exciting or engaging. The author notes that this is a book about nothing, and I think that such a statement says it all: there isn't really anything in this book - it's not Sci-Fi'y enough to be interesting in that respect, not really introspective enough to create introspection in readers, not really overt enough to encourage interest in drug culture, or the pretty substantial anti-government slant.

    It's a bland mess of ideas lumped together joylessly.
     
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 40/50: Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day (1989)

    Booker prize winner 1989 and maybe regarded as Ishiguro's finest work. The story is the reminiscences of Mr Stevens, the elderly butler of a grand English mansion, Darlington Hall. In the 1950s, the English aristocracy can no longer afford to keep their lavish living standard with full sets of servants and the changed life conditions have had a profound impact on Stevens and his dignity. The novel's main themes are manners, dignity and suppressed love. There is also a political undertone as the extreme rightist views of some parts of the aristocracy was hopelessly out of touch with the social realities of the time.

    I see many parallels and similarities between this novel and Ishiguro's earlier An Artist of the Floating World. Both are very good but between the two I may slightly prefer An Artist. One more to tick off from the List.
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    61. Sula Toni Morrison 1982

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    Pulitzer Prize winner. Story of two young black women coming of age in the 20s and 30s. A study in contrasts- one stays in town and bears children. The other leaves for 10 years, then returns to shake up the small town. She steals her friend's husband just to do it, and beds every other man in town that she can. The one man she grows to love leaves her.

    Rich prose; well written. A good read- but if you've read one book by Toni Morrison, you've read them all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  8. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 41/50: Paul Auster - Winter Journal (2012)

    64-year old New Yorker Auster writes another autobiographical book with a focus on body and aging. He is a good writer and parts of this book is enjoyable and interesting reading but much of it appears to be a bit too personal and with little interest as either literature or gossip. We get long lists of events in Auster's life such as complete descriptions of 21 flats and houses he has lived in from the time of his birth until the present day. Some of that stuff becomes boring. The good parts are instead in the small stories that describe his various family relationships, good and bad.
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    62. Cain Jose Saramago 2011

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    A satire of the Old Testament from Cain's point of view. I especially enjoyed the book because I was brought up in a "God -fearing" family and used to think the Bible was true in the literal sense. The book reminded me of how ridiculous the whole thing is and was. (Hope I'm not offending anyone).

    Read It- it's great.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    63. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 1963 Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    Chronicles a day in the life of a prisoner in a work camp in Siberia in 1951. Not as depressing as one might expect.

    I wouldn't read it unless you are ball-and-chained to [COLOR=FF00AA]The List[/COLOR].
     
  11. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,672
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    Knee deep in curds
    

    That was assigned to us in 7th grade... goes without saying it was a step up from Chronicles of Narnia.
     
  12. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 42/50: Philip Roth - The Anatomy Lesson (1983)

    The third instalment in Roth's series of books about acclaimed but deeply troubled Jewish author Nathan Zuckerman.  This continues in the funny and intelligent vein of tragicomedy that the earlier Zuckerman Unbound already launched. In this book Zuckerman suffers from an undiagnosed but terrible "chronic pain" for the past 18 months. A string of girlfriends take care of his needs (food and sex) on a play mat on the floor of his apartment. In addition he is developing a habit of painkillers and tranquilizers washed down with vodka or Dom Perignon. As the story unfolds, Zuckerman gets increasingly unhinged and eager to turn his back on literary fame. Roth's writing is brilliant!
     
  13. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,408
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong via Gothenburg
    Clockwise counting 43/50: Philip Roth - The Prague Orgy (1985)

    A short "epilogue" style novella to follow the Zuckerman trilogy, The Prague Orgy finds Nathan Zuckerman in 1970s paranoia-inducing communist Prague in search for the lost stories of a Yiddish writer. This is not the same Zuckerman as in the previous novels and it is only by name we recognise that this is the same protagonist. It is a satirical story with a political touch and of course a heavy dose of Roth's typical dark humor.

    Good but much less so than the preceding Zuckerman trilogy. On to heavier stuff.
     
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    I went to a very conservative private school. I would never have had that as a reading assignment. We had The Hobbit, then an entire class in LOTR in 8th grade. Which somehow I managed to avoid.

    CW- you're getting very, very close.

    Thank you for your advice on The List. Figure I can get at least 60 more by year's end if I don't read anything else.

    My goal for the year is 120.
     
  15. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    64. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 1962 Ken Kesey

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    Story of life in a mental hospital as seen through the eyes of the Chief, a rather large half Indian who pretends to be deaf and dumb until near the end of the book. The main characters are Randle McMurphy the reprobate and Ms. Ratched the nazi nurse. Battle rages between them until a final night of debauchery that results in drastic changes.

    I really liked the book but kept trying to compare it to the parts of the movie that I remembered. Which is why I try to read the book before the movie.

    And I will now rent or buy the movie. IIRC it won Best Picture in '75?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  16. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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

    That review could do with a spoiler warning, JIC.

    One Flew Over is one of the few novels I've read multiple times. The first time was for college, but then a few more times for fun. Another I've read repeatedly is Catch-22.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2013
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Good point. I will edit. Everyone reads spoiler though.

    The only books I've re-read are sci-fi.

    I especially like the director's cut of Stranger in a Strange Land.
     
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    65. The Bluest Eye 1970 Toni Morrison

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    Morrison's usual fare- relating the experience of being a black woman in America. This book focused on children, and I found it much more appealing than the other two books I've read. This was her first book, and IMO the others weren't nearly as good. Even Sula, which won her the Pulitzer Prize.

    A great read.
     
  19. aKula

    aKula Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Le Côté de Guermantes
    8. Kassandra - Christa Wolf

    King Priam's daughter Kassandra, a priestress of Troy, is captive outside the gates of Mycanae. As she awaits her execution, she recalls the story of her life in Troy, the relations within the ruling family, and the political decisions which led to war and eventual defeat. As the war progresses, her unwillingness to adhere to the official doctrine of the powerholders and to believe their propaganda leads to an alienation with her father, and her eventual ostracism. Shortly before the end of the war she finds some solace with a matriarchal community living near the city.

    Took me a while to read this, I was busy with my work and I also had to get used to reading German again.
     
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I'd been wondering where you'd gotten to Akula. I think you ought to be getting degree of difficulty bomus points.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by