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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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    Do you ever read mysteries, bestsellers, lighter fare, Akula? And... does your name mean shark?
     
  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    25. The Well of Ascension

    Ripper read. I know I said I had a fantasy overload, but whatever, these came in from my brother and I thought I'd get through them.

    Great writing, but dragged a bit at the end (like the first in the series). Sanderson seems to build the story towards a logic climax, and then have a second climax beyond the end that seems to be, almost, rushed or unnecessary. Masterful use of character, narration and mechanics. Dialogue is a little weak, but doesn't hold the book back.

    On track to get 60 books in by the end of the year :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    18. Midwinter Sacrifice, by Mons Kallentoft (2011)

    Midwinter Sacrifice is the first of a series of books featuring detective Malin Fors, set in the freezing environs of Linkoping, Sweden. Fors is investigating the case of a man found dead, hanging from a tree in the forest. In the process she tangles with a local family of outsiders whose daughter was raped and murdered, potentially by the victim.

    As with all Scandinavian detectives, Malin's home life is portrayed as a mess. She is separated from her husband, and her 13 year old daughter is blossoming into womanhood, something Malin is not ready for.

    A strength of this novel is Kallentoft's description of the bleakness of the Swedish countryside in mid-winter. But the similarities between Malin and The Killing's Sarah Lund are unmistakeable, and that doesn't help the book. The plot is slow to develop and gets pretty clumsy towards the end. I thought Kallentoft's practice of inserting commentary by the victim from betond the grave did nothing for the book either. On the whole, this is a mostly unexceptional Scandinavian crime novel. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    66. The Sun Also Rises 1926 Ernest Hemingway

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    A writer and his buddies (one female) travel around Spain and France. They drink. They watch the bull fights. They drink. Did I mention they drink?

    Don't read it.
     
  5. aKula

    aKula Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting how divisive Hemingway is, I absolutely loved Fiesta (the sun also rises), definitely one of his best books in my opinion.


    I read for entertainment but I generally don't find lighter fare entertaining (modulo an occasional eccentric "non-literary" choice). And yes akula means shark in russian, it's an old alias from when I played computer games.


    Thanks for the encouragement, though I think I generally read slower than the others posting in this thread, I quite enjoy posting here even though I won't get to fifty.
     
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Same here. The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and the short stories are all masterpieces. Some of my all time favourites. More questionable are For Whom The Bell Tolls, Old Man and the Sea, To Have and Have Not etc.
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Liked.

    Haven't read the others, but will read a Farewell to Arms as it's one of the 1001.
     
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    Dug OMATS

    Didn't really get into A Farewell to Arms.

    Haven't read any others. I think I tried to read For Whom the Bell Tolls once, though?
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Had that shoved down my throat at school. Maybe that's why I hated it.
     
  10. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    School put me off a lot of good literature too. Luckily never was force-fed Hemingway so could discover him on my own.

    Farewell to Arms requires slower reading in my view. And the Sun Also Rises is in many ways more immediate and easier to understand. I found For Whom the Bell Tolls brilliant in parts but weak as a whole and overlong. I have basically read everything Hemingway ever wrote. I was a big fan when I was young.
     
  11. javyn

    javyn Well-Known Member

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    Same here...I think. Not sure if school ruined Dickens for me, or if Dickens ruined Dickens because he sucked.
     
  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    I liked For Whom the Bell Tolls and the Old Man and the Sea.

    IMO The Sun also Rises is vacuous in comparison.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Not all Dickens sucks. The two I've read so far A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities were pretty good. I've avoided the others so far because they are long. The only long I like is my trunk.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  14. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I've read all of his novels. Some definitely sucked (e.g. Oliver Twist, Curiosity Shop, Dombey and Son, Barnaby Rudge) but I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the lesser-known ones such as Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend. I don't count Edwin Drood.

    A key thing to remember is that Dickens published as a magazine serial, so his construction differed from our expectations of a novel. It's sometimes worth following that approach - putting the book down at the end of an instalment and picking it up after a break of a few days.
     
  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    I really like Oliver Twist.

    Couldn't stand Tale of Two Cities, though. David Copperfield can fuck off too!
     
  16. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I'm your mirror image there Matt.

    I hated Oliver Twist because:

    1. The overt racism in the description of Fagin was totally off-putting, even after making allowances for the times
    2. The second half of the book dealing with the pursuit of Fagin was extremely tedious

    And how can you knock a book with a line like "it's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before, and a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known". Gold.
     
  17. javyn

    javyn Well-Known Member

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    My Expectations of Dickens are no longer that Great.
     
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    67. The 13 Clocks 1957 James Thurber

    I probably wouldn't have read this if it wasn't on [COLOR=FF00AA]THE LIST[/COLOR].

    It was whimsical, humorous, and great if you're in 5th grade.
     
  19. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    Probably because I couldn't past the first 10 pages without dying.

    I'm pretty resilient, but TOTC tests me.
     
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    68. Platero and I 1957 Juan Ramon Jimenez

    I also wouldn't have read this if it hadn't been on [COLOR=FF00AA][COLOR=FF00AA]THE LIST.[/COLOR][/COLOR]

    It's about a guy who talks to a donkey in Spain. I'm not sure if the donkey exists, or if he's like Jimmy Stewart's Harvey.

    But the book was poignant and insightful.

    A good read, but I'd say at the 7th- 9th grade level.
     

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