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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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  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    The last 10 or so I've selected from the infamous list have been duds. So I read what entertains me. I can still get in at least 20 at 100 and 30 at 125.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Well-Known Member

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    There are still a few of the 90's reprints on the US Amazon for around $15 or so; if they won't ship to Australia, I could just mail you my copy. (I lucked out recently and found a whole collection of her original hardbacks). It's a good edition, acid-free paper or whatever so the pages don't turn yellow. (My copy is unfortunately dog-eared on just about every page and may also feature the occasional Holy shit! scrawled in the margin....)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks noob but more searching has turned up copies in local libraries here in Oz however I have to talk to a librarian to work out how to get my hands on a copy to borrow.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Now reading that mamooth 2013 Booker Prize winner, Luminaries, written by Eleanore Catton, a young female New Zealand author (in her 20s). 800+ pages about gold digging and whoring in the 1860s. I am approaching 1/3. Very entertaining indeed and stylish writing.... but can this really be the best English language novel of 2013? I find it strange it got the Booker Prize but never mind, it's a good read. Unfortunately too lengthy for the efficiency targets of this thread.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  6. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    20 Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason

    19 Black Skies by Arnaldur Indridason

    An unusual departure in terms of storyline with these two books Inspector Erlendur has gone East and plays no part in the story. Its gives voice to the two supporting Detectives and as they as they have been fleshed out in previous novels it works quite well.The stories as ever are first rate. Found them both enjoyable now starting

    18 Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    1. All Tomorrow's Parties
    2. Undivided: Part 3
    3. High Fidelity
    4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
    5. Polysyllabic Spree
    6. Armageddon in Retrospect
    7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
    8. What we talk about when we talk about love
    9. Norweigan Wood
    10. The Master and Margherita
    11. The Fault in Our Stars
    12. Of Mice and Men
    13.Fade to Black
    14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    15. Watchmen
    16. Captains Courageous
    17. A Brief History of Time
    18. The Trial
    19. Wind up Bird Chronicle
    20. A Visit from the Goon Squad
    21. Neuromancer
    22. Count Zero
    23. Shadowboxing
    24. Hell's Angels
    25. Anansi Boys
    26. Steelheart
    27. A Hero of Our Time
    28. Mona Lisa Overdrive
    29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor
    30. The Last Blues Dance
    31. Gularabulu
    32. The Glass Canoe
    33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

    33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

    Great fantasy - follows the character of Locke Lamora pulling an intense theft and shit hits the fan.

    ENjoyable, well written, fun, and well paced. Enough depth to be really good reading, but lacked anything particularly philisophical (which is totally OK by me). Didn't rely on magic, tropes, or other fantasy traps to tell a good story. Driven by very human concerns (greed, loyalty, privacy).
     
  8. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I loved Strange Shores. A big return to form.
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    28. The Promise
    [​IMG]
    The Promise
    by Tony Birch
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Tony Birch’s new collection of short stories, The Promise, sees him stretching himself a bit beyond the milieu of Melbourne’s inner suburbs that typified Shadowboxing. His old stamping grounds are well represented in stories like The Toecutters but he also sets some of these stories in the outer suburbs and in the countryside. Distance captures the dry heat of a tiny Victorian railway siding so well, you almost feel the glare in your eyes.

    Some of the stories are about young half-caste indigenous men, and you feel that Birch has drawn very much on his own life experience here. The best of these stories are about working class and lower middle class men facing up to the major disappointments in their lives, and somehow finding a way to get through. After Rachel is a particularly good example, where a life is turned around by simple things: an olive tree and an old record player.

    That may sound like heavy going, but Birch writes with a light touch and none of these stories are difficult reads. He can be funny when he chooses to be; The Money Shot’s story of an attempted sting gone wrong borders on farcical.

    Birch and I are contemporaries and both Melbournians, and he has the ability to snap some of my childhood memories into sudden focus, with mentions of things like the Johnson St bridge, and Bernard’s Magic Shop. That occasional added pleasure makes his writing even better, and this collection doesn’t disappoint.

    View all my reviews
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    49. Stay Close Harlan Coben 2012

    Centers around the seedy side of Atlantic City with 3 separate stories that turn into one- a series of serial killings of men on Mardi Gras. The killer turns out to be someone you wouldn't expect.

    Coben really has a talent for outrageous metaphors which can bring a belly laugh or two.

    Loved the book. A couple of well done plot twists.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  11. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    P4 - Robert Frost, A Boy's Will (1913)

    P5 - Robert Frost, North of Boston (1914)

    I was about to give up on old Bob Frost, or worse, decide to grit my teeth and nobly suffer through it, this mass of poems, the Collected, that would surely enrich me. (Enrichment frequently a synonym for boredom). I'd read the famous ones, the misunderstood ones. I liked them enough to seek out more, more being, at least at first, these rhymed and metered affairs, rustic and bloodless -- Ted Hughes without the bite. The second book was more interesting, beginning with his famous Mending Wall, then for some reason trailing off completely into little vignettes that resembled dramatic monologues, or scene-lets. Something that belongs to the theater, anyway, but metered. I was almost ready to pull my eyes out. And then Bob hit me with this. Thank you, Bob. I love you, Bob. This is why I dive into Collecteds. This is why I read:



    THE BLACK COTTAGE

    We chanced in passing by that afternoon
    To catch it in a sort of special picture
    Among tar-banded ancient cherry trees,
    Set well back from the road in rank lodged grass,
    The little cottage we were speaking of,
    A front with just a door between two windows,
    Fresh painted by the shower a velvet black.
    We paused, the minister and I, to look.
    He made as if to hold it at arm's length
    Or put the leaves aside that framed it in.
    "Pretty," he said. "Come in. No one will care."
    The path was a vague parting in the grass
    That led us to a weathered window-sill.
    We pressed our faces to the pane. "You see," he said,
    "Everything's as she left it when she died.
    Her sons won't sell the house or the things in it.
    They say they mean to come and summer here
    Where they were boys. They haven't come this year.
    They live so far away--one is out west--
    It will be hard for them to keep their word.
    Anyway they won't have the place disturbed."
    A buttoned hair-cloth lounge spread scrolling arms
    Under a crayon portrait on the wall
    Done sadly from an old daguerreotype.
    "That was the father as he went to war.
    She always, when she talked about war,
    Sooner or later came and leaned, half knelt
    Against the lounge beside it, though I doubt
    If such unlifelike lines kept power to stir
    Anything in her after all the years.
    He fell at Gettysburg or Fredericksburg,
    I ought to know--it makes a difference which:
    Fredericksburg wasn't Gettysburg, of course.
    But what I'm getting to is how forsaken
    A little cottage this has always seemed;
    Since she went more than ever, but before--
    I don't mean altogether by the lives
    That had gone out of it, the father first,
    Then the two sons, till she was left alone.
    (Nothing could draw her after those two sons.
    She valued the considerate neglect
    She had at some cost taught them after years.)
    I mean by the world's having passed it by--
    As we almost got by this afternoon.
    It always seems to me a sort of mark
    To measure how far fifty years have brought us.
    Why not sit down if you are in no haste?
    These doorsteps seldom have a visitor.
    The warping boards pull out their own old nails
    With none to tread and put them in their place.
    She had her own idea of things, the old lady.
    And she liked talk. She had seen Garrison
    And Whittier, and had her story of them.
    One wasn't long in learning that she thought
    Whatever else the Civil War was for
    It wasn't just to keep the States together,
    Nor just to free the slaves, though it did both.
    She wouldn't have believed those ends enough
    To have given outright for them all she gave.
    Her giving somehow touched the principle
    That all men are created free and equal.
    And to hear her quaint phrases--so removed
    From the world's view to-day of all those things.
    That's a hard mystery of Jefferson's.
    What did he mean? Of course the easy way
    Is to decide it simply isn't true.
    It may not be. I heard a fellow say so.
    But never mind, the Welshman got it planted
    Where it will trouble us a thousand years.
    Each age will have to reconsider it.
    You couldn't tell her what the West was saying,
    And what the South to her serene belief.
    She had some art of hearing and yet not
    Hearing the latter wisdom of the world.
    White was the only race she ever knew.
    Black she had scarcely seen, and yellow never.
    But how could they be made so very unlike
    By the same hand working in the same stuff?
    She had supposed the war decided that.
    What are you going to do with such a person?
    Strange how such innocence gets its own way.
    I shouldn't be surprised if in this world
    It were the force that would at last prevail.
    Do you know but for her there was a time
    When to please younger members of the church,
    Or rather say non-members in the church,
    Whom we all have to think of nowadays,
    I would have changed the Creed a very little?
    Not that she ever had to ask me not to;
    It never got so far as that; but the bare thought
    Of her old tremulous bonnet in the pew,
    And of her half asleep was too much for me.
    Why, I might wake her up and startle her.
    It was the words 'descended into Hades'
    That seemed too pagan to our liberal youth.
    You know they suffered from a general onslaught.
    And well, if they weren't true why keep right on
    Saying them like the heathen? We could drop them.
    Only--there was the bonnet in the pew.
    Such a phrase couldn't have meant much to her.
    But suppose she had missed it from the Creed
    As a child misses the unsaid Good-night,
    And falls asleep with heartache--how should I feel?
    I'm just as glad she made me keep hands off,
    For, dear me, why abandon a belief
    Merely because it ceases to be true.
    Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt
    It will turn true again, for so it goes.
    Most of the change we think we see in life
    Is due to truths being in and out of favour.
    As I sit here, and oftentimes, I wish
    I could be monarch of a desert land
    I could devote and dedicate forever
    To the truths we keep coming back and back to.
    So desert it would have to be, so walled
    By mountain ranges half in summer snow,
    No one would covet it or think it worth
    The pains of conquering to force change on.
    Scattered oases where men dwelt, but mostly
    Sand dunes held loosely in tamarisk
    Blown over and over themselves in idleness.
    Sand grains should sugar in the natal dew
    The babe born to the desert, the sand storm
    Retard mid-waste my cowering caravans--

    "There are bees in this wall." He struck the clapboards,
    Fierce heads looked out; small bodies pivoted.
    We rose to go. Sunset blazed on the windows.




    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  12. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    Will acquire new T Birch. Thanks for the review CD.
     
  13. blitzmage

    blitzmage Active Member

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    1-8:

    [​IMG]

    Gentlemanners Series by Bridges/Curtis/West

    Classic Wisdom for the Good Life
    50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know
    How to Raise a Gentleman
    Toasts and Tributes
    As a Gentleman Would Say
    A Gentleman Entertains
    A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle

    Life's Little Instruction Book by Brown Jr.
     
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    This looks good. Where to cop? ^^^
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  15. blitzmage

    blitzmage Active Member

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    I bought the blue ones from Brooks Brothers. I got the others from several discount bookstores around my city. A friend from NJ will be giving me a copy of "A Gentleman Gets Dressed" in July.

    I'm still missing the core "How to Be a Gentleman" book, "A Gentleman at the Table" and "A Gentleman Abroad". I don't mind skipping the latter two but I'm planning to order the first one online.

    As a short review:

    Classic Wisdom: My favorite book in the series so far. It's actually just a compilation of memorable quotes from famous people. Perfect for light reading.

    50 Things Every Young Gentleman: This was actually made for preteens but I don't see why it cannot be of use to adults. People often forget basic courtesy anyway. If you have the chance though, get the "How to Be a Gentleman" book for more age-appropriate tips.

    How to Raise a Gentleman: Just bought this haven't browsed through it yet.

    Life's Little Instruction Book: My second favorite book in the list. The author gave this book containing several life tips as a gift to his son. The book is a compilation of short tips on every aspect of life such as "Don't talk about money with someone who makes more or less than you".

    Toasts and Tributes: The book tells you what to say and what not to say during memorable occasions.I find the book very helpful in writing thank you and congratulatory notes and emails.

    As a Gentleman Would Say: Let's face it, half of being a gentleman is knowing what to say and not to say in a particular situation. The book lists down awkward situations you often encounter and it provides you with phrases to say and to avoid.

    A Gentleman Entertains: This is probably useful for those who often throw house parties. It's a comprehensive guide starting from picking the right guests all the way to providing you recipes for cocktails and food. I just can't use it that much since I live with my parents, brothers and sisters so I barely get any opportunity to throw a house party.

    A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle: The book teaches you what to do as the groom, and most importantly what to do as a guest of a wedding. Might be helpful to display some manners in a wedding since people meet a lot of single women there.
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered any books by Bruce Boyer or Alan Flusser? Bernhard Roetzl wrote my personal favorite as well.
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    50. Jubal Sackett Louis L'Amour 1985

    Jubal Sackett is the middle child of Abigail and Barnabas, and therefore a part of the first Sackett generation born on American soil. The book is set around 1650, and is longer than the other Sackett books I read. It involves the requisite Indians, one of whom Jubal marries. And a mastodon which Jubal kills with his gun and his pet buffalo, Paisano.

    Guys- you can't make this stuff up. Unless you're Louis L'Amour.
     
  18. blitzmage

    blitzmage Active Member

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    Hi. I generally don't buy fashion books. I only ordered A Gentleman Gets Dressed to complete the series. However I have indeed read several of Flusser's books in the past which I found truly insightful, especially the portion on color and pattern matching. I'll try to read Boyer and Roetzl's books if I have the opportunity. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  19. klewless

    klewless Well-Known Member

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    Been busier then ever at work, so I have fallen a bit behind on updating my reviews, as well as being online in general...here are the most recent:

    29/50 The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn
    [​IMG]

    This was a very entertaining easy read....Presented as a "how to" guide, the book provides a fictional account of a company providing assassination services. Posing as interns, homeless young people are recruited into the corporate workplace and contracts are completed. A unique premise that will make an excellent film.


    30/50 The Boy Who Stole From the Dead by Orest Stalmach
    [​IMG]

    Part 2 of the "boy who" trilogy. These must be read in order, and revolve around a mysterious teen who was smuggled out of post disaster Chernobyl. We care, because this particular individual may be in possession of nuclear secrets that will forever change atomic theory. Not a bad read, but series is starting to get a bit long....

    31/50 Fault Line by Barry Eisler
    [​IMG]

    The first in the Ben Traven series. The main character is an ex-military alphabet soup operator. He is estranged from his family, and in this story, he is required to rescue his little brother after some unusual circumstances. Full of action, this is a welcome series from the author of the John Rain series.

    32/50 Inside Out by Berry Eisler
    [​IMG]

    Book 2 in the Ben Traven series. This story picks up immediately after Fault Line. The main character is coming to terms with reintegration into society, and is working to repair familial relationships. He is involved in cleaning up a mess within the D.C. power structure, and interagency struggles keep the action fast paced. This appears to be the last title in the series, and more would be welcome. These 2 are worth reading.

    33/50 The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston
    [​IMG]

    Another solo title from the Pendergast series in which Preston partners with Douglas Child. This is an interesting take on the eventual "Skynet" artificial intelligence scenario. In this interpretation, the software jumps to the Internet, and develops several human characteristics. Enjoyable read even if one does not buy into the AI/humanity philosophy.
     
  20. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    17 POLICE by Jo Nesbo I read the first book in this series and wasn't overly impressed but this is a real page turner with some very sick fucks off the leash and causing mayhem. Very interesting in terms of its psychological observations in terms of character observations and motivational assesment, highly recommended.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014

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