2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Good call. There are many articles describing Ben Fountain's process, and journalism does seem to figure heavily into the initial stages.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014


  2. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I read that article years ago very good piece of journalism also informed a TV series. I read Billy Lynn's Long Half Time Walk a while back. I was left feeling angry when I finished it by the way the author treated the main characters. As for being akin to Catch 22 not by a long shot.

    In 1980 I saw Joseph Heller read excepts from Catch 22 at Melbourne University and explain how he came up with the concept, one of the beat authorial readings I've attended.
     


  3. Foxhound

    Foxhound Senior member

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    I've been slack, and I'm not aiming for 50, maybe 20 or so. Just finished #1, The Fault in our Stars. Ending was obvious though, I knew it would just stop, and was hinted at from the very beginning of the novel.
     


  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    21. Flint 1966 Louis L'Amour

    A wealthy New York financier with a diagnosis of cancer heads West to die

    A railroad land grab by a self fancied Robber baron. Involves him.

    He doesn't have the legal right he thought he had. Despite some fisticuffs and hijinks he is defeated.

    Our hero finds out he has ulcers, not cancer.

    He divorces his scheming wife and marries a local girl.

    This was my favorite L'Amour so far. I highly recommend it.
     


  5. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    22. The Nose 1835 Nikolai Gogol

    [COLOR=FF00AA]The List[/COLOR]

    An officer and a gentleman loses his nose and is rendered Voldemort-like. He is understandably distressed, searching St, Petersburg where he lives to no avail.

    The nose in the meantime has been rather enjoying itself racing about town impersonating a human.

    Then one morning he re-appears but will not stick to the major's face. Inexplicably the major wakes one morning with the nose reattached.

    A short but very humorous read. A- for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014


  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    23. The Pigeon Patrick Suskind 1988

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    A bank guard who is extremely fussy is confronted by a pigeon on his doorstep. It unnerves his world and ruins his day. He forgets to open the entrance for the president's limousine. He puts a large tear in his trousers. He gets completely out of his routine while having a tremendous inner struggle. At one point he even contemplates suicide because of the pigeon.

    This novella has many levels of meaning but the primary one is that life is a mere illusion.

    Give it an A.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014


  7. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    10. Alex
    [​IMG]
    Alex
    by Pierre Lemaitre
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars



    Alex is one of a series of novels about Parisian detective Camille Verhoeven. Verhoeven is a diminutive, combative figure, still getting over the death of his wife. Against his will, he is assigned to investigate the kidnapping of a mysterious young woman in broad daylight.

    As Verhoeven struggles to progress the investigation, or even identify the victim, the girl - Alex - is subjected to torture and an impending death in horrific circumstances. Verhoeven's feelings conflating the girl's potential fate and that of his wife seem to be hindering his progrss, to the annoyance of the supervising magistrate.

    To go any further would be to reveal some of the splendid twists and turns in what is a gripping, enthralling and macabre novel. Lemaitre takes the reader on a ride where you are never quite sure what to make of the key figures in the case, and draws you in deeper and deeper until the grim explanation for the kidnapping is revealed.

    Alex is the second novel in the Verhoeven series. It is very irritating that, for some inexplicable reason, Lemaitre's English language publishers have chosen to publish it first. At various points in this book, the author gives away most of the plot of the first book, Irene. Bad luck if you plan on reading both. If you get the chance, make sure you read Irene first, but don't miss reading Alex.

    View all my reviews
     


  8. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless book 8/50: Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo

    [​IMG]

    This is the second book in the Harry Hole timeline, but the most recently published. The writing was strong for the first half of the novel, but the latter portion.....not so much. This seems to be a case of the author knowing where he wants to end up, but consciously trying to insert a few too many plot twists. This may be a reflection of the novel being an early work by the writer.

    In any case, this is a fish out of water tale featuring a European police officer sent to Thailand to investigate a diplomat's murder. I will continue to give Nesbo a spot in my rotation, but this title was just not up to the standards I hope for in translated crime fiction.
     


  9. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    43 BUDA'S WAGON A Brief History of the Car Bomb by Mike Davis

    First heard about this after listening to podcast with the author.
     


  10. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 11/50: Massimo Carlotto - The Goodbye Kiss (2001) 

    Took a break from my current reading of Trollope and picked up something with local flavour during a visit to Rome last week.

    From Italy's master of hard-boiled crime fiction, a completely immoral tale of a psychopathic but charming ex-terrorist who spends his time robbing and killing while always looking for opportunities to degrade women. While the subject matter is sickening, this is a really good crime novel with a cynical view of a corrupt modern Italian society. Recommended!
     


  11. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    This is the Inspector Montalbano series isn't it? The TV series is very popular here, but I've not seen the books until one popped up at the local library this weekend. Sounds like another Euro detective to get into.
     


  12. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    No, the writer of the Montalbano series Is Camilleri, this one is Carlotto.

    I read a Guardian article about Carlotto and it mentions the "Meditteranean Noir writers" as a group: Catalan writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban, French writer Jean-Claude Izzo and the Italians Massimo Carlotto and Andrea Camilleri. The inspector's name Montalbano is evidently a homage to the writer Montalban. I have not read any of these before but encouraged by Carlotto, I will search them out one by one.
     


  13. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    11. Something Nasty in the Woodshed
    [​IMG]
    Something Nasty in the Woodshed
    by Kyril Bonfiglioli
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    Something Nasty in the Woodshed is the find instalment in the Mortdecai trilogy. Charlie and Johanna have decamped to the Isle of Jersey because certain authorities in London have suggested to Charlie that he not show his face in London for a long while.

    The wife of one of Charlie's chums is assaulted and raped in her home. Soon after, another of the wives in their circle is also raped. Accounts indicate that the rapes may be linked to a practitioner of witchcraft. Charlie does the obvious thing and arranges for a Satanic Black Mass to entrap the miscreant.

    The book has Bonfiglioli's usual quota of arch observations from Charlie, and the ending is good. However I simply could not go along with the idea of building a light-hearted caper story around women being raped. That may have seemed funny in the '70s when the book was first published, but it's far less so now.

    I also think this final instalment would have been stronger if it was a continuation of the plot lines of the first two novels. One doesn't get the sense of a story being brought to a conclusion, rather than an additional yarn being tacked onto the end of a two-novel plot.

    View all my reviews
     


  14. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]




    # 8-9(ish) The Shell Collector, by Anthony Doerr, and Emperor of the Air, by Ethan Canin.

    ....aaaaaand I've fallen back into the short story hell hole again with these guys, two of my favorite books from.....well....not the last ten years, I guess, but books I've read within the last ten years that still strike a chord. You can read Doerr's O. Henry award-winning story The Hunter's Wife right...HERE.

    I've also been working my way through Lydia Davis's Collected Stories --- about four books, I think. I'm hoping that, like a game of Tetris, the rows will align, I'll finish a single volume, and be allowed to count one towards my now dwindling numbers....

    :violin:
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014


  15. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 12/50: Anthony Trollope - Phineas Finn (1868) 

    Second instalment in the Palliser series is just over 700 pages and has been listed among the 1001.

    The book tells the story of young Irish law student Phineas Finn who through some lucky coincidences and a relentless ambition gets a seat in the English House of Commons. This novel only marginally touches upon the events in Can You Forgive Her? and adds significantly more insight into British politics. What is a commonality between the two books is the complex marriage considerations among those belonging to the upper class during the Victorian age.

    Phineas is young, charming, handsome and very ambitious but he is essentially penniless and he will not have a chance to extend his career as a politician unless he marries into money and compromises his true believes. Through the 5 or so years of this story, he contemplates marriage with four women, three of whom are wealthy and belongs to the social elite of London and one who is a poor girl from his Irish village.

    This is a very interesting story and despite its length less repetitive and tedious than the first book in the series. I really liked it. Trollope is a very nice discovery but if I am to achieve a healthy outcome from this challenge of quantitative reading, he needs to be mixed with some shorter books.
     


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