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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 81/50: Jean-Claude Izzo - Solea (1998)

    The final instalment of Izzo's Marseille Trilogy ends the story on a dark note. The protagonist throughout the trilogy is retired policeman Fabio Montale, hopeless romantic, heavy drinker, gourmet, ladies man and jazz lover. The hopeless battle against the evermore powerful mafia can be fought but never won as long as money and power talks louder than moral and humanity. This is a bloody story with a seriously depressive undertone, at the same time it's a eulogy to old Marseille and a homage to love.

    This trilogy is mandatory reading for anyone interested in Mediterranean Noir.
     
  2. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 82/50: Georges Simenon - The Grand Banks Cafe (1931)

    One of the early Inspector Maigret mysteries and a pretty good one with lots of location atmosphere and a strange case to solve. A trawler has come back to a small fishing village in Normandy after several months at sea. The trawler has had an unfortunate trip, the catch of cod has been badly salted and is ruined, a ship's boy has fallen off the boat and been lost at sea and the night after its arrival at the port, the captain is strangled by an unknown culprit and dumped in the harbour. Maigret is drinking beer and chatting with fishermen, gradually figuring out how to solve the puzzle of what has happened on the unfortunate trawler.
     
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Got u-verse cable and there's too much sports on TV,..

    82. The Quick and the Dead 1973 Louis L'Amour

    A seasoned drifter and gunman guides a family of novices (a/k/a Tenderfeet) to a home out West. Nobody gets a girl. :(

    EDIT

    83. Out of Sight- Elmore Leonard

    Focuses on a thrice imprisoned bank robber who escapes prison and is the last of 6 to be caught. First he beds the Federal Marshal charged with apprehending him. She has the chance to take his life but shoots him in the leg instead and brings him in. Decent read- but I like Elmore Leonard. B
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  4. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I almost caught up with you Steve! I am now reading Philipp Meyer's The Son, an epic story of one of those BIG Texas families. If you haven't read it yet, I think it would suit you very well.

    And... what about the Clooney / Jennifer Lopez movie version of Out of Sight? Pretty good!
     
  5. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    You did catch up with me. Plus you read harder books. I don't really feel like doing another 125- but you could make it.

    That does sound like an interesting book. I'm beginning to abhor TX less and less every day. Maybe I'd like it.

    I don't remember the movie. Guess I'll have to rent/stream it.
     
  6. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    34. Handmaid's Tale
    35. Girt
    36. Museum of Innocence
    37. Neverwhere
    38. The Ghost's Child
    39. Picnic at Hanging Rock
    40. Submarine
    41. Name of the Wind
    42. Wise Man's Fear
    43. A Million Little Pieces
    44. The Promise
    45. Father's Day
    46. Swan Book
    47. Red Seas under Red Skies
    48. Republic of Thieves
    49. Labyrinths
    50. Carpentaria
    51. Snow
    52. Straw Dogs
    53. Wrong about Japan
    54. Wish
    55. Monkey's Grip
    56. The Plains
    57. Wild Abandon
    58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki

    58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki

    Murakmi's latest book was, for me, a fairly pleasant read. Tsukuru is a man in his late 30s, who designs railway stations for a living (classically quirky Murakmai), he leads a 'simple life' of eating, exercising, working and a few, small, pleasures. However, his life changed dramatically when he was 20, and the narrative focuses on his remembering of the change, and the way he tries to deal with it. More broadly, the novel seems to be Tsukuru's change from someone who is almost identity-less and dull, into someone who has a personality.

    Murakami's prose is consistently enjoyable, and the same, consistent, tropes are there: the everyday routines described in detail, the hints at something bizarre, or surreal, the long considerations of events and conversations past, and a lot of secondary characters rendered in vivid and interesting detail. Much of the novel seems to be about how people perceive each other: the ways in which those are closest to us always seem a bit more colourful, exciting, special or real.

    There's been some talk that the novel felt a little rushed, and I think that's true. There are really only two story arcs in this narrative (Tsukuru examining his past, and Tsukuru falling in love) and one of those goes completely unresolved, which is strange because it's so pivotal. It's not like previous Murakmai novels where the implication is that not all the threads are tied up, not all stories resolved, but here not even the main narrative is completed (or it's too subtle for me).

    Additionally, I'm wondering if the novel was a bit safe. 19Q4 was ambitious and long and extreme and wonderful, and by comparison, this is a small, simple and, I felt, safe piece. I enjoyed it, but that's because I like Murakami's prose, but it wasn't spectacular - it wasn't heart wrenching like Norweigan Wood or South of the Border, it wasn't confusing and tense like Dance Dance Dance or 19Q4, it didn't have the fascinating weirdness of Kafka on the Shore, or WUB. It was better (easily) than Hard Boiled WOnderland, but like the main character it lacked anything too definitive or personable.

    Read it if you like Murakami, if you don't, or haven't read much of his stuff, read a different one instead.
     
  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,313
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    34. Handmaid's Tale
    35. Girt
    36. Museum of Innocence
    37. Neverwhere
    38. The Ghost's Child
    39. Picnic at Hanging Rock
    40. Submarine
    41. Name of the Wind
    42. Wise Man's Fear
    43. A Million Little Pieces
    44. The Promise
    45. Father's Day
    46. Swan Book
    47. Red Seas under Red Skies
    48. Republic of Thieves
    49. Labyrinths
    50. Carpentaria
    51. Snow
    52. Straw Dogs
    53. Wrong about Japan
    54. Wish
    55. Monkey's Grip
    56. The Plains
    57. Wild Abandon
    58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki
    59. Homage to Catalonia

    59. Homage to Catalonia

    My least favourite, Orwell by far, some great pasages, but largely botign. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it more if I knew anything about the Spanish Civil War.
     
  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Really? this was one of my favourite Orwell works. I think that the Spanish Civil War was one of the major turning points of the 20th Century for the failure of the the democratic west to stand up to the machinations of Hitler directly resulted in the horrors of 1939-45. A very good book from the journalists perspective of the SCW is We Saw Spain Die by Paul Preston and The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor is worth reading novelistically Waiting for Robert Capra by Susana Fortes is a very good read.
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Melbourne
    45. Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

    Matt said it all.Still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with the free stickers that came with the book.
     
  10. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Been contemplating whether to read this or not as I have read most of his work but you and Matt has provided the answer on this for me.
     
  11. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    On my reading list.

    Soon time for the 2014 Nobel Prize winner to be announced. Who? I am hoping for Spanish author Javier Marias but this won't happen, just yet.
     
  12. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    CD - send me the stickers, bro.
     
  13. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    I gave them to my six-year-old daughter, and she very happily incorporated them into various pieces of art.


    I enjoyed it, and I think that it's a worthwhile read.

    Yes, as Matt pointed out, one of the main story arcs is unresolved at the end of the book, but I must admit that I didn't mind it so much. Yes, the book did feel as though it should be part of a larger story, and I did end up feeling as though there should be something more afterwards, as though this should be the first instalment in a trilogy, or something like that.

    However, it was also a relaxing read. It wasn't challenging, nor was it really intriguing (unlike 1Q84, I didn't feel the desire to keep on reading to finish the book so that I could find out what happened because I was intrigued by it), but it was enjoyable.

    As Matt said, Tsukuru Tazaki isn't as wrenching as Norwegian Wood, but it felt more like NW than his other books, as it's a "normal" story - there's no metaphysics, no mysterious other worlds, no strange spirits - the characters are simply people, in the contemporary world.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  14. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    It was definitely pleasant.
     
  15. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    JM
    I enjoy the metaphysics, if I want to read about real people in the world I can turn to Ian McEwan ever read Saturday wonderful novel.

    For me Murakami fills a void in literature and ventures forth where others fear to tread. After all metaphysics is just philosophical bench pressing. Speculation that only really finds its forte in discursive practice and it's good that their is a novelist who can present the logos in written form.
     
  16. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I loved Saturday, it's probably my favourite McEwan. One of those books which left a lasting impression.
     
  17. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 83/50: Fred Vargas - An Uncertain Place (2008)

    I think this is the best Vargas I have read so far and by now I have read most of her very unusual crime novels. This is the second last / latest in the series with Commissaire Adamsberg and it is a pure gothic experience, with the "undead" or the fear of the same at the centre of a mysterious case. It all starts with the exceptionally violent slaughter of a wealthy, widely disliked old man, the case then gradually proves to be a most complicated tangle of unlikely circumstances and evermore violence. A great mystery!
     
  18. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced on Thursday. Betting site Ladbrokes has the following favourites:
    Haruki Murakami and Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in the lead at 4/1.
    Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich third at 6/1.
    Then follows Syrian poet Adonis, French novelist Patrick Modiano and Albanian Ismael Kadare at 10/1. I just recently read a couple of Modiano's novels and found them very good.

    Some other examples are Philip Roth at 12/1, Joyce Carol Oates at 16/1, Milan Kundera and Thomas Pyncheon at 25/1, Don De Lillo, Margaret Atwood, Antonio Lobe Antunes and Richard Ford at 33/1, Salman Rushdie, Cormac McCarthy, John Le Carre and my favourite Javier Marias at 50/1.
     
  19. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    66 The Disciple The Sebastian Bergman Chronicles Book 2 by Hjorth and Rosenfeldt

    Arrived home last night and found it waiting on the doorstep Sebastian Bergman would have to be the most conceited self centred prick I have encountered in literary works for years. That said I find this series to be very well written and an engaging read.

    Went to Canberras only decent independent bookstore on Saturday where they were having a sale ended up coming away with my plastic somewhat lighter and wondering where in gods name am i going to put another bookshelf.
     
  20. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    GF, is that Paperchain at Manuka?

    I went there a couple of years back as I was staying nearby at the Hotel Realm and picked up a few books, including The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen and Lustrum by Robert Harris. They were having a sale then, too, and I had to restrain myself from buying too much as I'd only brought a carry-on bag.

    It looked like a nice store.
     

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