2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless book 12/50: Shoot the Woman First by Wallace Stroby

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    Stroby is a fantastic writer. He is the type of author that makes me wonder if he released titles a bit more frequently, if he would be able to maintain the quality. This novel is best read in series order, as the protagonist has a long history that provides the reader with necessary knowledge to understand why certain decisions are made in the story. This is a tale of a crime gone wrong, and the ripple effects of such acts. Excellent storywriting, without a wasted page. I read this in a day, and highly recommend this author.
     


  2. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Interlude 39 Time Out of Joint Philip K Dick

    First read this thirty years ago found it and the The Man in the High Castle on the weekend at a book sale. When I first read it i loaned it to a friend who then went on to read everything that Dick wrote.

    IMO no film has done justice to the stories of Dick maybe A Scanner Darkly has come close.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014


  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Sadly, I'd have to agree.

    Whilst Blade Runner is a fantastic film and it is visually wonderful and very enjoyable, it missed out on a lot of the detail from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and was thus robbed of a lot of the depth and richness of the book, particularly in regard to Deckard's complex character.
     


  4. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior 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

    17. A Brief History of Time

    Most of this book went over my head.
     


  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Ask Akula, if you have any questions.
     


  6. aKula

    aKula Senior member

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    I haven't read that, though I am still working on some early universe cosmology together with particle physics. I will start updating this thread with the books I've read so far this year.

    1. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham.
    Follows the maturation of Philip Carey. From childhood through various career paths, poverty, and a rather unhealthy relationship with a woman. How much are we creatures of free will, or are we simply slaves to our habits and emotions?

    2. This side of paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald.
    The young years of Amory Blaine, an affected youth. From prep school, to Princeton, to time in the army during the first world war. All the while an example of downward social mobility. An American arcadia or a frivolous existence masking despair?

    3. A farewell to arms - Hemingway.
    Definitely my favourite this year. Starts off as a very powerful account - based on Hemingway's own experiences - of an American ambulance driver, Frederic Henry, on the Italian front during the first world war. His love affair with a nurse may allow him to escape to a purer existence. Emotionally poignant throughout.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014


  7. aKula

    aKula Senior member

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    4. How Proust can change your life - Alain de Botton.
    Amusing look at Proust's life and major work. What was Proust like and how was his character reflected in his work? What can we learn about the world, friendship, memory and love from his great novel? I would recommend this to all lovers of "In search of lost time." Actually my girlfriend read this after me while on holiday and has now started reading Proust as well.

    5. Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The tribulations of young Werther) - Goethe.
    Epistolary novel about a sensitive and artistic soul. His love of Lotte invariably draws him into tension with her and her fiance Albert. The drama largely deals with the Werther's internal suffering as he is unable to resolve the situation. Cornerstone of the romantic movement with beautiful descriptions of nature and - before his torment - Werther's love of life in general.

    6. The great railway bazaar - Paul Theroux.
    An account of the author's four month railway journey, from England by train to Turkey, Persia, India, down to Singapore, then return through Vietnam (still at war), sojourn to Japan, and back on the trans-Siberian railway. Lots of humour and wry observation.

    That is it for now, I have a couple of weighty tomes I am struggling through at the moment. I will update with reviews when those are finished.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014


  8. aKula

    aKula Senior member

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    Actually I forgot one.

    7. The luck of Barry Lyndon - William Makepeace Thackeray.
    The story of Barry Lyndon, as told by Barry Lyndon himself. The fatal events as a young man in Ireland which propel him into the army and onto the continent during the seven years war. Life as an adventurer on the continent. Triumphal return and eventual fall from grace. Thackeray uses the boastful and unreliable narrator as a vehicle for his usual satire of the meaner side of human nature.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014


  9. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I think asking Akula to re-explain the whole of the book to me is, perhaps, a little unfair.
     


  10. aKula

    aKula Senior member

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    I'll have to find a copy somewhere. Somewhat interested as to what topics are covered. I would say anything occurring earlier than big bang nucleosynthesis (t ~ 1 sec) is speculative - we may suspect some process has taken place e.g. baryogenesis (creation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry) or cosmological inflation but what mechanism exactly is responsible is unknown. Our understanding of general relativity and nuclear physics allows accurate predictions to be made for the abundances of primordial elements - which have been verified observationally - this is what puts big bang nucleosynthesis on more solid ground. Science of course will always push into new territory, hence the research on dark matter, baryogenesis, inflation etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014


  11. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I think if you hit up academic and general (I remember you being near Melb Uni?) at Elgin Street you can probably find a used copy for about $5.

    It basically sketches out a few important discoveries and their implications in the field of physics. The book covers some of the following topics:
    - Aims of science/physics (to find a unified theory of everything)
    - Gravity and its implications/unknowns
    - Uncertainty principal and the development of quantum mechanics (which, like, I don't really understand any of)
    - Relative/absolute time (concludes that there are no absolute beginnings or endings, so everything is relative)
    - Black holes
    - Arrow of time (which was actually what I found the most interesting)
     


  12. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    i'm somewhat sceptical about ToE Theory of Everything. I just think there are too many strings to assemble a multiplicity of facts and disciplines into one theory. Elegant idea but sorry not sold on the proposition of it all.

    38 The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
     


  13. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Guys, what are your feelings on Rushdie? I've been reading Midnight's Children for 2-3 days now and just can't get into it. I'm about 150 pages in and, so far, there's not even really a narrative at all - it's basically just him writing in a fairly obnoxiously whimsical and untethered way about his family which, to me, is both self-indulgent and incredibly boring.

    Does it get better? Is it time to abandon the book (my first one this year!)?
     


  14. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Actually, I loved it but was irritated with what you call the whimsical stuff from time to time. I think it is a great but strange book, an engaging story wonderfully but whimsically written. The one to abandon after 150 pages is probably The Satanic Verses. I "rested it" after 150 pages but didn't yet raise white flag.
     


  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    12. Raising Steam
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    Raising Steam
    by Terry Pratchett
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars


    After dozens of Discworld novels, Terry Pratchett only needs to crank out another in the series to be sure of an instant best-seller. These days, Discworld novels tend to provoke wry smiles of recognition rather than uproarious laughter. Earlier books in the series such as Eric and Guards, Guards took the franchise in unexpected new directions, but these days the books tend to follow well-worn paths and touch on familiar tropes.

    Raising Steam is a Moist Lipwig novel, so we know what to expect. Lord Vetinari requires Moist to take over and run some public utility - in this case the railway that is inevitably coming after the invention of the steam locomotive. Moist resists the notion until the Patrician yet again offers to separate his head from his neck, at which point Moist agrees. Moist encounters chaos which needs to be sorted out and runs up against an implacable adversary - in this case fundamentalist reactionary dwarfs. Moist uses his con man's charm and resourcefulness to resolve a series of reverses, supported by his unrealistically intelligent, sexy and voracious wife Adora Belle (yuk!).

    Death puts in the expected appearance in a scene that serves no other purpose than to allow Pratchett to tick a box in the recipe that Discworld readers now demand. In a way, Pratchett is now stuck in a formula that he cannot easily vary without putting his fans offside, and his days of surprising us with something different may be over. Raising Steam is a typical Discworld novel that lots of readers will enjoy, but it's no more than that.

    View all my reviews
     


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