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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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    Congratulations CD! I think that makes 5 who already made it this year.
     
  2. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Just commenced the mammoth task of reading the newly published Jamaican War and Peace - A Brief History of Seven Killings. About the third world slum nightmare of West Kingston ghetto gang life, CIA and political corruption. Close to 700 pages and one of those dense heavy hardcover books that make a deep dent in your chest when you try to read it in bed. Judging from the first 80 pages, this might be the novel of the year!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Congratulations CD I just hit 70 dont think i'll crack the ton but should at least reach 80
     
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    87. Gangster Squad 2012 Paul Lieberman

    Non-fiction story of organized crime in LA and the cops who fought it. It begins with the original 8 in the 1940s and follows them all through life to their deaths. The same is done with the criminals.

    The book was disorganized and dull, but I do plan to see the movie.
     
  5. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 92/50: Yasunari Kawabata - The Sound of the Mountain (1954)

    Shingo is a man in his 60s who is starting to be affected by his aging. His memory is failing him and he is reflecting on disappointments in life. His daughter has a failed marriage behind her and his son is irresponsibly promiscuous. Shingo himself is living in a monotonous and depressing marriage. His most important relationship is instead with his beautiful daughter-in-law.

    This is another of Kawabata's masterpieces, I have now read 4 of his exquisite novels and I definitely intend to read more.
     
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 93/50: Edward Wilson - The Midnight Swimmer (2012)

    I am for no particularly good reason reading Wilson's spy novels in reverse order. I didn't know that they followed the same spy, the very interesting left-leaning MI6 top field operative Catesby.

    In this exciting book, we are following the build-up to the Cuban missile crisis from an English perspective. Wilson's writing is more straightforward and less complex than Le Carre's (who he inevitably has been compared with), it has more of the traditional thriller style and it is full of historically well-researched details with many real life personas from the early 1960s. This is every bit as good as The Whitehall Mandarin which was published this year.

    Wilson has so far only written 5 books and I intend to read them all.
     
  7. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    71 GUILT by Jussi Adler-Olsen also published as The Purity of Vengeance don't ask me why they change the names depending on if its a US or European publication strikes me as odd.
     
  8. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    This was reviewed on the ABC’s book program here last night and the panel unanimously shit-canned it.

    I was wondering what their problem was when it dawned on me - it was the cultural lens that they were viewing it through.

    They all said that Tsukuru is a boring man and he has this life-changing event but he does absolutely nothing about it and has to be prodded into taking any kind of action, blah-di-blah.

    The thing is, that’s how you would expect individualistic Australians to deal with the situation. The Japanese are different - they are far more likely to accept the wisdom of the group, and that is exactly what Tsukuru does. They are also socialised to be more self-critical than we are and to always look for things they could have done better. So when Tsukuru acts like a typical Japanese, a bunch of high-profile go-getting Australians see him as being weak and subservient. That’s just a lack of cultural understanding in my view, and the book makes a lot more sense if you keep that in mind.
     
  9. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Interesting analysis. Murakami's oeuvre is actually full of "boring" protagonists who seem to be blown where the always mysterious winds may take them. I personally enjoyed the Tsukuru Tazaki book and I think most reviews were favorable if not ecstatic. Murakami's 1980s and 1990s writing was stronger than his last decade but I hope (and kind of believe) that he still has it in him to produce something extraordinary. For a real chance to take the Nobel prize, he probably needs to come up with something that matches or surpasses Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
     
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    88. Final Justice W.E.B. Griffin 2003

    The primary hero of the Badge of Honor (cop) series assists in solving a major interstate crime, and a spur-of-the-moment dust-up which puts a third notch on his gun.

    I enjoyed the book, as well as the entire series so far.
     
  11. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Oh, hello, and what is the do, gentlemen?

    Foolishly, I made a list of books I've read, then split that list into three or four separate categories: fiction, poetry, essays, practical (diet books, brain health books). Then promptly lost it. Later I tried reading William Gass's The Tunnel, which broke me.

    I return to you a new reader, humbled and befuddled. I know, since November, I've hit fifty, better than the year before. Beyond this, it gets hazy.

    Consequently, I've had to re-read Jennifer Egan's The Emerald City, a classic of my youth, and, though numbers escape it, one that remains quite grand.

    I hope to rejoin the book race soon.

    Thank you, and good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  12. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 94/50: Arturo Perez-Reverte - Captain Alatriste (1996)

    The first in a series of Alexandre Dumas inspired novels about a sword-fighting bounty hunter in 1620s Madrid. It's a strange and episodical novel in which the author frequently leaves the main story to describe unrelated events from earlier history and presumably unrelated events from the future. There are also numerous bland poems and songs interjected in the story. The adventure parts are good, well written and very much in the vein of The Three Musketeers. There are also plenty of historical events described and this I found always interesting. However, the whole thing doesn't really hold together as a novel, it is too loose and disjointed, in parts almost rambling. Nevertheless, I will continue to read the second novel in the series since the concept of a modern take on Dumas is intriguing and I mostly enjoyed the old style narrative language.

    I now realise better than before that Perez-Reverte's latest, The Siege, was a pretty damn good adventure book. I would recommend The Siege ahead of anything else I have read from this author.

    As always, I am reading several books in parallel. Now getting close to the middle of Marlon James' violent Jamaica epic A Brief History of Seven Killings. Reminds me of Roberto Bolano, William Faulkner and Robert Stone. Sometimes tough to take in the Jamaican ghetto language and the grisly content but overall a remarkable read.

    I think I will get to 100 before Christmas.
     
  13. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    If it no go so, it go near so.

    - Jamaican proverb

    Hope you join us for the whole of 2015!
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    I'd put it more like 110. You're making it hard on me, my friend.
     
  15. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    "Who can read more than Steve B" is a separate competition. :D

    My target is actually 104. More than 2 books per week is obscene.
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    I'd like to get back on The List- but without reading 10 a month, the task is really daunting. And my recent reads have really been duds.
     
  17. 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

    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
    60. Oliver Twist
    61. Trilobites and other stories
    62. The Narrow Road to the Deep North
    63. Paddle your own Canoe
    64. When Gravity Fails

    64. When Gravity Fails

    This cyerpunk romp was a fucking excellent read with a somewhat rushed finish.

    Set in a futuristic word made of failed nation states, fragmented nationalities and lawlessness, individuals have the ability to have their brains enhanced - moddys (a personality change) or daddys (small pieces of knowledge added). Marid's story takes place in Buyadeen - an Arabic street that is a centre for crime, sex, sex changes and drug addiction. The novel, often, focuses on the ironically genuine characters who have been modified beyond compare, and the ways that they interact: often in ways that are steeped in tradition, despite most traditions having been erroded away long ago.

    Marid - an Algerian 'for rent' criminal - finds himself in a whirlpool of intruige, and sadistic murders when a new client is murdered before his eyes in a club. While this initially seems to just 'be another murder', more of Marid's friends and senselessly killed in ways that are frightening, which is emphasised all the more because even hardened gang criminals are reeling and upset,

    With some typical 'honour among thieves' action, Marid is able to solve the sadistic murders, but instead of coming out ahead he suffers and looses quite a lot in the mean time and ends up with nothing he wants.

    This novel is pretty old - but really represents what I love about cyberpunk. It's gritty, almost pessimistic at times, and technology is both the bane and saviour of so many people, the rampant drug use underscores the entire novel: in many ways cyberpunk is the cynical reaction to a happy-go-luck 20th century attitude. The writing is snappy, and I found the setting, use of Arabic and Arabic customs different enough to be interesting (though I'll admit these could all be done poorly - I wouldn't know).

    Yeah, cyberpunk. Get amongst it.

    CMON LONERMATT, GET TO 75!
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    89. Dark Canyon 1963 Louis L'Amour

    A young man leaves a small band of outlaws with their blessing. He wins a range war with their help, and they settle down and forsake the outlaw way to punch cows with him. Along the way he gets the girl, and we have a cameo by William Tell Sackett.

    Ah...if things were only so simple today.
     
  19. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Timely article: Whatever happend to cyberpunk?
     
  20. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 95/50: Georges Simenon - A Man's Head (1931)

    While the quality of Simenon's output was a bit uneven, this crime novel is one of the better. Commissaire Maigret allows a convicted murderer to escape prison in order to understand the reason for the murder and ultimately capture the real killer. A strange cat and mouse dance in the fancy restaurants of Montparnasse and along the banks of Seine. Maigret stubbornly focuses his investigation on an insane and unusually intelligent culprit. Great atmosphere, nice mystery.
     

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