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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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    I don't know anything about dragons but I noticed that the author just today died at the age of 85.
     
  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Yes. Have you ever noticed that people who really love their work die in their 80s or 90s?
     
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Long live the workers cultural revolution.
     
  4. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 48/50 - Alex Schulman - To Be with Her Is Like Running Across a Summer's Meadow Without the Slightest Feeling of Fatigue  (2011)

    Swedish media star Schulman has written his second autobiographical novel about "the great love" and I find the novel's long title better than its content. Some entertaining bits and pieces from the lives of Swedish B celebrities but, as a serious novel, quite unconvincing. Schulman's debut from last year Hurry to Love, a touching story about having loved and lost an elderly father, was infinitely better.
     
  5. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 49/50 - Don DeLillo - The Angel Esmeralda (2011)

    DeLillo's first short story collection contains 9 excellent stories written over the past 30 plus years. Amazingly, the first story from 1979 and the last one from 2011 could have been written at the same time; DeLillo seems to have produced at a consistently high standard and with a distinctly recognizable and fascinating voice throughout his long career. I have read a few of his novels in the past - Point Omega, The Body Artist and The Names - all very good, all conveying some sense of deepest human anxiety. Guess I should tackle one of his more famous White Noise, Underworld, Libra or Mao II in the near future. Inspiring and a bit depressing at the same time.
     
  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    See- I told you you could make 50. With a month to spare. My question is- can we do it next year?

    BTW all those DeLillos are on the 1001 book list.
     
  7. dwyhajlo

    dwyhajlo Senior member

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    Mao II has a few really great passages - notably, the very beginning and ending sequences - but it drags quite heavily in the middle, IMO; it feels like DeLillo was struggling to grapple with a lot of things that he couldn't quite wrap his hands around in that book, and it seems that he may have been shooting for some Big Ideas that he just missed the mark on. White Noise and Underworld would be the way to go if you're just getting into DeLillo's work, I think.



    Being a glutton for punishment, I may try to join you guys in this. I'm not sure how I'll manage finishing Gravity's Rainbow and 49 other books.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  8. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Of course we can.



    Thanks for the DeLillo suggestions. Please do join next year! Suggest you don't spend the first three months of 2012 working on Gravity's Rainbow only.... I think it is important to stick to some kind of average monthly or quarterly reading speed or the task will become too burdensome.
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Jesus- how long is this book? Or is it the complexity of the subject matter?
     
  10. dwyhajlo

    dwyhajlo Senior member

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    Both! The version I have is ~760 pages (I left my copy at work, so I can't check right now). The plot is quite complex, moving between multiple time periods, many things are never fully explained, and there's a cast of a few hundred characters. If I had to pick two adjectives to describe the prose they would be "dense" and "cryptic."
     
  11. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Just went through "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" and ticked off 144 including a few that were added in 2011. In addition I have easily started on 20-30 without finishing or read some kind of abbreviated / simplified versions (of classics) as a kid. I only counted those I am sure I have finished.

    I was actually surprised that the number was so low but at the same time it is a relief to know that I have another 857 books to go before I might as well die.

    If there is no separate thread for the 1001, I may start one. :D
     
  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Under 300 pgs to go. :)

    I was thinking we should make it a requirement for a book to count in 2012 that it be from the 1001, but I want to read Jobs', Donovan's, and Malcom X's biography.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  13. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 50/50: J.M. Coetzee - Summertime (2009)

    So there, with 20 days to spare I have reached the targeted 50 books within a year. I have previously read a few of Nobel Prize winner Coetzee's books and they tend to be brilliant, so was this one. The third in a series of "fictionalized memoirs" or auto-biographical novels, Summertime tells the story of a socially inept, relatively asexual, intellectual but unexciting budding author in 1970s Cape Town South Africa called JM Coetzee. Is this really how the author sees himself? Brilliant writing, very gloomy!
     
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Bravo!

    138 pages to go.
     
  15. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    To have included War and Peace among the 50 is better than bravo.

    Hope we get a bigger following in the 2012 thread. Did anyone do all the 50 in earlier years? I know 2010 was a miserable failure but what about ancient history?
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    IT is finished. And so am I. With 2 weeks to spare. The story of 4 Russian aristocratic families during the Napoleonic Wars and shortly thereafter (1805-1820). I had a hard time keeping up with who belonged to which family, but everyone pretty much got the girl or the guy in the end.. Except for 2 or 3 major deaths in the younger generation. My favorite character was Pierre Bezuhov- supposedly the simple minded one of the bunch, but in truth anyhing but. His wife was Natasha Bezuhov (nee Rostov). Second favorite favorite.

    I could have done without Tostoy's philosophical blather at the end. He really didn't say much that I hadn't read or heard before.

    I'd recommend the book, but read it in parallel at 20-30 pgs a day.


    Are we doing it again next yer?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  17. dwyhajlo

    dwyhajlo Senior member

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    I'm down, if you guys are down. Don't quit on me.
     
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    I think it will be harder on me. I just started a job that promises to be pretty challenging. But then I worked 3 for 4 months last year...
     
  19. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    What's the name of this book again?
     

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