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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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    It's Philipp Meyer - The Son. This Meyer is the next great American novelist and this book must be what Texas is all about.

    McEwan is really good. You will probably like Amsterdam.

    My recommendation however is that you try one of two Javier Marias: A Heart So White or Tomorrow in the Battle Think On Me. This is a next Nobel Prize winner and these two are fascinating and entertaining (with some serious depth).
     
  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    91. The Mayan Secrets Clive Cussler 2013

    Good couple (Sam and Remi Fargo), bad girl wrestle over ancient Mayan literature and loot. Predictably, the good guys win, and the bad girl loses.

    An engaging thriller, albeit cheesier than some of the other authors I've read.
     
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    James Corden seems quite young to be doing an autobiography. Still, I guess he has packed a fair bit into his career to date. One Man, Two Guvnors must be one of the best modern adaptations of a classic farce going around, and he did a lot to make that the case.
     
  4. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    I think I read someplace that the publisher approached him to write it and offered 7 figures. He initially said/thought that he really had "nothing to say." The book has gotten some good reviews and I am a fan of "Gavin and Stacy".
     
  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    51. Dark Secrets
    [​IMG]
    Dark Secrets
    by Michael Hjorth
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    As with all of the best Nordic Noir heroes, Sebastian Bergman is a complex character carrying a truckload of emotional baggage into his work life. In Sebastian’s case, he is a criminal psychologist who lost his wife and daughter, and seems only able to subsume his pain by indulging in compulsive sexual behaviour. Even prior to his personal loss, he seems to have been a pretty unlikeable colleague anyway.

    This, of course, makes him the perfect candidate for a series of Scandinavian crime novels.

    Dark Secrets is the first in the series. Bergman involves himself in the case of the gruesome murder of a teenage boy for ulterior motives of his own. He convinces his old boss to add him to the investigative team, which stirs up resentment amongst his colleagues. Bergman cannot help himself from fanning the flames by baiting and putting down his team-mates, being indiscreet during interviews and generally choosing his own eccentric course, despite orders to the contrary.

    Hjorth and Rosenfeldt have created a gem of a character, a very flawed man who still attracts our sympathies, and deliver a twisting and hard to predict story line. The authors feint in several directions and keep you guessing right up to the end, in both the main plot of the investigation and the secondary story line of Bergman’s personal search. There is certainly enough interest to make me want to come back for a second helping.

    I would probably have enjoyed this book a lot more if I hadn’t chanced upon the Sebastian Bergman TV series on Amazon. In a one-line summary of this episode, they managed to give away one of the biggest plot developments in the entire book. Thanks Amazon.

    View all my reviews
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    92. In Watermelon Sugar Richard Brautigan 1968


    [COLOR=FF00AA]THE LIST[/COLOR]


    Brautigan creates what I assume is a little commune around watermelons- sort of a Lucy in the Sky with watermelons. The prose is good, the characters shallow, the structure excellent. But..I...just...couldn't... figure out what it was about. The best theory I can come up with is it was written as a hallucinogenic experience.

    Another [COLOR=FF00AA]ListDud[/COLOR]
     
  7. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 98/50: Carlo Lucarelli - Almost Blue (1997)

    In my recent mania for Mediterranean Noir, I have read a lot of Italian crime / police procedurals this year. Lucarelli's first novel in the De Luca trilogy was quite impressive and I enjoyed the idea (shared by Maurizio De Giovanni, a better author) about police work under a fascist government. Almost Blue is however set in modern day Bologna and has the completely psychotic serial killer and young inexperienced but pretty female police officer theme.

    Through inner monologues we follow the female officer, the killer and a deaf and disturbed material witness. There is a lot of promise in the writing and the story but I found character development as well as plot development inadequate and rushed. Average at best.
     
  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I have read a number of books on Picasso and eagerly await John Richardson's final volume of the biography, that said I have only read volume 3. Currently I am in the Blue period of Picasso in the Roe book, which for me is good as its not a period I know much about. Historically Roe paints an immersive picture of the lives of the artists and citizens of Montmartre.

    I find with Impressionist work its all about the hang, if the picture is hung correctly and not dysfunctionally e.g. drowned in halogen, lit then you get the full experience of the 'light'. Australia produced some spectacular Impressionist works and you can clearly see the difference between the Northern and Southern hemisphere interpretations of the light.

    Picasso I always find invigorating dynamic and inspiring as his works and styles evolve through his life. Know its not on topic but one of the pluses of life in Canberra is Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles.
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    93. The Tombs 2012 Clive Cussler

    The Fargos make a mad dash around Europe and outwit 3 heavyweight criminals in finding the 5 separate locations where Attila the Hun buried his plunder. Fargos win, but their house gets destroyed by revenge seeking gangsters.

    Reading about treasure hunters makes me want to spend money. We'll give old Clive a rest for a while.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  10. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 99/50: Georges Simenon - The Two-Penny Bar (1932)

    Commissaire Maigret listens to a story of a condemned man who will be executed the next day. It's a story of a murder committed several years ago by a frequent guest to a place called the Two-Penny Bar. Maigret starts his methodical and patient investigations, falls in with a crowd of people who always frequent the bar and gradually gets to the bottom of the case. As typical for Simenon's books, the terrible crime is hidden among normality and it's through the psychology of the people he meets that he eventually draws his conclusions and finds the killer.
     
  11. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 100/50: Yasunari Kawabata - The Old Capital (1962)

    This was my 5th Kawabata and just as excellent as the others. Kawabata is very traditional writer and The Old Capital, which refers to Kyoto, is even more traditionally Japanese than the others I have read. Although if is not a thick book, you need to read it slowly and there is not a lot happening in the first half of the story. The appreciation of cherry blossoms, maple leaves and cedar trees take an important part, so does tea ceremonies, geishas, kimono designs and weaving.

    Chieko is a young beautiful girl who has been adopted by a kimono designer and his wife. She is courted by three young men through this novel. She is also searching for her past, never having known the parents who once abandoned her as a baby. As is typical with Kawabata, this is a bitter-sweet story without either a happy or a particularly sad ending. The novel gives a fascinating insight into Japanese culture and the social codes of the time.
     
  12. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 101/50: Julian Barnes - Levels of Life (2013)

    In 2008, Julian Barnes' wife of 3 decades was suddenly diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour and died within 37 days of the diagnosis. In this short mixture of essay, novel and autobiography, Barnes tells a story about pioneering balloonists, Sarah Bernhardt's insatiable lust for life and Barnes own love and deep grief. Barnes is always a good read since his language feels so clear and almost "perfect" and he engages the reader in meaningful and real predicaments of human life. I enjoyed this one very much.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Congratulations on 100!
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    94. Callaghen- Louis L'Amour 1972

    An Irishman persecuted for his heritage changes his name and gets chased all over the desert by Indians and bad guys, He only sorta gets the girl in the end.

    Didn't care so much for this one.
     
  15. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Congratulations on reaching a 100
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    95. Gathering Blue Lois Lowry 2000

    A YA book about a dystopic, almost feudal, village and world. The heroine has a special gift and a handicap as well. Normally the village exterminates its cripples but because of her gift she's allowed to stay alive. She is pampered, well-fed, and has indoor plumbing. But she is imprisoned by her own talent. Although she is an artist she must use her talents in a rigidly prescribed manner.

    Excellent., meaningful read.
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    96. Westward the Tide Louis L'Amour 1977

    Large wagon train in four columns. Column A (literally) are bad guys who feign respectability until the time is right to take over the train. Our hero foils said attempt through much sturm und drang, and whisks away a fine spirited woman in the process.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  18. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless title 76/50 - The Fourth Secret by Andrea Camilleri
    [​IMG]

    I have read all of the Montalbano series to date, and have always enjoyed Camilleri's stylistic prose....or so I thought. This tale is more of a short story, and I had not noticed until a few pages in, that it is actually translated by a different individual than the previous 16 books. What a difference. The characters have a very different voice, and while I had never considered how much difference a translater can make, it is nothing that I will discount moving forward. The story itself was rather simplistic, and the level of detail that is usually provided is not in this story. Again, not sure if it is translator's liberty or just the fact this was written to be half the length of a normal Montalbano installment. In any case, entirely fine to pass on even for Camilleri fans.

    Klewless title 77/50 - Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura
    [​IMG]

    Not my first Nakamura novel, and the previous two were quite enjoyable. Not so this time. Maybe I missed the point in this book, but this one was not for me. The author delves into a world of pyschological analysis to discover where the roots of crime manifest in humanity. The attempt to present an intellectual analysis overshadow the crime story, and force the reader to follow too many implausible twists for this novel to work. Then again, maybe I am not smart enough to appreciate.
     
  19. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    97. Canon Wells Zane Grey

    A novelette about a hard-living Arizona cowboy who runs from the law into Utah. He's taken in by a Mormon widow and her scrumptious daughter. He helps them build a large, profitable ranch, marries the pulchritudinous woman, who gives him a junior. The sheriff catches up with him eventually, but is so impressed by his new life that he allows him to repay his incurred debts over time.Fade to -ahem- grey.

    Liked it, perhaps better than L'Amour. I see more Zane Greys in my future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    98. Black Sheep Max Brand

    A precocious young girl engineers a successful plot to remake her family's reputation from suspicion of lawlessness to heroism. It was a short book, but I enjoyed the character development and antics of the young girl. Reminded me of yours truly.

    I didn't care for the first Brand I read, but this was much better.

    Two new authors, so little time. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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