1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,993
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    15 Words Without Music A Memoir by Philip Glass This is a fantastic read as he strolls through a life lived immersed in culture and its various manifestations ranging from the 1950's to the present. And it sheds some light on the creative, inspirational and compositional aspects of his oeuvre.

    Helps I must admit to having listened to his music and seen him perform live either solo or ensemble for the past thirty five years.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  2. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    

    That it is.
     
  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll 1. The Whisperer 2. The Vanished Ones 3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia 4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant 5. The Lost Girls of Rome 6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? 7. Never Mind 8. The Vegetarian 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act
    14. Crimea: The Last Crusade
    [​IMG]
    Crimea: The Last Crusade
    by Orlando Figes
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Sebastapol, Alma, Inkerman, Balaclava. Raglan, Clarendon, Russell, Cardigan, Canning. The places and people of the Crimean War are imprinted on the map of my home town. Yet I really couldn't say that I knew that much about it, beyond the mythology of Florence Nightingale and the Charge of the Light Brigade.

    Orlando Figes' book is a comprehensive account of the major battles of the Crimean conflict, particularly of the siege of Sevastapol. His account brings home the privations on both sides of the conflict, cutting through the mythology, and shows how the Crimean War remade Europe and also became the first war where the soldiers emerged with the plaudits instead of their aristocratic leaders.

    While this is a compelling story, it is pretty padded at times. Figes gives us 200 pages of background before getting to the battle of the Alma. Understanding the political and religious contexts of the war is vital, but this could surely have been conveyed in a less expansive manner (as even the author suggests early on in the book). Similarly, the Epilogue is 25 pages of pure padding that could have been dispensed with. Apart from that, this was an absorbing and informative read.
    View all my reviews
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Hicksville
    2. Slaughterhouse 5
    3. Firefight
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. The Rehearsal
    6. Lagoon
    7. Solo Faces
    8. Breath
    9. The Internet is Not the Answer
    10. A Sport and a Past Time
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife

    15 Consider Phlebas
    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key


    17. The Liar's Key

    The second book in Mark Lawrence's new trilogy (which he is still writing) is a pretty fun read. It follows the story of the disgraced Prince Jalan who finds himself bound with a grieving Norseman (whose wife and children have been murdered), this new installation sees the pair (which turns into a trio, then a part of four, then a party of five) travel back south to Jalan's homeland. The novel largely focuses on two questions:
    1. Why are these random people forced into these very meaningful actions?
    2. What should they do with their new found power?

    The novel is fast paced and written relatively cleanly - I liked the characters, and the prose was definitely more emotional that most fantasy novels, which I liked. THe main character/narrator can get a bit predictable (though over a trilogy this seems an inevitable flaw) and his schtick wasn't really for me, but it is important in terms of the plot and development, so instead of it feeling like a fantasy author play acting their own ideas of how cool they could be, it came off as more intentional.

    Will look forward to reading the next one!
     
  6. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,923
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    McAnally Flats
    Rereading Peter Watts' Blindsight and Echopraxia. Brilliant, nihilistic, hard sci-fi. Love it.

    Book before was Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble. Somehow the book was stupider than the title. Think I'm done with the whole Jack Reacher series.
     
  7. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,923
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    McAnally Flats
    

    I read all that author's books (Ian Anderson, IIRC). Wasp Factory is definitely the best, although he's got one about a lord and lady in a manor in some unnamed war-torn European country that's pretty good.
     
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Hicksville
    2. Slaughterhouse 5
    3. Firefight
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. The Rehearsal
    6. Lagoon
    7. Solo Faces
    8. Breath
    9. The Internet is Not the Answer
    10. A Sport and a Past Time
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife
    15 Consider Phlebas

    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns


    18. 1000 Splendid Suns

    This is a really heart-breaking book about two Afghani women and their lives through childhood, marriage, war and abuse. Initially starting with Mariam - a bastard daughter of a local businessman - the story shows how ruthlessly Afghani society treats its women, Mariam is neglected and her father refuses to acknowledge her. When her mother dies, her father marries her of to a man 3 or 4 times her age: Rasheed, who lives in distant Kabul.

    Mariam is unable to bear child for Rasheed, and he begins abusing and raping her continually.

    When a new war breaks out, another girl, Laila becomes the focus of the narrative. Laila is relatively lucky - she is living in a progressive time for Afghani women (the communist government) and she goes to school, spends time with friends and her family are supportive. However, this changes when her parents die as tension is renewed in 1989 and she ends up taking shelter in Rasheed's house where he marries her.

    Never-the-less tragedy continues for both women, and until the end of the novel it's a story very much about failure and struggle. The happy ending was welcomed, but seemed too fairytale against the length and consistency of abuse, imprisonment and mistrust earlier in the novel.

    Khaled Hosseni is a famous writer, I guess, and I can see why. The novel is fast moving, easy to get absorbed in and manages to convey a lot very quickly. This is not a literary classic to be absorbed by University students till the end of days, but it is a very good read about a reality none of us have to comprehend.
     
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll 1. The Whisperer 2. The Vanished Ones 3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia 4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant 5. The Lost Girls of Rome 6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? 7. Never Mind 8. The Vegetarian 9. Man on Fire 10. Comfort Zone 11. The Invisible man From Salem 12. Red Light 13. Balancing Act 14. Crimea: The Last Crusade
    15. Misterioso
    [​IMG]
    Misterioso
    by Arne Dahl
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Paul Hjelm is a cop who achieves notoriety by gunning down a hostage-taker. Internal Affairs are less than impressed with his actions, but public approval saves him. Still, he gets transferred to join a new team in Stockholm called the A Unit.

    The A Unit has been asked to investigate the strange murders of some of Sweden's leading industrialists, all despatched with two shots to the head. The method of their killing, along with other evidence, suggests some kind of organised crime connection, and Hjelm and his new colleagues pursue that line vigorously, some employing the carte blanche they have been given to get a result.

    Like all good Scandinavian cops, Hjelm is a brooding type with personal problems; in his case his wife is leaving him due to his workaholism. I felt this was a little cliched and a little too unchallenging to put him up there with great brooders like Erlendur, Varg Veum and Wallander.

    While Dahl signals early on who the villain is, that does not detract much from the plot. There are plenty of twists and some moments of shock before the denouement, and some of the means by which the A Unit solves the crime are quite original. As the first book in a series, I certainly think Misterioso shows enough promise to give the next book a whirl.
    View all my reviews
     
  10. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,748
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Paper Towns - John Greene
    Something quite easy to read, I enjoy coming of age novels. I got through it rather quickly, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
    2. Shogun - James Clavell
    Took me quite some time to read, but amazing book. I read a solid chunk(60-70%) whilst I was hoping around Japan, and went to some of the locations in the book which was really quite amazing.
    It also seemed to be quite historically accurate, however I feel that it just ends abruptly, but at peace. If travelling Japan I can't recommend it enough, but be warned, it is very, very long.
    3. The Man in the High Castle - Phillip K. Dick
    Advertisements for the television show is what got me interested in this, so I picked it up. Dick paints a really interesting world, and conveys how bleak life would have been. It was quite short, and not much really seemed to happen in the book, a few promising ideas, but it was more about individuals lives. I would have liked to see some of the different story arcs that are briefly introduced develop. I believe the television show expands on it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Hicksville
    2. Slaughterhouse 5
    3. Firefight
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. The Rehearsal
    6. Lagoon
    7. Solo Faces
    8. Breath
    9. The Internet is Not the Answer
    10. A Sport and a Past Time
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife
    15 Consider Phlebas

    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns
    19. The Windup Girl


    19. The Windup Girl

    Spied this sitting in the local library's shelves and couldn't resist a re-read.

    This novel is beyond it's time - this is the WIlliam Gibson of now, or 2010. Anyway, the novel is essentially a genre in of itself (bio-punk?) and takes place post global warming. The author (whose name is so complex I won't even try to write because I know CD will correct me) manages to craft a convicning future where the changes brought on by climate change are incorporated into the society in every way: linguistically, economically, culturally, politically, etc, this is a much more in-depth future than most SF books.

    Anyway, this book is fucking rad. It's set in Thailand, it has everything from ghosts to mechanical prostitutes, to genehack technology to massive elephants. It's inventive, it's scarily accurate, and it is what I imagine reading Gibson in the 80s felt like. It follows several characters, some of whom are foreigners who are looking to open up the closed off Thai kingdom (retreating from an era of capitalistic greed, engineered plagues and forced reliance on AgriCorps), some of whom are looking just to get by.

    If you have an interest in good books and haven't read this please do, or at last read a proper review of it. Sorry, for some reason I couldn't find my writing groove tonight.

    That being said, it IS good to be on a roll with reading.
     
    3 people like this.
  12. Synthese

    Synthese Darth Millennial

    Messages:
    8,264
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    COLONY WORLD 21XX
    That's a great book. If you like it, you might also give Oryx and Crake a read.
     
  13. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Huh.

    One of my colleagues is reading that to their class and keeps telling me to give it a go. Will add to my backlog.
     
  14. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,993
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    16 BAD BLOOD by Arne Dahl

    Of course the first book in the series was not in the public library and I coundn't get on the wating list. Merde!

    So as this is book 2 I spoiler it for CD

    To be honest I found this a bit dry in terms of both the story and character devvelopment. It has some interesting twists and turns in relation to the narrative arc. However I found it over all very dry and to be honest the ending did not make sense, it sucked. Grabbed another one in the series but not the most entertaining Scandi Noir I've read.
     
  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Hicksville
    2. Slaughterhouse 5
    3. Firefight
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. The Rehearsal
    6. Lagoon
    7. Solo Faces
    8. Breath
    9. The Internet is Not the Answer
    10. A Sport and a Past Time
    11. White Teeth
    12. The Bell Jar
    13. The Invisible Man
    14. The Subtle Knife
    15 Consider Phlebas

    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns
    19. The Windup Girl
    20. Fire Colour One


    20. Fire Colour One

    A pretty cool novel about a teenage girl meeting her estranged father. Iris, an arsonist whose neglectful mother wrecks many parts of her life, gets to know her father as he slowly dies. A slight tinge of revenge exists, and a very John Green-esque novel.

    Similarly to Fault in our Stars the female protagonist is a-typical, but very relateable, the ending gives a lot back to the story and there are some really improbable parts of the text. Even though these exist I still really enjoyed reading the novel and would recommend it for lots of people - especially teenage girls.
     
  16. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,923
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    McAnally Flats
    
    Give Water Knife, by the same author, a go.
     
  17. MGoCrimson

    MGoCrimson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Location:
    Maryland
    I've been following this thread for a long time with the intent of reading things that catch my interest. I just placed a massive order for (physical)books on Amazon.

    Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.
     
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    38. The Closers- Michael Connelly

    Bosch rejoins the LAPD in the elite Open and Unsolved Cases bureau and is reunited with his old partner, Kiz Rider.

    They solve a 17 year old murder and in the process force a corrupt assistant chief to resign from the force.

    Excellent Read.
     
  19. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Been there, done that :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    

    Thanks.

    Have you tried using the National Library's Gateway service to track down library books you can't get hold of?

    The South Australians really have this sussed. One library card covers every library in the state, even for visitors. You can borrow a book anywhere, and return it anywhere else in SA. Fantastic system.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by