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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    What a great system SA has.

    The problem with inter library loans in my experience is that the costs are prohibitive. Absurd amount for handling and postage.

    Canberra has a similar system in terms of borrowing and returns for the public libraries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  2. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    17 EUROPA BLUES by Arne Dahl

    This is the fourth book in the series.

    This is a either a better translation or the author has hit his straps the characters are more fleshed out their is humour amid the horror however a strong moral ambiguity pervades the story. Interesting use of Sweden's connection to Nazi Germany and eugenics program, also interesting use of mythology to flesh out a complex and interesting revenge tale. Enjoyed it overall.
     
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Is it just coincidence that we started the Arne Dahl books around the same time, or are you stalking me?
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    No comment.

    18 NUMERO ZERO by Umberto Eco
     
  5. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Give us a review mate.
     
  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    San Antonio
    39. Lonigan- Louis L'Amour

    A collection of Western short stories. One of his better collections; I enjoyed it.
     
  7. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    1992 Milan There is a plot with something of an absurd premise that only a semiotician could conceive. The are humorous observations about mobile telephony and why would you want one and the sorry state of society and the desire to know.

    There are insightful observations about the media and a healthy dose of historical conspiracy.

    Its not classic Eco, the short essays do it better for me, its good. Have you read The Prague Cemetery?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I haven't read any Eco, for better or worse.
     
  9. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Reading Eco for the most part is enjoyable, enlightening & stimulating.For novels start with The Name of the Rose. For essays Travels in Hyperreality
     
  10. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    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
    21. The Player of Games


    21. The Player of Games

    A fairly predictable plot masks some interesting world building and some fairly obvious critique of humanity. I enjoyed the book, but not enough to write an in-depth review, it's fine, not special. The writing is better than the average SF book, noticeably better, the plot was just a bit too predictable, which sucks because it would have been so easy to work a couple of twists into the story.
     
  11. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    40. The Tall Stranger- Louis L'Amour

    Rock Bannon helps lead a wagon train West. A significant number of its participants chose to settle in a valley owned by a rancher. Lead fisticuffs ensue and Bannock makes peace with all parties and settles down in the Valley with the girl and lives happily after.

    I tend to prefer books L'Amour wrote in the '50s and '60s, but this one (1957) wasn't particularly appealing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  12. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    15 Consider Phlebas
    16. The Amber Spyglass
    17. The Liar's Key
    18. 1000 Splendid Suns
    19. The Windup Girl
    20. Fire Colour One
    21. The Player of Games

    21. The Player of Games

    A fairly predictable plot masks some interesting world building and some fairly obvious critique of humanity. I enjoyed the book, but not enough to write an in-depth review, it's fine, not special. The writing is better than the average SF book, noticeably better, the plot was just a bit too predictable, which sucks because it would have been so easy to work a couple of twists into the story.

    I see from the list that you've also read "Consider Phlebas". These are by no means Banks' best scifi books. Try "Use of Weapons", "Excession", "The Algebraist" or "Against a Dark Background", all of which are terrific.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Thanks for the recommendation, LET'S DO THIS.
     
  14. Synthese

    Synthese Darth Millennial Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    I will also recommend Excession, although I did not finish Against a Dark Background
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    41. Buckskin Run- Louis L'Amour

    A collection of Western short stories interspersed with historical accounts of fatal gunfights.

    Enjoyed this one.
     
  16. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior 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
    21. The Player of Games
    22. The Buddha of Suburbia


    22. The Buddha of Suburbia

    This novel is essentially about three things:
    1. Not knowing yourself
    2. London in the 70s and 80s
    3. Immigrants

    ...and I really liked it. Karim is the main character - and the novel starts with him being quite young (aged 7 or 8 maybe). Early on Karim's father begins to get quite mystical, giving out advice to friends, and eventually almost becoming the suburb's Eastern Mystic. Karim's reaction to this (my Dad is a phony) sees him begin to reject anyone who talks about life as if there's direction or purpose, giving birth to his own lack of direction. At this time, Karim's life is rarely his own - he is often just moving through the people around him - his father (the Buddha), his mother, his step-mother, different friends and lovers. Karim doesn't know what he wants at all - he likes sex and music and anytime someone who is certain about themselves shows us Karim dismisses them and moves on. When he finishes High School he essentially choose just to move around sleeping on people's couches and not working very much.

    His non-committal view on life sees him experience some weird things, even ending up in some successful plays that tour around England and New York. But, through all of this, Karim doesn't know who he is or what he wants, and as those he knows move on and change, Karim's stuck in limbo and begins to suffer greatly for that, eventually only taking comfort in only one other character.
     
  17. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    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
    16. The Lost Sailors
    [​IMG]
    The Lost Sailors
    by Jean-Claude Izzo
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    A freighter is stuck in the port of Marseilles due to the bankruptcy of the owner. All of the crew have left except for the Lebanese captain Abdul, the Greek first mate Diamantis and a Turkish seaman, Nedim.

    Each of these men is staying for his own reasons, that became clear after a while. They are taciturn and insular men, unable to share their concerns with one another, and unsure whether to stick together or go. Each of them is haunted by the shadows of their past and the women in their lives. The freighter that they must eventually leave is their only bulwark in a sometimes hostile city.

    The great strength of this novel is Izzo's description of Marseilles. You can really feel the sun on your arms and the tang of salt in the air as you read this book. The plot is less engaging, with major plot reveals telegraphed a bit too readily, and some unimaginative resolutions. This is an interesting digression from Izzo's Marseilles mysteries, even if it is not quite up to their level.


    View all my reviews
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  18. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,540
    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 16. The Lost Sailors
    17. Black Run
    [​IMG]
    Black Run
    by Antonio Manzini
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Rocco Schiavone is a Roman cop who has been exiled to the snowbound North after landing in some serious trouble. He hates the place and yearns to return home. He is unprepared for what he encounters when called to attend a gruesome death on the mountain ski run.

    The degree of damage to the corpse makes identification very difficult, but forensics helps Rocco to eventually identify the dead man as a local hotelier. It also becomes clear that this was no accident.

    Rocco lives on the limits of the law - and thinks little of going outside it - and he throws his weight around the small ski towns to find the truth. His abrupt and awkward treatment of his colleagues baffles them. Eventually Rocco inveigles one of them into participating in some extra-curricular skullduggery that leads him to solving the case.

    Rocco is a fun character, and the book reminded me a bit of the French movie comedy Welcome to the Sticks, another fish out of water tale, albeit played for laughs. There's a bit of comedy in this too, and I think I'll try the next one to see where Manzini takes this character.
    View all my reviews
     
  19. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    19 1971 Never A Dull Moment by David Hepworth A sociological and cultural musicological tour of how 1971 shaped the future of R&R with long playing records of which the following amongst many came out that year.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Full of insight and fascinating trivia and memories..
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  20. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior 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
    21. The Player of Games
    22. The Buddha of Suburbia
    23. Prince of Thorns
    24. King of Thorns
    23. Prince of Thorns

    The first in a trilogy about a traumatised Prince grasping for new found power. Prince Jorg lives in a future Earth that is scared by both nuclear war and global warming. Although the medieval-like setting is largely ignorant of 21st century science, much remains - areas affected by fallout, remnants of different technologies (including a large wheel, which I imagine is an allusion to CERN's hadron collider). In this world the story takes plae in the Broken Empire - which is a fracture Europe with 100 small kingdoms. Prince Jorg leaves his home at a young age, and due to previous trauma is a messed up young man, he joins with some criminals and eventually makes his revenge on the person he believes inflicted the trauma upon him.

    As the book wraps up, Jorg finds out that there is more at play, and just one person is not to blame for his problems.

    24. King of Thorns

    In killing the ruler who hurt him, Jorg has become a king. This book is neatly divided into two sections: the present and 4 years earlier. The present sees just one day - where a new ruler intent on uniting the Broken Empire into one comes to conquer Jorg, who is outnumbered, but has many tricks. The other part deals with Jorg's actions and choices 4 years earlier, which are pretty varied and hard to summarise.

    This novel really focuses on developing character - which is a refreshing change from the other novels from Mark Lawrence (where the main character sticks to his ways too much). Here, Jorg goes from callous and vicious to more measured, more guilty, more interesting - it's less a plot and more a series of events that prompt reflection and learning. Yes there are battles, but there are good twists. yes there is magic, but there's also failure. Yes there's some over-the-top moments, but there are also a lot of quieter ones. By the end of the novel the main character reveals that his ambition is leaving him cold and unhappy - he isn't proud of much that he's done.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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