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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the detective ever dies. Just the writer.
     
  2. ballmouse

    ballmouse Well-Known Member

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    I just finished book #55 Charles Willeford's Miami Blues, which is the first book in the Hoke Moseley series. The writing style reads very similar to James Crumley's, although a little less descriptive and to the point (a la Elmore Leonard I suppose, who wrote the introduction to the novel). Therefore, you can expect a bit of crusty nostalgia, dry satirical remarks, and tired grumpiness in this detective novel. I liked it. I'm going to start on the rest of the series.
     
  3. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known 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
    22. The Buddha of Suburbia
    23. Prince of Thorns
    24. King of Thorns
    25. Emperor of Thorns
    26. Oryx and Crake
    27. Use of Weapons
    28. The long way to a small angry planet
    29. Heart goes last
    30. Generation A
    31. The Medium is the Message
    32. Them
    33. The psychopath test
    34. Essentialism
    35. Signs at the End of the World
    36. The Wasp Factory
    37. Sapiens
    38. Lost Spaces
    39. What Money Can't Buy
    40. Seveneves
    41. Flowers for Algernon
    42. A Crown of Cold Silver
    43. Central Station
    44. Why People Photograph
    45. The Wheel of Oshiem
    46. Red Rising
    47. Golden Son
    48. Morning Star
    49. The Meat Tree


    49. The Meat Tree

    Promised a lot and didn't deliver. This was supposed to be a cool re-telling of a Welsh myth - instead it misses the mark and is a boring and frustrating read. I think that the poet who wrote this was trying to adopt her writing into a genre (SF) that she wasn't versed in. So it's boring and annoying to read.
     
  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Got that one, and looking forward to reading it. My favourite Go-Betweens story is when they were due to play a set on a big US TV show. Foster (a cross-dresser) asked McLennan if it would be a good time to wear his new yellow dress, to which Grant said absolutely, it would be the perfect time.
     
  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    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
    18. The Natural Way of Things
    19. Piano Lessons
    20. Pedigree
    21. Sing Fox To Me
    22. Mister Roberts
    23. Talking To My Country
    24. The Bricks That Built the Houses
    25. Oblivion
    26. The Sixth Extinction
    27. The Cruel Stars of the Night
    28. Normal
    29. The Shepherd's Crown
    30. Vixen
    31. The Heart Goes Last
    32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War
    33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
    34. Fever of Animals
    35. Our Souls at Night
    36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
    37. She Will Build Him a City
    38. Quota
    39. The Secret Chord
    40. Beast

    Been away on holidays and trying to up my reading. Haven't had time to write full reviews, but here's some snippets.

    41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. **
    This starts off with a very interesting premise about wealthy people getting themselves cryogenically frozen to achieve immortality. However the second half of the book mostly drops this plot line and is almost entirely the vapid musings and philosophising of a not-very-appealing narrator, the son of the billionaire who funds the research.

    42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson ****
    Award-winning Scandi noir about the death of a small-time crim who went straight and became a renowned aquarium hobbyist. Suicide or murder? I enjoyed this one. It has a few good twists, but it suffered from the all-too-common problem with translated detective novels where the first novel translated is well into the series, and the reader is left baffled with some of the characters and their situations.

    43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump ***
    Essay by Paul Keating's speech-writer, Don Watson. Watson, an astute political observer, examines the rise of anti-establishment politics in the USA in spots such as Madison, Milwaukee and others, and the nature of their attraction to a maverick candidate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    69. The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour- Volume 4, Part 2- The Adventure Stories

    Not as good as his Western stories, but I enjoyed the adventures of the three main characters, and wondered why he never developed them into novels.

    2 books to go...
     
  7. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    47 The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer A brother & sister writing team and the first book in the series. The translation is efficient as it captures the main police protagonists in depth, mind you I'm starting to believe that their are particular archetypes working in this genre which a lot of writers are adhering too, albeit with some variations on the theme and crimes committed. The criminals in this have a weird sense of topical social justice operating and it interesting to see the how the public is embracing their cause in the narrative. Overall the narrative has depth and moves at a logical pace in terms of a police procedural. Interesting read but so far nothing to overtly separate it and make it stand out from the pack of Scandi Noir I've been reading in the past couple of years.

    I have the next book which I will tackle this long weekend between bouts during the annual Festival of the Boot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  8. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, DeLillo's got a new one already? He seems to be getting briefer and more obtuse with each passing year -- but I found his audio books -- read by Will Patton and and Campbell Scott -- supremely entrancing. Soporific in the best way, perfect for bedtime listening.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,539
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    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 18. The Natural Way of Things 19. Piano Lessons 20. Pedigree 21. Sing Fox To Me 22. Mister Roberts 23. Talking To My Country 24. The Bricks That Built the Houses 25. Oblivion 26. The Sixth Extinction 27. The Cruel Stars of the Night 28. Normal 29. The Shepherd's Crown 30. Vixen 31. The Heart Goes Last 32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War 33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 34. Fever of Animals 35. Our Souls at Night 36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West 37. She Will Build Him a City 38. Quota 39. The Secret Chord 40. Beast 41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. ** 42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson **** 43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump ***
    44. Gold Fame Citrus
    [​IMG]
    Gold Fame Citrus
    by Claire Vaye Watkins
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Watkins' debut is a dystopian novel set in a California where endless drought has caused a vast dune sea to engulf the Mojave and the Sierras, creating a society of climate refugees desperate for water and for escape.

    Luz and Ray are two such displaced persons. Living in a mansion abandoned by a starlet, they decide to take her vintage Karmann Ghia and head for Seattle and safety. On the way, they steal a child, Ig, from a group of drifters.

    Coming to grief in the dune sea, Luz is found by a group of survivalists living on the edge. Their leader, Levi, has big dreams in which Luz and Ig both play a part.

    This is a pretty good book, albeit with a few confusing loose ends and, frankly, terrible sex scenes. It reminded me somewhat of The Road, Lord of the Flies, and even Dune at times. Watkins is a talent to watch.
    View all my reviews
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  10. ballmouse

    ballmouse Well-Known Member

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    56. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

    A legal thriller about a prosecutor (Rusty Sabich) in charge of a murder investigation whose victim was a fellow colleague he had been infatuated and sleeping with despite his marriage. Things get slightly bizarre when Rusty himself is charged with her murder.

    While I suppose most thrillers are entertaining due to their plot or pace, this novel is actually a bit lengthy with some in-depth reflection on Rusty's part. However, I think the most intriguing part is actually how Turow richly layers the fictional town with a pervasive sense of human corruption. There is a very large cast, each one of which probably could have his or her own novel based on what we gather from Rusty's POV.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    2 people like this.
  11. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

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    11. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    My second foray into Pynchon. Really enjoyed it although found a few parts difficult to follow. Was disappointed a few plot lines were not fully explained, but that is his charm.

    Edit: Up next, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
    2 people like this.
  12. indesertum

    indesertum Well-Known Member

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    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is pretty fun to read. Bladerunner is a fun watch too

    I started and quit so many times on V. Pynchon's writing style is a little ADD.
     
  13. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Well-Known Member

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    Weird. V. was pretty much the only thing of his that hooked me immediately, so much that I bought different versions of the book to read. By Gravity's Rainbow he seemed to have internalized the claims of 'genius' a little too much, and the prose just seemed a little off (though it was really easy to take a red pen to it and carve it in a way that its beauty really jumped out). I hate it as it's one of the Really Big Books that truly felt unwelcoming.

    I'm really curious to see how his latest efforts read.
     
  14. VaderDave

    VaderDave Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed Bleeding Edge but found Gravity's Rainbow a bit of a chore.
     
  15. indesertum

    indesertum Well-Known Member

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    just hasn't clicked with me yet i guess
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

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    Bleeding Edge was cool, but didn't grab me like The Crying of Lot 49 did. My biggest gripe with the book is that I felt it left many things unexplained.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read Bleeding Edge, but I read Lot 49 and Vineland back at university and really enjoyed them.

    Inherent Vice was a bit more of a chore in parts, but still enjoyable.

    Gravity's Rainbow, on the other hand, was one of the only books that I have never finished reading. I've picked it up a few times over the past decade but never really get any further into it before putting it back down again.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    48 The Girl In The Ice by Lotte & Soren Hammer Second book in the series. Interesting Scandi Noir. Solid police procedural with sufficient twists and turns to keep you engaged. Very well developed characters noticed this in the first book and this maintains the standard.

    However reflection upon the ending gives me pause for thought and strikes me as somewhat unrealistic to say the least.State sponsored torture and murder? Who could ever believe that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  19. Foxhound

    Foxhound Well-Known Member

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    I plan to do his entire library, however going to give him a break for now, but the next one will be Inherent Vice. The trailer for the film looks intriguing.

    Twenty percent into Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and quite enjoying it. Much easier to read than Bleeding Edge, and similar to The Man in the High Castle. Rick's wife seems like a bitch.

    I have just come across, this, Electric Dreams: The World of Phillip K. Dick, a 10 part anthology series about the works of PKD starring Bryan Cranston. Says it was due to broadcast in 2016, but I highly doubt it will be out until next year, based on the lack of information available.

    Quite pleased with my reading this year, and am on track to hit 15 books.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  20. VaderDave

    VaderDave Well-Known Member

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    Inherent Vice made me feel like Pynchon was trying too hard to make his characters colorful and "what a character"-y.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

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