2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Was there a real Mr Gorski? I have to admit reading "Gonski" half the time.
     


  2. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    28 Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell The Penguin Modern Classics 1974 edition.
    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength
    "The" classic 20th century dystopian vision of a nightmare world of totalitarian rule. Expertly crafted and written and still as vibrant and chilling when I first (and only) read it forty years ago.

    Highly recommended.
     


  3. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    When Apollo Mission Astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but followed it by several remarks, including the usual COM traffic between him, the other astronauts, and Mission Control. Before he re-entered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
    Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, [they found] there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.
    Over the years, many people have questioned him as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky”statement meant. On July 5, in Tampa Bay, FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26- year-old question to Armstrong. He finally responded. It seems that Mr. Gorsky had died and so Armstrong felt he could answer the question. When he was a kid, Neil was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex? Oral sex you want? You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
     


  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    That sounds like a big urban myth to me.
     


  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever
    Now that is chilling.
     


  6. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    It is. You would be surprised at the amount of people over the years who think it's true. A second year uni student tried to pass it off as part of their coursework many years past. Gave them a fail.
     


  7. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    43. Smashing It Up: A Decade of Chaos with The Damned, by Kieron Tyler

    Kieron Tyler leaves the reader in little doubt that The Damned were a hugely under-rated band whose influence spread from the gestation of both punk and goth music to later US rockers such as The Replacements, Nirvana and Guns 'n' Roses. Despite their pioneering influence, The Damned has tended to be sidelined and belittled by the mainstream; Tyler's book is an excellent attempt to set the record straight. As he suggest, it may not give us the complete truth, but it brings us closer to the truth than we were before.

    The book has been phenomenally well-researched. Tyler has relied heavily on interviews done with band members and others directly involved, either by himself or quoted directly from contemporaneous sources. This lends a feel of both immediacy and authenticity to the band's story.

    And what a story it is. Tyler starts off by placing us firmly in the nascent punk rock scene in London, before the term even existed, documents how the four founding members came together, and the musical influences that led them to record the pioneering and then-shocking New Rose. He then takes us chronologically through the band's tumultuous career over several decades, a career that persists to this day.

    Throughout, the reader is left wondering how these people managed to survive the largely self-inflicted damage that they personally and the band endured. It's astonishing to think that all four founding members survived in the industry for decades after arising from a milieu where bands only lasted for a few years at most, and which claimed the lives of many of its foremost practitioners. Given the level of self-destruction chronicled here, that is truly amazing.

    I enjoyed this book hugely, and found myself constantly jumping onto the internet to listen again to the songs that Tyler was discussing, which often clarified the story he was telling and added to my enjoyment of the book. If I had a quibble it would be that Tyler's chronology sometimes gets confusing and he seems to repeat himself; for example, an account of the recording of Anything appears twice. Overall, however, Tyler definitely succeeds in his objective of restoring The Damned and its members to their rightful place in modern music history.
     


  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    29 HOW DID WE GET INTO THIS MESS? Politics,Equality,Nature by George Monbiot
    A curated collection of short articles by a progressive journalist who writes a weekly column for the Guardian. Topical thought provoking commentary on a range of ills and some interesting solutions which beset the planet and its human inhabitants.

    You may not agree with everything he writes but it should provide the reader with numerous pause for thought moments.
    Recommend.
     


  9. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. Roadside Picnic
    2. Fifth Head of Cerebus
    3. You are not a Gadget
    4. Is the future going to be a better place?
    5. The Three Body Problem
    6. A Cold and Common Orbit
    7. A Gathering of Shadows
    8. Laurinda
    9. Short Stories inspired by Laurinda
    10. The Pier Falls
    11. A Darker Shade of Magic
    12. A Blade of Black Steel
    13. Naveed
    14. Terra Nullius
    15. True Girt
    16. A Conjuring of Light
    17. The Grace of Kings
    18. Porno
    19. The North Water
    20. Jasper Jones
    21. That Thing Around Your Neck
    22. Divergent
    23. Wall of Storms
    24. Insurgent

    24. Insurgent


    #2 in the Divergent series and it's pretty much bang on as addictive as the first. Nice quick plot, good amount of tension, gets a bit more teeny whingy (which is a shame because the first wasn't). Reading partially because I needed something easy for a plane trip, partially because we're studying the first one at school (the more I know) and partially because I'm enjoying it.

    Would not recommend to any of my fellow readers here, cannot see it being up your alley, friends.
     


  10. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    44. The Power, by Naomi Alderman

    What would the world be like if women no longer had to fear men?

    In The Power, Naomi Alderman imagines such a world, where young women discover a latent physical power that they never knew they had; the ability to discharge jolts of electricity from a skein of nerves in their shoulders. As the word spreads, these young girls teach others how to use it, and soon nearly all women have acquired this power.

    This realisation turns male-dominated society on its head in all sorts of ways. The Power can be used for pleasure, healing, self-defence or as a weapon, and Alderman's characters follow these various paths. Abused orphan Allie uses her power to found a religious cult with herself as a prophetess, which she uses to wield great influence over women world-wide. Roxy, the daughter of a London gang boss, uses her vast power to both support Allie and to carve out a criminal syndicate of her own. Politician Marion seeks to obtain high office and to recruit girls with the power in order to make money through defence contracts. Male photojournalist Tunde follows the emergence of the power from the third world and observes revolutions by downtrodden women who use it to overthrow patriarchies and carve out their own countries and governments. But is that something that the establishment will tolerate? The women may have lightning, but the men still have vast armies and nuclear weapons.

    Alderman manages to make this scenario plausible for the most part, and it's a really entertaining read. Perhaps surprisingly, the world that she portrays shows that women with power will still gravitate towards its abuse, as Lord Acton's dictum suggests.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017 at 1:44 AM


  11. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    30 MEN AND STYLE Essays, Interviews and Considerations by David Coggins.
    Interesting observations and insights in Sartorial persuasions with a variety of gentlemen. Interviews on topics of interest accompanied by essays and photographs. Been dipping in and out of this tome for the past six months.

    Finished it as a recuperative tonic after 1984. Forty years made forget how depressing Orwell's dystopian vision is.
     


  12. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. Roadside Picnic
    2. Fifth Head of Cerebus
    3. You are not a Gadget
    4. Is the future going to be a better place?
    5. The Three Body Problem
    6. A Cold and Common Orbit
    7. A Gathering of Shadows
    8. Laurinda
    9. Short Stories inspired by Laurinda
    10. The Pier Falls
    11. A Darker Shade of Magic
    12. A Blade of Black Steel
    13. Naveed
    14. Terra Nullius
    15. True Girt
    16. A Conjuring of Light
    17. The Grace of Kings
    18. Porno
    19. The North Water
    20. Jasper Jones
    21. That Thing Around Your Neck
    22. Divergent
    23. Wall of Storms
    24. Insurgent
    25. The Messenger

    25. The Messenger

    An old favourite. While at my parents' house over the weekend I found my old copy of this book. It's a much loved novel and I decided to re-read it. Ed Kennedy is a bit of a loser, but not a bad person. One day random cards show up in his letterbox with names or addresses on them. Each location requires him to intervene to make someone's life better. The language is sublimely Australian and one of my favourite things about the novel.

    It wasn't quite as warming as the first time I read it, but I find it interesting in ways I didn't back then. I love to focus on community and think that it will continually read quite interestingly in that respect as the world seems to be in a phase of isolation, individualisation and outrage, therefore the Messenger's focus on community building and self-improvement through helping others is a tad cliche but out of fashion.
     


  13. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    45. Holding, by Graham Norton

    *** I would like to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to review a free advance copy of this book ***

    TV host Graham Norton makes a very creditable fist of his first novel, a bucolic mystery set in the tiny Irish town of Duneen. His hero PJ is an overweight, hopeless member of the Guardia who is the sole cop in the town. When some human bones are found on a nearby building site, PJ is very quickly in over his head, both with his dearth of policing skills and with the long-buried village animosities the find also unearths.

    PJ's investigation sees him bouncing between the forbidding trio of Ross spinsters and the town drunk Brid Riordan, to untangle a long-past love triangle with a farm boy, and discern its bearing on the case. There are a couple of clever twists to the plot, but it is a bit Midsomer-y. PJ's success with the ladies is also a little bit hard to credit.

    PJ reminded me a bit of Brendan Gleeson's character in the film The Guard, but that's no bad thing. He's an amiable character with enough rough edges to sustain interest should Norton elect to do a sequel.
     


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