Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    Was that based on the WTC photograph of the same name?

    Edit @California Dreamer Looks like I can answer my own question. Yes. The article by Tony Juno in Esquire I've read. The DeLillo should be in the public library.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017


  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    26. When the Night Comes
    27. Glow
    28. Shot in the Heart
    29. Common People
    30. Walk Away
    31. Name of the Wind
    32. Wise Man's Fear
    33. Infomocracy
    34. Borne
    35. Art Can Help
    36. The Museum of Modern Love

    36. The Museum of Modern Love

    Kick arse book. Such an odd idea for a novel but the result is way better than the summer I'm going to give. Basically this book is set during Maria Abramovic's 2010 performance 'The Artist is Present'. The author uses this performance as a way to weave several stories around a few characters who repeatedly attend the performance.

    The novel is really brilliant. The narrative arcs are pretty interesting and never felt dull or repetitive. So much of the book functions as a way to explain what performance art does for people and how it can move and change people. There's also so much rumination on what it takes to make art and what it means to be a great artist.

    I really loved it!
     


  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,722
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Me too. Would probably have aced the Miles Franklin, except it doesn't meet the subject criteria.
     


  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    Re Abramovic’s performance there is superb doc at

    I’ve been to a couple of her performances in Sydney in the past couple of years.
     


  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,722
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    57. The Golden House, by Salman Rushdie

    I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book pre-publication.

    Salman Rushdie's setting for The Golden House is somewhat unexpected; a quiet garden bounded by mansions in the toniest part of Manhattan. Rene, the son of immigrant professors living on the Garden, is fascinated by his mysterious neighbours, the Goldens. Nero Golden, a mysterious patriarch from another country, lives there with his sons: autistic Petya, artistic Apu and gender-confused D. As Rene gets to know the Goldens he becomes obsessed with making a film about their story, a film hampered by the fact that he does not yet know where this story leads.

    The fragile tensions in the Golden house approach breaking point when Vasilisa, a Russian chancer, sweeps Nero off his feet and inveigles herself into the house as his mistress. The sons' worst fears about Vasilisa are confirmed, but they are unable to stop her. Things move from bad to worse, and the Golden house becomes the scene of an unfolding grand family tragedy.

    With an outsider's view of tragedy among the ultra-rich, this book reminded me of The Great Gatsby, a novel which Rushdie alludes to regularly here. There are a host of other allusions here, notably comparing the 2016 Presidential election to a cartoon stoush between The Joker and Bat-Girl. Rushdie has some trenchant things to say about what that election means.

    I initially thought that an upper Manhattan setting was not what I expected from Rushdie, but this scenario gives him the opportunity to make some observations about life in exile, even in the midst of comfort, that are clearly informed by his own experience.
     


  6. Foxhound

    Foxhound Senior member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Florentino Ariza is really starting to grind my gears.
     


  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    26. When the Night Comes
    27. Glow
    28. Shot in the Heart
    29. Common People
    30. Walk Away
    31. Name of the Wind
    32. Wise Man's Fear
    33. Infomocracy
    34. Borne
    35. Art Can Help
    36. The Museum of Modern Love
    37. The Fifth Season

    37. The Fifth Season

    This is a great book, but I know fantasy isn't anyone's jam here, so I'm going to spoil the story in my review!

    N.K Jemesin is the author of this novel and it is a romper stomper! The story starts with anoymous man forging a contract with a non-human and causing a massive volcanic eruption which beings 'the Season'. The world that the author creates is one defined by geological instability (called 'seasons') - so every 100 or 200 years or something like that a massive geological upheaval causes each town to batter down the hatches and survive.

    In the world, though, some people are born with the ability to manipulate geology. These people are considered demons and are vilified and killed. However, they are also, realistically, the best chance people have of living through the seasons, so the Government tries to snatch them as children and raise them up in a half school, half stolen generation mission called 'the Fulcrum'.

    Ok, so there are three narratives. One follows a young girl who is put into the care of the Fulcrum - it's obvious that there's a real master-slave dynamic in this school. Another narrative follows an adult woman whose son has been murdered by her husband because her husband found out her son was one of these magicians. She then sets out to find her husband who has fled with her daughter, who also is gifted/cursed. The last narrative follows late teen woman who is on her first mission out of the Fulcrum.

    Plot twist: these are all the same person, at different phases of their life. Gets revealed very late in the novel.

    Also featured in the novel: entrapment, murder, murder of one's own child, torture, enforced-iron-lung contraptions to trap powerful people and use them. The story is really, at its core, about freedom, power and entrapment.

    So, essentially, the world gets a bit more sinister, and complex and one character (though not the protagonist) is trying to end the world because it's so evil.

    Can't wait to get the 2nd book from the library.
     


  8. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    42 Move Fast and Break Things How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

    This is an insightful depressing condemnation of a bunch of libertarian clowns who in their own mind and thanks to our data and the complacency of government believe they rule the world.

    In all honesty it depressed the :censored: out of me.
     


  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,722
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    58. History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund

    Set in a remote town in Minnesota, History of Wolves initially paints a picture of loner Linda developing a crush on her male teacher, leading the reader to leap to some ready assumptions about where this book is headed. However, the story soon diverges when the Gardiner family mores into a nearby home. Leo, Patra and son Paul all seem a little strange, and Linda gravitates towards them, eventually getting work as Paul's baby-sitter.

    Linda makes Patra into an object of affection and is very uncomfortable when her academic husband Leo shows up. Caring for Paul is something of a challenge for her; he is both backward and infuriating at times, but Linda manages to get him interested in games mimicking her woodcraft skills.

    Eventually this scenario goes sour, as Leo starts to assert his authority and tries to get rid of Linda. She resists, but it does not end well.

    I mostly enjoyed this book and would probably rate it more highly except that I found the ending very dissatisfying, and Fridlund's attempt to reconcile the Gardiner and teacher threads of her story felt very unconvincing to me.
     


  10. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    GF: Available through the library system?
     


  11. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    Yep I had to wait about four weeks will be returning it tomorrow.
     


  12. Foxhound

    Foxhound Senior member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky (3/5)
    A good book, the film is also quite good, if not better. A little cringe worthy at parts, and my high school self can identify with some of the characters.

    Charlie has the worst luck, when he's finally about to do the deed with the girl he loves, and that's when he decides to have a flashback to being abused.

    2. Magyk - Angie Sage (3/5)
    Slightly on a more elementary level of reading, nice and easy, and enjoyable nonetheless. A great world is devised which will hopefully built upon in future books. Felt that the final confrontation was over a little too quickly, and the ending inconclusive with several questions still lingering, whilst not feeling like a deliberate spoiler.

    3. From Russia with Love - Ian Flemming (4/5)
    My first Fleming (and Bond) novel. Thoroughly enjoyed it, the details the Fleming goes into to describe Bond without being overbearing and dull are perfect. Will definitely read more 007 books.

    4. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie (3/5)

    An easy and enjoyable read. Perfect length too. It was my first introduction to detective literature and I really enjoyed it, however I found the story a little predictable at times, so will look for something more
    advanced.

    5. The Great Railway Bazaar - Paul Theroux (2/5)
    I read this in a day whilst I myself was on the Trans-Siberian railway somewhere between the Ural Mountains and Irkutsk. I found Theroux's low opinions of the majority of his fellow travellers disappointing, although I did draw several parallels with what he was saying. I'm not sure why, but the book never really grabbed me, even though travelling is something I do often and love. The most interesting part of the book was his two and a half page conversation with Bernard, who seemed to be the most interesting person in the entire book. He did somewhat inspire me to start writing down my own thoughts and perhaps write a travel book of my own. Whilst I was disappointed by the book, I will still read his other book on the same journey done in the 21st century.

    6. 13 Reasons Why - Jay Asher (2/5)
    I enjoyed the Netflix show a lot more than this book, and it is strongly possible that that is because I watched that first. Going back, this book feels somewhat like a proposal to the TV show. The characters, events and the additional major plot details (such as the law suit and the students reacting to the tapes) in the show really added to the suspense and drama. The ending in the show was much more polished and added an extra layer. I think a major part of my lack of enjoyment was that there was not any suspense in the novel for me, so my review may be a little one sided.

    7. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - Jack Weatherford (3/5)
    This book provided a good insight into the life of Genghis Khan and the history of the Mongol Empire. I read it whilst traveling through the Mongolian steppe, and it added to the story. I felt as though the book repeated itself a few times, especially when it came to the battles. It came across as a little one sided, with the victories of Genghis and his descendant touched upon heavily, but the failures often were just mere paragraphs.

    8. The Cathedral and the Bazaar - Eric S. Raymond (3/5)
    A very interesting read, and one that I believe should be read by any computer scientist. The first few chapters are very exciting and a great history lesson. The book lulls towards the end however, especially when talking about the economics of the open source model, but this is still important. It's especially interesting to compare the companies mentioned at the time of writing to how they are performing today.

    9. The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom (4/5)
    Amazing book. I felt as thought it started off a little slow, and the ending could have been slightly longer. The second and third people he met were definitely the most powerful. The more I think about it, I didn't feel as though the fifth added much. The sentence about the purpose of his life was important, but could have been delivered by almost anyone.

    10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (3/5)
    An enjoyable read, But at times relatively boring. I felt as though it focused too much on Boo Radley for the level of involvement he had on the story. I felt the class difference much more powerful than that of the racial tensions. The book seems to dwell far too much on the upbringing of Scout and Jem, with the trial seemingly in the background, and didn't hold the importance that I would have expected. Whilst there is no doubt that it's a good novel, I can't help but think that it wouldn't be held in the same high esteem if it wasn't released in an era outside of the civil rights movement.

    11. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut Jr (3/5)
    An extremely quirky book. It didn't fully grab me but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I found Vonnegut's style, particularly the short paragraphs very peculiar. I enjoyed his descriptions of Dresden, and my favorite scene by far was the the hospital one towards the end, and felt that it, along with several others could have been fleshed out a lot more. I found myself at times 'lost' in the words, having to back track to figure out what was going on, a process I don't overly enjoy. I think the book requires a second, if not more, to fully understand it. Somehow, I missed the end of Billy's life entirely, and only picked it up from Wikipedia. I also found the reference to the work of David Irving highly interesting.

    12. Love in the Time of Cholora - Gabriel García Márquez (3/5)
    The first fifth of this book is quite strange, and it takes a long time to really understand which of the characters are central to the story, and how they are positioned in the world by Márquez.

    The major theme that the book explores is the huge role that love plays in our lives, and in my opinion, how it can inspire us to great heights, as shown by Florentino's success. I however felt that the most influential and powerful theme in this book was death, and the fear of ageing, which each character went through and interpreted in their own way. This was presented beautiful.

    I think one of the biggest components of this book which propelled it to such huge success is that Márquez was able to paint an amazingly vivid and real world, where I felt completely immersed and could picture many things. He did this without mentioning the name of the country or the city, or any specific years.

    I found the book easier to read than expected, however, it did not help that two of the characters have extremely similar names and are often mentioned within words of each other.
     


  13. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    South West of the Black Stump
    43 Judas:The Last Days written by W.Maxwell.Prince, illustrated by John Amor.

    As a TLC I always thought Judas was hard done by after all if he hadn't taken the silver then no arrest, no Ecce Homo and no crucifixion. Any the Judas in this story is more akin to Ahasuerus the Wandering Jew who taunted JC on the way to Golgotha and then was cursed by him to wait for his return.

    This Judas has had enough and simply wants to die. He seeks with the aid of the apostles James, who is a deviant drug addled fool and Mathew who is a hedonistic transvestite to find the way to end his days.

    Then enter Paul or Saul of Tarsus and thats when if things hadn't been weird enough as is it gets decisively bent out of shape.

    The illustrations are first rate and its not something I would recommend for the pious.

    44 THE COMPLETE S.H.I.E.L.D BY LEE & KIRBY

    Classic 1960's Marvel mayhem "Don't Yield Back SHEILD" Nuff Said!
     


  14. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    26. When the Night Comes
    27. Glow
    28. Shot in the Heart
    29. Common People
    30. Walk Away
    31. Name of the Wind
    32. Wise Man's Fear
    33. Infomocracy
    34. Borne
    35. Art Can Help
    36. The Museum of Modern Love
    37. The Fifth Season
    38. Underground Airlines

    38. Underground Airlines


    Slavery still exists in the USA because Lincoln got assassinated before becoming president. In the 'hard four' states slaves exist and the book essentially makes a point that slavery existing in any form creates flow on effects outside of it's historical or physical limits.

    The book started off quite interestingly: the narrator is an African American who captures escaped slaves for the government, and there's a lot of tension between what's good for the individual and what's good for society.

    Not a bad book, but I wouldn't re-read it and it doesn't say anything new about race relations if you're at all empathetic.
     


  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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
    26. When the Night Comes
    27. Glow
    28. Shot in the Heart
    29. Common People
    30. Walk Away
    31. Name of the Wind
    32. Wise Man's Fear
    33. Infomocracy
    34. Borne
    35. Art Can Help
    36. The Museum of Modern Love
    37. The Fifth Season
    38. Underground Airlines
    39. The Emperor's Blades

    39. The Emperor's Blades

    Sick read - enough plot twists to rollercoaster along, excellent pacing, really, really excellent pacing. Character development out the wazoo and descriptive, imaginative, thorough writing.

    Highly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

    PS - it's not a story about swords, it's about pretty much everything other than blades. 1/3 political, 1/3 action, 1/3 mental/philosophical thinking
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by