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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. Senior member

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    60 The Nine Tailors Dorothy L. Sayers 1934
    I chose this one because I spotted it out of the corner of my eye at the library and it's on The List. I found it almost incoherent, and a far inferior book to Murder Must Advertise.
    Now Clock will say he liked it.
     
  2. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I expect I will like it. Haven't read it yet.
     
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    61. Persuader 2003 Lee Child
    This time Reacher foils arms dealers headquartered in Maine. ?!
    My brother and I have come up with a suitable substitute forTiny Tom.

    The Rock.
     
  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    36. Black Skies, by Arnaldur Indridason (2012)
    The latest in the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries series. This book is set contemporaneously with the previous novel, Outrage, and focuses on the third member of the team, Sigurdur Oli.

    The character of Sigurdur Oli owes an awful lot to the character of Gunvald Larsson in the Martin Beck series. He is fussy about his clothes and comes from a more privileged background than his colleagues. Amusingly, he detests Icelandic crime novels and Scandinavian TV series, preferring to which MLB games on cable.

    Sigurdur Oli gets roped into paying a visit to a woman who is blackmailing an acquaintance to talk her out of it. While he is on the premises, he finds the woman bashed senseless, and she ultimately dies. He knows he should extricate himself from the case, but can't resist getting involved to find out just who has made a fool of him.

    In the meantime, he is contacted by Andres, an alcoholic tramp seeking to talk to Erlendur, who is still missing, whereabouts unknown. Andres is behaving in a very weird fashion, but the distracted Sigurdur Oli finds it hard to make much time for him. Until a brief strip of film is sent to him showing a terrified boy pleading for somebody to "Stop!".

    The plot is satisfyingly complex, involving everything from blackmail to murder to white collar crime. Indridason describes Iceland in its boom years, while also conveying the impending sense that the bust is about to hit.

    While I inderstand what Indridason is doing by diversifying his books to focus on different investigators, I think it is being clumsily handled and reducing the interest in the series. Erlendur was a fascinating character with a dark and twisted back story that the author was still expanding on. No real reason is given for his removal from the scene, and his absence means some of the interesting ongoing narrative arcs are just parked, turning the series into a more episodic set of stories. Elingborg and Sigurdur Oli are nowhere near as interesting or original as characters. Bring back Erlendur!
     
  6. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    OT, Steve, but are you a Spurs fan? What do you think of Patrick Mills? (A rare Aussie in the NBA).
     
  7. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 33/50: John Galsworthy - To Let (1921)

    The final novel in the trilogy that makes up The Forsyte Saga. After this Galsworthy wrote two additional trilogies about the Forsyte family, I guess I will one day tackle those as well. 

    The old family conflict continues through the third generation in a rapidly changing English post-war society. It's all about love and property with the Forsytes. I really enjoyed this!
     
  8. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    A valuable reserve, given the opponent. Just KILLED Portland and one other team back to back at the end of the season. But Manu REALLY backs up Tony so I don't knnow how much playing time he will get. But they worked quickly resigning him...
     
  9. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I'll join the OT when it turns to Pekovic, Love, Rubio. Until then, let me assure you that I am busy reading. Now Roberto Bolano's masterpiece 2666. I am in transit on my way to Asia and the 900 pages should help me kill time on the long flight. Especially if assisted with champagne. :D
     
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Didn't know you were a Wolves Fan. IMO they need to make some uniform changes. Good team, though.

    I was thinking of that book too but gotta finish the junk food first. It's just the only way. Or going to a Step Withdrawal program from Reacher.
     
  11. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I lived in CA for a while in the noughties. My local team was GSW so, of course, I had to find somebody else to barrack for. The Wolves seem to have a history of fostering Australian players (Gaze and Heal) so I went for them. Good choice, coz they were winning everything then.
     
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I loved 2666. The Savage Detectives is on my list to get around to.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    62 Without Fail 2002 Lee Child This was one of the better Reachers so far. A plot to assassinate the VICE president. Collateral people get killed by the perpetrator team. Twists and turns everywhere. It ultimately turns out to be a personal vendetta. Which would have been my first question. Why the vice president instead of the president?

    So- 38 to go for 100. I think the Reachers might put an asterisk on the season, but I don't really care. Gonna read what I like. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  14. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Next season looks promising with additions of AK47, Brandon Roy and other new interesting players. Visited Twin Cities so much for my business (in the past, not so these days) that I adopted Timberwolves as my NBA team. A frustrating experience indeed. :)

    How many Reacher novels are there? How is it going with AK (Karenina not Kirilenko)?
     
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Just realised, should have been talking about the Spurs, not the Wolves. Shows what I know.
     
  16. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    37. From the Mouth of the Whale, by Sjon (2011)

    One thing I think Amazon does quite well is their recommendations function. I've picked up on a few authors new to me as a result, and enjoyed some books I otherwise would have missed.

    Amazon recommended Sjon, presumably because of all the Scandinavian detective fiction I buy there. Sjon is a whole other thing entirely. From the Mouth of the Whale is a fabulist piece of magic realism, blended with elements of poetry and historical fiction.

    Set in the early part of the 17th century, the book is the account of Jonas, an exiled heretic marooned on a tiny island off Iceland. Jonas is a renowned poet, self-taught scholar and layer of ghosts and demons. His successes have stirred resentments against him, resulting in him falling afoul of implacable enemies. In the midst of musings about natural history and religion, Jonas reveals his story and the tragedies that have befallen him.

    This is not an easy read and took a while for me to get into. I'd only recommend it hesitantly, because you'd need to like the more arty style of literary fiction to enjoy it. That said, I've already bought another of his, and am keen to read it.

    37(a). Sabotage, by Daniel Altman (2011).

    Too short to include on the list. Altman seems to be a pretty credible commentator, but he really does not like Republicans, that's pretty clear. In this polemic he lays out an argument that the Republicans have been sobataging the recovery of the US economy through an implacable determination not to allow Obama the opportuniy to go ino the 2012 elections with a healthy economy for an electoral platform. Some of his argument, such as the folly of their brinkmanship over the debt ceiling, I agree with. Some other things, such as blaming them for suicide rates, seem excessive. As with all such pieces, your judgment is usually determined by your poltitical stance.

    The conservative opposition here in Australia tends to copy GOP tactics and policies. They will almost certainly form government next year, so I'd have to say I find the precedents a bit disturbing.


    Time for some escapist fluff, I reckon. :)
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    17 Reachers I think. I only have 5 left.

    Slow on Anna K...Can't compete w/action. I'm thinking Smiley's ppl as a step down.

    Hope MN sojourn wasn't in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  18. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    63. The Hard Way- Lee Child 2006
    Reacher gets involved w/an outsourced paramilitary group a la Black Water. The director has a kidnapping and Reacher is invited in. Not that good. Only 7.3 on the newly designed Reacher scale.

    64. Nothing to Lose Lee Child 2006
    This one involves toxic waste, metal recycling, and tank uranium disposal in CO. 2 towns- the good guys- Hope. The bad guys-Despair. Trite, no? The plot which includes a semi TNT/UA bomb explosion is foiled and Reacher hitch hikes off into the sun set. Same 7.3

    Even I am getting tired of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  19. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    65. 61 Hours 2010 Lee Child
    Reacher gets dragged into a small town in South Dakota's affairs due to inclement weather.3 people are murdered, it turns out by the police chief. The bad guys are after a huge stash of 50 year old meth underground. The underlings attempt to kill their boss by filling up the lair with jet fuel and lighting it. Did Reacher survive? It doesn't say, but there are more Reacher books one would assume so.

    Reacher Scale 9.5

    Only 2 books to go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    38. Pirates of the Levant, by Arturo Perez-Reverte (2011)

    This is the 6th novel in the Captain Alatriste series. Alatriste is a grizzled veteran of the Spanish infantry during the early 17th century. He is a lethal swordsman, quick-tempered and unsociable. At the start of the series, he assumes guardianship of the child of a late comrade, Inigo. The series is narrated by Inigo as an old man.

    In this novel Alatriste and Inigo are serving on a corsair galley raiding the shores of North Africa and the Mediterranean islands to seize booty from the Turks, often in concert with the Knights of Malta. They encounter some successes, but these are tempered with occasional disastrous outcomes. The novel climaxes with an epic sea battle when Alatriste's galley is cornered by a Turkish fleet.

    This entry in the series moves the narrative on a bit as we see Inigo growing into a hot-headed young man, not averse to defying and insulting his mentor. Alatriste struggles to contain himself and swallow statements that he would kill anyone else for making. It's an interesting dynamic the author is developing here; it could take the series in an unexpected direction.

    Alatriste is a D'Artagnan-like figure, although far more cynical and world-weary than the dashing and romantic Musketeers. He is an utter realist about the horror of war, but can see no other honourable occupation for himself. Perez-Reverte's background as a war correspondent allows him to convey very accurately the blood, sweat and tears that accompany the swashbuckling, both in the 17th century and, by extension, in our own time.
     

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