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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    I can see you making 110. If you'll fly back before New Year, possibly 120. Your pace is terrifying.
     


  2. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    What kind of list did you make 2010? Has the 50-book-challenge been going on prior to 2011?
     


  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    I meant Boxnall's 1001. I can no longer find the 2010 list I had filled out. BTW there is a small addendum for books from 2012.


    More Importantly....Drum Roll Please


    100. The Quiet American Graham Greene 1955 The story of two journalists in the beginning of what was to become the War in Vietnam. One is Brit, one is American. The Brit is seriously injured, but his life is saved by the American. The American covets the Brit's girlfriend and wins her. The American gets involved with the CIA and plants a bomb in a public place injuring women and children. The Brit confronts him about it and doesn't get a satisfactory answer or a cease and desist. So he hands him over to be killed by oppositional forces.

    I rather liked this book, which is odd because I really DIDN'T like The End of the Affair. Guess I'll have to try another Greene. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012


  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    55. Pure by Andrew Miller (2011)

    This novel is set in pre-revolutionary France, during the last years of the monarchy. Young Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a novice engineer from Normandy, is commissioned by the government in Versailles to clear out a huge graveyard in central Paris, and demolish the church it is attached to. He recruits a crew of taciturn miners to execute this task, and befriends some of the locals who are keen to support him.

    Baratte's task is an obvious metaphor for the incipient sweeping away of the ancien regime by the bourgeoisie. He drops a few hints of the coming revolution at times, but never really makes much of what is a potentially powerful narrative device.

    The book contains one of the most massive howlers it's been my good luck to read: "The four of them in a gondolier, sliding under the Rialto Bridge".
     


  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    Congrats on reaching 100 Steve. Awesome effort.
     


  6. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    The Quiet American is a true classic. I read it 3 times, or 4. Please try more Greene, you may get to like them. But they are all somewhat dark.

    100 is unbelievable. It requires a lenient boss, an understanding wife and encouraging highly intellectual girlfriends. Hope to see you in 2013.

    I am up to 48 already (thanks to long-haul flights) but busy with annoying people and stuff so haven't yet been able to post the mandatory capsule reviews.

    I am 48 % of you, Master.
     


  7. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    And you, Dreamer! 55 (and counting) in a year means you are either a true intellectual or your TV is broken. Hope to see you in 2013 too. You up for a challenge to go for the 1001 before the end?
     


  8. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    Thank you.


    Yes on lenient boss (basically myself), wives only exes, and, unusually, a year sans girlfriend. And no TV,

    Both of you will have 50 and that is what's important.


    101. The Kill Artist 2000 Daniel Silva Allon thwarts a plot to kill Arafat in the midst of the peace process by a former aide. The time period is 8 years since his family was killed by a bomb masterminded by this same terrorist. Gabriel's lured out of retirement when he learns the identity of his potential target. There's an interesting plot twist at the end and a potential romance which never develops. The recruiting back into The Office has gone and went and gone and went. How many times can William Munny come back and kill Little Bill. An interesting book nonetheless.
     


  9. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    56. The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson (2012)

    Well the title says it all really. On his 100th birthday Allan Karlsson decides that he can't face the alcohol-free civic reception the Director of the Old Folks Home has planned for him, so he climbs out the window and takes off.

    Trouble follows Karlsson like a magnet and it's not long before he's caught up with a drug dealer and a missing suitcase, with the police frantically trying to find him. There follows a complicated plot involving murder, mayhem, elephants, etc.

    Jonasson also dips into Karlsson's past to explain his unexpected influence on world leaders and major geopolitical events in the course of his eventful life.

    This is quite an amusing book; it reminds me of Tom Sharpe's farces with the characters blundering all over the place and getting themselves into ever-deepening trouble. The Allan Karlsson character also reminds me of Woody Allen's Zelig, with his propensity to be on the scene at major historical turning points. Highly recommended for a giggle.
     


  10. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]

    I don't have Boxall's book. (Seems odd that it is updated so often. I would have thought such a list would be very stable). I wouldn't mind using it as a source of ideas on what to read next, but I'm a pretty eclectic reader, and I'd find such a list too confining - there would be very little modern Australian writing in it, for example. So, no plans to aim for the 1001, but I do plan to be back next year.

    Way I'm going, I am going to aim for at least 60 by the end of the year. Should be doable, with the holiday break.
     


  11. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    As I remember it, the first edition had hardly any non-English-language books in it. Second edition then had a massive (but probably still inadequate) revision, including many important books from around the World. Later editions update with newer books just to keep some kind of news value and to keep selling the thing. I think 1001 is a decent indicator of which classics (pre-1980) to go for. Of course none of us want to be confined by the ideas of Boxall's team but we can draw some inspiration.

    Good luck with the 60.
     


  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    102. The English Assassin 2002 Daniel Silva The second of the Gabriel Allon books. Deals with the looting of priceless art from Jews by Nazi Germany. How it was moved to Switzerland and remains there, much of it to this day due to Swiss banking laws. It is also interesting that one of Gabriel's pupils, an Englishman of commensurate ability performs the act on THE bad guy. A very readable book.

    A book a day keeps the boredom away.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012


  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    103. The Eagle Has Landed 1976 Jack Higgins Focuses on a plot by a small group of German paratroopers who try to kill/kidnap Churchill in 1943. The plot is foiled. One of the Germans gets away and becomes an important member of the IRA. Supposedly 50% of the book is true. No one's saying what 50%.

    I liked it. I decided to read it because Honourable Schoolboy was putting me to sleep.
     


  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    104. The Eagle Has Flown 1991 Jack Higgins Sequel to the above. The primary German character from the 1st book hasn't actually died from his wounds (surprise). As he heals the Brits move him to a safe house from the Tower of London. British Intelligence sets a trap hoping to arrest any Gerrmans involved in the plot. Enter again Mr. Liam Devlin, our erstwhile IRA "hero", who sneaks in disguised as a priest and spirits the German soldier out through the sewers. Then there's some drama when he gets to Germany. Good read, but nowhere near as good as The Eagle Has Landed.
     


  15. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    Clockwise counting 46/50: John Galsworthy - The Silver Spoon (1926)

    The second novel of the second trilogy is probably a little bit less readable than all the earlier novels in this chronicle of the English Forsyte family. I guess it may not get back to the brilliance of the first four novels, simply because Galsworthy keeps milking the same idea over too many hundreds and thousands of pages. 

    This time the story revolves around a scandal of socialites and a lawsuit for libel. The conflict between old Victorian values (represented by Soames Forsyte) and modern age (represented by everyone else) is the underlying theme. 
     


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