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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. meilbill

    meilbill Member

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    Aug 30, 2013
    1. The Sun Also Rises - Mixed feelings about this one. I am not too fond of Hemingway's style, although I feel this novel captures it best. It involves some of my favorite subjects (travel, Paris, San Fermines and Bull Fighting) yet I was never fully entranced. I respect the book, although I cannot say I love it. I will most likely read it again just for the hell of it. 2. 1984 - Surprisingly never read this until now. First third was all deja vu as it has been prominent in pop culture for so long. The middle was interesting, yet I feel this book fully shines in the last third. It is an amazing study on societal structure and the levels of the human mind. Glad I finally got around to this classic and would recommend it fully. 3. Currently on War and Peace - About 1/4 done, giving myself roughly ten more days. 4. Also on The World Of Caffeine [​IMG]- Interesting if you have an espresso obsession. To Read List; The Idiot, Death in the Afternoon, More Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Science of Espresso, 120 Days of Sodom (yeah yeah...) also I should read Atlas Shrugged, although I hated the first 100 pages and her philosophy is barely even that...But for arguments sake I really should. I like the idea of shooting for 50, I'm so unorganized with my reading this is a great way to stay on top of it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  2. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    43. A Life Apart, by Mariapia Veladiano (2011)

    A Life Apart is the story of en extremely ugly girl living in a small and superstitious Italian village. Rebecca is kept secluded from the outside world, living in a villa with her depressed and uncommunicative mother, who has hardly spoken since her birth.

    Rebecca is a gifted pianist but has to overcome prejudices in order to gain admission into the Conservatory to study. At every turn, her ugliness is held against her, and she knows that she will never be allowed to perform in public.

    In her isolation, Rebecca forms a bond with the old Signora, who also lives as a recluse, and seems to know more than most about the nature of the malady suffered by Rebecca's mother. Rebecca seeks to get closer to her to learn more about her mother's fate.

    Apparently based on a real person, the character of Rebecca is interesting if a little cliched. Not a lot happens in the book, and Veladiano prefers to allude to major plot developments rather then describe them directly, leaving the heavy lifting to her characters, who are neither very original, nor all that interesting. The book feels a bit hollow, in the sense that there is no character to embody Rebecca's adversity, and lacks complexity of either character or plot.
     
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    99. Xenocide Orson Scott Card 1991

    The third of the Ender Wiggin quad. War between humans and pequeninos. Lots of drama within Ender's adopted family. The bugger hive grows and aids in human technological advances. Good book, but strains credulity a bit in the last 50 pages or so.


    100. Michael Kohlhaass Heinrich von Kleist 1808

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    I wanted a list book for number 100, and one that wheezed so much the better. :) Novella which is based on a historic figure with almost the same name who was wronged the magistrates and assembled a band of merry rogues to avenge himself. A cross between Robin Hood and Clint Eastwood. As I like both I'd recommend it
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  4. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Welcome meilbill. You have 48 books to go before the year ends. It's a challenge!
    By the way, The Sun Also Rises is one of my all time favourites, I love everything about that book. Death in the Afternoon which you have on your to-read list is really slow going unless you are fanatical about the technical aspects of bullfighting.
     
  5. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations Steve, 100 books in a year is a big achievement! You may push for 150 now. :slayer:
     
  6. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Thank you- 120 first...

    I did 119 last year and football season is now upon us.

    5 a month should be very doable. Dunno about 10.

    BTW my Mom turned me on to a used book web site,

    Lots of LIST-OBSCURE books DIRT cheap.

    ABE books.
     
  7. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Congrats Steve! That is a BIG number. Mind you, my son's partner has read 145 so far this year. :)
     
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Well-Known Member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Loving 1Q84 so far, totally radcore.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    Excellent!
     
  10. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    I can only say, read more Murakami. I love him but consider his earlier stuff much much better. Wind-Up Bird is usually considered his masterpiece.
     
  11. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    120 will be a Styleforum world record.

    I am aiming for 100 but think I may stumble at 90 or so. Work is getting in the way.
     
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    44. Down the Rabbit Hole, by Juan Pablo Villalobos (2011)

    Down the Rabbit Hole is narrated by Tochtli, the child of a Mexican drug lord who lives in a palace shut off from the outside world and surrounded by bodyguards. Tochtli is a precocious child who is fascinated with hats, samurai and the Liberian pygmy hippopotamus. He describes his life and observations in a disarming way that almost screens out the violence and paranoia that lurks close by.

    Tochtli is not naive about his world, but he does represent it through his own particular lens of childish priorities. So the book merely alludes to the adult goings-on that serve to drive the plot, because Tochtli himself does not fully appreciate them. This childish narrative leads to a couple of real laugh-out-loud moments.

    Tochtli is an appealing character in a situation that, while it is only hinted at, is really quite horrific on reflection. Villalobos has delivered a brilliantly subtle novel that conceals some disturbing elements behind the facade of a child talking about his own obsessions.

    Finally, Tochtli has a piece of sage advice for all of us here in the Book Challenge thread:

    "There's no book that tells you how to choose names for Liberian pygmy hippopotamuses. Most books are about useless things that don't matter to anyone."

    Exactly
     
  13. Nathan5653

    Nathan5653 Active Member

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    1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle- Haruki Murakami
    2. South of the Border, West of the Sun- same as above
    3. 1Q84- same as above
    4. Dance, Dance, Dance- same as above
    5. Sputnik Sweetheart- same as above
    6. American Psycho- Brett Easton Ellis
    7. Catch-22- Joseph Heller
    8. The Stranger- Albert Camus
    9. The Plague- same as above
    10. The Myth of Sisyphus- same as above
    11. The Prince- Niccolo Machiavelli
    12. The Suit- Nicholas Antongiavanni
    13. Quiet- Susan Cain
    14. The Thief- Fuminori Nakamura
    15. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald
    I'd like to write reviews about all the books I've read so far but I don't think I can I do it in any detail so I'll just list the books I've read so far and write about what I'm currently reading. I've spoiled the books I've read so far above. You guys have probably read most of them but if you'd like an idea of any book is about, feel free to ask.

    So far, I'm reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Was really hard for me to start reading it since the format and how weird the entire book was made the book seem like an overwhelming task to start. But after, starting it, I think that it's really captivating. The shifting of writing genres changes how I perceive the events happening and I'm really amazed at how the author can do this. For example, the diary format made it quite personal while another part made me feel like I was watching an exciting documentary. One bad thing about the book is that it seems like homework sometimes because it makes you go back and forth to read footnotes, and I have to constantly take notes. One part is even written in Braille. However, it does make me more immersed in the whole experience.
     
  14. aKula

    aKula Well-Known Member

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    18. Fairfax: The Rise and Fall - Colleen Ryan.

    Charts the history of Fairfax media. Started in Sydney in 1840 the family controlled company came to own many widely read newspapers in Australia as well as radio stations etc. This book documents the gradual push towards editorial independence for the individual mastheads, which ensured a certain journalistic integrity, while at the same time the Fairfax family slowly lost financial control of their company. This latter pattern came to a head in the late 1980s when one of the heirs launched a privatization bid which ended in financial disaster a few years later. Since then the turbulence has continued, culminating in the eventual loss of classified and advertisement revenue to electronic media, as well as most recently bids for boardroom influence by the mining heiress Gina Rinehart. These latest trends have been seen as a threat to Australia's more left wing (non-Murdoch owned) newspapers. Though an interesting historic point was that the Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax's original broadsheet) had a right wing - even patrician - reputation for much of its history.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  15. clockwise

    clockwise Well-Known Member

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    Some very nice books you have read this year! And yes, in my case I have already read 10 of your 15. I have also read House of Leaves, which is a strange one indeed. I also found it captivating (and obviously quite creepy) but only up to somewhere in the middle. I thought it then started to run a bit empty and it was in my view ultimately disappointing. I know many others don't share my opinion and for some it became a cult classic. Will be interested to hear what you think after you have finished it.
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I should bring in the cavalry and go back to my roots.

    Just kinda bored.
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    101. The 4 Agreements 1997 Don Miguel Ruiz

    A New Age classic which I decided to read after obtaining from Half Price Books.

    The Agreements part is excellent.

    Ruiz should have stopped there.
     
  18. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    45. Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller (2012) Sheldon Horowitz is an 82 year old Jewish ex-marine. After his wife's death, he has been dragged to Norway to live with his daughter and her Norwegian husband. In a shocking twist of events, Sheldon witnesses the murder of a neighbour and flees with her boy in tow.

    Intially Sheldon comes across as a figure of fun, something like Alan in "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window". As the story progresses, Miller starts to reveal more of Sheldon's family and service history, and we begin to encounter a deeper and more complex protagonist. At times Miller has us doubting what we are reading: are Sheldon's war memories real, or just the delusions of a senile old man?

    Miller has created a memorable character, but his plot is a little too unbelievable and the supporting characters rarely get beyond cliche in their development. Whilst "Norwegian by Night" is a diverting enough read, I think I'd prefer to read Scandinavian authors ploughing similar fields to better effect.
     
  19. Nathan5653

    Nathan5653 Active Member

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    Just finished House of Leaves. Probably the most creepy book I've ever read. For those who don't know what the book is about, the most basic way I can describe it is it's a book about a haunted house written in the form of an academic journal. I was really engrossed throughout most of the book, but the parts where Johnny rambles on and on became tedious at times. Apparently, there's all these codes within the book. I went on the forums for this book and some of the connections people were able to form were astounding. The book's like a Russian doll.
     
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    102. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Phillip Dick 1968

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    Chronicles the day of a police bounty hunter in San Francisco in the years after the war (yes- THAT war). Androids are illegal, and the hunter's job is to kill them. He gets 8 in one day- Clit Eastwood with a laser.

    Also some insight between the human and android psyche.

    Liked it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

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