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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. Go Spurs Go

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    Thank you gentlemen.
     


  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Highly Recommend Leviathan Wakes for you Steve B - SF maybe 500 pages?
     


  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    Thank you Matt!
     


  4. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. The Undivided pt 1
    2. The Undivided pt 2
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. The Difference Engine
    5. Wake in Fright
    6. The River of Doubt
    7. The Pearl
    8. Crytonomicon
    9. Shot in the Dark
    10. Malcolm X - Biography
    11. Final Empire
    12. The Quiet American.
    13. Habibi
    14. The Invisible Man
    15. Tender is the Night
    16. Guardians of the West
    17. King of the Murgos
    18. Demon lord of Khandar
    19. Sorcress of Darshiva
    20. Seeress of Kell
    21. Once We Were Warriors
    22. Winter of our Discontent
    23. Othello
    24. A Scanner Darkly
    25. The Well of Ascension
    26. Hero of Ages
    27. Alloy of Law
    28. Marrow
    29. The Prince
    30. Leviathan Wakes
    31. The Meaning of Sarkozy
    32. The Death of Ivan Illych
    33. The Devil
    34. Lucifer's Hammer
    35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union
    36. Rainbows End
    37. Palimpsest
    38. Red Shirts
    39. Caliban's War
    40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    41. The Communist Hypothesis
    42. While Mortals Sleep
    43. Spin
    44. Werewolves in their Youth
    45. Heart of Darkness
    46. A Model World
    47. Throne of the Crescent Moon
    48. Darkness at Noon
    49. Abaddon's Gate
    50. Into the WIld
    51. Ready Player One
    52. 1Q84
    53. Red Pony
    54. Bright lights, big city

    54. Bright lights, big city

    Great novel - literally stayed up all night to finish it. Well written, racy, reflective, powerful: tells the story of a young man in New York whose life is essentially one big mess/cycle of destruction: keys into classic hallmarks of the 80s - hedonism, change in drug use, conformity, etc. Highly recommended: definitely helps me understand books like American Psycho considering I didn't really live in the 80s (all 1.5 months of the last year).
     


  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    46. Don't Point That Thing at Me, by Kyril Bonfiglioli (1972)

    Don't Point That Thing at Me is the first of a series of novels about the Hon. Charles Mortdecai, a dissolute and amoral art "dealer" (read "thief") who lives in Piccadilly with his thuggish valet Jock. Mortdecai comes from the landed gentry but is more likely to be involved with far more disreputable and often illegal activities.

    In this first instalment, Mortdecai gets his hands on a stolen Goya on behalf of a wealthy and shady American client. This client has also decided to go in for a bit of blackmail, the consequences of which rebound on the unsuspecting Mortdecai in spectacular and often painful fashion.

    The plot is wildly improbable from start to finish, but Mortdecai is a brilliant character that the reader warms to readiy. The narration is droll and arch, with some acid comments on matters such as the aristocracy, sex and airline food that provoke sputtering laughter. The Mortdecai books are not easy to find, but worth seeking out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013


  6. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    SB: Also read Spin - so great.
     


  7. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 80/50: Fred Vargas - The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (2013)

    I have discovered a new favourite! French police superintendent Adamsberg is a peculiar depressive existentialist who goes his own way in life and in his murder investigations. His team of policemen are all odd and interesting characters. And the case of the ghost riders is a strange one indeed. 

    In a small town in Normandy, a Medieval legend about "the Furious Army" is still very much alive. The legend has it that the ghost army is picking out unpunished evil doers, kills them in a gruesome fashion and brings them to hell. When well-known bad people from Ordebec starts dying, Adamsberg sets out to discover who is making the legend into a real nightmare and why. 

    Female French author Vargas has a unique style in modern crime fiction and she has won a number of awards for best European crime novel. Recommended!
     


  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. The Undivided pt 1
    2. The Undivided pt 2
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. The Difference Engine
    5. Wake in Fright
    6. The River of Doubt
    7. The Pearl
    8. Crytonomicon
    9. Shot in the Dark
    10. Malcolm X - Biography
    11. Final Empire
    12. The Quiet American.
    13. Habibi
    14. The Invisible Man
    15. Tender is the Night
    16. Guardians of the West
    17. King of the Murgos
    18. Demon lord of Khandar
    19. Sorcress of Darshiva
    20. Seeress of Kell
    21. Once We Were Warriors
    22. Winter of our Discontent
    23. Othello
    24. A Scanner Darkly
    25. The Well of Ascension
    26. Hero of Ages
    27. Alloy of Law
    28. Marrow
    29. The Prince
    30. Leviathan Wakes
    31. The Meaning of Sarkozy
    32. The Death of Ivan Illych
    33. The Devil
    34. Lucifer's Hammer
    35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union
    36. Rainbows End
    37. Palimpsest
    38. Red Shirts
    39. Caliban's War
    40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    41. The Communist Hypothesis
    42. While Mortals Sleep
    43. Spin
    44. Werewolves in their Youth
    45. Heart of Darkness
    46. A Model World
    47. Throne of the Crescent Moon
    48. Darkness at Noon
    49. Abaddon's Gate
    50. Into the WIld
    51. Ready Player One
    52. 1Q84
    53. Red Pony
    54. Bright lights, big city
    55. All the pretty horses

    55. All the Pretty Horses

    ATPH continues my love-confused relationship with Cormac McCartney. While the Road and No Country for Old Men were superb, I found this book hard going. At many points, the narrative seemed to stumble and fall flat, and the character development, while somewhat rich, was incredibly implicit. McCartney's prose is strikingly individual and defies convention, but significant amounts of dialogue were in Spanish, and simply were lost on me - many of the nuances of character's choices, reasons, context and information were completely lost due to this choice.

    A drawn out ending, undeniably McCartney, I didn't dislike it, but I didn't find it as extravagantly amazing as most of the reviews I've read seem to. Perhaps there is just something I'm missing.
     


  9. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 81/50: Philip K Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

    I had to read this classic after the brief discussion earlier in the thread. I am not that big on sci/fi but I have read a few I really enjoyed and I thought Blade Runner was excellent. Also, this Dick book is a List book.

    The novel tells us a lot more about humans than it does about androids. Its main strength, in my view, is the dystopic description of life on earth after World War Terminus. Shame on Rick Deckard for engaging in illegal sexual relations with an android. But all too human.

    I agree with its inclusion among the 1001 and it is thus a mandatory read.
     


  10. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    47.. Demon Fish, by Juliet Eilperin (2012)

    Demon Fish is not so much a book about sharks as about shark conservation in the face of the depredations of commercial fishing and adventure tourism. A reader who comes to this book expecting to learn about the animals themselves, as I did, is likely to be disappointed.

    Eilperin places sharks within an evolutionary and cultural context that goes back to pre-history. Civilisations across the globe, from PNG to the Aztecs to the Chinese, have revered sharks. In the latter case, this has transmuted into a cultural eating practice that threatens sharks' very survival and, with them, a host of other creatures in the oceanic food chain.

    Most of the book is devoted to Eilperin reiterating her message that global conservation measures are needed urgently, with stories from around the world of the impact of shark exploitation and some isolated examples of communities that have found ways of living with sharks rather than killing them for profit.

    In the end though, Eilperin comes across as somewhat naive. Anyone who has observed the world's progress on dealing with climate change will realise how untenable are her calls for a globally co-ordinated effort on shark protection. After all, if we can't co-operate in our own interest we're unlikely to do so on behalf of another species. Similarly, the workings of the International Whaling Commission are a perfect study of the likely response when calls are made to restrict the exploitation of a resource some countries see as part of tbeir cultural heritage.

    In short, Eilperin's hoped-for solution is never going to happen, and her book might have been stronger had she acknowledged that and set out some new ideas for long-term shark survival. As it stands, the sinking feeling one takes away from her book is that the damage is irreversible and we may be one of the last few generations of humans to see these wonderful animals in the wild.
     


  11. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Wasn't recommended for me but I am now reading it anyway. In parallel with some others, as per my normal modus operandi. Promising start, it reads more like a classic adventure story than the existential angst of Electric Sheep or indeed most SF I have read previously.
     


  12. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 82/50: Fred Vargas - Seeking Whom He May Devour (1999)

    The second novel in the series about the very unusual policeman Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. A number of wolves have crossed the border from Italy over into a nature reserve in the French alps. Local sheep breeders are suddenly experiencing a large number of senseless killings where wolves are killing sheep without touching the meat. It is soon discovered that it must be one and the same wolf behind all the attacks, an uncommonly large animal who will not let itself be tracked down. The wolf moves over from sheep to human victims and local people start to talk about a werewolf. An exciting mystery with interesting characters. I will read more Vargas.
     


  13. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. The Undivided pt 1
    2. The Undivided pt 2
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. The Difference Engine
    5. Wake in Fright
    6. The River of Doubt
    7. The Pearl
    8. Crytonomicon
    9. Shot in the Dark
    10. Malcolm X - Biography
    11. Final Empire
    12. The Quiet American.
    13. Habibi
    14. The Invisible Man
    15. Tender is the Night
    16. Guardians of the West
    17. King of the Murgos
    18. Demon lord of Khandar
    19. Sorcress of Darshiva
    20. Seeress of Kell
    21. Once We Were Warriors
    22. Winter of our Discontent
    23. Othello
    24. A Scanner Darkly
    25. The Well of Ascension
    26. Hero of Ages
    27. Alloy of Law
    28. Marrow
    29. The Prince
    30. Leviathan Wakes
    31. The Meaning of Sarkozy
    32. The Death of Ivan Illych
    33. The Devil
    34. Lucifer's Hammer
    35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union
    36. Rainbows End
    37. Palimpsest
    38. Red Shirts
    39. Caliban's War
    40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    41. The Communist Hypothesis
    42. While Mortals Sleep
    43. Spin
    44. Werewolves in their Youth
    45. Heart of Darkness
    46. A Model World
    47. Throne of the Crescent Moon
    48. Darkness at Noon
    49. Abaddon's Gate
    50. Into the WIld
    51. Ready Player One
    52. 1Q84
    53. Red Pony
    54. Bright lights, big city
    55. All the pretty horses
    56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush


    56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush

    Vastly enjoyable story about two friends trying to climb a mountain despite complete lack of climbing experience, appropriate equipment, etc. Particularly loved the descriptions of various parts of Afghanistan, and the understanded quality of the book.

    A classic of travel writing, and a book that really made me empathise with the exploration of a new area - something that seems almost impossible in our lives now.
     


  14. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    48. Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, by David Hunt (2013)

    Probably my all-time favourite book is 1066 And All That, a hilarious twist on English history. With Girt, David Hunt has delivered the Australian history equivalent, a side-splitting piss-take on the early Australian colonial history we were all fed in school, covering the period to the end of Lachlan Macquarie's Governership.

    I mostly read Girt whilst in public, and can only wonder what others thought of my constant collapses into helpless laughter as I read Hunt's wry and outrageous commentary on some of our most sacred cows. Even the footnotes reward careful reading as they are peppered with scabrous jokes and amusing trivia.

    Obviously such a book will appeal most to readers well-versed in Australian history and society, but I think others will still find plenty to laugh at, even if some references puzzle them.

    Hunt says he aimed to write an Australian history that was both accurate and amusing. I think he's achieved that in spades, and am delighted to know that he is working on future instalments.
     


  15. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Keen. Bean.
     


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