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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. aKula

    aKula Senior Member

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    20. Againts Nature - Joris-Karl Huysmans.

    Famous novel from fin de siecle French decadence. Des Essenties, a product of centuries of aristrocratic inbreeding, retreats from what he considers a vulgar world to an isolated asceticism he considers more in line with his intellect. Obsessed with the artificial, the distillation, and the slightly grotesque, the chapters detail his collection of flowers, his thoughts on perfumes, the suitable colours of a room. Perhaps most telling are his literary tastes: late Roman ecclesiastical works in which he tastes the gamey flavours of aged meat. Needless to say a rather peculiar book.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013


  2. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    Still hoping to hit 65, but I keep picking up 500 page monsters, which is not helping.
     


  3. aKula

    aKula Senior Member

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    Just started reading this. Been looking forward to it for a while too. Sounds good from your review.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013


  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013


  5. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    104. Children of the Mind Orson Scott Card 1996

    The final book of the Ender Wiggin quad.

    Ender's Game was great (and will be out as a movie 11/1). But the other 3 just weren't worth reading.

    I'm eagerly looking forward to the movie.

    105. The Eternal Savage 1914 Edgar Rice Burroughs

    A lousy imitation of a Tarzan book. Not worth reading.

    15 to go
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013


  6. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Distinguished Member

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    Depends on the writing though - some 1000 pages just fly off the page, other 300 pagers drag on forever.

    Reading a 500 page book with no end in sight. Just getting through it. Goddam draw out non-fiction is fucking tedious.
     


  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Distinguished 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
    57. The Brief, Wonderous life of Oscar Wao
    58. Ubik
    59. Return of a King


    59. Return of a King

    A non-fiction aacount of the first Anglo-Afghani war. Plodding along at snail's pace, the book has many memorable moments, but fails to craft an engaging narrative due to excessive, unnecessary and disengaging detail.
     


  8. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    106.The Collectors- David Baldacci 2006

    A con girl bilks a casino magnate out of $40 million. Transfer of international espionage occurs at the Library of Congress, And lots of people are killed. What's not to like?

    One of Baldacci's better books.

    Nice to read a thriller after a while.
     


  9. clockwise

    clockwise Distinguished Member

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    Clockwise counting 86/50: Roberto Constantini - The Deliverance of Evil (2013)

    I am reading too many 600-page novels lately. This is an Italian police procedural about a string of strange murder cases commencing on the evening of Italy winning the football World Cup 1982 and continuing at the time of Italy repeating its World Cup success in the 2006 final. The unusual protagonist is Commissario Michele Ballistreri, a hard partying womaniser with a past in the now outlawed fascist party. Ballistreri is a very interesting character and between 1982 and 2006 he undergoes a profound change. 

    This novel received very good reviews and although most of the writing is excellent for a crime novel and the complex plot very intriguing, I found it ultimately disappointing. It is overly long and some parts of the novel are weaker. It feels like Constantini wrote it over a long time period and had his own ups and downs as a writer, much like his unlikeable but fascinating hero Ballistreri. Nevertheless, I am likely to also read his next novel.
     


  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    107. Almost Transparent Blue Ryu Murakami 1976

    [COLOR=FF00AA]List[/COLOR]

    Story of dissipation amongst young Japanese. The Sun Also Rises with heroin instead of alcohol. But I liked this one (barely). Maybe it was the orgy scene. :)
     


  11. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    51. Lost Memory of Skin, by Russell Banks (2011)

    The central character in Lost Memory of Skin, referred to only as the Kid, is a convicted sex offender. Due to exclusion laws, the Kid is forced to live in a tent city under a freeway, as the only place in the County far enough from where children gather. When the police raid the tents and expel the offenders residing there, he is left with nowhere to go.

    The Kid meets the Professor, a vast man of genius intellect who has his own secrets to hide. He asks the Kid for help in some research he is doing on homeless sex offenders. The Kid reluctantly goes along, and gradually starts to warily form a bond with his mysterious benefactor.

    Banks' book holds up to the light the vindictive way that society treats some of its marginalised, somehow turning ostensible predators into victims in the process of implementing insane social policies based on little more than fear and retribution. Still he does not quite pull this off; in the end the backstory of the Professor is too fanciful and weak, and lets down what could have been an interesting conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013


  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    108. Lando Louis L'Amour 1962

    Orlando Sackett is orphaned by gold and learns to fight, both conventionally and otherwise. Not many guns or women however.

    I liked it.
     


  13. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Distinguished Member

    Messages:
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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
    57. The Brief, Wonderous life of Oscar Wao
    58. Ubik
    59. Return of a King
    60. In trouble again


    60. In trouble Again

    A fairly plodding tale about an Englishman who travels intot he Amazonian interior to try and find the world's most savage tribe. Some high potential (drug experiences, catastrophe, comradeship), but ultimately felt like a list of stuff, rather than an interesting story woven out of profound and intense experiences. The almost disengaged and tired tone of the narrator destroyed wha could/should have been reflective, intense, vibrant and challenging.
     


  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Distinguished Member

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    Interesting - I really enjoyed "In Trouble Again", but then again, I didn't like it as much as O'Hanlon's first book, "Into the Heart of Borneo", which was great. Have you read that one?

    Then again, "Borneo" reminded me of some of my own experiences in Malaysia and Indonesia, which was probably one reason why I enjoyed it so much.

    If you want to read some really interesting travel memoirs, have a look for Eric Hansen's books, "Stranger in the Forest" and "Motoring with Mohammed".

    "Stranger" is about Hansen's experiences hiking through the tropical jungle from one side of the island of Borneo to the other. "Motoring" is about his adventures in Yemen. Both are fantastically written and very interesting.
     


  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Distinguished Member

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    52. The Cardboard House, by Martin Adan (1990)
    [​IMG]
    The Cardboard House
    by Martín Adán
    My rating: 1 of 5 stars

    As somebody who doesn't like poetry, it was probably a mistake for me to read the only novel by a renowned poet.

    The Cardboard House is a tenuously-linked series of vignettes where the author recalls his life in Peru as a child. There is virtually no narrative structure to this novel, and the characters are very lightly drawn. Adan is far more interested in draping his characters in gorgeous and flowery descriptions than he is in giving them any real depth or having them do anything of note.

    The overall effect is of a shower of florid prose which is at times simply ridiculous, affected, prolix and in love with its own cleverness. It was tedious and I couldn't wait to finish it.



    View all my reviews
     


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