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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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    About 10.

    Then I'd like to start on Tarzan. :)
     
  2. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    A nice plan, I think you have a reasonable chance to reach 50.
     
  3. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    31 IT'S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT'S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE. by Paul Arden

    I picked this up after seeing the Biennale of Sydney at the AGNSW aesthetically it visually resembles The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects.How ever the ideas in this while focusing on advertising are good for any cultural creative and its thrown another insightful short book A Technique for Getting Ideas by James Wood Young into my path.

    The Arden is a primer, not a how too in terms of creative expression the usefulness of it is up to how the individual responds in generating their own ideas into a viable creative expression.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Was this any goooood, though? It made it to my used book store the other day, and I almost grabbed it, but didn't, having been burned by him too many times in the past. Usually, I find his ideas interesting, his searching worthwhile, but the writing itself just a bit too flat and journalistic to enjoy.

    I do really like his essays, and he did lead me to his contemporary Nathalie Sarraute, who became one of my favorites. Similar ideas, much better execution, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  5. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I'm not against internet orders per se, but I prefer not to buy books these days; I just don't have the space. I try to get ebooks or go to the library as much as possible. I may have to bite the bullet with these two, sadly.

    Thanks for the tip on Carlotto.
     
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    The gruesome descriptions of sexual torture make it hard to evaluate if the book is good. It was all well beyond my own maximum level of perversion. It's also the first Robbe-Grillet I read so I have no comparison to make. I plan to get his Jealousy and hope the sadism is less nauseous. I understand that Robbe-Grillet considered Camus, Sartre and Kafka important influences and there was a definite Kafkaesque quality to this book. I didn't feel it was "journalistic" but it did have plenty of cinematic references with "cut" and "retake" after which the same events are twisted and described again in a similar but different way. Most peculiar.

    I will try Nathalie Sarraute. Probably start with Childhood since it's said to be accessible.
     
  7. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I am reading plenty of e-books too but more than 50 % of my consumption are real books purchased with hard earned money. Space is an issue!
     
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    1. All Tomorrow's Parties
    2. Undivided: Part 3
    3. High Fidelity
    4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
    5. Polysyllabic Spree
    6. Armageddon in Retrospect
    7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
    8. What we talk about when we talk about love
    9. Norweigan Wood
    10. The Master and Margherita
    11. The Fault in Our Stars
    12. Of Mice and Men
    13.Fade to Black
    14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    15. Watchmen
    16. Captains Courageous
    17. A Brief History of Time
    18. The Trial
    19. Wind up Bird Chronicle
    20. A Visit from the Goon Squad
    21. Neuromancer
    22. Count Zero
    23. Shadowboxing
    24. Hell's Angels

    24. Hell's Angels

    Hunter S Thompson's account of the Hell's Angels' rise to a level of fame in 1965/1966 in Northern California. The novel begins by taking a stance that is largely sympathetic to the Angels and their actions, but ends almost cloyingly pitying them and the effects media attention had on their lives and their group. Good fun, a little repetitive at times.
     
  9. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Oh, man, that's surprising. I don't remember any others involving extended sexual sadism -- more like endless descriptions of hills or banana peels, but with a tone lacking one ounce the zaniness that description implies.

    I got Childhood on my list, but I think it's pretty straight-up memoir. Get Portrait of a Man Unknown! It's awesome(!!!!)!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  10. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I read the interview with Robbe-Grillet in The Paris Review where it is discussed whether or not he was influenced by Marquis De Sade. He said "I have to admit that my own erotic tastes are rather sadistic". Some truly sickening stuff in the one I just read. Some endless descriptions of banana peels may be a nice change.

    Thanks for the recommendation of Portrait of a Man Unknown. I will put it on my next Amazon order.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 33/50: Pascal Garnier - The Front Seat Passenger (2010)

    Times Literary Supplement called him "a master of the surreal noir thriller" and this is a very good book indeed, strongly evocative of Patricia Highsmith with a French accent. A marriage has gone from very passionate to excessively cool when the wife suddenly dies in a car crash. The husband finds out that a stranger, also dead, had been riding in the wife's car and had been her lover. The husband tracks down the lover's widow and a series of bizarre events follow. A brilliant existentialist psychological thriller.
     
  12. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless title 23/50: By Its Cover: Donna Leon

    [​IMG]

    I can say nothing bad about the Guido Brunetti series. Donna Leon does her usual masterful job of allowing the city of Venice to play a role in this latest title in the series. The reader is treated to witnessing the impact aging has on altering the life philosophy of the detective as he grows closer to impending retirement. I do feel that these books are getting shorter in length as the series wears on, and they may end up in a collected stories volume at some point. This is not necessarily a bad thing; maybe the editing is getting tighter. Recommended for fans of the series.

    Klewless title 24/50: Scarred by Thomas Enger

    [​IMG]

    The third book in the Henning Juul trilogy. Juul is a news reporter based in Oslo. The series offers crimes to be solved in each individual book, providing entertaining interplay between law enforcement and the press. These tales function to keep Juul busy while the multibook protracted story arc uncovers who was behind the horrific circumstance that resulted in the death of his child and leaving him physically disfigured and mentally exhausted. This is a fantastic Scandiacrime series, and I highly recommend. Must be read in order.
     
  13. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 34/50: Jean-Philippe Toussaint - Running Away (2005)

    This is a fantastic and beautiful book, the best I have read so far by Belgian author Toussaint. Quite different from his early novels, Bathroom, Monsieur and Camera, we here have a much more human and sympathetic protagonist with more feelings - fear, lust, fatigue and sadness. In Toussaint's earlier novels, it is the lack of these feelings that make the stories.

    Like all of Toussaint's works however, this is an enigmatic novel with a strong existentialist touch. It is written in first person but the narrator remains nameless throughout the story. He is sent from Paris to Shanghai on an errand for Marie, his wealthy girlfriend with whom he seems to have grown estranged. He is delivering an envelope with 25,000 US dollar to a Chinese man, we never find out why. He gets romantically entangled with a mysterious lady at an art exhibition. She is in some way involved with the man who has received the envelope. The protagonist travels from Shanghai to Beijing without knowing why, just by going with the flow, and finds himself having to escape from a bowling alley, chased by police cars. In the meantime, his alienated girlfriend's father passes away and he goes to Elba for the funeral. Jet lagged and emotional he returns to Marie but their lives have been fundamentally changed.

    Beautiful writing, human experience in a nutshell, brilliant.
     
  14. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    30 NEXUS by Ramez Naam

    a post cyber punk SciFi speculation where mankind gets an upgrade in cognitive functioning, has overtones of the Bourne cycle.

    According to the blurb on the back and it has been shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award for best science fiction novel for 2014
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    21. Snow Hunters
    [​IMG]
    Snow Hunters
    by Paul Yoon
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Paul Yoon's novella Snow Hunters deals with a survivor of the Korean War who makes a new life in Brazil. Yohan moves to a small Brazilian town to live and work with an elderly Japanese tailor.

    This book is quiet and reflective; not a lot happens overtly. Yoon uses flashback to fill in Yohan's war experiences and the tragedy surrounding his best friend. Otherwise Yohan's new life gently unfolds, both to him and the reader, as he establishes himself in his new surroundings. There are some clever touches with objects such as an umbrella and a bicycle that take on added significance as the story progresses.

    Yoon writes beautifully and this book will appeal to readers seeking refuge in a thoughtful and calm telling of what is under the surface quite disturbing and wrenching subject matter.

    View all my reviews
     
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    38. How the West Was Won Louis L'Amour 1963

    Adapted from the screenplay of the movie. Traces the lives of 3 families for 3 generations. The usual: good families win. A couple of bad guys get shot.

    The (somewhat) interesting fact about L'Amour is he almost always has at least one strong female character. Way ahead of his time, and something I like about his books.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  17. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 35/50: Jean-Philippe Toussaint - The Truth About Marie (2009)

    In this sequel to Running Away, the nameless protagonist narrates his story about the enigmatic Marie and what happened some months after the end of the earlier novel. We are exposed to thunderstorms, a forest fire, sex, death and a lengthy description of how to get a racing horse on a Lufthansa flight at Narita airport. Toussaint's experimental fiction is extremely descriptive and with a strong sense of underlying emotional chaos.
     
  18. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 36/50: Georges Simenon - The Yellow Dog (1931)

    This is the 5th book in the series of Inspector Maigret. Our hero has been seconded to the Rennes police and is requested to investigate a murder attempt in the small Breton town Concarneau. It seems someone is trying to kill all influential people in the small town and Maigret must as usual find the answer to the mystery in the distant past of the people involved. As always with Simenon, this is an interesting character study, probing into human flaws and cruelty. The best in the series so far!
     
  19. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

    Messages:
    2,313
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. All Tomorrow's Parties
    2. Undivided: Part 3
    3. High Fidelity
    4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
    5. Polysyllabic Spree
    6. Armageddon in Retrospect
    7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
    8. What we talk about when we talk about love
    9. Norweigan Wood
    10. The Master and Margherita
    11. The Fault in Our Stars
    12. Of Mice and Men
    13.Fade to Black
    14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    15. Watchmen
    16. Captains Courageous
    17. A Brief History of Time
    18. The Trial
    19. Wind up Bird Chronicle
    20. A Visit from the Goon Squad
    21. Neuromancer
    22. Count Zero
    23. Shadowboxing
    24. Hell's Angels
    25. Anansi Boys
    25. Anansi Boys

    Neil Gaiman's second 'adult' (his words) novel is a story about Fat Charlie, whom the reader meets just as his father is pronounced dead. Charlie, who has spent the better part of his life either embarrassed by his father, or living in his shadow, dutifully returns to his home to attend the funeral and, upon taking to family friends, finds out he has a brother, His brother turns out to be a trickster God and starts destroying Fat Charlie's life. Shit gets real.

    Delightfully written and competently crafted, there are some absolutely excellent moments in the story. When Charlie's brother is wrecking his life, for example, I couldn't help but feel anger and sadness, as opposed to a usual detached empathy. There's some signature Gaiman whimsy and wit, and an incredible streak of strangeness, but overall these are hallmarks of Gaiman's writing, so that's to be expected.

    Not a challenging read by any stretch, but definitely a fun one.
     
  20. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Loner Matt you ever read Neal Stephenson "Snow Crash" cyber punk with a humours bent.
     

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