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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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    39. Treasure Mountain Louis L'Amour 1972

    Another Sackett book, The three brothers are commissioned by their ailing mother to discover what happened to their father. He disappeared in the CO mountains looking for a cache of French army gold ore 100 years old some 20 years back.

    A member of his party had killed him before the elder Sackett would tell them where he'd hid the gold. 20 years later the same man follows Tell and attempts to murder him also. But he misses and Tell doesn't.

    And he gets a new girl.

    I don't get the fascination with gold. You can't eat it.
     
  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Snowcrash is actually my favourite novel.
     
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    It's shiny.

    A man needs a good gold watch, or two.
     
  4. 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
    25. Anansi Boys
    26. Steelheart

    26. Steelheart

    Brandon Sanderson's post-apocalyptic novel fits squarely in the grey area between fantasy and SF. Ostensibly, it's a tale about an Earth changed by the arrival of Epics - humanoids that possess a combination of powers (each one different to the others). Epics aren't united and in the fifteen years or so between when they started arriving and when the novel is set, many have found their own kingdom. Their powers are like magic, but technology hasn't stopped progressing either.

    Steelheart is the name of the Epic in charge of Newcago. He is seemingly invincible and spreads messages of fear with an propaganda machine so Orwellian it is painful. His deputies are similarly gifted. David is the novel's protagonist, and dreams of taking the Epics down, through hard work and luck he ends up matched with some like minded individuals who share similar aspirations.

    Sanderson is an able writer - his prose is easy to read, highly engaging and well paced. The characters are all believable (with the exception of the comic relief), and the plot churns along well. I felt, however, that this novel was basically the plot line from one of his better works (The Final Empire), but with the protagonists' role switched and setting altered.

    Entertaining enough for holiday reading, something I'd recommend to 12-15 year olds. While fun, I wanted a bit more from a novel. I'll grab the sequel as one of those 'light enough to keep me reading after an intense novel' books that we all use as buffers occasionally (I assume).
     
  5. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    29 Dark Invasion 1915 Germany's Secret War And The Hunt For The First Terrorist Cell in America by Howard Blum

    I hear an interview with the author on LNL a while back, the story is about Germany's efforts to sabotage prior to the US joining the Great War in 1917. The Amazon blurb states New York City, 1915: as World War I rages in the battlefields of Europe, a covert war is taking place in America. When the Germans find out that the supposedly neutral United States have been supplying goods to Britain and other Allied powers, they implement a secret plan to strike back. Franz von Rintelen, an aristocratic German with connections in American banking, arrives in New York to set up a spy network. This team of saboteurs — including an expert on germ warfare, a Harvard professor, and a brilliant, debonair spymaster — devise a series of ‘mysterious accidents’, involving explosives and biological weapons, to bring down targets such as ships and factories, and even captains of industry such as JP Morgan.

    With the Easter break and heading for the coast it sounds like a good holiday read.

    LM ever read any Wilhelmina Baird, cyber punk in the Gibson tradition or Jeff Noon more in the New Weird mould.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 37/50: Naomi Wood - Mrs Hemingway (2014)

    A novel about the four women who were the wives of Ernest Hemingway. Very well written with meticulously researched biographical content and sometimes with almost Hemingwayesque style of dialogue. We get to see the disturbing and disturbed character of Hemingway through the women who loved him, from the 1920s in Paris and Antibes to his suicide in Idaho 1961. I have read several Hemingway biographies and know the stories well but this novel still manages to feel very fresh and "real". Highly recommended, especially of course for Hemingway fans (of which there may not be many in this thread).
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    40. Galloway 1970 Louis L'Amour

    Although it's named for his brother, this book is primarily about Flagan Sackett, his brother. Escapes from the Apaches naked and makes it 100 mi to civilization. Finds himself (surprse!) in the middle of aa range and gold war. Kills a few guys...Headed for the girl as the book ends.

    What is with all these names? How about Bob or Carol or Ted or Alice?
     
  8. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    41. The Sky Liners 1970 Louis L'Amour

    Once again starring Flagan and Galloway, who are of the other mountain Sacketts from Tell, Tyrel, and Orrin- first cousins I think.

    There is:

    Gun Play

    Sacketts are hunted in an organized guerrilla fashion, each wounded grievously.

    Rustling

    Gold

    And the woman Judith who changes her allegiance from the bad guys to the good guys at the perfect moment.


    I just joined 2 writing clubs and I think I'm going to cut my teeth on Westerns (maybe thrillers).
     
  9. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Interesting - let us know how it goes.

    If you're looking for some Western authors other than L'Amour, try Zane Grey (apparently the favourite author of former US President, General Dwight D Eisenhower, when he was looking for some escapist reading).
     
  10. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I like Ike for his prescience pity BOF didn't ever read this.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
     
  11. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless title 25/50: Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey
    [​IMG]

    I don't usually read science fiction. For some reason I picked up Howey's Wool last year, and was immediately captivated. This self-published title provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic future, and how an insulated society is forced to survive. This title, Shift, is the second in the "Silo" trilogy. It picks up where Wool leaves off, and is billed as a prequel. I highly recommend reading them in order. A significant portion of this book was spent retelling the same story as presented in Wool, from the opposing viewpoint, and as such provides some filler in the retelling. I can't say that these are pushing me to pursue more science fiction, but I will read Dust which is the final book in the series.



    Klewless title 26/50: The Bootlegger by Clive Cussler
    [​IMG]

    I honestly think that the only reason I continue to read Cussler is because I have already invested in the whole series. I know that at the rate these are being churned out, he is obviously a disciple of the James Patterson school, and no longer writing these himself. This one was particularly formulaic, and actually hard to stick with. At some point I will write off the series, but until then hopefully Mr. Cussler will up his game, and perhaps refocus solely on the Dirk Pitt stories. Worth skipping.

    Klewless title 27/50: Providence Rag by Bruce Desilva
    [​IMG]

    This is the third title in the Liam Mulligan series. Mulligan is a grizzled newspaper veteran who works for the Providence Rhode Island daily newspaper. Hiring in initially as a sports reporter, he was pulled into criminal investigative reporting in the earlier titles, and his talents have earned him respect from editors and law enforcement contacts alike. This title takes on a darker tone, offering commentary on juvenile justice issues in today's society, and what happens when those being locked up shouldn't be.....or maybe they should. In any case, not preachy at all, and another excellent work from this author. I highly recommend this series.

    Klewless title 28/50: Hunting Season by Andrea Camilleri
    [​IMG]

    Very different from the Montalbano series. This tale takes place in 1800's Sicily, and what happens in a small town when a stranger comes calling. A very short tale full of twists and turns. I was having trouble with this one at first, due to lack of interest, but it was worth sticking with.
     
  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Klewless, my wife just inhaled Wool, Shift and Dust in very short order. She loved them.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    My Dad liked those as well.

    42. Ride The Dark Trail Louis L'Amour 1972

    A tale of Milo Talon's Empty M ranch. It is being besieged by land grabbers, with only an old lady Aunt Em to hold down the fort.

    Logan Sackett, Nolan's twin brother, happens to drift through and throws his hand in with his aunt.

    Until both of her sons return and the siege ends. Not exactly Stalingrad, but it kept me busy for a couple of days.

    But no one got a girl.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  14. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I am seeking some advice on where to start with Scandinavian Noir have read the Girl trilogy don't know if the purists would consider that fitting into that catergory but I would prefer to read in series order, thanks.
     
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    22. This is How You Lose Her
    [​IMG]
    This Is How You Lose Her
    by Junot Díaz
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This is How You Lose Her is a series of short stories written around the theme of relationships breaking up, mostly from the point of view of a guy whose actions lead to the breakup.

    Most of the stories feature Yunior, a young Dominican immigrant living in a broken home in New Jersey. Yunior's brother Rafi is extremely sick, and their father has walked out on them.

    Yunior characterises himself as "not a bad guy" although some of his actions and ethics tend to contradict that. Diaz presents him as more of a flawed hero, trying to escape the poverty trap he was born into, and struggling to make sense of the complex inter-generational, inter-sexual and inter-racial norms that prevail in his world.

    Sometimes the men in Diaz's stories makes horrendous mistakes, and you don't wonder that their women stand on their pride and walk. In other stories, they are clearly being taken advantage of. Diaz manages to create a set of strong and believable characters with very different but understandable motivations for their actions. There are no real villains in these stories, just people trying to find a way to love and survive in a difficult world.

    The stories are written in a pacy and humorous manner, although Diaz sometimes deploys Spanish dialog and idioms to an extent that puzzles the English-speaking reader. This occasionally makes you feel like you've missed a joke, but it never ruins the story. Overall this is a very enjoyable book.



    View all my reviews
     
    2 people like this.
  16. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Series openers that I'd recommend are:

    Roseanna (first of the Martin Beck series) by Maj Sowall and Per Wahloo
    Jar City (first of the Rejkjavik murder mysteries), by Arnaldur Indridason
    Faceless Killers (first Wallender book), by Henning Mankell.

    No doubt others here have their favourites.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  17. 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
    25. Anansi Boys
    26. Steelheart
    27. A Hero of Our Time
    27. A Hero of Our Time

    A series of 5 short stories following the life of Pechorin: a 'normal; man stationed in the Caucaus range with the Russian army. Perochin is a farrago of character traits: honest in his diaries, yet completely manipulative and lying to those around him, seemingly driven by love, yet constantly undercutting his own success, powerful, yet unable to actually gain anything he wants.

    The narrative is an absolute mess, first following a new solider, who arrives at a station and meets an old man who, bizarrely, gives him the diaries of Pechorin (for little reason) - this episode (the existance of which is really, really random) takes the first short story to complete. After this, the story then follows several of Pechorin's adventures - the most lengthy and detailed of which follows a confusing love triangle that eventually sees Pechorin deny one woman he's been leading on, to be scorned by another.

    The blurb of this novel proclaims that this story is one of proto-Russian literature (predating Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekov, amongst others), and I found this not a bad way of thinking through the muddled and, at times, bizarre twists of the writing. As with almost all Russian literature the best parts, for me, were the oddly-timed reflections on life, action, motivation, etc.

    Not a bad read, interesting to those who like this sort of thing, but the bamboozling oddness of the narrative was really puzzling!

    GOOD WORK CD READING DIAZ! YEAH!
     
  18. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    ^^I remember liking this one a lot, actually. Especially since it seems to deflate our mythical timeline of literature. So many things (multiple POVs, linked collection, fic/non-fic hybrid, genre hybrid, etc....) would make it appear like a pretty avant book that could have only happened fairly recently, it seems like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  19. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 38/50: John Williams - Stoner (1965)

    This unknown American novel has recently been "rediscovered" and become a huge success around Europe, whilst it remains basically unknown in its American home market.

    It is a sad and beautiful story about the life of William Stoner, a Missouri farm boy who gets an education and becomes a university teacher. His awful marriage, his difficult relationship with his only child, his professional mediocrity, all combines to give the effect of a very depressive life indeed. Still there is always a glimmer of something profoundly human and positive in this book. It does leave you sad but not without a sense of having read something spectacularly good.

    It reminded me of Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road and Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, two other very good books with sad stories about bad marriage.
     
  20. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    That one's been on my reading list for a while now CW.
     

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