2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    I really enjoyed 1Q84, but was a bit disappointed by Kafka on the Shore. Unlike LM, I enjoyed Hard-Boiled Wonderland (although it's not one of his best) but was frustrated by Sputnik Sweetheart.
     


  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    LM's completely arbitary Murakami ranking from best to worst

    South of the Border, West of the Sun
    Dance, Dance, Dance
    19Q4
    Kaftka on the Shore
    What I talk about when I talk about running
    Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World


    To be read:
    - Norweigan Wood (give us a week)
    - Wind up Bird Chronicle
    - After the quake (?) the one he wrote about the Sarin gas attack
     


  3. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    JM, please.

    Please, JM.

    Shaking my head.
     


  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    9. Kiowa Trail 1966 Louis L'Amour

    A war breaks out between cattle hands and ex-soldiers determined to keep them out.

    The battle is fierce but the good guys win.

    And the best guy gets the girl.
     


  5. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Psh, both of you should just wise up and hop on the Kenzaburo Oe train instead. Listening to this is like hearing people fight over the best White Snake song when there, just over the hills, stirring the mist, lies the glory of Led Zeppelin...

    :fence:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014


  6. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Shots fired!

    I've only read one Oe book, "A Personal Matter", which I read quite a few years ago. I remember that it was dark, very dark. It's semi-autobiographical in its content as it looks at how a father comes to terms with the birth of a disabled child and Oe's son has some disabilities.

    Speaking of more "serious" Japanese literature (as some people in the literary establishment in Japan look down upon Murakami and regard him as being too whimsical), I really enjoyed reading "I am a Cat" and "Botchan", both by Natsume Soseki. ("Kokoro" is also good, but not as light-hearted and humorous as "Cat" and "Botchan".)
     


  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Meh - I read one Oe - the one about the character's son being born with a farily serious condition and the man wishing he'd die (both himself and the child) - could have been stirring and rousing, felt detached and pointless.

    I read Mishima - which was a bit interesting - I might read more. I read SNow Country, which was a bore and a chore.
     


  8. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Haha, yeah, I was pretty much kidding. But if you get bored with Murakami, I think Oe's got a lot to offer. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids, about a gang of rural schoolkids during wartime, is biographical and amazing. And then J, concerning frottage, that most Japanese of pastimes, is definitely whimsical, maybe even a little Murakami-ish.

    It's just that these two writers are forever linked in my mind. I remember reading about Oe, who was somewhat emblematic of the Japanese old guard and stuck on seriousness, but mostly the exuberant possibilities of Japanese prose, reluctantly handing over the torch to Murakami, who could strike him as over-crystalline and boring.

    I found Mishima's short stories OK, but not really my thing...but I am really looking forward to his Confessions of a Mask, which came highly recommended by an infallible source. :D


    Thanks, these sound good. Will definitely add to my list.

    .​
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014


  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    10. Sexing the Cherry Jeanette Winterston 1989

    [COLOR=FF00AA]LIST[/COLOR]

    I struggled with this one. Much of it was written in London in the 1600s. Present day England was also woven through the book' as well as some metaphysics.

    The book was awful.
     


  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    11. The Mountain Valley War Louis L'Amour 1978

    Yet another range war involving a gun fighter hiding under another identity. A rancher trying to boot the "nesters" off their land. The hero wins 2 knock down dragout fights, the war, and the girl.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014


  11. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    [​IMG]


    MILFS THROUGH THE AGES:

    #'s 2 & 3: Adolphe, by Benjamin Constant, and Devil in the Flesh, by Raymond Radiguet


    1810. France is at war. A young man is rich and horny.
    1910. France is at war. A young man is rich and horny.

    1810. The young man pursues an inappropriate (and attached) older woman.
    1910. The young man pursues an inappropriate (and attached) older woman.

    1810. The older woman, dubious, but also horny and somewhat neglected, eventually gives in.
    1910. The older woman, dubious, but also horny and somewhat neglected, eventually gives in.

    1810. Love is proclaimed, sex ensues. The young man loses interest, but not before scandalizing the town.
    1910. Love is proclaimed, sex ensues. The young man loses interest, but not before scandalizing the town.

    1810. Lovelorn and depressed, the older woman contracts the howling fantods, as well as some era-appropriate fever.
    1910. Lovelorn and depressed, the older woman contracts the howling fantods, as well as some era-appropriate fever.

    1810. Lessons are learned, hard-won lessons. But at what cost?
    1910. Lessons are learned, hard-won lessons. But at what cost?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014


  12. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    So does that count as two reads, or just one?
     


  13. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Slowing down already. :( 5. Cluny: In Search of God's Lost Empire
    [​IMG]
    Cluny: In Search of God's Lost Empire
    by Edwin Mullins
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    Edwin Mullins' book on the Cluny Abbey was a surprising read in that I had never realised before the power and influence that some religious leaders exercised during the Middle Ages. Cluny was founded by the Duke of Burgundy in the 11th century; it was unique in its time in that the Duke established the Abbey so that it reported solely to the Pope - the Abbot of Cluny had no feudal overlords or local bishops to contend with.

    This unique foundation was leveraged by a series of wise, influential and long-serving Abbots that took Cluny from humble beginnings to being the master monastery for thousands of other cloisters and commanding vast endowments and income from their lands. The Abbots, especially Hugh of Semur, used these riches to construct one of the greatest cathedrals of the time, as well as to further the influence of the Cluniac order. Hugh was one of the most influential men in Christendom, a confidante of the Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of Spain, England and France. Cluny played a key role in the establishment of the Crusades, in the spread of the Church to Plantagenet England, the rift between the Pope and the Emperor and in the tragedy of the doomed philosopher Peter Abelard.

    Covering the hundreds of years between Cluny's foundation and its ultimate destruction by a trio of greedy businessmen, Mullins' book is necessarily cursory at times, but he does manage to convey the grandeur of Cluny and the wisdom of its greatest leaders (and the folly of the not-so-great). I feel, however, that the author has been badly let down by his publisher. A book that talks so lovingly of grand buildings and art, and describes great and influential men deserves a sumptuous treatment. I would expect at least some plates showing portraits of the main players, photos of some of the many extant buildings Mullins discusses as well as of the very few museum pieces that still remain of the great Cluny church. Instead the book is just text, with the odd desultory thumbnail drawing tossed in at intervals. These drawings are uncaptioned, and it is left up to the reader to surmise what they represent. Cluny is a really interesting book let down badly by a publisher that has cranked out an el cheapo edition that fails to breathe life into it.

    View all my reviews
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014


  14. 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

    8. What we talk about when we talk about love

    A collection of Raymond Carver short stories that mainly are set in lower-middle class America. I don't really know what to make of these - I enjoyed, very much, reading the stories, and I particularly liked how inconclusive each one was. A few standouts stories were "So much water so close to home", "The Calm", and "Everything stuck to him" . The prose was quick, very subtle and incredibly sparse - made for a great variation of Murakami's more winding and whimsical stylings.

    I couldn't help but feel that these stories would be better enjoyed with a group of people - each one I read I felt contained a lot to discuss, and I was unable to unpack many of them on my own. One quick example of this was the story "Tell the Women we're going" in which two characters decide to leave a family gathering to relax and one ends up killing two girls. The story was laden with meaning, but I wasn't sure exactly what. This reactino was indicative of how I felt about the collection - there was the promise of some extreme insight, but I'm not sure I was up to scruff.
     


  15. MarkI

    MarkI Senior member

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    Raymond Carver is my absolute favorite writer....

    Open to discussion about any of his works, will revisit those stories within the next couple of days.
     


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