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2017 50 Book Challenge

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

  1. klewless

    klewless Senior member

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    Klewless title 53/50

    The Forsaken by Ace Atkins
    [​IMG]

    A new Quinn Colson book is a treat to look forward to. Atkins has an authentic southern voice to his storytelling, and Colson is a great character to read. A war hero returned to his small town, he has taken over the job as sheriff from his deceased uncle. This book recycles all the characters previously introduced in the series, and moves the history along nicely. Atkins seems to have so many different stories that he needs to tell, they seem a bit rushed in this installment. I have faith that things will smooth out in the long run, and even so these are just so entertaining that I am willing to stay engaged just to see how things shake out. Worth reading, but read the series in order.


    Klewless title 54/50

    The Strangler’s Honeymoon by Hakan Nesser
    [​IMG]

    Nesser’s long standing main character Inspector Van Veetren (VV) has retired and is now running a used book shop. Never out of the thought process of his former colleagues in the Maardam PD, he is called back into service to help solve a serial murder case that has stumped multiple departments. Nesser (or his translator) does a great job with this series, and the Dutch landscape plays a vivid part of the narrative. Another series that I can happily recommend.



    Klewless title 55/50

    Angelica’s Smile by Andrea Camilleri
    [​IMG]

    Inspector Montalbano is at it again! These books are read in one sitting, and this one is no exception. Highly formulaic, but entertaining none the less. Montalbano is a bit older, but still on the job proving the backward zaniness that plagues Sicilian law enforcement efforts. This episode finds the Chief Inspector with a new love interest who enjoys the food at Enzo’s just as much as he does. Neatly wrapped up and bow tied at the end, the whodunit will not come as any surprise. These are great for killing a few hours, and do not have to be read in order of publication.
     
  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    72. The Investigators W.E.B. Griffin 1997

    Badge of Honor- Det. Payne solves 2 cases and commits gross penis misconduct. However, the felon he's involved with just happens to succumb in a shoot out at the end of the book. 2 books, 2 dead girlfriends.

    This one strained credulity even more than a normal thriller or other Griffin books. It weighs in at 578 pp, and unless you're reading the whole series, I wouldn't recommend it.
     
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    73. Down the Long Hills Louis L'Amour 1968

    A 7 yr old boy and 3 yr old girl escape a wagon train destroyed by Indians. They make their way back to safety with all sorts of improbable events, including a big red horse that fights for them.

    Pretty Shitty Book.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    74. Reilly's Luck 1970 Louis L'Amour

    Professional gambler takes in Val Durrant and raises him. When Reilly is killed in a contract murder, Durrant carries on in the fashion he was taught and makes a life for himself.

    One of the better L'Amours I've read.
     
  5. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    75. High Lonesome 1962 Louis L'Amour

    High Lonesome is the scene of a battle between Apaches; a man and his daughter traveling across the desert to start a new life; and a band of outlaw heading to Mexico after a very successful bank robbery. The outlaws choose to come to the aid of the settlers instead of continuing on their journey. The Apaches are driven off and only the man, daughter, and one of the outlaws remain. The daughter has fallen for the outlaw.

    Pretty mediocre stuff.
     
  6. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    52 The Doors A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years by Greil Marcus
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    76. Willard and His Bowling Trophies 1975 Richard Brautigan

    [COLOR=FF00AA]THE LIST[/COLOR]

    This was just a stupid book.
     
  8. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Struggling through Alexis Wright's Carpentaria, which is 10000% better than the Swan book.

    1/3 great
    1/3 wtf
    1/3 AHHHH WHY IS NOTHING HAPPENING

    eta finish date (and my 50) another week. ffs.
     
  9. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    53 Portrait of A Spy A Gabriel Allon Thriller by Daniel Silva

    54 The Defector A Gabriel Allon Thriller by Daniel Silva


    The local library has had a rush on Nordic Noir and even the 2nd hand book shops have none on the shelves at present. So spy fiction not one of my majpr interestes but these are enttertaining and procedural. Any suggestions for further reading.
     
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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  11. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    36. The Swan Book, by Alexis Wright

    Matt has already reviewed this at length, so I won’t say much. I will say the writing is incredibly sloppy in parts: “etching out a living”, “stuck in a grove”, “a slitter of bone” and “Ghandi” are among the pearlers I found in this. Unless it’s done intentionally - and it clearly isn’t - I find this unacceptable in a major work from an award-winning novelist. Apart from that, bugger-all happens in almost 400 pp apart from a great deal of musing about the main character’s relationship with swans. The little that does happen goes unexplained for the most part. I like my magic realism and dystopian novels, and the idea of a dystopian society resulting from the Howard-era Aboriginal Intervention is a promising one, but this book is pointless, poorly-written drivel.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    I've never fooled with the misspelled titles, but books are cheap and arrive relatively quickly.
     
  14. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    I like Abe Books, but it's effed me up before when trying to sell back something of value to my local bookstore, and a n00b has unknowingly listed it for cheap. :fu:

    Cool site, though.

    In Louis L'Amour news, it turns out I will not be inheriting the full set, as my grandfather deemed some of them great, but a lot of them 'crap', and consequently, had them donated. More as the story develops.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    37. Caravaggio: A Passionate Life
    [​IMG]
    Caravaggio: A Passionate Life
    by Desmond Seward
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Seward has written a fairly pedestrian biography of the great artist. In part this is because of the paucity of source material on major aspects of Caravaggio’s life, including his origins, the major conflicts that blighted his career, his travels during exile and his death. So there is not a lot for the author to work with. He still manages to present an intriguing story of an ambitious young man with a great deal of talent, yet also in possession of a violent temperament that caused his premature downfall. It’s an entertaining story; you can’t help but like somebody who, when a painting of his was publicly criticised, ripped it up with a knife and then went away and painted a masterpiece.

    I read the Kindle version of this book, and regretted it. The plates reproducing the works that Seward refers to would have been much better in printed form.

    View all my reviews
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    I have also found some of the L'Amours crap, but probably 2/3 of them are good reads. I plan on assembling at least 1 copy of each of his 126 books.

    Contrast w/The List. Unfortunately I've found recently they are 4/5 junk.
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    77. Arcanum 17 Andre Breton 1944

    [COLOR=FF00AA]THE LIST[/COLOR]

    If possible, this was an even stupider book.

    78. The Iron Marshall Louis L'Amour 1979

    A New York tough heads West and is drafted into service as a town marshal. He foils a train robbery and gets the girl.

    79. The Key-Lock Man Louis L'Amour 1965

    Matt Keelock gets the girl first, and then is forced to defend her and himself from a blood thirsty posse ready to hang him for a crime he did not commit.
     
  18. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    38. River of Shadows
    [​IMG]
    River of Shadows
    by Valerio Varesi
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    River of Shadows is the first in a series of detective novels set in Italy’s Po Valley. The novel begins with the Po River in flood and a barge floating down the torrent out of control. When the barge is finally brought to rest, its owner has disappeared. That same day, his brother falls from a window in a local hospital.

    Commissario Soneri pushes to have these two seemingly unrelated cases investigated, against his superiors' wishes. He heads to the Po, giving priority to the bargeman’s baffling disappearance, crossing swords with taciturn locals determined to give him little to go on.

    The plot of this novel is not that remarkable, developing gradually rather than with any breathtaking twists. Varesi’s real achievement is how he has placed the Po River at the centre of the story, providing an atmospheric and unusual setting for a murder mystery. His description of life on the river and its vicissitudes is compelling.

    Soneri is not a bad character as the basis for a series. My one demurral is that every good Euro detective needs a source of angst, and Soneri's mostly seems to be that his girlfriend is a nymphomaniac who likes to have sex in semi-public situations. I find that less believable and less compelling than the dark forces haunting characters such as Wallender and Erlendur.

    View all my reviews
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  19. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    55 The Rembrandt Affair a Gabriel Allon Thriller by Daniel Silva

    CD M by Peter Robb is a stimulating and informed biography of Caravaggio’s life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Daniel Silva's Allon series is awesome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014

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