• We would like to welcome Ratio Clothing as an official Affiliate Vendor. Ratio Clothing specializes in American-made custom shirts offered at a fair price with guaranteed perfect fit. Please visit their new thread and give them a warm welcome.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

2018 50 Book Challenge

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,415
Reaction score
2,482
62. Home Time: Under the River, by Campbell Whyte

In Home Time a group of Perth kids are celebrating their last day of primary school with a big sleepover party. On their way there is an accident and they fall into the river. Instead of drowning they wake up in a fantastical world under the river, where the local people, the Peaches, mistake them for spirits that have arrived to help them.

Whyte has a fertile imagination and the book bristles with the odd and strange. There are echoes of Narnia, Roald Dahl, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and other children's classics, and he is also clearly inspired by video games. The artwork shifts in styles from sepia drawings to pixellated platform games to oil paintings. The book is flawed, however, by the absence of the supposed villains, the lizards, who you'd think would have at least put in an appearance in the first part of the story. The ending leaves plenty of scope for further plot development, and it will be interesting to see where Whyte takes this.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
1,405
1. Kangaroo
2. South of the Border, West of the Sun
3. 19Q4
4. An Elegant Young Man
5. Throne of the Crescent Moon
6. When Gravity Fails
7. The Choke
8. Heat and Light
9. Who Owns the Future
10 Waking Gods
11. Wimmera
12. Artemis
13. Fire in the Sun
14. Exile Kiss
15. A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
16 Prisoners of Geography
17. Nevermoor
18 La Bell Sauvage
19. Red Sister
20. Jade City
21. We Are Who We Pretend To Be
22. First Person
23. Too Like Lightning
24. Sea of Rust
25. Don't Skip Out on Me
26. Autonomous
27. Grey Sister
28. The Free
29. Lean on Pete
30. Clade
31. The Shepard's Hut
32. The Soul of an Octopus
33. The Dog Stars
34. At the mouth of River Bees
35. Dragon's Teeth
36. Designing Your Life
37. Deep Work
38. So Good They Can't Ignore You
39. Low Town
40. The Girl with all the Gifts
41. The Dismissal Dossier
42. The Last Garden
43. Storyland
44. Wolfblade
45. Warrior
46. Home Fire
47. Warlord
48. The Lyre Thief
49. Down to the River
50. Retribution
51. Me, Early and the Dying Girl
52. 84k
53. Snap
54. The Haters
55. Codename Villanelle
56. Those Above
57. Those Below
58. Of a Boy
59. Publish your Photography Book
60. Spinning Silver
61. Record of a Spaceborn Few

61. Record of a Spaceborn Few

Over the last few years Becky Chambers has carved out a name for herself in writing very heartfelt speculative fiction. Instead of focusing on the large changes and the galaxy saving problems, Chambers writes about very individual struggles set among a Universe populated by sentient beings.

In her latest novel she really pushes this concept to the limit - instead of a narrative there are several shorter arcs of different humans all struggling with the new human condition. Humans are barely accepted as members of the Galactic Union, many thinking that they do not deserve recognition. Humans are not special, capable or strong, and rely on the technology and advances of other races.

Among this the human 'homeland' is a fleet of ships which is quasi communist and very communal, yet limited and cloistered for all that.

So the story rambles a bit, is a bit preachy and a bit too kumbayah for me. I liked Chambers earlier books as they were very inventive and had a lot of non-human elements, but this one just felt like cliched and predictable short stories but set in space, and one wonders what's the point? Nothing is really said.
 

archibaldleach

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
5,387
Reaction score
2,352
64. Davis, Jack - Gulf: The Making of an American Sea - A sort of history of the Gulf of Mexico. There are some interesting characters and anecdotes, but I wasn't particularly blown away by the book. Decent enough prose, though.

That one got me to 30,000 pages worth of books, my goal for the year 2 months early.
 

archibaldleach

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
5,387
Reaction score
2,352
^ Thank you, sir. It feels good to not be crawling across the finish line at the last minute this year. I've found the trick is to have just enough semi-light stuff to keep going. Well written biographies and histories can be a lot of fun to read too and tend to go faster than the really dense stuff, but still let one learn a lot for the effort.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,415
Reaction score
2,482
63. The Lost City of the Monkey God, by Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston's book is an account of an expedition that he was the resident journalist on, to find the fabled lost city of Ciudad Blanca in Honduras. Myths have it that the city was abandoned and a curse placed on it by a monkey god.

Preston writes about past efforts - some more genuine than others - to locate Ciudad Blanca and then describes how modern military technology was used to conduct an aerial search of impenetrable jungle, which revealed the likely presence of some major Mesoamerican construction sites. Preston then formed part of the expedition that flew in to get a better look at what they had seen from the air.

Writing for a general audience, Preston focuses more on the boy's own derring-do aspects of the story, with lots of encounters with snakes and other critters, appalling weather and even a curse of sorts. On that level this is an absorbing and interesting read, but I would have preferred to learn more about the archaeological and anthropological significance of what they discovered there. It may be that there is not yet enough work done on these sites for much to be written about that, and hopefully there will be another book sometime that tells us more about the finds than the finding of them.
 

noob in 89

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
9,473
Reaction score
11,446
The Stories of Heinrich Böll...

...is a massive 1986 hardback with a cool vintage cover, encased in plastic, containing every short story he ever wrote, mostly detailing WWII-era Germany in an abundance of styles. I can’t remember which book won him the big prize, but this is surely just as good, maybe better.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,415
Reaction score
2,482
The Stories of Heinrich Böll...

...is a massive 1986 hardback with a cool vintage cover, encased in plastic, containing every short story he ever wrote, mostly detailing WWII-era Germany in an abundance of styles. I can’t remember which book won him the big prize, but this is surely just as good, maybe better.
The Nobel is given for an author's body of work, not for any specific book. (Or song, in the case of a recent descent into populist madness).
 

noob in 89

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
9,473
Reaction score
11,446
Ha, well that explains it. I was thinking it was like the Pulitzer for some reason..
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
1,405
1. Kangaroo
2. South of the Border, West of the Sun
3. 19Q4
4. An Elegant Young Man
5. Throne of the Crescent Moon
6. When Gravity Fails
7. The Choke
8. Heat and Light
9. Who Owns the Future
10 Waking Gods
11. Wimmera
12. Artemis
13. Fire in the Sun
14. Exile Kiss
15. A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
16 Prisoners of Geography
17. Nevermoor
18 La Bell Sauvage
19. Red Sister
20. Jade City
21. We Are Who We Pretend To Be
22. First Person
23. Too Like Lightning
24. Sea of Rust
25. Don't Skip Out on Me
26. Autonomous
27. Grey Sister
28. The Free
29. Lean on Pete
30. Clade
31. The Shepard's Hut
32. The Soul of an Octopus
33. The Dog Stars
34. At the mouth of River Bees
35. Dragon's Teeth
36. Designing Your Life
37. Deep Work
38. So Good They Can't Ignore You
39. Low Town
40. The Girl with all the Gifts
41. The Dismissal Dossier
42. The Last Garden
43. Storyland
44. Wolfblade
45. Warrior
46. Home Fire
47. Warlord
48. The Lyre Thief
49. Down to the River
50. Retribution
51. Me, Early and the Dying Girl
52. 84k
53. Snap
54. The Haters
55. Codename Villanelle
56. Those Above
57. Those Below
58. Of a Boy
59. Publish your Photography Book
60. Spinning Silver
61. Record of a Spaceborn Few
62. Dayzone

62. Dayzone


In a city there is eternal day and eternal night with dusk in the middle. A time obsessed place, everyone keeps their own time and watches are a necessity. Freed from the tyranny of a single time everyone scurries around on their own time, or a time of their choosing.

Nyquist, a grizzled and unwell PI, is tasked with finding the run away daughter of the richest man in town. Except his daughter isn't all that she appears. A grueling search and cat and mouse takes up the majority of the book with some Lynch-esque scenes to wrap it all up.

I felt that this book could have been significantly more than it was, there's a lot of different plates spinning and ways to make them all amazing, yet it was almost less than the sum of its parts.
 

Lionel Hutz

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
8,291
Reaction score
4,312
The Nobel is given for an author's body of work, not for any specific book. (Or song, in the case of a recent descent into populist madness).
hands off Robert Zimmerman dude

waltersobcheck.gif
 

Journeyman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
7,182
Reaction score
2,214
Give the guy a Grammy if you like his music; the Nobel Prize for Literature is for, er, literature.
Well, to be fair to Bob, the Nobel Prize for Literature is also awarded for poetry and some song lyrics are poetic (especially considering that pretty much anything can be regarded as a poem nowadays - no need to worry about rhythm or rhyme schemes in modern poetry!).

Having said that, though, I do think that it was a pretty crap decision by the Academy.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,415
Reaction score
2,482
Well, to be fair to Bob, the Nobel Prize for Literature is also awarded for poetry and some song lyrics are poetic (especially considering that pretty much anything can be regarded as a poem nowadays - no need to worry about rhythm or rhyme schemes in modern poetry!).

Having said that, though, I do think that it was a pretty crap decision by the Academy.
I'm just outraged that Madonna missed out. Neil Tennant described her as the world's best lyricist, who always gets the emphasis on the right syllable. It's a disgrace that she was overlooked for Kazuo Ishiguro last year, and this year they are not even giving one; what an insult to the Queen of Pop!
 

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite type of loafer?

  • Tassel loafers

  • Penny loafers

  • Horsebit loafers

  • Kiltie loafers

  • I hate loafers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
424,099
Messages
9,090,456
Members
191,222
Latest member
Morgan75

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top