• 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!

2019 50 Book Challenge

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
12,442
Reaction score
19,805
63. Vanity of Duluoz, by Jack Kerouac

A fictionalized account of Kerouac’s life through his teenage years into his early twenties, from the football fields of high school and college, through surviving the years of World War II, to the early years of his writing career.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,563
Reaction score
1,400
1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel

28. A Forest of Wood and Steel

A really weird topic for a novel - piano tuning - was actually really interesting and super lyrical. Same translator as Murakami's books get results in a prose that's very reminiscent of the early parts of a Murakami novel that expound on something small to the point where you love it too.

A very Japanese novel, a very Japanese story, deserving of its fame, I think. It takes a lot of patience and skill to write a whole novel about such a minor topi in a way that's interesting and compelling.

@Journeyman you read this one?
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,391
Reaction score
2,456
1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel

28. A Forest of Wood and Steel
I read that one. I liked it a lot.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,563
Reaction score
1,400
1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel
29. Makers

29. Makers


Cory Doctrow writes in a semi-optimistic way about the immediate future. Like other novels corporate ties with legal and law enforcement systems result in an oppressive and unpleasant top 1%.

However, everyone else is banding together into 'New Work' - a movement where a new company employs inventors to scale up crazy inventions. An initial boom crashes leaving the five main characters scattered but rich from the initial boom.

15 years later another opportunity to make cool shit ignoring laws and business presents itself and the characters re-assemble.

This book reminded me almost of Altas Shrugged, just instead of being an apologist text for the rich and selfish it paints them as oppressing ingenuity, market freedom and solutions, but it still focuses on inventors as unsung heroes held back by an unfair society.

I haven't done a great job of explaining the plot, because it's a character driven book, but I enjoyed it all the same.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
6,533
Reaction score
2,049
27. The Ten-Cent Plague. The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America by David Hajdu

The past is a foreign country populated by prehistoric manners and a morality dictated by those who see no point in changing the social order or whose raison d’etre is ensuring the status quo stays exactly the way they want it. While we’re at it lets throw in some genuine fascism by having state schools, church & veteran sponsored book burning. I never knew that the late forties and early fifties were this weird.

As a social and cultural history of comics in the USA from the twenties to the mid fifties this is a remarkable work populated by some of the strangest politicians, pseudo academics(who published their Work in the ladies home journal) and immensely creative individuals.

Crime, sex and horror collide with the dominant hegemony and what a tale it is. And to think that at the root cause of the comic book problem is the supposed problem of juvenile delinquency and public morality. Thank god rock n roll came along. Highly recomended.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,391
Reaction score
2,456
1. Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally, by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies
2. Illustrado, by Miguel Syjuco
3. Kill 'Em All, by John Niven[
4. The Black Monday Murders, volume 1: All Hail God Mammon, by Jonathon Hickman
5. Bad News, by Edward St. Aubyn
6. Education, by Tara Westover
7. Europe: A Natural History, by Tim Flannery
8. No Tomorrow, by Luke Jennings
9. Scrublands, by Chris Hammer
10. The Kingdom, by Fuminori Nakamura
11. The White Darkness, by David Grann
12. Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa's Deluge, by Yusuke Kimura
13. The Black Monday Murders, Volume 2: The Scales, by Jonathon Hickman
14. Dark Echoes of the Past, by Roman Diaz Eterovic
15. Acute Misfortune, by Erik Jensen
16. The Low Road, by Chris Womersley
17. Steve Smith's Men: Behind Australian Cricket's Fall, by Geoff Lemon
18. River of Salt, by Dave Warner
19. City of a Million Dreams, by Jason Berry
20. Nagaland, by Ben Doherty
21. Queen of Kenosha, by Howard Shapiro
22. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
23. Saga, Volume One (Eps 1-3), by Brian
24. The Forest of Wool and Steel, by Natsu Miyashita
25. The Waiter, by Matias Faldbakken
26. Manchester Happened, by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
27. This body's Not Big Enough For Both of Us, by Edgar Cantero
28. The Erratics, by Vicki Laveau-Harvie
29. Saga Book 2, by Brian Vaughan
30. Murder in the Crooked House, by Soji Shimada
31. The Brewer of Preston, by Andrea Camilleri
32. Eight Lives, by Susan Hurley
33. Fu Ping, by Wang Anyi

34. N, by John A. Scott

John A. Scott's vast novel is set in a re-imagined World War 2 Australia. One of the two independents supporting the Curtin government, Norman Cook, dies suddenly and the war government is thrown into chaos. Strongman Warren Mahoney steps into the power vacuum, declares an emergency and establishes a dictatorship, while Curtin and his colleagues flee to New Zealand.

At the same time, the Japanese land in Australia and rapidly move from north to south, capturing Canberra and forcing Mahoney to decamp with his Emergency Committee to rural Mount Macedon, well to the south of te front line.

The major characters in Scott's tale mostly come from the bohemians and dissidents of wartime inner Melbourne, who are among the first to feel the effects of Mahoney's wrath. Missy and her partner Roy try to advance the cause of anti-Fascist art, tempting a terrible fate. Writers and artists are disappeared or turn up in internment camps. Others, such as Missy's lover Vic, enlist to fight the Japanese.

Public servant Telford finds himself at the heart of Mahoney's administration. He meets Norman Cook's widow, who insists that there was more to Cook's death than is being made public, and seduces him into taking up her cause and trying to find the truth of her husband's death. Telford agrees to do so, and finds himself gradually being immersed into a snake-pit of covert skullduggery.

Scott's characters and the various loves that motivate them are well conveyed and his sprawling plot warrants the 600 pages that it takes to recount. He grounds his ahistorical scenario so well in the real Australia of the time that it all seems eminently plausible. The indignities and hatred directed at outsiders by the Australians in his book have echoes in the present, and Scott does not let us forget that.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
6,533
Reaction score
2,049
28. Clear Bright Future A Radical Defence of The Human Being by Paul Mason

Paul Mason skillfully advocates a future of human cooperation based on our shared humanity, a return to the core principals of Marxism and the individual standing up to fascist adversity. He writes with hope and presents a practical vision of radical optimism.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,563
Reaction score
1,400
1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel
29. Makers
30. Pink Mountain on Locust Island

30. Pink Mountain on Locust Island


What a weird book. I guess it's semi-coming of age - the main character meets a boy who is an artist and there's the potential that he'll shake up the monotony of her life, dominated by her depressed father. But this dodgy father enlists that boy the help him make art fakes and money roles in and then eventually collapses.

A weird book with little traditional, the blurb describes the writing as 'pulverised' and I think that's a perfect description. Like the story the writing is quite beguiling at first and then sort of collapses pointlessly mid-way through.

Still, the writer produced this at 20 years old or younger, so it's a pretty impressive first novel.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
6,533
Reaction score
2,049
29. The Cross by Mandy Sayer
A Kings Cross tale of BLF green bans, corruption, bent cops, petty crims and colourful racing identities. Supposed urban renewal which is outright greed clashes head on with local residents and squatters over the proposed redevelopment which results in murder for which no one was ever charged.

Set in the milieu of the 1970’s attempted redevelopment of Victoria St and tragic death of Juanita Nielsen its an interesting narrative account of it all. And includes a number of conflicting accounts of the murder of Nielsen which play on the urbane mythology of what actually happen to her.

As a side note my brother in law lived in one of the Victoria St squats during the whole Green Ban. I remember it as it was prime time news theatre back in the day. Thankfully the full scale redevelopment of Victoria St never went ahead.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,391
Reaction score
2,456
1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel
29. Makers
30. Pink Mountain on Locust Island

30. Pink Mountain on Locust Island
I've seen that one at the library a few times now. Might grab it next time. Always up for a good first novel by an Australian author.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
6,533
Reaction score
2,049
30.Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

1957 Bernie Gunther the good German ex Berlin Police Detective is back in the game. This time the action is in Greece. One of the most entertaining Post Chandler series I’ve ever read. A pacy narrative and language to die for literally;

Will you require an early morning phone call sir?” “I don’t need an early morning phone call Mr Garlopis. I’ve got my bladder.”

She moved towards me like Zeno’s arrow parts of her were in perpetual motion and part of her seemed at rest....she had breasts that would make a cigarette fall from your mouth.

You never went to university if you had you’d realise that its intellectually respectable to be cynical.


Kerr gave his characters had a great voice, In particular Bernies world weary tragic flawed humanity. Tragic that Kerr has gone west. Highly recommended.


Maybe one of these day’s I reread the series in order.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,391
Reaction score
2,456
1. Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally, by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies
2. Illustrado, by Miguel Syjuco
3. Kill 'Em All, by John Niven[
4. The Black Monday Murders, volume 1: All Hail God Mammon, by Jonathon Hickman
5. Bad News, by Edward St. Aubyn
6. Education, by Tara Westover
7. Europe: A Natural History, by Tim Flannery
8. No Tomorrow, by Luke Jennings
9. Scrublands, by Chris Hammer
10. The Kingdom, by Fuminori Nakamura
11. The White Darkness, by David Grann
12. Sacred Cesium Ground and Isa's Deluge, by Yusuke Kimura
13. The Black Monday Murders, Volume 2: The Scales, by Jonathon Hickman
14. Dark Echoes of the Past, by Roman Diaz Eterovic
15. Acute Misfortune, by Erik Jensen
16. The Low Road, by Chris Womersley
17. Steve Smith's Men: Behind Australian Cricket's Fall, by Geoff Lemon
18. River of Salt, by Dave Warner
19. City of a Million Dreams, by Jason Berry
20. Nagaland, by Ben Doherty
21. Queen of Kenosha, by Howard Shapiro
22. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
23. Saga, Volume One (Eps 1-3), by Brian
24. The Forest of Wool and Steel, by Natsu Miyashita
25. The Waiter, by Matias Faldbakken
26. Manchester Happened, by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
27. This body's Not Big Enough For Both of Us, by Edgar Cantero
28. The Erratics, by Vicki Laveau-Harvie
29. Saga Book 2, by Brian Vaughan
30. Murder in the Crooked House, by Soji Shimada
31. The Brewer of Preston, by Andrea Camilleri
32. Eight Lives, by Susan Hurley
33. Fu Ping, by Wang Anyi
34. N, by John A. Scott

35. Adele, by Leila Slimani

Adele is a Parisian wife and mother with an insatiable need for sex. This leads her to cheat on her husband incessantly with a bewildering assortment of men. Adele is indiscriminate in her favours; married, single, comely, ugly all are candidates for her relentless lust.

Adele's surgeon husband Richard is blissfully unaware of what is going on. He sees a happy family and dreams of relocating to a bucolic place in the country. This is, of course, something Adele is not remotely interested in.

Adele indulges in a lot of bad sex, and this has the inevitable effect of the novel being mostly a monotonous series of bad sex scenes. She is a pretty unlikeable character, principally because Slimani does not really offer any rationale for Adele's egregious behaviour. Towards the end the author offers the merest hint of a cause for this aberrant behaviour, but it's nowhere near overt enough to make you like her protagonist. Richard is not very sympathetic either. I mostly felt sorry for their little boy, to whom Slimani gives short shrift and does nothing to examine the effect all this dysfunction might have on the sole innocent bystander.
 
Last edited:

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
421,150
Messages
9,054,611
Members
190,605
Latest member
Btrliving

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top