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2019 50 Book Challenge

jeradjames

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26. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Book follows a teenager referred to as the kid with the bulk of the text devoted to his experiences with the Glanton gang, a historical group of scalp hunters who massacred Native Americans and others in the United States - Mexico borderlands from 1849 to 1850 for bounty, pleasure, and eventually out of nihilistic habit
I will need to read this a few more times to get the most of it. I found it hard to finish this one not because of the language complexity but the amount of descriptive writing, density, and the lack of a strong plot line the book has (new to me as a newer reader). Listened to a few lectures on the book for supplementation which helped.
27. Patriotism by Yukio Mishima
Short story about the erotics of patriotism and honor, love and suicide
 

LonerMatt

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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
31. The Summon Stone
32. Fallen Gate
33. Senlin Ascends
34. Howling Dark
35. Arm of the Sphinx
36. Fall, or Dodge in Hell
37. The Hod King

37. The Hod King


The third in a series of books I've been enjoying. Expansive characterisation and really lovely pacing, not rushed or quick. Beautiful writing and a great balance of interior and exterior worlds.

A really strong series and looking forward to how it evolves.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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39. The Guards by Ken Bruen.

Galway, Jack Taylor ex Garda Síochána, now investigative alcoholic for hire trods the means streets of Galway. While attempting between capital D drinking and sobriety to uncover the truth about the suicide of a young women whose mother swears it was murder.

All the typical post Chandler elements collide for an interesting Guinness and Jamesons soaked read. First book in a series but not considering more at present.

Trivia. ABC Journalist friend of mine interviewed him many a year ago then sank a few jars. He speaks highly of his work.
 

California Dreamer

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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
36. Gretchen, by Shannon Kirk
37. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
38. The White Girl, by Tony Birch
39. The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein
40. The Ballad of Captain Kelly, by Jonathan Wicken
41. Grief is the Thing With Feathers, by Max Porter
42. Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe
43. A Keeper, by Graham Norton
44. Saudade, by Suneeta Peres da Costa
45. The Murder Farm, by Andrea Maria Schenkel

46. Gallows Court, by Andrea Martin Edwards

* I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. *

In 1930s London, ambitious crime journalist Jacob Flint encounters femme fatale Rachel Savernake. Rachel has embarrassed the local CID with her ability to solve a crime that baffled them, and Flint is keen to know more about her, but she is having none of it.

Flint soon receives an anonymous tip that leads him to a crime scene involving one of the City's leading lights, landing a scoop that his boss is very pleased with. He later finds himself on the scene of another murder, and starts to attract similar suspicious attention from the police as Rachel does. He also attracts the attention of some less salubrious elements, to his cost.

This is essentially a rollicking yarn with a nice sense of place and time. It's doesn't have the most original story or characters, but it's good fun.
 

Fueco

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90. Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story Of Courage, Family, and The Lost Schoolgirls Of Boko Haram, by Isha Sesay

An account of the kidnapping, captivity and release (of some) of 276 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria in April 2014. Ms. Sesay in a journalist with CNN, so this reads at times like a news piece, but her deep empathy for what the girls went through shines through.
 

samtalkstyle

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Aug 3, 2019
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9: The Thin Red Line - James Jones
An account of an Army company at Guadalcanal in World War II. This was perhaps the most humanised account of any war experience I have read, with a lot of realism when it comes to thoughts, feelings and actions in the kind of situations those men experienced. One of the most interesting nonfictions I have read.
 

California Dreamer

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Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,451
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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
36. Gretchen, by Shannon Kirk
37. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
38. The White Girl, by Tony Birch
39. The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein
40. The Ballad of Captain Kelly, by Jonathan Wicken
41. Grief is the Thing With Feathers, by Max Porter
42. Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe
43. A Keeper, by Graham Norton
44. Saudade, by Suneeta Peres da Costa
45. The Murder Farm, by Andrea Maria Schenkel
46. Gallows Court, by Andrea Martin Edwards

47. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black is a young slave boy working as a field hand on a Barbadian sugar plantation. His owner dies and is succeeded by a brutal relative. After being implicated in a terrifying incident, Washington is whisked away by the master's brother Titch, a scientific man who wants to utilise his precocious drawing skills.

Pursued by a bounty hunter, Wash and Titch head to the Arctic where Titch is reunited with his father. There he leaves Wash to make his own way in the world, eventually travelling down to Canada and some semblance of safety, but without ever feeling entirely secure, and haunted by his past.

This is a stirring and epic novel with a vast range of locations that Edugyan takes her hero through in his quest to reconcile his past. It captures the early stirrings of the Enlightenment and the emancipation movement, as well as the popularisation of natural science as a pursuit for gentlefolk, events of lasting significance which Edugyan manages to position Wash on the periphery of.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,580
Reaction score
1,413
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
31. The Summon Stone
32. Fallen Gate
33. Senlin Ascends
34. Howling Dark
35. Arm of the Sphinx
36. Fall, or Dodge in Hell
37. The Hod King
38. Boy Swallows Universe

38. Boy Swallows Universe

I keep on saying that we're in the golden age of Australian fiction and this novel has gained a lot of praise recently, so I was fairly keen to read it.

From the get go this is a fairly standard narrative that's held aloft by excellent narration and characterisation and enough tall tales to really draw you in. Occasional confusing or fantastical elements are generally strewn about and I liked that those things kept me wondering about whether there'd be twists or turns or a curve ball - there's a lot of chekov's guns here.

Essentially this is the story of two boys growing up the sons of a drug dealing mother and their step Dad. Despite the stereotypes there's a lot of love (and agony) in their lives. However, a deal gone bad and the shit hits the fan. Every time the boys seem to find their feet and old enemy turns up and the circle of their lives resets.

Really great and I'm glad loads of Australians are reading home grown fiction!
 

California Dreamer

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Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,451
Reaction score
2,518
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
36. Gretchen, by Shannon Kirk
37. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
38. The White Girl, by Tony Birch
39. The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein
40. The Ballad of Captain Kelly, by Jonathan Wicken
41. Grief is the Thing With Feathers, by Max Porter
42. Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe
43. A Keeper, by Graham Norton
44. Saudade, by Suneeta Peres da Costa
45. The Murder Farm, by Andrea Maria Schenkel
46. Gallows Court, by Andrea Martin Edwards
47. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

48. State of the Union, by Nick Hornby

Tom and Louise are a couple whose marriage is slowly disintegrating. This novella focuses on their brief catch-ups in the pub before heading to their weekly couples counselling session.

Hornby's protagonists are a bit too insipid for this concept to work. Tom in particular is nonplussed and phlegmatic to a fault, and Louise comes across as a pernickety pedant. If Hornby wanted to make us care about whether they manage to recover their marriage, he needed to show us the hurt and pain that drove them to the brink, and this stuff is too polite and glib for that.
 

Fueco

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92. Where The Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

Oh man, it’s been ages since I’ve refused to go to sleep until finishing a book. I just finished this one, at 1:20 AM...

This book is every bit as good as I’d been told. A girl born into poverty in a coastal swamp in North Carolina is abandoned and lives the life of a noted naturalist. The local town in rocked by the death (murder?) of the star athlete.
 

California Dreamer

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Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,451
Reaction score
2,518
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
36. Gretchen, by Shannon Kirk
37. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
38. The White Girl, by Tony Birch
39. The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein
40. The Ballad of Captain Kelly, by Jonathan Wicken
41. Grief is the Thing With Feathers, by Max Porter
42. Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe
43. A Keeper, by Graham Norton
44. Saudade, by Suneeta Peres da Costa
45. The Murder Farm, by Andrea Maria Schenkel
46. Gallows Court, by Andrea Martin Edwards
47. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
48. State of the Union, by Nick Hornby

49. Being Black 'n Chicken, and Chips, by Matt Okine

* I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. *

This is a coming of age story about Mike, a pre-pubescent mixed-race boy, subject to all the usual traumas of impending adolescence. He is keen on Zoe and wants desperately to impress her by competing in an athletics event, but faces competition from bully-boy Skon.

In the midst of Mike's floundering attempts to impress, he is jerked back to earth by the news that his mother has been diagnosed with cancer. In many ways that causes him to go even more off the rails, but there is also a developing sense of underlying seriousness behind the bravado of him and his friends.

There is a terrific story to be told here, not least because Okine went through this loss himself, but I just found it too clunky. I'm not a fan of humour where people are embarrassed and humiliated and whenever Okine reached for the humour in a situation, I just winced rather than laughed at the silly travails he put Mike through. I have read much better books about similar situations that manage to be both funny and serious, without being excruciating.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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40.RECURSION by Blake Crouch

Full tilt sci fi which moves at pace, characters who for the most are real(with some question marks) and motivated. And some very inventive out on the edge ideas about time and memory which combine in an enjoyable and entertaining narrative.
For me its strong point was the authors ability to dramatically paint filmic images with the text. Not too hard considering his background which were very well done especially a sequence involving thermonuclear war and Trump Tower

Highly recommended.
 

jeradjames

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
58
Reaction score
261
28. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Read on a recent flight after a fellow thread contributor mentioned it. Third Murakami I've read, seem to all follow a similar theme thus far.
29. Conversations with Students by Louis Kahn
Answered questions by the architect on personal philosophy of architecture, what is lacking in the field, where he anticipates arch. to be headed towards, etc. Recently visited Yale and experienced a few of his commisions and thought it would be nice context. Short/concise read.
 

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