• Welcome to our newest affiliate vendor, Passus Shoes. We are very happy to welcome our newest affiliate vendor, Passus Shoes. Passus shoes was founded by long term members of the forum and veterans of the shoes business. and is dedicated to crafting fine shoes in Budapest in a time honored tradition. Please help me give them a warm welcome in their new affiliate vendor thread.
  • 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

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
1,482
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
39. Ancestral Night
40 Inappropration
41. Ordinary People
42. 21 lessons for the 21st century
43. There There
44. Stumbling upon happiness
45. Dark Matter
46. Children of Time
47. Middle Game
48. Recursion
49. Convenience Store Woman
50. Black Friday
51. White Girl

51. White Girl


Tony Birch (local 50 books favourite) has a return to form, I was not that much of a fan of his last one (Common People) but this was an interesting take on the post-WW2, pre-civil rights era where the Stolen Generation still existed but was decreasing. Avoiding any of the well worn stories from this time, there was enough familiarity (condescending evil cop, rural fuck wits) as well as enough ingenuity (progressive city, Indigenous Australians commiserating secretly) to keep the story alive and fresh.

Birch continues to draw on his strengths in characterisation - the minor characters really sing here (Henry is so loveable, the rural towns folk so well drawn).

Great stuff!
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,016
Reaction score
2,431
52. You May Also Like; taste in an age of endless. choice by Tom Vanderbilt

Journalistic and intellectually stimulating style study of the concept of taste, how it is applied, how its cultivated and how it directs our lives. Essentially he poses the argument that our tastes in music, sartorialism, alcohol, food and culture are cultivated through experience and exposure to the ‘new’ via a introductory process of psychological and sociological conditioning over time. Read this some years back and recently read an article that prompted me to reread it.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
1,482
Top tier Australian writers currently:
Tony Birch
Favel Parrett
Sofie Laguna

Honorable mentions:
Helen Garner (because Everywhere I look was maybe her best work ever, haven't read her latest)
Richard Flanagan (love his narrative voice)
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,777
Reaction score
3,215
Top tier Australian writers currently:
Tony Birch
Favel Parrett
Sofie Laguna

Honorable mentions:
Helen Garner (because Everywhere I look was maybe her best work ever, haven't read her latest)
Richard Flanagan (love his narrative voice)
Good list. I'd add Dave Warner (former musician), who writes some pretty decent detective fiction. Also Jock Serong, who is proving to be a very versatile writer, with not one of his four novels the same genre.
 
Last edited:

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,988
Reaction score
24,686
119. Free Cyntoia, by Cyntoia Brown-Long

Memoir from a women who was convicted as an adult at 16 for killing a 43-year old man who’d bought her for sex, and sentence to life in prison. Here sentence was commuted in January of this year, and she was released in August.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,016
Reaction score
2,431
53.Quarterly Essay 76 Red Flag Waking Up To China’s Challenge by Peter Hartcher

As I was getting coffee the 6.30 ABC RN news was on. The lead article was how Chinese Intelligence had paid and selected an Australian Citizen of Chinese descent to run for the Liberal Party at the next Federal Election. Why am I citing this?

This goes to the core of Hartcher‘s essay about the ways and means of CCP interference in both Australian politics and the ways in which they do so. Cultural engagement, influence peddling and economic displeasure are the current tools of persuasion combine with the use of patriotic elements of the Chinese diaspora in Australia.

Hartcher states that Australia basically is caught between a rock and hard place at present with its engagement with China who is our largest economic partner and who ideologically is the opposite of our democratic system.

This current unease is basically due to the Village Idiot in Washington with his ’winnable’ trade war with China. And China’s increased projection of diplomatic, economic & military power in the Asia/Pacific region.

He provides various examples of how subtle pressure is being applied by the CCP and how it is affecting Australia. One prominent example is the billion plus dollars a year that Chinese students contribute to the University sector and through big donations by Chinese billionaires. The ‘paper bag ’ by Frank Gehry at UTS is a prime example of influence peddling. And how this could cause major economic problems if the CCP decides to use student education as a tool to chastise Australia for perceived slights or as a tool of economic warfare.

Thought provoking to say the least.
 
Last edited:

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
1,482
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
39. Ancestral Night
40 Inappropration
41. Ordinary People
42. 21 lessons for the 21st century
43. There There
44. Stumbling upon happiness
45. Dark Matter
46. Children of Time
47. Middle Game
48. Recursion
49. Convenience Store Woman
50. Black Friday
51. White Girl
52. Photowork

52. Photowork


A Proustian questionairre with 40-50 working photographers edited by Sasha Wolf (legendary art dealer).

A few gems, a few duds and a lot of repetition. Not bad, but not great. Less insight than I would have expected.
 

Journeyman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
7,482
Reaction score
2,591
120. A Warning, by Anonymous (A Senior Trump Administration Official)
What were your thoughts?

I do wonder who Anonymous is. I know that some have speculated it is Manton, but I doubt it because a) he was fired some time ago, when Bolton came in; and b) even though he likes writing pseudonymously, I suspect he would have chosen a name other than a simple "anonymous".
 

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,988
Reaction score
24,686
What were your thoughts?

I do wonder who Anonymous is. I know that some have speculated it is Manton, but I doubt it because a) he was fired some time ago, when Bolton came in; and b) even though he likes writing pseudonymously, I suspect he would have chosen a name other than a simple "anonymous".
I agree with @California Dreamer, if you have something to say, say it out loud. This person is too attached to the prestige of their job. I found myself cringing at much of what was written, but also thinking, “Why TF are you still working there?”
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,016
Reaction score
2,431
54. The Siberian Dilemma by Martin Cruz Smith.

The Arkady Renko series has been one I’ve throughly enjoyed over the years. Its been interesting to read both in terms of its Soviet Noir but the way the political situation has changed over time and how this is reflected in the dynamics of the narrative. Picked up a HB first edition of Gorky Park a couple of years back. The best book of the series IMHO is Polar Star and visually it would have made a fantastic movie.

This is the ninth book in the series and it finds oligarchical corruption as the pretext to send Arkady to Siberia. There he encounters greed corruption and environmental disregard the norm as competing oligarchs fight over oil supplies.The story delves in politics with an oligarch who wants to challenge the Czar, then add murder, the wilds of Siberia and shamanism. A good contribution to the series but lacks the depths of the early novels, too many narrative corners cut for my liking.
 
Last edited:

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,016
Reaction score
2,431
55.The One From The Other by Philip Kerr
56. A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr


Both of these books run consequentially in terms of the narrative exposition In their Noir and political characteristics. Bernie Gunther Berlin Police Kriminal Ober-Kommissar is embroiled in a murder investigation against the backdrop of ascendence of the Nazi plague in 1932-33 amidst the social and cultural decline of the Weimar Republic. A lust murder propels Bernie into the seedy depraved underworld of Berlin. Which brings forth the internal conflicts and morality and entrenched fascism of the Police. This narrative combines with Bernie in post war Munich trying to establish a life, which is highjacked by the CIA in their attempts to use former SS scientists in the coming Cold War.

The second book finds Bernie on the lam after being framed and in Argentina amidst the SS vermin who were granted residence under the Peron regime, where he is coopted in the search for a killer and Nazi millions.

The interesting this about this series is that Kerr uses historical vermin such as Eichmann, Gobbles who is being treated for the clap, amongst others and the political machinations of the USA in enlisting former SS, Gestapo and Nazi scientists to craft a combined Noir thriller with a condemnation of the politics of expediency, where the end justify the means.
 
Last edited:

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How do you feel about spending money on non-essential goods during the Covid-19 crisis?

  • I don't want to spend money at a time of economic uncertainty, even if I could afford it.

  • I feel compelled to spend to help small businesses that are struggling.

  • I reduced my budget for non-essential goods and I'm not spending at the moment.

  • Not much has changed for me and I'm still buying stuff I can't afford.


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
438,499
Messages
9,450,339
Members
198,063
Latest member
Olienes20b
Top