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2019 50 Book Challenge

Journeyman

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CD, that sounds like a worthwhile read and I'll have to try to get hold of a copy.

Regrettably, it's not uncommon. I remember a few years ago, two middle-aged women in Brisbane were killed on the same day. One was of indigenous background and lived in a suburb in a lower socio-economic area. The other was white, middle-class and lived in an upmarket suburb in a house on acreage. The first lady's death got a one-paragraph article buried deep inside the paper. The second lady's death was front-page news - even though she was not at all well-known - and resulted in sustained media attention that even included a candle-lit vigil in her memory, out the front of City Hall. Its not hard to guess which death is still unsolved...
 

California Dreamer

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CD, that sounds like a worthwhile read and I'll have to try to get hold of a copy.

Regrettably, it's not uncommon. I remember a few years ago, two middle-aged women in Brisbane were killed on the same day. One was of indigenous background and lived in a suburb in a lower socio-economic area. The other was white, middle-class and lived in an upmarket suburb in a house on acreage. The first lady's death got a one-paragraph article buried deep inside the paper. The second lady's death was front-page news - even though she was not at all well-known - and resulted in sustained media attention that even included a candle-lit vigil in her memory, out the front of City Hall. Its not hard to guess which death is still unsolved...
Box contrasts the efforts put into these murders with the hunt for Ivan Milat and the search for the missing Beaumont children. His comparisons are not flattering. There is also more than a hint that "Hide" may have had other victims.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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58.Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Unrequited love, a dream with a wall upon which materialises a door, to where exactly? A passage to the other side? Metaphysics in a Twin Peaks mirror. A lost girl. A trip to where exactly?

A strange tale which I found to be the most nihilistic and emotionally needy of all Murakami books I‘ve read.
 

LonerMatt

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AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING GF, AM I RIGHT?
 

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
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
53. The boy behind the curtain
54. Walking
55. Silence

55. Silence


Earling Kragg - who wrote the book on walking I read earlier - also penned this short novel about silence. Early on he comes clean with the weirdness that is writing about silence, or making a type of noise to get at the feeling and necessity of a lack of distraction.

Silence is easy to make a case for, and Earling does a good job, explaining with many examples the benefits and necessity of a bit of time out, often demonstrating why it's hard to get and harder to live up to. A great few pages on why starting at someone in the eyes, a lover, a partner, can be so hard precisely because it's so silent and revealing.

Ultimately the novel is a lot like silence itself: generally comforting and sustains in its simplicity.
 

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
47. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
48. State of the Union, by Nick Hornby
49. Being Black 'n Chicken, and Chips, by Matt Okine
50. Rather Be the Devil, by Ian Rankin
51. Forbidden Harbour, by Teresa Radice
52. The Grade Cricketer: Tea and No Sympathy, by Dave Edwards
53. A Fist or a Heart, by Kristin Eiriksdottir
54. There Was Still Love, by Favel Parrett
55. Bury the Lede, by Gaby Dunn
56. Eggshell Skull, by Bri Lee
57. The Yield, by Tara June Winch
58. Heida, by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir
59. My Life As An Alphabet, by Barry Jonsberg
60. Babylon Berlin, by Volker Kutscher
61. Too Much Lip, by Melissa Lucashenko
62. An Orchestra of Minorities, by Chigozie Obioma
63. The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio
64. Shamus Dust by Janet Roger
65. If You Tame Me by Kathie Giorgio
66. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
67 The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan
68 Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
69 Bowraville by Dan Box

70 Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch

When May and her brother lose their mother, they find themselves separated from family ties, other than the aunt that they end up staying with. Their father has absconded and the mob that their family was part of comes from elsewhere. Growing up with a sense of rootlessness, May embarks on a series of journeys to try and find her father and her family, and understand where she belongs.

Along the way, May has some horrific experiences and major disappointments. It's a strength of this book that even these grim scenes are described in a way that preserves May's strength as a person; she does not allow herself to be crushed.

Winch's prose in this novel is extraordinary. She has a very elegant turn of phrase which livens up even mundane scenes, and includes several very precise, yet somewhat surprising metaphors. At times it might feel like she is trying a bit too hard, but that's understandable in a first novel by a writer who was no doubt keen to show what she could do.
 

Journeyman

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58.Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Unrequited love, a dream with a wall upon which materialises a door, to where exactly? A passage to the other side? Metaphysics in a Twin Peaks mirror. A lost girl. A trip to where exactly?

A strange tale which I found to be the most nihilistic and emotionally needy of all Murakami books I‘ve read.
This was my least favourite of Murakami Haruki's books.

It just seemed to peter out, leaving you wondering what happened and also leaving you wondering, "So what?"
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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@Journeyman have you read Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World?
 

Journeyman

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^Yes. It was weird and quite psychedelic but I enjoyed it.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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59.Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama

A Bildungsroman novel at its core or is it? Well throw in a Japanese iteration of Shakespearean political infighting. A news room under siege as it struggles to define and report The Truth. A healthy dose of psychological angst and guilt set off against a mid life crisis and you end up with an insightful and at times annoying narrative that does leave you feeling you have invested your time wisely by reading this book. Highly recommended.
 

California Dreamer

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59.Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama

A Bildungsroman novel at its core or is it? Well throw in a Japanese iteration of Shakespearean political infighting. A news room under siege as it struggles to define and report The Truth. A healthy dose of psychological angst and guilt set off against a mid life crisis and you end up with an insightful and at times annoying narrative that does leave you feeling you have invested your time wisely by reading this book. Highly recommended.
Yep, really liked that one.
 

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
47. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
48. State of the Union, by Nick Hornby
49. Being Black 'n Chicken, and Chips, by Matt Okine
50. Rather Be the Devil, by Ian Rankin
51. Forbidden Harbour, by Teresa Radice
52. The Grade Cricketer: Tea and No Sympathy, by Dave Edwards
53. A Fist or a Heart, by Kristin Eiriksdottir
54. There Was Still Love, by Favel Parrett
55. Bury the Lede, by Gaby Dunn
56. Eggshell Skull, by Bri Lee
57. The Yield, by Tara June Winch
58. Heida, by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir
59. My Life As An Alphabet, by Barry Jonsberg
60. Babylon Berlin, by Volker Kutscher
61. Too Much Lip, by Melissa Lucashenko
62. An Orchestra of Minorities, by Chigozie Obioma
63. The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio
64. Shamus Dust by Janet Roger
65. If You Tame Me by Kathie Giorgio
66. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
67 The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan
68 Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
69 Bowraville by Dan Box
70 Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch

71 He Who Kills the Dragon by Leif G.W. Persson

Detective Superintendent Evert Backstrom is an obstreperous, corrupt, obese, racist misogynist who pisses off everybody who works with him. And those are his good points.

The second Backstrom novel is similar to the first, with Persson building a procedural around his Falstaffian cop, frequently leaving the readers shaking their heads at the outrageous internal dialogue that he attributes to him, and eliciting belly laughs that are immediately followed with a twinge of guilt at finding such outrageousness funny. It's quite a feat; he manages to keep the character just the right side of offensive, while milking his obnoxiousness for all it is worth.

The plot commences with the death of an old man in his apartment, surrounded by empty bottles. Backstrom instantly decides it's just one piss-artist killing another piss-artist, nothing to see here, let's all go have lunch. The body is found by a Somali paperboy, whom Backstrom dismisses with a few crude epithets.

There is something that niggles at him though and he seems to be well ahead of his colleagues, leading them a bit of a dance before the team starts to home in on what is really going on. Despite all his unlikeable characteristics, Backstrom is sharp when it counts.

This novel is a guilty pleasure, but probably not for people who consider themselves "woke"; they may just find the character too offensive.
 

mak1277

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43. The Sellout, Paul Beatty
Pretty hilarious satire of "post-racial" America. It's definitely the funniest book I've read this year.

I don't think I'm going to make it to 50, although I do have six books that I've started so far but haven't finished so it's theoretically possible.
 

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