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2019 50 Book Challenge

jeradjames

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45. Chess Story - Stefan Zweig
46. Death in Venice - Thomas Mann
47. Journey To The East - Hermann Hesse

I'm gonna make it. Feels a bit silly to read for a number and I'll be honest, everything is a novella really at this point but I'll be damned if I don't get 50!
 

jeradjames

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48. Peter Camenzind - Hermann Hesse
Hesse's first novel. Almost done reading all of his work.
 

Fueco

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I think I’m done for 2019, as I’m into a book that’s almost 800 pages long (I’m 50 pages in) and rather more difficult to read than just about anything I’ve read, ever.

So, as I labor my way through Ulysses, enjoy these last few days of the year.
 
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California Dreamer

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I think I’m done for 2019, as I’m into a book that’s almost 800 pages long (I’m 50 pages in) and rather more difficult to read than just about anything I’ve read, ever.

So, as I labor my way through Ulysses, enjoy these last few days of the year.
Never got up the gumption to tackle Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake.
 

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
72 Time and Space: the tactics that shaped Australian Rules football and the players and coaches who mastered them, by James Coventry

Final surge for finish line.

73 Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

Arthur Less is a failed novelist, mostly known for having been the partner of a famous poet. As his 50th birthday approaches, he learns that his boyfriend is getting married to another man. To escape the complications, Less embarks on a world tour, funded by other people, to avoid dealing with it.

This is quite a charming novel, with a Kingsley Amish or Evelyn Waugh feel to it. Less is a memorable character, and I thought the ending was very nicely done.

74 The Master of Knots, by Massimo Carlotto

A trio of ex-cons operating an unofficial detective agency are approached by a man asking them to find his wife, who has been kidnapped as part of an S&M scenario gone badly wrong. Initially reluctant to get involved in such a scene they become more and more determined to track down and stop the criminal as they learn more about his misdeeds.

This is another excellent hard-boiled story from Carlotto, set against the background of the 2001 Genoa G8 riots.

75 Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo

This is a collection of stories about the lives of twelve black women in the UK, whose lives turn out to be linked in various ways. They range across all social classes and many decades, but are unified in their aim to make a better life for themselves and their children.

I really enjoyed this, and admired how cleverly Evaristo linked her stories, and the new light she was able to shine on her characters by showing them from a different perspective in another story. There were some surprises along the way and a very affecting ending. I haven't read the Atwood book, but I can see why this won the Man Booker.

76 An Event in Autumn, by Henning Mankell

Kurt Wallender goes to inspect a house he is considering buying, and discovers a skeletal hand emerging from the garden. This kicks off an investigation going back many decades, made more difficult by a lack of missing persons reports in the period in question.

Although I've read a lot of Scandi noir, I haven't read much Mankell. Wallender is not a character that appeals to me. I'm all for characters who bring their human problems to the case, but those problems need to have some kind of grounding that makes them relevant, such as Erlendur's childhood-based obsession with missing people. Wallander's brand of self-pity does not add to the story, it just provides a whiny inner dialogue that does not enhance it.

77 The Sowrd of Justice, by Leif G.W. Persson

Backstrom gets assigned the innocuous case of a little old lady accused of not caring for her pet rabbit. In his usual manner, he disposes of it as quickly as he can, but is frustrated by an animal rights activist in his team. Matters quickly develop, however, when a renowned criminal lawyer is found dead in his home. While the police are relieved to be rid of the deceased, Backstrom is still required to at least make a pretence of caring how he died. A tip-off from a wealthy mate soon leads Backstrom to a find that gets him very interested in this case and very anxious to ensure that it turns out well - for him.

Backstrom being Backstrom, and the constant discussion of his "super-salami", one can only quail at what he might think that the "sword of justice" is. He continues with his abominable misogyny and racism, but we start to see a bit of push-back from his colleagues, especially from his "right hand man", his lesbian second-in-command.

As with all these novels, this character is an acquired taste and probably best avoided by the easily offended. I did get the impression that Persson was toning him down a little, even make him (gasp) a bit likeable. I hope he does not make the mistake that was made in the US TV series, of trying to turn him into a loveable messed-up hero instead of the cop everybody loves to hate.
 

Fueco

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49. Heart Of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
50. Kreutzer Sonat - Leo Tolstoy
Onwards to 2020
Heart of Darkness is on my list for next year. We’ll see...
 

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