• We would like to welcome Exquisite Trimmings as an official Affiliate Vendor. Exquisite Trimmings is a UK based purveyor of the very best in clothing and accessories, from gloves by Thomas Reimer to leather portfolios from Il Micio, to watch rolls by Rapport London. Please visit their new thread and give them a warm welcome.

  • 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!

2020 50 Book Challenge

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,816
Reaction score
3,268
1. Damascus, by Christos Tsiolkas
2. Dr Knox, by Peter Spiegelman
3. The Hills Reply, by Tarjei Vesaas
4. Cold Fear, by Mads Peter Nordo
5. The Drover's Wife, by Leah Purcell
6. The Silent Death, by Volker Kutscher
7. Darkness for Light, by Emma Viskic
8. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
9. Recursion, by Blake Crouch
10. When All is Said and Done, by Neale Daniher
11. How the Dead Speak, by Val McDermid
12. Goldstein, by Volker Kutscher
13. Saving Missy, by Beth Morrey
14. Hi Five, by Joe Ide
15. Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki

16. The Real Peaky Blinders, by Carl Chinn
17. Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carré
18. The Good Turn, by Dervla McTiernan
19. Amnesty, by Aranid Adiga
20. Downfall, by Inio Asano
21. Sheerwater, by Leah Swann

22. In a House of Lies, by Ian Rankin
23. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
24. Pollock Confidential, by Onofrio Catacchio
25. The Brothers York, by Thomas Penn
26. Double Blind, by Sara Winokur
27. The Transaction, by Guglielmo D'Izzia
28. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
29 Journey Under the Midnight Sun, by Keigo Higashino
30 Impostures, by al-Hariri, transl. Michael Cooperson
31 A Walk Through Hell, by Garth Ennis et al
32 The English Civil Wars, by Blair Worden
33 Something Fresh, by PG Wodehouse
34 Killing Eve: Die For Me, by Luke Jennings

35 The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud


Sculptor David Smith was once a prodigy and a darling of the New York art scene. Now people have lost interest in his work, his abrasive nature has alienated the people that used to champion him, and he is incapable of producing anything.

At his lowest ebb, he encounters an old man at a diner, who turns out to be the devil. He is asked what would he give to have his art back and he responds "my life". He makes a deal; the devil gives him the ability to sculpt anything he wants with his bare hands, but he only has 200 days left to live.

David frenetically seeks to take advantage of this gift and make a name for himself before his time is up. This proves to be less than straightforward; while he can create things that nobody else can, the art world is still dismissive of the results. Complicating matters is that he meets the love of his life, the fragile aspiring actress Meg, and is torn over starting a relationship that he knows can only bring her grief.

This is a sad and beautiful graphic novel. It's quite a clever variation of the Faustian bargain plot, with just a little bit of the Pygmalion myth thrown in. Highly recommended.
 

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
14,128
Reaction score
25,100
36. QB: My Life Behind The Spiral, by Steve Young

I’m a lifelong fan of the 49ers, so this account of one of my favorite players was fascinating. The accounts of individual games could get boring if you dislike football.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,663
Reaction score
1,490
1. The Tangled Land
2. The Test
3. Grace of Kings
4. Wall of Storms
5. Where there was Still Love
6. The Secret Commonwealth
7. Children of Ruins
8. Hunger
9. Legacy of Ash
10. When we were Vikings
11. The Yellow Notebook
12. A Couple of Things Before the End
13. Agency
14. Sword of Fire
15. How to Fix the Future
16. The Topeka School
17. Beijing Payback
18. The Lucky Country
19. A horse walks into a bar
20. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
21. The Secret Scripture

21. The Secret Scripture


Really enjoyed this story that, essentially, traces how a 100 year old woman ended up in an asylum/mental home. The narrative is divided between her own confessional story and the story of her psychologist who isn't sure why she was placed in the home at all.

Along the way there are inconsistencies between the woman's telling and the psychologists' findings. To some extent these inconsistencies were caused by the villain of the novel, a Catholic priest who took an active dislike and callous hand to the woman's life when she was young. A very restrained and distant villain, the writing of which was bang on.

The ending was a touch too sappy for me, but apart form that this was a really cool book that touches on a lot of Irish history, social mores and has two very clearly drawn narrators.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,816
Reaction score
3,268
1. Damascus, by Christos Tsiolkas
2. Dr Knox, by Peter Spiegelman
3. The Hills Reply, by Tarjei Vesaas
4. Cold Fear, by Mads Peter Nordo
5. The Drover's Wife, by Leah Purcell
6. The Silent Death, by Volker Kutscher
7. Darkness for Light, by Emma Viskic
8. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
9. Recursion, by Blake Crouch
10. When All is Said and Done, by Neale Daniher
11. How the Dead Speak, by Val McDermid
12. Goldstein, by Volker Kutscher
13. Saving Missy, by Beth Morrey
14. Hi Five, by Joe Ide
15. Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki
16. The Real Peaky Blinders, by Carl Chinn
17. Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carré
18. The Good Turn, by Dervla McTiernan
19. Amnesty, by Aranid Adiga
20. Downfall, by Inio Asano
21. Sheerwater, by Leah Swann
22. In a House of Lies, by Ian Rankin
23. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
24. Pollock Confidential, by Onofrio Catacchio
25. The Brothers York, by Thomas Penn
26. Double Blind, by Sara Winokur
27. The Transaction, by Guglielmo D'Izzia
28. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
29 Journey Under the Midnight Sun, by Keigo Higashino
30 Impostures, by al-Hariri, transl. Michael Cooperson
31 A Walk Through Hell, by Garth Ennis et al
32 The English Civil Wars, by Blair Worden
33 Something Fresh, by PG Wodehouse
34 Killing Eve: Die For Me, by Luke Jennings
35 The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud

36 Puckoon by Spike Milligan


The village of Puckoon sits astride the newly-drawn border between Ulster and the Republic. In fact, the border runs between the church and the graveyard.

This is an amusing outing from Milligan, with a leavening of the barbed wit familiar from his war memoirs. It starts off with some descriptions of the village's weirder inhabitants, and then builds to a frenetic climax involving illegal border crossings, escaped animals, the IRA, and an old folks home. Exactly what you'd expect from Spike.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,816
Reaction score
3,268
1. Damascus, by Christos Tsiolkas
2. Dr Knox, by Peter Spiegelman
3. The Hills Reply, by Tarjei Vesaas
4. Cold Fear, by Mads Peter Nordo
5. The Drover's Wife, by Leah Purcell
6. The Silent Death, by Volker Kutscher
7. Darkness for Light, by Emma Viskic
8. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
9. Recursion, by Blake Crouch
10. When All is Said and Done, by Neale Daniher
11. How the Dead Speak, by Val McDermid
12. Goldstein, by Volker Kutscher
13. Saving Missy, by Beth Morrey
14. Hi Five, by Joe Ide
15. Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki
16. The Real Peaky Blinders, by Carl Chinn
17. Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carré
18. The Good Turn, by Dervla McTiernan
19. Amnesty, by Aranid Adiga
20. Downfall, by Inio Asano
21. Sheerwater, by Leah Swann
22. In a House of Lies, by Ian Rankin
23. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
24. Pollock Confidential, by Onofrio Catacchio
25. The Brothers York, by Thomas Penn
26. Double Blind, by Sara Winokur
27. The Transaction, by Guglielmo D'Izzia
28. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
29 Journey Under the Midnight Sun, by Keigo Higashino
30 Impostures, by al-Hariri, transl. Michael Cooperson
31 A Walk Through Hell, by Garth Ennis et al
32 The English Civil Wars, by Blair Worden
33 Something Fresh, by PG Wodehouse
34 Killing Eve: Die For Me, by Luke Jennings
35 The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud
36 Puckoon by Spike Milligan

37 Murder in the Garment District by David Witwer and Catherine Rios


Witwer and Rios open this account of corruption in the union movement with the 1949 murder of unionist William Lurye in broad daylight in New York's packed Garment District. Despite abundant witnesses and an allegedly intense investigati0n, the organised crime figures identified as the perpetrators were never caught.

The authors detail the exact processes by which mobsters managed to infiltrate trade unions using protection rackets and physical violence, leading to a situation where union leaders did not have much choice other than to accede to their demands. This lay the foundation for the corruption uncovered in the 1950s by Robert Kennedy and the Senate Labor Rackets Commission, including Kennedy's spectacular clashes with Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

While the corruption and the resulting decline in union power is undeniable, the book makes it clear that, in the beginning, unions were victims of organised crime, but the authorities refused to help them. Essentially, the law drove them into the arms of the lawless, and then punished them for the result. This book is also a sobering reminder of just how much ordinary people risked in order to win for us rights at work that we all now take for granted.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
2,470
26.amrita by Banana Yoshimoto

This is a rather odd but enjoyable novel about an extended family of women and young boy with somewhat odd metaphysical abilities. At times the translation simply floats along like a dream. The drama of it the narrative is unique and entertaining. A very relaxed read which has prompted me to seek out more work by the author.
 

FlyingMonkey

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
4,895
Reaction score
5,125
The ending was a touch too sappy for me, but apart form that this was a really cool book that touches on a lot of Irish history, social mores and has two very clearly drawn narrators.
The ending ruined that book for me. An editor really should have had a chat with him about that.

26.amrita by Banana Yoshimoto

This is a rather odd but enjoyable novel about an extended family of women and young boy with somewhat odd metaphysical abilities. At times the translation simply floats along like a dream. The drama of it the narrative is unique and entertaining. A very relaxed read which has prompted me to seek out more work by the author.
She's been one of my favourite Japanese writers from her first book, Kitchen. I think her books are deceptive in the sense that I see a lot more darkness lurking in them than some people seem to. Just enough not to make them just, to quite Matt, "sappy."
 

samtalkstyle

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
181
Reaction score
323
36. QB: My Life Behind The Spiral, by Steve Young

I’m a lifelong fan of the 49ers, so this account of one of my favorite players was fascinating. The accounts of individual games could get boring if you dislike football.
Sounds interesting. I love football, used to play and it was a fantastic time, so I dunno why I've never thought about reading the stories of players from past times. Have you read any other books in this niche that are worth a look?
 

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
14,128
Reaction score
25,100
38. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World, by Malala Yousafzai

I’m sure you all know the story that in this book is presented in Malala’s own own words. I accidentally bought the Young Reader’s edition, so I’ll have to read the full version at some point. This writing seems to be aimed at teenagers, so it’s not too juvenile to read.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
2,470
She's been one of my favourite Japanese writers from her first book, Kitchen. I think her books are deceptive in the sense that I see a lot more darkness lurking in them than some people seem to. Just enough not to make them just, to quite Matt, "sappy."
“The Darkness” & mental anguish were prominent throughout the book but it was counterbalance by the various metaphysical elements i found. Definitely not “Sappy”
 
Last edited:

FlyingMonkey

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
4,895
Reaction score
5,125
“The Darkness” & mental anguish were prominent throughout the book but it was counterbalance by the various metaphysical elements i found. Definitely not “Sappy”
You'd be amazed how many people review her books on Goodreads etc. as they were 'cute'... well, maybe you wouldn't: Goodreads is Goodreads.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,663
Reaction score
1,490
1. The Tangled Land
2. The Test
3. Grace of Kings
4. Wall of Storms
5. Where there was Still Love
6. The Secret Commonwealth
7. Children of Ruins
8. Hunger
9. Legacy of Ash
10. When we were Vikings
11. The Yellow Notebook
12. A Couple of Things Before the End
13. Agency
14. Sword of Fire
15. How to Fix the Future
16. The Topeka School
17. Beijing Payback
18. The Lucky Country
19. A horse walks into a bar
20. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
21. The Secret Scripture
22. Stone Sky Gold Mountain

22. Stone Sky Gold Mountain

This novel tells the story of three characters, all of whom have moved to Ballarat for the gold rush. Ying, a young woman pretending to be a man, experiences hardship but then starts feeling as if she belongs. Merri, a disgraced woman working as a helper at a brothel, feels less and less animosity for the Chinese and is treated more and more kindly. Lin Yue makes the final character, Ying's brother, hoping to find his fortune and rescue his siblings in China who had been sold off in order to cover family debts.

The story is very, very sad. The goldfields are mean places, Australians are incredibly racist and there's a pervasive set of injustices that run throughout the book. Beyond that, making a go of it in a new country is exhausting and constantly challenging.

I really, really enjoyed this novel. It was moving and written very well, restrained and understated it was a great read. Highly recommended. Though I'd be surprised if the Aussie regulars haven't had a gander yet.
 

California Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
6,816
Reaction score
3,268
1. The Tangled Land
2. The Test
3. Grace of Kings
4. Wall of Storms
5. Where there was Still Love
6. The Secret Commonwealth
7. Children of Ruins
8. Hunger
9. Legacy of Ash
10. When we were Vikings
11. The Yellow Notebook
12. A Couple of Things Before the End
13. Agency
14. Sword of Fire
15. How to Fix the Future
16. The Topeka School
17. Beijing Payback
18. The Lucky Country
19. A horse walks into a bar
20. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
21. The Secret Scripture
22. Stone Sky Gold Mountain

22. Stone Sky Gold Mountain

This novel tells the story of three characters, all of whom have moved to Ballarat for the gold rush. Ying, a young woman pretending to be a man, experiences hardship but then starts feeling as if she belongs. Merri, a disgraced woman working as a helper at a brothel, feels less and less animosity for the Chinese and is treated more and more kindly. Lin Yue makes the final character, Ying's brother, hoping to find his fortune and rescue his siblings in China who had been sold off in order to cover family debts.

The story is very, very sad. The goldfields are mean places, Australians are incredibly racist and there's a pervasive set of injustices that run throughout the book. Beyond that, making a go of it in a new country is exhausting and constantly challenging.

I really, really enjoyed this novel. It was moving and written very well, restrained and understated it was a great read. Highly recommended. Though I'd be surprised if the Aussie regulars haven't had a gander yet.
Haven't come across that one. I need to read it; I have strong family connections with the Ballarat gold mines (including a distant relationship to Peter Lalor).
 

samtalkstyle

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
181
Reaction score
323
22. The Secret of Chanel No. 5 - Tilar Mazzeo

Bringing a conclusion to my burst of readings on perfume with this business history biopic revolving around the renowned Chanel fragrance. It was quite interesting, well paced, stayed relevant to the topic and was written with good flow.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite summer fabric?

  • Seersucker

  • Fresco

  • Linen

  • Silk


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
440,424
Messages
9,502,543
Members
198,921
Latest member
Phaenon
Top