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2021 50 Book Challenge

LonerMatt

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1. Death's End
2. Piranesi
3. Living Sea of Waking Dreams
4. Uncanny Valley
5. War of Maps
6. A Constellation of Vital phenomena
7. The New Wilderness
8. Attack Surface
9. Gods of Jade and Shadow
10. The Galaxy and the Ground Within
11. Gallowglass
12. Cultural Warlords
13. A Song for A New Day
14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue
15. Terra Nullius
16. Fall of Koli
17. A Desolation called Peace
18. Gideon the Ninth
19. Harrow the Ninth
20. Essentialism
21. Dead in the Water
22. This is how to lose a time war
23. The Calculating Stars
24. Effortless
25. The Goblin Emperor
26. Dune
27. The Backyard Adventurer
28. The fated sky
29. The Relentless Moon
30. Rogue Protocol
31. Black Sun
32. Velocity Weapon
33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
34. Animals Make Us Human
35. A Darker Shade of magic
36. Gathering of Shadows
37. A Conjuring of Light
38. City of Stairs
39. Never Let Me Go

39. Never Let Me Go


Weird coming of age mixed with soft sci fi book, a bit too much neatly tied up at the end, but oddly beguiling despite little happening and lots of exposition.
 

Fueco

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35. An Hour Before daylight: Memories Of A Rural Boyhood, by Jimmy Carter

a collection of stories recounting President Carter’s youth in rural Georgia. This was a fascinating look into a bygone time. This book reads like an old man telling stories, and is thoroughly enjoyable.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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45.Lexicon by Max Barry

Language is the house in which we live and the premise of this novel is that language and the use choice of words can be used to attain power over others.

Language has power words, control words and kill words. The right words grant power to those who know how to use them. But at what price?

Interesting premise and ok read but when the chips were down and the tension was mounting on its way to the climax it just didn‘t really deliver.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,743
Reaction score
1,523
1. Death's End
2. Piranesi
3. Living Sea of Waking Dreams
4. Uncanny Valley
5. War of Maps
6. A Constellation of Vital phenomena
7. The New Wilderness
8. Attack Surface
9. Gods of Jade and Shadow
10. The Galaxy and the Ground Within
11. Gallowglass
12. Cultural Warlords
13. A Song for A New Day
14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue
15. Terra Nullius
16. Fall of Koli
17. A Desolation called Peace
18. Gideon the Ninth
19. Harrow the Ninth
20. Essentialism
21. Dead in the Water
22. This is how to lose a time war
23. The Calculating Stars
24. Effortless
25. The Goblin Emperor
26. Dune
27. The Backyard Adventurer
28. The fated sky
29. The Relentless Moon
30. Rogue Protocol
31. Black Sun
32. Velocity Weapon
33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
34. Animals Make Us Human
35. A Darker Shade of magic
36. Gathering of Shadows
37. A Conjuring of Light
38. City of Stairs
39. Never Let Me Go
40. Little Bets

40. Little Bets


Such a bad book, came hghly recommended and I just cannot imagine why. A simple point parading as insight gets stretched out into a novel that just fellates so much Sillicon Valley tech bullshit and people.

Only talks about the insight and thinking behind Google, Amazon, etc, and never the exploitation, legal grey areas, egotistical anti-competitiveness and inability for society to keep up and enforce standards. I don't want to read a single fucking thing about Steve Jobs ever again in my life.

Truly just a pointless read.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Its not a book review… its a fascinating read of US literary history

 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Dec 4, 2010
Messages
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46.Night Blue by Angela O’Keeffe

In 1973 Australian PM Gough Whitlam bought Jackson Pollocks Blue Poles for $1.3 Million a record at the time for an Abstract Expressionist art work for then under construction NGA.

The conservative media went ape shit in their condemnation of it, in particular the Murdoch press who said the usual philistine comments its painted by a drunk, my grandchild could paint that. It’s now conservatively worth between $100 to $300 million US.

This book is about the life of Blue Poles from Blue Poles perspective. The painting speaks its history from Pollock painting it, its NYC owners and the family it belonged too, its journey though taste, time and space. Its observations of the crowds who came to see it and bask in its majesty and grandeur.

This combines with a woman who encountered and tended the painting in storage and developed a rapport with it and is now attempting to do her PhD on the picture.

Original, entertaining and historically atmospheric.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
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3,476
47.Future Histories; What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology by Lizzie O’Shea

Part history lesson, part polemic with a dash of post Marxist idealism and a revolutionary call to arms. O’Shea examines how the original utopian ideas of the internet were consumed by capital snake oil salesmen, and how in the process of the digital revolution we have been made the product de jour by our data by the rapacious greed of FANG.

Is there a way forward which does not involve some sort of Gibson corporate owned dystopia and humanity can reclaim a creative commons which doses not serve us up as mere data to be harvested. Can we create a creative commons amongst the digital detritus and how would we get there?

Thoughtful inspired reading.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,743
Reaction score
1,523
1. Death's End
2. Piranesi
3. Living Sea of Waking Dreams
4. Uncanny Valley
5. War of Maps
6. A Constellation of Vital phenomena
7. The New Wilderness
8. Attack Surface
9. Gods of Jade and Shadow
10. The Galaxy and the Ground Within
11. Gallowglass
12. Cultural Warlords
13. A Song for A New Day
14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue
15. Terra Nullius
16. Fall of Koli
17. A Desolation called Peace
18. Gideon the Ninth
19. Harrow the Ninth
20. Essentialism
21. Dead in the Water
22. This is how to lose a time war
23. The Calculating Stars
24. Effortless
25. The Goblin Emperor
26. Dune
27. The Backyard Adventurer
28. The fated sky
29. The Relentless Moon
30. Rogue Protocol
31. Black Sun
32. Velocity Weapon
33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
34. Animals Make Us Human
35. A Darker Shade of magic
36. Gathering of Shadows
37. A Conjuring of Light
38. City of Stairs
39. Never Let Me Go
40. Little Bets
41.Dark as Last Night

41.Dark as Last Night


Tony Birch's latest short stories. Some need to be novels, others can be left on the cutting room floor.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Dec 4, 2010
Messages
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3,476
48.ME by Tomoyuki Hoshino translated by Charles De Wolf

A novel about contemporary Japan which uses the con game of Hey its Me being played on the elderly to extort cash and the repercussions of that act. And how the value of the individual and the group clash creating a class distinct within the hierarchical structure of Japanese society and the function of identity as distinct from worker drone or consumer drone to an ultimate exclusivity within the group….actually its a lot more that. Highly Recommended… @Journeyman you aware of this author?
 
Last edited:

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,743
Reaction score
1,523
1. Death's End
2. Piranesi
3. Living Sea of Waking Dreams
4. Uncanny Valley
5. War of Maps
6. A Constellation of Vital phenomena
7. The New Wilderness
8. Attack Surface
9. Gods of Jade and Shadow
10. The Galaxy and the Ground Within
11. Gallowglass
12. Cultural Warlords
13. A Song for A New Day
14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue
15. Terra Nullius
16. Fall of Koli
17. A Desolation called Peace
18. Gideon the Ninth
19. Harrow the Ninth
20. Essentialism
21. Dead in the Water
22. This is how to lose a time war
23. The Calculating Stars
24. Effortless
25. The Goblin Emperor
26. Dune
27. The Backyard Adventurer
28. The fated sky
29. The Relentless Moon
30. Rogue Protocol
31. Black Sun
32. Velocity Weapon
33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
34. Animals Make Us Human
35. A Darker Shade of magic
36. Gathering of Shadows
37. A Conjuring of Light
38. City of Stairs
39. Never Let Me Go
40. Little Bets
41.Dark as Last Night
42. Less

42. Less


A man turning 50 decides to run away into his middling career and sad hijinks ensues. It's kind of fun and interestingly written, playing with time quite well. The joke is essentially that this guy is way sadder than he has any right to be. The ending felt quite botched and sort of tipped the books cards quite a bit (does that thing where the protagonist is an author who realises something important and that important realisation is THE BOOK YOU'RE READING!) such a cop out for a twist.
 

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
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Reaction score
31,653
37.5 The Art Of War, by Sun Tzu

I’m only counting this as half a book because it’s so short. I listened to the audio recording read by Aidan Gillan (Petyr Baelish in Game Of Thrones).
 

Fueco

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
16,722
Reaction score
31,653
38. A Year In The Maine Woods, by Bernd Heinrich

A biology professor spends a year living in a cabin in the Maine woods, observing plants and animals and the people. Good stuff, though the blurb on the back of the book puts it pretty well…

A Year In The Maine Woods is quirky, unassuming, humorous, enlightening, and just a little bizarre. If you’re a stranger to Heinrich, it’s an ideal time to make his acquaintance.” -The Washington Post Book World
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,743
Reaction score
1,523
1. Death's End
2. Piranesi
3. Living Sea of Waking Dreams
4. Uncanny Valley
5. War of Maps
6. A Constellation of Vital phenomena
7. The New Wilderness
8. Attack Surface
9. Gods of Jade and Shadow
10. The Galaxy and the Ground Within
11. Gallowglass
12. Cultural Warlords
13. A Song for A New Day
14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue
15. Terra Nullius
16. Fall of Koli
17. A Desolation called Peace
18. Gideon the Ninth
19. Harrow the Ninth
20. Essentialism
21. Dead in the Water
22. This is how to lose a time war
23. The Calculating Stars
24. Effortless
25. The Goblin Emperor
26. Dune
27. The Backyard Adventurer
28. The fated sky
29. The Relentless Moon
30. Rogue Protocol
31. Black Sun
32. Velocity Weapon
33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
34. Animals Make Us Human
35. A Darker Shade of magic
36. Gathering of Shadows
37. A Conjuring of Light
38. City of Stairs
39. Never Let Me Go
40. Little Bets
41.Dark as Last Night
42. Less
43. City of Blades

43. City of Blades


After the upheaval caused in the first book, re-construction of the formerly subjugated Continent is going badly: racism persists, and the system chafes at the attempts at progress. Great book but was running me ragged by the end.
 

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