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2021 50 Book Challenge

Fueco

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10. Grieving: Dispatches From A Wounded Country, by Cristina Rivera Garza

A collection of essays on life in Mexico and reactions to the drug wars, the murders of friends and dealing with narcos as part of everyday life.

The author is a professor of Hispanic studies at the University of Houston. I found this book utterly fascinating, mostly for the perspective on life so vastly different than my own.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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15.Ring Shout by P.Djeli Clark

Horror has a new face and its very entertaining. At the same time it speaks volumes about racism, hate and the evil that consumes men.

With a fascinating cast of female characters, warrior spirits, spirit talkers and enough magic to light up the night, our heroines go hunting Ku Kluxes and the Gand Cyclops a vile racist thing that enjoys eating you alive and that prowls the dark recess of men’s souls.

A totally unique approach to contemporary horror @FlyingMonkey you read this if so be interested in your take on this.

A totally enjoyable and eyeopening read and will be reading more by this author.
 

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

14. The Secret Life of Addie LaRue

A new novel from VE Schwab, an author who wrote some excellent debut novels a few years ago. This recent novel is a big departure: with a smattering of magic at the start the plot follows Addie, a woman who is cursed to live forever and be nearly instantly forgotten.

Her life is drawn between two male influences. Luc, the entity that cursed her who wants her to break under the strain of the situation she's in and Henry, someone she meets who can remember her.

A bit of a simple story, could be a bit more succinct, can be a bit repetitive, but I found myself really enjoyng it despite it sounding quite simple/dull on its head.
 

FlyingMonkey

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15.Ring Shout by P.Djeli Clark

A totally unique approach to contemporary horror @FlyingMonkey you read this if so be interested in your take on this.
I agree entirely - I am not normally much of a horror fan, but this was really something in the way that it managed to be a whole mixture of things that really shouldn't work, particularly in the combination of real world atrocity and supernatural horror, while retaining the political lessons and not being in any way disrespectful to the victims. The depiction of the Klan is so brilliant because it fights back against the, ahem, whitewashing of the organization's past and present that has gone on in the last few years and makes us see them as the monsters they are.

And yes, his other work is really good too, but very varied - the detective novelles set in an alternative magical steampunk Egypt are a lot of fun.
 

Fueco

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11. The Solace Of Open Spaces, by Gretel Ehrich

A collection of vignettes of life lived in Wyoming, on and around ranches. The book covers eight years of the author living on a ranch in the late 1970s through the early 80s.

This is a brilliant paean to a way of life that few choose.
 

Fueco

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12. The Answer Is... Reflections On My Life, by Alex Trebek

I don’t normally read celebrity autobiographies, but I saw this one on the new book shelf at the library last time I was in. I’ve enjoyed watching Jeopardy! off and on since I was a kid, and always thought of Trebek as an interesting person. His book did not disappoint. It’s also a very fast read.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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16.Slaughter House Five or the children’s crusade by Kurt Vonnegut. A graphic novel adaptation by Ryan North (writer) & Albert Monteys (illustrator)

I read the book in 1978 and then saw the film adaption in the early 80’s. It started a Vonnegut binge where I and my house mates read six novels of his.

Visually its stunning and I think it covers all the bases in terms of the narrative, mind you in retrospect I wonder in terms of memory am I recalling the book or the film, either way it was is interesting literary experience .
 

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

15. Terra Nullius


Indigenous Australians, alien invasion as metaphor, escapees, religious control, society catching up way too late. I really enjoyed this. Sad, resilient, complex, predictable (like a car crash).

Enjoyed it a lot, even though it's not that groundbreaking, the alien twist caught me.
 

Fueco

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14. Make Russia Great Again, by Christopher Buckley

Satirical “autobiography” of White House Chief Of Staff Herb Nutterman. I think enough time has passed that I can now laugh about the Trump presidency. Buckley was a speechwriter for George HW Bush when he was Vice President.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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17. The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P.Djeli Clark

Wonderfully inventive steam punk horror novella with an interesting mix of current political tropes set in an alternative 1912 Cairo.

Moves at pace and entertaining....more please.
 

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

16. Fall of Koli


The ending of MJ Carey's triology in a post-war bizarro England. Amazing as always, goes down easily, but is incredibly creative and wonderful. A real thriller vibe to this one: entrapment, uncanny valley and that was a really good evolution in tone to the other books.

A really great writer in control of their craft.
 

Fueco

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15. The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller

Flu has wiped out at least 99% of the population, and nine years later, Hig finds himself holed up with a gun nut at Erie Muni Airport (conveniently, this is the second closest airport to my house, so the terrain is familiar to me).
 

LonerMatt

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Loved that book - a lot of good twists on the post-apocalyptic genre.
 

Fueco

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Loved that book - a lot of good twists on the post-apocalyptic genre.
Yeah, it was good. I think it could've been 200+ pages longer, but that might just be me... I like Heller's work, and have been slowly finishing off the ones I haven't read yet.
 

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