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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

29. The Relentless Moon


3rd in this series sees an unnecessary shift of narrator and plot that feels fine, but not amazing. Moving readers away from the narrative style and key relationships/conflict of the former two novels is a bold choice and it's ok. This novel focuses a lot on the terrorist and sabotage actions coming from people who will be left behind as Earth dies. While it's quite well done, it also feels like the punches are pulled, people never quite descend, there's always a delay, a slower approach, something less noticeable or complex. I guess if the world was really ending terrorists wouldn't plan long term sabotage of Mars, but maybe more assassinations, riots and short term hedonism, some of which exists, but not much really does.
 

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

30. Rogue Protocol


A sentient AI Security Bot steals away on a ship in an effort to keep moving to avoid detection. Sentience is not allowed and a sentient security bot is seen as a unique and unacceptable threat, given the possibility of murder, hacking and destruction. The ship enters murky terrain and is in need of some help, which reveals some of the more positive qualities of murderful AI sentience.

Not bad, but took a while to get into it. Just found out this was #3 in a series of 6, not #1, so that would probably explain my confusion at parts.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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31.How to Think More Effectively A guide to greater productivity, insight and creativity by The School of Life London

Alain de Botton is not my kind of philosopher that said I found this book a mix of mental life hacks and mindfulness a worthwhile read. Read this a year ago and revisited it now. Some interesting tips, suggestions and observations about mental cartography and how to get the most out of a well focused mind.

32.Exit Strategy Politics After The Pandemic by George Megalogenis

A critique of where Australia is in terms of its economy its (lack of) political leadership, the failed vaccine rollout and what happens next.
 

Fueco

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30. The Liar’s Dictionary, by Eley Williams

A young woman is hired to root out fake words as an unfinished dictionary is digitized and modernized.

The story is told in parallel between modern day and late 19th century London.

This book is excellent, though it takes a good long while to build the action and suck the reader into the lives of the characters. This one is especially good if you’re into words.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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33. The Water Dance by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The historical evils of slavery, human misery and commodification of human beings by the Quality prior to the Civil War and the resistance by the Underground Railway who seek to break the chains of slavery set the stage for a journey into the dark heart of the human psyche.

However against this human misery there is an added element based on the power of memory and its storied transmission combined with a mysterious power which the narrator comes to realise over the course of his enslavement and subsequent freedom.

Powerful, dramatic story telling.
 

LonerMatt

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Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
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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

31. Black Sun


What a spicy meatball of a book.

Opens with a young man being disfigured by his mother in a religious ritual to create a power to swipe back at the elite. Includes falls from grace, mermaids, betrayal, love, blindness (really well done) and just exceptionally well paced writing.

10/10 would unconditionally recommend.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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34.Alone In The Crowd by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

When is a murder investigation not a murder investigation? An elderly woman after visiting the local police station wanting to speak with the Chief Inspector Espinosa falls is pushed under a bus.

From there the story takes off on one of the strangest and original murder investigations I’ve encountered in a fictional narrative...Recommended, as it was an entertaining and highly original read.

I have one reservation about the ending which I also had about the first book in this series. I’ve one more book out on loan to read which MrsGF is currently reading.
 

Fueco

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31. Climbing Out Of Bed, by Luke Mehall

A collection of short prose written mostly for local newspapers in western Colorado. Topics ranged from the Zen of dishwashing to tales of loves lost on road trips to various climbing areas in the American West.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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35. Tokyo Redux by David Peace

A Tokyo murder mystery spread over time, political space and the Tokyo metropolitan rail network from 1949 to 1964 to 1988.

Complex. Mysterious.Political.Personal.Tragic.

A devouring beast of a novel which I picked up on Monday and compulsively read till Thursday night…with a somewhat ambiguous ending or was it.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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36. Field Grey by Philip Kerr

The good German Bernie Gunther falls foul of the CIA, the Stassi, the KGB and the French secret service as they think they can manipulate him to their own ends…some people never learn.

A dark brooding Chandleresque pilgrimage through blood soaked European history from the rise of the Nazis, the tragedy of WW2 and its espionage fueled aftermath.
 

FlyingMonkey

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35. Tokyo Redux by David Peace

A Tokyo murder mystery spread over time, political space and the Tokyo metropolitan rail network from 1949 to 1964 to 1988.

Complex. Mysterious.Political.Personal.Tragic.

A devouring beast of a novel which I picked up on Monday and compulsively read till Thursday night…with a somewhat ambiguous ending or was it.
Damn, I didn't even think this was out yet. Not out until September in book form here.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Damn, I didn't even think this was out yet. Not out until September in book form here.
Amazon US UK or Bookdepository? it was released at the end of May in the UK. Guardian have a couple of interesting reviews.
 
Last edited:

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,740
Reaction score
1,522
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

32. Velocity Weapon


Woman wakes up on an enemy AI ship the only human alive in the area 200 years after a decisive battle. But the rest of the story deals with the past that got her there.

Really hard to summarise this as there were 2-3 MASSIVE plot twists which were well done, and the first 1/2 of the book is great. The 2nd half feels like one long sprint, almost tiring, but I still really enjoyed this book. Touches on AI, control, cool worldbuilding, etc. Nothing too new, just tweaked enough to become the author's own.

33. On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous


I'm sure all of you guys heard about this book last year, as it seemed to be a bit of a thing. I didn't love it, but also couldn't put it down. Really well written, with an elliptical structure that is a tricky one to pull off, yet I think I'll probably forget most of it.

Vietnamese-American coming of age written as a letter to his mother, queerness, abuse, trauma and neglect tie a certain brand of sadness together in a reflective and calm manner.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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We often get things late in Canada, sometimes more than a year late.
Australia had the same absurd rules for book publishing and importation.
Amazon and Bookdepository arrived that was joy…then some idiot decided Australian GST should be imposed on anything bought OS online should include 10% GST. Prices sky rocketed way past 10% to an average 15%

Anyway I have found joy in my local library this past year.
 

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