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Author Topic: 50 books for 2017  (Read 2133 times)

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luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #120 on: December 05, 2017, 12:21:08 PM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
31. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson
32. The Way of Kings, Part One - Brandon Sanderson
33. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
34. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes - Adam Rutherford
35. The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
36. The Way of Kings, Part Two - Brandon Sanderson
37. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
38. Manifold: Time - Stephen Baxter
39. Words of Radiance, Part One - Brandon Sanderson
40. Tell-All - Chuck Palahniuk
41. Hollywood - Charles Bukowski

I'd been vaguely aware of Bukowski for a few years now, but hadn't read anything. Not sure what prompted me to finally give him a try. Glad I did, though. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Minimalist writing. Every word is important, not unlike poetry, of which he wrote quite a bit. I'll be reading more from him.
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daytime drinking

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,262
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #121 on: December 07, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »

i've been meaning to get into for the past ten years or something.  i love how he was a postal worker his entire life 
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Zafer Kaya

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 2,866
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #122 on: December 07, 2017, 11:33:17 AM »

Bukowski's alright.  He wrote some good stuff, but he also wrote a ton of crap.

That whole school of dudes who drink a lot/do a ton of drugs writing depressing stories of the underworld is a little tired.  The characters and themes are all pretty similar whether it is Bukowski or Kerouac or even Hemingway.  It's like hair metal or something.  There are some legit geniuses in that genre, and Bukowski is one of them.  But for every Van Halen there are 20 Erik Turners.  And after awhile, it makes even the originators and true artists just seem like caricatures.

I'm more interested in Betty/Jane Cooney Baker than Chinaski/Bukowski.

luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #123 on: December 07, 2017, 01:18:48 PM »

Bukowski's alright.  He wrote some good stuff, but he also wrote a ton of crap.

That whole school of dudes who drink a lot/do a ton of drugs writing depressing stories of the underworld is a little tired.  The characters and themes are all pretty similar whether it is Bukowski or Kerouac or even Hemingway.  It's like hair metal or something.  There are some legit geniuses in that genre, and Bukowski is one of them.  But for every Van Halen there are 20 Erik Turners.  And after awhile, it makes even the originators and true artists just seem like caricatures.

I'm more interested in Betty/Jane Cooney Baker than Chinaski/Bukowski.
There were certainly some bits that were showing their age, particularly when it came to race and gender. What appealed to me most was the economic use of language: A handful of words to convey lots of meaning or imagery. And almost every single character was vivid. Not necessarily what they looked like, but how they acted and spoke.
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daytime drinking

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,262
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #124 on: December 09, 2017, 10:23:36 AM »

the only other thing i know about bukowski (outside of my friend's remark that he was a pervert like burroughs) is that he had a deep understanding with alcohol for the release it had on his mind.  he wanted to be mindful of it's dangerous awesome powers that he may harness his wizardry for years to come
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luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #125 on: December 12, 2017, 08:55:13 AM »

the only other thing i know about bukowski (outside of my friend's remark that he was a pervert like burroughs) is that he had a deep understanding with alcohol for the release it had on his mind.  he wanted to be mindful of it's dangerous awesome powers that he may harness his wizardry for years to come
I don't know if that idea comes through in all his novels, but it was present in Hollywood.
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luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #126 on: Yesterday at 06:43:37 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
31. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson
32. The Way of Kings, Part One - Brandon Sanderson
33. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
34. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes - Adam Rutherford
35. The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
36. The Way of Kings, Part Two - Brandon Sanderson
37. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
38. Manifold: Time - Stephen Baxter
39. Words of Radiance, Part One - Brandon Sanderson
40. Tell-All - Chuck Palahniuk
41. Hollywood - Charles Bukowski
42. Modern Classics of Fantasy - Edited by Gardner Dozois

Two caveats: I chose this as bedtime reading, and fantasy is not my genre of choice. The latter is partly why it was the former. I read myself to sleep with books that aren't exciting or don't hold lots of interest for me. Often I'll re-read a book.

With that in mind, I wasn't impressed with this collection of stories. None of them inspired me to check out the writer's other works. (I should mention I've already read lots of Ursula K. Le Guin, so that one doesn't count.) The stories spanned the last hundred years, give or take, and I was surprised by some of the earliest ones, and how dated they were. One started out promising with a seemingly strong female lead, but she turned into a boy-crazy idiot the moment a man walked onto the scene.

Anyway, to be fair, this collection of fantasy short stories may actually be quite good, but I would not be among those who think so. (It does rate fairly well on Goodreads, after all, with a 3.83 out of 5...)
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