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Author Topic: 50 books in 2018  (Read 3916 times)

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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2018, 01:34:58 PM »

I'm glad to hear this positive a response to a video game tie-in. I read a novel from an author who regularly does video game tie-ins, and it was horrendous. I wanted to find him and stick him with a shiv.

Since I was deeply familiar with the character from the game, there was a lot less learning to do while reading the short stories. So that made it more fun.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2018, 11:13:53 AM »

the only thing i know about junot is he says things like, man, that girl's ass was so phat....  give junot's work another thirty years and i might consider reading him.  too contemporary
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2018, 12:15:51 PM »


1- montessori from the start: the child at home, from birth to age three- paula polk lillard and lynn lillard jessen
2- tao te ching- lao tzu
3- smile, you're traveling- henry rollins
4- solomon gursky was here- mordecai richler
5- music for chameleons- truman capote
6- storming heaven- denise giardina
7- the industrial revolutionaries; the making of the modern world, 1776-1914- gavin weightman

8- burning daylight- jack london- anthony burgess said in the afterward of clockwork orange that he didn't approve of kubrick's version of the film's finale but did acknowledge that it was very american in it's appeal to violence.  or that we aren't very interested in redemption.  i just don't care much for happy endings. especially ones involving a love story.  but i understand the love story in this book was necessary to showcase burning daylight's (that's the man's name unfortunately) dramatic change.  by god did he remain a manly man's man through and through.  from the klondike to wall street to the inner recesses of the heart   

this book maybe (if the man writing the intro is to be believed) is about the man jack london wanted to become.  sober and celibate.  hahahaha!   
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2018, 12:35:27 PM »

1. Playing In The Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination - Toni Morrison
2. Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh
3. Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories - Chuck Palahniuk
4. The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon - Tom Spanbauer
5. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
6. Collected Stories - Amy Hempel
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
8. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu
9. Drown - Junot Diaz
10. Tracer - Frederick Barthelme

The latest author in my exploration of minimalist writers was a dud. Written mid-80s, so maybe too dated? Not sure. While the writing was suitably sparse it didn't feel particularly clever in its economy of language.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #49 on: March 16, 2018, 01:09:46 PM »

i've been trying to write more minimalistic lately.  through some encouragement from a friend.  i'm more flowery.  it's been fun gutting my sentences and making them more thoughtful and mindful of the reader.  i'm not suggesting it isn't eloquent because it certainly is, but i adore my showy prose.   i have my moments of extravagance, but i'm getting to become quite the tinker.  tnx for the suggestions
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2018, 01:54:10 PM »

Someone like say, Cormac McCarthy can pack in a lot of really cool, flowery words and paints incredible pictures while still maintaining a minimalist feel.  It's just finding the exact right word (which is usually an unusual one) in the right place so it packs a big concentrated punch.  Then you don't need any more. 

But McCarthy can also do long, stream-of-consciousness, detailed, flowery descriptions of stuff, too when he feels like it. So he's good at mixing it up. I mean, it's pretty cool how he can do it.  His prose/style is amazing even if sometimes his plots and subject matter are a bit blah.

I'm terrible.  The only way I can keep the words down is by resorting to a more informal tone, and using action-driven plots where thoughts and descriptions are not so important.  Like if your story is about a guy late for work who will lose his job, you can just say "He waited for the light to change" and that's all.  But if your story is about a guy having an existential crisis because his girlfriend broke up with him and he's on his way to work, then if you have to describe the light and the wait at the intersection in a way that captures his mood and philosophical crisis.  At that point, I'm screwed.

luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2018, 02:40:56 PM »

I think that may be what turned me off to Tracer. There were occasional streams of consciousness that read like lunatic ramblings. Was he trying to capture those moments we all have when we space out for no reason? I should read McCarthy to compare.

"Flowery" description can be "minimalized," too. Amy Hempel has a line -- paraphrasing from memory, here -- about "wildflowers spreading across the fields, stopping only when cut and placed in water." It made me stop and think about what I'd just read. My imagination needed a moment to catch up and fill in all those empty spaces.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2018, 12:09:14 PM »


1- montessori from the start: the child at home, from birth to age three- paula polk lillard and lynn lillard jessen
2- tao te ching- lao tzu
3- smile, you're traveling- henry rollins
4- solomon gursky was here- mordecai richler
5- music for chameleons- truman capote
6- storming heaven- denise giardina
7- the industrial revolutionaries; the making of the modern world, 1776-1914- gavin weightman
8- burning daylight- jack london

9- a life full of holes- driss ben hamed charhadi- paul bowles recorded and translated this story told him by an illiterate man from tangier.  it's a story of hustling.  some days you get some money for food or weed.  some days you don't.  my big takeaway from the story is what big tattle tales muslims are.  this kid was always going to prison 
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2018, 08:17:52 PM »


1- montessori from the start: the child at home, from birth to age three- paula polk lillard and lynn lillard jessen
2- tao te ching- lao tzu
3- smile, you're traveling- henry rollins
4- solomon gursky was here- mordecai richler
5- music for chameleons- truman capote
6- storming heaven- denise giardina
7- the industrial revolutionaries; the making of the modern world, 1776-1914- gavin weightman
8- burning daylight- jack london
9- a life full of holes- driss ben hamed charhadi

10- for bread alone- mohamed choukri- another straightforward account of growing up poor and moroccan.   sad that the author's smuggling campaign was so short lived.  a good portion of the book dealt with his living under a homicidal patriarch, which was unbearable.  fascinating that he couldn't read or write until he was in his early twenties, which wasn't uncommon.  folks would gather in a cafe to listen to the the only learned man explain what was in the papers 

in times of great famine, i believe this book was written to be ate
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 09:08:31 PM by daytime drinking »
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2018, 06:42:47 PM »

1. Playing In The Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination - Toni Morrison
2. Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh
3. Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories - Chuck Palahniuk
4. The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon - Tom Spanbauer
5. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
6. Collected Stories - Amy Hempel
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
8. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu
9. Drown - Junot Diaz
10. Tracer - Frederick Barthelme
11. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

Not as good as The Three-Body Problem, but at least it's longer. Seriously, such a tedious read. My public library doesn't have the third book, so I'm not likely to read it, this was such a let down.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2018, 12:10:21 PM »


1- montessori from the start: the child at home, from birth to age three- paula polk lillard and lynn lillard jessen
2- tao te ching- lao tzu
3- smile, you're traveling- henry rollins
4- solomon gursky was here- mordecai richler
5- music for chameleons- truman capote
6- storming heaven- denise giardina
7- the industrial revolutionaries; the making of the modern world, 1776-1914- gavin weightman
8- burning daylight- jack london
9- a life full of holes- driss ben hamed charhadi
10- for bread alone- mohamed choukri

11- one of ours- willa cather- transported you are far from the prairies of nebraska to the frontier wilds of ww1.  this quote sums up the book for me, "he had really liked victor.  there was something about that fellow....  a sort of debauched baby, he was, who went seeking his enemy in the clouds.  what other age could have produced such a figure?  that was one of the things about this war; it took a little fellow from a little town, gave him an air and a swagger, a life like a movie-film,- and then a death like the rebel angels."

i picked this book up in an antique store in madison, indiana a few years ago.  i wouldn't have probably ever read it unless it wasn't one of truman capote's favorite authors.  beautiful.  she must have known quite a few men like the hero claude 
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2018, 12:23:00 PM »

1. Playing In The Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination - Toni Morrison
2. Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh
3. Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories - Chuck Palahniuk
4. The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon - Tom Spanbauer
5. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
6. Collected Stories - Amy Hempel
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
8. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu
9. Uprooted - Naomi Novik
10. Drown - Junot Diaz
11. Tracer - Frederick Barthelme
12. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu
13. Subtraction - Mary Robison

Yeah, that was a good one. Vivid characters, wit and humor, hearts gently breaking. I'm eager to read more from her.

I corrected my listing. I just noticed I missed my reading of Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It was one of those books where I enjoyed the story very much, but the writing often left something to be desired. At this point I can't remember well enough to offer examples. Mainly awkward word choices that stuttered the story's flow.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 12:27:59 PM by luisterpaul »
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trixi

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2018, 02:17:20 PM »

1.  The Whole Thing Together--Ann Brashares
2.  The House at 758--Kathryn Berla
3.  By Your Side--Kasie West
4.  Coming Up for Air--Miranda Kenneally
5.  Count to Ten--James Patterson
6.  Always and Forever, Lara Jean--Jenny Han
7.  When Dimple Met Rishi--Sandhya Menon
8.  Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939--Edgar Feuchtwanger
9.  Midnight at the Electric--Jodi Lynn Anderson
10.  Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue--Mackenzi Lee
11.  Release--Patrick Ness
12.  Long Way Down--Jason Reynolds
13.  I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter--Erika L Sanchez
14.  Bark--Georges Didi-Huberman
15.  People vs Alex Cross--James Patterson
16.  One of Us is Lying--Karen McManus
17.  Starfish--Akemi Dawn Bowman
18.  Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life--Sarah Kaminsky
19.  Eliza and Her Monsters--Francesca Zappia
20.  Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961--Larry Dane Brimner
21.  Saints and Misfits--S.K. Ali
22.  Lucky Broken Girl--Ruth Behar
23.  Piecing Me Together--Renee Watson
24.  Allegedly--Tiffany D Jackson
25.  Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers--Deborah Heiligman
26.  What the Night Sings--Vesper Stamper
27.  The Stars Beneath Our Feet--David Barclay Moore
28.  Hello, Universe--Erin Entrada Kelly
29.  Dear Martin--Nic Stone
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2018, 08:27:28 AM »

1. "White Tears" - Hari Kunzru
2. "Two Kinds of Truth" - Michael Connelly
3. "Who Fears Death" - Nnedi Okorafor
4. "Angels Flight" - Michael Connelly - Decided to re-read this one in preparation for the new season of BOSCH. It's a terrific choice to use for the show, now more than ever.
5. "Everything I Never Told You" - Celeste Ng - I started and abandoned a few books in March but this one really grabbed ahold of me. It was depressing as shit and it also made me really glad that I never fucked up some kid's life as their parent.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2018, 09:40:08 AM »

I loved Everything I Never told you.  A lot more than I thought I would.  Even more than I thought I did while reading. 

I pretty much read it, and was like "Yeah, someone's going to make a movie from this" and then put it away.  But then it just kind of stuck with me.  I still think about sometimes.

I kinda didn't like the gay plot twist.  I feel like the power of the book was getting at the way that people mess up other people's lives and their own in quiet ways.  Just a gradual grinding down over the years.  The book works because you want there to be a reason for things.  It's like a whodoneit where you are waiting for the big secret to be revealed.  But there isn't one.  Things happen because of an accumulation of small things.  There are some things that can't be explained or told.  It was enough to know that Jack had a lot of shit going on that made him the way he was.  Making him gay cut against the rest of the book because then you were like "Oh, of course that's why he was like that.  He's gay!"  There was a secret and reveal.
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