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Author Topic: 50 books in 2018  (Read 1986 times)

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luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,105
Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2018, 09:30:49 AM »

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
14. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver
15. There Must Be Some Mistake - Frederick Barthelme
16. Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds
17. One D.O.A. One On the Way - Mary Robison
18. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
19. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
20. The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin

I don't know what to say about this one. I really liked it, but it felt odd for a Le Guin book, but I still liked it, but there was too much dialogue, or maybe just pontificating by this one character, so maybe that was kinda brilliant...
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2018, 02:41:44 PM »

1. Philip Pullman - The Book of Dust, Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage
2. Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack - The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated
3. J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
4. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
5. Ada Palmer - Too Like The Lightning

Sci-fi book that was both wonderful and frustrating. Sometimes it felt like THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK IN THE WORLD and other times it felt like I'd read it before. The writing is in a style that is a bit difficult to understand, and the first 50-100 pages of the book make no sense. But eventually I began to get it, and since the fucking book didn't end, I'm now stuck reading the 2nd book soon.
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c-lando

  • Bacon Research & Sparkle Development/Cr0ndog Millionaire
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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #77 on: May 25, 2018, 02:30:24 PM »

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.
6. "The Mother of Black Hollywood" - Jenifer Lewis - The palette cleanser I needed after Ng's book. SHE IS HILARIOUS.
7. "The Paying Guests" - Sarah Waters - OK, I am not finishing this book. It is taking me forever and I don't like it and I'm tired of making myself read it. I don't care if I'm 350 pages in. I can't think of a satisfying ending. So, I don't really need to know what it is.
8. "The High Tide Club" - Mary Kay Andrews (audiobook) - My BFF has been listening to this and decided that I needed to listen to it as well. Some fun moments but not really my cuppa. Definite beach read that was OK as a daily commute companion.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 09:08:53 AM by c-lando »
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PANTS PANTS REVOLUTION!!!

Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #78 on: May 28, 2018, 01:34:17 PM »

1. Philip Pullman - The Book of Dust, Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage
2. Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack - The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated
3. J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
4. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
5. Ada Palmer - Too Like The Lightning
6. John Steinbeck - The Pearl / The Red Pony

Two novellas (or short stories?) in one binding, so I'm counting it as one book. They were good but a bit sad. I guess Steinbeck liked writing sadness. Seemed like some of it was literature for literature's sake. I'm glad I read them although I'll never read them again, and can't even recommend them unless you're a big Steinbeck fan. Positive: it was quite nice to be transported to another time and another place and learn about how people lived there/then.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2018, 04:09:11 PM »

 love steinbeck.  cannery row is one of my favorite books.  i've been meaning to get into east of eden for a minute.  heard it's breathtaking
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #80 on: May 30, 2018, 08:21:35 AM »

love steinbeck.  cannery row is one of my favorite books.  i've been meaning to get into east of eden for a minute.  heard it's breathtaking
I absolutely loved Cannery Row. I need to read that again.
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2018, 08:34:21 AM »

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
14. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver
15. There Must Be Some Mistake - Frederick Barthelme
16. Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds
17. One D.O.A. One On the Way - Mary Robison
18. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
19. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
20. The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. Adjustment Day - Chuck Palahniuk

Mixed feelings on this one. It's possibly his most transgressive novel so far, which makes it a very uncomfortable read. He mercilessly tears America apart, and no one comes out unscathed. It may have been heavy-handed, with less humor than usual, or at least humor so dark I couldn't see it. He also seemed to drop his minimalist style, his key selling point, as far as I'm concerned. His writing was still very intentional -- he wasn't just rambling on unchecked -- but he wasn't as succinct and tight as usual.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2018, 10:07:57 AM »

IMO, Red Pony is a good intro. to Steinbeck.   It's not his best work, but get what he's about in a comparatively easy-to-read story.  If you don't like it, you don't have to read anymore Steinbeck.

Cannery Row is the shit.  It's not like Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, etc. are bad but I just think Cannery Row captures most of best elements of those books plus more and on a higher level.  I mean, it's arguable of course.  I think I relate to factories and urban-ish dystopia more than farms and dirt.  That's part of it.  But I still think it's just better.  Everyone will have their own favorite of course.  But for me, Cannery Row is where it all comes together for Steinbeck.  Most of Steinbeck's stuff I read in bits and pieces over a long period but I read Cannery Row cover to cover in one sitting.

I felt about Adjustment Day the way I feel about most of Palahniuk's stuff.  Somehow I have read most of his works despite not really loving any of them.  It's kind of maddening.  He's always going for too much, and something doesn't work out.  Either it's too tongue-in-cheek or it's too straightforward and humorless.  He throws a lot of crap at the wall and some of it sticks... but in the end there's still a lot of crap on the floor that's distracting.  I keep thinking the next one he's going to finally focus in and nail it but he never does.  He's like the Stephen King of transgressive fiction. 




luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #83 on: May 30, 2018, 11:24:54 AM »

I felt about Adjustment Day the way I feel about most of Palahniuk's stuff.  Somehow I have read most of his works despite not really loving any of them.  It's kind of maddening.  He's always going for too much, and something doesn't work out.  Either it's too tongue-in-cheek or it's too straightforward and humorless.  He throws a lot of crap at the wall and some of it sticks... but in the end there's still a lot of crap on the floor that's distracting.  I keep thinking the next one he's going to finally focus in and nail it but he never does.  He's like the Stephen King of transgressive fiction.
Some of his earlier stuff -- Lullaby, Choke -- worked better, but now I'm wondering how much of that is just where I was in life at the time. It has been almost twenty years.
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #84 on: May 30, 2018, 12:28:53 PM »

daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2018, 03:45:16 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
12- antic hay- aldous huxley
13- tree of smoke- denis johnson

14- all god's dangers; the life of nate shaw- theodore rosengarten- this is the autobiography of an illiterate son of slaves sharecropper.  told unexpected to a  freedom rider

the book ends with him talking about his .32 smith and wesson.  the six shot gun been with him for 50 years.  he emptied it in self defense in '32 after being shot in the back three times by a posse of sheriffs as he alone defended his buddies' turf.  sentenced to 12 years in prison, which was mostly because of his union involvement.  they had just been introduced.  handed the reigns to his cotton farming life to his brood and wife upon whom he doted tremendously.  he couldn't be the man he was if he couldn't risk his freedom 

he talks about how he shoots that smith and wesson on occasion nowadays.  not just for any sort of recreation.  he aims that pistol into air.  the last words of the book.  counts em just like a new born baby. yaw!  yaw! yaw! yaw! yaw! yaw!

he was at the height of his prosperity when that transpired.  it didn't go downhill after he got out of prison mostly because of previous observations about the boll weevil devastating his crop.  and i paraphrase; what i got against the boll weevil?  he just doin' what the good lord put him on earth to do 

but it's mostly about mules and bat shit
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #87 on: June 12, 2018, 07:59:10 AM »

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
14. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver
15. There Must Be Some Mistake - Frederick Barthelme
16. Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds
17. One D.O.A. One On the Way - Mary Robison
18. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
19. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
20. The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. Adjustment Day - Chuck Palahniuk
22. How Fiction Works - James Wood

This was a joy to read. You can tell Wood is an English professor who loves his field. I probably would have gotten more out of it if I'd read more of the classics he discussed; I don't think I exceeded 10% of the books he touched on.
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #88 on: June 16, 2018, 03:42:31 PM »

1. Philip Pullman - The Book of Dust, Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage
2. Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack - The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated
3. J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
4. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
5. Ada Palmer - Too Like The Lightning
6. John Steinbeck - The Pearl / The Red Pony
7. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Sword of Destiny

Still loved it!
I'm guessing these are bound chronologically, and if so then it's fun watching Sapkowski grow as a writer. These are longer short stories and they are a lot more nuanced. I didn't enjoy the writing style of the final story, but I still loved the story and the content. And all of them ended rather suddenly and with me thinking "wow, that was a great ending" or something similar.
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2018
« Reply #89 on: June 17, 2018, 04:13:52 PM »

1. Philip Pullman - The Book of Dust, Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage
2. Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack - The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated
3. J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
4. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
5. Ada Palmer - Too Like The Lightning
6. John Steinbeck - The Pearl / The Red Pony
7. Andrzej Sapkowski - The Sword of Destiny
8. David Benioff - City of Thieves

I heard someone smart saying that because of this book David Benioff might be considered one of the country's top 5 greatest living novelists, so I thought that was pretty high praise and decided to read it. It flew by and has all of the beauty of a wonderfully written novel. Clearly, Benioff knows how a story is composed and how to tell it. Maybe this is part of the reason that Game of Thrones is so successful.
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