Bryan's Reading in 2013

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Bryan's Reading in 2013

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1bryanoz
Editado: Jan 5, 2013, 2:25 am

A slow start to today, with a late night, good friends, and plenty of wine the cause.

Will get this thread off to a proper start later !

2judylou
Jan 1, 2013, 2:02 am

Will look forward to it!

3wookiebender
Jan 1, 2013, 3:06 am

Looking forward to your 2013 reading!

4jfetting
Jan 1, 2013, 9:54 am

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

5bryanoz
Editado: Jan 2, 2013, 3:17 am

Cheers judylou, wookie, and jfetting, and happy new year to all.
Of course looking forward to another year of reading, managed to read 144 books in 2012, and probably won't challenge that as Chris and I are off on a 'Top End - Western Australia' trip in term 3 this year.
Will continue to read from The Novel 100, as the new edition has 125 novels I have some 50 or so to go, finish maybe in 2014 ?
Encountered some great reads from recommendations in this challenge so hope that continues.
Of course there are some 300 or so of my own books unread on the shelves so will try to read some of them.
May we all have a great year of reading !

6judylou
Jan 3, 2013, 4:39 am

We are in the midst of making plans to join the grey nomads this year. Our first trip will be to the top end or WA. You never know who you might bump into!

7bryanoz
Jan 5, 2013, 2:32 am

judylou we will be travelling from July to September, going from Adelaide - Alice Springs - Darwin - Kimberleys - Perth - and back home, be great to catch up at a billabong, beach, or library ! Cheers.

8bryanoz
Jan 5, 2013, 10:11 pm

1. At the Mouth of the River of Bees, by Kij Johnson.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book of short stories by the fantasy writer Kij Johnson.
Very original, quite diverse in theme, surprising and sometimes confronting ; I particularly liked "Fox Magic", "Dia Chjerman's Tale", "Shrodinger's Cathouse", and about 6 more.
4*

9judylou
Editado: Jan 5, 2013, 11:12 pm

I very much like the sound of that one. Just the title itself is a winner!

We are still researching the caravan / 4WD options at the moment, so no solid plans yet for our travels. We are hoping to be underway around about winter though.

10bryanoz
Jan 6, 2013, 5:36 am

Forgot to mention that I got the recommendation for the River of Bees book from clfisha, who brought many great reads to our attention. Hope she joins the 2013 challenge this year.

11clfisha
Jan 6, 2013, 1:40 pm

Just joined and catching up on threads; so Hi and good luck in the new year. So glad you liked At the Mouth of The River of Bees. I thought the Dia Chjerman's Tale was very haunting and Shrodinger's Cathouse was just clever!

12ronincats
Jan 6, 2013, 1:47 pm

Sounds like it will be a great trip for you. Do you have a RV?

13wookiebender
Jan 6, 2013, 7:15 pm

Oooh, adding At the Mouth of the River of Bees to my wishlist!

14bryanoz
Jan 6, 2013, 9:23 pm

#11 Cheers clfisha, thanks for letting me know about the book ! Good luck this year !

#12 ronincats we have a Nissan X-Trail, sort of a pretend 4WD, we won't be too adventurous, but it is powerful enough to tow a trailer full of Books !

#13 You'll love it wookie !

15bryanoz
Jan 6, 2013, 10:32 pm

2. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.

53rd in The Novel 100, a reread for me, and one of my favourite Dickens novels.
A somewhat autobiographical story, and apparently Dickens' favourite, we follow David's life, from his difficult childhood through the many vagaries of his life.
Along the way we encounter a host of characters, including the now well-known Uriah Heep and Micawber.
The author takes his time with the story, but if the reader can adjust to the ambling pace and allow the story to gradually unfold, David Copperfield is a very satisfying classic read.
4*

16bryanoz
Jan 7, 2013, 10:07 pm

3. The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books, by Walter Moers.

This is the follow-up to his brilliant The City of Dreaming Books. Optimus Yarnspinner, famous, pampered, and devoid of inspiration, returns to Bookholm 200 years after the devastating firestorm.
One must delve into a Moers novel to really appreciate his originality and creativity, plus his great drawings (he is also a cartoonist).
Be prepared to encounter shark grubs, the Puppetocircus Maximus, venomous books, and works by great authors such as Asdrel Chickens, Perla La Gadeon, not to mention Aleisha Wimpersleake (anagrams of English authors, but of course you already realised that !?).
I enjoyed this return to Zamonia and the book obsessed city of Bookholm, any one who appreciates books will appreciate reading his City of Dreaming Books, then this sequel, and of cause there is more to follow.
4*

17wookiebender
Jan 9, 2013, 6:12 am

Damn, I can't translate any of the anagrams!!!

18bryanoz
Jan 9, 2013, 6:27 pm

Some clues,

Asdrel Chickens - English writer of long, slow novels, many readers have great expectations of his work.

Perla La Gadeon - well known for his scary short tales.

Aleisha Wimpersleake - Fairly well-known English playwright.

Will leave you with Orca de Wils -no clues !

19judylou
Jan 9, 2013, 6:30 pm

2. Edgar Allan Poe

20bryanoz
Jan 9, 2013, 9:49 pm

Correct !

21judylou
Jan 9, 2013, 10:18 pm

Now that I look at it no 3 jumps straight out at me.

3. William Shakespeare

But no 1 is still a mystery!

22bryanoz
Jan 10, 2013, 12:21 am

Rhymes with chickens, I have 'great expectations' that you can solve this !

23bryanoz
Jan 10, 2013, 12:40 am

4. Buddhism Plain and Simple, and

5. Meditation Now or never, by Steve Hagen.

Very useful Buddhist resources for those interested in such things.

24wookiebender
Jan 10, 2013, 2:41 am

1. Charles Dickens!!
4. Oscar Wilde

Phew, feeling less dumb now. ;)

25judylou
Jan 10, 2013, 6:09 pm

Between you and me wookie, we have an entire brain ;o)

26wookiebender
Jan 10, 2013, 7:09 pm

LOL! :)

27bryanoz
Jan 10, 2013, 9:42 pm

Well done, many of them can be tricky, so we can get back to reading I won't put up any more ..... maybe just one !

Ugor Vochti

and

Trebor Sulio Vessenton

both classic fiction writers !

28ronincats
Jan 10, 2013, 9:48 pm

Victor Hugo and Robert Louis Stevenson!

29bryanoz
Jan 10, 2013, 10:02 pm

Nice work !!

30bryanoz
Jan 12, 2013, 5:27 am

6. The South, by Colm Toibin.

Toibin's first novel, about Katherine Proctor, an Irish artist who leaves her husband and son to journey to Spain.
She finds life and love, then returns to Ireland where family awaits.
Sparingly written, an ok read.
3*

31wookiebender
Jan 12, 2013, 5:36 am

I did like Colm Toibin's Brooklyn, have you read any of his other books?

32bryanoz
Jan 12, 2013, 5:40 am

Only read The South wookie, I'll add Brooklyn to the TBR monolith, thanks !

33bryanoz
Jan 12, 2013, 11:57 pm

7. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, by Nina Sankovitch.

Nina loses her older sister to cancer, and is not coping.
She decides to spend one year reading a book a day, hoping to find healing and understanding.
Nina's story is engaging, her reflections on the books she reads and their relevance to her life and recovery are masterly written and inspiring.
Most of us readers know the healing power of reading and that Nina finds peace and transformation through her reading challenge is a great confirmation of why we read.
Highly recommended !
4*

34wookiebender
Jan 13, 2013, 5:34 am

Sounds good, although I do normally avoid books with cancer and death-by-cancer as plot points...

35Erratic_Charmer
Editado: Jan 14, 2013, 6:22 am

Wrong thread - sorry!

36bryanoz
Jan 14, 2013, 7:00 am

#34 wookie cancer is of course involved, but the story doesn't really concentrate on that, more about the healing power of reading, give it a try !

#35 No worries Erratic_Charmer, though the Kitchen witchery sounds interesting ...!

37bryanoz
Jan 15, 2013, 12:13 am

8. Riotous Assembly

9. Indecent Exposure, by Tom Sharpe.

At a recent barbecue neighbours were appalled to find I hadn't read any Tom Sharpe so lent me these two.
These are comedies based in 1970's South Africa, very politically incorrect and at least partly as a consequence quite humorous !

38bryanoz
Jan 18, 2013, 7:38 pm

10. Petersburg, by Andrei Bely.

Ranked 54 in The Novel 100, and published in 1916, Petersburg is acclaimed as perhaps the "greatest example of Russian modernist fiction".
This story of father and son Apollon and Nickolai and their mutual dislike of each other I found somewhat ponderous and uninteresting (though a possibly awkward translation might not have helped), so I think Leo and Fyodor can rest easy.
2*

39bryanoz
Jan 21, 2013, 12:03 am

11. Flight Behaviour, by Barbara Kingsolver.

Latest novel by Barbara Kingsolver and a great read !
The theme here is global warming, and Barbara effortlessly intertwines the tragedy of climate change with her characters' lives and dreams.
Despairing of her life, Dellarobia discovers a 'miracle', which turns out to be many millions of Monarch butterflies which have migrated to the Appalacian hills rather than their usual site in Mexico.
Media coverage brings celebrity status, scientists, and hard choices.
Beautifully written and a powerful story, great read !
4.5*

40bryanoz
Jan 24, 2013, 11:41 pm

12. Cranford and Cousin Phillis, by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Charming and amusing story of life in an English village "where women rule and men usually tend to get in the way". Cousin Phillis is a novella size story which is a little sadder but I enjoyed it.
Gaskell's North and South also looks interesting and is on the TBR pile.

41mabith
Jan 25, 2013, 9:30 pm

I quite enjoyed North and South. It's not a humorous one, but interesting to see a period take on labor unions and 'the risen man.'

42bryanoz
Jan 27, 2013, 9:03 pm

13. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.

Elisabeth is chronically ill, confined to bed, and struggling.
A friend digs up some wild violets, puts them in a pot, includes a snail she found and leaves it by Elisabeth's bedside.
Her fascination with the snail and it's habits, and then snails in general, helps her recovery.
An enjoyable and inspiring read about nature's ability to heal, and lots of information about molluscs as well !
3.5*

43bryanoz
Editado: Jan 28, 2013, 5:49 pm

14. How to Think More about Sex, by Alain de Botton.

Alain de Botton is a philosopher-writer who always presents an insightful view on a range of topics that have included travel, work, and status.
In this short book he discusses sex ; "We don't think too much about sex ; we're merely thinking about it in the wrong way".
While I don't agree with all of his ideas, I enjoyed his insights and ideas.
3.5*

44bryanoz
Editado: Jan 29, 2013, 8:41 pm

15. Bushman Lives, by Daniel Pinkwater.

Daniel Pinkwater's latest book and a continuation of his very original, entertaining, and zany stories.
Molly the Dwerg and the Wolluf (from Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl, together with a gorilla, a Chicken Man, and art class, appear to support Harold through his attempts to work out what to do with his life.
Great read.
4*

45bryanoz
Editado: Jan 29, 2013, 8:52 pm

16. Wake Up to Your Life, by Ken McLeod.

A reasonably detailed guide to Buddhist practice, mainly from a Tibetan Buddhism perspective, clearly written, practical and inspiring.
3.5*

46bryanoz
Editado: Jan 29, 2013, 9:06 pm

17. The Princess of Cleves, by Madame de La Fayette.

Published in 1678, and France's first classic novel, the princess is the young Mademoiselle de Chartre who marries the prince without love.
A short novel with perhaps historical interest but didn't do much for me.
Ranked 56 in The Novel 100.
2*

47bryanoz
Jan 30, 2013, 7:04 pm

18. Blossoms and Shadows, by Lian Hearn.

Following on from the brilliant Tales of the Otori series, this is her most recent (2010) work - a stand alone novel based in Japan in 1857-67.

The back blurb says it better than I can so I'm going to cheat ;

"For centuries Japan has been on its own, isolated by choice from the rest of the world. But the western powers are now at its shores, its government is crumbling and revolution is building.The age of the samurai is ending and in its place a new japan will be born.
Into this turmoil steps a young woman. Tsuru expects to marry a man of her parent's choice but her life is taken over by the beliefs of the new age and by the passionate men around her. Their slogan is sonnojoi (revere the Emperor, expel the foreigners), their preferred method is violence."

Any fan of Across the Nightingale Floor will enjoy this story of historical Japan in a time of upheaval, as Tsuru struggles with her dream of being a doctor. The research, traditions, and compassion shine in this great read.
4*

48judylou
Jan 31, 2013, 6:03 pm

I have struggled with the Otori books. I have started and restarted them a few times. I finally finished the first two and have not yet picked up the third. I'm not sure what is holding me back.

49bryanoz
Fev 1, 2013, 9:55 pm

Not to worry judylou, the Otori books are not everyone's idea of a good story, as long as there are plenty of novels that you do like !

50bryanoz
Fev 1, 2013, 10:09 pm

19. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.

Cheating with the back page description again ;

"At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's rapid death from cancer, her family grew apart and her marriage soon crumbled. With seeminglynothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life : to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America........and to do it alone."

One can only admire her honesty and courage in completing this arduous trek, in which she finds healing and redemption. Well-written, very honest, good read.
3.5*

51clfisha
Editado: Fev 2, 2013, 5:24 am

Oh dear I remember I never finished the Otori series, I wonder if I will need to reread them all.

52bryanoz
Fev 3, 2013, 3:21 am

With my memory you would have to reread the series but you will probably be ok !

53bryanoz
Fev 4, 2013, 5:09 pm

Some great new books coming !

Speaking From Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley, next in the Flavia De Luce series.

The Daylight War, by Peter Brett, next and finale in the Demon Wars series.

Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa, apparently 11 interconnected stories, bound to be interesting, from the author of The Housekeeper and the Professor.

54bryanoz
Editado: Fev 5, 2013, 11:07 pm

20. Osama, by Lavie Tidhar.

Read this because it won the 2012 World Fantasy Award, and found it an ok read.

Joe is a private detective who is approached by a mysterious woman to find the elusive author Mike Longshott, who writes pulp fiction involving international terrorism, featuring one Osama Bin Laden.

This seems to be alternative history, where terrorist events such as 9/11 are just stories. But there is danger here as there are those who do not want Joe to succeed.

I am not a fan of gritty detective novels and for me Osama was an ok read, the reviews on librarything were much more positive, so I may well have missed something.

55bryanoz
Fev 5, 2013, 11:53 pm

21. King Lear, by William Shakespeare.

One of the best known Shakespeare tragedies, and great fun (?) as old Lear, wanting a quiet retirement, decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters.
Betrayal, disguise, murder, and general chaos follow in this very entertaining play !

56clfisha
Fev 6, 2013, 3:12 am

I think I loved Osama because I am a fan of noir and it was a great melding of science fiction & crime. It's certainly not for everyone.

57bryanoz
Fev 7, 2013, 1:16 am

22. Foal's Bread, by Gillian Mears.

Published in 2011 by the Australian author Gillian Mears, and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, this is just a great Australian story.
We follow the life of Noah Childs, beginning when she is 14 and droving pigs with her father, already working, tough, and dealing with a terrible secret.
She shows promise as a horse high jumper, meets the Australian mens champion, and her life changes dramatically.
Foal's Bread is a novel of hardship and tragedy, balanced with love and beauty, and is a great read !
4*

58bryanoz
Fev 7, 2013, 5:11 pm

23. The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka.

A short but powerful novel about the young Japanese women brought to San Francisco as picture brides in the early 1900's.
On the arduous boat journey the girls are sustained by dreams of their new husbands and better lives, but many difficulties await them, not only learning a new language and culture.
Their families' lives are further compromised by the Second World War and suddenly anyone of Japanese appearance or sympathy is threatened.
Honest, powerful novel.
3.5*

59bryanoz
Fev 7, 2013, 5:21 pm

24. The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane.

Written in 1895, this novel explores the reality and horror of war. Henry is a young man who feels compelled to enlist to fight in the American Civil War.
During the protracted preparations he becomes unsure of his own bravery, and when the skirmish begins he realises he is not up for fighting and death.
However he comes to find a strength within and all is not lost.
Hailed as a realistic potrayal of war and soldier's experiences, an ok read for me.
Ranked 58 in The Novel 100.

60judylou
Fev 7, 2013, 6:52 pm

The Buddha in the Attic was quite remarkable, I thought. It was written in such a beautiful way. Although you never get to know any one of those women very well, it still feels like you know their stories.

And Foal's Bread was everything you said. Just a great story.

61Zefariath
Fev 7, 2013, 10:02 pm

First, hello!

Second, why does it seem like so many people in this group are from Australia, not that that's a bad thing.

15> I really need to read some Dickens, I'm not sure I've read any of his books besides Great Expectations (which was a letdown to me) and the Christmas stories collection we had when i was a kid (it was part of this classics collection, the books came in all different color spines but the same size, sigh, my parents sold them off years ago. I also started reading Candide, but it was a bit much for me ... (which was a bit much at 9-12 perhaps vague on date.)

16> The City of Dreaming Books sounds intriguing, I may have to add it to my pile and its sequel.

44> I read a book of his, but now the book escapes me, I remember it was enjoyable though; but mostly I remember having borrowed it from a friend, and *gasp* reading while eating spaghetti and getting a drop of sauce on it. I felt bad and kept that book and went out and bought him a replacement copy. Eating while reading is so dangerous to ones books.

55> King Lear, the memories that brings back.... I studied that play more times, in high school and college than any other of Shakespeare's. Then again, I did get a B.A. in English. For a while I would go around quoting to my friends "Nothing shall come of nothing, speak again"; oh, i just looked it up, and I don't know if its my memory or what but the quote is actually "Nothing will come of nothing, speak again." Act I, Scene i, line 90 (In my Riverside Shakespeare which I am definitely not putting on my list, it would destroy any hope of meeting my goals). Still, one of the most memorable moments when I went to London, was visiting the Globe, though I didn't get to see a play there.

Best of luck to you, and looking forward to more interesting finds!

62bryanoz
Fev 9, 2013, 4:30 am

Hi Zefariath,
Thanks for your interest in my reading and I am always happy to get comments, questions, suggestions.

Not sure about the Australianness of the group but I choose to think that is a good thing !

You could try Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, his first novel and before he got serious with his writing. Pickwick is a humorous, light hearted romp, and one of my favourites.

Any Walter Moers is brilliant, either The City of Dreaming Books or The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear are great books to start with.

Same with Daniel Pinkwater, I started with his Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl and was hooked !

I enjoyed King Lear but my favourite so far is Hamlet, I'm reading Othello soon and have much more Shakespeare to read.

Good luck with your reading, and cheers !

63jfetting
Fev 10, 2013, 4:04 pm

Yes, read Pickwick! It's hilarious, but you still get the sympathy for the downtrodden that Dickens is famous for.

64wookiebender
Fev 10, 2013, 11:17 pm

Maybe we could balance out the Australian-ness with a few Kiwis. ;)

Glad you liked Foal's Bread too! Not a cheerful story, but a very good one.

65bryanoz
Fev 14, 2013, 5:38 pm

25. Be The Hero, by Noah Blumenthal.

A useful selfhelp book which explains that our lives are made up of the stories we tell ourselves about it, so why not have stories that empower us rather than leave us as victims.
I got some good ideas from this book and will reread it soon.

66bryanoz
Editado: Fev 18, 2013, 6:57 pm

26. The Gormenghast Trilogy, by Mervyn Peake.

A fantasy trilogy made up of Titus Groan(1946), Gormenghast(1950),and Titus Alone(1959), and at 953 pages a significant read.
Gormenghast is an ancient, huge, decaying castle, peopled by eccentrics and smothered in ritual.
The seventy-seventh Earl Titus Groan is born in the first volume and is destined to rule one day.
But there will be intrigue, murder, fire and flood, together with Titus' need for freedom and experiences outside of the castle.
Peake excels in presenting a very original, very dense but enchanting story. The characters are weird and fascinating, the mood is dark and almost macabre, but there is refreshing humour as well.
Thoroughly enjoyed this and recommend the book for anyone looking for a different fantasy read.
4*

67bryanoz
Fev 18, 2013, 6:59 pm

27. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris.

Quite amusing collection of observations/stories.

68wookiebender
Fev 18, 2013, 10:12 pm

Oh, I simply MUST schedule a re-read of Gormenghast, it was fabulous. And I got to see Sedaris read one of his stories from Me Talk Pretty One Day, and it was brilliant. I understand he does the audiobook editions as well? If so, I really should check them out...

69bryanoz
Fev 19, 2013, 5:18 am

28. Is It Just Me ?, by Miranda Hart.

Miranda's amusing observations on life and being a bit of a klutz, her television roles are much funnier.

70bryanoz
Editado: Fev 19, 2013, 5:31 am

29. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.

I am cheating again :

"Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who is used to humans watching his every move through the glass of his cage. He can hardly remember his life in the jungle or what happened to his family. That is, until a baby elephant called Ruby arrives. Suddenly Ivan sees his home through new eyes and knows he must do something to make sure Ruby doesn't end up like him."

Based on a true situation, this is an inspiring, heart warming story, recommended for teens or older.

71jfetting
Fev 19, 2013, 9:40 am

Yes, Gormenghast sounds great. Adding to the pile...

72ronincats
Fev 20, 2013, 2:53 pm

Isn't there a group read of the Gormenghast trilogy going on later this year? I read these many, many years ago and remember nothing of them, so was thinking about participating with the group read.

73bryanoz
Fev 21, 2013, 8:24 pm

#72 Not sure about the group read ronincats, I would have waited if I had known, should keep better track of these things, enjoy the group read !

74bryanoz
Fev 21, 2013, 8:30 pm

30. Othello, by William Shakespeare. ( or Aleisha Wimpersleake !)

Great tragedy as the trusted Iago causes all kinds of mayhem in his quest for power, but doesn't get away with it !

75bryanoz
Fev 21, 2013, 8:49 pm

31. Colin Fischer, by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz.

This is a well-written, realistic story of teenage Colin, an boy with Asperger's syndrome, who goes to high school for the first time.
He is intelligent, analytical, and when a gun is fired at school, he is determined to find the suspect.
Aimed at teenagers but very readable by anyone interested in people with Asperger's syndrome and how they might interact with peers.

76bryanoz
Fev 24, 2013, 12:02 am

32. Malice, by Chris Wooding.

This is a part novel - part comic book that teenagers will probably enjoy.

Kids are reading the mysterious comic 'Malice', then disappearing, only to be featured in the next edition of the comic, trying to survive and often dying in the dangerous world of Malice.

"Seth and Kady think it's all a silly myth. But then their friend disappears, and suddenly the rumours don't seem so silly after all ..."

Reasonable read, sequel is Havoc.

77jfetting
Fev 24, 2013, 8:51 am

I wanted Iago to get away with it. I have a soft spot for many of Shakespeare's villains, and Iago is one of them.

78bryanoz
Editado: Fev 27, 2013, 12:08 am

33. The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane

Robert MacFarlane walks along old paths and tracks (and sails on ancient sea paths) in England, Scotland, Spain, Palestine, and the Himalayas.
He considers walking pioneers such as Edward Thomas, and the natural history, cartography, and archaeology of areas.
An inspiring account of the connection to nature and history available to those who tread the old paths.
A warning : you will be digging out the walking shoes and finding an old track to amble along after reading this !

79clfisha
Fev 27, 2013, 3:48 pm

I keep picking The Old Ways up in bookshops.. Looks like I may have to give in and buy it now!

80bryanoz
Mar 1, 2013, 4:24 am

34. The Hawkline Monster, by Richard Brautigan.

A weird 'gothic western' story by the eccentric Brautigan, thanks wookiebender for bringing him to my notice.

This is a concise, playful, spare story of two gunslingers hired to kill a monster that is terrorizing a mansion in Oregon. There are plenty of bizarre characters and events, a fun, inventive story.

81wookiebender
Mar 2, 2013, 11:20 pm

Glad you liked it! I'll have to try some of his others too, although I like the sound of a 'gothic western'.

82clfisha
Mar 3, 2013, 4:41 am

That is a great description, adding to wishlist

83bryanoz
Editado: Mar 4, 2013, 5:06 am

35. The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing.

Published in 1962, and hailed as an important work in its examination of modern culture, psychology, and feminism.

Anna Wulf lives in London in the 1950's, and being between relationships is a "free woman". She keeps four notebooks and sections of the black, yellow, blue, and red notebooks are dispersed through her story.
An affair enables her to come to an understanding and acceptance of her life, so she can drop the separate aspects/notebooks, to write the Golden Notebook.

A thorough and sometimes ponderous account of the life of the modern woman, I found it an ok read, but anyone interested in life in Britain in the 1950's, and/or feminism will probably get more from it than I did.

Ranked 61 in The Novel 100.

84wookiebender
Mar 4, 2013, 7:36 pm

I'm afraid The Golden Notebook was a big fat DNF for me. I just could not get into it at all, and gave up fairly early on.

85bryanoz
Mar 5, 2013, 3:50 am

wookie I think it was one of those books that caused a splash when it was published but dated very quickly. I have her Briefing for a Descent into Hell here but am in no great hurry to read it.

86bryanoz
Mar 8, 2013, 4:27 am

36. The Daylight War, by Peter V. Brett.

This is the third in the Demon Cycle series, with two more planned.
The first The Warded Man or The Painted Man was an original and engaging story : nasty demons emerging from the ground at dusk to prey on unprotected humans.
We are introduced to 3 main characters : Arlen Bales, Leesha, and Rojer, who in their individual struggles to survive and find ways to fight the demons develop formidable powers.
Excellent !

The second book The Desert Spear is a very different story, we meet the Krasian people and follow the life of Jardir, perhaps the 'deliverer' destined to drive the demons back to the core.
Later on characters from the first book appear, but too late for my liking.
Still a reasonable story but I didn't enjoy this one as much.

The Daylight War emphasises the character Inevera, the first wife of Jardin. We encounter endless details of life and subterfuge in the desert city - which is a thinly-veiled version of Islam in my opinion - and hardly original.
There is little action until the last 200 pages (in an 800 page novel) which given the title is surprising.
Some good ideas but disappointing given the quality of the first book.

I'll read any subsequent books in the series but won't be waiting too avidly.

87bryanoz
Editado: Mar 20, 2013, 12:17 am

37. Atonement, by Ian McEwan.

After a lengthy delay I am happy to say I enjoyed this novel ; from the quaint opening where 13 year old Briony has just written a play for the visiting cousins to be conscripted into, to the battlefields of France in 1941, culminating with the old Briony struggling to put things right.
I did find McEwan piled on the description at times, perhaps trying to write literature ?, but this is a minor fault in a solid story.
I looked at some reviews, interestingly some readers lamented watching the movie before reading the novel ; I am a stickler for the reading before the movie (causing some angst when Chris and I are trying to pick a movie to watch !!), and feel I am vindicated !
Recommended read.

88bryanoz
Editado: Mar 20, 2013, 5:16 am

38. Our Tragic Universe, by Scarlett Thomas.

New author for me but I will definitely chase up her other novels.
I was quickly caught up in her ideas and understated humour, and enjoyed how the story seemed to meander along.
There is not a lot of action, but there are lots of ideas and tangents, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book reminded me why I spend a significant amount of my life reading ; to experience different ideas and say something like "I hadn't thought of it like that before...hmmm".

89wookiebender
Mar 16, 2013, 10:04 pm

Looking forward to your reviews!

90bryanoz
Mar 17, 2013, 4:25 pm

Me too wookie, am finding the 2 reviews hard to write, both good reads though, tonight !

91judylou
Mar 18, 2013, 6:08 am

I think I'll be reading your #38 next. So looking forward to your review.

92bryanoz
Mar 20, 2013, 5:28 am

Not sure the reviews were worth waiting for, am jealous of the long, detailed reviews written by stormraven and others.

39. If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino.

Speaking of playing with ideas (last review) Italo Calvino takes a fascinating look at writing, reading, and books.
There is a kind of story here as the reader is constantly thwarted by not finding the ends of the stories he reads, but there is much more here in this meditation on reading.
Highly recommended.

93bryanoz
Mar 20, 2013, 5:39 am

40. The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford.

I've enjoyed some good reads lately but not this one !
Ranked 63 in The Novel 100 and published in 1915, couldn't get into this story of two seemingly "good" couples and their underlying deceits and betrayals.
Couldn't generate any interest in the story or characters.

94clfisha
Mar 20, 2013, 6:27 am

I enjoy a mix of reviews so never worry about length. I loved If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, thwarted is a great description though ;)

95wookiebender
Mar 20, 2013, 6:43 am

Your reviews may not be long, but they often hit the nail on the head. Glad you've had mostly good reads of late! Also glad that I've mostly read them too. Dodged a few book bullets there. :)

96bryanoz
Mar 28, 2013, 8:23 pm

Thanks for your kind words.

41. A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare.

Great fun as the woodland fairies apply magic juice to the eyelids of anyone falling asleep in the forest, causing them to fall in love with the first person they see.
This play being a comedy the confusion and outrage gets sorted with a distinct lack of poisoning and stabbing !

97bryanoz
Mar 28, 2013, 8:29 pm

42. Satori in Paris, by Jack Kerouac.

Kerouac visits Paris in a search for his family history, but spends most of his time drunk.
Too brief to come anywhere near his On the Road or The Dharma Bums, didn't do anything for me.

98mabith
Mar 29, 2013, 12:13 am

I would pay to see a reality TV show following drunk Jack Kerouac trying to do family history research in France... That's really why we'll get time machines - so TV networks can make stealthy, cheap shows about famous dead people.

99bryanoz
Mar 29, 2013, 2:01 am

Interesting thought on time machines mabith, I presumed us readers would just go back with a list of books not to bother reading !, and maybe to pick up a first edition or two.

100bryanoz
Mar 29, 2013, 2:14 am

43. The Counterfeiters, by Andre Gide.

Published in 1926, and ranked 59 in The Novel 100 I found this to be a reasonably interesting read.
About the writer Edouard who is writing a novel called 'The Counterfeiters', Gide plays with the narration, the characters, and events of the story, questioning what is real and what is fake.
Not the most compelling French novel but I enjoyed the writer's observations on life and truth.

101judylou
Mar 29, 2013, 4:31 am

Yes, I always imagine going back in time and collecting art works from "unknowns" and first editions. How rich I would be now. .

102wookiebender
Mar 29, 2013, 7:00 am

But you can't bring the art works (etc) back to now, because then they'd just look like excellent forgeries - they wouldn't have aged properly. You'd have to entrust them to your relatives, and I'm not sure I'd trust all my relatives with a Shakespeare first folio (etc)...

The State Library in Sydney has a first folio. I have drooled over its display case.

Hm, I have The Counterfeiters on Mt TBR, as it's a "1001" book. (I do like the overlap between that list and your list.) Sounds better than I was expecting.

103judylou
Mar 29, 2013, 8:41 pm

oh wookie, let me have my fantasy . . . it's the only one I've got . . .

104bryanoz
Mar 31, 2013, 9:44 pm

wookie I have been disappointed by the recent Novel 100's I have read, so I may have slightly overrated The Counterfeiters, will see what you think.
I have 1001 Books and enjoy the photos and comments, cannot believe Ursula Le Guin could not get a mention ?

Life is tricky enough without adding time travel to the mix !

105bryanoz
Mar 31, 2013, 10:12 pm

44. The Good Daughter, by Jasmin Darznik.

My bookclub looked at this one, a biographical account of a girl/woman's life in Iran in the mid 1900s.

Jenny's mother had always been reluctant to talk about her early life, but when Jenny finds a surprising photo and asks about it, her mum sends her a box of tapes telling of life in Iran and her history.

As one might expect there is much struggle and desperation, but the strength of the women shine through, Darznik's strong writing ensures the human story is not lost amidst the suffering.

106bryanoz
Mar 31, 2013, 11:32 pm

45. Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin.

Well before the recent explosion of interest in all things vampiric, Martin penned this gripping story of the deep south, steamboats, mysterious nocturnal people, and a down-and-out grumpy captain who gets an offer he cannot refuse.
As one would expect from such a great storyteller, Martin twists the traditional tale enough to capture the reader's interest, gradually building the tension, and delivering a great story.

Not in the class of his later 'Game of Thrones', but well worth reading while we wait for the next one in the series.

107wookiebender
Abr 1, 2013, 12:42 am

The later editions of "1001 Books" are a bit better balanced, The Dispossessed makes it into the second edition.

108bryanoz
Abr 7, 2013, 12:04 am

Finally managed to finish a book, this work business is very frustrating !?, shouldn't complain as I have 2 weeks holiday after this week.

46. Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon.

Tom has digreesed from his usual huge, difficult novels to pen this very readable, quite humorous take on crime fiction.
Set in the sixties, Doc Sportello is a private investigator who struggles with reality and would much rather face life with some psychedelic support.
Rather than a serious plot Pynchon has fun with his confused characters trying to work what is going on,plenty of fun for the reader too, and if you have been put off Pynchon by Gravity's Rainbow or similar, try this one.

109bryanoz
Abr 18, 2013, 2:42 am

My plan of getting to the school holidays and getting in heaps of reading has crashed head-on into my wife's plan of us painting the outside of the house ??
So no setting any reading records for me for a while !
But did manage :

47. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, and prominent on any lists of good recent reads, I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and informative story.
Cal Stephanides, now 41, is the narrator of the story. Cal was born in 1960 with a 'gender identity' issue that was undiagnosed until her/his teens. This is not just Cal's story but begins with the grand parents, who immigrate to the US.
Eugenides has written an engaging and fascinating story that I am happy to recommend !

110jfetting
Abr 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

Middlesex is a great book - glad you enjoyed it!

111bryanoz
Abr 19, 2013, 7:13 am

Cheers jfetting, must get to his The Virgin Suicides one day.

Well house is getting painted, but my pile of holiday books -

Camera Obscura (half way through and going well-thanks clfisha !)
The End of Mr Y
The Dinner
The Orphan Master's Son
The Bookman
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Revenge
Pale Fire

will be largely unread, sigh....

112wookiebender
Abr 21, 2013, 8:24 am

Oh, some good books in that pile! I'm sure you're looking forward to reading them in a nicely newly painted house. :)

113bryanoz
Abr 22, 2013, 12:40 am

Wookie they are library books, carefully reserved to be here for the holidays, so not sure how many I will get to, however it is raining, so no painting !

48. Camera Obscura, by Lavie Tidhar.

Thanks Claire for the recommendation, this is a full-on steampunk adventure set in an alternative Paris.
In the process of solving a bizarre murder, Lady De Winter, a mysterious and sassy agent, encounters mechanical beings, lizard rulers, an alien device that threatens humanity, and much more !
Enjoyable read that grew on me as the story developed.
Will be reading The Bookman, another book set in this fascinating world.

114bryanoz
Abr 22, 2013, 12:55 am

49. Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense, by Steve Hagen.

Steve Hagen is a well known Zen Buddhist teacher and author, and this book should have been a great insight into life, the world, and everything.
However he goes way too deeply into math and physics for my liking so apart from the summary where Hagen has suggestions for how we might skilfully deal with the chaotic nature of our existence, most of the book was a struggle.

115judylou
Abr 22, 2013, 7:55 pm

Yes, so many good books there. Please be sure to read The Orphan Master's Son. I would say it is even worth paying overdue fines on that one!

116bryanoz
Abr 23, 2013, 12:39 am

Thanks judylou, I'll definitely fit that one in.

117bryanoz
Abr 23, 2013, 1:10 am

50. Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov.

Published in 1962, and almost as controversial as his earlier Lolita, Pale Fire is the title of a 999 line poem by John Shade. Accompanying this opus is a commentary by his neighbour and admirer Charles Kinbote.
The main interest in the novel is Kinbote's self-centred commentary in which he uses Shade's autobiographical poem to expound his own concerns, both personal and political.
As the story develops the reader realises that there is more to Kinbote than they first thought.
Interesting read.

118clfisha
Abr 23, 2013, 5:01 am

Your welcome, glad you enjoyed it! I second the rec for the Orphan Masters Son too

119bryanoz
Abr 25, 2013, 7:32 am

51. The End of Mr. Y, by Scarlett Thomas.

Great story by Scarlett Thomas, a smart, funny, mysterious and original page-turner !
Straight into 'Bryan's Best 100' reads !

120wookiebender
Abr 26, 2013, 9:00 pm

Hurrah! Glad you liked it too.

121bryanoz
Editado: Abr 29, 2013, 8:28 pm

Cheers wookie, Scarlett Thomas is certainly an original and intelligent author.

52. Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Foer's first novel and it announced some considerable writing ability.
An American man, Jonathan, arrives in the Ukraine with an old photo, looking for a woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazi onslaught in 1941-2. He is 'helped' by his translator Alex, Alex's blind grandfather, and their ever present dog, who provide many humourous moments in the story.
Interweaved with the travel is Jonathan's novel-in-progress about the people of Trachimbrod, a village in the Ukraine.
This is novel of humour, love, tragedy, and growth, an enjoyable read.

122bryanoz
Abr 29, 2013, 8:28 pm

53. Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts.

This is "an Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel", very readable and inspiring.
It was published in 2003, so already some aspects will be outdated, though with online access it isn't a problem to keep updated.
Useful resource.

123bryanoz
Abr 30, 2013, 8:03 pm

54. A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night, by the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama gives commentary on the classic Tibetan Buddhist text 'The Way of the Bodhisattva', quite motivating for those of us interested in such a practice.

124bryanoz
Abr 30, 2013, 8:28 pm

55. Once, and

56. Then, by Morris Gleitzman.

Reread for me in preparation for After, shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia awards.

These are the story of Felix, a 10 year old Jewish boy living in an orphanage in Poland in 1942.
The atrocities of the story are somewhat balanced by Gleitzman's humour as Felix and Zelda try to survive and find their parents.
Not for the very young but a captivating story of friendship and bravery recommended for everyone else.

125judylou
Maio 1, 2013, 8:25 pm

I've heard a lot of good things about those books.

126bryanoz
Editado: Maio 6, 2013, 10:35 pm

Well worth finding and reading judylou.

57. The Good Daughter, by Honey Brown.

Ok Australian read.
Rebecca is 16, living mostly alone in a small Australian town, and with a less than flattering reputation.
A local mother disappears and her life suddenly becomes endangered.

127bryanoz
Maio 8, 2013, 11:56 pm

58. The Fast Diet, by Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer.

Interesting diet idea where one eats normally for 5 days and eats 500 calories on the other 2 (nonconsecutive) days. We have just started this diet plan so we'll see.

128bryanoz
Maio 9, 2013, 6:46 am

59. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson.

A fascinating novel about the life of Jun Do, an orphan living in North Korea.
Of course his life is anything but ordinary, working as a kidnapper, signal operator on a fishing boat, being consigned to a prison mine, and later assuming the identity and family of a North Korean hero with direct links to the Dear Leader.
I am unsure how realistic is the author's portrayal of life in North Korea, but one can only feel sympathy for people having to live in the dictatorship described in this novel.
Great read.

129judylou
Maio 10, 2013, 3:27 am

Yes, who knows if this is a realistic look at life in North Korea? But what a fascinating book.

130bryanoz
Editado: Maio 14, 2013, 9:18 pm

60. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Very engaging story of nine-year old Oskar who's father died in the 9/11 tragedy.
While snooping around the apartment one day he finds a mysterious key and embarks on a quest to find what lock that key will open.
Oskar has Asperger tendencies which effect how he experiences the world, and how he interacts with others, which lends an acute focus to the story.
Intertwined are letters from Oskar's grandfather and grandmother about their experiences in WW2 Germany and their subsequent lives in the US.
Not quite 5*, but recommended.

131judylou
Maio 13, 2013, 8:33 pm

I read this one last year and found it very moving. I gave it 5 stars!

132bryanoz
Maio 15, 2013, 2:25 am

For me 4*

133bryanoz
Editado: Maio 16, 2013, 12:55 am

61. The Bookman, by Lavie Tidhar.

Steampunk adventure as Orphan sets out to find the mysterious Bookman, whose terrorist activities robbed him of the one thing he lived for.
A Victorian English world of giant ruling lizards, poetry, pirates, automatons, airships, Jules Verne, and more !
Great fun.

134bryanoz
Editado: Maio 24, 2013, 9:54 pm

62. Friday Brown, by Vikki Wakefield.

Shortlisted for the Australian Childrens Book Council Awards for older readers.

Started promisingly with Friday talking about her younger travelling life with her mum, and explaining the Brown women's curse, that death would be via water.
Then we move some years later where her mother has died and Friday is living with her grandfather. She takes off looking for an edge to her life and becomes caught up with a group living in the city.
From here I felt things got a little weird and I lost interest in Friday and the other characters, but still a reasonable story for teenagers.

135bryanoz
Maio 24, 2013, 10:02 pm

63. The Fact of a Doorframe, by Adrienne Rich.

A collection of Rich's 'critical poems' from 1950 to 2001, with themes of feminism, politics, and environmentalism shining through.
Interesting collection.

136bryanoz
Maio 24, 2013, 10:22 pm

64. Speaking From Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley.

The fifth and latest in the 'Flavia de Luce' series, Flavia being a precocious, scheming 11 year girl living in a rambling English manor with a tricky family, and with murders ocurring regularly, with a 'Midsomer Murders' kind of atmosphere.
Flavia has access to her grandfather's chemistry lab and seemingly endless books about various chemical mixtures, particularly poisons, so she invariably tries to solve these crimes, with the local constabulary getting in her way.
These novels are great fun as this unlikely sleuth and her old bicycle Gladys solve any number of crimes and in the process comes to learn a little more about her long lost mother.
Suitable for older children and adults, the first in the series was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Recommended.

137bryanoz
Maio 27, 2013, 8:20 pm

65. Now, and

66. After, by Morris Gleitzman.

Beginning with Once, and Then, these 2 books bring the series up to date.
These books are the story of Felix, a 10 year old Jewish boy in Poland in 1942. He lives in an orphanage and decides to go find his parents.
Now is Felix as an old man living in Australia with his granddaughter Zelda, with a raging bushfire to contend with.
After follows on from Then, with Felix living with Gabriek and becoming involved with the Partisans.
Gleitzman's humour deftly offsets the horrors of the time, making these stories emotional, powerful, and uplifting reads !
Highly recommended.

138bryanoz
Maio 27, 2013, 8:41 pm

67. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare.

Witches causing much mischief as Macbeth and his power hungry Lady decide it is time he assumed the throne.

139bryanoz
Maio 29, 2013, 11:03 pm

68. The Red Wind, and

69. The Cloud Road, by Isobelle Carmody.

Published in 2011, The Red Wind introduces the brothers Bily and Zluty who survive in a little house out in the desert. Bily stays at home and tends the garden, cooks, and mends things, Zluty is adventurous, heading out to find supplies. This peaceful life is about to be overturned with the red storm that approaches, testing the brothers' endurance and courage.
Delightful children's book,won CBCA Book of the Year 2011 award, recommended.

The sequel is The Cloud Road, with Bily and Zluty, and the monster crossing the desert to the mountains. We learn more about the origins of the brothers and the other strange beings that they encounter.

Isobelle Carmody has excelled in this original series with these engaging furry creatures.

Already impatient for the next in The Kingdom of the lost series The Velvet City !

140bryanoz
Maio 29, 2013, 11:34 pm

70. The Ink Bridge, by Neil Grant.

Shorlisted for the CBCA awards for older readers, this is the story of 2 silent young men, Omed from Afghanistan who unfortunately attracts the ire of the Taliban who make sure he never speaks again.
This is also the story of Hec, a grieving Australian boy who won't speak, and begins work.
These two are thrown together, with Hec admiring Omed for his courage.
The third section of the novel has Hector as an older, wiser journalist looking for Omed in Afghanistan.
A tale of outrage, courage, and hope.

141bryanoz
Jun 2, 2013, 7:31 am

71. The Wrong Boy, by Suzy Zail.

Shortlisted for the CBCA awards for older readers, this is the story of 15 year old Hanna Mendel and her Jewish family in Hungary in 1944.
Jews are rounded up and sent to Auschwitz to work and die. Hanna's piano playing skills work to her favour and she is plays for the Commandant rather than shift rocks.
However this life is risky too, but when she finds someone in the Commandant's is helping her she is torn between her hatred of things Nazi and this friend.
I enjoyed this novel which portrays the cruelty of the Nazi regime and the bravery and perseverance of the victims.
Hanna is a likable character and the constant fear, pain, but also determination is portrayed quite plausibly (to my reckoning anyway).

Better read something more uplifting than my recent Nazi/Taliban/ tragedy reads, what's next ?

World War Z !?

142judylou
Jun 2, 2013, 7:59 pm

Oh yes! World War Z. What a story!!

143bryanoz
Jun 5, 2013, 8:59 pm

72. World War Z, by Max Brooks.

A compelling account of the Zombie War. The author interviews many of the survivors who played significant roles in the devastating onslaught of the undead, and the fight-back.
There is not that much graphic horror detail, but the suspense/tension inevitably builds making this a chilling and also thoughtful read.
Recommended !

144judylou
Jun 6, 2013, 4:06 am

A great book. I think it was this book that got me hooked on zombies. I am looking forward to the movie too.

145jfetting
Jun 6, 2013, 9:23 am

I loved it too.

146wookiebender
Jun 8, 2013, 11:11 pm

Oh, I loved World War Z too, but I think the movie looks like a travesty.

I seem to be a klutz with the LT links this year. First I managed to accidentally leave this group (what the...) and then I just realised that I hadn't seen your reading for a while because I was ignoring your topic! Quite unintentional, and I have no idea how I managed it.

147bryanoz
Jun 9, 2013, 6:42 am

wookie, the movie might be a bit scary for me (!?), glad that you are back, as long as I didn't offend you in some way !

148bryanoz
Jun 9, 2013, 6:58 am

73. PopCo, by Scarlett Thomas.

Third book i have read by Scarlett Thomas and I continue to be impressed by this author's originality and multi-faceted stories.
Here Alice is an employee of the toy corporation PopCo, and she is invited to a retreat to develop the company's next big thing.
We also experience her teenage years living with her grandparents, the world of codebreaking, the joy of prime numbers, and big questions such as how can we make a difference ?
The back cover Sunday Times quote says "Ambitious, thought-provoking fun", I completely agree !

149clfisha
Jun 10, 2013, 8:52 am

I agree World War Z was fab, movie looks like a wasted opportunity to me. I think it would be better served by a TV show of fake documentary.

150bryanoz
Editado: Jun 13, 2013, 7:16 am

74. Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela.

A quite long (750 pages), detailed, and inspiring autobiography by Mr Mandela.
Covering his childhood, studies, interest in the ANC, 27 years of prison, and freedom.
Mandela's political activities are presented in detail, but he does relate that his huge regret is the cost to family, adding a touching element to this enduring struggle.

151rainpebble
Jun 14, 2013, 2:01 am

World War Z has been talked about around L.T. quite a bit. Does no one else have a problem with zombies? They scare the dickens out of me. But I may have to break down and try this one. Just this once. ;-)

152wookiebender
Jun 14, 2013, 6:18 am

World War Z movie is definitely too scary for me, I avoid most monster flicks. The book was scary, moving, and fascinating. Belva, it's not a fluffy zombie book! I did cry several times. It's the best of the zombie genre I've read (admittedly it's not a genre I've read much of!).

153judylou
Jun 16, 2013, 12:57 am

Have to agree with wookie on this one. Having read *ahem* a number of zombie books, I think this is one of the best too. I am not one to cower away from scary movies (BTW has anyone seen Dark Skies? - the scariest movie I've seen for a long time!) and I'm looking forward to WWZ despite what the reviews say!!

154wookiebender
Jun 16, 2013, 1:40 am

I cower away from scary movies. The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares as an adult, and let's not talk about Beetlejuice...

Having said that, I did go and see The Cabin In The Woods because of Joss Whedon, and while it was petrifying, it was also cathartic. And hysterical.

155judylou
Jun 16, 2013, 2:01 am

I love a good scare. As long as it is a good one!

156bryanoz
Jun 16, 2013, 2:51 am

I am not a fan of scary movies, if I want a scare I can check my Visa bill !
I'll probably go see the film anyway, it shouldn't be too scary.......?
Speaking of movies the new Hobbit trailer looks awesome !!

157bryanoz
Editado: Jun 19, 2013, 11:37 pm

75. A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster.

Published in 1924, following Forster's travels to India, this is a novel concerning the British occupation of India, and questions if there can be a true relationship between individuals of such different cultures.
Two English ladies travel to India, and while visiting the Marabar Caves, the youngest woman is assaulted.
The consequent accusations and trial highlight the respective racial attitudes toward the other, and point to a future India ruled by Indians.
An ok read, ranked 64th in The Novel 100.

158wookiebender
Jun 16, 2013, 7:16 am

Oh yes, I'm not a fan of splitting The Hobbit into three movies (just gives Peter Jackson a chance to indulge his long-windedness), but the trailer looked fab! (Also having fangirl paroxysms over "Much Ado About Nothing" by Joss Whedon and some guy called Shakespeare; Elysium's new trailer is a rip snorter, the director did the brilliant "District 9"; and "R.I.P.D." did make me laugh, although it may yet turn out to be a turkey.)

Looking forward to your comments on A Passage to India.

159bryanoz
Jun 17, 2013, 5:23 am

If Elysium is anywhere as good a movie as District 9, it will be great, better check out the trailer.
A Passage to India an ok read.

160clfisha
Jun 17, 2013, 11:29 am

Much Ado About Nothing was good (although I still prefer the Branagh version). I did have secret yearning for it to be on a spaceship.. but alas no :)

I keep meaning to try A Passage to India but its low down on the wishlist

161wookiebender
Jun 18, 2013, 7:53 am

Ah well, I wasn't a great fan of A Passage to India either. I was hoping you might have pointed out what I missed. :) I have loved his other books much more.

Lol, Claire! I've been catching up on my "Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars" podcasts lately, and Nathan Fillion has an occasional role, so it's almost the same as Firefly.... Almost.

162bryanoz
Jun 19, 2013, 11:44 pm

76. Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George.

A pleasant children's story of Celie, youngest of the Royal family, who live in Castle Glower.
This castle is alive, changing rooms and passages every Tuesday.
There is skullduggery afoot, and it is up to the Royal children and the castle to put things right.
Nice story.

163bryanoz
Jun 20, 2013, 11:05 pm

77. Joyous & Moonbeam, by Richard Yaxley.

Young adult story of Joyous, a 15 year old disabled boy who meets Ashleigh (Moonbeam), a teenage girl who feels her life is a disaster.
Joyous' unremitting positivity is just what Moonbeam needs, an uplifting story and recommended.

164bryanoz
Editado: Jun 21, 2013, 7:52 am

78. Creepy & Maud, by Dianne Touchell.

Another YA book, I didn't enjoy this one as much as Joyous & Moonbeam, and I think it was because I didn't particularly like the characters.
Creepy and Maud (not their real names) live next door to each other but their parents are continually fighting so they have no contact, until Maud notices Creepy watching her through her window.
A kind of relationship gradually develops but will it be enough to save these two troubled young people ?

165judylou
Jun 21, 2013, 8:42 pm

I read Creepy & Maud last year. I wasn't a fan.

166bryanoz
Editado: Jun 28, 2013, 6:30 am

79. The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood.

Iris, eighty two and struggling, looks back on her life and that of her younger sister Laura.

I totally enjoyed this absorbing novel, as Atwood masterfully weaves Iris' current life, her younger days, newspaper articles, and the mysterious sci-fi novel 'The Blind Assassin'.
Highly recommended and straight onto 'Bryan's Best 100 Reads' !

167bryanoz
Editado: Jun 30, 2013, 6:13 am

80. Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks.

Read this for my book club, and a fine read it is to.
Anna Frith is a housemaid living in an English village in 1666, when the plague arrives.
Lead by the minister the village bravely decides to close their borders so the plague is not spread further.
This is a story of bravery, superstition, desperation, and sacrifice, and is based on historical evidence.
Fascinating story.

168bryanoz
Jul 4, 2013, 4:52 am

81. Pennies for Hitler, by Jackie French.

Another Children's Book Council Award nominee, and another WW2 story !?
Georg is German, son of an English academic and living in Germany.
When tragedy strikes the family he is smuggled out to England, later to Australia.
He tries to fit in but is torn between the prevailing anti-German attitudes and his secret identity.
Ok story, I am just tired of WW2 stories !?

169bryanoz
Jul 4, 2013, 4:54 am

82. The Diamond in Your Pocket, by Gangaji.

Enjoyed this spiritual guide.

170jfetting
Jul 5, 2013, 11:25 am

I loved The Blind Assassin too. It may be my favorite Atwood novel, and that is saying a lot. I'm looking forward to reading Year of Wonders too - it is on my shelf somewhere.

171bryanoz
Jul 7, 2013, 1:17 am

83. Germinal, by Emile Zola.

Published in 1885 and described by Daniel Burt as "perhaps the angriest book ever written", Zola has written about life in a coal mining town in France.
Etienne comes to town but the only work he can get is labouring down a coal mine. Appalling conditions and subsistence wages mean the people are mired in poverty and despair. When the bosses impose tougher conditions Etienne leads the workers and their families to strike, but whether this desperate action will lead to better lives or starvation is unclear.
Very readable classic, ranked 66 in The Novel 100.

172bryanoz
Jul 13, 2013, 7:43 am

84. Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser.

Just won the Miles Franklin, we follow the widely different lives of Laura, an Australian woman who travels the world then writes for a travel book publishing company ; and Ravi, a Sri Lankan man who after a family tragedy escapes to Sydney.
I enjoyed de Kretser's descriptions of people and places, sometimes quite satirical, but couldn't develop much interest in either of the main characters, so an ok read for me.

Chris and I leave on Monday for our 'heading north and then west' trip, about 10 weeks, much of which we will be out of internet range, so unsure when I get the chance to update this thread, read the other threads, or how much reading I get to.
Take care and happy reading !

173judylou
Jul 13, 2013, 9:56 pm

Have a great trip! I'm sure you will manage to read while sitting on your camp chairs every afternoon though!

174wookiebender
Jul 14, 2013, 3:18 am

Glad you liked Germinal, I thought it was pretty powerful when I read it a few years back. I have Questions of Travel on Mt TBR...

Have a wonderful holiday!

175clfisha
Jul 15, 2013, 9:15 am

wow, nice long holiday. have a fab time!

176richardderus
Jul 27, 2013, 4:54 am

Happy Thingaversary, Bryan! You'll pass at least some bookshops in your 10(!) week holiday, do you plan to follow the LT tradition of adding a book a year of membership plus one to grow on?

177bryanoz
Set 3, 2013, 8:27 am

Have arrived in Perth, nice to have a week settled in one place rather than being on the move.
Have had a great time travelling from Adelaide to Alice Springs to Darwin to the Kimberley to the Pilbara, and south to Perth, then will cruise back home over the next week or so.
Hope everyone is well and happy and busy reading.
I have read some books while I have been away, reviews will be short.

85. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman.

Great story.

86. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving.

Had this book lying around for many years, good to get it read, and an interesting story as well.

87. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

Great to read this wonderful novel again.

88. Nothing Personal, by Nirmala.

Spiritual work, interesting.

89. The Twins, by Tessa de Loo.

Reasonably interesting novel looking at the Second World War through the eyes of twin sisters, one raised in Holland, the other in Germany.

90. You Are That, by Gangaji.

More spiritual writing, very inspiring.

More to follow.

178wookiebender
Set 4, 2013, 8:20 am

I hope you enjoy Perth! Been some years since I've been there. If you get a chance, Rottnest Island is a charming place (or was 15 years ago!).

179bryanoz
Set 4, 2013, 9:04 am

Perth is still a nice place wookie and we are off to Rottnest tomorrow, looking forward to seeing a quokka or 2. Hope all is good with you, cheers.

180judylou
Set 8, 2013, 1:27 am

I too love Perth. If only it wasn't so far away!!

181bryanoz
Set 8, 2013, 8:22 am

Perth is a long way from anywhere, but worth the effort. We are in Albany for a couple of days and then head for home, will be good to get back.

91. The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch.

Enjoyed this original and humorous fantasy, first in a trilogy and I'll be reading the others.

92. The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas.

Quite readable classic, ranked 124 by The Novel 100.

93. Wake Up and Roar, by Papaji.

Spiritual work.

94. The Diamond in Your Pocket, by Gangaji.

Reread of this very useful spiritual work.

182wookiebender
Set 9, 2013, 3:42 am

Ooh, Albany! That's my Mum's old stomping grounds. :)

Oh, glad you liked The Lies of Locke Lamora, I really enjoyed that one too.

183bryanoz
Set 25, 2013, 9:38 pm

95. His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman.

This is the trilogy Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass in one volume, a reread for me and an opportunity to re-experience the fantasy world of Lyra, Will, their daemons, Lord Asriel, Mrs Coulter, Iorek, and a host of unforgettable characters.
Brilliantly conceived and written, a tale of courage, friendship, freedom, and sacrifice, a wonderful story with even this old grumpy reader emotional at the end.

184bryanoz
Set 25, 2013, 9:44 pm

96. The Dalai Lama's Cat, by David Michie.

A bedraggled kitten is rescued by the Dalai Lama and lives in his home.
As the cat observes the many interactions of life in Dharamsala, we are given insights in living happy, meaningful lives.
Nice read, suitable for older children and adults, recommended.

185jfetting
Set 26, 2013, 9:36 am

I've been meaning to re-read His Dark Materials for awhile - thanks for reminding me! I wonder why the movie didn't take off - it seems almost perfect for children's movies (I doubt very much they'd pick up on the anti-church subtext).

186bryanoz
Set 27, 2013, 7:27 am

Cheers jfetting this remarkable story is certainly worth a reread, I thought the movie was good, but it wasn't popular, and I haven't heard about any interest in making the following movies.

187bryanoz
Editado: Out 12, 2013, 2:41 am

Hmm...still reading but forgetting to post them here ?

97. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell.

Have had this book sitting on the shelf for a few years but shouldn't have waited, what a fascinating and unique novel !
Six very different stories are connected across centuries, beginning in the South Pacific in the 1800s and extending into a post apocalyptic far future. Each part of the novel is interesting in itself, and the connection, sometimes a person, or a document, deepens the reading experience.
I haven't explained it well but I thoroughly enjoyed this unique novel and will be reading Mitchell's other works.

188bryanoz
Editado: Out 12, 2013, 7:37 pm

98. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.

Reread for me, great fun, enjoyed Marvin !

189bryanoz
Editado: Out 13, 2013, 5:17 am

99. The Long War, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

Following on from a just ok The Long Earth this was another ok read. Pratchett fans will find enough to be going on with, must say the book has an odd title given the definite lack of war !?

190bryanoz
Editado: Out 16, 2013, 7:14 am

100. Falling Man, by Don DeLillo.

Keith Neudecker is working in one of the World Trade towers when the terrorist attacks occur. He escapes with minor injuries and someone else's suitcase.
He and his family struggle with the debilitating after effects, and DeLillo's customary observations and descriptions make this a solid read.

191Helenliz
Out 10, 2013, 2:03 am

Well done on 100.
interested to see what you think of Cloud Atlas. It was one of my highlights of last year, but I know it divides opinion.

192clfisha
Out 10, 2013, 4:58 am

Hey congrats on 100. I too am interested to know if you liked Cloud Atlas, its a interesting book!

193mabith
Out 10, 2013, 11:36 am

Likewise congrats on 100!

194bryanoz
Editado: Out 16, 2013, 7:23 am

Thanks Helenliz, clfisha, and mabith, I am better at the reading than the reviews but I'll get to them.

101. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers.

Hard work in the early stages of the novel as Eggers is in full "look how intellectual, offensive, and full of myself I can be", but happily tones things down into a reasonable and interesting story.
Most reviews were much more complimentary than mine, such as "one of the best books of the 21st century",
so I could be completely wrong !?

195bryanoz
Editado: Out 17, 2013, 2:17 am

102. May We Be Forgiven, by A.M. Homes.

Read this because it won the Women's Prize for Fiction this year, and I'm glad I did. A big story about modern western life, we follow Harry whose quiet life encounters adultery and murder, and is within a few pages turned into chaos.
He gradually pulls things together, forging a positive and beneficial life out of the ruins.
Very enjoyable novel, if you like modern American fiction and haven't read Homes, try this.
I will be reading her This Book Will Save Your Life when I can find it.

196bryanoz
Editado: Out 28, 2013, 2:47 am

103. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser.

Began heavy and slow but no need to worry as I came to be absorbed in this 1925 novel.
Based on a true event (though I didn't realise until after) we follow the life of Clyde Griffiths, a boy of poor beginnings who struggles to have a better life.
He works hard and means well but finds himself trapped in a romantic situation, and tragedy ensues.
Ranked 68 in The Novel 100, a detailed, poignant, and satisfying classic.

197bryanoz
Editado: Out 30, 2013, 5:18 am

104. Zoo Time, by Howard Jacobson.

Read this because it won the Bollinger Award (for humorous fiction), and it was a funny look at the tribulations of writing and the book industry. Good fun !

198judylou
Out 12, 2013, 9:43 pm

Congrats on passing 100. I have been interested in May we be Forgiven. Waiting patiently for your review.

199bryanoz
Out 13, 2013, 5:12 am

Thanks judylou, May We Be Forgiven was excellent, read it when you can !

200bryanoz
Editado: Out 30, 2013, 5:18 am

105. Falling Into Grace, by Adyashanti.

Modern spirituality, good read.

201bryanoz
Editado: Nov 16, 2013, 11:27 pm

106. Coal Creek,by Alex Miller.

Somewhat stuck on this review, set in the Queensland stone country a young man Bobby Blue leaves his bush cattle job to work for the new constable.
Lacking an understanding of local life and people, the constable makes a mistake in judgement, leading to tragedy for all.
A simple story but beautifully told.

202wookiebender
Out 13, 2013, 7:10 am

Belated congratulations on reaching 100 from me! And some great reading too, I also loved Cloud Atlas. The movie adaptation is pretty good, although slightly weird with actors playing different races at times (Halle Berry as a white woman? White actors as Asian characters? Etc).

203bryanoz
Out 13, 2013, 4:25 pm

Thanks wookie, the Cloud Atlas trailer looks good so I'll watch it when I come across the DVD, happy reading !

204ronincats
Out 13, 2013, 4:50 pm

Congratulations on blowing past the 100 book mark!

205bryanoz
Editado: Nov 16, 2013, 11:39 pm

Thanks ronincats.

107. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell.

A detailed and intriguing novel set in 18th century Japan where a Dutch clerk Jacob de Zoet meets a local midwife Miss Aibagawa, and is entranced. However this is a time when the Japanese are very protective of their culture and any interaction is severley limited. She disappears, the politics is frenetic, and then an English ship arrives.
This story from another time comes alive in David Mitchell's hands, an absorbing read.

206bryanoz
Editado: Nov 16, 2013, 11:46 pm

108. The Children of the King, by Sonya Hartnett.

Cheating with the Penguin blurb :
"Three children have been sent to live in the countryside, safe from the war in london. When they find two boys hiding in a castle the past and future come together to make an extraordinary adventure."

Won the Younger Readers Book of the Year in Australia, an ok story, I am a little tired with the number of books about the Second World War.

207judylou
Out 26, 2013, 11:59 pm

I have started May We Be Forgiven. Listening to the audio means it will be a slow read, but so far I am liking it. Interested to see what you thought of #107. I liked it a lot.

208bryanoz
Editado: Nov 8, 2013, 10:38 pm

109. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams.

Don't know why I waited so long to read this, fun read !

209bryanoz
Editado: Nov 16, 2013, 11:53 pm

110. Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters.

Thoroughly enjoyed this kind of Victorian, Dickensian crime novel.
Sue is an orphan raised in a house of thieves who agrees to help a friend of the family defraud a young woman of her fortune.
All does not go to plan and the reader barely holds on as the story twists and twists again.
Great novel, will be reading the rest of Sarah Water's work.

210wookiebender
Nov 1, 2013, 8:25 am

Oh, I loved Fingersmith, I hope you did too.

211bryanoz
Nov 1, 2013, 7:27 pm

Sure did ! So two new favourite authors, David Mitchell and Sarah Waters, this reading life is great !!

212bryanoz
Editado: Nov 17, 2013, 12:02 am

111. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

Wasn't as enamoured as some readers seem to be with this novel, a bare and confronting look at a near future where women's rights are removed and the 'lucky' handmaidss are kept as baby making machines.
Atwood does spare the details so the reader must gradually piece together what is happening as Offred looks back on days before the revolution, and plots her escape.
Ranked 114 in The Novel 100.

213bryanoz
Editado: Nov 8, 2013, 10:37 pm

112. Watchmen, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.

Well known comic/graphic novel, found it interesting.

214bryanoz
Nov 8, 2013, 10:10 pm

Just bought Terry Pratchett's new discworld novel Raising Steam ! Celebration time !!

215mabith
Nov 8, 2013, 11:07 pm

214 - JEALOUS! I have to wait for the audio edition though. The Discworld readers (Stephen Briggs now) are just too good and add so much extra to the books.

216wookiebender
Nov 9, 2013, 1:24 am

I'm glad Pratchett is still writing. Obviously his diagnosis hasn't slowed him down much at all! (Or he's very good at working around it.)

217Helenliz
Nov 9, 2013, 1:04 pm

214> mental note - bookshop trip due.

One of our neighbours is heavily involved in the speach recognition software that Pratchett uses, so that is certainly an example of working round the issues he's presented with.

218mabith
Nov 9, 2013, 1:13 pm

I did see an interview/article lately where the interviewer said his Alzheimer's is noticeable now (I think previous interviewers said they didn't see it). It's so sad, and I feel awful for selfishly thinking all this year "Please just one more Moist Von Lipwig book..." At the same time I don't want anyone else to continue writing Discworld (we have a ton of great books, why do we always need more more more?). Sometimes things just need to end.

219Helenliz
Nov 10, 2013, 3:29 am

At the same time I don't want anyone else to continue writing Discworld
This I agree with wholeheartedly. I've never been cocvinced that follow on books by another author ever really work. Someone completing an unfinished work can be OK, but trying to write in someone else's style, without it becomming mimicry seems to fail so often I'd rather not see it attempted on something I love so much.

If it were one more book, I'd want a Vimes.

Sorry Bryan - we'll stop the thread hijack soon. >:-)

220bryanoz
Editado: Nov 11, 2013, 6:20 pm

No problems - Terry Pratchett appreciators always welcome !
I haven't noticed any particular lack in his recent writing but perhaps I am not that discerning.
Hopefully when he feels he is struggling he will gracefully retire and enjoy his remaining days, us fans cannot complain with many great books that can be reread many times !

If one more book I'd want a Nanny Ogg !

221bryanoz
Nov 11, 2013, 6:24 pm

113. Hubert Who ?, by Malcolm Andrews.

Lent by a friend, the biography of Hubert Wilkins, little known Australian explorer, aviator, secret agent.
He hasn't read A Fortunate Life which I think should be required reading for all Australians, so it is headed his way.

222mabith
Nov 11, 2013, 8:20 pm

220 - I don't think there's any change in his writing either, I think they just meant personal interactions and answering questions with ease (or answering the exact question that was asked). I saw some very odd person comment that "Oh, Discworld books don't work for re-reading," and was so so confused by that. I'm pretty much always re-reading or re-listening to one of them. There's always some gem of writing/observation that you didn't pick up on before.

I think with more witches I'd want a book about Nanny as a young witch! If Carpe Jugulum is the last of the Lancre witches books then that's a pretty good send off (also I dislike the way Stephen Briggs reads Nanny and Granny dialogue...).

223bryanoz
Editado: Dez 7, 2013, 1:20 am

Totally agree mabith !

114. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston.

Published in 1937 and forgotten for ages, this engaging novel is described "as one of the most poetic works of fiction by a blackwriter in the first half of the twentieth century, and one of the most revealing treatments in modern literature of a woman's quest for a satisfying life."
A fairly brief but powerful story, ranked 88 in The Novel 100.

224bryanoz
Editado: Dez 7, 2013, 1:32 am

115. Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett.

Latest Discworld novel and Pratchettphiles need not be concerned (of course they have all read this by now, perhaps twice) ; a great addition to the series.
The steam locomotive is invented, and with this new technology comes fear and condemnation from the traditionalists. Terry handles this version of our own world's difficulties with modernization in his usual gentle, wise, and humorous manner.
This is a Moist von Lipwig story, other characters we catch up with include Adora Belle Dearheart, Lord Vetinari, Harry King, Sam Vimes, Fred Colon, Detritus, golems, and many others.

225ronincats
Nov 16, 2013, 1:15 pm

Lucky you! We have to wait until March 18, 2014. What did you think? Is it up to the caliber of Going Postal? I thought Making Money was not as good as the first Moist book. Where does this one fit in?

226bryanoz
Nov 16, 2013, 6:56 pm

ronincats I enjoyed this one just as much as the other Moist stories, hope you agree.

116. Hunger, by Knut Hamsun.

227bryanoz
Nov 23, 2013, 6:23 pm

117. Alif the Unseen, by G.Willow Wilson.

228bryanoz
Nov 23, 2013, 6:24 pm

229bryanoz
Nov 23, 2013, 6:24 pm

230bryanoz
Nov 23, 2013, 6:28 pm

231bryanoz
Nov 23, 2013, 6:34 pm

Another one I seem to have forgotten to add to the list, although I can remember writing the review, more evidence of delusion !??

121. Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

235bryanoz
Nov 30, 2013, 5:36 pm

237jfetting
Dez 6, 2013, 11:47 am

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is so much fun! I need to reread that.

238bryanoz
Dez 8, 2013, 10:55 pm

127. The Map and the Territory, by Michel Houellebecq.

239bryanoz
Dez 11, 2013, 9:22 pm

240bryanoz
Editado: Dez 13, 2013, 5:51 am

129. Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace.

Collection of intelligent and humorous essays published in 2005, I enjoyed 'Big Red Son' - commentary on the Adult Video News awards, and 'Consider the Lobster', didn't enjoy the slow and cumbersome 'Authority and American Usage' - review of a dictionary, and 'Host' - painful commentary on certain American radio hosts.

241Helenliz
Dez 12, 2013, 3:28 am

239> What did you think of that one? I thought it superb.

242bryanoz
Dez 13, 2013, 5:30 am

Hi Helenliz, I thought it was a good read, but not 'superb'. I'm not really sure what didn't click with me but still an engaging story.

243bryanoz
Dez 16, 2013, 5:08 am

244jfetting
Dez 24, 2013, 9:35 am

My book group is reading The Light Between Oceans next month. I'm a little skeptical. They've picked some real clunkers this year.

245bryanoz
Dez 24, 2013, 5:46 pm

I know what you mean jfetting, one of the problems of a book group is that you are reading books other people recommend and that might not be to your interest, but that means you sometimes get to read a great story you might not have come across without the group. The Light Between Oceans isn't a clunker though, let me know how it goes.

246bryanoz
Dez 24, 2013, 5:50 pm

Happy Hogswatch and Merry Christmas everyone !
May our presents be dominated by those rectangular solid ones !
Not usually a good day for reading but I'm going to fit an hour or so in the day somewhere, have a great day !

247bryanoz
Dez 24, 2013, 5:56 pm

131. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.

Interesting young adult story with a few twists.

132. Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville.

Been sitting on the shelf for years, China takes on the young adult, 'reluctant hero thrust into saving the world' genre with aplomb ! Great read, fast-paced, and China has some fun with the story, for example the binja !!

248wookiebender
Dez 24, 2013, 11:05 pm

Happy Hogswatch to you too! I picked up a copy of Raising Steam at the library the other day, hoping to squeeze it in over the holidays somehow. :)

249Helenliz
Dez 25, 2013, 8:32 am

Happy Hogwatch form me too. I got Raising steam from the husband (he'd been given enough hints...) so will be getting to that one as soon as I've finished Snuff.

250bryanoz
Dez 25, 2013, 4:51 pm

Cheers wookie and Helen, you will both love Raising Steam ! Perhaps we should have a reread of Hogfather every Christmas !?

251mabith
Dez 25, 2013, 5:59 pm

250 - Ha, I'm currently in the middle of my Christmas re-listen to Hogfather, though usually I try to do it a few days ahead of time.

252bryanoz
Dez 25, 2013, 6:25 pm

Cheers mabith, some of us are just slow, but it is locked for next Christmas, hope you had a great day with lots of bookish presents !

253mabith
Dez 25, 2013, 7:13 pm

Hope yours was good too! Sadly, I've become so bookish that my family no longer give me books or book things. :( But my LT Santa did a great job.

254Helenliz
Dez 26, 2013, 3:51 am

250> I could go with that. Let's pencil it in the (brand new) diary now.
I only got 1 book, but (and this is sometimes even better) I got a book-token as well. Which means I get to enjoy the browsing ahead of the spending as well as the subsequent reading. bliss.

255bryanoz
Dez 26, 2013, 5:53 am

mabith and Helenliz, enjoy the new books and see you in the 2014 thread, cheers !

256bryanoz
Editado: Dez 27, 2013, 8:45 pm

133. The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendahl.

Ranked 74 in The Novel 100, published in 1839, it is the story of Fabrizio, a young Italian man seeking to be a hero, first in war, then the church, then in love.
I found the novel slow and waffly, a risk with reading some of the classics.

257clfisha
Dez 27, 2013, 5:05 am

Behind on threads so just wishing you a Happy New Year!

258bryanoz
Dez 27, 2013, 8:47 pm

Cheers Claire, have a great New Year yourself !

259bryanoz
Editado: Dez 30, 2013, 5:48 pm

134. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson.

Excellent read, Pulitzer Prize winner and justly deserved !

260bryanoz
Dez 30, 2013, 5:48 pm

135. The Woman in the Dunes, by Kobo Abe.

Ranked 121 in The Novel 100, reminiscent of Kafka, an interesting existential read.

136. Letting Go, by David R Hawkins.

Spiritual work, interesting.

261bryanoz
Dez 30, 2013, 6:11 pm

Well that about wraps 2013 and reading, 136 books read at an average of 351 pages.
My main challenge to to read all the novels of The Novel 100 by Daniel S. Burt, I read 22 more this year for a total of 92, leaving 32 for 2014, challenge accepted.

Some great reads this year, notably :
At the Mouth of the River of Bees, by Kij Johnson
Flight Behaviour, by Barbara Kingsolver
Blossoms and Shadows, by Lian Hearn
Foal's Bread, by Gillian Mears
Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake
Fevre Dream, by George RR Martin
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
The End of Mr. Y, by Scarlett Thomas
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
The Ocean At The End of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman
May We Be Forgiven, by A.M. Homes
An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett
Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier
The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilead, by Marilynn Robinson

Thanks everyone for great reading ideas and supportive comments in this thread, lets all have a wonderful 2014 with many great reads !

262wookiebender
Dez 30, 2013, 11:04 pm

Have a great new year! I'm trying to squeeze in one more book with Raising Steam, after your recommendation, good to see it made your end of year list too.

263bryanoz
Dez 31, 2013, 3:27 am

Thanks wookie, of course I am biased with Terry's books but I am confident you will be finishing your year on a reading high ! Happy New Year !

264clfisha
Dez 31, 2013, 4:43 am

Congrats on your total!

I thought The Women in the Dunes was interesting too, thoughtful. Glad I read but nit sure I enjoyed it.. not sure I would want to see the film eiher!