Henri's Challenge

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Henri's Challenge

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Abr 1, 2013, 4:27 am

Hello folks!

I'm a new member to Librarything having moved over from Goodreads, have just transferred my data across so my library is a bit of a mess at the moment with a lot of tagging & 'date read's to complete.

This year I've read more, page wise, than I have in the past years and it's only March... Last year previously was my largest year at 137 books (37,122 pages) and so far this year I've already knocked over 110 books (37,470 pages).

So far this year I've read:
1 The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2) by John Marsden
2 The Hades Factor (Covert-One #1) by Robert Ludlum
3 The Cassandra Compact (Covert-One, #2) by Robert Ludlum
4 Four Day Planet by H. Beam Piper
5 Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass (Day by Day Armageddon,#3) by J.L. Bourne
6 Inside UFO 54-40 (Choose Your Own Adventure, #12) by Edward Packard
7 Mystery of the Maya (Choose Your Own Adventure, #11) by R.A. Montgomery
8 Survivor (Alone, #2) by James Phelan
9 The Abominable Snowman (Choose Your Own Adventure, #13) by R.A. Montgomery
10 Quarantine (Alone, #3) by James Phelan
11 Born to be Riled by Jeremy Clarkson
12 Medusa (NUMA Files, #8) by Clive Cussler
13 Solo by Jack Higgins
14 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
15 Survivors by Z.A. Recht
16 Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat by M.D. Creekmore
17 Devil's Gate (NUMA Files, #9) by Clive Cussler
18 The Mystery of Bandit Gulch by Dan Scott
19 State Of Emergency (E Force 1) by Sam Fisher
20 Swordpoint by John Harris
21 The Necropolis Railway (Jim Stringer, #1) by Andrew Martin
22 Beach Road by James Patterson
23 Null-ABC by H. Beam Piper
24 The World According to Clarkson (World According to Clarkson 1) by Jeremy Clarkson
25 Star by Pamela Anderson
26 Angel Of Death (Sean Dillon, #4) by Jack Higgins
27 The Paris Option (Covert-One, #3) by Robert Ludlum
28 Pop Goes The Weasel by James Patterson
29 The Jungle (The Oregon Files, #8) by Clive Cussler
30 Ultimate Justice by Mimi Latt
31 A Prayer For The Dying by Jack Higgins
32 The Closers by Michael Connelly
33 Candy Girl: A Year In The Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody
34 Code of Conduct by Elliott Arnold
35 Max by Juval Aviv
36 Faithless (Grant County, #5) by Karin Slaughter
37 The Storm (NUMA Files, #10) by Clive Cussler
38 Shadow Force (Death Force, #3) by Matt Lynn
39 And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson: Volume 2 by Jeremy Clarkson
40 Barossa by John Clive
41 Fallen (Will Trent, #5) by Karin Slaughter
42 Don't Stop Me Now by Jeremy Clarkson
43 Don'ts For Husbands by Blanche Ebbutt
44 Empire (Empire, #1) by Orson Scott Card
45 Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
46 Outpost (Razorland, #2) by Ann Aguirre
47 The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
48 The Valkyrie Operation: The True Story of a British Agent's Battle Against the World's Deadliest Arms Dealer by Wensley Clarkson
49 The Altman Code by Robert Ludlum
50 Where Death Delights (Dr Richard Pryor Mystery #1) by Bernard Knight
51 Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
52 Unholy Alliance by David A. Yallop
53 According to the Evidence by Bernard Knight
54 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
55 A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17) by Jonathan Kellerman
56 Contagion by Robin Cook
57 Crossing the Line by Jordan Bobe
58 Chromosome 6 (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #3) by Robin Cook
59 The Burn (The Burn, #1) by Annie Oldham
60 The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella by Rob W. Hart
61 The Enemy (Victor the Assassin, #2) by Tom Wood
62 Grounds for Appeal (Dr Richard Pryor Mystery, #3) by Bernard Knight
63 Infraction (The Burn, #2) by Annie Oldham
64 Dead Line (Liz Carlyle, #4) by Stella Rimington
65 Das Reich: The March Of The 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944 by Max Hastings
66 I'm Not Shaving My Legs for This by Stephanie Louise Smith
67 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three by John Godey
68 Corruption of Blood by Robert K. Tanenbaum
69 The Bro Code by Barney Stinson
70 The Kingdom (Fargo Adventure, #3) by Clive Cussler
71 Assassin (Alexander Hawke, #2) by Ted Bell
72 Golden Serpent (Alan "Mac" McQueen #1) by Mark Abernethy
73 The Lazarus Vendetta (Covert-One, #5) by Patrick Larkin
74 Vector (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #4) by Robin Cook
75 Night Of The Hawk (Patrick McLanahan, #2) by Dale Brown
76 Hammerheads by Dale Brown
77 The Turner Diaries by Andrew MacDonald
78 Counter Attack (Alan "Mac" McQueen #4) by Mark Abernethy
79 Shadows Of Steel (Patrick McLanahan, #5) by Dale Brown
80 Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
81 Bismarck: A Life by Jonathan Steinberg
82 Fatal Terrain by Dale Brown
83 The Tin Man (Patrick McLanahan, #7) by Dale Brown
84 Plague (A Medical Thriller) by Victor Methos
85 Justifiable (Riley Walker #1) by Dianna Love
86 299 Days: The Preparation by Glen Tate
87 Marker (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #5) by Robin Cook
88 Reprisal by Colin T. Nelson
89 War by Sebastian Junger
90 Defiant Patriot: The Life and Exploits of Lt. Colonel Oliver L. North by Peter Meyer
91 Shockwave: An Australian Combat Helicopter Crew In Vietnam by Peter Haran
92 Sniper: The True Story of Anti-Abortion Killer James Kopp by Jon Wells
93 Battle of the River Plate by Russell Phillips
94 The Phoenix Project by M.R. Pritchard
95 Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
96 Surgeon At War by J.C. Watts
97 The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg
98 Battle Born by Dale Brown
99 The Long Road To Rwanda by Simon Kelly
100 The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
101 A Hundred Years In The Highlands by Osgood Hanbury MacKenzie
102 The Crash of '79 by Paul Emil Erdman
103 The Last Days Of America by Paul Emil Erdman
104 The Runout Response by Phillip Kerrigan
105 Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
106 The Jerusalem Conspiracy by Ian McFarlane
107 Walden by Henry David Thoreau
108 Powers of Attorney by Mimi Latt
109 The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Abr 1, 2013, 4:28 am

110 America's Dumbest Criminals by Daniel Butler

This is a very light non-fiction read, perfect for reading a couple of pages at a time in the bathroom as you drop the kids off at the pool or as something light before bed when you're too tired for reading something in depth but not tired enough to sleep.

Overall, there's some funny stories, some stupid stories and some mediocre stories, all in all it's an easy read about the stupidity of some criminals and their ill conceived plans which predictably end in arrest.

So whether your looking to fill in some time whilst you're slaying brown dragons or just looking for a light read this one's a pretty good choice.

Abr 1, 2013, 6:44 pm

Wow! That is some list! Welcome to LT and welcome to this group. Looking forward to following your reading.

Abr 1, 2013, 7:09 pm

Have had quite a bit of free time so far this year ;)

Abr 1, 2013, 10:08 pm

111: Mirage by James Follett

Enjoyed this quite a bit, fictionalised account of Israel's theft of the Dassault Mirage Fighterjet plans.

Off to type up my review now.

Abr 2, 2013, 6:46 am

Welcome to the group, and LibraryThing! That's a mighty impressive list, congratulations for reaching 100 already. :)

Abr 2, 2013, 7:35 am

Thanks :)

Currently working on Private Berlin can't say I would buy it, bit meh, was a birthday gift so will read it then take it off to the book exchange if it continues to be average.

Abr 3, 2013, 7:18 am

112 - Private Berlin by James Patteron

Had a lot of potential with the historical context and creepy slaughterhouse involved in East German history/the Stasi but was sadly squandered and was basically a mass produced average murder mystery.

Abr 3, 2013, 4:26 pm

Welcome & wow on the numbers :)

Abr 3, 2013, 6:55 pm

Thanks & yeah a lot of spare time this year!

Abr 6, 2013, 9:28 pm

113 - The Los Alamos Contract by Arthur Mather

One word: meh.

It did however include this nifty competition, though I think I missed the entry cut off date of 1988

Abr 6, 2013, 9:56 pm

Impressive list!

Abr 7, 2013, 6:11 am

You just don't get that kind of competition in books these days :)

Abr 7, 2013, 6:18 am

13> If only, I'd probably own 100 cars now!

Abr 7, 2013, 9:28 pm

114 - Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience in Iran by Barry Rubin.

A really good look at Iran - review posted.

Abr 8, 2013, 1:17 am

Welcome to LT! Impressive list of books there.

Abr 8, 2013, 1:20 am

I'm wondering. Which one is his and which one is hers??

Abr 8, 2013, 1:54 am

16> Thanks mate

17> I think clearly the Camaro is 'his' and the sensible Caprice is 'hers' ;)

Abr 9, 2013, 10:46 pm

Yesterday & today's reading:

115 - Clean Kill
116 - The Last Nazi

Abr 10, 2013, 6:24 am

>19 HenriMoreaux: What did you think of Last Nazi? I read that one back in 2011.

Abr 10, 2013, 10:47 am

15 Nice review. Going to keep my eye out for a copy, it's a tad expsensive in the UK £122 brand new! So second hand it is.

Abr 10, 2013, 11:27 pm

20> Wasn't too bad, if you're a stickler for realism there's enough holes in the story to drive a truck through that being said however the story itself was pretty good.

21> Try abebooks? I think I saw it there pretty cheap. The updated penguin edition (1981 & on) has an updated chronology of events and some minor corrections.

Abr 11, 2013, 4:14 am

>22 HenriMoreaux: haha, yeah, definitely true. Fortunately (so long as we're talking about things in the truly fictional realm) I mostly read for entertainment, so while some things were a bit silly, I mostly enjoyed it. :)

Abr 11, 2013, 4:39 am

23> Yeah, it was good overall, I find some books though venture into the idiotic realm which I can't stand - I can enjoy a story as a story even if like The Last Nazi there's logic gaps, but some stories are just so horridly unrealistic and illogical I can't handle it.

If I wanted to read fantasy I'd read a fantasy or science fiction novel, but when I pick up, say for example a military action novel I'd like it to be remotely true to the actual real life procedures.

Abr 11, 2013, 6:01 am

Yeah, I'm okay with a little bit of fudging reality so long as it's not totally over the top. There was one book I read where the antagonist was a young {sociopathic} boy, and in order for him to accomplish all the bad things he was meant to do, the author apparently forgot she was dealing with a little boy and not, you know, a genius bodybuilding man. It was so annoying, because the story was otherwise pretty good, but when I'm sitting there repeatedly rolling my eyes because this 12r old little kid is dragging full grown women around and writing software and devising all sorts of devious schemes, you're not doing it right. heh.

Abr 11, 2013, 6:06 am

So true

Abr 11, 2013, 9:11 pm

117 - FOBBIT by David Adams

Enjoyed this one, a pretty funny satire about soldiers who spend the war trying never to leave the safe base.

Abr 16, 2013, 8:27 am

118 - Bright Star by Harold Coyle.

Pretty good war novel set in the middle east.

Editado: Abr 29, 2013, 10:34 pm

119 - Meltdown by Martin Baker
120 - Five hours from Isfahan by William Copeland
121 - Avalanche Express by Colin Forbes
122 - Drink With The Devil by Jack Higgins
123 - The Doomsday Ultimatum by James Follett

Of the 5, Avalanche Express & Doomsday Ultimatum were the most enjoyable.

Abr 30, 2013, 11:43 pm

124 - Cage of Eagles - James Follett

An enjoyable prisoner of war novel covering the exploits of German POWs in Britain.

Maio 30, 2013, 12:02 am

Have been a bit slack lately and not updated, my recent reads this month have been;

125. Hell is Always Today by Jack Higgins
126. The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson
127. Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Hall Caine
128. The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins
129. Toll For The Brave by Jack Higgins
130. The Facebook Diet by Gemini Adams
131. The Panic of '89 by Paul Erdman
132. Valhalla Exchange by Jack Higgins/Harry Patterson
133. Face of Death by Cody McFayden
134. The Life Story of A Badger by JC Tregarthan
135. Fade to Black by Jeffery Wilson
136. The Emperor of Germany, William I: A Life Sketch by Mayhew Athol
137. The Amazon And Its Wonders, Great Rivers Of The World: with illustrations of animal and vegetable life in the Amazonian Forest by WH Davenport
138. Bad Men by John Connolly

Maio 30, 2013, 8:02 pm

139. Killing Rommel by Stephen Pressfield - rather disappointed in this, could have been good had all the right ingredients but ruined itself; review on book page.

Jun 1, 2013, 9:53 pm

The Facebook Diet?? Fabulous title.

Jun 2, 2013, 12:47 am

Yup - got it on LT's early reviews program, was a pretty enjoyable book really!

Editado: Out 23, 2013, 8:44 am

Soooo, I've been a bit slack updating my reading list here and have actually just finished my 194th book now.

194. Cleg Kelly by Samuel Rutherford Crockett.

Written in 1896 it's now 120 years old and it's showing its age, most prominently the title itself 'Arab' now refers to the panethnic group primarily inhabiting Western Asia and North Africa however at the time of writing 'Arab' actually means street urchin (aka tramp).

The other way the book shows it's age is the rather (at times) complicated dialogue between characters. Set in Edinburgh, Scotland the speech is relayed to the reader in a somewhat phonetic bastardisation of English. Such as the following exchange between Vara Kavannah and Cleg Kelly;
"Cleg, gang awa' like a guid lad. Dinna come here ony mair--"
"Vara, what's wrang? What for will ye no open the door?"
"I canna, Cleg; she's here, lyin' on the floor in the corner. I canna turn the key, for she has tied me to the bed-foot"

So whilst it's not indecipherable it certainly breaks the reading experience when you need to pause and establish what exact has been said, but then it's also somewhat quaint to have to do so.

The story itself is interesting and follows Cleg Kelly from being tossed out of boarding school to establishing himself as a young gentleman and being both a troublemaker and a saviour to the young Vara Kavannah.

I quite liked the ending.

I also found reading the c1920 Nelson edition, which is blue cloth with a black swastika on it, when travelling on public transport gets you strange looks.

Editado: Out 23, 2013, 7:37 am

Henri, Cleg Kelly sounds interesting, I think I'll put that on my 'to read' list.

I have an old book of Kipling's poetry that has a swastika on it too. I think it was not related to the Nazis, but reading it in public might not be the best idea:


Editado: Out 23, 2013, 8:52 am

Was a pretty unique read, a different style of writing to the other books of the era that I've read.

Re book Swastikas, Thomas Nelson & Sons used it as a good luck symbol from early 1900 to late 1920 on both pocket editions and some of their sturdier full size hardcovers, it was actually a pretty common symbol during that era.

In regards to Kipling, there's a case to be made that he was introduced to it by via his father as a Hindu good luck symbol. An illustration baring the swastika by Kipling senior appears in Tales of the Punjab. Apparently as soon as Hitler came to global prominence as A Bad Guy circa 1936 Rudyard ordered the swastika be removed from all his publications.

Editado: Out 25, 2013, 7:06 am

195. Holiday Tales by Hymin Goldin.

"A book for every member of your family"

Holiday Tales written by Hymin Goldin in 1929 is certainly an "interesting" book. Religion and/or Judaism is not one of my usual reading interests however the quirky presentation piqued my curiosity just enough to justify picking up this 84 year old book.

Content wise the book addresses the mythology behind ten Jewish holidays, namely: Sabbath, Pesah (Passover), Lag Beomer, Shabuoth (Pentecost), Tishah B'ab (Ninth of Ab), Rosh Hashanah (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles), Hanukah & Purim.

I found it particularly.... discomforting that this book proudly states on the cover it's for every member of your family. The jovial cover and slightly larger text tend to indicate the publisher has in mind an audience made up of younger readers.

The reason for my discomfort is this book contains genocide, torture, murder of men, women & children, the cooking of human body parts as well as the suicide of children. I really don't see how these are acceptable topics for younger readers. Worse still, one segment of the book illustrates that asking questions is wrong - a person in the book after asking a question is struck down with leprosy. What better way to browbeat developing minds than tell them if they query anything they'll end up with a horrific disfiguring disease.

Overall a quaint book on Jewish mythology/legends that is easily read and digested.

Editado: Out 25, 2013, 7:06 am

196. Warrior Class by Dale Brown

This is the 9th book in the Patrick McLanahan series; it's still going strong and there is plenty of fresh material (and world crises) to keep the reader entertained.

However, I actually found it veering off a little from "high tech" to "unbelievable". I know authors like to push the technology envelope with these so called techno-thrillers, but part of the reason I've also enjoyed these Dale Brown books is they are for the most part based in reality with mostly believable technology enhancements. Now with the fancy suit that appears in 'Tin Man' coming back in the plot of this novel it just seems a bit, well, cheesy. I would have much preferred a more gritty battle scene than a wave of the hand and we've-got-a-fancy-suit-that-wins-no-matter-what-you-do fight.

The above may not matter to some readers, I just found some parts a little out of touch with the reasons I enjoy the books.

Overall, still a good book with plenty of action, conspiracies, subterfuge and high flying adventure.

Editado: Out 25, 2013, 7:44 pm

Thanks to a night of no sleep I've knocked off another book, this time the oldest one in my library from 1839.

197. The regal armorie of Great Britain, from the time of the Ancient Britons to the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria : the institution of chivalry, and the origin of emblematic insignia in ancient nations --- (My LT review)

Out 29, 2013, 5:24 am

198. A Knife Edge by David Rollins --- (my LT review)

Nov 1, 2013, 2:39 am

199. Poseidon's Arrow by Clive Cussler --- great book, review posted to LT

Nov 1, 2013, 7:35 am

For my 200th book this year I went for something a little bit special, a rare 1937 book on Air War history.

200. Air War: Its Technical and Social Aspects by Watson Pierce

Was a really interesting read --- thoughts/ LT review here

Nov 1, 2013, 8:28 am

Congratulations on 200 books read this year!

Nov 1, 2013, 5:44 pm

Why thank you, it's actually the first time I've ever read 200 in a year, I thought last year was pretty good with ~130 but even that was "cheating" with a lot of H Beam Piper short stories.

Nov 1, 2013, 6:00 pm

200? Wow...

Nov 1, 2013, 6:10 pm

Advantages of retirement: more time for reading.

Nov 2, 2013, 2:23 am

201. Rough Justice by Jack Higgins.

Very forgettable... LT review

Editado: Nov 4, 2013, 10:14 pm

202. History of the Present War with Russia (1855) Division I by Henry Tyrrell

Great book on the Crimean War, volume 1 of 6, enjoyed it --- LT review

Nov 4, 2013, 10:14 pm

203. The History of the Present War with Russia (1855) Division II by Henry Tyrrell

This volume paints a really vivid/dark, yet extremely enthralling picture of the Siege of Sebastopol in 1854 --- LT review

Nov 9, 2013, 7:05 pm

204: Uniform of Glory by PC Wren (1941) ... it was OK... LT Review

Nov 15, 2013, 6:09 am

205: Venom by Joan Brady.

This reading experience has cautioned me against getting anything else from this author.

Nov 29, 2013, 10:24 pm

Henri, you okay? It's been two weeks...

Nov 30, 2013, 5:41 am

I'd agree with your review of Venom, though I'd probably give 3 stars when I eventually finish adding in my books. I read it a few yrs back, got it for cheap from the 2ndhand bookshop. It started out pretty good but the end just got major wtf and turned ridiculous. :|