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Old 25th Dec 2017, 11:34   #1
Ang
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Default Palimplists 2018

January
Reading short stories for Mookse Madness (Mookse and Gripes GoodReads discussion group)
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Last edited by Ang; 6th Jan 2018 at 15:18.
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 1:53   #2
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Front-pager again!

1. Pachinko - Min Jin Lee - Debated between three and four stars. I feel like the writing was somewhat more serviceable than skillful, and the plot was interesting rather than brilliant. Different take on the typical immigrant story, with this one from the perspective of Korean immigrants in Japan through the 20th century. Worth a read for that alone, if you have interest in either culture and/or immigration.
2. Great English Short Stories - Dover collection (current)
3. Call for the Dead - John le Carré - Nice short introductory novel from le Carré, with an interesting, if not brilliant, plot and surprisingly good writing, at times, for a first novel. Still some clunky emotional outbursts that come from nowhere, as I remember from another of his early novels I read recently (The Looking-Glass War), and I will be curious to see if these sorts of scenes feel less forced in his later works. Very enjoyable.
4. Flatland - Edwin Abbott - An odd little work that may not be for everyone, although I enjoyed it. Written from the point of view of a "person" (actually a geometric shape) living in a two-dimensional existence to whom is revealed the wonder of a third dimension. Very clever in puzzling through how a being in a two-dimensional world could even contemplate an additional dimension; in laying out this process, he also argues that an infinite number of dimensions likely exists, even though those of us who experience three dimensions are unable to comprehend a fourth or fifth or sixth. I believe the author mostly wrote this to explain mathematical concepts to his students or to the public, but I see suggestions that he was commenting upon Victorian society, as well. Nice, quick read.
5. The Power of the Dog - Thomas Savage - (current)
6. Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol (current)
7. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde (current)
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 22:34   #3
Noumenon
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Default Re: Palimplists 2018

01 Fever Dream, Samantha Schweblin (translated by Megan McDowell from "Distancia de rescate")
Notes?

02 The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart (in progress)
Jan 21st Update: I'm about to start the third and final novel in this compiled trilogy with some enthusiasm. The first book, Bridge of Birds, was spectacularly fun. The second, The Story of the Stone, merely good. I hope Eight Skilled Gentlemen at least halts the trend!

03 After Phoenix, Martine McDonagh
Subtitled "The Absurdity of Family Life Can Conquer All", this is
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 12:19   #4
David
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Novels Short Story Collections Non-Fiction

January

001. (current) The Barrowfields - Phillip Lewis, 2017
002. Collected Short Stories, Volume 1 - W. Somerset Maugham, 1951
003. (current) The Liar's Asylum - Jacob M. Appel, 2017

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Old 31st Dec 2017, 2:01   #5
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3. War Dances - Sherman Alexie
2. Island Home - Tim Winston
1. Lab Girl - Hope Jahren (current)
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 14:07   #6
elwood
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Cool Booklist 2018

Books: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Films: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

- Outrage (2008) ~ Arnaldur Indriğason
- Black Skies (2009) ~ Arnaldur Indriğason
- Strange Shores (2010) ~ Arnaldur Indriğason
- Reykjavík Nights (2012) ~ Arnaldur Indriğason
- Oblivion (2014) ~ Arnaldur Indriğason
- Plainsong (1999) ~ Kent Haruf
- The Burgess Boys (2013) ~ Elizabeth Strout
- Play to Kill (2010) ~ PJ Tracy
- Darktown (2016) ~ Thomas Mullen
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 21:48   #7
lurgee
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January

1 - Worth Dying For, by Lee Childs. Book does not live up to title, which, with hindsight, doesn't even make sense. I am a queasy about the adulation of a violent man. Readable, but unpleasant, obvious and pointless. No star
2 - Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolf. Donald Trump is POTUS, didn't you hear? He's a bit of a card. Written rather in the style of a tabloid trash fest but wanting to be a Work of Significance. Certainly makes you think "WTF" frequently. **
3 - Voyages of Delusion, by Glyn Williams. The search for the Northwest Passage in places where it wasn't. Interesting account of overlooked exploration; but not for beginners. **
? - Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Ongoing. Question - if your name was the perfectly sensible James Mitchell, would you call yourself Gibbon?
? - Return to the Beginning, by Edgar Snow. Ongoing. It concerns China and the rise Mao.
? - Devil in The Fog, by Leon Garfield. Ongoing. Sort of like Dickens, but shorter.
? - A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway. Ongoing. Supposedly a great war novel, though greatness and war are not very apparent.


**** - something of great significance. A pinnacle of achievement. A classic. A landmark. You get the idea.
*** - a remarkable accomplishment, but lacking the originality or genius spark of four star work.
** - a good effort that will reward investigation.
* - something lifts this a little bit above the run of common things, though it is generally undistingushed.
No star - a routine affair that might be adequate enteraintment, but can certainly be passed by.
- awarded only to those special books so awful that (with all due respect) the author should not have bothered. These are books that will actively make your life worse, rather than just wasting a portion of it.

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Old 7th Jan 2018, 5:17   #8
bill
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Default Re: Palimplists 2018

1. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
2. Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife by William H. Gass
3. Flashfire by Donald E. Westlake 1/2
4. Home Land by Sam Lipsyte 1/2
5. The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
6. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
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Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:50   #9
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Default Re: Palimplists 2018

7. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte ½
6. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning - Allan Sillitoe Grittily of its time and grim
5. The Lost Prince - David Baldwin
4. Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders
3. How to Stop Time - Matt Haig
2. The Christmasaurus - Tom Fletcher
1. The Last Post - Ford Madox Ford
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 0:43   #10
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Default Re: Palimplists 2018

Ignoring the several gazzillion Comic Books:

Necromancer
by Gordon R Dickson - a 1963 SF novel well in the van Vogtian tradition with two factions fighting a secret (and not so secret) war for the future of humanity, a dead (but resurrected) one-armed hero getting himself killed (and resurrected again - this time with both arms), and back of an envelope philosophy explained in complex self-strangling metaphor.
Quote:
Blunt nodded, slowly like an old man. It was not clear whether he had understood and was agreeing, or whether he had given up the attempt to understand and was merely being agreeable.
I know how he felt.
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