50 Books a year challenge.

Discussion in 'Books' started by AndrewTheAndroid, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    5. Queer by William S. Burroughs

    One of three books my girlfriend picked up for me when she was in the UK...as well as hot cross buns and creme eggs!!

    Autobiographical short by William Burroughs that recalls his time spent in Mexico City in the 40s.

    While in Mexico City avoiding imprisonment in the US ”Lee” meets, and falls for, a young ex-service man, Allerton. Lee becomes obsessive in his pursuit of Allerton who rejects his advances...most of the time...often humiliating Lee and making him perform more desperate attempts at winning over Allerton’s affections.

    Queer is a raw and honest look at aspects of addiction, obsession and sexuality. The novel can be considered a sequel to Junkie, Burroughs’ first novel and has a similar style and related themes. Both novels are quite conventional compared to his later works that used the cut-up technique, although you do see elements of the absurd and grotesque, common in Burroughs' work, creep into later parts of Queer. And despite the title, there's not a lot of Crisco action going on!

    I wouldn’t recommend the book to people not familiar with Burroughs or Beat lit. Junky for a regular crime and drugs fun. Naked Lunch for mad, filthy nonsense that makes no sense half the time. It's a very fast, short read, but there's a lot going on and definitely needs numerous reads to get to the depth of it all.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  2. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    Can anyone join in?

    This year has been very busy at work, so my reading so far has mostly been very light, not too much thinking stuff.

    1) Last Argument of Kings (last book in the first law trilogy) - Joe Abercrombie
    Great series by a great writer.

    2) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig
    Enjoyed it but pretty sure I missed a lot. Have to re-read it sometime.

    3) Talion Revenant - Stackpole Michael.
    A fantasy read, quite enjoyable.

    4) Unfettered Tales by Masters of Fantasy
    Don't know if this counts. A short story anthology, with some very good writers (Rothfuss, Brett, Brooks, Carey, and others).

    5, 6, 7, 8) Throne of Glass Series (first four books) - Sarah J. Mass
    Light fantasy, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing.

    9) Staked - Kevin Hearne
    Pseudo-Celtic fantasy.

    10, 11) Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1 and 2 - Brian Stavely
    Not sure how much I like this series yet. Have to see how it ends.
  3. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Did you like the anthology? I picked it up as it had a story by Michael J. Sullivan. I read that but haven't read the rest. I'm going to start his latest in a week or so.
  4. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    Actually, ""Unfettered and "Dangerous Women" are the two anthologies I've enjoyed the most, I don't usually like them, anthologies I mean.

    They both have quite a few authors that I really like, Sullivan being one of them, but a line up with Williams, Grossman, Lawrence, Sanderson, etc is very hard to resist, at least for me. The first short story that I ever read and thought, that's was good, was one of Sanderson's. So I think I'm pretty much the target audience.

    Another good thing about both of these, is that the authors are a decent cross-section of good authors of different types of fantasy, so if you're looking for a new author in a subgenre you particularly like, it's not a bad place to look and get a taste. If you like dark fantasy, Lawrence is your guy. Rich world-building and varied magic systems, Sanderson. A more "lyrical" approach, Rothfuss. "Darker politics", Martin. Politics + romance + something extra, Carey. Straight up romance, Gabaldon. Good magical mayhem, Butcher.

    If there's nothing there that someone likes... I don't think fantasy is their thing.
  5. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Ok. Thanks.

    Not a big fan of anthologies myself, whatever the genre. There's always a ton of fillers to make up the page numbers IMO. Maybe the publishers and editors just try and get a broad audience and expect and understand most people will not like half the stuff...either way, they aren't my thing either.

    I've been Meaning to read Lawrence, so the short in the anthology could be a good intro to his work.
  6. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    Lawrence is awesome but dark, he makes Martin seem almost cuddly. But the Broken Empire has one of the best antiheroes in the genre, at least in IMO from the books I've read. You can't help but root for the main character.
  7. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Do audio books count?
  8. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I liked it, and indeed it's why I then went on to read Sullivan.
  9. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    8. 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss

    The author promises to teach you how to escape the workaholic lifestyle of doing long hours and taking a few holidays for decades in order to save a bit of money for a boring retirement. He makes the point that bucket lists are best enjoyed when you still have youth, health and energy on your side. He offers an alternative lifestyle: taking regular "mini-retirements" throughout your life, such as backpacking through Asia for six months or circumnavigating the globe in a yacht. Taking these mini-retirements requires two important ingredients: time and money. Ferriss offers a system for streamlining work processes, such as 'working remotely' (like doing a business project from your laptop on a beach in Ko Samui instead of a drab office in Barnsley) and outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant. The guy has some brilliant ideas which obviously work, but I think they're more suited to specific types of business. In the end, I could really only take one or two pieces of advice and apply them in practical settings because my job (personal trainer & sports therapist) requires face-to-face contact with clients. However, those few tips have already given me more free time to start a couple of new qualifications. Definitely worth a read even if you only take a bit of it away and apply it to your own life.

    9. 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' by Robert M. Pirsig

    One of the best philosophy books I've come across, possibly because it was so easy to read. Its valuable life lessons are woven into the story of a father and son on a road trip across America. It isn't written in an insulting "Basic Philosophy for Idiots" style; Persig treats his readers with respect and assumes they are intelligent creatures, capable and willing to open their mind to alternative persoectives. I found this book very uplifting and motivational.

    10. 'Desert Solitaire' by Edward Abbey

    This is a collection of the author's thoughts and experiences throughout his career as a park ranger in the American midwest. Abbey reflects on a number of themes such as changing landscapes, politics and tourism, which still have relevance today even though he wrote the book in 1968. A pleasant read.

    11. 'The Left Hand of Darkness' by Ursula Le Guin

    Ugh. Hated this. I picked it up after asking a friend to recommend good science fiction, but this was awful. It felt too dated. Like '1984' by George Orwell and 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley, I found Le Guin's novel tedious and boring. I must have re-started reading it at least a half-dozen times but never made it more than halfway. So I'm probably cheating a bit by including it on my 50BAY list, but I'm adding it because I genuinely made an effort to get through it.

    12. 'Make Me' (Jack Reacher 20) by Lee Child

    I hoped this would be an antidote to the mental fatigue I developed from trying to work through 'The Left Hand of Darkness.' In comparison, 'Make Me' was the literary equivalent of doing a mountain of coke off a stripper's bosom while riding a rollercoaster in a hurricane. I've been a fan of Child's easy-read prose for a long time, even though we all know Reacher's height was a typo (a guy that badass would be a 5'4 taekwondo black belt, not a 6'5 NFL lineback... I mean, c'mon). I'll be honest though, I think one of the main reasons I finished it is because I'm a Reacher fan. Child seems to have lost a step in the last couple of books, I don't know whether he's burnt out with his main character or he's just genuinely run out of fresh ideas.
  10. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Well he was played by Tom Cruise in the film (which it why I refuse to go and see it!).
  11. iovitas

    iovitas New Member

    I've challenged myself to read one book weekly and it's going surprisingly well. I've read a thriller first time in my life and I wonder why so late! I recommend Tess Gerritsen if you like good thrillers!

  12. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Let's not even go there...
  13. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

    Fallen way behind on this challenge.
    Just finished Buddhism one teacher many traditions.

    It has a few gems of wisdom in it, however unless you know Buddhist terminology then you have to slug through it like I did. Definitely not for the layman.
  14. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Damn it, just deleted my post by mistake.

    I'm a little behind too (by 6 books Goodreads tells me). I ended up binge watching a whole bunch of TV series...Family Guy and I don't even like it. Didn't read anything for a few weeks.

    For some reason lot's of books that became films

    6. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

    7. Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton

    8. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

    9. Joe by Larry Brown

    10. Anger is an Enemy by John Lydon

    11. Junky by William Burroughs

    12. Facing the Music by Larry Brown

    13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling.
  15. Pearlmks

    Pearlmks Valued Member

    Been a while since I updated this list.

    So I found some paperback Louis L'Amour lying about, which I always enjoy:

    12: Comstock Lode

    13: Guns of the Timberlands

    14: Last of the Breed

    15: The Daybreakers

    16: Mojave Crossing

    17: The Sackett Brand

    18: The Man Called Moon

    19: The Iron Marshall

    Lots of people seem to hate and dislike L'Amour, but I find them entertaining.

    I've also decided to risk my kindle in the subway, so I'm reading more.

    By Tim Stead, The Sparrow and the Wolf Trilogy:

    20. Seventh Friend

    21. Bloodstained God

    22. Pity Stone

    And OK fantasy trilogy, lots of Deus ex Machina going around.

    Tried the first four books of the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Burst, couldn't get into it. I don't like time jumps all over the place and not the best writing.

    23. Jhereg

    24. Yendi

    25. Teckla

    26. Taltos

    I think that's all of them, might have forgotten some. I'm really looking forward to the new jim Butcher coming out soon.

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