The 'Read 52 Books in 2015 Challenge' Thread Page 6

  • CosmicFuzz 23 Jan 2015 07:57:18 32,585 posts
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    Finished Secret of Life and Death yesterday. An urban fantasy novel, which was quite good but not really my thing. 6/10

    That's me up to 3 books now, on track! Bring on week 4.
  • JoelStinty 23 Jan 2015 10:11:31 8,922 posts
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    Bit behind this week. About two thirds of the way through The race against the Stasi by herbie Sykes It's fantastic. It's about cycling in East Germany, and how they had their own Tour de France called the peace race. It follows a cyclist called Dieter Wiedmann who the author realises he has seen elsewhere. The 1967 Tour de France, so he sets out to investigate.

    What follows is a thrilling story of Cold War espionage, politics and defections. It so good. It presented in interview format, so the first half of the book is just the various people invovled talking about the narrative that is building, it is interjected by the odd Stasi report and neus Deutschland article that helps that. After a certain event the second half of the book follows the same format, but focuses more on the Stasi reports to carry the story on. I'm really enjoying it. It playing out like the best Cold War stories. It shouldn't take me too long to finish.

    Since it is hardback I havnt been taking it to work, so I started hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world yesterday. Not far in.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2015 10:16:12
    @JoelStinty

    Sounds like a great book. Gonna put it on my list. Hard Boiled Wonderland is one of the lesser Murakami books Imo. Still worth reading.
  • JoelStinty 23 Jan 2015 10:23:19 8,922 posts
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    @zoolophage yeah I read it last year, and I agree. I didn't get on with it that well compared to some of his others. But I've to started to read authors in a chronological order at the moment ...don't ask why, just am :)
  • Deleted user 27 January 2015 16:17:26
    I've been ploughing through The Magic Mountain over the past 10 days or so. It's going fine, enjoying it quite a bit. Then there is a critical conversation between two of the characters, half a dozen pages entirely in French, so I'm none the wiser as to what was said. Apparently it was considered appropriate to speak French between the upper classes.
  • Deleted user 30 January 2015 06:17:50
    Week 5

    So the fifth week is upon us and I'm still reading The Magic Mountain. Reading it has become a bit of a ritual. Train arrives - read The Magic Mountain. Train leaves for home at night time - read The Magic Mountain. I should have finished I by this weekend. Then I'll have to choose a new book!
  • Malek86 30 Jan 2015 06:20:07 10,158 posts
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    I still need to finish the last two books of In Search of Lost Time. Needless to say, I'm unlikely to read a lot of other books this year.
  • Deleted user 30 January 2015 06:34:40
    @Malek86

    How have you found it? Which translation did you read (or are you reading in in French?)
  • JoelStinty 30 Jan 2015 09:39:31 8,922 posts
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    Finished the race against the Stasi , really enjoyed it. A nicely put together book. About 2/3rds the way through hard boiled wonderland and having the same issues with it as last time, although I have a better understanding of it this time round. It sort of playing out like an anime which when reading in novel form is a bit weird. Should have it finished by weekends end.
  • CosmicFuzz 30 Jan 2015 09:41:50 32,585 posts
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    I've not read anything this week :( poor show cosmic.

    Will try and read two books next week to make up for it, although one of them on my pile is I Am Pilgrim which is like 800 pages so might push that back until the week after...
  • Deleted user 30 January 2015 11:55:06
    @CosmicFuzz

    Maybe try reading in the morning commute and gaming on the night time commute. Otherwise you might find you're only gaming or only reading.
  • CosmicFuzz 30 Jan 2015 12:28:07 32,585 posts
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    @zoolophage yeah, that's not a bad shout actually. Think I'll try and smash through Dangonronpa 2 over the weekend and then juggle a book and a game next week.
  • Malek86 30 Jan 2015 17:30:48 10,158 posts
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    @zoolophage it's the Italian translation by Newton (a newer one, I think). I really like it. When I eventually finish it, it's going to be hard to go back to a non-Proust book.

    Although it's just as well, because I really need to try other authors (Queneau for example).
  • Deleted user 6 February 2015 06:23:52
    Week 6

    Week 6 begins and I'm still reading The Magic Mountain. Had a bit of a cold so slacked off in the last few days. Will definitely finish it today, which will bring me up to 7 books for the year. Not a bad start.
  • JoelStinty 6 Feb 2015 10:19:15 8,922 posts
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    I finished hard boiled wonderland, and it still kind of sucks. It has its moments but it doesn't quite click. It's like Murikami hasn't quite honed his skills. The ending is a good example of this, the well observed details of coming to terms with your own death is wonderfully insightful but is littered with pop culture references everywhere, it kind of jars. All though I did get a better grasp of the book second time round. It kind of plays out more like a film/anime then a novel.

    Started reading Gullivers Travels by Jonathan swift this week.

    Just finished the first part , really enjoying it. The prose is sometimes a bit 'old'(As you expect from a book published in 1726), so I can read through large parts of it fine,then a passage will completely confuse me. But other than that it is really interesting. A pretty damning insightment of Man, no matter how small you are. It not what I was expecting. It has political jousting of a Henry 7th era lunacy with quite severe potential punishments of the human body, how this is often presented as a children's story in film form I do not know! How swift turns gullivers good deeds to the Lilliputians into 'perceived' state crimes was I thought quite masterful. Looking forward to the otheir travels.

    Edited by JoelStinty at 10:23:58 06-02-2015
  • Deleted user 13 February 2015 06:20:36
    Week 7

    Still slightly ahead of the curve with 8 books read. Currently reading book 1 of the 'Southern Reach Trilogy'. It's not great. I feel like it should be better than it is.
  • JoelStinty 13 Feb 2015 06:25:07 8,922 posts
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    Had a rubbish week, only managed the second part of Gullivers travels. It didn;t engage me as much as the first part, until the last few pages where it had a pretty big uppercut at travelouges which was rather amusing.
  • CosmicFuzz 13 Feb 2015 08:07:58 32,585 posts
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    Let's see... End of week 6 and I'm on 5 books. Dammit!

    Gave up on Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, as I just could get on with it one bit.

    Finished Elizabeth is Missing yesterday though, great read about a woman with Alzheimer's trying to find her missing friend, whilst flashing back to the disappearance of her sister when she was younger. Really well written, certainly made me dread ever getting (or someone close to me getting) the disease. Lots of confusing paragraphs that you as a reader understand what's going on even as the character is confused.
  • Deleted user 20 February 2015 06:22:37
    Week 8

    The start of week 8. Have read 10 books so far this year. I'm currently reading a book about victorian explorers' search for the source of the Nile. Really interesting. I doubt I'll manage to read 52 books this year but don't really care. Always having a book on the go is the thing. It's working so far and reading almost every day isn't so hard to fit in. I'll do a summary/recommendations later.
  • JoelStinty 20 Feb 2015 09:16:11 8,922 posts
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    I finished gullivers travels, I really enjoyed it. Not what I was expecting at all.

    Started sign of the four which I'm rattling through. Good so far.

    Edited by JoelStinty at 09:27:07 20-02-2015
  • Deleted user 20 February 2015 09:19:13
    Can't go wrong with Sherlock Holmes.
  • Deleted user 20 February 2015 09:32:27
    Post deleted
  • Deleted user 27 February 2015 06:22:33
    Week 9

    The start of week 9 and I've read 11 books so far, most of them non fiction. Now I'm reading Race Against The Stasi. I've been strict and stuck to reading 1 book at a time. I really must try to do the same with my gaming.

    After RATS is done I'm going to start The Story of The Stone/Dream of the Red Chamber series.
  • JoelStinty 27 Feb 2015 10:05:41 8,922 posts
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    Mr-Zoo wrote:
    Week 9

    The start of week 9 and I've read 11 books so far, most of them non fiction. Now I'm reading Race Against The Stasi. I've been strict and stuck to reading 1 book at a time. I really must try to do the same with my gaming.

    After RATS is done I'm going to start The Story of The Stone/Dream of the Red Chamber series.
    Hope you enjoy race against the Stasi. I enjoyed it, but I do like cycling.

    I finished Sherlock holmes, 'twas good. On Soul music by Terry Pratchett. Been reading the series in order, and his writing you can see improve over that time. Anyway, death is having an existentialist crisis, a dwarf, human and troll decide to form a band, and everyone is seeming to ignore the safe and sensible rule of the heart. It's very funny, and intriguing so far.
  • PazJohnMitch 27 Feb 2015 11:18:09 15,986 posts
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    Finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. So still on for my 12 books in 12 months mini challenge.
  • Humperfunk 27 Feb 2015 11:27:48 8,196 posts
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    On page 1,158 of Stephen King's The Stand. One day I will finish it.
  • Deleted user 27 February 2015 12:04:00
    @Humperfunk

    Page 1158!? How long is The Stand?
  • Deleted user 27 February 2015 12:22:24
    @JoelStinty

    I was a bit surprised at the interview style narrative of Race Against the Stasi but I'm getting used to it (at page 100 now). Looking at the inner workings of the GDR through the lens of sport is novel and interesting. The transcripts from the archives really bring home how endemic the Stasi's reach was. Seems like you couldn't be neutral - you were either a loyal socialist or an enemy of the state.
  • Humperfunk 27 Feb 2015 15:29:42 8,196 posts
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    @Mr-Zoo It is a bit of an epic mate! Not sure exactly how many pages but my Kindle says I'm on 87% so FINALLY getting near the end! I've loved it though, really looking forward to seeing how it all ends, as you can imagine after that long :D
  • Deleted user 3 March 2015 20:27:12
    JoelStinty wrote:
    Mr-Zoo wrote:
    Week 9

    The start of week 9 and I've read 11 books so far, most of them non fiction. Now I'm reading Race Against The Stasi. I've been strict and stuck to reading 1 book at a time. I really must try to do the same with my gaming.

    After RATS is done I'm going to start The Story of The Stone/Dream of the Red Chamber series.
    Finished Race Against The Stasi and quite enjoyed it. Definitely a good read for anyone interested in life behind the iron curtain and it was great to learn about The Peace Race, something I'd never heard of before. I see there's another East German book available on amazon for only 99p:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Love-Story-German-Family/dp/1782270426/

    It's the story of a different generations of a family in East Germany over a 40 year period.
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