Author Topic: Books Read in 2013  (Read 4493 times)

Corndog

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 08:10:51 PM »
1. Mornings on Horseback (1981) by David McCullough
A wonderful read about the blossoming of my favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt. McCullough tells an honest and compelling account of what made him the Rough Rider. Need to check out more McCullough.
***1/2 - Great
2. In Harm's Way (2001) by Doug Stanton
An extremely engaging read which takes a very nice twist on the history prose style. Instead, Stanton includes a very nice narrative style which really makes the story come to life and the real men shine even more. A harrowing, unbelievable tale of the survivors of the USS Indianapolis, the ship which delivered the atomic bomb to the Pacific Theater, only to be torpedoed down. The story of these men, those who survived as well as those that died, shows true courage and the will of the human spirit.
***1/2 - Great
3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (c.1590-1596) by William Shakespeare
I am quickly learning what a pleasure it is to read Shakespeare. His use of language is so beautiful and fun to read. As for the story itself, I understand it is a light comedy by construct, but I could not help but feel how very slight the story was. I read it in just a few hours time, but the characters seemed shallow and their love crosses too neatly resolved. Again, a great joy to read the language, but in terms of story I felt it was a bit lacking.
*** - Very Good
4. Macbeth (c.1603-1607) by William Shakespeare
I had read some of this, as I recall, in high school, but had not remembered much of it. Easily the darkest of Shakespeare's work that I have read to date, and the language reflects it somewhat. I found it harder to read with less of a flowery flow, though I would certainly not go so far as to call it ugly. I did not enjoy it as much as I was expecting to, but it is still a solid story. I'm beginning to realize how much of the experience must be lost by not seeing these as stage plays as well.
*** - Very Good
5. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (c.1590-1591) by William Shakespeare
I was surprised to read that this is considered to be one of his lesser works, as I found it to be up to par with what I have read to date, and it is a real nice, fun little ditty. It did feel similar what I had seen in A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the switching of affections and its light comedic touch. The wonderful language returns here as well. I just marvel at how easy the language, which is so different from what I am used to, is to read. It flows magically and rolls off the tongue.
*** - Very Good
6. Grimm's Fairy Tales (1812) by Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm
It seems a fair bit strange to just now be actually reading them. I say that because these are stories I have seen or have heard time and again throughout my youth. It is truly amazing to see how many times they have been used, and how lasting they really are. I think it a testament to the writing and to the genius of the Grimm's that, having never actually read them myself, I was familiar with so many even 200 years after they published these famed Fairy Stories. I am glad I was able to be treated not only to the original styling of so many classic stories, but was also able to enjoy the ones I had never heard before.
*** - Very Good
7. As You Like It (c.1599-1600) by William Shakespeare
Too much love triangle and a cacophony of characters who dislike one another, yet fall in love with others. It became a bit dizzying, although, once again, some spectacular language here from the artist Shakespeare. Of course a few of his most classic lines, of which I did not know came from this source. Overall a bit average if I'm being honest. Not a complete bore, but never really something I was very much into and excited to continue to its finish.
**1/2 - Average
8. The Merchant of Venice (c.1596-1598) by William Shakespeare



**1/2 - Average
9. Room (2010) by Emma Donoghue
It took a while to finally warm up to the unique style in which the book is written. Narrated from the perspective of a five year old is an interesting approach, and I was surprised how settled into I managed to get. The book has its strengths. I would say that it was a book that kept me wanting to read it. I was curious where it would go, but not necessarily in the sense that I couldn't put it down, compelled by what was happening, just wasn't sure where it might go. Liked it's perspective on the value of things, how fortunate we are to have what we have and who we have.
*** - Good
10. Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of the Civil War (2005) by Bruce Levine
This was a book difficult to really get into due to the argument style of Levine. It seems a bit of a scatterbrain approach to the subject of the antebellum US as it attempts to cover various topics and capture the culture of both the North and South during this time frame. Oddly enough it doesn't make any strong arguments until the final chapter, in which the evidence Levine uses often cites the arguments of others, such as Jefferson Davis. It has enough to get by, and enough to consider for the avid Civil War/history buff. But it doesn't make for a very leisurely read. Put your scholarly thinking cap on for this one, and don't take it all to heart.
**1/2 - Average
11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky
After having seen, and loved the film, I had to sit down with this book eventually. In fact, it had been recommended to me by a friend before I ever saw the film, so it should be no surprise in fact that I loved the book too. Chbosky has a way of getting right to the heart of a matter through his lead character Charlie, who, for me, is infinitely relatable. I also feel as though Charlie is the type of character that could alienate people. If you cannot connect with his mindset and struggle, then the book probably won't do it for you. But because I can relate so much to the things that Charlie goes through, and the feelings he experiences along the way, this one is a sentimental, personal pick that will stay on my bookshelf until old age.
***1/2 - Great
12. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams
Of course the love for this book around here goes without saying, so I decided to pick it up and try it out, especially since it's not even that long. What an easy read! I really enjoyed it once I settled into all the weird names and things (which always seems to be a hump for me when it comes to sc-fi/fantasy; ruins my flow trying to pronounce everything). The characters are fun, the dialogue is perfectly witty, and the story keeps us in enough to be interested. I would almost say the story takes a back seat to the interplay between characters though, which is fine because Adams has managed to create some great characters and dialogue. I wonder if the rest of the series is worth checking out?
***1/2 - Great
Currently Reading:
13. Casino Royale (1953) by Ian Fleming
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 05:02:29 PM by Corndog »
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oldkid

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 12:15:58 AM »
Books read:
A Tale of Time City by Diane Wynne Jones 3.5/5
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander 4/5
The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander 4.5/5
The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander 3.5/5
Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander 4.5/5
The Brethren by John Grisham 2.5/5
The Gunslinger by Stephen King 2.5/5
Jennifer Government by Max Berry 4.5/5
Hamlet by some dead white guy 4/5
The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King 3.5/5
Gunningkrigg Court by Tom Siddell 4.5/5
The Waste Lands by Stephen King 3.5/5
The Book of Nonsense 3.5/5
The Book of Knowledge  3.5/5
Marpeck: A Life of Dissent and Conformity 3/5
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King 3/5
Family Skeletons by Rett MacPherson 3.5/5
The Litigators by John Grisham 3.5/5
The Racketeer by John Grisham 4/5


Currently reading:
Poverty of Spirit by Johannes Metz
A Veiled Antiquity by Rett MacPherson
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 09:48:27 AM by oldkid »
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oneaprilday

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 10:44:20 PM »
Books read:


Currently reading:
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope*



*a re-read

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 09:37:06 PM »
An overdue update:
February
20-On the Incarnation (Athanasius)

March
1-The Violent Bear it Away (Flannery O'Connor)

April
1-The Giver (Lois Lowry)
4-A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter M. Miller Jr.)
5-Ringworld (Larry Niven)

Read more, people!

AAAutin

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 12:17:34 PM »
01.) HICK by Andrea Portes
02.) SAVAGES by Don Winslow
03.) STAY GOD by Nik Korpon
04.) THE SHAPE OF THINGS by Neil LaBute
05.) LEVIATHAN by Paul Auster
06.) GRAVESEND by William Boyle
07.) THE FASHION OF THE CHRIST by Brandon Tietz
08.) NOVA PARADE edited by Martin Garrity & Nathan Pettigrew
09.) IN SEARCH OF A CITY: LOS ANGELES IN 1000 WORDS edited by Michael Paul Gonzalez
10.) THE BOOKED. ANTHOLOGY edited by Pela Via
11.) BALTIMORE STORIES (Volume 1) by Nik Korpon
12.) BAR SCARS by Nik Korpon
13.) YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE by Jonathan Ames
14.) SHAKEDOWN by James Ellroy
15.) WHAT PRECISION, SUCH RESTRAINT by Phil Jourdan
16.) BY THE NAILS OF THE WARPRIEST by Nik Korpon
17.) READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
18.) SPEEDLOADER edited by Jonathan Woods
19.) BALTIMORE STORIES (Volume 2) by Nik Korpon
20.) CIPHER SISTERS edited by Amanda Gowin & Michael Paul Gonzalez
21.) OLD GHOSTS by Nik Korpon
22.) THE BLOWTORCH'S BIG BOOK OF BASKETBALL FACTS by Trey Kerby
23.) ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
24.) QUINTESSENCE OF DUST by Craig Wallwork
25.) CIENFUEGOS by Chris Deal
26.) STRANGE WAY OUT by Troy Blackford
27.) HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
28.) THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCH by Leo Tolstoy

(Still haven't finished CLOUD ATLAS...)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 10:08:39 AM by AAAutin »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 12:35:04 PM »
(Still haven't finished CLOUD ATLAS...)
:D

I do need to update my list. Read a few books since my last update.


jswysin

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 05:56:14 PM »
1. Carter Beats the Devil (Glen David Gold)
2. The Giver (Lois Lowry)
3. Room (Emma Donaghue)
4. 12 Years a Slave (Solomon Northup)
5. The Man From Primrose Lane (James Renner)
6. Fiend (Peter Stenson)
7. Idaho Winter (Tony Burgess)
8. Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)
9. Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
10. Snuff (Chuck Palahniuk)
11. Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey (Chuck Palahniuk)
12. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) *

*- reread

verbALs

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2013, 10:49:11 AM »
Goodreads sent me a congratulations you have read 23 books this year e-mail. I like Goodreads.

Just about to finish Graham Greene's "Ministry of Fear" so that's 2 books a month. No, I don't think 24 in a year is good going or anything, but one every 2 weeks sounds like a decent rate (sitting in a hospital room for 2 weeks didn't do any harm in this regard).

Top 3 of the year;

1. Germinal
2. The Heart of the Matter
3. A Clockwork Orange

I promised myself I would move more into "classics". These three books may be the most depressing books I've ever read. I read them one after another. I put down "Crime & Punishment" because anymore despair might have given me the heebie-jeebies.

I've said it before, book covers are really pretty.


Worst book of the year? "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson.....techno-tosh. I nearly finished it, but then I threw it somewhere.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 10:53:05 AM by verbALs »
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smirnoff

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2013, 10:59:07 AM »
Worst book of the year? "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson.....techno-tosh. I nearly finished it, but then I threw it somewhere.

Every time I've tried to read a book by Stephenson I feel like I must not have been paying enough attention in school, cause I just don't get it.

Did Moonshine War do anything for you?

Sandy

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Re: Books Read in 2013
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2013, 10:59:49 AM »
You're right verbALs, those covers are great. I like The Outfit the most. Did you have to pick the 3 roughest ones as your top 3?! Sheesh, I don't think I can go there at this juncture. :D Maybe at some point I'll have enough fortitude to check them out.
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