Hirotani's - 2013, 75 book challenge

Se habla de75 Books Challenge for 2013

Únase a LibraryThing para publicar.

Hirotani's - 2013, 75 book challenge

Este tema está marcado actualmente como "inactivo"—el último mensaje es de hace más de 90 días. Puedes reactivarlo escribiendo una respuesta.

1hirotani
Ene 21, 2013, 12:46am

Well a new year and a new set of books to read. The year always starts off, for me, by reading the books which my family get for my Christmas and birthday. This year was no exception. I started and finished the first of the Percy Jackson books and liked it so much, I bought the second one for myself and finished that as well! They are fun reading and I understand why my great nephews and nieces like them so much. Fast paced, well written, interesting (makes me try to remember the little Greek mythology I was taught!) and written with a wry sense of humour that is really engaging.

I changed track somewhat and read a Nevil Shute book - a very early one, written in the 1920's. Like all books written at this time - it contained racial and religious slurs - which always make them a trial to read. But the story was OK - if a little odd but I enjoyed it. I then read a book by the Canadian author who wrote the Murdoch Mysteries which are on TV. This book was set in modern day Ontario and it was fun reading of somewhere I lived a long time ago. Well written, good characters whom I liked. The only flaw to this one, and its a big one for who dunit, is I guessed the murderer around 25% into the book and the studied avoidance of the police characters in the book to not see the connection got more than a little trying. I persisted and finished the book - and I am pleased I did, but this is not the way to write a murder mystery. So enjoyable - but lacking.

Next I finished a Harry Potter book which was an enormous read. I actually started this one in 2012 but only finished it in 2013 - so I am going to count it in this year's list. A very good book which explained so much more than the similar titled movie. I then finished a Ken Follet which was OK. The story was fine - the continued graphic references to torture, while appropriate for the story line, did not endear me to the book. I read it, I enjoyed the excitement of the book - I hated the overly (in my opinion) detailed emphasis on torture (albeit - it was a key central theme of the book).

1. Percy Jackson and Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan
2. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
3. So Disdained by Nevil Shute
4. The K Handshape by Mureen Jennings
5. Jackdaws by Ken Follett

2drneutron
Ene 21, 2013, 8:49am

Welcome! Looks like a good set of books to start the year.

3alcottacre
Ene 21, 2013, 8:50am

I enjoy Nevil Shute's books although, like most of the books of the period, they suffer from racism.

Welcome to the group!

4hirotani
Ene 21, 2013, 11:21am

Oops I forgot to detail the Harry Potter that I mentioned above! I love Shute's books he really was an amazing good story teller. Also he seemed to be able create a satisfying book from remarkably little story. However, as we both alluded - his earlier books in particular do suffer (as all books from that time do) from racism. Some mild, some terrible - but all have it. I read a lot on my Kindle and consequently read a lot of out of print and older books - and they seem to universally suffer from these issues.

Anyway, now to record the Harry Potter!

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

5hirotani
Ene 25, 2013, 1:25am

One more (nearly the last!) Christmas book bites the dust. Just finished Nagio Marsh's, A Surfeit of Lampreys. A clever title based on how the King John of England (he of Magna Carta fame) died. He died of a surfeit of lampreys - small eel like fish that gorged himself on (or so the story goes). In the case of detective book - Inspector Alleyn investigates the death of a Lord whose relatives (the Lampreys - lots of them) are implicated in his murder. A very enjoyable read, well paced with characters that are charming and whom I liked. Recommend it:

7. A Surfeit of Lampreys by Ngaio Marsh

6tjblue
Ene 25, 2013, 7:31am

Hi John!! Glad to see you in the 75 group and it looks like you're off to a good start. I've got you starred, so I can follow your thread.

7hirotani
Ene 30, 2013, 10:55pm

I thought I would move to the 75 challenge as I made the 50 last year and nearly got to 75, just missed it.

8hirotani
Ene 30, 2013, 11:03pm

I finished the second of the Charile Chan books this week. More of a light romantic comedy than a true who dunit - with lots of 1930's flippant chit chat! I was surprised to see "French Fries" was a meal option in California back in the 30s! I always connect the term with modern fast food - but its obviously been around a long time. They were eaten by a main character with steak - unfortunately the steak fought back but he met a beautiful girl in the process of fishing his steak out of her lap. Well I did tell you that this was as much a light comedy as a detecive novel. I enjoyed this book. Not great literature - but nicely written, interesting plot and fun situations. Just the thing to read at the same time as I trying to get through Ivanhoe, a great story but a bit tough going to read! I enjoyed the "The Chinese Parrot" and its characters:

8. The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers

9hirotani
Feb 3, 2013, 10:08pm

In the 70's there was a TV program in the UK, "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes" that I enjoyed a lot. I just finished reading today, "Max Carrados", who was such a rival. The actor who played the blind amateur detective was Robert Stephens of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" fame. The book is a collection of short stories - similar in style to the Sherlock Holmes stories - published in 1914. It's free on your Kindle! A fun read, good stories and the usual outrageously brilliant detection. I enjoyed it:

9. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah

10hirotani
Feb 25, 2013, 1:11am

A short trip to Luang Prabang in Laos (lovely place - go if you can) allowed me to finish Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. The main story very much tracks the classic movie starring Robert Taylor. If you haven't seen the movie - do so - you will understand why Elizabeth Taylor was so idolized. The very young Taylor is nothing short of stunning in the movie. Very good casting as she played the stunningly becautiful Rebecca who so bewitched the Templar knight anti-hero of the book. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. The underlying anti-semitism in the book was for once, I think, mainly part of the story rather than something manifest in the author (I think - some of both I would guess given when it was written but mainly story). The fact that Rebecca and her father Iassac left England for Muslim Spain, because Muslims treated their Jewish subjects better than the English, was telling and disgracefully true - as a trip to Moorish Spain (Serville / Cordoba / Granada) would reinforce to the reader.

10. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

11hirotani
Feb 28, 2013, 12:42am

I googled - "the best 100 scifi novels" - a few months ago and the website that came up had a list of books, many of which I had heard of, but only a few of which I had actually read. So I set myself the enjoyable task of catching up my scifi reading. That's how I selected a 1959 Robert Heinlein novel - Starhip Troopers. Its a fantastic read. Ideas - some you agree with, some just odd - but all new and interesting, pour out of this very well written book. At two points early on in the book I burst out laughing. Could not control it. The comic timng of the remarks was so good and so unexpected I just had no choice other than laugh and then look sheepishly around to see if my outburst had been noticed. That's not to say this a comedy book - its not, its about fighting men and women and the world that they live in. Get this book, ignore the movie, you will enjoy it:

11. Starship Troopers by Rober A. Heinlein

12hirotani
Feb 28, 2013, 12:58am

Oops I missed a book I finished in January! The third of the Barsoom books (John Carter) - Warlords of Mars. Enjoyable, not great literature but well put together and fun to read at Christimas time which is when I finished that one.

12. Warlords of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

13hirotani
Mar 14, 2013, 4:17am

I haven't really slowed down my reading, although this my first book of March. Its just that I am reading multiple IT books at the same time as try to revise (and improve) my C programming and everything else - is taking a little longer to get through! Last night I finished the first book by author new to me. Published in 2008. A murder mystery set in Victorian London - around the 1860s. Nicely written, a good who-dunit with characters I liked and eabout whom I started to care (always the mark of good read I think). Not great. But good. As a first book it has all the hallmarks of something that will get better and better. I will read a few more in the series. Just starting a Jules Verne book and a Ryder Haggard book - at the time. Both look good and the Verne is more a novella than a novel. I really read some more Judge Dee and the Japanese series by I.J. Parker that I like - off to Japan in October so I might leave that for that trip. I also want to read the Brother Aleslstan books I have not read yet and I have a second Sir Walter Scott book to start (choose Quinten Durward this time - having successfully finished Ivanhoe). Oh so much reading to do. My only solace - is that is Easter coming up fast and I think I will be able to get through some of my back log at that time. I enjoyed this book - not an outstanding book - but definitely a comfortable book to curl up with and I happy to recommend it on that basis:

13. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

14hirotani
Mar 18, 2013, 12:47am

Jules Verne's the Underground City is more a novella than a novel but I will include it anyway! I need the numbers and I don't get a double count when I finish a real long book - so fair's fair I think! The book was OK, interesting and I liked the period - that mid to late Victoria world, with all its warts and problems is a fasinating time to read about. The setting was fun being in the Trossocks in Scotland which I have visited many times and it was really pleasant to read the old famillar place names. The story was OK - not as interesting and complicated as the other Verne books that I have read - but nothing wrong with it:

14. The Underground City or Child of the Cavern by Jules Verne

15hirotani
Abr 23, 2013, 10:22am

Well a bit of hiatus has made me take a month to finish two books - oh, falling behind already! I finished the first of the Jack Reacher books. A very good thriller. Well written, good paced - high body count but without too much gore! A real page turner. I also finished Archangel, a story concerning an notebook supposedly left Stalin. As I read the Simon Seabag Montefiore book on Stalin (At the Court of the Crimson Tsar) a few years back, it was interesting reading all the names I learned in that book - now in a novel. I have actually been reading a great deal more than that - but as usual i haven't finished the other books yet! Well in May I am off to the states on business and vacation so that trip will give me ample opportunity to catch up on my reading program! The two I have finished are:

15. Archangel by Robert Harris
16. Killing Floor by Lee Child

16drneutron
Abr 24, 2013, 11:26am

So - do we have another Reacher Creature in our midst? :)

17hirotani
Jun 22, 2013, 10:22pm

Thanks for dropping and sorry for the length of time to respond.

To answer your question - yes I expect it is so! I like the movie and was bowled over by the book. I don't usually like violence in books but it was handled in a masterly way that pulled you deeper into the book. I remember an old movie called "Midnight Express" which built up tension so much that at one point I shocked at myself as I was on the edge of my seat in the cinema willing the hero of the movie to kill someone. I thought - well that's not me, I am not like that - and was surprised and shocked by my own reactions. I am not saying the book was such a masterpiece - but that it handled violence in a way that well done. I will definitely read another!

18hirotani
Jun 22, 2013, 10:31pm

Done lots of reading - some not complete - since my last up date. Will try to capture them here for reference but will comment on them over a few posts. Since April I have read:

17. The Emperor's Pearl by Robert van Gulik
18. An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne
19. Black Arrow by I.J. Parker
20. Bones in London by Edgar Wallace
21. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

19hirotani
Editado: Jul 5, 2013, 8:58pm

Back from 5 days in Bali (well some has to do it - right!) lovely place but much much busier than when I used to go regularly in the 80s. A long weekend which gave me a fair amount of time for reading and I finished a book that I have had on the go for a while. Quentin Durwood by Sir Walter Scott. Published in 1823 it takes a little time to get past the old fashioned style of writing but once past it - it is a good historical novel with a Scottish flavour. I enjoyed it. I also finished "Studying Chess Made Easy" a dumb title which nearly stopped me buying - because nothing about chess is easy! But this was an excellent book. Its one of the very few chess books that I have ever bought that I read - cover to cover, and I have bought loads, they grace my book shelves very nicely. I haven't got much out of them but they ok to dip into. But this book I read and then went back again a few times to re-read sections. Its one of the few chess books to also change my approach to the game (for example - the author recommends correspondence chess via the internet to play slower - and I took him up on this and have really enjoyed and improved by it). I very much recommend it to anyone - who can play and wants to improve and is looking for friendly advice as you go through the process of trying to work out how to improve.

22. Studying Chess Made Easy by Andrew Soltis
23. Quentin Durwood by Sir Walter Scott

20hirotani
Ago 26, 2013, 9:43pm

A long gap and not too much reading inbetween - I think I will fail my 75 number this year. Not even sure I will make 50! The problem is I got a Raspberry Pi this summer and have been having fun setting up various servers on a $30 computer board. My latest was a wiki server - works amazingly (after I removed Apache and replaced it with lighty) well given the size of the thing. The Mockingjay was an excellent book - very well written, great pace and albeit it violent - violent for a reason - I enjoyed it and wonder she will write next. The Percy Jackson was the best one I have read so far (shame about the newly released movie) - made me laugh out loud at time! I enjoyed the Ngaio Marsh - currently working my way through the 30 novels she wrote - this is number 11! Not enough of Alleyn and almost no Troy - Alleyn comes in 60% way through the book. However, the story is good and quiet fasinating. Think Python is best introductory Python programming book I have ever read (and I have read lots). Its excellent. If you got (or your kids just got a Pi) - get them this book to introduce them to Python programming. But I read a few books in teh same period:

24. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
25. Percy Jackson and the TItan's Curse by Rick Riordan
26. Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh
27. Think Python by Allen B. Downey
28. Modern Tkinter for Busy Python Developers by Mark Roseman
29. Raspberry Pi User Guide by Gareth Halfacree and Even Upton

21hirotani
Sep 12, 2013, 2:48am

I started on the Lord of the Rings - again - and finished the first part, The Fellowship of the Ring. I read it first when I 17, then again 18 and yet again when I was 19. Read them during summer break from university. That was so long ago I am not even going to try to calculate - as I suspect I would a calculator! I liked the movies a lot and so I thought after so many other fantasy stories I would pick it up again. Its amazing how good it is. How much I enjoyed it - all over again. What is really wierd is that the things I do not like about it - I did not like as a kid! My mum said to me when she very old and dying that she found it odd that she was still 18 - on the inside. I was sympathetic at the time but I didn't really think about it too much. But I now know how wise she was! It is very odd but I supose that is life, no matter what is happening outside to us as we age - on the inside we are pretty constant and pretty much set around that late teen / early 20 age time (well true for my mum and I anyway!). So I loved the story, the pace the imagination the excitement, the characters. But you know I still disliked the endless poems and songs. I know that is crash, not cultured and I have no doubt that I am missing a huge amount richness that is in the story etc. - but I find they break up the story so much that they are annoying. So I read the book, as I read decades ago - by skipping over the poems and songs! Great book.

I also finished the story of near air crash written by an Australian pilot - QF32. It was very good. A little repitious but if you ever want to get feel for what pilots have to go through when they have a problem up front - this is the book to read. A good read, recommend it.

30. The Lord of the Rings - Part 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien
31. QF32 by Richard De Crespigny

22hirotani
Sep 16, 2013, 4:22am

Quiet why I have never read, 80 Days Around the World, I do not know but I was looking for a Jules Verne book to read (slowly trying to read through them all) and could no longer think of an excuse not to read it. It is a charming little book and I can fully understand why it was (and is) a hit. I got the free kindle version and really enjoyed it. Recommend it.

32. 80 Days Around the World by Jules Verne

23hirotani
Nov 1, 2013, 2:54am

Well I am seriously behind on my goal this year. Already November and although I finished another two books in October - I am no where near 50 let alone 75! Anyway, will press on! I finished a couple of books in October both fantasy books - both very good in their own very different ways and both I would recommended. The Ursula K. Le Guin is easier reading that the other - mainly because the author does subject you to such a steep learning curve as the other. The Malazan book - which I also very much enjoyed - requires a fair amount of attention to keep track of locations, people, types of magic, gods, weapons etc. and then the very convulted plot as well. For most of the book you don't fully understand what is going on. I nearly gave up on it within the first 50 to 100 pages but kept at it and slowly but surely it took hold me and by around page 250 I could not put it down. Both books are parts of series and I fully intend to the whole series - both of them!

33. The Gardens of the Moon by Steve Erikson
34. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

24hirotani
Nov 14, 2013, 3:14am

Finished another two books but I suspect I will be lucky to be at 40 by year end - oh well - will aim to do better next year. Actually, its not the lack of reading that is the problem you understand - I read all the time. The problem is finishing! I do continually get side tracked to reading something else instead of fnishing what I have started and this seems to have been especially bad!

Anyway I finished the second book of the Earthsea saga and again enjoyed it and would recommend it. Well written thoughtful and enjoyable. I also finished the 5th or 6th Mary Rusell Book and enjoyed it very much. So much so that I have gone back to the first book - the Beekeepers Assistant!

35. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
36. Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King

25hirotani
Dic 2, 2013, 1:14am

Finished two book in the last two weeks. Quiet different and both very enjoyable. I first read the Beekeeper's Apprentice a long time ago and revisited again the week before last in part because of reading the Garment of Shadows. A really good read and fun for Sherlock Holmes lovers. The second book was Scaramouche by Sabatini. I read Captain Blood recently - well in the the not too distant past anyway and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would read another of his books. This was also excellent - if you think of Sunday afternoon movies as a kid - well this was it in book form (and yes I know the Stewart Grainger movie well!):

37. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
38. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

26hirotani
Dic 2, 2013, 2:03am

Oops - I thought I have been reading more than just those two books above - must be age I foigot the other two I had finished recently! I also read the third book of the Charlie Chan mysteries and a real fun book it was. A good whodunit, a bit too much coincidence (but the author cleverly removed the "coincidences" by including them in the detectives plans) but OK. The dialog was 20's flippancy in style and was fun to read. I also finished a Michael Critchton book - Micro. It was more than OK just not brillant as many of his books can be (but then he never finished before he died). But it was OK.

39. Micro by Michael Crichton
40. Behind that Curtain by Earl Derr Biggers

27drneutron
Editado: Dic 2, 2013, 12:34pm

I thought that last one looked like a Charlie Chan book. Have you read Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History? It was a pretty decent book about both the detective that inspired Biggers and the Charlie Chan phenomenon.

28hirotani
Ene 17, 2014, 3:20am

I haven't read that but I will. Thanks for recommendations.