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50 Book Challenge 2014 Part 3

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Southeastdweller Sun 01-Jun-14 10:31:45

Thread 3 of the 50 book challenge. Here are the previous threads...

The idea is to read 50 books in 2014 (or more!)

Provencalroseparadox Fri 27-Jun-14 06:45:34

Wilting I thought the same re Rosie Project. Don is an incredibly sympathetic and likeable character

mumslife Fri 27-Jun-14 10:15:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CoteDAzur Fri 27-Jun-14 10:44:14

"the whole genre (sci-fi), not being based in reality, is therefore implausible."

That's demonstrably false: Many sci-fi stories from several decades ago have now come true. People went to the moon, there are satellites in orbit (satellite orbit is named 'Clarke Orbit' after sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke who first talked about it btw), there are touchscreen devices and bionic limbs. There were no CCTVs when 1984 was written but was 1984 implausible? Not at all. It was very plausible - readers felt that it could happen, that kind of controlling state aided by technology was very possible.

Good sci-fi predicts the future in a entirely plausible way, with a credible story and characters. Bad sci-fi has a silly story that makes no sense, with holes you can throw a dog through. That is a big difference. It's the difference between Neal Stephenson's Anathem and Diamond Age, for example, and Iain Banks' Culture books.

Even from a simple linguistic perspective, implausible and non-existent are not synonyms smile

Sparklypants Fri 27-Jun-14 11:47:48

Oh pants! Is it too late to join in?

Provencalroseparadox Fri 27-Jun-14 14:03:28

I didn't join until May although luckily already had a list of the books I've read

Sparklypants Fri 27-Jun-14 14:19:25

I have a list of. Books I've been reading anyway :-)

Southeastdweller Fri 27-Jun-14 14:28:48

27. How to Eat Out - Giles Coren

A very funny and informed book, part-memoir, part guide on better ways to eat out.

So we’re pretty much half way through the year and I’m really happy to have read this much already, an all-time high for me. Here’s my top five books this year so far which I highly recommend:

1. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Jeanette Winterson
2. Notes on a Scandal - Zoë Heller
3. Bedsit Disco Queen - Tracey Thorn
4. The Hours - Michael Cunningham
5. Apple Tree Yard - Louise Doughty

Cheboludo Fri 27-Jun-14 15:27:10

48) Up at the Villa by W Somerset Maugham

I loved this. Maugham writes wonderfully succinctly, every line seemingly simple yet you feel as if you know the characters, setting and events inside and out. The main event might stretch credibility a little, but the tale Maugham tells is too good to fuss over that.

BestIsWest Fri 27-Jun-14 20:04:59

42. Sense And Sensibility - Austen.

Lovely though Marianne yet again irritates me and I wish Brandon had fallen for Elinor.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 27-Jun-14 20:05:01

60. The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham. A re-read (read it first at school, but so long ago I had forgotten the story). Really very good. Want to read more Wyndham now.

61. The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert. A long and intricate tale of botany, the search for love and the meaning of life and much more. Loved it.

All in all, a good reading week smile Next up is The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron.

Provencalroseparadox Fri 27-Jun-14 20:13:27

I discussed DOTT with book group friend yesterday and she wants me to make the case for it as next read. We've never done sci-fi but I haven't read. Any good arguments?

DuchessofMalfi Fri 27-Jun-14 21:23:51

I'm not a big reader of sci-fi, but really enjoyed this. It's an easy read, an engaging, interesting story.

I had thought as I was reading it that it reminded me a little of H G Wells's The War of the Worlds, which is another sci-fi novel I liked. Apparently John Wyndham had said that DOTT was influenced by The War of the Worlds.

I'd say both novels are very readable, even for non sci-fans smile

DuchessofMalfi Fri 27-Jun-14 21:25:18

That should read non sci-fi fans ...

Nessalina Fri 27-Jun-14 22:49:09

DOTT strikes again grin It's excellent, original, classic Sci-Fi - deffo a good book club read as I think even Sci-Fi novices will enjoy smile

30) Yes Man - Danny Wallace

A good fun non-fiction interlude!

wiltingfast Fri 27-Jun-14 23:00:58

Demonstrably false???! I don't think so. They were all implausible at the time Cote and just because the odd thing actually kinda happens eventually has nothing much to do with whether they are good books or not!

But then I wouldn't be examining a book I was reading at all from that perspective. I have no science background and so glaring nonsense would largely pass over my head. I must confess, I watched star trek for years grin

duchess, the chrysalids is vg. Been years since I read it but I really enjoyed it.

provencal I read DOTT years ago but am game to read it again! Would be interesting to see what I think of it now and iirc it is a short read.

Is this turning into a book club? Cause I am not actually generally good at reading what I am supposed to thinking of all those dodgy essays in college

CoteDAzur Fri 27-Jun-14 23:31:16

What do you think 'implausible' means? Sorry, not trying to be patronising but I think you are using it in place of "doesn't exist here & now", which afaik is not what 'implausible' means.

For example: Quite a few good sci-fi books deal with artificial intelligence, which doesn't exist here & now but may very well exist in the near future - i.e. It's not implausible.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 28-Jun-14 05:39:58

Thanks wilting, will try The Chrysalids as next Wyndham book smile.

Yes, DOTT is a short novel, doesn't take long to read at all. The story just carries you along.

Just sticking my head in quickly, but haven't caught up with the thread yet. I finished, "The Silkworm." Rubbish. sad

PerksOfBeingNorthern Sat 28-Jun-14 13:20:50

The Roman detective series sounds good, have to add those to my never ending to read list!

wiltingfast Sat 28-Jun-14 16:07:08

Ah cote, you are a teeny bit patronising to be honest. Why do all of your arguments revert back to definitions? I mean the novels seemed improbable at the time of their publication, what do you think I meant? I don't think it's all that relevant to an ordinary reader anyway tbh. Once the book has a sustainable credible world going on, it doesn't need to be objectively evaluated on the plausibility of its science. I certainly wouldn't be capable of doing that anyway.

Sonnet Sat 28-Jun-14 17:01:04

mumslife I finished the Rosie Project last night. It was an interesting and engaging read. Yes, the main charator, Don, is immensely likeable. I read this as our book club choice and all the reviews I read described it as hilarious, incredibly funny and a 'laugh out loud' read. For me when I read it translated as finding an Aspergers view of the world hilarious which did not sit comfortably with me at all. That said, I found it very insightful and am glad I read it.

ChillieJeanie I loved Wine of Angels', thank you! I have the second one on my kindle and am looking forward to it. I am planing on reading them all. Have you ever read any Barbara Erskine? They have a similar feel and I loved them too ��

CoteDAzur Sat 28-Jun-14 17:01:12

When talking about whether a certain book is dystopian, of course we would be talking about the definition of a dystopian book. What seems to be the problem there?

Now, I'm pointing out what "implausible" means because I have come to realise that you are misusing the word to mean "doesn't exist here & now". That is why you have been arguing that all sci-fi is implausible.

Should I not have shared with you the reason for our disagreement when I found it out?

Sonnet Sat 28-Jun-14 17:36:12

I am in the situation of pondering about my next book... Almost as good as reading itself. Now what do I fancy? The weather is dire here today with torrential rain and further rain and storms forecast. Luckily, after dropping dd2 and her friends at a party I have nothing more to do than curl up and read. I do so love the anticipation which reminds me of Saturday library visits as a child.

CoteDAzur Sat 28-Jun-14 18:11:34

Remus - Sorry you found Silkworm rubbish. I was quite looking forward to reading it.

I'm reading my 1st Val McDermid Mermaids Singing and finding it rubbish despite having really enjoyed the TV series Wire In The Blood based on her books. Struggling through it but without much hope tbh.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 28-Jun-14 18:26:29

I've put my name down at the library for a copy of The Silkworm. I'm 85th in the queue, for the County's one copy. They say they're getting more copies, but I'm not holding out hope this side of Christmas. Will probably be 99p on kindle by then grin

I really enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling. Just out of interest, what didn't you like Remus? I've seen quite a few "didn't like" reviews on Audible and Goodreads. So, curse of the second book maybe?

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