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Thread: Top Books First Read in 2017

  1. #1
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Top Books First Read in 2017

    We're three months in, so what have you been reading so far this year. For me, it's been filling in the blind spots with Lahiri's work. I expect that later this year I'll visit one of her novels. Also, Kang's novel on the Gwangju Uprising was incredibly powerful--great prose and style after I found The Vegetarian merely good.

    Each year at this time I find myself turning to the Tournament of Books, which is its own March Madness styled bracket where a set of novels from the past year compete against one another. Several books make it from there onto my "to-read" pile pretty much immediately...

    1. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies: Stories
    2. Han Kang’s Human Acts
    3. Zadie Smith’s On Beauty
    4. Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs
    5. Ian McGuire’s The North Water
    6. Charlie Jane Anders’s All the Birds in the Sky
    7. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth: Stories
    8. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees: Stories
    9. Peter Ho Davies’s The Fortunes
    10. Chris Bachelder’s Throwback Special
    [
    ]

    Plays
    Frank Chin’s The Chickencoop Chinaman and Year of the Dragon: Two Plays
    Dunkirk - 6.5
    Logan - 7.5
    In the Realm of the Senses - 7
    The Mummy (1932) - 5

  2. #2
    Novels:
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)


    Non-Fiction:
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Barom Sarret (Ousmane Sembène, 1963) / ***
    The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) / **
    Quand tu liras cette lettre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) / **

    The last book I read was...
    Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol


    The (New) World (January: TIFF 2016)

  3. #3
    Stunt Man
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    Just notice they are all series books.

    1. All the Wrong Questions#3: Shouldn't You Be in School? (Lemony Snicket)
    2. AtWQ#4: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket)
    3. AtWQ#2: When Did You See Her Last? (Lemony Snicket)
    4. Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith)
    5. AtWQ#1: Who Could That Be at This Hour? (Lemony Snicket)
    6. AtWQ#2.5: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (Lemony Snicket)
    7. The Silkworm (Robert Galbraith)
    8. The Girl in the Spider's Web (David Lagercrantz)
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  4. #4
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    All I read is comics.

    1. Goodnight Punpun Vol. 1-3 (Inio Asano)
    2. How to Be Happy (Eleanor Davis)
    3. Last Look (Charles Burns)
    4. Paper Girls Vol. 1-2 (Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson)
    5. Deadly Class Vol. 5 (Rick Remender, Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd)
    6. The Eyes of the Cat (Moebius and Jodorowsky)
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

    lists and reviews

  5. #5
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Update--I'm about to start David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, so this will be the list for some time:


    1. Shūsaku Endō’s Silence
    2. Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Talents
    3. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies: Stories
    4. Han Kang’s Human Acts
    5. Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West
    6. Zadie Smith’s On Beauty
    7. James Joyce’s Dubliners
    8. Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittridge
    9. Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being
    10. Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs
    [
    ]
    Frank Chin’s The Chickencoop Chinaman and Year of the Dragon: Two Plays
    Greg Sestero’s The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
    Dunkirk - 6.5
    Logan - 7.5
    In the Realm of the Senses - 7
    The Mummy (1932) - 5

  6. #6
    walks with the dead. Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction

    1. Coldheart Canyon (current) (Clive Barker, 2001)

    Non-Fiction

    1. Global Weirdness (Climate Central, 2012)
    2. The Great Courses: Classical Mythology (Elizabeth Vandiver, 2002)
    3. Fossil Fuels (Ed. Robert Curley, 2012)
    4. Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity (current) (ed. Vere Chappell, 1999)
    5. Calvin: For Armchair Theologians (Christopher Ellwood, 2002)
    6. Half-Earth (Edward Wilson, 2017)

    Theater

    1. No Exit (Jean-Paul Sartre, 1944)
    2. Waiting for Godot (current) (Samuel Becket, 1953)
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 06-12-2017 at 04:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Novels:
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)


    Short Stories:
    • The Street of Crocodiles (Bruno Schulz, 1934)


    Plays:
    • The Theban Plays (Sophocles, c.441-401 BC)


    Non-Fiction:
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Barom Sarret (Ousmane Sembène, 1963) / ***
    The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) / **
    Quand tu liras cette lettre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) / **

    The last book I read was...
    Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol


    The (New) World (January: TIFF 2016)

  8. #8
    Stunt Man
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    1. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
    2. It (Stephen King)
    3. All the Wrong Questions#3: Shouldn't You Be in School? (Lemony Snicket)
    4. City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s (Otto Friedrich)
    5. AtWQ#4: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket)
    6. AtWQ#2: When Did You See Her Last? (Lemony Snicket)
    7. Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith)
    8. AtWQ#1: Who Could That Be at This Hour? (Lemony Snicket)
    9. AtWQ#2.5: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (Lemony Snicket)
    10. The Silkworm (Robert Galbraith)
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  9. #9
    Novels:
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy, 1874)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
    • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)


    Short Stories:
    • The Street of Crocodiles (Bruno Schulz, 1934)


    Plays:
    • The Theban Plays (Sophocles, c.441-401 BC)


    Non-Fiction:
    • Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Murray Smith, 1995)
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Barom Sarret (Ousmane Sembène, 1963) / ***
    The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) / **
    Quand tu liras cette lettre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) / **

    The last book I read was...
    Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol


    The (New) World (January: TIFF 2016)

  10. #10
    walks with the dead. Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Jung's final work was sorta tedious when it tried to tie any dream to Jung's preconceived notions of what the symbols meant. As much as he wants to suggest the elasticity of symbols, the entire process stank of confirmation bias to me. But it was a fascinating book anyway, and its exploration of mythic symbols was useful given my familiarity with Joseph Campbell remixing ideas from Jung.

    And The Bacchae was phenomenal. Expected to "appreciate" it for literary merit, but the drama kicked in hard. Beyond its symbology and messaging, it's just good clean story.

    Fiction

    1. Coldheart Canyon (partial) (Clive Barker, 2001)

    Non-Fiction

    1. Global Weirdness (Climate Central, 2012)
    2. The Great Courses: Classical Mythology (Elizabeth Vandiver, 2002)
    3. Man and His Symbols (ed. Carl Jung, 1964)
    4. Fossil Fuels (Ed. Robert Curley, 2012)
    5. Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity (partial) (ed. Vere Chappell, 1999)
    6. Calvin: For Armchair Theologians (Christopher Ellwood, 2002)
    7. Half-Earth (Edward Wilson, 2017)

    Theater

    1. The Bacchae (Euripides, 405 BC)
    2. No Exit (Jean-Paul Sartre, 1944)
    3. Waiting for Godot (partial) (Samuel Becket, 1953)
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 07-07-2017 at 06:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Novels:
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy, 1874)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
    • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)


    Short Stories:
    • The Street of Crocodiles (Bruno Schulz, 1934)


    Plays:
    • The Theban Plays (Sophocles, c.441-401 BC)
    • The Player Queen (William Butler Yeats, 1922)
    • Suddenly Last Summer (Tennessee Williams, 1958)
    • The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Notes Toward a Definition of Tragedy) (Edward Albee, 2002)


    Non-Fiction:
    • Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Murray Smith, 1995)
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Barom Sarret (Ousmane Sembène, 1963) / ***
    The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) / **
    Quand tu liras cette lettre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) / **

    The last book I read was...
    Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol


    The (New) World (January: TIFF 2016)

  12. #12
    Novels:
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy, 1874)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
    • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)
    • The Flamethrowers (Rachel Kushner, 2013)


    Short Stories:
    • The Street of Crocodiles (Bruno Schulz, 1934)


    Plays:
    • The Theban Plays (Sophocles, c.441-401 BC)
    • Desire Under the Elms (Eugene O'Neill, 1924)
    • Suddenly Last Summer (Tennessee Williams, 1958)
    • The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Notes Toward a Definition of Tragedy) (Edward Albee, 2002)
    • Love and Information (Caryl Churchill, 2012)

    [
    ]

    Non-Fiction:
    • Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Murray Smith, 1995)
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Barom Sarret (Ousmane Sembène, 1963) / ***
    The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) / **
    Quand tu liras cette lettre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) / **

    The last book I read was...
    Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories by Nikolai Gogol


    The (New) World (January: TIFF 2016)

  13. #13
    Stunt Man
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    681
    1. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
    2. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)
    3. It (Stephen King)
    4. All the Wrong Questions#3: Shouldn't You Be in School? (Lemony Snicket)
    5. City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s (Otto Friedrich)
    6. AtWQ#4: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket)
    7. AtWQ#2: When Did You See Her Last? (Lemony Snicket)
    8. Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith)
    9. AtWQ#1: Who Could That Be at This Hour? (Lemony Snicket)
    10. AtWQ#2.5: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (Lemony Snicket)
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

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