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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
    Ladybird - 8
    Gerald's Game - 5
    The Great Wall - 4.5
    Columbus - 8

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


    Non-Fiction:
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  3. #3
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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
    Ladybird - 8
    Gerald's Game - 5
    The Great Wall - 4.5
    Columbus - 8

  6. #6
    Moderator 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...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  8. #8
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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...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  10. #10
    Moderator 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...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  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...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  13. #13
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    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

  14. #14
    Replacing Luck Since 1984
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    Finally finished The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla....

    Started Song of Susannah....

    Just Watched
    It (2017) ★★★★½
    Bright (2017) ★★★
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) ★★★★
    Atomic Blonde (2017) ★★½


    Currently Playing | Played
    Resident Evil IV (Steam) ★★★★★

    TV Show Currently Watching | Watched
    Dark (S1) ★★★★★
    Agents of SHIELD (S4) ...
    Agents of SHIELD (S3) ★★★★★
    Agents of SHIELD (S2) ★★★★½
    Agents of SHIELD (S1) ★½
    The Punisher (S1) ★★★★

    Currently Reading | Read
    The Dark Tower (King) ...
    Songs of Susannah (King) ★★



    Thoughts/ Twitch.tv / Youtube / Film Diary

    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

  15. #15
    Novels:
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Moby-Dick (Herman Melville, 1851)
    • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy, 1874)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
    • I Spit on Your Graves (Boris Vian [as Vernon Sullivan], 1946)
    • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)
    • The Flamethrowers (Rachel Kushner, 2013)


    Short Stories:
    • The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories (Nikolai Gogol, 1832-1842)
    • 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...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  16. #16
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction

    1. Revival (Stephen King, 2014)
    2. Coldheart Canyon (partial) (Clive Barker, 2001)
    3. The Scarlet Plague (Jack London, 1912)

    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)

    Comic Books

    1. Uzumaki (Junji Ito, 1998-1999)
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 10-09-2017 at 03:47 PM.

  17. #17
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    I like Revival. One of King's strongest and bleakest endings. Damn.

  18. #18
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    I like Revival. One of King's strongest and bleakest endings. Damn.
    I have 3 discs left on my 11 disc audiobook. David Morse is crushing it.

  19. #19
    Replacing Luck Since 1984
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Finally finished The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla....

    Started Song of Susannah....
    Song of Susannah finished.

    Man these books do not get any better as you get to the end...

    Just Watched
    It (2017) ★★★★½
    Bright (2017) ★★★
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) ★★★★
    Atomic Blonde (2017) ★★½


    Currently Playing | Played
    Resident Evil IV (Steam) ★★★★★

    TV Show Currently Watching | Watched
    Dark (S1) ★★★★★
    Agents of SHIELD (S4) ...
    Agents of SHIELD (S3) ★★★★★
    Agents of SHIELD (S2) ★★★★½
    Agents of SHIELD (S1) ★½
    The Punisher (S1) ★★★★

    Currently Reading | Read
    The Dark Tower (King) ...
    Songs of Susannah (King) ★★



    Thoughts/ Twitch.tv / Youtube / Film Diary

    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

  20. #20
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Song of Susannah finished.

    Man these books do not get any better as you get to the end...

    Book V is the best of the series, my favorite single King book. Love book VII as well. Book VI has some amazing moments. I'd love to read an entire trilogy on the Tet Corporation protecting the Rose from Sombra. King could do some really cool things with corporate horror and supernatural espionage.

    Book V
    Book III
    Book II
    Book I
    Book VII
    Book VI
    Book IV

    This order was solidified after my 6th re-read of the series.

  21. #21
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fiction

    1. Coldheart Canyon (partial) (Clive Barker, 2001)
    2. Revival (Stephen King, 2014)
    3. The Scarlet Plague (Jack London, 1912)
    4. Good Omens (partial) (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, 1990)
    5. Weird Tales: Select Stories... (William F. Nolan et al, 2009)

    Non-Fiction

    1. Global Weirdness (Climate Central, 2012)
    2. The Great Courses: Classical Mythology (Elizabeth Vandiver, 2002)
    3. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Frederich Nietzsche, 1883)
    4. Man and His Symbols (ed. Carl Jung, 1964)
    5. Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity (partial) (ed. Vere Chappell, 1999)
    6. Nordic Mythology (Shirley Ray Redmond, 2012)
    7. Roman Mythology (Don Nardo, 2012)
    8. Fossil Fuels (Ed. Robert Curley, 2012)
    9. Calvin: For Armchair Theologians (Christopher Ellwood, 2002)
    10. 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)

    Comic Books

    1. Uzumaki (Junji Ito, 1998-1999)
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 11-24-2017 at 10:43 PM.

  22. #22
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    1. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
    2. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)
    3. It (Stephen King)
    4. The Cat's Table (Michael Ondaatje)
    5. All the Wrong Questions#3: Shouldn't You Be in School? (Lemony Snicket)
    6. City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s (Otto Friedrich)
    7. AtWQ#4: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket)
    8. AtWQ#2: When Did You See Her Last? (Lemony Snicket)
    9. The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
    10. Career of Evil (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

  23. #23
    Novels:
    • Emma (Jane Austen, 1815)
    • The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper, 1826)
    • Moby-Dick (Herman Melville, 1851)
    • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy, 1874)
    • The Ambassadors (Henry James, 1903)
    • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
    • I Spit on Your Graves (Boris Vian [as Vernon Sullivan], 1946)
    • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)
    • The Flamethrowers (Rachel Kushner, 2013)


    Short Stories:
    • The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories (Nikolai Gogol, 1832-1842)
    • 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)
    • Film Festivals: From European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia (Marijke de Valck, 2007)
    • Making Personas: Transnational Stardom in Modern Japan (Fujiki Hideaki, 2013)
    Just because...
    Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 1961) warm
    Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) mild
    Amour fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao


    The (New) World (October: TIFF 2017)

  24. #24
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    1. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
    2. Call Me By Your Name (André Aciman)
    3. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)
    4. It (Stephen King)
    5. The Cat's Table (Michael Ondaatje)
    6. All the Wrong Questions#3: Shouldn't You Be in School? (Lemony Snicket)
    7. The Disaster Artist (Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell)
    8. City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s (Otto Friedrich)
    9. AtWQ#4: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (Lemony Snicket)
    10. AtWQ#2: When Did You See Her Last? (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

  25. #25
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    I read far fewer books than I planned to this year (around 25), but here goes:

    1. Evicted by Matthew Desmond
    2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    3. Dreamland by Sam Quinones
    4. Electric Arches by Eve Ewing
    5. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
    6. Kindred by Octavia Butler
    7. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
    8. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    9. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    10. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Runner-up: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

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