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Labrick's 2011 reading challenge

75 Books Challenge for 2011

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1labrick
Jul 5, 2011, 10:11am Top

January:
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway 4 stars
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson 3 1/2 stars
Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell 3 1/2 stars
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman 3 1/2 stars
Leslie Nielsen: The Naked Truth 2 1/2 stars

February:
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 4 stars
How to Teach Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel 2 1/2 stars
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking 3 stars

March:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 3 stars
Neuromancer by William Gibson 4 stars

April:
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein 2 1/2 stars
Lost Horizon by James Hilton 4 stars
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan 3 stars
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov 4 1/2 stars
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain 3 1/2 stars
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov 2 stars
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 4 stars
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore 3 1/2 stars
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem 3 1/2 stars
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto 3 stars

May:
Ubik by Philip K. Dick 4 stars
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman 3 1/2 stars
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis 2 1/2 stars
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 4 stars
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin 4 stars
What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman 3 stars
The Gulag Archepelago (I-II) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 3 1/2 stars
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi 3 stars
The Myth of Sisyphus: and Other Essays by Albert Camus 1 1/2 stars
The Gulag Archepelago (III-V) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 3 stars

June:
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges 4 stars
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 3 1/2 stars
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck 3 1/2 stars
East of Eden by John Steinbeck 4 1/2 stars
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich by Philip K. Dick 3 1/2 stars
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick 3 stars
The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa 2 stars

July:
The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 3 stars

I realize that my ratings are subjective (Leslie Nielsen scored higher than Nabokov), but they were my judgement based on factors of fluctuating importance to me at the time. I tend not to score pure philosophy very high usually, because I find it boring--I thought the myth of sisyphus was of no use to me and wasn't very entertaining. I wanted to like the moon is a harsh mistress more, but it seemed to sacrifice the story for the sake of ideology. I recently discovered Philip k. Dick and I've been trying to find someone similar. I found the master and margarita to be nearly perfect and I probably should have just scored it 5 stars, but I feel dirty doing that for some reason.

2drneutron
Jul 5, 2011, 11:29am Top

Welcome! That's a pretty good reading list. I use stars to indicate what I think of a book, which can be pretty subjective. So I've often scored some thriller higher than a classic. I'm not a great respecter of reputation and "importance" of a work when it comes to ratings. :)

3jeanned
Jul 5, 2011, 2:33pm Top

Hi Spencer, and welcome. I was noticing that you didn't have any 5 star books in that very interesting list. I totally agree with drneutron that the rating depends on the mood. Sometimes, a book that I rated a 4 because there was something about the writing style or plotting that annoyed me when I read it will still be in my head for 6 months or longer, and I know that long-term resonance really deserves a 5.

4MickyFine
Jul 5, 2011, 3:34pm Top

Welcome to the group, Spencer. Really interesting reading list for the year so far. I concur with the opinions above. Ratings for me are more about my reaction to the book rather than its perceived cultural value. :)

5labrick
Jul 5, 2011, 4:18pm Top

I'm not real reliable with the way I rate books, but the reason that I don't give many fives is because I usually end up thinking it could be just a little bit better. Basically the same thing you've said jeanned. I also noticed that I've inadvertently made 3 1/2 the average, which, given enough books, seems like it should be about 2 1/2. I guess I'm just rooting for the author. :)

6richardderus
Jul 5, 2011, 8:27pm Top

Rooting for the author! That's a great way to put it, Spencer. Glad to have you here in the 75er-verse. Be sure to wander around among the threads!

7ronincats
Jul 7, 2011, 7:44pm Top

Welcome to the 75ers, Spencer. You are right on track with 28 books at the midpoint! I'm another science fiction/fantasy reader.

Do you know about the Wiki yet? You can find it on the group page, and then if you scroll down, you can find anyone's thread from their user name in the list.

8alcottacre
Jul 8, 2011, 2:14am Top

Welcome to the group, Spencer!

10alcottacre
Aug 4, 2011, 7:11am Top

I have not yet had a chance to read Hard Boiled Wonderland. I will have to see if my local library has a copy.

11DorsVenabili
Aug 4, 2011, 10:47am Top

How did you like The City and the City? I read Perdido Street Station and liked it, but apparently not enough to immediately read the other two books in the trilogy (The Scar and The Iron Council), because that was a couple of years ago. Maybe trilogies overwhelm me. I'm not sure. I really want to like him though.

12labrick
Aug 5, 2011, 11:21am Top

I felt the same way about the city and the city. It was good, just not good enough for me to explore other books from the same author right away. I'm sure I'll read something else by mieville, but it will be awhile.

13DorsVenabili
Aug 5, 2011, 12:30pm Top

Good to know - thanks for the update!

14ronincats
Aug 5, 2011, 1:16pm Top

Good Omens is a favorite of mine--I've read it many times. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

16labrick
Nov 3, 2011, 1:33pm Top

Sept. & October:
Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel
The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

I'm slowing down. Don't think I'm going to make it to 75 this year. Especially with some of the thick books i want to read.

17labrick
Jan 3, 2012, 5:35pm Top

Only read 60 books this year. Didn't read anything Nov. and Dec. I could have forced myself to complete the challenge, but that seems counter to the spirit of the thing. I also included some novellas on the list, but I figure they are given extra weight because of some of the tomes I've read this year.

Happy New Year.

Good luck with this years 75

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2011

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