Brakketh's 2019 up-ROOT-ing


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Brakketh's 2019 up-ROOT-ing

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Edited: Jan 2, 2020, 3:59am

Back again in 2019 and looking forward to discovering further great reads from my shelves. After managing 28 in 2018 I'm setting myself a goal of 30 in 2019 with a focus on chunkier ROOTs as these tend to have been around for a while.

1. Torments of the Traitor finished 19 January.
2. Fun Home finished 3 February.
3. Moon Palace finished 24 March.
4. The Information finished 1 April.
5. Shadow & Claw: The Book of the New Sun finished 5 April.
6. On War finished 27 July.
7. Salem's Lot finished 18 August.
8. The Rosie Result finished 19 August.
9. Don Quixote finished 25 August.
10. Sharps finished 6th September.

11. Dangerous Visions 1 finished 9th September.
12. Asimov's Science Fiction, January-February 2019 finished 16th September.
13. Any Ordinary Day finished 21st September.
14. Chapterhouse Dune finished 4th October.
15. The Kill Order finished 8th October.
16. Divergent finished 12th October.
17. The Maze Runner finished 13th October.
18. The Scorch Trials finished 16th October.
19. The Death Cure finished 16th October.
20. A Maggot finished 5th November.

21. Insurgent finished 9th November.
22. The Wind from the Sun finished 9th November.
23. The Underwharf finished 14th November.
24. Allegiant finished 21st November.
25. Investigations of a Dog finished 23rd November.
26. The Wonder finished 5th December.
27. Three Moments of an Explosion finished 8th December.
28. The Problem That Has No Name finished 8th December.
29. Gone finished 15th December.
30. Hunger unread.

31. Plague unread.
32. The Sands of Mars finished 24th December.
33. The Call finished 29th December.

Jan 3, 2019, 7:02pm

Welcome back and have a great reading year! Good luck with those chunksters.

Jan 3, 2019, 8:55pm

>1 brakketh: I do the same, let the big guys sit. I did better last year and read 5 over 600 pages. I hope I can (meaning will) do that again this year! Good luck!

Jan 4, 2019, 3:12am

Welcome back, Kale. It's good to see you here again. If you need any encouragement with the chunksters you could join the BFB group (Big Fat Books, more than 600 pages) as I did last years. It helps to set a goal there as well.

Jan 4, 2019, 6:07am

Welcome back, and good luck! I've got a chunkster I've just started, I'm planning on it being a year-long read though as that works better for me.

Jan 4, 2019, 9:53am

Welcome back and good luck with those chunksters!

Jan 18, 2019, 5:44pm

ROOT 1. Torments of the Traitor by Ian Irvine.

First chunky ROOT for the year. Enjoyable continuation of the Three Worlds Cycle, if you liked the previous books I'd recommend keeping reading the series.

Feb 2, 2019, 8:04pm

ROOT 2. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Moving and painfully honest discussion of Bechdel's childhood and sexuality.

Mar 23, 2019, 10:59pm

ROOT 3. Moon Palace by Paul Auster.

Marco Stanley Fogg's search for identity through the various father (and father figures) relationships. Enjoyable slow burning novel with a sense of magic woven throughout.

Mar 31, 2019, 4:37am

Hi Kale, just popping in to see what you are reading.

Apr 15, 2019, 4:55pm

>10 connie53: Hey Connie, thanks for checking in, a couple of interesting reads finished in April.

ROOT 4. The Information by Martin Amis.
A competition (for one side at least) between two middle aged novelists on successful and the other unappreciated.

ROOT 5. Shadow & Claw: The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.
This one had been on my 'to read' list for significantly longer then it had been on my shelf. I found it a dense and almost surreal read in sections. The first of the Wolfe novels I've read and doubt it'll be the last.

May 2, 2019, 2:26pm

And popping in again! I guess you have read some more since >11 brakketh:.

Jul 27, 2019, 6:52pm

ROOT 6. On War by Carl von Clausewitz.

This is an old ROOT for me, bought it back when I was a student at university. Glad I held onto it and that I finally read it.

I always find it amazing how some writers have the ability to synthesise from their specific experiences ideas that feel true as the general case. Despite the age found this a very readable and engaging translation.

Sep 3, 2019, 1:39am

ROOT 7. Salem's Lot by Stephen King.

Terrifying at times (e.g., don't read it alone in a house in an isolated location). Love the premise of small towns just disappearing and how easily this can occur.

Sep 3, 2019, 1:43am

ROOT 8. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion.

Light hearted and enjoyable characters.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 11:39pm

ROOT 9. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

One of the large ROOTs that I'm glad to have cleared from my shelf for the space and because it's such a pleasure to read.

Just amazing, I can see why it is often described as a foundation of the modern novel. In many ways it reads like it was written last week rather than more than 400 years ago.

Sep 4, 2019, 5:32pm

>16 brakketh: Congrats on finishing such a large ROOT! Glad that you liked it a lot, too :)

Sep 5, 2019, 12:20pm

>16 brakketh: That's a great achievement, Kale.

Sep 5, 2019, 7:45pm

Thanks rabbitprincess and connie53. ROOTing through my shelves has been a great pleasure as I've found a few of these classics were really enjoyable reads for me. Hopefully would have got to then eventually but I suspect not for much longer.

ROOT 10. Sharps by K.J. Parker

Standard KJ Parker fare, very enjoyable if that's what you like. I do so I was very satisfied.

Sep 6, 2019, 2:47am

>19 brakketh: I've found some gems on the shelves too when choosing ROOTs. Very rewarding.

Sep 9, 2019, 9:45pm

ROOT 11. Dangerous Visions 1 edited by Harlan Ellison.

The dangerous visions offered have dated in a similar way to much of the 60s/70s science fiction. If you are a fan of the post-Golden Age science fiction (focus on social issues and breaking of barriers) then I think you'll enjoy this, not really for me though.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 11:39pm

ROOT 12. Asimov's Science Fiction, January-February 2019

Enjoyable selection of some great science fiction.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 11:38pm

ROOT 13. Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales.

Well written description of what happens the days after the worst day of your life. Interviews with a number of Australians famous for experiencing unexpected tragedies.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 11:38pm

ROOT 14. Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert.

I've always found Dune enjoyable though the philosophy of life grabs me only weakly. Glad to have finally finished of the original quintet.

Oct 5, 2019, 4:26am

>24 brakketh: I've read the Dune books a very long time ago and loved them.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 11:38pm

ROOT 15. The Kill Order by James Dashner.

Found this novel in a communal sharing space for the apartment and can see why someone decided to pass it along. It was placed with the Maze Runner trilogy and I thought I would read the series in order. I am hoping that the remainder of the novels are stronger as this one really didn't engage me at all and was very simply written.

Oct 9, 2019, 5:38am

>25 connie53: Agree, find some of the philosophy a little meandering but can definitely see how they're timeless and still popular.

Oct 11, 2019, 11:38pm

ROOT 16. Divergent by Veronica Roth.

A little simplistic at times but a real page turner and enjoyable.

Oct 15, 2019, 5:15pm

ROOT 17. The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Enjoyed this much more than the prequel "The Kill Order". Still very simply written and like a string of action sequences rather than a more thorough narrative. Fun to skim and pass the time with.

Oct 15, 2019, 10:10pm

ROOT 18. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner.

The series continues, in my opinion the characterisation continues to be weak.

Oct 16, 2019, 6:12am

ROOT 19. The Death Cure by James Dashner.

Not very satisfying for me but a good read for a day where you're sick at home.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 10:44pm

ROOT 20. A Maggot by John Fowles.

Ever since reading The Collector for a school assignment I've had a soft spot for John Fowles writing. The style drawing from letters and interviews, the lack of resolution and just beautiful writing all made this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Nov 8, 2019, 10:42pm

ROOT 21. Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Challenging read for me. I'm never quite sure if it is good writing that young adult characters are so emotional, hold absolute positions with little information beyond emotion to support them, and show limited thought of consequence or if this reflects the authors worldview. Still very much a page turner and I look forward to seeing how the world building plays out but a little tired of some of the characters - not the escape I was looking for.

Nov 9, 2019, 7:04pm

ROOT 22. The Wind from the Sun by Arthur C. Clarke.

Very enjoyable collection of Clarke's writing from the 60s and early 70s.

Trying for a final push to complete 8 more ROOTs for 2019 to reach my target. The group has been very helpful for me as my newly purchased books have dropped to close to zero while I try and read through my backlog.

Nov 14, 2019, 5:38am

ROOT 23. The Underwharf by Gaby Naher.

Surprisingly enjoyable and readable. My sister gave me this book as she was moving countries and knew I was nostalgic fo Sydney. Enjoyable coming of age story with a focus on complex family relationships an friendships.

Nov 14, 2019, 7:07am

>34 brakketh: Good luck with your target! I'm a little behind myself but still optimistic I can make it.

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 3:13am

>34 brakketh: You can do it Kale. I loved the books by Veronica Roth. For me it's just a nice read that needs not much thinking. Sometimes I need that kind of reading to take my mind of RL things.

Edited: Nov 22, 2019, 10:57pm

ROOT 24. Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

Finished with more of a whimper than a bang for me unfortunately. Agree with connie53 that it is a book for somewhat mindless reading.

Nov 22, 2019, 11:16pm

ROOT 25. Investigations of a Dog by Franz Kafka.

A series of short descriptions (from the perspective of the dog enquirer) regarding cultural customs. Neat, short and fun read.

A few more of this length would be very helpful in reaching my up-ROOT-ing goal :)

Nov 24, 2019, 4:42am

>39 brakketh: I am now eyeing a few thin books just for the purpose of making my goal.

Nov 24, 2019, 11:16am

>39 brakketh: >40 MissWatson: We've all done it!

Nov 24, 2019, 2:13pm

>41 Jackie_K: Yes we did!

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 3:04am

ROOT 26. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.
Thoroughly enjoyed this slow burning mystery with a nice could of aha moments throughout.

ROOT 27. Three Moments of an Explosion by China MiƩville.
Collection of weird and wonderful stories (as you would expect from his other writing).

ROOT 28. The Problem That Has No Name by Betty Friedan.
Excerpts from The Feminine Mystique - powerful, though reflects the time it was written.

#28 was got moved up the reading queue to help me get across the line as the excerpts only run to about 60 pages.

Dec 11, 2019, 3:49am

You can do it, only two more!

Dec 14, 2019, 8:10pm

ROOT 29. Gone by Michael Grant.

Cruel in many places and a little too young adult for me to really enjoy.

Did not enjoy this one at all so the other two in the series are also leaving my shelves unread.
ROOT 30 & 31. Hunger & Plague by Michael Grant.

Edited: Dec 21, 2019, 4:55am

And Yeah, you reached your goal!

Dec 19, 2019, 4:54am


Jan 1, 2020, 8:06am

>46 connie53: & >47 MissWatson: Thank you, very happy with the reads that were on my shelf and almost as happy to clear some space of books I don't want to read.

ROOT 32. The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke
ROOT 33. The Call by O'Guiling, Peadar