Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Ed's Late Start But Made It !!!!!!

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message 1: by Ed (last edited Dec 01, 2008 04:24AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Here's the list of books, read since February 2008. In chronological order - #1, I read last February. Will add new ones in separate postings as I go. I have reviewed all of these in My Books on the goodreads site.

31. The Polish Officer: A Novel - Furst, Alan

30. Eat, Pray, Love - Gilbert, Elizabeth

29. Fragrant Harbour - Lanchester, John

28. Sharpe's Company - Cornwell, Bernard

27. Killing Rain -Eisler, Barry

26. Purity of Blood - Pérez-Reverte, Arturo

25. Double Play - Parker, Robert B.

24. The Appeal - Grisham, John

23. Act of Treason - Flynn, Vince

22. The Long Walk - Rawicz, Slavomir

21. Sharpe's Battle - Cornwell, Bernard

20. Iron Orchid - Woods, Stuart

19. The Rape of Nanking - Chang, Iris

18. Invisible Prey - Sandford, John

17. Blue Screen - Parker, Robert B.

16. Sharpe's Escape - Cornwell, Bernard

15. The Overlook - Connelly, Michael

14. Appaloosa - Parker, Robert B.

13. Sharpe's Gold - Cornwell, Bernard

12. The Messenger - Silva, Daniel

11. An Army at Dawn - Atkinson, Rick

10. Sharpe's Eagle - Cornwell, Bernard

9. The Hard Way - Child, Lee

8. The Triumph of the Sun - Smith, Wilbur

7. The Blue Nowhere - Deaver, Jeffery

6. The Suspect - Lescroart, John

5. Watchman - Crais, Robert

4. Sharpe's Havoc - Cornwell, Bernard

3. Dark Star - Furst, Alan

2. The Judas Judge - McGarrity, Michael

1. The Two Minute Rule - Crais, Robert

message 2: by Ed (last edited Dec 11, 2008 06:06PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

32. Promise Me - Coben, Harlan

"Promise Me" involves Coben coming back to Myron Bolitar after six years but at a higher level of writing. The first 50-100 pages are slow but then it takes off like a runaway train.

The final outcome is a little too neat and strains credibility a bit but surprising nevertheless.

message 3: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

33. Bad Luck and Trouble - Child, Lee

I got exactly what I expected. Lots of action, a little bit of sex, a few surprises and the good guys and gals won in the end.

message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

34. Brain Droppings - Carlin, George

Started while waiting for a friend. Finished a few days later. Funny! Funny! Funny! Laugh out loud in public funny! I for one will miss his uncompromising take on our messed up society. No way he will be resting in peace.

message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

35. Napalm & Silly Putty - Carlin, George

I almost OD'd on Carlin. While I enjoyed this book. I liked "Brain Droppings" more.

message 6: by Ed (last edited Oct 03, 2008 10:39AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

36. Slow Kill - McGarrity, Michael

This book moves right along and is an easy but also interesting read. Chief Kearney gets tangled up in a murder in California on a horse buying trip. In fact, at one point, he is actually a suspect. He, with the help of one of his new investigators, manages to find the truth and bring the culprits to justice.

message 7: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

37. Protect and Defend - Flynn, Vince

Guilty pleasure time. Mitch Rapp saves the U.S. from terrorist disaster.

message 8: by Ed (last edited Oct 03, 2008 11:14AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

38. Sharpe's Sword - Cornwell, Bernard

In this episode, Sharpe encounters the evil Colonel Leroux, France's most ruthless assassin and fights in the Battle of Salamanca. He triumphs, of course, but not without many difficulties, including almost dying from a gunshot wound.

message 9: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

39. Dark Voyage - Furst, Alan

This particular story follows the travails of a Dutch Cargo ship that ends up running undercover missions for the British in early 1941.

message 10: by Ed (last edited Oct 09, 2008 05:58AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

40. Sidetracked - Mankell, Henning

This offering by Swedish author, Henning Mankell, featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, is difficult to categorize.

Is it a Mystery? Is it a Police Procedural? Is it a Thriller? Is it a Psychological Study?

In the end, it really doesn't matter because the story of the search for a serial killer is totally absorbing on its own.

This particular book is a good example of the best that Mankell has to offer: literature presented as a detective story.

message 11: by Ed (last edited Oct 17, 2008 10:49AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

41. The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism - Bacevich, Andrew J.

Written by a true conservative, ex-military officer and current Boston University professor, this book concisely explains how the actions of citizens, government and the military over the last 45 years have pushed the U.S into the position it finds itself in today.

Please read it before you vote this November. Discuss it in the "Books I'd Like to Discuss" group.

message 12: by Ed (last edited Oct 17, 2008 10:49AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

42. Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West - McCarthy, Cormac

I am ambivalent about this book. I loved it. I hated it. I admired it. I was puzzled by it. One thing is I was never bored by it.

There is no plot to speak of just a violent trek across the American Southwest in the 1850's with a company of total reprobates who murder and scalp Indians, Mexicans, Americans and anyone else they run into.

message 13: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

43. Requiem For An Assassin - Eisler, Barry

How does one humanize an assassin? Elmore Leonard does it in the "Hitman" series with humor and a light touch. Barry Eisler takes a darker road in this story and introduces self-doubt and introspection as a way of showing us John Rain's human side.

A warning for the faint hearted: There is no lack of violence in this book in spite of the time spent on Rain's internal struggles.

message 14: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments Thanks for the encouragement on my review of All the Pretty Horses, Ed! I may be tempted to delve more deeply into McCarthy's work now. I also may have to steal my brother's Carlin books if you think they're that good!

message 15: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

45. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Hosseini, Khaled

I don't know how Hosseini does it but his stories just flow. He is a master story-teller and this story is a masterpiece.

message 16: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

44. The Forgotten Man - Crais, Robert

In my opinion, not one of Crais' better efforts. Elvis Cole's continuous search for the father he never knew is appropriated by someone trying to get revenge for the murder of her family.

message 17: by Ed (last edited Oct 30, 2008 06:31PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

46. Dave Barry's History of the Millenium (So Far) - Barry, Dave

I am a big fan of Dave Barry's column but sometimes his books can be too much of a good thing. In this case, I finished the whole 205 page book in about 4 hours or less. I certainly chuckled every few seconds or so as I really do find his exaggerated statements quite humorous. He covers the second millenium in one chapter and then the years 2000 - 2006 in a chapter each though 2001 is basically skipped.

message 18: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

47. Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) - Cornwell, Bernard

I might never have picked up this book to read if it hadn't been written by Bernard Cornwell.

This volume is the first in the four book "Starbuck" series featuring Nathaniel Starbuck, a conflicted ex-theology student and son of a fiery abolitionist preacher. He is seduced by an actress who dumps him in Richmond, Virginia at the start of the Civil War. He is rescued from tar and feathering by his best friend's father Washington Faulconer. He joins Faulconer's Legion, a fictional unit and is caught up in the First Battle of Bull Run fighting against the North.

message 19: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

48. The Woods - Coben, Harlan

Coben keeps getting better and better.

I read this novel while on a 24 hour trip from Las Vegas to Hong Kong. I could not put it down. The suspense is complete. The characterizations are excellent. The plotting is superb. The story is believable, though fictional, because we have all been in families so we know all families have secrets.

message 20: by Ed (last edited Nov 13, 2008 07:02PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding:

49. Separation of Power - Flynn, Vince

A disappointing effort by Vince Flynn. The writing appeared to be Flynn channeling Tom Clancy. The story also tried to show Mitch Rapp's softer side.I kept waiting for the real Mitch Rapp to appear but he only showed up rarely and in short bursts.

message 21: by Ed (last edited Nov 22, 2008 09:30PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Ta Da! Reached 50 in less than nine months. Will continue until December 31 and then start over again.


50. The Summer Game - Angell, Roger

A wonderful trip down memory lane. Baseball from 1961-1971.

message 22: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments Wahoo, terrific and congratulations!!!!!

message 23: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

51. Pegasus Descending - Burke, James Lee

James Lee Burke is an American treasure.

His most well-known works are the Dave Robicheaux novels about a troubled but highly ethical Vietnam veteran, ex-alcoholic, ex New Orleans PD detective and survivor. "Pegasus Descending' continues Robicheaux's story with a great plot that takes the entire book to unravel.

message 24: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

52. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Betrayal - Van Lustbader, Eric

I think we were the ones betrayed.

After Ludlum died, somebody, maybe his publisher, maybe his heirs decided they didn't want to see a good thing die with him. So they came up with the idea of having Eric Van Lustbader, who hadn't written a best seller in years continue the series. Wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

message 25: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

53. Iron Lake - Krueger, William Kent

This is a first novel by an obviously talented author.

The protagonist, Cork O'Connor, is Native American and Irish, living in Northern Minnesota on the edge of an Indian reservation. He's an ex-sheriff and an ex- Chicago cop, so little bothers him except for unsolved mysteries and anything that threatens those whom he cares about.

message 26: by Ed (last edited Dec 03, 2008 01:59AM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

54. Now & Then - Parker, Robert B.

This story hit all the right notes. The usual characters are here Susan and Hawk, of course, Vinnie, Chollo, Frank Belsen and Marty Quirk. The story is fast paced and switches between the case he is working on and an event in his and Susan's past which he hasn't quite processed.

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Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

55. Gweilo - Booth, Martin

This book grabbed me "big time" and will stay with me "long time". I have lived in Hong Kong for 16+ years and have always wondered what it was really like before WW II and in the immediate post war years before it exploded. This memoir is like a guided trip back in time.

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Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Adding

56. Sharpe's Skirmish - Cornwell, Bernard

This short 64 page story was originally a promotional give-away with the purchase of "Sharpe's Fortress" at W.H. Smith book stores.

It is a fast read, to say the least. The story, which takes place in August 1812, literally zips along culminating in a skirmish between French forces trying to interdict Wellington's supply lines and Sharpe's small command in place to protect a bridge and a small fortress on the Tormes River in Spain.

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