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50 Book Pledge Update

July 28, 2015

Because why would anyone limit themselves to only one challenge at a time?

I pledged to read 50 books in 2015, just finished #18 tonight!

My bookshelf thus far:




Highlights since my last update:

The High Road was the lone 5 star from books #8-18.  It’s a shame its lead character, Angus McLintock, is fictitious – he’d be the ideal politician!

Book #19 may end up being 5 star material (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes) once I finish the last couple of cases.

There weren’t any misses either, all were quite readable.  Though there’s some selection bias I suppose as unlike the 1001 project, I don’t have to pick from a specific list.

If I had to select a top 5 of the year to date….

5. Clive Veroni, Spin

4. Gord Downie, Coke Machine Glow.  Speaking of biases, my recency bias is out of control here, I’ve got his accompanying solo album playing as I type!

3. Terry Fallis, The High Road

2. Jocelyn Saucier, And the Birds Rained Down

1. Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake


I can’t say all these books would have qualified for Evastalker’s neat TBR20 project but I’m pleased to report a couple of these were already owned and now finally read!

I always enjoy playlist posts (like Apple Pie and Napalm’s recent one), I find it really interesting hearing about what fellow bloggers think is worth hearing, seeing, or reading.

Which of course leads me to my final question: what are you reading these days?

From → Uncategorized

  1. The Chamber is the only book from your list that I’ve read. I had a Grisham phase a long time ago.

    I’m currently reading How to Talk Dirty and Influence People.

    • Haha, not quite ‘how to win friends and influence people’ but sounds like a good read to me!

      • It’s the autobiography of Lenny Bruce. It may spawn a blog post. Not sure yet.

      • I have REM to thank for introducing me to Lenny Bruce in ‘it’s the end of the world…’ – Lenny & Leonard Bernstein!

      • Birds and snakes and airplanes….

        That’s probably where I first heard his name, too. My sibs were listening to REM around me long before I was old enough to hear anything Lenny Bruce actually said:)

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    I’ve decided to give Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon another go… I think this time I might actually get through it.Your list so far this year is quite eclectic, some good choices there. I quite enjoyed Oryx and Crake when I read it, though the image of genetically modified turkeys (or was it chickens?) where all of its parts were breasts still haunts me.

    • Plenty of disturbing images, yes!
      It reminded me a bit of the circle by Dave Eggers (or the circle reminded me of oryx in crake) with the idea that the bio-tech advances were likely well intentioned at first but started advancing out of control into some dark/disastrous territory.
      And I forgot to mention, I reserved Kill Your Friends the other day upon your recommendation, that’ll be one of the next ones!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Nice! You should get some chuckles out of that one. Some great Britpop references to boot.

  3. I am two thirds of the way through The Martian by Andy Weir, it may be the best science fiction I have read this year, I now am sure I will be disappointed by the movie.

    • Ahh yes – I saw the trailer, looked like a good cast. But I guess if you go in with low expectations, hopefully the film won’t be as disappointing.
      Thanks for commenting Neil!

  4. Re-reading Persuasion by Jane Austen; I reread one of hers (at least) every year. Not that I’m an obsessive type at all…

    • Not in the slightest!
      And thank you for reminding me, I started Pride & Prejudice a while ago but didn’t finish. I really enjoyed the crafting of some of the lines, was able to use one this weekend. “you want to tell me and I have no objection to hearing it”

      • She’s my fave author, along with William Burroughs – shame they never collaborated.

  5. John Sturm permalink

    I’m flitting between books at the moment: A Guide to ‘The Prisoner’ from the DVD boxset for a few years ago, Michael Palin: Diaries 1988-98, Stephen King: Revival & Ernest Cline: Ready Player One.

    • Flitting between 4 of them at once, nice John! I have a colleague who puts a book on each floor of her house, so depending where she is, she’s always reading something

      • John Sturm permalink

        Variety is the spice of life!

  6. I am reading A Pirate Looks at 50-Jimmy Buffet. I was asked to do a blog post about a recent amazing book purchase so I stopped reading “Pirate” and binge-read the new book. I will post it this Thursday as it is a special anniversary for the book, and the man it revolves around. Tune into my blog for more details if you wish. I saw the Rob Ford book recently at a thrift store and almost bought it. How is that book?
    I am also very interested in the Gord Downie book. If his book is anything like his personality when performing live, I am in like Flynn.

    • Looking forward to the amazing book purchase review THursday!

      The Rob Ford one was a compelling read. Not being a Torontonian, I found it quite interesting but for some of my T.O. friends & family, it’s probably still “too soon!” The journalist did a good job though of not attacking, Rob didn’t actually come across as a mean guy.

      Not everyone was as big a fan of GD’s book as I was, I hadn’t read it since it came out in 2001.

      It was good to be back & it was neat re-reading the poems that made up big parts of his first 2 solo CDs. Some of the others were more abstract, some I got some pretty clear images while reading.
      But if you see it in a thrift store, not a bad investment!

      • I just bought Love and Death today at a thrift store. I might do a double blog post about this book and Who Killed Kurt Cobain. I love a good conspiracy theory. Perhops this book will delve deeper into how aCourtney got away with murder. (Can of worms now open)

  7. Zack permalink

    Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warnings .

  8. Timely post, considering my recent post! I guess you know what I’ve been reading…

    • Sarca I’d like to think our similar posts is a case of ‘great minds…’ as opposed to ‘fools seldom…’!

  9. Hey well done! 18 down, great! Only 32 more to go in… 5 months. Only a little under 6.5/month! You can do it!

    I’m thrilled to see Gordie here, of course. I’ve got the book/cd combo, autographed even! 🙂

    My own TBR20 from evastalker’s challenge is ongoing. I started just before the New Year, and am most of the way through #18. It’s an excellent graphic novel by Alan Moore called From Hell. Yep, they made a movie for it. But this thing is huge, and will all the annotations it’s incredible. More than a novel, an entire research project!

    My whole list of books read is right here:

  10. Now I have even more books to add to my very long “To Read Someday/Eventually List”!
    I just finished reading the second book in the “Veronica Mars” series called “Mr. Kiss and Tell”. The books are written by Rob Thomas, the creator of the great TV series. They take place after the 2014 movie and reference that movie as well as the TV show. The novels are just like watching an episode of the show with all the familiar characters, snappy dialogue, and distinctive style. I would definitely recommend these mystery stories for fans who are longing for more adventures of Veronica Mars.

    • I’ve heard very good things about Veronica Mars but have yet to explore the show or books. Glad to hear another vote in favour – another addition to my ‘someday/eventually list’ – thanks Quirky T!

  11. Woohoo for Oryx & Crake! It was definitely a case of the greats being polarizing for our English class, but I can assume those who were unimpressed were the same who considered reading sparknotes equal to reading the book.

    If you’re taking reccommendations, I reccommend Haruki Murakami! I heard him described as the japanese Kurt Vonnegut. His first two books (part of a trilogy/quadrillogy) were retranslated and come out next week, and they’re really good (and really short). His third, A Wild Sheep Chase is absolutely excellent, and is already one of my favourites even though I only finished it this month.

    • Really good and really short sounds about right for the 50 book pledge, noted!
      I enjoyed his running book earlier this year, looked in the Kingston libraries for Norwegian wood, but it was not to be. This trilogy/quad sounds promising.
      Good to hear from you Ben – Modest Mouse was an answer at the Grad Club’s Trivia Night tonight!

      • I think the new verison is going by “Wind/Pinball”, originally “Hear the Wind Sing” and “Pinball, 1973”. They’re worth the read, and if you do you’re half way through the quadriligy (more like 1/4 by page numbes)!

        I’m reading Norwegian Wood right now actually, so far so good. It’s very similar to the quadrilogy as far as characters go. The protagonist spends all of his free time eating/drinking at cafes and bars, listening to records and reading books, all while pursuing some mysterious female. Apparently this is pretty standard for his books.

        Isn’t it some sort of sacrilege for Western alumni to be at the Grad Club? Speaking of Modest Mouse, I saw them on the weekend!!! Post coming soon!

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