josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Annual Reading Challenge

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:17 am

josta59 wrote:After that I definitely need to read something good. Can anyone suggest a crazy, over-the-top action/adventure novel, preferably written in the last few decades? I'm tempted to write one myself since I can never find one that truly thrills me, but writing hasn't been such a joyful experience for me lately.


What sort of thing are you looking for? Something set in modern times or historical. Semi-realistic or complete fantasy. The first books that spring to mind are The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40346-thedresden-files

This is my all time favourite series,

I am being called, a bit more later.
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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:16 am

Modern, realistic, heavy on action, thanks
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:55 pm

Hhmm, for modern I usually go with crime rather than action/adventure but I have recently tried a couple of books by Tom Cain which were quite good.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/606367.Tom_Cain

A series that I really like are the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5091.Lee_Child
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks very much, Frank. See how hard it is? Really good writers tend to not write action/adventure novels. Pity me. Maybe I just ask too much of the world. Where are today's Hemingways?
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:19 pm

There is not much out there is there?

Nelson DeMille has done some I liked, By the Rivers Of Babylon, Cathedral, The Generals Daughter ,filmed with John Travolta, not quite as good as the other two.

Dale Brown`s Dreamworld books are quite good.

I can`t really think of any more at the moment, as I said, with me it is crime, oh and horror.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:03 pm

This week I watched a film version of The Castle from 1997 (IMDB link), in German with English subtitles. I actually enjoyed it far more as a film than as a book, despite its total aimlessness. I loved the acting and atmosphere, and there's almost no music, which gives it a surreal feeling (or maybe more realistic?). It's streaming on Netflix, two hours long.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:38 am

For over-the-top Action Adventure, for me, you can't beat Clive Cussler's novels...tons out there. I got started in the series of books with "Treasure of Khan"

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From the frigid lakes of Siberia to the hot wastes of the Gobi desert, Dirk Pitt is on the trail of fabled treasure . . .

Rescuing an oil survey team from a freak wave on Russia's Lake Baikal is all in a day's work for adventurers Dirk Pitt and partner Al Giordino. Yet when their ship is sabotaged and the survey team vanishes, Pitt is forced to get to the bottom of a mystery with far-reaching consequences.

Soon he's on his way to Mongolia. There, a powerful and ruthless business tycoon holding an astonishing secret about Genghis Khan is hoping to emulate the legend's greatest conquests - but on a global scale!

With the legacy of Khan and the lost treasures of Xanadu as the prize and the future security of the world at stake, Dirk Pitt for one isn't going to stand idly by . . .

Treasure of Khan is the nineteenth of Clive Cussler's bestselling Dirk Pitt novels - the series that also includes Shock Wave and, his first novel, Mayday - and is co-authored with his son Dirk Cussler.



'Cussler is hard to beat' Daily Mail

Bestselling author Clive Cussler has thrilled readers for four decades with his classic adventure novels filled with intrigue and plot twists. As well as the Dirk Pitt series there are also the NUMA and OregonFiles, the Isaac Bell adventures and the Fargo series. Other Dirk Pitt titles available in Penguin paperback are Atlantis Found, Valhalla Rising, Trojan Odyssey, Black Wind, Arctic Drift, Crescent Dawn andThe Kingdom.
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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:53 pm

Thought someone might mention Cussler. I read his first book and enjoyed the action and setting, but not his style (and his dialogue back then was atrocious). Not looking for anything in the "action genre" unless the writing is top-notch, like John le Carre. That's an author I can get into, but it's still genre writing according to a formula. I want pure literary fiction, not genre, that includes over-the-top action, not bound by formula. But I'm way too picky.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:15 am

3. Inside Traitors, by David J. Allen (2011)
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I had this on my phone for a couple of years before I finally read it. Even with books, you certainly get what you pay for. This wasn't my first free book from the Amazon Kindle store, but it certainly takes the prize for worst writing. And yet, I give it two out of five stars.

I wanted some novels about corporate espionage a couple of years ago. I didn't find very many, so I was looking forward to this. But I had a lot of books in line ahead of it. I finally got around to this one last month. Disappointingly, there wasn't a trace of corporate espionage until well into the second half of the book, and even then it was pretty light.

I got a definite feeling that this author hasn't read very many books. He probably watches a lot of movies though, because he had a good idea and implemented it well despite his lack of writing skills. Between all the details about how the main character makes his breakfast and coffee and drives to work is a real gem of a story about the CEO of a software company whose vice presidents turn on him for their own gain, and the girlfriend who...well, I won't spoil it, just in case. But interwoven through this story is a backstory about a boy in need of a family, and another boy in need of a friend, and I'll admit I had tears in my eyes just a few chapters into it.

It's not at all what I was looking for, and you should be prepared for some god-awful unnecessary details, but the story is actually good if you read it fast.

I need some well written action and adventure now, so I'll be digging into a Le Carré next. It's been too long.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: josta59's 2015 Reading Challenge Log

Postby josta59 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:49 pm

4. The Tailor of Panama, by John le Carré (1996)
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I had bought a copy of the 2001 film a while back, so I was especially looking forward to this novel by my favorite author, John le Carré, since I wanted to view the movie after reading it. Not only that, but I've been very interested in Central American conflicts since I got the Firepower game. I read about spycraft in the Contra War at the beginning of the year (book #1), and it seemed only natural to now see what le Carré would do with Panama. It didn't give me the action and adventure fix I was looking for, but I do consider it one of the best novels I've read.

I don't want to give much away, because you should all read this. But essentially it's about a man who has made a name for himself as one of the best tailors in Panama, thus attracting the attention of the British spy service. They've taken an interest in the canal and want to find out what the president and other major players are up to. The tailor gets involved and things get out of hand...way out of hand.

Like some of le Carré's other books, such as The Looking Glass War, it's about government officials with too much time on their hands and too much incentive to destroy people's lives for their own political and financial gain. In other words, it's about government. This was a book right up my alley.

The entire time I read the book, I pictured Pierce Brosnan in the tailor role. Much to my surprise as my wife and I watched the film, he played the British spy instead. So that was an interesting switch.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848


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