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Forum nameReading Challenges 2012
Topic subjecticon's reading - 2012
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=617&topic_id=153
153, icon's reading - 2012
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 05:27 AM
154, A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 05:35 AM
Book two in the A Song of Fire and Ice series. Things get more interesting and complex as the novel progresses, setting things up for the next phase of the story.
155, Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 05:42 AM
Another fun read by Carl Hiaasen which made me laugh out loud at moments. His apt description of modern life along with his eccentric characters make for humorous and also a bit insightful novel.
156, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 05:49 AM
A very detailed description of life as a slave by one of the most famous voices on that topic. It is very interesting, especially given the distance from Slavery that exists today given the time that has passed since it was abolished.
157, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 05:57 AM
Having seen the movie years ago (and remembering it fondly) I decided to pick this book up and was not dissapointed. Books are generaly better than the film and this was no exception. The cast of characters is fairly large and the story is told in bits and pieces with the largest insight provided by the main character. Overall a very satisfying read.
158, Rafa by Rafael Nadal and John Carlin
Posted by icon, Thu Mar-15-12 06:05 AM
The story thus far of Rafael Nadal's life told as framed by his 2008 Wimbledon Final against Federer. It includes observations made and about other important figures in his life along with the first person narrative from his point of view. An interesting read for those who like tennis and especially Rafael Nadal
173, Saint-Exupery: A Biography by Stacy Schiff
Posted by icon, Sat Apr-07-12 10:19 AM

The interesting life of Saint Exupery who to certain extent was less of a writer than simply someone who lived his life and wrote well. Although well written, this biography unfortunately does all of its quotations in English rather than being in French with subsequent translations.
174, A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
Posted by icon, Sat Apr-07-12 10:35 AM
Book Three in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The plot is complex and to a certain extent realistic in the sense that the good people don't always win and the bad don't always lose. As with the other novels in the series there is no main antagonist or protagonist just many important characters that have different ideas and viewpoints.
176, La neige en deuil par Henri Troyat
Posted by icon, Tue Apr-10-12 06:59 AM

Plutôt une nouvelle qu'un roman, ce livre est simple mais bien exécuté.
184, The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull
Posted by icon, Wed Apr-18-12 11:46 PM

A very interesting book about hierarchies throughout organizations and life. Told with humor it has many valid and interesting points about current society and the place we all have in it.
203, The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart
Posted by icon, Wed Apr-25-12 06:01 AM

A very accessible overview of biology, along with the various revolutions in human understanding of how it works. In particular it examines the recent understanding on how math can be used to understand how life works in much the same way it was previously used for physics. The content is simplified so that the principles can be easily understood using familiar illustrations to help explain the various theories, models and their application.
210, Split Infinity by Piers Anthony
Posted by icon, Tue May-01-12 12:09 AM

The first in the Apprentice Adept series it is a good blend of Science Fiction and fantasy providing a quick paced story in an intriguing environment and society. Although it does not have a cliff hanger of an ending, there are many questions yet to be answered by the end of the book.
219, The Climate Fix by Roger Pielke Jr.
Posted by icon, Sun May-06-12 10:18 PM

A very interesting, and eye-opening book about the uncertainties involved in climate research focusing on what science really says and what politicians on different sides take it to mean. As with everything in life, things are not as simple as people would like us to believe though the price for inaction is of course high.
221, A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
Posted by icon, Wed May-09-12 08:28 AM

Book four in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, it moves along at a decent pace with a lot of intrigue and developing plot lines that are left hanging for the next book. Good and Bad characters have their struggles and triumphs, much like real life, and there is no overwhelming foe that threatens everyone, or at least nothing tangible as of yet. Just rumors here and there of deeper things, but never explicitly expressed.
231, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Posted by icon, Mon May-21-12 07:48 AM

A murder mystery set after Pride and Prejudice which probably more enjoyable if I had read the Jane Austin novel. It runs at a reasonable pace and is fairly engaging.
241, Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King by Brad Matsen
Posted by icon, Sat Jun-02-12 01:40 PM
A broad strokes kind of biography of Jacques Cousteau, which is to be expected to some extent. Interesting and factual, if you are interested in what Jacques Cousteau did more than who he was, then it will keep you reading.
249, Blue Adept by Piers Anthony
Posted by icon, Fri Jun-08-12 10:46 PM

The second in the Aprentice Adept series, it moves along at a brisk pace though it spends a little too much time rehashing the events of the previous book. The ending is a bit abrupt leading the reader to the next novel in the series.
270, A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Posted by icon, Tue Jun-26-12 05:51 AM

Alas, it will be some time before the next book in this series will come out. The story is engaging and several characters are brought a lot further in this book and left to fates that are unresolved. As with some of the previous books in this series there is a mix of triumphs and disappointments which can make it seem vaguely unsatisfying.
284, Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
Posted by icon, Tue Jul-03-12 11:57 PM

If you ever wondered, as a nerd, what it would be like to meet those people you have seen on the big screen, then this biography would be a good way to find out, or at least experience it as Simon Pegg did. A rather lighthearted but sincere look at his life with a fancied super heroic version of himself as part of a fictional adventure for part of it, it is an engaging read that manages to inject humor and insight about the big screen and relate the tale of someone who has experienced it.
285, Juxtaposition by Piers Anthony
Posted by icon, Wed Jul-04-12 06:13 AM

The third book in the Apprentice Adept series it is replete with action. The primary threat to the main character having been abated in the prior two books, he can get on with his life, or can he? A deeper mystery that had been looming since the first book is fully explored and explained and brought to a satisfying conclusion.
288, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Posted by icon, Wed Jul-11-12 06:55 AM

A short novel with its share of excitement and introspection. It present an interesting viewpoint on humanity and the appearance of time.
292, Fraternity by Diane Brady
Posted by icon, Sat Jul-14-12 09:07 PM

In a time when segregation still existed and civil rights were still being fought over a Jesuit priest took it upon himself to increase the black population of his university and chose a group of students to given full scholarships to study at Holy Cross. Fraternity relates the story of these young men, and Father Brooks and how they dealt with the school, the times and themselves. A very interesting account of that period of time and a reminder that there are people out there willing to fight for what is right and good.
310, Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Posted by icon, Sun Aug-05-12 05:29 PM

Although a bit dated given recent discoveries in science and changes in global politics, Cosmos is still relevant in its description of the universe and our place within it. An interesting read not simply because of the science but because of the history of the researchers that came to the conclusions that we now considered as common place.
315, The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse
Posted by icon, Fri Aug-10-12 10:17 PM

A light novel which is imbued with Wodehouse's humor though it lacks some of the finesse and wit of his later works.
316, The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Posted by icon, Sun Aug-12-12 10:41 AM

Set in North Korea, this book is a really interesting depiction of life in that country and some of the philosophy of people living there. At least that is for the first part of book. About midway through the narrative, it becomes less of a depiction of life there, albeit through the eyes of selected individual, and more of a story with a definite goal. Overall a fascinating book which unfortunately, because of current suppression of freedoms in North Korea, we cannot really know how fictionalized it really is.
317, Animal Farm by Georges Orwell
Posted by icon, Sun Aug-12-12 06:21 PM

The allegorical short novel so famously quoted and referred to by so many people really does cause you think what could have been in regards to communism if a different path had been taken. Although to a certain extent communism (at least Soviet communism anyway) is dead, the plot is still relevant today in the way those in politics (or those vying for political office) seek to distort whatever has come before to justify their current stance.
333, London Under by Peter Ackroyd
Posted by icon, Tue Aug-21-12 09:08 PM

A guide to what lies, and has lain, beneath London. It is fairly interesting, but seem to be lacking depth. It probably is great touristic book if you are spending time in the city (or live there), but without some idea of the layout of London it falls a bit flat.
336, Les Fleurs du mal par Charles Baudelaire
Posted by icon, Sun Aug-26-12 08:09 PM

C'est la poésie de Baudelaire, il-y-a rien d'autre a dire.
340, Noir roman par Viviane Moore
Posted by icon, Thu Aug-30-12 05:49 AM
Mystère qui ce déroule aux XIIe siècle en Bretagne, Noir Roman est moderne dans son application de la formule d’enquêteur astucieux mais utilisant des repères historiques. Un bon petit livre pour ceux qui aiment bien les roman policiers.
344, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Posted by icon, Sat Sep-08-12 09:22 PM

Having seen the movie I was interested in reading the book and was surprised at how in some ways the movie is better, though of course the novel is superior in the depth that is given to the protagonists thoughts. The screenplay for the film was written by Amy Tan as well so in a sense they are simply different attempts by the author to tell the story. The novel was interesting and engaging with the blending of the tales and perspectives of Chinese mothers and their American daughters.
346, White Fang by Jack London
Posted by icon, Tue Sep-11-12 05:06 AM

Vaguely having remembered that I liked The Call of the Wild when I read it many years ago, I decided to give White Fang a try, and I was extremely gratified by Jack London's writing. The claustrophobic way he writes the first part and how he presents the perspective of the wolf so thoroughly. A gratifying novel, not just in content but in execution.
361, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Posted by icon, Wed Oct-03-12 06:31 AM
I of course had heard of Jane Austen, and of this novel, but I had never read it. Although I don't know how much praise is ascribed to her, now that I have finally read one of her writings I can understand were the admiration comes from. Although it is set in an almost foreign world to our eyes, the characters are accessible, the motivations understandable and the writing great. Certainly a light novel in terms of subject, but well executed and far reaching.
362, The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Posted by icon, Wed Oct-03-12 07:11 AM
The first book in the Heritage of Shannara trilogy it is very much an establishing book, introducing us to the characters and the setting for what is to come. At the same time, it is not simply exposition, but jumps right into action quickly introducing characters that are later expounded upon.