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The 100 Greatest Books of the 20th Century
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in 100_books' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
7:45 am
Review of A High Wind in Jamaica is up. I liked it.

I started Justine, the first book of the Alexandria Quartet. So far...too artsy fartsy for my taste. Hopefully it will pick up, but for right now its a lot of words without much meaning behind them.

Is anybody even reading this anymore?
Saturday, March 4th, 2006
1:18 pm
Review of Finnegans Wake.

So glad I'm done with that one. So, so glad.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2005
6:45 am
Tuesday, August 9th, 2005
4:01 am
Saturday, July 30th, 2005
6:36 pm
TEXTBOOKS AND Naipaul, Mukerjhee, Bulfinch,Welsh, Lee,Rice,Crichton,Selby,McCourt,Updike,Plath
I'm moving so I have to get rid of a lot of things. I have a ton of newish books. You can have them, Cheap.

10:23 am
Friday, July 29th, 2005
8:11 pm
Book review of Angle of Repose can be found here. Next up, Saul Bellow, which I've heard is not good.

Is anybody even reading this anymore? I mean, besides you Katherine?

I think I'm going to cross post to my journal.
Saturday, May 14th, 2005
11:35 am
Latest book review, A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul, is up on my web site and can be found here.

Next up, Angle of Repose
Friday, May 13th, 2005
12:55 pm
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
11:30 am
Sunday, March 6th, 2005
4:38 pm
Finished The Death of the Heart, review can be found here.

Next up, A Bend in the River.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005
2:54 pm
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Hmm...well it's done. I have to say, when I read a book like that, I feel like I should go back to third grade and practice reading comprehension. I started the book several weeks ago - back when our furnace first went out - and thought it would be good to curl up in bed, keeping warm while reading it for the weekend. Well, I ended up spending those two afternoons with a new cross stitch project, some home improvement books and some gardening catalogues. I did read the first few chapters then. I thought the prose was pretty and painted good pictures of the scenes. However, what was going on in the book, was somehow completely lost on me. Books like this one make me feel illiterate and stupid. I just never got it. I slogged through it all, but I just read a couple brief essays on the book and learned what it was truly about. So, I finished it, but I might as well have not.

I guess there had to be a bust, since I've enjoyed the last several of the books on the list very much, even though I never wrote up their reviews.

I'm not looking forward to the further readings of Joseph Conrad, but at least, Elizabeth Bowen looks like a welcome relief so far!
Friday, January 28th, 2005
12:19 pm
Well it took awhile, but I finally finished Lord Jim.

Up next, The Death of the Heart.
Thursday, November 4th, 2004
3:24 pm
Finished The Call of the Wild. That went fast. Review can be found here. Next up, The Old Wives' Tale. I don't know anything about it. Anyone know if its any good?
Thursday, October 28th, 2004
9:01 am
Finally finished Loving (that was a chore). Review can be found here. Next up, Jack friggin' London! Woohoo!
Friday, October 15th, 2004
9:50 pm
i've just read finish Booksong WHAT A BLOODY BRILLIANT BOOK

this book's goes on about love between Stephen Wraysford & Isabelle Fourmentier & it later on goes on to talk about World War I. sorry i'm in a great rush & i can't go on much about it. but i certainly enjoyed every book to the last bit when Stephen & Isabelle's lovechild, Elizabeth, fufills the last wish that Stephen made to Jack Firebrace(one of his men on the front). but it's all one big love triangle, circle, whatever - i felt so sad still.

now i'm currently reading

The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman
Thursday, October 14th, 2004
9:35 pm
hello there(((:

recently i've posted something in issue to having a journal posted all around the globe
sorry i haven't be updating you people , because i was busy sourcing for a place in island singapore to get hold iof a good hardcover book

those who have expressed interest in joining or are keen to join as well, please mail me at germaine__@hotmail.com your particulars ;

full name
email address
lj username

a reason to why you might wanna join this

that's about it (:
Friday, October 8th, 2004
7:46 am
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

This book's marvellously good. Everyone in need for a good read should really read this book.

Christopher, at fifteen, has been attending a special school for most of his life, living at home with his father, a heating contractor who works long hours. A savant at math, he sometimes calms himself by listing prime numbers and squaring the number two in his head, and he tells us that his "record" is 2 to the 45th power. His teacher Siobhan has been showing him ways to deal with his environment more effectively, and at fifteen he is on the verge of gaining some tenuous control over the mass of stimuli which often sidetrack him. Innocent and honest, he sees things logically and interprets the spoken word literally, unable to recognize the clues which would tell him if someone is being dishonest or devious or even facetious. "I find it hard to imagine things which did not happen to me," he says. He can understand similes ("[The rain] was falling so hard that it looked like white sparks.") because he can see the similarities in appearance between the heavy rain and white sparks, but he cannot understand metaphors, which omit "like" and "as" and simply make statements, which, he feels, are not true. As he explains, "When I try…[to imagine] an apple in someone's eye, [it] doesn't have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about."

When Wellington, the pet poodle who lives across the street, is stabbed with a pitchfork and killed, Christopher decides to solve the mystery and write a book about it. Using his favorite novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as his model, he investigates the crime, uncovering many secrets involving his own family in the process. As he applies the lessons which Siobhan has given him for dealing with his overwhelming outside world, he also embarks on a most unusual, if not unique, coming-of-age story, and ends the book a much more mature 15-year-old than he was when he started.

Using the simple subject-verb-object sentence pattern in which Christopher tries to order and communicate with his world, Haddon tells his story with warmth and often humor, making us see and understand Christopher's problems at the same time that we experience everyone else's frustrations in dealing with him. All Christopher's conversations and the events he experiences are recalled from his own point of view, and the reader can easily see how difficult his world is, both for him and for those around him. As he seeks to order his day by the number of cars he sees of the same color (four red cars in a row mean a wonderful day, while four yellow cars mean a bad day, in which case he does not eat lunch and will not speak), we see how desperate he is to find some pattern which will enable him to make sense of his world. He hopes that by writing his book about the death of Wellington, he will be able to emulate his idol, Sherlock Holmes, about whom Watson says, "His mind…was busy in endeavoring to frame some scheme into which all these strange and apparently disconnected episodes could be fitted."

Investigating Wellington's death requires Christopher to venture forth from the safe world of familiar people and places, and this venturing forth is fraught with problems. Strange places are particularly traumatic. As he explains, "When I am in a new place, because I see everything, it is like when a computer is doing too many things at the same time and the central processor unit is blocked up and there isn't any space left to think about other things….And sometimes when I am in a new place and there are lots of people there it is like a computer crashing and I have to close my eyes and put my hands over my ears and groan, which is like pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL and shutting down programs and turning the computer off and rebooting so that I can remember what I am doing and where I am meant to be going."

Christopher's difficulties with his emotions are particularly poignant. "Feelings," he says, "are just having a picture on the screen in your head of what is going to happen tomorrow or next year, or what might have happened instead of what did happen, and if it is a happy picture they smile and if it is a sad picture they cry." Removed from his feelings, Christopher can only respond with logic, or with the anger which sometimes overwhelms him as result of fear or frustration, and the reader, responding to his difficulties as any loving caregiver would, cannot help aching for Christopher and empathizing with his family.

As Christopher investigates Wellington's death, he makes some remarkably brave decisions and when he eventually faces his fears and moves beyond his immediate neighborhood, the magnitude of his challenge and the joy in his achievement are overwhelming. Haddon creates a fascinating main character and allows the reader to share in his world, experiencing his ups and downs and his trials and successes. In providing a vivid world in which the reader participates vicariously, Haddon fulfills the most important requirements of fiction, entertaining at the same time that he broadens the reader's perspective and allows him to gain knowledge.
7:38 am
I'm starting a sort of journal for books whereby a real book will be sent, & those who receive it, should add a drawing or some picture, talk about anything random, but most importantly give a review of a book that you've read or simply feel like talking about it.

Anyone up for it?
Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
11:51 am
Finished Midnight's Children (yay!). Review can be found here. Next up, vacation!
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