Tag: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

My Top Five Reads of 2012

Posted December 27, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5I’ve already done a post about 2012 but I wanted to do another. The typical top five post of the best books you’ve read in 2012 but because I split my books into released in 2012 and all others, I think I need two top five lists here. So here are my top reads for the year;

Top Five Reads Released in 2012

5. Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

4. Dare Me by Megan Abbott

3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

2. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

1. Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Honourable mentions need to be made to Colour of Milk, The Yellow Birds, The Cocktail WaitressTigers in Red Weather, The Dinner and The Age of Miracles.

Top Five Reads in 2012

5. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

4. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

3. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

2. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

With honourable mentions to When Gravity Fails, The Little Prince, Factotum, He Died With His Eyes Open, The Devil All the Time, The Master and Magarita and Ethan Frome.

Now it’s your turn to let me know of your favourite books, the new releases and the older books. It doesn’t matter; just what you discovered and loved.

What Books Have Been Trending – July-September 2012

Posted September 29, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book Trends / 0 Comments

It’s time once again to look at the past three months and see what books have been trending. I love doing this segment and I’ve chosen six books for each month to highlight. Once again there is no real science to this but I do feel I’m getting better at following the book trends and picking the ones that seem to be popping up the most. It does depend on what circles you run in but I hope I’ve managed to get a good cross section. I love doing this; at this rate I might have to start doing this every month. So here are the books I’ve noticed that are getting some good buzz.


Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a satirical and heartbreaking story of the Iraq war, this book follows eight surviving men of Bravo Squad on a victory tour for Thanksgiving Day and tries to spotlight just how America treats its soldiers.


Gold follows the story of two world-class cyclists in the lead up to the London Olympics. This is a deep, bittersweet story that full of empathy, sharp observations and strong characters.  I highly recommend checking this book out.


Shadow of Night follows on from A Discovery of Witches in the All Souls Trilogy. This book has been anticipated by many fans and continues the story taking the reader back into a world of spies, subterfuge, alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.


The Age of Miracles is a coming of age story in a post apocalyptic world. The World is slowing down and the days are getting longer at first by a few minutes and then by hours. But for 11 year old Julia, she has to cope with the normal disasters of everyday life as a teenager.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a novel about a retired man who sets out one day to post a letter and keeps walking. A sentimental novel with humour and charm, this book was long listed for the Man Booker prize.


Where We Belong follows the story of a thirty six year old that seems to have her life on track; until one day an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that she thought she had sealed off changes everything. A Chic Lit novel by an author of five Blockbuster novels.



Dare Me is a new style of noir; modern and suburban. Cheerleaders Addy and Beth rule the school but when the new cheerleading coach arrives things take a turn for the worst. Dare Me is a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.


Shine Shine Shine is a stunning debut unlike any other; it’s a shocking, searing, breathless love story, a gripping portrait of modern family, and a stunning exploration of love, death and what it means to be human. A cross of Chick Lit and Literary Fiction.


The Dinner has only just been translated into English. This Danish novel is dark and beautiful; Paul and Claire are going out to dinner with Paul’s brother and his wife. The reason for this isn’t the usual family get together, this time they have something important to discuss; their children.


The Dog Stars is a riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss—and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace. The Dog Stars is a remarkably unique novel that is a captivating and enjoyable ride.


What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? The Last Policeman is a novel that offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. Detective Palace sets out to solve a crime, even though there is an asteroid heading towards earth that will wipe everything out in the next few months.


Throne of Glass is a debut YA fantasy novel about an 18 year old assassin working in the salt mines. The Prince offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.



No Easy Day is a first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment. A lot of buzz around this book as this is the first time one of the Navy Seals have talked about this event.


NW by Zadie Smith is a brilliant tragi-comic novel following four Londoners – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell. Depicting the modern urban zone – familiar to town-dwellers everywhere – Zadie Smith’s NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.


Telegraph Avenue is the story of Archy and Nat; long time friends, band mates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. An intimate epic set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style.


The Casual Vacancy may not be released yet but the hype is already huge. This novel sees J.K Rowling try her hand in adult fiction; When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

The Raven Boys sees Maggie Stiefvater return with a brand new series. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.


Haunted by Murph, The Yellow Birds follows the story of Private Bartle and his time served in Al Tafar, Iraq, the loss of a friend and the aftermath. This is a book of friendship and loss; with profound emotional insight and stunning prose.


Like before I’m going to try to predict another book that is coming out in the next three months that will get a lot of buzz to it. My pick is probably a little predictable, but I think The Twelve by Justin Cronin will get a lot of attention. This is book two in The Passage trilogy but now we have to wait another two years for the last book. What do you think of the books trending? Are there any that you feel like I’ve missed or some that caught your eye?

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Posted September 22, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben FountainTitle: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Fountain
Published: Canongate, 2012
Pages: 308
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Billy Lynn is a 19 year old Iraq War hero on a P.R. tour for the Army. The team “the Bravos” are on a two week “Victory Tour” stateside that was filmed and widely viewed on TV due to acts of valour in Iraq. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a satirical look at Americans and how they treat and view the war on terror.

I’ve often heard that this book is a satirical book in the vein of Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch 22 and this was the primary reason I read this book. While there were some satirical elements in the book, I found this book a little heartbreaking; in the sense that these soldiers fight for their country and the Americans love them for it, as long as it doesn’t interrupt their football or cost them anything. This was the overall message I got from this book; people will support their troops as long as it takes no effort and doesn’t interrupt their lives.

I wanted to like this book and sure there is a lot to think about in this book but I think leaving me so feeling so bad doesn’t really help with the enjoyment element of this book. There were some literary issues I had, but they could be narrowed down to the fact I’m not an American and I don’t fully understand the American lifestyle.

The entire book really showed the disconnection between the military and civil life in this modern day. Americans wants revenge for 9/11 but they are not willing to sacrifice their Thanksgiving football game. This was a powerful book and while it’s not as funny as Catch 22 it does leave you pondering life like Slaughterhouse-Five did for me. As I’ve stated I’m not expert in American life or politics but this did leave me pondering many aspects of this War on Terror.

Monthly Review – August 2012

Posted August 31, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

As August comes to a close I would love to hear what people’s thoughts were of the monthly book; The Master and Margarita. It’s a classic novel but it was a really bizarre book to read, that stayed with me for a very long time before I could finally write my thoughts on the book. But I tend to enjoy books that stay with me like that; I like books that are thought provoking. Reminder that next month we well be reading another classic for our Southern Gothic theme. While some people argue this book isn’t technically Southern Gothic, I’m sure we will have some interesting discussions on William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. If you’re not aware, this book will be discussed over on the Goodreads forums, so feel free to join in there.

My monthly reading for August has been really great, I went into the month thinking I’ll be busy trying to read all the books I wanted to read, but while I read most of them, I surprised myself by managing seventeen books this months. I’ve read some amazing books including The Dinner, The Angel’s Game and The Age of Miracles. But the highlights for me were Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a satirical look at the war of terror and how we support the troops and The Colour of Milk, an adorable little book about a strong minded girl in 1831 trying to learn to read and write.

August’s Books

  • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane 
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi 
  • This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel 
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell 
  • Thirst by L.A. Larkin 
  • Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen 
  • True Grit by Charles Portis 
  • Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood 
  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon 
  • Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin 
  • A Life with Books by Julian Barnes 
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov 
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch 
  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain 
  • The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon