This week I’ve been reading… Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (and I won’t be sleeping again)

I’ve been on a bit of a thriller hype the past few months. It had always been a genre I’ve avoided because, well, I’m a massive scaredy-cat. But I couldn’t ignore all the clamour being made about Girl on the Train so I jumped on that bandwagon. And loved it.

It seems obvious to say it, but it was so gripping, couldn’t-put-it-down, a-real-page-turner – just all the clichés.

And the more thrillers I read the more arrogant I was getting because I just wasn’t finding them that scary. They had moments that made me tense up but nothing that was actually keeping me up at night. I was really starting to think that I had got over my wimpiness.

Well, Dark Places, I take it all back. Continue reading “This week I’ve been reading… Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (and I won’t be sleeping again)”

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This week I’ve been reading… Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It has actually happened. I have read Gone Girl. After all those months of delays and excuses, reading every other thriller I could get my hands on apart from the one that started the whole craze, I finally pulled it off the shelf.

I’d been putting it off partly because I knew it wouldn’t be able to live up to this fearsome hype it’s amassed and partly because I expected it to be really scary and really addictive, the kind of book that needs a whole day set aside to just devour it and still have time to watch a Disney film afterwards to remind you that the world is in general a cheerful happy place. Continue reading “This week I’ve been reading… Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

Top Ten Tuesdays: Eight books that I absolutely no excuses will read in 2016

Selection of books arranged attractively

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be ten bookish resolutions but I like Lizzy from My Little Book Blog’s twist on this of books you resolve to read this year (so I’m outright plagiarising it).

I never ever stick to these things. I did an Autumn TBR from which I think I read less than a quarter of the books. In fact I think a large proportion of that list has just been relocated to this list. It’s not that I don’t read; I’m just really bad at predicting what I’ll be in the mood for. And I think I might have some kind of problem with authority which means if a list tells me I have to read something I immediately want to rebel and not read it. But in a whole year surely I’ll want to read most of these? Surely?

I’ve tried to make it more manageable by stopping at eight rather than going all the way to ten because, well, eight seems like, oh a book every other month or so, I can manage that, whereas ten sounds like, why aren’t you reading these books? You’ll never get them read if you don’t start on one right now!

Why not not have a list at all, you ask? Well for one thing, any excuse for a list. And secondly there are some things that have been clogging up my TBR list for so long that if they don’t get read soon my bookshelves will crumble from the weight of all the dust gathered on top of them.

 

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Been on my TBR ever since it first started getting loads of hype. But I’m so expectant that I’ll get so gripped I’ll want to read it cover to cover in one sitting that I never want to just pick it up when I’m looking for a new book to read in bits at lunchtimes and before bed. Also, I’ve heard it’s quite scary and I don’t deal well with scary.

 

  1. Nineteen Eight Four by George Orwell

I’m so embarrassed in myself every time I have to admit that, no, I haven’t read this yet.

 

  1. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

I started this book in September, and then stopped. And then picked it up again in November, and stopped again. Maybe finally I’ll actually finish it?

 

  1. Something, ANYTHING, by Ian McEwan

This should be a nice easy one to accomplish. He’s one of my favourite authors and I have five reasonably short McEwan’s waiting expectantly on my shelf; surely at some point in the next 365 I’ll read at least one of them. Side note, Something, Anything would make a really good book title. I might shot gun that for my autobiography.

 

  1. Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Around the beginning of December I was having trouble finding any books I was in the mood for and a lot got started but never finished. This is one of them. And if I don’t get it read in the next few months I’ll just have to start at the beginning again when I do.

 

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Much the same as Master Pip apart from I got even further with this before abandoning it.

 

  1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I’m really excited to read this book, I’m just being put off by the sheer size of it. But 2016 will be the year I get over that.

 

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This is such a cheat addition to this list because I do not need any motivation to read this book. I’m chomping at the bit to get started on it – I just keep forgetting to actually buy it!

 

Top 10 Tuesday: My Autumn TBR list


Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which I always think looks like great fun but I barely ever actually get round to! But this week’s topic of my Autumn TBR seemed manageable and here it is…

First off I should say that there is absolutely no way at all that I will stick to this. Not a chance. At all. And even if I did try I think 10 books might be a bit optimistic for me with my current reading pace.

I pick my next book based on what I’m in the mood for at that exact moment. So these are simply predictions of things that I could believe I might be in the mood for. Maybe. But probably not.

1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I’ve actually already started this and although I wouldn’t so far say I’m enjoying it as much as The Virgin Suicides it’s good enough to keep me coming back.

2. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

I spent last night doing lots of those ‘The 100 books you need to read to be well-read’ and turns out I’m no where near as cultured as I thought. So a lot of these choices are based from that, this included.

3. Brave New World by Adolus Huxley

And this…

4. 1984 by George Owell

And this…

5. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

And this, which is a contender for longest standing member of the TBR list.

6. The Children Act by Ian McEwan

It has been too long since I last read an Ian McEwan. My binge earlier this summer put me off for a while but I think it’s time to get back on that horse.

7. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I really want to like Agatha Christie. I like the idea of liking Agatha Christie. But it just hasn’t happened yet. However, I will not admit defeat until I’ve at least read this one.

8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I will read this! I will!

9. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

I’ve never read any Judy Blume but I know she’s kind of a big deal in America and when I found this second hand I thought I might as well.

10. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy

I really love Thomas Hardy and he’s definitely a contender for one of my favourite authors so I think it’s high time I read another of his books.

And now I can look back on this list in a few months time and know I’ve read not one of these!

Five books I’m really hoping will live up the hype

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The last post in my little blogging series about really hyped books. These are the ones that I’ve given into the temptation to buy, but haven’t actually got round to reading. A good mix of classics and modern books, but all suffering a little under their own fame – because when a book has such a fearsome reputation how can it possibly live up to it?

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I think most of my desire comes from the Friends episode where Joey reads. Any book that evokes a strong enough emotion to need to be put in the freezer must be good.

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’m actually a little scared to read this as I have placed such high expectations on it. I’m saving it for when I’ve got enough time to read it cover to cover in a matter of days as I imagine that once I start I won’t be able to put it down.

3. 1984 by George Orwell

I’m actually a little ashamed of myself for admitting I haven’t read this. I loved Animal Farm so I have great hopes for this.

4. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

When this book first came out it was absolutely everywhere. But I’d never really found Lena Denham that entertaining so I kind of avoided it. But once I saw Caitlin Moran had endorsed it I had to read it.

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Such an absolute classic and I still haven’t read it. I’ve had a copy on my shelf for years but I just can’t really imagine myself enjoying it. Not that I really know anything about it. But one day I will pick it up and hopefully it will prove me completely wrong.

This month I’ve been buying…..

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Oh look, it’s a new posting feature for me to start, change multiple times, and then abandon. This one is a monthly roundup of why my bank balance looks so pathetic – all my money has been spent on books. Although I was pleasantly surprised that I’ve only bought ten. I must have shown some restraint. Only three of them have been read so far though but it’s investment for the future. But now I think about it, seen as I’ve always got about ten books (if not more) waiting to be read and the moment I finish one I buy another (or two more) in it’s place I’m going to die with ten books I never got round to reading. That’s a depressing thought.

1. The London Train – Tessa Hadley

I’d very recently finished The Girl on the Train when I came across this so I picked it up purely because it had train in the title. I like the idea of two separate but interlinked stories so I bought it. But because I know so little about it it will probably be months before I decide to start it.

2. Ian McEwan – Black Dogs

I’m on a bit of a mission to read everything Ian McEwan has ever written. So far, out of the 14 I mean to read, I’ve got 3 still to buy and only 6 actually finished. But it’s only April, I can easily have it done by the end of the year.

3. Let it Snow – John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

I picked this up purely because I’ve jumped on the John Green hype. It’s one of the few of these that I’ve actually already read (and reviewed if you’re interested). In a nutshell – not great.

4. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I know, I know, I’m painfully behind the times not having read this yet. I found it second hand, unfortunately in this rather garish shade of orange. It just looks ridiculous on my bookshelves. I’m really looking forward to reading it after I enjoyed Girl on the Train so much but I’m waiting until I’ve got a lot of free time and something happy and lighthearted to do after I finish it.

5. Collection of Thomas Hardy poetry

I’ve been on the hunt for a collection of Thomas Hardy poetry for a while. It had to include my two favourite Hardy poems – Drummer Hodge and The Man He Killed. I finally found one (not the one in the picture, the one I’ve bought doesn’t seem to exist on the internet). It’s second hand and has an inscription inside ‘To Dad, on your 70th, Love Louise’ so it’s pretty much as good as I could have hoped (I love second hand books with inscriptions and margin notes).

6. Woman Much Missed – Thomas Hardy

It was 80p, how could I say no?

7. Clash of Kings – George RR Martin

I’ve already read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series and am impatiently waiting for the next book. But I read them all as electronic copies so now I’m slowly building up a collection of paperback copies. Not that I really have room to spare on my bookshelves for those seven massive tomes.

8. Girl Reading – Katie Ward

Another one that I’ve actually read and reviewed! It was a classic case of judging a book by it’s cover. But in the end I’m glad I read it so it won’t stop me doing it again in the future.

9. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

There are certain topics of books that just don’t interest me and The Holocaust is one of them. I think school destroyed any interest I might have had in that period of history. But I’d walked all the way across town in the rain to get to this bookshop, they had a massive selection and I just couldn’t find anything that caught my imagination so I got desperate and was reading the blurb of every book I picked up, hoping to find one I wanted. And once I got to the bottom of this blurb and discovered the book was narrated by Death I was sold. I love a book with a sense of impending doom. Becuase it’s so long though it will probably languor at the bottom of my TBR list for a while.

10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple

And then, like buses, once I’d found one book I immediately found another. I thought once I finished The Book Thief (which I know nothing about but I’m assuming it’s going to be depressing because of the miserable cover) this would be a good antidote (because of the cheerful cover).