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About bobblybear

  • Rank
    Too many books!!
  • Birthday 02/06/1976

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  • Reading now?
    Christine - Stephen King
  • Gender
  1. Your Book Activity - January 2018

    Happy new year all. I'm currently reading The Night Manager by John Le Carre. The first one of his I've attempted....I have to admit, I'm finding it a bit waffly, but the storyline itself is interesting. Did you enjoy Station Eleven? I absolutely loved it when I first read it a couple of years ago. I still have many reviews to finish off for 2017. I quite like the mini-review format so I think I will do that to finish them off. Then I have to start pulling together my reading lists for 2018.
  2. Bobblybear's Book List - 2017

    A few mini-reviews: The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton This is one I had been looking forward to, but when I finished it I couldn't help but feel it was a very average book which had been marketed very well. There were a couple of storylines – one around the dollhouse full of miniature figurines, and another based around Nella's relationship with her new husband. There were many loose ends left at the end of the book; I couldn't see the connection between the two storylines, and I think the book would have worked just as well if the dollhouse plotline had been omitted. The story of Nella and her husband was interesting enough without adding on a gimmicky storyline that was distracting at best. Disappointing 2/6 The End of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas The story revolves around a supposedly cursed book called The End of Mr Y. Our protagonist stumbles upon this book in a second-hand bookstore, and attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding it. This leads her to a world of talking mice, time travel and strange men (possibly from the CIA) who are trying to kill her. It is an extremely cerebral and strange novel. It's the third book I have read by Scarlett Thomas, and I have enjoyed all of them on some level. This one was the oddest of all, and I know I lost track towards the end as I couldn't wrap my brain around all the concepts covered. Still it's well worth a read, but not a relaxing one! 5/6 End of Watch - Stephen King This is the last in the recent Stephen King trilogy, which started with Mr Mercedes. Bill Hodges is still operating as a private investigator with his sidekick Holly, and together they are pulled into a number of recent murders. Evidence at the crime scenes suggests that Brady Hartsfield (from the earlier books) is somehow responsible, even though he is in a vegetative state in a nearby hospital. Overall, this was a very disappointing finish to the series (which never wholly grabbed me anyway). A supernatural element was added and this changed the whole tone of the series into something that was frankly silly. 1.5/6 The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert Non-fiction book which covers the 5 extinction events that have happened since life began on Earth. Some scientists believe that we are now in the midst of the 6th extinction, helped along by our impact on the environment. The book breaks down each of these extinctions in separate chapters. There are also detailed sections covering some specific current extinctions (ie. particular species of frogs and bats). These - especially of the bats - were very upsetting to read. There was also a lot of focus on what effect humans have had. Pretty depressing overall. 5/6 Last Night in Montreal - Emily St John Mandel I loved Station Eleven, but this is a completely different genre, so perhaps it's unfair to compare the two. The main character, Lillia has a habit of abandoning boyfriends, literally overnight and with no explanation. When she does this with her current boyfriend Eli, he decides to dig deeper into her life and her part to find out why she does this. I wasn't all that taken in with the explanation and I found Lillia to be selfish, rather than an interesting character. I couldn't fully get her motives and found the premise behind it to be weak. Average. 3/6 The Jigsaw Man - Paul Britton Written by a forensic psychologist who has assisted in many high profile cases. Here he speaks of them and how his input has assisted in finding the guilty person. It has to be said though that he has now been disbarred from assisting the police after his involvement in the investigation of Rachel Nickell's murder (on Wimbledon Common). I wasn't aware of this when I started reading the book, and I think if I had it would has changed my mind about it. As it stands, I did enjoy it and it has to be one of the most interesting books on true crime I have read. 5/6 The Circle - Dave Eggers Set in the near future, The Circle is an organisation which links everything via social media to the nth degree. Full transparency and sharing of experiences and feelings is encouraged. Mae joins this company somewhat naïvely and is soon fully involved in this new lifestyle of sharing and oversharing. It begins to invade her private life and that of her family and friends. It's a very exaggerated view of what is happening today with Facebook and twitter etc., but perhaps too exaggerated so it lost some of it's impact. I thought this was a pretty poor book, followed by an extremely poor movie. 1.5/6 The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon - Brad Stone I thought this was a very balanced view of Amazon (and Jeff Bezos), and how it has grown to be the humongous company it is today. It is critical and complimentary in equal measures, but you can sense the admiration that the author has. It's hard to believe how much the company has achieved in such a short space of time. I liked reading how unique Bezos is in his management style, though I imagine he'd be pretty brutal to work for. Recommended. 5/6
  3. How many books have you read this year?

    I've read 71, which is very good going for me.
  4. Your Book Activity - December 2017

    I've unfortunately given up on Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King. It was just too long and dragged out. Every time I would pick it up, I'd have to mentally steel myself to push forward with it. Oh well, at least it was a library book and not one I paid for! Yesterday I started Thin Air by Michelle Paver and I finished it this morning. It was a short read - only 200 odd pages - but very creepy and atmospheric. Next up is The Mountain Between Us. I haven't seen the film yet....always good to read the book before seeing the movie.
  5. Claire's Book List 2017

    Same here....this year has been tough but I'm not sure why! I must be about 20 reviews behind, and I was trying to collect my thoughts on them over the last couple of days, but I'm really struggling. I hate to abandon this years reviews, but I may not have a choice. Maybe I will try to do some mini-reviews, but even that will be difficult given how much time has passed since I finished some of these books! Hopefully next year will be better for you.
  6. Your Book Activity - December 2017

    I've started Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King. I managed to borrow it from the library and I'm enjoying it so far.
  7. Bobblybear's Book List - 2017

    I've read The Forgotten Garden, which I enjoyed more than The House At Riverton. Unfortunately I read it so long ago that I can't really remember what it was about.
  8. What cheered you up today?

    I have the week off work!
  9. The Gaming Box

    I've been a bit hooked on Stardew Valley, which is basically a Harvest Moon rip off. And in a couple of days Animal Crossing is coming out on mobile phone, so I will be busy with that.
  10. Bobblybear's Book List - 2017

    Last Man In Tower - Avarind Adiga This is the second book by Avarind Adiga that I have read and I really enjoyed it. Set in Bombay, the story hinges around a densely populated high-rise residential building. A real estate developer is intent on buying this crumbling building in order to tear it down and build a luxury apartment complex. He offers the residents a very generous financial sum in return for their agreement to leave. The majority of residents are all in favour and sign the paperwork, but a handful of them think it is a con, and refuse to move. One of these is Masterji, who is a retired school teacher and respected for holding free lessons for the children of the building. Soon, he finds himself under increasing pressure and threats of violence from his neighbours for not budging on his refusal to move. This was a very powerful read, about strength of character, principles, and sticking to your guns, no matter what. Each character is described in detail, so we see their relationships at the start of the book and how money changes them by the end. The ending is pretty shocking but probably not unexpected, and I found myself hating some of characters who were very nice at the start of the book. Highly recommended. 5/6
  11. Bobblybear's Book List - 2017

    Without a Doubt - Marcia Clark This is the prosecuting attorney's detailed account of the OJ Simpson murder trial. I only knew the basics about what happened – the infamous glove scene, the civil trial – and that was about it. This was such an eye-opener. It was so informative, and I presume that everything mentioned is publicly available knowledge, but it is shocking that he got away with it given all the evidence against him. Clark also talks a bit about her personal life alongside the time of the trials, and how she was hounded by the media and her response to that. A very interesting read, even if you don't have a particular interest in the case. 5/6
  12. Bobblybear's Book List - 2017

    The House at Riverton - Kate Morton This is the second Kate Morton book I have read. The main character – Grace - is now in her late 90s; she has been approached by a filmmaker who is making a movie about Riverton Manor which is where Grace worked many years ago as a maid. The crux of the film is the unexplained suicide of a young man during Grace's time there and rumoured to be caused by a love triangle. So Grace tells the story of her time at Riverton Manor and the children of the family, who she grew to consider as friends over the years. As with the other Kate Morton I have read, this one was well written, but perhaps a bit too long. The story was interesting enough but the revelation of the man's suicide wasn't anything remarkable, and because so much emphasis was put on it, it felt like a let-down when it was revealed. That's only a minor criticism though. Recommended. 4/6
  13. How many books have you read this year?

    I'm up to my 67th book which is good for me!
  14. Your Book Activity - November 2017

    It's very subtle though, isn't it? I finished Life: An Unauthorised Biography by Richard Fortey which I really enjoyed. Now I'm reading The End of the World Running Club which is pretty good!
  15. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    Hmmm, I haven't heard many good things about The Loney. I bought it a few months ago for £0.99 but the negative reviews have been putting me off.