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Everything posted by bobblybear

  1. Kindle and ebooks deals

    That may have been me? I listened to the audiobook, and thought it was very enjoyable.
  2. Your Book Activity - September 2019

    I loved Pandora's Star when I read it years ago. It's on my re-read list. Currently I'm reading The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, basically evidence of how violence has declined over time, and that we are now at our most peaceful times of our existence. It's a long book and I expect to be reading it over the next few weeks. I'm also reading I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, about her investigation and hunt for the Golden State Killer. It's an ebook that I borrowed from the library (just discovered how to do this!), so I need to finish it in the next couple of weeks. And on audiobook, I'm listening to Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which is a fun sci-fi read.
  3. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Welcome to my 2019 book list!! Hopefully it will be kept more up to date than my 2018 list (which I started halfway through the year, and only ran to 2 pages ). My format is going to stay the same as previous years. For some reason, I've always categorised books by the year they were purchased....which means I am really cringing when I see how many books I purchased 5+ years ago but have yet to read. My aim is to reduce my TBR pile, but unfortunately it just seems to be growing year on year. Oh well, there are worse problems to have so I'm not too bothered by it. I haven't listed my treebooks (I didn't list them in 2018 either), mostly because I had a massive cull in early 2018 and I just don't have the energy to go through my bookcase and list them all. I will hopefully read some of them this year, but I expect most of my reading with be done on my Kindle. Anyway, enough rambling from me. I hope everyone has a great reading year in 2019 and I look forward to reading everyone's posts in the coming year.
  4. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    I loved Pandora's Star. I plan to re-read it at some point soon, and then also read Judas Unchained. Have you read his newer book, Salvation? Someone at work has read it and says it's very good. Yeah, most people seem to abandon Milkman; there aren't many who enjoy it. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it!
  5. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    I still have to do the audiobook reviews! The Thing of Darkness was such a good read, much better than I was expecting. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle seems to be a real marmite book. A lot of reviews comment on the vast number of characters and how it's best to make notes of who is who. I gave up before the influx of all these characters, so I didn't have to worry about that.
  6. Your Book Activity - August 2019

    Currently reading Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami and The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker. I'm also listening to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I've also finally joined our local library, after having lived here for over a year. They have loads of ebooks, which is brilliant. I have a tonne of books of my wishlist that I want to read, but I don't want to buy. So, this is perfect for me.
  7. First Line of the Book You're Reading

    Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there before me. Killing Commendatore - Haruki Murakami
  8. Your Wish Lists

    I always use Amazon to keep track of my wishlists. Even if I don't intend to buy the book (borrow it instead), I will still add it to my list so I can keep track of it.
  9. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Next lot, my July to current reads: The Thing of Darkness - Harry Thompson Loved this one! It's a very detailed (fictionalised where necessary) account of Charles Darwin's infamous Beagle voyage, and his relationship with Captain Robert Fitzroy. Actually, it covers more than just that voyage....it covers Fitzroy's prior voyages and then their fractious relationship post-Beagle. Fitzroy and Darwin get equal 'book-time', in fact Fitzroy may actually get more than Darwin, so it's not a book about Charles Darwin. It's main focus is not on Darwin's theories, but rather on the relationship between the two and the conflict that their different backgrounds brought out in the pair. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep - Joanna Cannon Ultimately forgettable....I know this, because I have forgotten what it's about. I do recall reading it when I had a lot of other things on my mind, which is never a good idea. A woman has vanished, and two children from the neighbourhood set out to solve the mystery of what has happened. It is coming back to me now....there are a few twists and turns, but it's not what would be classed as a thriller or anything like that. It's very similar in 'feel' to her other book: Three Things About Elsie. The Yorkshire Vet - Peter Wright I love animals, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this vet's experiences in his current Yorkshire practice. He was trained under 'James Herriot' so has many interesting stories about that time. It's also a TV series, which is about to start Season 9 (I think). Luckily all prior seasons are still on '5 on Demand' so I have been catching up on those. Pandemic - A G Riddle I like a good 'end-of-the-world' story, and this started off promisingly, but then deteriorated into utter ridiculousness. There were so many twists and turns and unbelievable coincidences, that by the end I was just skimming it to finish it. I have a feeling I have the next 2 books on my Kindle, but I can't see when I will ever get around to reading them. Flight Risk - Stephanie Green The author was the resident doctor at Heathrow Airport for over 7 years, and writes about her experiences. I had no idea that there were doctors permanently at the airport and that was their full time job. I just assumed that doctors were called when required (via 999 etc), but on thinking about it, it makes sense that they would require someone there 24/7. Her job was to screen for potentially contagious illnesses (TB, SARS, swine flu etc), deal with people who were' acting strange' (usually turned out to be importing drugs in their body), and the occasional death on the plane. Interesting read. The Light Between Oceans - M L Stedman Heard about this one for long time, but was unsure about it. As it turns out, I enjoyed it a lot. Tom is a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the coast of Australia. He lives in isolation with his wife Izzy. One day, a small boat washes up which contains a crying baby and a deceased man. Tom and Izzy have to decide what they should do with this baby - keep it or try to find out the story behind her washing up on the island. Very good read...I want to watch the movie too. The Time of My Life - Patrick Swayze Quick read. Patrick Swayze's autobiography, written while he was still battling pancreatic cancer. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, as he has had a much more interesting life than I was aware of. It was particularly interesting to read about his experiences breaking in to Hollywood. Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult Luke has always felt a bond with wolves, and has all but abandoned his family and civilisation in order to live a life with wolves. However, he is involved in a car accident and lies in a coma. His estranged family all join at his bedside and a debate ensues about whether life support should be switched off. Not bad....I wouldn't say it was my favourite Picoult, but it was easily readable. My Lovely Wife - Mark Lukach Non-fiction account by the author of his wife's mental illness, her breakdowns and how they have managed to keep their family going despite all this. It was very harrowing, and scary to see how she did 'lose her mind' and what she was like when this was happening. Props to the author for managing to stay as the bedrock in their family, as I think a lot of people would not have been able to. A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess - Amanda Owen This is her second book, and as the title suggests, she is a shepherdess in Yorkshire. It's pretty much the same as the first book, but this time the sections are broken down into the months of the years and she describes how farming changes as the year progresses. She has another book which has been recently released and I look forward to reading that as well. Loved it. Almost Love - Louise O'Neill A story of desperate and obsessive love (or the need to be needed) for someone who really couldn't care less. I thought it was very well written, very believable and quite cringeworthy to see the main character spiralling downwards in this pit of desperation, in which she has completely lost all sense of self. Probably my favourite book of O'Neill's after Only Ever Yours. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster A quick read....I wanted to read this, as I heard so much about it. Milo is a child, who is not very excited about anything. Then he discovers a package in his bedroom, which contains a tollbooth to take him off to other fantastical places (full of strange characters, and many puns). It was an illustrated version so I read it on my tablet, rather than my Kindle. It was ok, but not really my scene. I would have enjoyed it as a child, but not so much as an adult. The Confession - John Grisham I haven't read Grisham in a while. It was nice to revisit him. A week or so before the execution of Donte Drumm, a man who is terminally ill from a brain tumour comes forward to his local preacher to confess to the crime. The preacher then must make the decision as to whether he is telling the truth, and then race across several states to prevent this execution. This was mostly good, but it did overstay it's welcome by about 50 pages at the end. Grisham just seemed to go off on a tangent and he didn't want to end the book, so he kept spouting off about all sorts. Aside from that, I enjoyed it. Snap - Belinda Bauer A fast paced thriller about a woman who went missing from the hard shoulder of the M5, and the impact this has had on her young children several years on. Her murderer was never found, and her eldest son has somewhat come off the rails, but then he stumbles across something which he believes could solve her murder. This was pretty good....better than Rubbernecker. However, for a thriller it didn't have a lot of depth and is most likely to be a book that you read once and then just forget about. Elevation - Stephen King Very short story, about a man who keeps losing weight even though his body still remains the same size. It wasn't bad....it was very short; I think I read it in an hour or so. A strange book. Milkman - Anna Burns (abandoned) Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2018. Set in Ireland during the times of The Troubles. The story is told through the eyes of 18 year old Middle Sister (none of the characters have proper names), and her trying to deal with Milkman's fascination with her. Obviously there's more to it than that, but I wouldn't know as I gave up pretty early on. I couldn't get on with the style of the narrative. It was long uninterrupted blocks of text that sometimes went on for over a page without a break (margin-to-margin text). I found this very difficult to read (was reading paperback rather than Kindle) and absorb, and found myself frustrated with the style rather than being able to enjoy the story. Obviously it impressed someone, but not me!
  10. Brian's Book Log - Ongoing

    I gave up on Milkman as well. It was the style rather than the story that was off-putting. The story wasn't great, it was non-remarkable at best, but I struggled so much with the stream-of-consciousness style and those paragraphs that seemed to go on for more than a bloody page! My heart would sink when I would turn the page and I would just see solid margin-to-margin text. Maybe if I'd read it on Kindle, I would have persevered as I could change font size etc, but for a paperback it was a no-go. Colorless Tszukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage was an enjoyable read. Not my favourite Murakami, but still enjoyable. I'm currently reading Killing Commendatore - have you read it?
  11. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Here we go: The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris I've read this a couple of times, and I think of it as 'old-school', in that there are no real twists and turns and you're not left trying to figure out what is going on. It's a good straight-forward thriller and was enjoyable to read it again. The Salt Path - Raynor Winn Didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped. It has received so much praise but I do think the author and her husband were pretty irresponsible to go out and do what they did, with his health being the way it was. Having said that, his health did seem to improve and I know they didn't have a huge number of options given that they were broke and homeless. I wish they'd eaten more sensibly as well. Loading up on chips and fudge is not the best thing to do when you are attempting to cover hundreds of miles on foot. The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton Very long, and I struggled with it. Too many characters and I think there were more characters than there was plot and it felt like the book could have been halved in size (but then it wouldn't be a Peter F Hamilton book). I have the next two on my Kindle, but I think I will also download the audiobooks so I can swap between the two. With The End in Mind - Kathryn Mannix Palliative care nurse who has assisted hundreds (maybe thousands) of people at their final stages of their lives. I'm fascinated by the subject matter so I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her compassion shines through and I can see how she was such a help to friends and family of the dying person. His Bloody Project - Graeme Burnet Short but enjoyable. Based on research the author was doing about his ancestors and he came across this story from 1869. Told from various points of view, and so of course hard to know which version was the truth. Them - John Ronson Journalists search for the New World Order....the secret group that run the world. Was humorous (intentionally so) and interesting. A quick read, didn't overstay it's welcome and didn't take itself too seriously. Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman Couldn't really get on with it, but not a massive fan of YA. Noughts and Crosses are the names given to the two groups of people - dark-skinned and light-skinned, who are separated by privilege and power and position in society. Kind of a commentary on today's (recent history) society and if it were flipped on it's head. The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters Pretty good read. Told through the eyes of a doctor who befriends the members of a household, and slowly gets drawn into a mystery that seems to be affecting each of the household members. Is the house haunted, or not? A Captain's Duty - Richard Phillips The author's ship was hijacked by Somalian pirates in 2009, and this is his account of the experiences. Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, is based on this and is a brilliant movie. The book was excellent too. Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World - Haruki Murakami Ahh, Murakami.....what can I say? You have to be open minded and willing to be taken on his journey, wherever he takes you. Hugely enjoyable read....typically bizarre. Can't even think how to summarise it...it's like two alternating stories, which are linked, but in parallel worlds. Not to be missed if you are a fan. All That Remains - Sue Black Another morbid read; author is a forensic anthropologist and has spent many years investigating causes of death, what happens to bodies after death. She takes us into crime scenes, into her lab in a very no-nonsense manner. Fascinating stuff. Let Me Lie - Claire MacKintosh I really liked this book, and it's inspired by a fairly recent news story (I won't say which one, as it will give it away). Her books are always exciting to read because you know there will be a few unexpected twists and turns. I wouldn't say it's my favourite of hers, but I enjoyed it a lot. The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne How much did I love this book? A huge amount! It's my first book by this author, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am so glad I picked this one to start with. I love the title! The main character, Cyril Avery is born an illegitimate baby, and this is basically a story of the whole of his life, and trying to find his place in the world even though he doesn't fully feel in step with it all. My favourite book of the year, and possibly one of my favourite books of all time. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart Turton (abandoned) Gave up on this. Didn't know what on earth was going on, got annoyed with it and abandoned. Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy Based on the making of the American frontier in the 1800s around the American/Mexican border. Violent and graphically so. I ended up skimming it as it didn't grab me like it has done for others. Not a huge fan of his writing style either. Feral - George Monbiot A book on how we have transformed the natural landscape through farming, agriculture and modern life. The author calls for a return to a more natural 'feral' surroundings. Interesting, well worth a read. American Assassin - Vincent Flynn (abandoned) Gave up on it....the kind of story that I would love in movie format, but the book was kind of 'meh'. Alone on the Wall - Alex Honnold This is one of the best knows free-solo climbers....the movie Free Solo was about his climbing El Capitan several years ago. Even though I don't have any personal interest in climbing, I find him fascinating and this was an interesting read. Why We Sleep - Matt Walker On the importance of sleep and how our brains and bodies function on the right amount, compared to the deprived amount. Has made me very conscious of trying to get 8+ hours of sleep a night, and not feel guilty about it! Interesting read. Crippen - John Boyne I know this is Frankie's favourite book! Enjoyable but not as enjoyable as The Heart's Invisible Furies so I am glad that I didn't start with this one. It's a bit of a murder mystery but also a study of human psychology. Hired - James Bloodworth Low-wage jobs in Britain. Examples of what it is like work in an Amazon warehouse, or gig-working. Very, very fascinating, and makes me think twice about complaining about my job! To be continued.....
  12. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Hi Hayley and Gaia! Yes, I think that's what I'm going to have to do. I have read so many, but probably don't remember enough to write more than a very short comment.
  13. Your Book Activity - June 2019

    I finished the audiobook of Station Eleven. Loved it! Now I'm listening to Moby Dick (second attempt....my mind kept wandering the first time around). I went into town yesterday and popped into our little local bookstore. Picked up a signed copy of Underland by Robert McFarlane and The Dog's Mind by Bruce Fogle.
  14. Your Book Activity - June 2019

    I'm about a quarter of the way through This Thing of Darkness and enjoying it very much. Also Station Eleven (on Audible) is superb - I have about 2 hours left on it.
  15. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Ugh - 5 months since I have updated this! I've now updated my 2019 purchases list as well as my reads, but have yet to put a little bit of commentary against books I've finished. Hopefully I will get to that in a couple of days. On the plus side, I'm still reading a lot of books....I just have lost my 'review-mojo'.
  16. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    I really liked Three Things About Elsie. I listening to it on Audible, and thought the story was great.
  17. Karen.d's Reading List 2019

    Hi Karen - just catching up on threads as it's been ages since I've been here. I'm in the camp of those who loved Eleanor Oliphant. I listened to the audiobook and it's one of my favourite narrations, but it's possible that I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I'd read it instead. I tried reading Never Let Me Go a few years go. In fact, I may have finished it but it was a real struggle. The movie was good, terribly depressing though. I have The Keeper of Lost Things on my Kindle waiting to be read. Sounds like it's a bit of a mixed bag! I've thought about starting it a few times but other books have been taking priority.
  18. Kindle and ebooks deals

    I bought this one. I'd seen the paperbook a few months back and kept picking it up and putting it back, unable to decide if I should buy it. But at £0.99, too good to resist!
  19. Your Book Activity - June 2019

    Oh my, I can't believe how long it's been since I logged in here. I somehow got it into my head that I will wait until I'm caught up on my reviews before posting, but that just isn't going to happen. I've been reading loads, and will update my log shortly, but I just haven't had the 'oomph' to pull together any reviews. This morning I finished Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth. Very eye-opening and makes me somewhat ashamed for complaining about my job. I've now started The Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson which is about Charles Darwin's famous voyage on The Beagle under Captain FitzRoy. On the audiobooks front, I'm listening to Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, which I have also read a couple of years ago. I hope everyone is having a great reading year so far.
  20. Rest in Peace

    Just read that Andrea Levy passed away today. She wrote Small Island and The Long Song among others. Really saddened to hear this because I enjoyed her books so much.
  21. Your Book Activity - January 2019

    I finished War of the Worlds on Audible and now I'm listening to Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. I'm also reading Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Haruki Murakami.
  22. Your Book Activity - January 2019

    I've finished The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Very good, but unsure about the ending. Next up will be A Captain's Duty by Richard Phillips. I've also finished listening to Roots by Alex Haley and Jaws by Peter Benchley. I've now started listening to the Jeff Wayne's Musical version of The War of the Worlds.
  23. The Last Film You Saw - 2019

    I just watched The Shape of Water. So fantastically bizarre...I really enjoyed it.
  24. Bobblybear's Book List - 2019

    Thank you. It's not often that I buy physical books but I couldn't resist. And they are fairly light so will be easy to read in bed.
  25. Your Book Activity - January 2019

    I finished Them by Jon Ronson, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I read Noughts and Crosses by Marjorie Blackman, which I didn't particularly enjoy (I'm just not keen on Young Adult). Now I am reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It's good so far, and I haven't read the synopsis beforehand so I have no idea where it's heading. I'm also still listening to Jaws (Peter Benchley) and Roots (Alex Haley). I feel like I've been listening to them forever. Two hours remaining on both, so nearly done. Yesterday on Kindle (Monthly Deals for February) I bought: A Captain's Duty - Richard Phillips (Captain Phillips was based on this book; I love that movie. The Talisman - Peter Straub and Stephen King. I've read this before but it was only £0.99 Feral - George Monbiot.