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Lilywhite

Reading with Kat 2015

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I felt much the same way as you about Before I Go To Sleep - I found the writing style very uninvolving and a bit stilted, I seem to remember.  I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and the plot - such as it was - was very predictable.  I think, for me anyway, all the hype worked against it.

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Truman Capote

Breakfast At Tiffany's

 

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes sideways and once in a while - down. Pursued by to Salvatore 'Sally' Tomato, the Mafia sugar-daddy doing life in Sing Sing and 'Rusty' Trawler, the blue-chinned, cuff-shooting millionaire man about women about town, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock department', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

 

Started: 30/07/15

Finished: 23/08/15

Rated: 3/5

Comments: I was a little underwhelmed when I reached the end of this story (I haven't seen the film) but the more I reflected on it, the more I understood the subtle connections being made with the characters through their everyday interactions and dialogue.  I would probably have understood this a lot better if I'd been able to sit down and read this in one or two sittings, rather than snatched 15 mins every other day.

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Karen Rose

Closer Than You Think

 

Deacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati's Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing.Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her.What Faith doesn't know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. And now Faith is about disturb his fun.With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she's going to survive. Because this killer is always closer than she thinks....

 

Started: 30/08/15

Finished: 20/12/15

Rated: 1/5

Comments: Incredibly let down by this book.  I usually love Karen Rose's easy to read, almost formulaic stories but this one failed to keep my attention form the very start.  I can't even put my finger on what exactly it was that put me off, I just felt like I struggled every time I picked it up.  By far my largest complaint was the over the top attraction between the two main characters.  Faith had just run her car off the road, into a tree, climbed up an embankment barefoot to find a naked, collapsed woman in the road, that she had swerved to miss.  She calls the police and waits with the woman but when the police arrive, her first thought is "Woah! He's hot!"  I mean, really?  OK, I'm just going to let this one go now and pretend it didn't happen.  Ms Rose, you will have a lot of work on your hands to win me back.

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Zak Baggans

I Am Haunted

 

Zak Bagans has been all over the world embracing the mysteries that others shun because he has always felt the need to run toward the scary parts of life instead of away from them.
He has been inducted into the Sabertooth Vampire Clan in Paris, journeyed on an epic quest to find the real Dracula that ended in a Romanian forest and bought a demon house that frightens him to the bone. But sometimes it's the encounters with people that affect him the most - from crackheads in Reno to gangbangers in St Louis and crazed fans in West Virginia.
During his travels he has learned more about this world and the one that awaits all of us far more than anyone should. He has been given a spiritual key that unlocks unknown doorways and what he experiences when he opens them seems to be letting him know that he shouldn't.
Come along for the ride.

 

Started: 21/09/15

Finished: 10/10/15

Rated:3/5

Comments: An interesting peak into the life and background of Zak Baggans, of Ghost Adventures fame.  I had hoped he would have gone a but further into the history of the programme but there was still some interesting anecdotes.  It's a bit repetitive in places as most of the book was dictated into his phone on the road and you can almost hear him reading the pages to you. 

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Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

 

Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity.

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

 

Started: 15/10/15

Finished: 04/11/15

Rated: 5/5

Comments: I had started reading this earlier in the year, but found it difficult to follow as I was only snatching 10 or 15 minutes here and there so I decided to hold off until I could put some real time aside.  I finally managed to make a start again and I'm so glad I did.  Esther is such an easy character to relate to, she has many of the same every day problems as you or I, and whilst I knew this book was based around mental illness, it was such a subtle process that I almost didn't notice it until I thought about it.  At times, I found myself hoping that not everything about Esther was to do with her illness as I could relate to her struggles on many levels.  Before you know it, Esther's problems have gone much further than everyday issues and she finds herself in the midst of a madness.

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Tom Cox

Under The Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man

 

For years, Tom Cox might have seemed like a regular, hard-living sort of bloke -- a lover of late nights, rock music and beer -- but he had a dark furry secret. Tom was a cat lover. Always had been, in fact. For a while, he kept his passion in check, but there was only so long he could postpone his true dream, especially after he met Dee, his moggy-loving soulmate. In 2001, Tom left London and his job as a rock critic behind, and he and Dee, replete with Dee's cat Janet and three new kittens, moved to a remote part of Norfolk, a county where they knew not one living human soul. They thought it would be easy. They thought their cat madness had reached its limit. They were very wrong on both counts. In UNDER THE PAW, Tom records the chaos of owning seven of the most charismatic, idiotic and duplicitous cats in the country. How exactly does a person go from living a fancy-free young metropolitan life to suddenly thinking it is normal to be on 24-hour call for multiple sets of whiskers? What are the essential rules of disposing of a dead pheasant? How do you learn to love your wife's ex's favourite pet? Tom addresses all these issues and much more, encountering death, depression, flying fur and the first human sentence spoken by a feline along the way. Running through all the maelstrom is the heartbreaking story of his long and chequered relationship with The Bear, his oldest cat: a "painfully sensitive" survivor moggy who may or may not be an evil genius.

 

Started: 05/11/15

Finished:  02/12/15

Rated:5/5

Comments: Loved this book!  Tom Cox is amazing and it's so reassuring to hear others have the same odd conversations and relationships with their cats.  I've followed him on Twitter for a while now and really enjoyed his easy going, bio about life as a cat man.  Thoroughly enjoyable and relatable.

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