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Noll's 2016 Books and Cross-Stitch

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Excellent reviews, Noll. 

 

I loved both of Claire North's books I've read.  Harry August, and Touch.  Very fast paced like a whirlwind!  Interesting. :)

 

Thanks!

 

I've heard such mixed reviews about Harry August, though, I've never gotten around to picking it up, as a result!

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Thanks!

 

I've heard such mixed reviews about Harry August, though, I've never gotten around to picking it up, as a result!

Me too Noll, but I WILL read it this year! :)

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Me too Noll, but I WILL read it this year! :)

 

We should read it together :lol: 

 

In other news, in case Frankie or Bobbly wander in - I've started reading Under The Skin. Interesting, about a third in and could go either way at this point! Loved the first couple of chapters, it's lulling a bit now. Beautiful writing though, Faber is truly talented. Dark spinach of algae, dark earth under snow like a fruit cake covered in cream. Gorgeous writing.

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In other news, in case Frankie or Bobbly wander in - I've started reading Under The Skin. Interesting, about a third in and could go either way at this point! Loved the first couple of chapters, it's lulling a bit now. Beautiful writing though, Faber is truly talented. Dark spinach of algae, dark earth under snow like a fruit cake covered in cream. Gorgeous writing.

 

Glad you are reading this, and I will be interested in your thoughts. It's very, very odd, and I still don't know what to think about it. :lurker:

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Glad you are reading this, and I will be interested in your thoughts. It's very, very odd, and I still don't know what to think about it. :lurker:

 

I finished it and have been mulling it over. It wasn't what I expected and I spent so long thinking of possibilities that I don't even really recall at what point the truth became evident... and I feel like it was kind of a mish mash of unresolved attempts at tackling difficult issues. I don't know what I think. It won't get more than three stars, but whether I decide 'I liked it' or 'it was okay' remains to be seen. Yeah, I'm not sure either what to make of it!

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I hope you have a happy and groovy year of reading in 2016, Noll!  Miss Peregrine's is the only book on your lists that I've read, but that just means I need to come here and get LOTS of recommendations from you ;).

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I hope you have a happy and groovy year of reading in 2016, Noll!  Miss Peregrine's is the only book on your lists that I've read, but that just means I need to come here and get LOTS of recommendations from you ;).

 

Ha! My current recommendation is that you avoid my first few reads of the year - I really need to stop picking up cheapies and freebies off Amazon and start reading some decent books  :lurker:

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I finished it and have been mulling it over. It wasn't what I expected and I spent so long thinking of possibilities that I don't even really recall at what point the truth became evident... and I feel like it was kind of a mish mash of unresolved attempts at tackling difficult issues. I don't know what I think. It won't get more than three stars, but whether I decide 'I liked it' or 'it was okay' remains to be seen. Yeah, I'm not sure either what to make of it!

Interesting!  I can't wait to get to it now :P

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Interesting!  I can't wait to get to it now :P

 

The writing was excellent. I just dunno how I feel about what he said. Didn't care about the characters. I don't think even any viewpoints on anything were offered. What happened was riddled with problems, which might have been okay if it served a purpose. I dunno! :roll:

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Isn't that a good thing though?

 

Ehhhhhhh. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. :P I'm just so indifferent to it. I don't care about anything that happened in it. I spent the whole thing waiting for something exciting or scary to happen but nothing really did. A couple of bits made me uncomfortable but they just seemed out of place. I feel very meh about it. I like book to either provoke thoughts or emotions (or both) and this did neither. But damn the man can write. Dark earth peering through snow like a fruit cake under cream. I want to eat dirt now. 

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I want to eat dirt now. 

:giggle2:  Now you've made me want to move it up the list! 

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:giggle2:  Now you've made me want to move it up the list! 

 

I'll be genuinely interested to see what you think. Bobbly doesn't know what to think either, also finds it odd. I believe Frankie thinks its great. I'm bewildered by it. Join the party! :lol:

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Then we can all tick one off on the 1001 Book list :lol:

Did you read The Crimson Petal and the White?

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Fairly sure I've looked at that list and gone 'nope'. :lol: I have TCP&TW on my bookshelves here, but it's a hefty tome so I've not gotten around to it.

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I hope to get to that this year too- seems its mostly all long books for me this year on the TBR.

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I finished it and have been mulling it over. It wasn't what I expected and I spent so long thinking of possibilities that I don't even really recall at what point the truth became evident... and I feel like it was kind of a mish mash of unresolved attempts at tackling difficult issues. I don't know what I think. It won't get more than three stars, but whether I decide 'I liked it' or 'it was okay' remains to be seen. Yeah, I'm not sure either what to make of it!

 

 

The writing was excellent. I just dunno how I feel about what he said. Didn't care about the characters. I don't think even any viewpoints on anything were offered. What happened was riddled with problems, which might have been okay if it served a purpose. I dunno! :roll:

 

 

Ehhhhhhh. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. :P I'm just so indifferent to it. I don't care about anything that happened in it. I spent the whole thing waiting for something exciting or scary to happen but nothing really did. A couple of bits made me uncomfortable but they just seemed out of place. I feel very meh about it. I like book to either provoke thoughts or emotions (or both) and this did neither. But damn the man can write. Dark earth peering through snow like a fruit cake under cream. I want to eat dirt now. 

 

:lol: It's been interesting to read your comments on the book :D Too bad it didn't rock your boat, but as they say, to each their own. :) 

 

Did you read The Crimson Petal and the White?

 

This one's completely different from Under the Skin. I mean, duh, one would know that based on the blurbs and them being completely different genres. But it was just so far removed from Under the Skin that one can only compliment Michel Faber being able to juggle different genres successfully. I didn't like TCPatW too much, personally, though, but I know loads of other people who've loved it. Maybe you guys will fair with this Faber better :) 

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I hope you enjoy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! I am just re-reading A Study in Scarlet and want to get to more Canon Doyle this year! 

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:lol: It's been interesting to read your comments on the book :D Too bad it didn't rock your boat, but as they say, to each their own. :)

 

 

This one's completely different from Under the Skin. I mean, duh, one would know that based on the blurbs and them being completely different genres. But it was just so far removed from Under the Skin that one can only compliment Michel Faber being able to juggle different genres successfully. I didn't like TCPatW too much, personally, though, but I know loads of other people who've loved it. Maybe you guys will fair with this Faber better :)

 

Hahaha. When you gather all my thoughts like that, I look a bit mad :lol: There were parts I really loved, and the writing was so good I feel bad giving it only 2 stars, but I have to go by what my ratings stand for, and 2 stars is 'it was okay'. 3 stars is 'I liked it'. I don't know if I liked it :roll: I think I was too confused about where it was going, and had too many horrific ideas in my head, that by the time one of them turned out to be true I was like 'ohhhh okay it was that one'. And I was confused by them calling themselves

 

Human beings. I fully expected something to happen wherein a takeover of Earth was described and the fact that vodsels were once humans was a piece of knowledge lost to history. Again, by the time I actually realised there was no explanation beyond Faber deciding to rename us and change what humans are, I was so confused that the impact was lost. I am but a simple creature Frankie!

 

 

I am glad I read it, though.

 

I hope you enjoy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! I am just re-reading A Study in Scarlet and want to get to more Canon Doyle this year! 

 

Thanks! I loved the two novels that came before it, but felt they went on a bit with regard to context (usually set in an exotic land) so I'm looking forward to getting into some short stories which will hopefully be more to the point.

 

At the moment I'm reading Our Endless Numbered Days, which is getting off to a better start than I honestly expected. Will it be my first 4 or 5 star rating of the year? Who knows!

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Hahaha. When you gather all my thoughts like that, I look a bit mad :lol: There were parts I really loved, and the writing was so good I feel bad giving it only 2 stars, but I have to go by what my ratings stand for, and 2 stars is 'it was okay'. 3 stars is 'I liked it'. I don't know if I liked it :roll: I think I was too confused about where it was going, and had too many horrific ideas in my head, that by the time one of them turned out to be true I was like 'ohhhh okay it was that one'. And I was confused by them calling themselves

 

Human beings. I fully expected something to happen wherein a takeover of Earth was described and the fact that vodsels were once humans was a piece of knowledge lost to history. Again, by the time I actually realised there was no explanation beyond Faber deciding to rename us and change what humans are, I was so confused that the impact was lost. I am but a simple creature Frankie!

 

 

I am glad I read it, though.

 

 

Haa :) I don't profess myself to be more complex by comparison, and I would say that the ideas in the book were big for me, but despite of it, or because of it, I still loved it all :) 

 

I'm glad that you don't regret reading it, at least :) 

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Haa :) I don't profess myself to be more complex by comparison, and I would say that the ideas in the book were big for me, but despite of it, or because of it, I still loved it all :)

 

I'm glad that you don't regret reading it, at least :)

 

Nah, I don't have to necessarily enjoy a book for the experience of reading it to have been worthwhile :D If nothing else, it makes me want to try something different by Faber, for more earth-fruit-cake writing.

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#3 Follow You Home - Mark Edwards

Genre: Thriller/Fiction
Synopsis: It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.
After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror. Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…

 

***

 

Review: Well this was.... interesting. I grabbed this book off Kindle Unlimited with the hope of getting a fairly mindless but hopefully fun (bonus points for well-written) thriller. I (think?) I got all of those things... not entirely certain about the 'well-written' bit, but it was definitely readable. Having read another thriller (same motivation) immediately afterwards, Follow You Home was definitely the better of the two. While it had some issues - primarily that it didn't do a great job of weaving together two distinct plots - it was original, refreshing and creative enough to hold my attention.

 

I liked most of the characters, although I wasn't overly concerned about any of them except Daniel - he's a nice enough fella, and most of the book is focused on him. Alternating between past and present, Daniel gradually reveals the mystery of a terrifying event which happened to him and his girlfriend Laura while on a trip around Europe. The reveal of what was happening (one of the two main plots) was my favourite part of the book, and I wish it had been the sole central story. The other plot was not really credible, and in parts quite flimsy.

 

Overall, if you're a fan of dodgy thrillers like I am, it's a grand one for a rainy day, but I wouldn't recommend it - mostly because I doubt I'll even remember it in a month's time.

 

Rating: ★★★✰✰ I liked it

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#4 Someone To Save You - Paul Pilkington
 
Genre: Thriller
Synopsis: A car astride the railway track as an express train approaches at high speed. In the front seat, a woman seemingly determined to end her life. In the back, her two young children are oblivious to the impending disaster. For talented young heart surgeon, Sam Becker, his heroic actions to save the family mark the beginning of a nightmare. A nightmare that will rip open old wounds, bring him face to face with ghosts from the past, and endanger those he cares for the most. A nightmare linked to the brutal murder of his sister, fifteen years ago.

***

Review: This is another thriller I grabbed for free off Kindle Unlimited, so my expectations weren't very high. They were still too high.

 

This is a fast paced mystery thriller in which one man's life seems suddenly to be at the centre of a giant conspiracy theory spanning more than a decade, beginning with the murder of his sister. In a desperate 'you-can't-trust-anyone' race to find out the actual perpetrator of the madness, Sam chases up several leads which are all tied in to the attempted destruction of his career and life. With the support of a couple of close friends (whom the reader, in the endless paranoia induced by the story, will end up suspecting) and a kindly police officer, Sam gradually begins to piece everything together.

 

It's a complex but not overly complicated plot, with a protagonist I did actually like and some peripheral characters I found at least intriguing if not likeable. It is however A) off the wall and B) explained away by possibly the worst reveal I've ever read anywhere ever. It just in absolutely no way provides a motivation for the sheer scale of everything that happens in the book, and renders everything that comes before it utterly unbelieveable.

 

I read to the end, but that did become a struggle at one point when I put it down for a couple of days.


Rating:★★✰✰✰ It was okay.

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