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Everything posted by Ben

  1. It's not Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown, is it? Remembered a publishing friend on Twitter going on about it upon release. Had a quick look and it sounds similar to what you're after...
  2. Ben's Books 2017.

    So after having two years, I believe, without posting a book thread, I thought I'd settle back into a (virtual) comfy chair on my favourite forum and get back to posting my thoughts and feelings about books that I'm currently reading. (I also like the idea of having a platform where I'm not constricted by having to use 140 characters or less.) 2016 was a solid year as I hit 100 (102 to be exact) for the second year running after never managing it before, so I think I'll just set myself the same target and go from there. I intend to keep it simple, not forcing myself to complete certain challenges or read specific books, and just, I guess, see where the reading takes me. Hopefully to different worlds, eras, and towards some new literary friends. I'd be quite content with that. Quick Links TBR Wishlist Currently reading: Books Read 2017: 10. January Big Sur by Jack Kerouac. Thoughts. On Beauty by Zadie Smith. A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly. Thoughts. Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin. Thoughts. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. Slade House by David Mitchell. The Loney by Andrew Hurley. Pet Sematary by Stephen King. The Tenant of Wilfell Hall by Anne Brontë. Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.
  3. Ben's Books 2017.

    So, I don't really know this best place to put this, but I'm probably not going to be around much for the foreseeable. Been hit for six by something I didn't see coming and it's going to take me a long time to recover - if I ever do. I might keep the first bit of the thread updated with books I've read, but I don't know. Just thought I'd mention it.
  4. Ben's Books 2017.

    Hey pontalba, many thanks - and you too! It's been a great start to the year, here's hoping it carries on... Yep, like many others I've made the reading log much more simple this year, and that goes for reviews too! I'd rather just put less pressure on myself and write when I want to write. Reading is first and foremost this year. The rest will come or it won't.
  5. What's Up in January 2017

    Sounds like a sensible idea to me, Claire! Strange weekend for me so far. Went out for lunch with the girlfriend yesterday as she was going out with some work friends during the evening and I wouldn't be seeing her. It was nice but I've really been suffering this week with some horrible, splitting headaches. They come over me all of a sudden and nothing will help, not even painkillers. Think I might need to book in for the opticians, as something definitely isn't right... Spent Sunday morning with my book and the tennis, and now I'm not sure what to do as my head is leaving me just wanting to sit in a dark room and do nothing. Will probably try flick through a book before the football later, but we'll see.
  6. Tennis

    THE GOAT. #18
  7. Ben's Books 2017.

    I definitely think you'd like The Tenant, Claire. There's a lot of humour and a wonderful cast of - not particularly nice! - characters. I'm more interested in getting to Agnes Grey now as well. Oh and I'm sure they'll wait just fine.
  8. I'm all for character development over plot as well. As I Lay Dying very much on the list.
  9. Ben's Books 2017.

    Me too! You don't hear of it half as much as Jane Eyre but I definitely enjoyed it.
  10. Ben's Books 2017.

    Sorry about the lack of updates, folks! In all honesty, I'm only just recovering from the illness I've had lately and although I have still been reading, I haven't been all that enthusiastic about logging in and posting updates. I'm also super behind on reviews - some of them are ear-marked for full-blown reviews, others not so much. *shrugs* So I've finished a couple of books since I last posted: Pet Semetary by Stephen King I really, really enjoyed this. I've always been a bit unsure about Stephen King. I've never been disappointed with anything of his that I've read, but I'm not big on supernatural books in general. Thankfully, with King, his writing - that perfect blend of horror, building creepiness, deft wit and humour - does enough for me to not worry about how far-fetched everything is. Pet Semetary is no different. There's the inevitable supernatural aspects, but there's something real about King's writing that makes you swallow it easier, and indeed look about you now and again in the early hours of the morning when the wind is rattling at the windows and the darkness full. I tend not to get scared with horror fiction, but King is a master of his craft and you can't help but feel unnerved. For me, this was a fabulous exploration of a seemingly perfect life, and what one person will do to keep things just right. Louis Creed - physician father, rational man - may just have to reconsider his whole world to keep his family safe. (Also, anyone who has read this and remembers it well, I need to DISCUSS SOMETHING.) ★★★★☆ The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë So last year me and the OH decided to do the '2016 Classics Challenge', which is basically the idea of reading one classic book every month in an effort to expand your reading and perhaps read some books you might not have done. The girlfriend and I did this successfully throughout 2016, each reading the same book - chosen alternately by both of us. As it went so well, we decided to do it again. (Although Charlie might be struggling to actually do this month's... but that's another story.) I'm woefully ignorant of the Brontë sisters work - which is tragic, considering they lived most of their lives five minutes from where I live. I've read Charlotte's Jane Eye and Emily's Wuthering Heights, but haven't explored any of the lesser known works. After reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, I'm delighted that I partly resolved my ignorance. This is a fantastic book - a 'story within a story' that unravels at just the right pace, with a surprising amount of humour and a narrative that, although slow in places, captures your attention for most of its almost 600 pages. One of the first prominent works of feminist fiction, The Tenant of WIldfell Hall has a fantastic cast of characters - not many of which you would like to bob down to the pub with for a pint, admittedly - but all of which have an individual voice and are well-drawn. I didn't find anyone particularly likeable, but I don't necessarily need that from my fiction: there were some delightful téte-á-téte's throughout the novel, and again I found myself chuckling a surprisingly frequent amount. Once again our decision to do the 'classics challenge' has resulted in another enjoyable book that I may have left festering on my TBR pile. Very chuffed. ★★★★☆
  11. Willoyd's Reading 2017

    Glad you enjoyed this so much on the re-read, willoyd. Great review. Think I need to get to it again sooner rather than later - like you I loved it.
  12. Peace's Reads 2017

    Looks lovely, peace. So glad the offer was accepted and you can start thinking about plans.
  13. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    Well okay then. To be fair though, I'm not against those kind of books that are a bit more introspective, character-driven rather than plot-based (in fact some of my favourite books are those creepy, intense atmosphere-building novels that don't concern themselves much with a narrative). Just not this one, apparently. *shrugs* Ah well, plenty more books on the pile.
  14. Ben's Books 2017.

    High praise indeed.
  15. pontalba's 2017 reading list

    Have a good reading year, pontalba!
  16. Ben's Books 2017.

    Good news! Yeah, I won't be reading them 'at once' as such, there will likely be very little flicking between at all. Just like to be prepared. Oh my! Wonder if they have individual costumes and specialities and everything.
  17. Your Book Activity - January 2017

    Absolutely adored When Breath Becomes Air. Thought it was a wonderful little book and one of my top ten favourites in 2016. Hope you're getting on well with it, Hayley.
  18. Ben's Books 2017.

    I've been wanting to read something by Anne for a while now - and have heard great things about The Tenant. Yeah it's not normally me, and it's likely that I won't flick between them that much (will probably finish individually) but I just want to keep reading, you know?
  19. First line of current book - 2017

    Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened. Pet Sematary by Stephen King.
  20. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

    Still haven't got around to The Night Manager but recently read The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and thought it was very good indeed. Will definitely be one to keep on the TV adaptations radar...
  21. Little Pixie`s Bookshelf 2017

    You're not going to get chastised here LP. My plan to not book buy this year is going AWFULLY anyway.
  22. Ben's Books 2017.

    Okay, so just because I'm still ill and struggling with both The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Alone in Berlin, I've decided to get a THIRD book on the go. *sighs* This is not normally like me, but just by the nature of the books I'm currently reading - and the run-down feeling that is affecting my reading negatively - I'm also going to have a go with Stephen King's Pet Sematary. Have wanted to stick in to more King for a long time now, so here goes... Synopsis The house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago. Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat. But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial. A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding.
  23. What's Up in January 2017

    Thanks you two. Not yet, but I'll get there. Good luck with your offer - and your attempts at keeping distracted - peacefield, must be awful waiting around to find out if you've been successful. Really quiet couple of days for me, have just been watching some snooker, keeping warm in front of our wood-burner, reading in bits and pieces... I'm honestly still not feeling great - still got a lot of pain behind my eyes/head and bloody painful toothache to boot?! - but trying to rest up. Still have the weekend to get myself up to scratch, and I'm going to need it. Was planning on going out with the girlfriend on Saturday, possibly to the flicks and definitely for some food, but as I'll be seeing her later (after class) I'm not sure how this will pan out. In all fairness, despite wanting to stay in/rest up, it might do me good to try get out and do something. *shrugs*
  24. Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

    I tried this late(ish) last year (got a Netgalley copy) and found it... well, kinda' boring if I'm honest. Only got about a quarter of the way through and couldn't stomach the rest. I imagine that I probably wasn't in the mood for it, but hey ho. *shrugs* Judging from your review I should come back to it and give it the space and time it likely deserves.
  25. Ben's Books 2017.

    Didn't know you could do it that route as well, don't tend to get newsletters. It's good that there's plenty of options though. Everyone loves an early look at a new release. I know, but I do want to review or at least share my general thoughts on a lot of the books I read this year, On Beauty included! Just need to chuck this flu that I've got and I'll get 'round to catching up with writing reviews.