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My strange compulsions

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,016 ✭✭✭ Blush_01

    New year, new thread! (I can hear you all clapping from here, trust me, I'm bowing! ;))

    Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

    Kicking things off in style, I decided to find out what all the hype was where Stephenie Meyer was concerned. I read The Host last year and found her writing really compulsive, and although it's definitely not the best novel I've ever read, it is definitely one of the most compelling to read.




  • Oh dear... how quickly compulsion turns to addiction.

    New Moon
    - Stephenie Meyer

    The second installment in the Twilight Saga. Just as compulsive as Twilight, which is ridiculously addictive. Really appealed to the hopeless romantic in me.

    Be warned, this is real guilty pleasure reading - but oh, so enjoyable!


  • (And you thought I lied about the addiction!)

    Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer

    The third installment in the Twilight Saga explores new territory, with the introduction of newly created vampires, and a silly teenage love triangle that will have any Twilight nut giggling like a schoolgirl.


  • Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer.

    The "final" installment in the Twilight Saga.

    Meyer really does have a fantastic imagination and is adept at weaving a simple but engaging romance story.


  • Midnight Sun - Stephenie Meyer

    This is the first 12 chapters of Meyer's version of Twilight as seen through Edward's eyes (the male protagonist). This was originally a manuscript leaked by someone online, so Meyer chose to publish the leaked document on her website.

    According to the website she plans to finish Midnight Sun but the concluding chapters have been put on the long finger for the moment. :(


  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Steig Larsson

    The final instalment in Larsson's renowned Millennium Trilogy. I didn't think it was as impressive as the second novel, The Girl Who Played With Fire but Larsson still wove an exceptional and plausible tale of corruption, media influence and the triumph of good.


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  • Double Fault - Lionel Shriver

    Shrivers depiction of the inherent destruction of obsession through the media of professional sports and personal relationships is really striking.


  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

    Entertaining, enjoyable, but could have been edited and polished a bit better. Some not so subtle innuendo definitely included.


  • The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles - Roy Jacobsen

    A sweet little story about an unlikely hero who survives through the evacuation of his village, Russian occupation and the aftermath of this invasion.


  • The Sorrows of an American - Siri Hustvedt

    Charming, occasionally sad story of a year in the narrator's life after his father's death.

    Recommended, although the narrators voice doesn't always ring true as a masculine voice.

  • Sacred Hearts - Sarah Dunant

    Interesting historical novel about a Benedictine enclosed order of nuns in the 16th century after the admission of yet another reluctant noble novice whose family cannot afford the required dowry fees to marry both her and her sister off to wealthy men.

    Interesting and entertaining, Sacred Hearts touches briefly on religious reforms of the time and their impact on enclosed orders, and focuses on power struggles.


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  • The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

    Sweet story of a young teenager who runs away from home and finds a family who take her in, and teach her all about love.


  • I, Lucifer - Glen Duncan

    Interesting tale of a month in Lucifer's existence spent in the body of an English author of little success, narrated (for the most part) by Lucifer.


  • The Drowning Girl - Margaret Leroy

    A single mother cannot understand her toddler Sylvie's strange behaviour, phobias and temper tantrums. On the advice of friends and the manager of her daughter's nursery school she seeks professional help. The subsequent exploration of Sylvie's issues lead her to an unknown fishing village in Ireland where she uncovers the most unlikely of explanations for Sylvie's issues.

    While the body of the novel was quite enjoyable, the end was very predictable and rushed. That said, it's still recommended.

  • The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

    This book had been recommended to me by a number of people at a number of points throughout my late teens and early 20s. I finally bought it, but never actually read it until recently.

    Semi-autobiographical, the story traces the descent of a capable but detached young woman into madness.


  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz

    Very, very enjoyable story of a Dominican family who believe themselves to be cursed. Quite uplifting, given the events that take place throughout.

    While the novel is primarily written in English, there's more than a smattering of native dialect in it, which adds to the tale and makes it even more interesting.


  • The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

    Taking place over seven nights, the protagonist writes a series of letters explaining his progression from poor Indian village boy with no prospects to successful entrepreneur.


  • All Names Have Been Changed - Claire Kilroy

    A writing class is collectively mentally held to ransom by the whims of an alcoholic writer whose former genius haunts him.

    Really well written and very enjoyable.


  • Of Bees and Mist - Erick Setiawan

    Of Bees and Mist is a beautifully pretty fairytale about love and power struggles, where good wins out in the end. Fireflies have the power to take vision or give insight, mists conceal and reveal destiny, bees build almost impenetrable fortresses of harm and evil is eventually uncovered.


  • The Affair - Anna Dillon

    A friend insisted that I read this. Dutifully, I did. Please don't. In addition to being poorly written with the overuse of a very restricted number of adjectives and adverbs, it tells the same story three times, without much variation between the three retellings. Once was bad enough but thrice was unforgivable.

    Avoid. Please.

    Not recommended.

  • The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

    Very enjoyable story about the building of a Cathedral in 12th century England. The stories of the main characters are interwoven well and although the writing could have been edited a bit more the overall tale is interesting, entertaining and makes for a very enjoyable read.


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  • What To Do When Someone Dies - Nicci French

    I picked this up in a friends while she was in the bathroom. It wasn't the worst thing I've read all year, but it just didn't have enough forward motion for me. All in all, it seemed a bit far fetched while being simultaneously boring.

    I'm sure if you like Nicci French's other stuff then you'll like it, but as a first read of their work I wouldn't be rushing out to buy any of their other books, nor would I be in a panic to buy either Nicci or Sean's individual works. (Sorry!)

    Not recommended.

  • Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

    Every time I read this I enjoy it more than the time before. Telling the story of both the narrator and Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut takes a look at the "Childrens Crusade" of WW2 while his characters travel through time and space.

    Highly recommended.

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

    Once again Shriver portrays realistic but occasionally unpalatable human emotions in a very genuine manner. In the aftermath of a massacre in her son's high school Eva Khatchadourian writes a series of letters to her estranged husband detailing her difficult relationship with their son and the events that lead up to his vicious attack on his hand-picked victims.


  • Leaving the World - Douglas Kennedy

    I usually don't read reviews of novels until I've read the novel first and made up my own mind. I am so glad I didn't read reviews of this before purchasing it, as I probably would have dismissed it otherwise.

    I didn't know what to expect from Leaving the World. All I knew was that it was following me, and I dislike being followed. I figured the only way to stop it following me about like a lost puppy was to buy and read it - and I'm glad I did.

    I enjoyed the story, although all the events that occur to the central character Jane lead her to have an excessively coincidental crisis on which the plot hinges, causing her to do as the title suggests and "leave the world" - or escape into attempted obscurity for a while at least.

    Kennedy writes women well. Unlike Siri Hustvedt's feminine sounding male character (see The Sorrows of an American read in February), Kennedy's Jane reads like a woman, rather than a man posing as a woman.

    Overall, I enjoyed the novel, even with the instances of coincidence and the protagonists grating self-indulgence. (Too close to the bone! :D)


  • He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo

    Give me back the time it took to read this rubbish. Please.

    Not recommended unless you have the intellect of a postage stamp.

  • The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: and Other Stories - Tim Burton

    This book was so lovely and the illustrations were totally Burton. Such a cute little read!


  • Ruby Holler - Sharon Creech

    I didn't realise this was a children's book when I picked it up, but it was a really enjoyable, charming little novel.


  • The Damned United - Brian Peace

    I know nothing about football, but I loved this novel. Peace's ability to portray the destructiveness of obsession, even when combined with talent and hard work is almost disturbingly entertaining.


  • Brida - Paulo Coelho

    I quite like Paulo Coelho - I read a fair bit of his novels last year. I didn't enjoy Brida as much as I had hoped though.

    It was ok, as stories go. It was ok, as writing goes. It was readable, reasonably well paced for Coelho, and yet failed to grab me totally.

    Recommended? Meh.

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  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer

    My Twilight addiction isn't new(s), but it's still going strong.

    While it was interesting to see things from Bree's perspective, and she did earn a little of my sympathy - I definitely didn't want the Volturi to stick to their resolution - I found it didn't go as deeply into Bree's story. Yes, I know it's a novella, but it felt rushed and too short - like a money spinner without the real heart.

    Recommended for Twilight Saga fans, but if you don't like Twilight, chances are you're not going to get much good out of Bree Tanner's story either.