Monday, September 8, 2014

Marathon Books

I don't know about you guys, but in recent years I've become the queen of marathoning TV shows. With sites like Netflix and Hulu (alright, 99% Netflix, Hulu is kind of the pits) it's become so easy to marathon a whole series over the course of a few weeks days. And let's be honest, a commercial free marathon is so much more addicting and fun than watching a show over the course of a year, right?

Well as much as I love a good ol' Netflix binge, lately I've found myself transferring that love over to reading. I get the same fun out of reading a book cover to cover within the course of a day or so, without the condescending message from Netflix asking if you're sure you want to keep watching after 12 continuous hours (and the answer is always yes, Netflix, gawd).

I recently finished the amazing novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (more on that in a second) and it really got me thinking on some of the books I've read in recent years that I haven't been able to put down. I seem to really be drawn to the mystery genre for this reason, but all of these books have also had such well written, fully formed characters that I would find myself getting enveloped within their world during my time reading. So I thought I'd share with you guys a few of my favorites, some truly addictive books that I had the best time reading.

I'll start off with Gone Girl, a novel that I was fairly late to the game on. I remember two summers ago this was the book to read, and it seemed like just about every reader on the beach had it in their hands. I regret not reading the book back then because I ended up being spoiled on the big, game changing twist of the book before I ever read it. If I can recommend anything going into reading this book it would be to know nothing going in. I mean, yes, the basic summary of a wife going missing is something that happens within the first several pages, but other than that you really should just go in with an open mind and enjoy the ride. It's truly one of the darkest, most twisted books I've read in years, and that's coming from someone who loves dark and twisted novels. It's incredibly written, and the characters and themes are so thought provoking that I can see why it's become such a book club favorite - I immediately wanted to talk to someone about it after reading the last page! I know I'm being kind of cryptic about this book but, really, just go read it. Especially before the movie comes out and it's being spoiled all over social media.

My next recommendation is actually pretty general, and it's just about any book written by the author Denis Lehane. He is the master of dark mysteries with some fantastic psychological twists. His characters are always written as fully formed human beings with complexities and flaws, a task that is a lot easier said than done in writing. Lehane wrote perhaps my favorite book ever, Gone Baby Gone, the story of two detectives who investigate the case of a missing child. I found out after reading it that the book was part of a series written around the two detectives, but honestly I found it so amazing as a standalone book that I have yet to read more of it. It's a fantastic mystery novel with one of the biggest twist endings I've ever read. The story of this book stayed with me for days after finishing, and I still recommend it as one of the best I've ever read.

Two other fantastic reads from Lehane are his books Mystic River and Shutter Island. While Shutter Island is a bit more of a thriller with a supernatural element, Mystic River is all about the complexities of human behavior and psychological trauma. As someone who is fascinated by psychology, I found this novel to be absolutely thrilling. The basic plot is about three childhood best friends who experience a tragedy in their youths that forces them to grow apart. Twenty-five years later they are all brought back in each others' lives when of the guys' daughter turns up murdered. All three of these books by Lehane were turned into movies, and while they were all decent, Mystic River is the one I'd recommend most for it's adaptation. That being said, as always, the books are still superior and I'd recommend reading them before seeing their movie counterparts.

Have you guys read any "marathon books" lately? Now that I'm finished with Gone Girl I'm in need of a new one and would love any recommendations!

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