What’s your favorite book about an obsession? About a character or characters who have an absolute mania for something or someone?
Book mentions in this thread
by Richard PowersWINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019 SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 A wondrous, exhilarating novel about nine strangers brought together by an unfolding natural catastrophe ‘The best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period’ Ann Patchett An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force crewmember in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in a last stand to save it from catastrophe. ‘Breathtaking’ Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times ‘It’s a masterpiece’ Tim Winton ‘It’s not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book’ Margaret Atwood ‘An astonishing performance’ Benjamin Markovits, Guardian
The Secret History
by Donna TarttA transfer student from a small town in California, Richard Papen is determined to affect the ways of his Hampden College peers, and he begins his intense studies under the tutelage of eccentric Julian Morrow. BOMC & QPB Alt. Tour.
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole'My favourite book of all time... it stays with you long after you have read it - for your whole life, in fact' Billy Connolly A monument to sloth, rant and contempt, a behemoth of fat, flatulence and furious suspicion of anything modern - this is Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, noble crusader against a world of dunces. The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged. Ignatius ignores them, heaving his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him: Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission - and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with... Never published during his lifetime, John Kennedy Toole's hilarious satire, A Confederacy of Dunces is a Don Quixote for the modern age, and this Penguin Modern Classics edition includes a foreword by Walker Percy. 'A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities ... it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue' The New York Times
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
by Robert M PirsigA narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life. This new edition contains an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
by Maggie NelsonBluets is a lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue, while folding in, and responding to, the divergent voices and preoccupations of such generative figures as Wittgenstein, Sei Shonagon, William Gass and Joan Mitchell.
by Tana FrenchStill traumatised by her brush with a psychopath, Detective Cassie Maddox transfers out of the Murder squad and starts a relationship with fellow detective Sam O'Neill. When he calls her to the scene of his new case, she is shocked to find that the murdered girl is her double. What's more, her ID shows she is Lexie Madison - the identity Cassie used, years ago, as an undercover detective. With no leads, no suspects and no clues to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old boss spots the opportunity of a lifetime: send Cassie undercover in her place, to tempt the killer out of hiding to finish the job.
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara"A little life, follows four college classmates --broke, adrift, and bouyed only by their friendship and ambition--as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara's stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves." --Back cover
by Lois LowryCelebrate Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world in this 25th Anniversary Edition of The Giver. Includes a new afterword from Lois Lowry, as well as her Newbery acceptance speech. The Giver, Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning novel, has become one of the most influential books of our time. Placed on countless reading lists and curricula, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is a modern classic. Celebrate this beloved contribution to children's literature with the 25th Anniversary Edition. The haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity, is as resonant today as when it was first published. Lois Lowry will include a new afterword as well as her Newbery acceptance speech in this beautifully rejacketed edition.
by Stephen KingA NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2019 SELECTION From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It. In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.” In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute. As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
by Donna TarttWinner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.
You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
by Alexandra KleemanAn intelligent and madly entertaining debut novel reminiscent of The Crying of Lot 49, White Noise, and City of Glass that is at once a missing-person mystery, an exorcism of modern culture, and a wholly singular vision of contemporary womanhood from a terrifying and often funny voice of a new generation. A woman known only by the letter A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality show called That’s My Partner! A eats (or doesn’t) the right things, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials—particularly the recurring cartoon escapades of Kandy Kat, the mascot for an entirely chemical dessert—and models herself on a standard of beauty that only exists in such advertising. She fixates on the fifteen minutes of fame a news-celebrity named Michael has earned after buying up his local Wally Supermarket’s entire, and increasingly ample, supply of veal. Meanwhile B is attempting to make herself a twin of A, who hungers for something to give meaning to her life, something aside from C’s pornography addiction, and becomes indoctrinated by a new religion spread throughout a web of corporate franchises, which moves her closer to the decoys that populate her television world, but no closer to her true nature.
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
by Michelle McNamara** SOON TO BE A MAJOR NEW DOCUMENTARY SERIES FROM HBO AND SKY ** WINNER OF THE GOOD READS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2018 The masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade - from the late Michelle McNamara. I'll Be Gone in the Dark offers a unique snapshot of suburban West Coast America in the 1980s, and a chilling account of the wreckage left behind by a criminal mastermind. It is also a portrait of one woman's obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth, three decades later, in spite of the personal cost. Updated with material which takes in the extraordinary events that followed its initial publication, Michelle McNamara's first and last book is a contemporary classic - humane, haunting and heroic.
Master Of The Senate
by Robert A. Caro'The greatest biography of our era ... Essential reading for those who want to comprehend power and politics' The Times Robert A. Caro's legendary, multi-award-winning biography of US President Lyndon Johnson is a uniquely riveting and revelatory account of power, political genius and the shaping of twentieth-century America. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Master of the Senate takes Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods- his twelve years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history and how he used his incomparable legislative genius - seducing both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives - to pass the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction.