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Bird Box
Josh Malerman
Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.Five years a...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 16 upvotes on /r/books/


Kings of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames. I didn't love it as much as I thought I would but it was a fun fantasy with great characters. It just got kind of messy towards the middle, but maybe that's just me. I'd give it a 3.5/4 out of 5.

Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. I mean, I liked it... it was a nice fast-paced thriller, and that's it. I'll watch the film in the near future, but I suspect it could be one of those cases that the film is probably better than the book. 3/5.

Will start:

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. I just gave into the hype, lol. I really want to see the tv series but I just want to read the book first, even though they're apparently not very similar. Still, excited about this one!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 12 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi. First “true crime” book and really enjoyed the format. I still find it crazy that it all happened.

I started and finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. Got through this in a day and thoroughly enjoyed it. My only disappointment is not “seeing” the creatures, though I suppose that makes sense.

I started Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville yesterday. I’m about 130 pages in and I’m still not sold on it. I’m really hoping it will pay off. It’s so description heavy and I’m not finding it overly engaging at this point, and I’m still not sure where the plot is even going. And that’s ignoring the fact that the dude clearly writes with a thesaurus open next to him.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 10 upvotes on /r/books/

Spooky season, so I started The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. It's only short, so I'll probably finish it pretty quickly - so next will either be Bird Box, by Josh Malerman or Carrie, by Stephen King.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 9 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman.

Interesting concept and premise. The book raises a lot more questions than it answers – some to the advantage of the story by allowing for a pervading sense of mystery and uncertainty that only accentuate the suspense and keep the reader turning the pages and speculating long after putting the book down; and some to the detriment of the story by refusing to address and etch out some key elements which breaks immersion and takes away from the credibility of the plot. Certain situations also come off as a bit too contrived and a bit too demanding of suspension of disbelief.

But keeping the gripes aside, it does a good job at utilizing the 'fear of the unknown' concept, and the idea that the characters aren't supposed to use their sense of sight and must fall back on their other senses and means to navigate through and survive in an upturned, chaotic world is put to good effect for the most part. A sound of footfall at an arm's distance, a feeling of someone or something lurking behind you, a sudden bout of goosebumps at the back of your neck, a light tap at your shoulder – how much of it is real, and how much of it is just your heightened imagination going wild and the brain playing weird tricks? The premise takes that familiar, deep-rooted fear where you switch off the lights in the living room before heading to bed at night and get this irrational but overwhelming feeling of someone or something in the dark standing behind you or peeping at you from under the sofa as you quicken your steps on the way to your room. The premise capitalizes on that old familiar fear, turns it up to eleven, raises the stakes like any self-proclaimed thriller worth its salt ought to, and weaves this scenario where you're in a constant fear of something unknown and incomprehensible, even in broad daylight.

It's been a while since one of these 'bestselling' thrillers made me genuinely look forward to resume reading it after a busy day and stay up late at night to read the last hundred or so pages in one go to see how it ends, and this book was it (Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects also came pretty close to that, to be fair). So, while I have some gripes and am left feeling a little underwhelmed by the ending, I got what I looked for when I went into it – an easy but engaging read that would keep me at the edge – so I guess I should consider myself satisfied.

Started The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 8 upvotes on /r/books/

Recently finished:

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman: This was my first time reading a full-length book by Gaiman (having previously read only a short story of his), and it was a pretty enjoyable read. The narration was a pleasure to breeze through – it does a great job at simulating the experience of reading a fairy tale, albeit one targeted at a young adult or adult audience as opposed to the conventional association of the fairy tale genre with children's literature. The writing flows smoothly, with some pretty eloquent turn of phrases and with a pleasant mix of wit, emotion, and details of the magical, the mysterious and the ethereal. I'm super impressed with the author's ability to conjure atmospheric and whimsical scenarios and write vivid descriptions that aren't mere exposition dump but are also genuinely fun to read; it really brings the fantastical setting to life and evokes a quaint feeling that's a mix of wistfulness, nostalgia and awe.

All of that being said, I have some issues with the book. While it does an impressive job with the world building and narration, it falters when it comes to the execution of the plot in some very significant ways. For instance, the story is supposed to be, at one level, a romance – an attempt at a variation of the 'enemies to friends to lovers' trope – but I found the buildup to the so-called romance to be pretty much non-existent. One moment >!the female lead is hurling abuses at the male lead who's unabashedly upfront about his intent to hold her captive!<, and then all of a sudden >!the two are declaring their love for each other at the tail end of the story!<. The lack of a convincing buildup is conveniently hand-waved with a 'we ourselves didn't realize when we started caring for each other', which probably wouldn't have bugged me as much if the narrative didn't try to sell the romance as one of its focal aspects, but it did so it's only fair to expect it to be done properly. Moreover, because the narrative is more plot-driven than character-driven, the lack of buildup is all the more glaring in the face of inadequate chemistry between the two leads.

This kind of superficial handling also extends to other plot points that are established to be of significance to the narrative but peter out by the end. The resolution to the conflict posed by the antagonist(s) and the way the loose ends are hastily tied at the end are anticlimactic. I have to admit I'm conflicted about the ending and the epilogue because they cleverly play with certain fairy tale conventions (such as the concept of 'happily ever after') that were a delight to read but, masked by the gimmicks, pretty imageries and evocative writing, there are some big issues with the payoff or lack thereof.

All in all, the book is far from perfect but it was entertaining. It had a way with keeping me engrossed despite the apparent shortcomings, and it's not entirely without its merits, so I'm going to treat it as a gateway to other works of Gaiman.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon: A quick, enjoyable read. While the overarching story in itself is all right, it's the unique narrative voice and perspective that make it a fun read from start to finish. I found the protagonist/narrator to be a very endearing character, and his view of his immediate surroundings and the world as a whole to be thought-provoking, unintentionally witty, and at points moving. I also like the gimmick of numbering the chapters in prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13...) instead of the conventional number order, in keeping with the narrator's quirky penchant for prime numbers. Also, although the book is touted as primarily a mystery – and it does have an overarching mystery plot and feature the narrator attempting to play a textbook detective figure – I view it as more of a coming-of-age story interweaved with family drama, and with the mystery element(s) running through the story at a secondary but still significant level. A good book overall.

Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn: This was one disturbing book to get through, but in a good way. The creeping, slow buildup with a lingering sense of impending doom kept me turning the pages, and the twist at the tail end of the book made me gasp and internally recoil. In retrospect the reaction wasn't so much at the identity of the culprit per se because I did develop a lingering suspicion towards that one character after a certain point, having been conditioned by years of reading detective fiction to exclude no one, no matter how seemingly improbable they may be, from the purview of suspicion. No, the reaction was more at the vivid detailing of the circumstances in which the reveal is made, to be as vague as possible to avoid spoilers. And the narrative has a number of such instances that affect you at a visceral level. The running motif of cuts, bites, jabs and stabs is only scratching the surface (pun very much intended). Additionally, I appreciate the effort the author has put into writing and fleshing out the setting, a fictional town in southern Missouri, with all its prejudices, unspoken rules and closeted skeletons; it's like the town is a character in itself. The trope of a seemingly idyllic and obscure little locale hiding something or someone sinister is one I can probably never get tired of.

Started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 7 upvotes on /r/books/

Started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman a couple of days ago. Will most likely finish it tonight - fantastic and gripping.

Next will either be The Obelisk Gate, by NK Jemisin, or Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child

Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

This week I’m reading Bird Box, by Josh Malerman and The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves, by Eric R. Kandel.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Last night, I finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. It was good, but the ending felt a bit rushed.

I am so so ready to be done with Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore. It's so anticlimactic, it's dragged on for so long, none of the characters short comings are interesting enough to keep the plot going. Just... ugh. I'll hopefully finish it tonight.

Once I finish that, I'll start on Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. A friend gifted me the audiobook on iTunes because she loved it so much, so I can't wait to start it!!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman last night and WOW!! Such a tense, blood pressure raising, well thought out chiller. At one point I had to close the book up and consider shelving it until my anxiety settled. 100% will check out more by this author.

Haven't started reading anything else, but Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is next on my list. I started listening to Drunk Guys Book Club Podcast on Apple Podcasts, and I've already listened to the episodes on books I've already read so this one seemed short and sweet and I can't wait to check it out and see what the drunk guys think of it, too!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/


Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt It was pretty good. I especially enjoyed his descriptions of his Night Cafe's, or personal moments in his life that had a distinct before and after. And it was great fun reading all about his rise as a comedian. Good stuff.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman I don't normally finish two books in one week, but this one was a super fast read and kind of short. It was okay. I found myself reading it mainly to find out what happened in the past, not because I particularly cared about the present story. Would've really liked some more detail on what exactly was causing everyone to go insane. Ah well.


Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs I don't know why I have this book. I don't even know who Augusten Burroughs is. But it's a good memoir so far, and it's helping me get insight into what it's like to be an alcoholic and why it's so hard to get and ask for help.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

This week I finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

Now I'm almost 50% through Turtles all the Way Down, by John Green

Happy with both choices :)

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

So this week I finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman!

It's been recommended quite a lot on here and I loved it. The split sort of narrative was a very good choice and helped to build the tension excellently, although if I'm being pick I might have wanted some more answers by the end.

I'm just about to start The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Just started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

I am so intrigued by this one!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

This week I finished The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline

Good book but the world building could have been a lot stronger!

Now reading Bird Box, by Josh Malerman so that I can then watch the movie :)

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman which was a Christmas present. I am a fan of good horror and I thought this book was excellent. I thought it had a very strong start and ending. I read up a bit on the Netflix adaptation and it seems that they have changed some of my favourite bits of the book so I won't go out of my way to watch it.

By the same author I also read Ghastle and Yule, by Josh Malerman which is a short story that was included in my edition of Bird Box. It was entertaining enough to keep me amused but I didn't have any strong opinions on it either good or bad so I will probably forget all about it quickly enough. One thing I did find cheeky was that the short story was c100 pages and included in the edition of Bird Box. The book did not mention anywhere on it's cover that it included a short story so people buying the book might be annoyed that the main story is 100 pages shorter than they were expecting.

I also read The Walkting Dead, by Robert Kirkman volumes 10 to 12 inclusive. I didn't enjoy the TV series but decided to read the graphic novels as my local library has them all. The story is varied enough to keep it interesting. In the latest volume the characters met a new troupe who are purposefully travelling across country rather than just surviving which is an interesting turn on the story.

I started The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton this morning. This is one of my Dad's favourite books. I tried reading it when I was young but never finished it just as my attention span was so poor. Scanning through the books it has charts on some pages like Jurassic Park did and I find that kind of thing exciting.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

This is quite a page turner! I’m really enjoying it. If I had an entire free day, I could probably sit down and finish it with out stopping. I can’t wait to see the Netflix adaptation after this.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

Pet Sematary, by Stephen King

Started: Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/


Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

Ok, The Writing is annoying and a bit repetitive, but I LOVED this book! It was creepy, and spooky and I was thoroughly engaged. I couldn't wait to find out what happens!

Currently reading:

The Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

I'm struggling to get interested in this. I"m only 40 pages in and I have to remind myself to read it. I have 800 pages to go, but I"ve heard people love it, so I continue on!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Just finished up This Will Only Hurt a Little, by Busy Philipps which was better than expected! I've seen some of the shows she was in, but was never a huge fan. Saw some celebs writing about her book on Instagram and decided to check it out. The first story or two was good, but it really got rolling after that. She was very candid and I enjoyed it a lot.

Just started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman which is interesting so far. I am not very far along in the book though. Curious to see how the story unfolds.

Next up, probably The Clay Girl, by Heather Tucker or "What Is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi** since those are due back at the library soon.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Absolutely loved Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

Now I'm onto Mort, by Terry Pratchett

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Towers of Midnight(Book 13 of WoT) and A Memory of Light(Final book of WoT) By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

This was a huge accomplishment for me that after a very long time I finally wrapped up the series. Now I can work on other books but it definitely left me with a sense of accomplishment for having finished a series that I haven't felt in a long time.

Currently Reading:
The Damnation Game by Clive Barker
I have a feeling this is about to pick up really hard and all the creepy stuff is getting ready to go down.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman I had agreed to start this today with someone on r/52book so I'm going to read this with them and then go back to TDG.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Bird Box by Josh Malerman - I have to say, the movie is infinitely more tame than the book. There were scenes in the book that made me physically recoil and some scenes I really wish had been put in the movie.

The Damnation Game by Clive Barker - This was definitely an interesting read and there were some pretty vivid descriptions that made me a little uneasy.

The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker - I immediately watched the movie after I read the novella and enjoyed the book a lot. I'm a little disappointed I didn't know the movie was based on the book sooner.

Currently reading
Sharp Objects/Dark Places(2-in-1 book) by Gillian Flynn I'm about 1/2 way through Sharp Objects and things have just dramatically picked up. Curious to see how the book finishes out in the second half.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

bird box, by josh malerman I just watched the movie yesterday, so i wanted to see how the book was.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: Birdbox, by Josh Malerman.

I loved the book. It was a nice suspenseful story after quite some time away from horror stories.

Started: Fatal Grace, by Louise Penny.

No opinion yet, but reusing characters from Still Life doesn't appear to me a good move. Time will tell.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Just started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

It's a pretty quick read so I'm already almost halfway through but I'm enjoying it. I hope we get to find out what the things that cause the madness look like, I'm so curious!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished The Shining, by Stephen King just in time for the end of Spooktober.

Started Bird Box, by Josh Malerman and hoping to knock that out quickly before the movie drops on Netflix (didn't realize there was going to be a movie and was excited to get started on this book for awhile now, so this was a good push).

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. It was fine, not spectacular. I think it got better as it went along. The book is more of an exploration of paranoia and how it relates to fear of the unknown than it is a straight-up horror novel. It generally worked for me, and I'm looking forward to watching the movie.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished reading:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman - !!!!! One of the greatest thriller/horror books I’ve picked up this year, if not, the best. Anyway, I didn’t understand the hype over the Netflix movie (lol I didn’t even finish it) so I was hesitant to read this but I finally took the plunge and gave it a try a few days ago and.. no regrets! I finished this within a day because I couldn’t put it down.

Mostly Void, Partially Stars by Joseph Fink - Decided to read this mainly because of nostalgia as WTNV was the first ever podcast I ever listened to. Anyway, I’ve read this in many sittings because I can’t really digest the weirdness of it all if I tackle it in one go. Anyway, will probably read the next 2 books as well.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne - YA book. Ending was a bit unexpected. Really love the whole zombie thing haha.

The Haunted by Danielle Vega - I didn’t like it — the story or the characters (bland as hell). Also. I can’t believe that the main character didn’t know about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and had to have another character explain its plot and characters to her. I mean whaaaat? How can she not know about ‘em? Also reddit was mentioned a lot, but even that got old real quick. Story’s all over the place in my opinion. To be honest, I’m just glad I’m done with it!

Currently reading:

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Bunny by Mona Awad

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

This week I finished:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks

Started started reading It, by Stephen King

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

Started: The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Just finished Birdbox by Josh Malerman. I loved the way he went back and forth between past and present. I found myself equally eager to find out what happens during each. Usually I get bored with one or the other. And it was delightfully scary, which put me in the mood for Halloween. :)

Now I'm reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart