Tags: psychology (fiction)

Books

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West (illustrated by Norman Price).

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Title: The Return of the Soldier.
Author: Rebecca West (illustrated by Norman Price).
Genre: Literature, fiction.
Country: England.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1918.
Summary: Set during World War I on an isolated country estate just outside London, the novel follows Chris Baldry, a shell-shocked captain suffering from amnesia, as he makes a bittersweet homecoming to the three women who have helped shape his life. Will the devoted wife he can no longer recollect, the favourite cousin he remembers only as a childhood friend, and the poor innkeeper's daughter he once loved many years ago but is his last memory now, leave Chris to languish in a safe, dreamy past—or will they help him rediscover his memory so that he can return to the front? The answer is revealed through a heart-wrenching, unexpected sacrifice.

My rating: 8.5/10
My review:

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Books

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

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Title: The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.
Author: Stephen Crane.
Genre: Literature, fiction, war lit, American Civil War, philosophical fiction, psychology.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1895.
Summary: Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a "red badge of courage," to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry has a chance to redeem himself and re-write his own battle history. A powerful psychological study of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors, both within and without, of war, the novel probes the thoughts and actions of trapped or baited men fighting the destructive forces in nature, in other human beings, and in themselves.

My rating: 9/10.
My review:

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Books

Weather by Jenny Offill.

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Title: Weather.
Author: Jenny Offill.
Genre: Fiction, politics, ecology.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2020.
Summary: Lizzie works in the library of a university where she was once a promising graduate student. Her side hustle is answering the letters that come in to Hell and High Water, the doom-laden podcast hosted by her former mentor. At first it suits her, this chance to practice her other calling as an unofficial shrink. She has always played this role to her divorced mother and recovering-addict brother. But everyone who writes in to the show is either crazy or depressed, and soon Lizzie finds herself struggling to strike the obligatory note of hope in her responses. Set against the turbulent backdrop of the 2016 election, the reassuring rhythms of her life as a wife and mother begin to falter as her obsession with disaster psychology and people preparing for the end of the world grows.

My rating: 7/10.
My review:

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Books

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid.

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Title: I'm Thinking of Ending Things.
Author: Iain Reid.
Genre: Fiction, thriller, horror, mental health.
Country: Canada.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2016.
Summary: A woman embarks on a road trip with her new boyfriend to meet his parents, living on an isolated farm. Doubts about the relationship claw at the back of her mind, and the meeting is strange and chilling. Then an unexpected detour on the way home unravels into nightmare. The novel explores the darkest depths of the human psyche, confronting the value we find in relationships and the limitations of solitude.

My rating: 8/10.
My review:

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Books

Hannibal by Thomas Harris.

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Title: Hannibal.
Author: Thomas Harris.
Genre: Fiction, crime, serial killers.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1999.
Summary: Seven years have passed since Dr. Lecter - gentleman, genius, cannibal - escaped from custody. And for seven years he's been at large, free to savor the scents, the essences, of an unguarded world. But intruders have entered Dr. Lecter's sanctuary, piercing his new identity, sensing the evil that surrounds him. For the multimillionaire Hannibal left maimed, for a corrupt Italian policeman, and for FBI agent Clarice Starling, who once stood before Lecter and who has never been the same, the final hunt for Hannibal Lecter has begun. All of them in their separate ways, want to find Lecter. And all three will get their wish. But only one will live long enough to savor the reward.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

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Books

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.

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Title: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Author: Muriel Spark.
Genre: Fiction, literature,
Country: U.K.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1961.
Summary: Miss Jean Brodie is a teacher in 1930s at the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, and she is a teacher unlike any other. Proud and cultured, enigmatic and freethinking; a romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge, she takes a select group of girls under her wing. Spellbound by Miss Brodie's unconventional teaching, these devoted pupils form the Brodie set. But as the girls enter their teenage years and they become increasingly drawn in by Miss Brodie's personal life, her ambitions for them take a startling and dark turn with devastating consequences.

My rating: 7/10.
My review:

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Books

Rage by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman).

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Title: Rage.
Author: Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman).
Genre: Fiction, school shooting, teen, mental health.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1977
Summary: A highschool show-and-tell session explodes into a nightmare of evil when Charlie Decker, a Maine high school senior, pulls out a gun, shoots the teacher, and takes the class hostage. What follows is a tense stand-off and games of cat-and-mouse with authority figures, and a tense but surprising group dynamic and developments within the sealed-off classroom.

My rating: 5.5/10.
My review:

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Books

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer.

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Title: Annihilation.
Author: Jeff Vandermeer.
Genre: Fiction, adventure, science fiction, mystery, biology.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2014.
Summary: Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months, all had died of cancer. The book joins the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and the narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

My rating: 7.5/10.
My review:

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Books

The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell.

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Title: The Case Against Satan.
Author: Ray Russell.
Genre: Fiction, religion, Christianity.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1962.
Summary: Teenager Susan Garth was "a clean-talking sweet little girl" before she started acting strangely—a sudden aversion to churches and a newfound fondness for vulgarity. Then one night, she strips in front of the parish priest and sinks her nails into his throat. If not madness, the answer must be demonic possession. To vanquish the Devil, Bishop Crimmings recruits a younger priest with a taste for modern ideas and brandy. As the two men fight the darkness tormenting Susan, their struggle turns them against each other, and all the while a soul-chilling revelation lurks in the shadows—one which knows that the darkest evil goes by many names.

My rating: 7/10
My review:

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Books

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

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Title: The Silence of the Lambs.
Author: Thomas Harris.
Genre: Fiction, horror, thriller, serial killers, cannibalism, crime.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1981.
Summary: The time is now. A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname—Buffalo Bill—is stalking particular women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the F.B.I. Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, Chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and grisly killer now kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Lecter's insight into the minds of murderers could help track and capture Buffalo Bill. Smart and attractive, Starling is shaken to find herself in a strange, intense relationship with the acutely perceptive Lecter. His cryptic clues—about Buffalo Bill and about her—launch Clarice on a search that every reader will find startling, harrowing, and totally compelling.

My rating: 8/10.
My review:

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