Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Five Villains of Contemporary Fiction & Non Fiction - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten ( or however many I can come up with ; ) Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week there is a new theme, and this week the theme is Villains. I rarely read fantasy, so when I think of villains in what I usually read - contemporary fiction & non fiction - I think of our real life villains...

kidnappers, abusive spouses, murderers, or the villains that aren't people but are just as dangerous- cancer, mental illness, natural disasters. Here are five "villains" of contemporary fiction and nonfiction!


Part of what makes "Room" such a terrifying and captivating story is the very real life villian in "Old Nick". Old Nick is what five year old Jack calls the man who has trapped his mother, and now their son, Jack, in a back house for the last seven years. Although Nick is fictional there are numerous stories of women trapped in back houses and basements. It is horrible to imagine that there is almost certainly someone trapped now. "Room" is an excellent book and was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2016. Check out my review by clicking here.

Brain on Fire 
Life Threatening Illnesses

If you're a hypochondriac, like myself, and are looking for some good nightmare fuel, or if you are just fascinated by medical mysteries then this book's villain will definitely interest you! This non fiction book follows the story of Susannah Callahan, a young talented journalist who is inexplicably incapacitated, seemingly overnight as she becomes violent and psychotic. Callahan and her family are in a race against time and medicine as they try to determine why this has happened to Susannah, and how to keep it from happening to someone else. This amazing book will also be a movie soon staring Chloe Grace Moretz and I can't wait!

Behind Closed Doors
Abusive Husbands
Jack, a lawyer, and Grace, his doting wife, appear to be the perfect couple - but behind closed doors they are anything but. Grace, her neighbors and friends come to realize, is never alone. At every turn Jack is by her side, seemingly the perfect partner- but the reader comes to suspect fairly quickly that there is more to the story. Like "Room", "Behind Closed Doors" is terrifying in its possibilities- their story is all too real to many women. Beyond their abusive relationship, Jack's character really gave me the creeps, so I think it would make a great Halloween read as well! Read my review here.

Lily & The Octopus 

"Lily & The Octopus" oh my goodness! The tears from this book! The main character, Ted, has a wonderful dachshund named, Lucy- when the villain "the octopus" appears one day Ted struggles to accept Lily's mortality while struggling with his own as well. This book is incredibly touching and SO well written. I can not wait for Steven Rowley's next book, but in the mean time I am sure I will read this one at least once or twice more. If you haven't read it, I definitely recommend it. Check out my review here.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
Consumerism & Excess
Do you feel the constant need to surround yourself with possessions, never feeling like you have enough? How about food? Or the internet? Excess can be found in so many different places in our lives and this book really opened my eyes to all of the different ways we allow ourselves to be excessive, how that can be reigned in, and why it is important to do that. Jen Hatmaker and her family spent seven months monitoring their consumption and I was impressed, humbled, and inspired by their efforts. Read my review here.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? I'd also love recommendations for fantasy books that feature villains that resemble my "real life" examples!

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  1. I think Brain on Fire will make a good movie, maybe even better than it was as a book! I liked it but didn't love it the way I was hoping to...I think it'll probably lend itself really well to a visual storytelling format!

    1. Hi Gabby! I hope so! I think Chloe Moretz is an awesome actress, so if they can cut some of the slower parts from the book I think it will be a great visual story. Can't wait!

  2. I really want to read Room! And those kind of villains are so terrifying because they are real, in a way. *shudders* I think that makes them much worse than fantasy villains, because they're so much less believable. If that makes sense?! Loved your list!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Thanks! And that totally makes sense- definitely one of the reasons I prefer contemporary fiction over fantasy!

  3. A poignant twist on the Top Ten Villains meme. Nicely done.

  4. I read Room and really enjoyed that story. He's the perfect example of a villain. I haven't watched the movie yet. I wonder how he translates to film.

    1. If you enjoyed the book you will probably really enjoy the movie. The acting was amazing!


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