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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     

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    Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is 99p on kindle today and it's such a brilliant book, definitely worth getting!
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    The only thing that comes to my mind is Empire In Black And Gold (Shadows of the Apt book 1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky. However, it's an adult fantasy book that was published in 2008, so probably not what you're looking for. But it's the only book I've read that involves part moth people and a kidnapping. It's been quite a few years since I read it, so my memory is not the most accurate of the book. Maybe someone else has a better idea of what it could be.
  9. Hello. I am looking for a book I read when I was a teenager that I cannot remember the title, author, or plot of. I don't even remember the names of the characters. It has been a long time. What I do remember is that it was a fiction novel for young adults/ teens, fantasy, and had a species of people in it that were part moth. They had the wings and antenna of moths. One of these people were captured by the enemy or something and his antenna were cut off. I think he got back home because he was treated and under someone's care because the loss of his antenna disabled him severely. He was healing and upset and trying to figure out how to function. I didn't get to finish the book, but I would really like to. I am not sure if this was a major part of the story because when I google this, nothing comes up or only the most recently published books that feature moth in the title come up and that isn't what I am looking for. This book would have been published before 2007. If anyone knows the book or could offer suggestions, I would really appreciate it. Thank you very much!
  10. Raven's Reads

    I've read two of this series and really enjoyed them, although the almost frenetic paced action left me feeling exhausted, rather like watching an impossibly action packed movie. I'm sure you were very good at this Raven and what a pity someone spoiled it for you all. Someone who wanted to win at all costs and missed the who;e point of the game.
  11. The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said “I'LL EAT YOU UP" and he was sent to bed without eating anything. And then the murders started ... Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
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  13. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    I'm still torn about whether I want to read The Wicked Cometh after your review! The review I read that put me off originally suggested that the plot just felt too contrived and was based on far too many unlikely coincidences. Did you feel like that was the case? Quite a few people seem to agree with you about the ending too. It's interesting that you said there are two endings though. How does that work, is there literally an alternative ending you can read afterwards?
  14. 66 sounds good to me! I'm on 24. I don't think I'll be reaching my target of 50 but I have read some great books this year!
  15. Raven's Reads

    I think the similarity with Fforde is really down to the fact that he also uses time travel (although it's not the main point of the books) and it's also got a funny side. I really can't even think of one similarity to Ben Aaronovitch though... where did they get that from!? I would recommend trying Fforde though, especially the Thursday Next books. They're very cleverly plotted, and genuinely funny. Plus Thursday is a much more likeable character than Max, in my opinion.
  16. Hayley's Reading 2019

    Thanks I'm glad you liked the third and fourth Earthsea books too, I'm looking forward to reading them! I'm similarly looking forward to The Essex Serpent! Melmoth was brilliant. The word poignant gets thrown around a lot in book reviews, but I think that's genuinely a good description of Melmoth. It seems very fitting for modern times, for a lot of reasons. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it, when you do read it.
  17. How many books have you read this year?

    I'm a bit behind tis year at 66. I set myself a goal at the beginning of this year to read 100, but have downgraded it to 85. At the moment I'm not sure if I'm likely to achieve that either. It doesn't matter that much though as there are other things to life than just reading, as much as I enjoy it!
  18. Autumn 2019 Supporter Giveaway

    Thanks @Angury, that was really nice to read. Thank you for continuing to use the forum and being part of what makes it such a lovely place! The last year has gone really fast, I'm glad we're all still here .
  19. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin This book tries to be many things, too many really and there is a great deal going on. To begin with the cover art is good. The novel is set in 1831, so it is pre-Victorian, but is set in a London that Dickens would have known. There is a touch of the Gothic about it and mystery part of the novel involves disappearances of the “lower” sort of person. There are some suitably roguish characters and the trade of the resurrection men, supplying London’s anatomy schools with corpses is obviously at the centre of it all. The reader guesses this from early on. The novel is also a lesbian romance centred on the two main characters, Hester and Rebekah. The romance is suitably stop/start and takes a while to come to fruition (most of the novel in fact). The biggest problem for me is the ending, or rather two endings. I think the last chapter and epilogue have been added as Carlin wasn’t brave enough to stick with the original ending and felt a happy ending was required. I think the novel would have been stronger without that. Carlin can describe and set a scene well: “Instead of the majesty of Westminster Abbey and the grandeur of the Banqueting House, here the houses spill over each other; dishevelled and ugly. A sickly, rotten stench rises from the streets and the rain-bloated gutters. Some thoroughfares bulge with black mud where pools of fetid water have collected, while others are narrow and meandering. All are swart with the lack of daylight and connected by alleyways and byways that seep over the scabbed ground.” The scene setting does take rather a long time and the sense of mystery and danger takes a while to become evident. The narrative voice is Hester’s and this works well in the slower paced first half of the novel, less so in the more hurried second half. There is an increasing amount of competition in this genre and this is certainly in the tradition of Sarah Waters. It is based on an issue that was real in the 1830s, the provision of bodies for anatomical studies and on one of the more illegal ways of solving the problem. The limited length of the novel means that none of the themes can be as thoroughly explored as they need to be and this, for me, led to a sense of truncation in all of the themes. This was ok for a debut novel and I would certainly read Carlin again (next one due out in 2020). Carlin writes well and the novel moves on well. 6 and a half out of 10 Starting Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks
  20. I feel that sometimes too, but I think it's important to remember that it was a distinctly different age, language was used very differently (as LP Hartley wrote: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there), so it takes some getting used to, and the further back, the more time that takes (I still find a lot of books pre-Jane Austen hard to read). I do agree about reading some litcrit to follow up - I find I need it even more when tackling poetry, but it's definitely useful to try and understand some of the themes and issues that writers were trying to address. However, I also find most of these classics simply make cracking good, immersive stories, with a huge amount of depth to them - they have to be after all, otherwise they wouldn't have lasted all this time - as long as one sits down with them and gives them time, not try to read in shorter bursts (our attention span is distinctly shorter nowadays!). It's why I also have a particular fondness for modern day writers who adopt a similar style (I'm thinking immediately of books like The Essex Serpent). Anyway, good luck with it. I've recently finished The Old Curiosity Shop, having not read any Victoriana for a while, and it felt quite a long, hard read, but I've come out of it definitely wanting more (even if it wasn't Dickens's best, at least IMO!).
  21. Ha! You're right, that is a better one! Have to watch out for those potential wives How about... 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. And then the murders started...' The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  22. I'm about half way through Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize this year and I'm really enjoying it. I've never read anything like it. It's basically 1000 pages made up of about 4 sentences.
  23. Autumn 2019 Supporter Giveaway

    Well done Chrissy! Also I can't believe it's already been a year since you took over Hayley. I can't imagine the amount of time and effort that must go into this forum - thank you for your dedication. This is one of the few forums I check up on regularly. The people are always so engaging to talk to and I always feel like I'm learning something new about the world of literature.
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