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    • Hayley

      Signing Up   11/06/2018

      Signing Up is once again available. New members are very welcome
    • Hayley

      March Supporter Giveaway   03/02/2019

      So March has crept up on us and I'm thrilled to finally show you the GREAT (he he...) March giveaway!     This time we have a gorgeous print of The Great Gatsby's most famous line from thestorygift.co.uk AND a Great Gatsby tea from the Literary Tea Company! This particular tea is Peach Blossom (which sounds delicious and I kind of wish I could keep it myself...) and the tin features another Gatsby quote.  If you'd like to see the other literary teas available (there are lots, I spent ages looking) you can find them both at the Literary Tea Company's etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany) or at their own website, theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and if you're not a supporter but want to be included in this months giveaway you can become a supporter on patreon here... https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month. Good luck!  

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  1. Yesterday
  2. World Poetry Day

    so nice
  3. My reading list 2019

    I think u got some good taste. I read some of those!
  4. Hello, I spent the last 4 months writing Sweet Sounds of the Universe alongside existential crisis. It's been a very interesting way to live life with things you love, and by writing this book, I evolved personally in terms of growth. I'm new to the forum; not sure if I can share links, still: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PZW6YFZ Hope you can take a look. I'm also on AllPoetry: https://allpoetry.com/Hugo_J ; if you'd like to get in touch with my work.
  5. Hello, I spent the last 4 months writing Sweet Sounds of the Universe alongside existential crisis. It's been a very interesting way to live life with things you love, and by writing this book, I evolved personally in terms of growth. I'm new to the forum; not sure if I can share links, still: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PZW6YFZ Hope you can take a look. I'm also on AllPoetry: https://allpoetry.com/Hugo_J ; if you'd like to get in touch with my work.
  6. What's the weather like?

    Well it's not been a bad weekend - dull yesterday but not that cold, though it turned chilly overnight, and today's been nice and sunny, albeit with a cold wind.
  7. Live and let die - Wings
  8. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Aim High by Tanni Grey-Thompson I am not entirely sure how I ended up reading this. It is a brief (about 60 pages) attempt at an inspirational call to aspire and achieve no matter what your situation and aims. Tanni Grey-Thompson is a Welsh former wheelchair athlete who had a significant impact on the growth and development of the Paralympics in Britain. Grey-Thompson is now a baroness and sits in the House of Lords as a cross bencher. She is also on a number of boards promoting sport, disability rights and transport. Grey-Thompson has Spina Bifida and has been a wheelchair user since she was about five. She describes it thus: “I could walk till about the age of five or six (I don't remember exactly). But as I grew, my legs couldn't support the increase in my bodyweight, because of my condition, and I slowly became paralysed. So I didn't, unlike others, have to suffer some dramatic accident, or spend months on end in a spinal unit. For me, becoming a wheelchair user wasn't an awful experience. Although I had stopped walking I didn't feel that something had been taken away. Having said this, the last few months when I was walking were pretty tough – this was the only time in my life that I have felt really disabled. I couldn't do the things that I wanted to do - like run away from my mum! Having a wheelchair gave me a renewed sense of freedom. Because many people think that the life of a wheelchair user is pretty miserable, they make judgements about it. But the wheelchair allowed me once again to do the things that I wanted to do, such as trying to run away from my mother, chasing after my older sister, and being with my friends.” This is a run through of Grey-Thompson’s career, the ups and downs and setbacks with commentary on what motivated her and what can be learnt and applied to one’s own life. There are a few simple pointers; work hard, keep your goals in mind and adapt to the unexpected. It is all common sense and obvious and difficult to disagree with. I do have reservations though; not about hard work and motivation, but more about the many vulnerable members of society whose abilities and capabilities are compromised. Not everyone can achieve in the way that Grey-Thompson did. Not everyone can achieve a dream of becoming a pop idol or a footballer. This leaves a lot of people with unfulfilled ambitions, perhaps feeling like failures. They need inspiration too. 6 out of 10 Starting The Miller of Angibault by Georges Sand
  9. 'The Twelve' by Justin Cronin This book is the second in a trilogy and, because I really enjoyed the first book, I was excited to read this installment. The first 200 pages of this book were just as gripping as the first one. I liked how we got a different perspective of the events in the original book and the characters were believable. There was a long of action and kept me on the edge of my seat. However, after 200 pages, the thread of this story stopped abruptly. I also didn't like how some of the characters were cast off, in an almost absentminded way. I also think that in the main part of the story, there were a few too many characters to keep track off. That was something I had a problem with, in the first book. I did enjoy how the story and tension grew throughout the book. A lot of the time I was wondering how all of the threads of story were going to either fit together, or have relevance to the original story. I was happy that they did in the end. The later quarter of the book, was the best for me. It contained the right amount of tension, action and supernatural elements, which I enjoyed in the first installment. The majority of this book didn't exactly move the story forward and there were a few things wrong with this. However, I still enjoyed it and intend to read the next book. My Rating ***
  10. Your Book Activity - March 2019

    I finished reading 'The Twelve' by Justin Cronin a couple of days ago and now, I'm about 150 pages into 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest', by Stieg Larsson. I'm really enjoying it so far.
  11. You're most welcome I find audiobooks really good if I'm having trouble sleeping too. Seems like I drift off in no time
  12. And When I Die ~ Blood Sweat and Tears
  13. Last week
  14. What book should I read?

    Hello, thank you for your welcome. To answer your question, I tried to read it a few years ago, but never got passed the second or third chapter - maybe this is a book to pick up again. Thank you for the suggestion, Charlie
  15. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India by Shashti Tharoor There are still far too many people in Britain who look back fondly on Empire and who have very little grasp of the real history of Empire. Not understanding your own history leads to delusions and in this country xenophobia and racism. This is essentially an extended polemical essay based on Tharoor’s speech to the Oxford Union in 2015. He essentially looks at the pros and cons of British rule and addresses the alleged benefits of the Raj. There aren’t any new arguments, it’s more a condensation of those debated over the years. What is disturbing is that although they are not new to me, it certainly not something that I was taught in school. I think that at least three quarters of my fellow Brits know virtually nothing about the history of Empire in India, even the more recent parts such as Partition. This is not an academic text and there is no way that Tharoor can cover over two hundred years of history in detail in a book this size and nor does he attempt to do so. He does point the reader to where these sources can be found. As can be imagined there were screams of outrage in the British press. One hilarious example is an article in History Today which while recognizing famine and massacre, criticizes Tharoor for not mentioning the British contribution to Indian archaeological studies! Tharoor runs through the history of the East India Company and the British motives in India, the destruction of local industries and argues the industrial revolution in Britain was part funded by money from India (and part from the slave trade). He looks at effects on culture, the massacres, and famines and thanks the English for tea, cricket and Wodehouse. The British self-image involves fair play, standing up to bullies in WW2 and all that sort of thing. What they don’t teach in school are things like the Bengal famine of 1943, when between three and four million people died. There was enough food/grain in India to feed them, but this was moved to Europe on the orders of the British government. Grain ships from Australia and New Zealand passed throughout the famine. There is a direct line of responsibility here and the lives of those who died can be laid directly at the door of Britain. It isn’t comfortable to contemplate and is not part of the history curriculum and can be laid directly at the door of Churchill, who wasn’t a fan of Indians: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion . . . Let the Viceroy sit on the back of a giant elephant and trample Gandhi into the dirt.” The total death toll from famines over the period of the Raj probably tops thirty million (Tharoor thinks 35); that rivals Stalin and Mao. The book isn’t without its flaws, after all it’s a polemic. Tharoor is a politician, a Congress Party MP and so has an agenda of his own. There are a few remarks about Jinnah which speak more of today’s political situation perhaps. However the thrust of the argument is clear and this book should be read by those who go on about Britain’s wonderful empire. 8 out of 10 Starting Owl Sense by Miriam Darlington
  16. A bit late but happy reading for this year Angury and I am very interested to know that you are writing not one but two novels! You seem to be pushing steadily ahead, good for you!
  17. What's Up in March? - 2019

    Have a great holiday! I am getting ready for what could quite possibly be the largest protest in the history of the British Isles - yes, tomorrow I am going to the Put it to the People March in London. The organisers are projecting anywhere between 1 and 2 million participants - that's a lot of people! I am meeting up with a large group of friends at 10am tomorrow and we will no doubt take over half the train - it will be crowded but great fun! You never know, you might see me on TV!
  18. Book Titles A to Z

    Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  19. What's Up in March? - 2019

    I hope you have fun on your holiday !
  20. Your Book Activity - March 2019

    I'm just over 100 pages into it, and it's already tying my brain up into knots! It's BRILLIANT. It must have been an absolute doozy for the author to plot out. I haven't been so excited about a novel in a long while.
  21. Project Oscar

    Title: Casablanca Release Date: 1942 Director: Michael Curtiz Format: Streaming, NowTV Staring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman Synopsis: World War 2 is ravaging Europe and as a result people are making their way to Lisbon in an attempt to escape from the war. Crossing France is a non starter and so people with enough money are making their way to Casablanca in the hope of catching a flight out of Europe. Our story follows a cynical American expat called Rick Blaine who runs a local club which is the focal point of all kinds of clandestine activity. Blaine won't get involved and chooses to sit in the middle while both sides try to pressure him into helping them. Things change all of a sudden when someone from his former life turns up, the beautiful Ilsa Lund played by Ingrid Bergman. This is one of those movies that I am slightly embarrassed to say I had never watched and one of the movies that lead me to undertake this project. I knew this is widely considered one of the best movies of all times and I think pretty much everyone in the English speaking world knows the quotes associated with this film. Despite this I knew almost nothing about it, I didn't know the synopsis or when it was set, all I knew is that it's filmed in black and white, stars Bogart and Bergman, and is meant to be a love story. I guess this is part of what is considered to be the golden era of Hollywood and the movie is presented in the way I would expect a movie from this era to be presented. The way of speaking is fairly old fashioned, doesn't contain over the top drama, and feels quite minimalist. Despite this I was hooked from the opening scenes and found myself quickly invested in the story of Rick and Ilsa. Even though the movie focuses on these 2 characters I also thought that Claude Rains as Captain Renault was superb. He adds a slightly comic element to the movie but done in a subtle way avoiding making light of the situation people find themselves in. I'm generally not someone who goes looking for hidden messages in movies but I caught on fairly quickly that Rick's inner turmoil is reflective on the debate at the time as to whether America should get involved in the war or not. Each of the main characters is a little reflection of different factions involved in the war. The Nazi's hold some sway in Casablanca and while certain groups are trying to push back against their power they can only get so far without the help from others. This help requires a leap of bravery and willingness to accept that you may have to sacrifice something so that others can survive. Of course there are also those out to just make money out of the situation, which camp will Rick end up in is the big question. I really really loved this movie despite being sure that it wouldn't be my thing. Of all the movies I've watched and logged on IMDB I have only given a 10/10 rating for 9 movies, Casablanca is one of them. I will definitely watch this again as I think it deserves repeated viewings.
  22. Project Oscar

    I definitely agree about the Oscars not being particularly relevant these days. As an example I enjoyed Argo and thought it was a good movie but certainly not the best of the year,
  23. 'lo! Welcome to the forum! If you like dystopian books, have you read Nineteen Eighty-Four? (George Orwell). It's about as dystopian as you can get and it is packed with some amazing ideas (both interesting and disturbing in equal measure).
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