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Everything posted by Madeleine

  1. BCF Book Awards for 2019

    Favourite read? The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson Favourite author? Mari Hannah Most read author? L J Ross Favourite book cover? The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine Book you abandoned (if there was more than one, the one you read least of)? N/A Book you liked the least (if different to book abandoned)? Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer by M C Beaton Book that most disappointed you?
 The Likeness by Tana French Funniest book?
 N/A Favourite literary character? Ruth Galloway 
Favourite children's book?
 N/A Favourite classic?
 N/A Favourite non-fiction book?
 N/A Favourite biography?
 N/A Favourite collection of short stories? N/A only read one collection 
Favourite poetry collection?
 N/A Favourite illustrated book?
 N/A Favourite publisher?
 N/A Favourite audiobook? N/A Favourite re-read? N/A
  2. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Yes I agree the ending is a bit ambiguous, and felt s bit rushed, which did let it down slightly. Looking forward to her next one though.
  3. Wonderful tonight - Eric Clapton
  4. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas" by Syd Moore - these are 12 short stories, one for each day of Christmas (12 days of Christmas geddit!) and as with most collection they are a bit of a curate's egg. A few stories visit characters familiar to readers of the Essex Witch Museum series, and these are some of the better ones, we briefly meet younger versions of Rosie's grandparents, Septimus and Ethel Rose, who has a nasty experience at the beginning of a holiday in Cornwall, and there's an amusing story about a demonic vacuum cleaner which is also a highlight, as is a modern take on a Christmas Carol. My least favourites were the one about the cats, and a misfiring story written in a 1950s Raymond Chandler style, which fell completely flat and was badly written, although the idea wasn't bad. 6/10
  5. Christmas planning and chat

    Merry Xmas everyone! Does anyone have any plans?
  6. What's the weather like?

    It actually hasn't rained since Saturday night.....cold wind though.
  7. How many books have you read this year?

    Currently on number 46.
  8. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper- this is the 2nd book in The Dark is Rising sequence, and initially seems to have no connection with the first one, as it concerns Will, a boy living in Berkshire who wakes up on the morning of his 11th birthday to find, through various strange incidents including a fair bit of time travel, that he is the last of the Old Ones, a small group anointed to protect the world from the Dark. He has several adventures and strange encounters during which he gradually obtains 6 sigil type things representing the various elements, and all are needed to fight the Dark, who of course want them symbols for themselves. There are more references to the Grail and Arthurian legends, and Merriman Lyon (Uncle Merry from the first book) appears to help Will - in later books the three Drew siblings do re-appear, so this is all obviously building up to a big confrontation with the Dark. I found this book a little repetitive, but it did pick up towards the end with some battle scenes, and the air of mysticism is well represented, and I like the way the characters moved through time, yet could still see themselves in the present day, which for them stands still whilst they're battling demonic forces in another century! 7/10 A Christmas Railway Mystery by Edward Marston - Inspector Robert Colbeck fears he'll have to put Christmas on hold when he and his sidekick, Sergeant Victor Leeming, are sent to Swindon to investigate a brutal murder which has taken place in the town's railway village, and depot for the legendary Great Western Railway (which is still around today), when one of the workmen is found in the Erecting Shed. The man was unpopular and had a reputation for always being up for a fight, so the list of suspects is at first wide open, but eventually it's whittled down to a handful of possible culprits. Colbeck and Leeming are under pressure to solve the murder, both due to the time frame of Christmas looming, and also because they have a temporary boss - the dreaded Superintendent Grosvenor, who is thrilled to step into his superior's shoes when the real boss takes a weekend off to attend a reunion of his Army regiment. But then the man disappears, and Grosvenor's investigation is at best incompetent, which puts more pressure on Colbeck to solve the murder so that he can go to Kent and help to rescue his boss. I thought this was a well-written story, with several twists and turns and despite the gruesome murder, a fair bit of humour too. An enjoyable read with some interesting insights into life on the early railways, as the Railway Village was built specifically for the workers, and was a community in it's own right. 8/10
  9. Do they know it's Christmas? - Band Aid
  10. The Book People goes into administration

    I'm pleased about that too.
  11. Never Ending Book Titles

    A Friend of the Family - Lisa Jewell
  12. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    I read The Corset recently and really enjoyed it, although I agree whilst it does tick several Gothic boxes, it's not really a supernatural thriller (I think the supernatural idea was all in Ruth's head, I don't think her sewing really poisoned people) but I have to disagree slightly about Mrs Metyard's transformation into her late husband - I don't think it was a transgender issue, more like a case of a split personality - maybe she was suffering from schizophrenia? She obviously had serious issue anyway, but I don't think you can look at her issues through modern eyes, especially as attitudes and treatments were so different then. She was still an appalling character and I think she got the fate she deserved (which was probably preferable to being locked away in an asylum), not so sure about her daughter though, how much of her parents' character did she inherit, as the father sounds like he was a sadist as well. And the ending is a bit ambiguous isn't it? I thought this was better than the Silent Companions though, which was very Gothic and creepy at first but then got too over the top for me as it went on, a case of less is more I thought!
  13. What's the weather like?

    If only, would like nothing more than to curl up with a book.
  14. What's the weather like?

    Milder today but dull and drizzly.
  15. What's the weather like?

    For once it's dry this morning, but quite a thick frost.
  16. The Book People goes into administration

    I order from them regularly, in fact had a delivery only last week. Fingers crossed they find a buyer.
  17. What's the weather like?

    Still raining, getting a bit ridiculous now. Will need wellies just to go into the back garden to feed the birds, it's like a bog out there now it's so muddy.
  18. What's the weather like?

    We had fairly clear sunny days but it rained every night, especially Saturday when it threw it down for most of the night. Dry so far today but a cold wind. Glad you finally got the roof fixed!
  19. Islands in the Stream - Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  20. What's the weather like?

    Windy, rainy, cloudy, sunny - sometimes all at the same time!
  21. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    The Christmas Egg" by Mary Kelly - this year's Christmas offering from the British Library Crime Classics series focusses on the murder of an elderly Russian émigré in London, she lived fairly frugally, in one room in a boarding house with her grandson - both of them hated each other and although he has a job he drinks away most of his earnings, and when his grandmother is found dead he is the prime suspect. Inspector Beddoes is brought in, and he soon discovers that the old lady did in fact possess some very valuable items, including the egg of the title. Cue a race against time as a gang of organised thieves look set to take one or more of her treasures out of the country, and of course there's a snowstorm to make things harder as both sides converge for the final showdown in the Kent countryside! An entertaining read, with some nice dry humour. 7/10
  22. What's the weather like?

    Cold and drizzly today, really dark in the mornings too now, makes getting up early even harder.