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      July Supporter Giveaway   07/01/2019

      It's Christmas in July! The winner of the July Supporter giveaway will receive this beautiful Barnes & Noble edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, as well as a special Charles Dickens tea by  theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   I've been keeping this book a secret for so long (I couldn't wait until Christmas!) It's actually from a really lovely independent bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, the town of books. I'm so glad I finally get to show you! The picture doesn't even do it justice. A nice feature that you can't see in this image - the page edges are gold and (an extra surprise for the winner) the back is just as beautiful as the front! We also now have twice as much tea as previous giveaways!  (Thank you Literary Tea Company!)   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month. If you want to enter this giveaway but you aren't a supporter, you can join in here https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   Good luck  


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About Anonymous

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  1. Regional Reading Challenge...?

    The 'Dive Into A Good Book' initiative is in place in Surrey. It's part of an plan to get Britain reading, on behalf of the Literacy Trust.
  2. How do you choose your next book?

    I don't. It chooses me.
  3. I think that it would have to be a bit meatier for me to see it as an adult book. I don't mean I would want Christopher to be more philosophical about things but I would have liked to read more adult themes that he could describe and simply not get leaving me, as a reader, in more of a position to empathise with the character. As such, his disdain for certain colours, touching food, and whatnot, as he makes one brief journey is the sort of thing a kid could use as an introduction to Aspergers so as to teach tolerance and empathy for others in a fun way, but just isn't all that exciting for an adult. Well, two adults at least. Get thee to a bookstore. Certainly, as my recent reading of Animal Farm has proven.
  4. I was the same when I read this novel and would second your opinion on Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. I still think that The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time is just a kids' book (cynically dressed up with optional 'adult' cover, like Harry Potter...) and, as such, lacked substance to make it complete. The prose was too simple and I felt that it wasn't for my age group due to how linear it felt. Doyle, in Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha made his title character oblivious to the reasons/causes of most things in life, maintaining overall innocence to such factors as his life fell down around him through a couple of subplots.
  5. Andy's Blook bog (started 2006)

    Andy, While browsing eBay this evening I spotted something that may interest you. You can view it here. It's a copy of The Sea-Crossed Fisherman by Yaşar Kemal. It's an even better copy than the one I've got - condition and cover.
  6. Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code

    First issue: why should child pornography be exempt from fiction? We've had books cause outrage over the years for the content (Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lolita, Giovanni's Room, etc.) and we should be glad that the subsequent court cases found in favour of the author and in favour of fiction. If a book on child pornography were to be written I would have no issue with that; what I'd take issue with was if the author were to be naive or useless in their treatment. This would be fiction and not real life child pornography, so there would be no crime being done and no child being abused. Unless of course, that reading material you refer to is a glossy coffee table book filled with lewd and abusive photographs, but I don't see that ever making the shelves. Can you quote me where someone said you were? Do you know that the minute someone cries elitist or "highbrow" or pretentious it is usually a sign that the person posting it has a certain inferiority complex or some deep guilt about knowing they could do better but don't? You will not find one of your "highbrow" (your word) readers saying they are better than anyone else - they will say that a book is better than another and, as some pigs once said, "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others", and this can be applied to the judgement of readers. I seen that tag. A bold claim and uncorroborated, but I digress. The top of the forum also says "Love Books? Talk Books" and I am an avid book lover. I talk about them all the time - they are a passion. Should I limit myself to only talking about books I like? Should we all just agree? No, that would never work. The notion of discussion (which does include argument) would die immediately.
  7. Musicals

    Since it has not been mentioned, Dancer In The Dark is an affecting musical
  8. Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code

    I'm like that too, as I hate reading over something and getting that obvious deja vu feeling. Even when I've lost a bookmark and I'm reading where I thought I'd left off only to discover I'd already made it past that chapter. There are, of course, books out there that reward multiple reads; I'm led to believe my current read, Lolita, is one such book. These books tend to be literature wherein the fun of rereading comes from clues left in the text that you can only pick up the second time around or increased knowledge that explains references further. I can't help but let the alarms go off when someone mentions they reread something plot driven as the whole charm of them is read once, know what happens, throw it away.
  9. Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code

    Bruce Forsyth; now that's light entertainment. At least you mention moving on; you should see the people on a certain Dan Brown forum. They just read his four novels over and over and over! again. :shock:
  10. Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code

    Mr Brown can love it all he wants, and fair play to him. But I don't believe for one minute that the inaccuracies are the sum total of the criticism. Religious groups, also, seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill with respect to it as it doesn't really tackle any questions of faith, just mentions an already debunked theory in passing. The biggest criticism is just how bad a wordsmith that Brown is - clumsy stuff (like the silhouette with eyes I've previously mentioned) and the tired archetype of giving the "baddies" physical disabilities so as to differentiate them from you or I. Is that really fulfilling? Is such turgid prose substantial enough to be called entertaining?
  11. Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist

    Disagree all you want; I'm happy with my opinion. I've met loads that share similar thoughts on the book. I've not missed any point, and I know it's a simple fable (perhaps too damn simple) but it lacks any depth as to make it anything more than a generic fable that can be dressed up and applied to any of the many cultures and belief systems from which its components were plucked.
  12. Of course there's more. A bit of critical application doesn't go amiss. Of course they don't. As for the thriller/horror/sci-fi question. I'm not so sure that there's much good horror in the market at the moment. King is churning out so-so novels, Herbert is taking forever, Brite left the genre years ago, Koontz has obviously been inspired by Henry Ford, Laymon is dead, Lovecraft is dead, Poe is dead, Stoker is dead, Little isn't too well known, Kiernan isn't too well known, Hutson is pathetic, Fowler puts too much humour in his horror, Rice has went all Jesusy, and the rest of the bookshelves in most stores are devoted the Buffy the freaking Vampire Slayer. Shouldn't those books be in the kids' section? The only semi-decent horror - and with a fine dose originality - to make a mark in recent years is Mark Z. Danielewski's House Of Leaves, although part of that disappeared up its own behind. I don't know much about thrillers, admittedly, but I know that James Patterson can't even be bothered to write the books he puts his name to these days. He just sees books as one big exercise in taking your money - setting up reader groups to find out what you want to read and then commissioning somebody to write it and then putting the book out as James Patterson with so-and-so. With? WITH? Scifi. I'm not too into other worlds and aliens within fiction, preferring that stuff for television and cinema. I'm a big fan of JG Ballard who has written some influential science fiction, I've read Philip K. Dick, and will read more sci-fi authors in time. There's nothing wrong with any of them; it's just that so much dross floats to the top.
  13. Fat Andy's Magical Book List

    No, I've not read A Wild Sheep Chase. I started The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles but after the first page I was holding my head and screaming, "Oh no, not more spaghetti!" I will get round to it one day, I know, but I don't feel he's a priority right now. His introduction to Ryunosuke Akutagawa in the new Penguin classic is an interesting read by him and I can't help feel that if Murakami has essays published in English that I would enjoy them more.
  14. Fat Andy's Magical Book List

    I read it last year and, looking over my 2005 reading list, I see that I gave the book four stars out of five. So, I must have liked it, although I would struggle to recap the story now other than guy decides to leave his life to fate and travels across the country to live a different life.