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    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.


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About chesilbeach

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    Conqueror of Mount TBR

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  1. Waterstones Points Card Changing

    That’s fine, but you used to get points for every pound spent, so if I had a coffee in the cafe I would get points for that but now only if I spend over £5, which I never do as I’m usually on my own. I would have preferred to stop the stamp cards and just stick with points.
  2. Claire's Book List 2018

    Hello, I’m still reading, just haven’t been posting much. I’m am on Goodreads although I tend to rate rather than write reviews there, but I also tweet and post about books on Instagram too (where I probably say more than on Goodreads!). I finished The Seabird’s Cry the evening before the winner was announced. I did enjoy it a lot, but my favourites from the shortlist were The Salt Path and Hidden Nature, but I suspect they were both quite similar types of books to The Outrun from a couple of years ago, and I wonder if they didn’t want to pick a similar book so close to that win. I thought this year was really strong - I’ve still got one of the long listed books left to read - but there hasn’t been a book I haven’t enjoyed this year, so I have no problem with my favourites not winning
  3. General questions / discussions

    Thank you Michelle for a brilliant forum where I’ve nade some lovely friends. I’m not on Facebook so I’ll miss chatting to most of you about books, but if you know me on other social media and book sites, I’m sure we’ll continue to keep up our bookish nattering. Best wishes to you all, and thanks again Michelle
  4. Claire's Book List 2018

    June stats: Books read: 14 Pages read: 3941 Authors: Female 7, Male 7 Fiction: 8 Non-fiction: 6 Format: Hardback 4, Paperback 7, Kindle 3, Audiobook 0 Been an excellent month. Favourites are easy this month - non-fiction is The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, fiction is A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood. That brings my total books read this year to a nice round 100. Have been online much less recently hence the lack of reviews and posts here, but also the increased reading! As we're halfway through the year, here are my year to date stats too: Books read: 100 Pages read: 32493 Authors: Female 69, Male 31 Fiction: 78 Non-fiction: 22 Format: Hardback 18, Paperback 45, Kindle 28, Audiobook 9 Round Robin challenge: 9 Waterstones Children's Book Prize challenge: 12
  5. Claire's Book List 2018

    Oh, that is interesting. Thanks for letting me know. I'd not spotted that there was no naturalist on the panel, in fact, looking at the panel, it's two television presenters, a book buyer and a business man - not much expert opinion in there. The prize is actually nature and travel, so I can see how the two television presenters can cover those areas, but two business people does seem to be pushing it a bit, despite their personal interests in the subject. They might as well ask you or me! Such as shame that A Shadow Above hasn't even been longlisted.
  6. Health and Fitness

    After this post, I had a few things going on that meant I didn't keep up with the swimming, but a couple of weeks ago, I ventured back into the pool, and I've managed seven swims in two weeks and my fitness had not deteriorated much, so after my first return to swimming of only 24 lengths, I'm back up to 32 already. Now I'm getting back into a routine, I'm going to add a couple of lengths to each swim, and aiming for a total of 50 lengths per session eventually. I'm still alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, and don't need to stop for a breather too often either. I'm also thinking of moving from the slow lane to the medium lane as my speed is picking up too.
  7. How many books have you read this year?

    For a variety of reasons, I've had more free time this year than for a long time, and I can't deny, I've been escaping into books for a lot of it. I finished book 92 this morning. I know it's a lot more than a lot of people here read, but it's been my saviour for the last year.
  8. What's Up in June? - 2018

    Had a day out at the seaside today - chips for lunch, ice-cream to follow and then spent £2 and half an hour in the amusement arcade on the 2p drop machine, from which I won a key ring and 20 tickets! Just like being a kid again
  9. Your Book Activity - June 2018

    I've finished six books so far this month (some were already in progress before the start of the month, so not as many as it sounds ): A Shadow Above by Joe Shute - brilliant, absolutely loved it (gutted it hasn't made the Wainwright longlist) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - re-read for book group The End We Start From by Megan Hunter - unusual style but enjoyable Heartburn by Nora Ephron - funny, but a bit sad too, although gorgeous new edition from Virago to celebrate their 40th anniversary The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson - quick, fun middle grade read. I love a good heist story! Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier (Editor) - collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre. Mixed bag, most very good, a couple excellent, and a couple I either disliked or have forgotten. I've been buying the books from the 2018 longlist for the Wainwright Prize for the best UK nature and travel writing which was announced this week. Of the thirteen books on the list, I've already read six and owned one more (which I'm reading now), so my forward planning has paid off, and I've bought another five this week already, with one left to get which wasn't in stock otherwise I'd probably have bought that one too! Seven books to read over the next two months is eminently more achievable than the whole list which is what I've tried to do for the last couple of years.
  10. Claire's Book List 2018

    Like you, I thought A Shadow Above was fantastic, and I was surprised not to see it on the list so I checked the submission rules and it was eligible for the award this year. I honestly can’t see why it wouldn’t make the list unless it wasn’t submitted by the publisher? They don’t have any other books on the longlist and I can’t see any limitations on the number of books they can submit (as in they might have had to chose between a number of books), so I’m at a loss as to why it isn’t there. Although I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read so far, I’d pick this one above at least three others so far, if not all.
  11. Claire's Book List 2018

    The Wainwright Prize longlisted books were announced yesterday. I've updated my challenge post with the list. My attempts at trying to guess the longlist have been pretty good, and I've already read six of the books on the list. This year, they've extended the list to thirteen books, so that means I've got seven to read before the prize winner is announced in August.
  12. Claire's Book List 2018

    May stats: Books read: 16 Pages read: 5969 Authors: Female 7, Male 9 Fiction: 13 Non-fiction: 3 Format: Hardback 2, Paperback 6, Kindle 7, Audiobook 1 Round Robin challenge: 2 Had a bit of a dip in the middle of the month due to life throwing me a curve ball, but back on track now, and enjoying my reading afresh.
  13. Round Robin Challenge 2018

    I've also read Touch Not The Cat (loved it) and Middlesex (loved it) from the challenges to me list, and Miss Hargreaves (loved it) from the challenges by me list, but haven't written reviews for them yet. I must try and catch up with some reviews soon! I'm currently reading To Serve Them All My Days from the challenges to me list and it's so good, I'm rationing myself to a chapter a day so that I don't rush through it without savouring it. That brings my totals up to having completed 7/9 of the books I was challenged to read, and 2/9 of the books I challenged others to read.
  14. Round Robin Challenge 2018

    These are copied from my blog: First up, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The story is told by sixteen-year-old Starr, who lives in a black neighbourhood but goes to school in the suburbs. After gunfire breaks out at the party she's gone to, her old friend Khalil gives her a lift home, but they are stopped by a policeman, who shoots Khalil dead. What follows is how Starr, the only witness to the shooting, has to deal with her two separate lives at home and at school, alongside trying to do the right thing to get justice for Khalil. Clearly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, this is a totally compelling YA story, that puts you in the middle of Starr's life and the prejudice she must face, the dilemmas where she must chose between her two different social situations, and what she can do to make a difference. I found it hard to put down the book, and it gives you a very comprehensive insight into a black community, gangs and the impact of drug culture on the poorest areas of the US, and why there has become a need for BLM and other activism in society today. Not a comfortable read, but an important one, and proves how books allow you into a world that you can't experience first hand, and allow you to put yourself in someone else's shoes. The next was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and I found it difficult to put into words my feelings. I’d initially bought the book on sale on Kindle but when I started to read it, I kept finding my mind wandering, so I decided I’d try the audiobook instead but unfortunately that wasn’t much better either. I found I couldn’t engage with the characters and kept losing track of where I was in the story and going back a few minutes (or more) and listening again. I think it was because the writing felt like an external experience of what the characters were going through, instead of being there with them. I felt a remoteness from the story that I couldn’t get over, and unfortunately, I only really kept going because it was on my Round Robin challenge list. I was disappointed in myself for not enjoying the book more, as I often enjoy books set in Indian, and am fascinated with the multitude of different perspectives you can have and the variety of society and stories that huge sub-continent and its history has to offer, but unfortunately, this book was not for me.
  15. What's the weather like?

    I've just driven through a torrential downpour with lots of standing water even on the motorway. It doesn't seem to have reached home yet, but it sounds like it might just be arriving now. Batten down the hatches!