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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 willoyd

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  • Reading now?
    The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey
  • Location:
    Wharfedale, Yorkshire
  • Interests
    birding, cycling (mainly touring), running, walking, family history.

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  1. Willoyd's Reading 2018

    I feel the same about you and others. Even though I'm trying to contribute to the Facebook page, it's not the same (of course, I know it's not meant to be!). With the best will in the world, it's a bit like moving from an in-depth and involving conversation to party smalltalk - hard to sustain anything of substance (but that might be my misunderstanding of Facebook), and I've never felt comfortable at parties. For the moment, I've set up a BCF-style blog thread on the BCF group in LibraryThing, which is less well organised but enables threads like this to be sustained much more easily than in Facebook. I do think that if more people used the LT group for reviews etc, it could be interlinked with the Facebook group (which does seem to have attracted more people back) to be almost as effective as BCF itself. Depends on what people want I suppose. Otherwise, I'll probably got a full scale blog at some stage; I'm looking to do one involving both the books and the birds!
  2. Claire's Book List 2018

    Oddly, I browsed The Salt Path in our local bookshop for some time a couple of weeks ago, and it didn't grab me at all, rather the opposite. Oddly in the context of your reply because I gave The Outrun a full 6*. I haven't tried Hidden Nature yet, although it's on my wishlist - I'm just hoping that her book is better than the fairly awful session on her book that she was involved in at the Ilkley Literature Festival last year, which was enough to put me off (although others liked it) - I'm just hoping that it was down to the interviewer not the interviewee.
  3. Willoyd's Reading 2018

    July Review Carrying on the trend from last month, this month saw almost as high a proportion of non-fiction books, exactly half. Equally, the number of pages per book has stayed high. In 2016 I recorded my highest number of books to July end (48), involving 12900 pages, also the highest to that point. This month has actually seen me overtake the latter figure (13200), but in just 39 books (3rd highest to date). Just goes to show how deceptive those book numbers can be. Quality-wise it was a solid month, with two 5*, two 4*, three 3* and just the one 1* - almost inevitably a book group read. Having said that, next month's book choices look much more interesting: Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North. With the sad demise of the BCF, I'm not sure whether I'll even get to write a review for August here, but I'll at least temporarily continue on the BCF group page on LibraryThing (the one on GoodReads doesn't seem to have attracted anybody), and am thinking quite seriously of starting a blog (which will, inevitably, include birding as well!). It'll be interesting for me at least!! I wonder if the Round Robin Challenge will survive too. Figures are those to date for the year, with figures in brackets being those this month if more than zero. Books read: 39 (8), plus 3 (0) insufficient to count. Pages read: 13201 (2167), average 346 (308) pages per book. Gender : 28 (4) male, 14 (4) female Genre: 24 (4) fiction, 18 (4) non-fiction Sources: 27 (6) owned, 15 (2) library Format: 30 (7) paper, 4 (1) ebook, 8 (1) mixed media Round Robin challenge: 8 (0) TBR list: 1460: year -12, month 0 Books for reading acquired this month: WTF? by Robert Peston (paperback, Waterstones BOGOHP) The Last Wolf by Robert Winder (paperback, Waterstones BOGOHP) The Age of Illusion by Ronald Blythe (hardback, Folio Society sale) The Truth About Our Schools by Melissa Benn (paperback, charity shop) A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows (paperback, remainder shop sale) A Cast of Falcons by Steve Burrows (paperback, remainder shop sale) A Pitying of Doves by Steve Burrows (paperback, remainder shop sale) Charles II, The Star King by Clare Jackson (hardback, charity shop) True North by Martin Wainwright (hardback, charity shop)
  4. Claire's Book List 2018

    I don't know whether you're still reading this Claire given the gap in your posts - are you posting anywhere by the way? - but I see that Adam Nicholson's The Seabird's Cry won the Wainwright Prize this year. I haven't read a lot of the others, but I have read this, and have to say it's one of the best bird/nature books I've read in a long while; seems a worthy winner.
  5. General questions / discussions

    I was a member of Book Group Online before joining here. This was before they had their big crash. I remember it as being a friendly forum, and noted it changed to look more like BCF a few years ago. I think the main reason I started gravitating more here was the fact we could all keep our own blogs, which helped made it just a bit more personal, as we could all follow what each other was reading/doing. I think it was best summarised as this forum has been more about readers and reading, whilst BGO is more about the books. Initially, that was about it, and once I started getting involved more, everybody was so friendly, and we had interesting projects like the English Counties Challenge and so on.....
  6. General questions / discussions

    I don't use GoodReads - it is excellent in its own way, but I always seem to get lost in it. I do however use LibraryThing, which made me wonder: would there be interest in setting up a BCF group there - it wouldn't have the excellent organisation that we've been so lucky to have here, but it it would still be possible to have separate threads, including individual book log threads, which would allow for longer term discussion and recording that is not so easy on Facebook. Just a thought. I certainly belong to a couple of groups which work really well (It may be that something similar would be viable on GoodReads - don't know, but someone else might be able to say).
  7. General questions / discussions

    I so appreciate that Michelle, and there's not an ounce of criticism intended. I completely understand where you're coming from, and a massive thank you to you and the moderating team for keeping such a wonderful forum going. Still very sad though, which is what I was trying to express. I've explored one or two other forums in the past, and none have come close in terms of what you have provided over (for me) the past almost decade (one was lovely, but as Madeleine says it only just about carries on). I hope you don't mind if I ask you, and others, what forum(s) you'd suggest (if any). I will look in on the facebook page - I hate it, but it seems impossible to keep in touch with things nowadays if one doesn't at least look occasionally, but as you say, it's not a replacement. I have probably missed it - but when will you be taking the forum off line please? There's a lot of history here (reviews for starters!) that I'm trying to copy, and wonder what sort of deadline I'm up against.
  8. General questions / discussions

    Absolutely gutted; I feel I'm losing a whole set of friends and acquaintances. I hate Facebook with a passion - it's a particularly unfriendly environment for anything but the instant and temporary, the complete antithesis of reading and books, and is equally unfriendly to use. This has been a wonderful oasis of calm, interesting, and thoughtful discussion, and sharing of an interest beyond the parochial, and a hugely useful resource. It will be a massive, massive loss. I'm so sorry that you feel it is necessary. Best wishes to all.
  9. Your Book Activity - July 2018

    Taking a break from Mary Beard's SPQR to read The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey for my book group next week. About a hundred pages in, it's an easy read, promising, if a bit overloaded with detail and rather too gushy for my taste in a history book - it's a bit like some of these popular TV documentaries that every before and after each advert break, repeat what they've told you and the teaser for the next section, leaving you muttering 'get a move-on!'. It's all very dramatic - hope it lives up to the billing!
  10. Andrea's reading in 2018

    Interesting article. What's not mentioned is when in the day things take up one's time, and how that influences perceptions. A reason why work often feels more is that it's usually taking up the prime time of day, whilst the time not spent working is in the evenings when one is not at one's best! (I know this time pattern is not true of everybody) Thus, on the days when I read in the mornings, I get through much more in a given amount of time than when reading in the evening, the content sticks in the mind better, and the time spent reading feels more, even if it's just the same. And I so agree with her comment about time consumed scrolling through Instagram etc!
  11. Hello peeps

    Hmmm - history student and with a list of favourite authors like that - doesn't sound in the least boring to me. Dickens and Bronte are both favourites of mine too, and I've relatively recently 'discovered' Steinbeck, particularly some of his non-fiction. Golding's an interesting one - absolutely hated Lord of the Flies when we read it at school, but after a few decades recently forced myself to reread it to find that my thoughts had turned round almost 180 degrees. Followed by The Spire, he's definitely growing on me; next up Rites of Passage. Yet to explore the joys of Peake, but the first book is part of a reading challenge I'm doing with other members of the forum, so looking forward to that. Purple prose, plenty of description, slow burn - sounds right up my street. Welcome to the forum - I look forward to your contributions. In th meantime, would be interested to know what you would recommend to read of your authors list if coming to them for the first time - there's one or two others there that I've yet to tackle (BTW, the book blog threads are probably the best to explore to get to know people here better).
  12. Willoyd's Reading 2018

    Pendulum by Adam Hamdy * Read for my reading group, this is a thriller that has largely had strong reviews, most of them citing the 'amazing' opening chapter, which plunges you straight into the action. The protagonist is a damaged hero, who finds himself running from both his mysterious enemy and the law. From then on it's fairly unrelenting, with the inevitably rising bodycount (why did anybody find any of these unexpected?), culminating in a denouement which is bigger and more bloody than anything previously in the book. The hero then, almost literally, walks off into the sunset. In other words, it's absolutely bog standard fare, the same as so many others, with cut and paste characters in cut and paste situations in a cut and paste plot. 'Nuff said. One star.
  13. Went to watch the original video - far too frenetic for an old fogey like me; I lasted as far as the first question! Still, some interesting questions, so thanks for this Athena. 1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018. Elizabeth Taylor's A View of the Harbour. An Austenesque portrait of small town life on the Cornish coast. A book that has grown on me since I finished reading it - the mark of a classic. Very closely chased by Jams Macpherson's monumental Battle Cry of Freedom, the classic history of the American Civil War - history writing at its best. 2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2018. Continuing the Cornish theme, probably Simon Armitage's Walking Away, the account of his ballardeering walk along the South West Peninsular Coast Path, sequel to his previous outing along the Pennine Way, Walking Home. You can see he's a poet, and a good one. 3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to. Mark Cocker's Our Place. This analysis of the state of the nation's conservation (not good, in fact very bad, and getting worse under the current government by the day) has received rave reviews in all the informed quarters. 4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. The Price of Victory, the third and final volume in NAM Rodger's history of the Royal Navy. It's been a long time coming, but should be worth it given the quality of the previous two volumes. 5. Biggest disappointment. As opposed to the worst book....probably CJ Sampson's A Winter in Madrid which I failed to finish through sheer tedium. Is this really the same man who wrote the Shardlake series? Alternatively, Ulrich Raulff's Farewell to the Horse promised so much and delivered so little. 6. Biggest surprise. Perhaps Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk. Having read the reviews, I really didn't want to read this - too much mislit by the sound of it - but it was a book group choice. And as such it worked really well, getting me to read a book I would have otherwise missed, as it proved a totally engaging read. 7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you) Favourite is over-egging the pudding somewhat, but a couple of authors I want to follow up further after my first goes - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in fiction and Patrick Barkham in non-fiction. 8. Newest fictional crush. I rarely develop fictional crushes (do I ever? crush? perhaps just the wrong word for me), so no new ones. However, reading both Elizabeth Taylor and Georges Simenon confirmed my continued and growing love of their books; reading Michael Bond confirmed my long held adoration of his books! 9. Newest favourite character. None new this year. Of the books I read, Maigret is the newest (Paddington has been in my reading world since I first started reading!). 10. Book that made you cry. None - they don't. The books that affect my emotions the most are those on nature conservation. 11. Book that made you happy. Quite a lot - I read to enjoy books, and the process alone makes me happy! Happiest? It has to be Paddington again!! 12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year. Just seen the one, but it was a goodie - yes, it's Paddington again! The films do capture the essence of the stories really well, even if they're miles away from the actual books. I also thoroughly enjoyed (if that's the right word) The Darkest Hour, but that was not really a true book to film adaptation - the book I think came from the film (and the film was vastly superior, even if the history was execrable in a couple of place). 13. Favourite review you've written this year. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. The book was so bad, it was both easy and a joy to write about it. 14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received). The hardback edition of Jenny Uglow's Mr Lear. Distinctly a cut above the average! 15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? I don't need to read anything by the end of the year, but I'd like to complete my Round Robin Challenge (just about on track) and read a couple more of the big books I've got on my shelves.
  14. Bobblybear's Book List - 2018

    I picked that up too. Interested to know what you thought and why BB - my review was one of the more in-depth ones I've done this year, and there wasn't much good that I had to say about it. Glad you haven't lost your reading mojo - that's the important bit! There's some cracking looking books in your bought list for this year, especially the non-fiction; three near the top all stand out for me as they're on my TBR shelves too - the Tombs, Mukherjee and Walker volumes. The first is a chunky looking read!
  15. Frankie reads 2018

    I've always taken Umberto Eco's line on this (quoted in Black Swan) - it's simply a library of knowledge that I've yet to tap into. His attitude was that read books are far less valuable than unread ones. So, the TBR list was very similar before - almost all of the books I disposed of were books I'd read. Most of the TBR list is non-fiction.