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    • Hayley

      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     


Pagemaster Brian
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About Brian.

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    This too shall pass
  • Birthday 11/24/1980

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    A book
  • Location:
    SE England

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  1. My name is Karim Amir, and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi.
  2. I am about to sign up to the Willoughby Book Club for 3 months, I just need to decide whether to go for the contemporary or classic subscription. I'm going to give it a go for 3 months and see how it works out but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these types of book subscription clubs and how you have found it.
  3. Silas Marner by George Eliot (4/5) My plans to read some of the bigger classics this year have rapidly disappeared but I have picked up a few of the smaller ones to keep me ticking along. I saw this in my local charity shop and it was the only thing I found that I fancied reading so I bought it. I knew nothing about the story or the author and embarrassingly I thought George Eliot was a man. Finding out that Eliot was a woman was a nice surprise as I have been trying to read more female writers this year. The story focuses on the life of Silas Marner who starts life in a Calvinist community but is soon expelled after being wrongly accused of theft. He moves to a new villiage and completely shuts himself off from the community resulting in the rest of the village treating him with a lot of suspicion. A disaster befalls him which brings him a bit closer to the village people and then something miraculous happens. (I'm trying to avoid major spoilers here) I really enjoyed this one, it's what I would describe as a really good story. The characters are all surprisingly well formed given it's short length and despite finding the language a bit hard to get in with I had to keep picking it up to see what happens next. This would be a 5/5 book if it wasn't for the hard old fashioned language. It took a lot of concentration and I had to read it in many small doses instead of devouring it in one go.
  4. Up next for me, Silas Marner by George Eliot.
  5. Irresistible by Adam Alter (3/5) At work I mentor a few of our apprentices and one thing I have noticed over the years is how often they check their phones. The intersting thing about this phenomenom is that it isn't a habit restricted to only young people, in fact there are many people from my generation who do the same thing. This habit of constantly checking your phone is something I realised had become part of a few years ago and as a result over time I have gradually deleted all my social media accounts and turned off the 'push' function of my emails. The way modern media, social or otherwise, has seemingly become more and more addictive over the years is something that really interests me. This book was mentioned in Digital Minimalism, a book by Cal Newport that I read earlier this year so I bought a copy to see if it offered more insight. Although it mentions social media, Irresistible focuses more on general screen based habits and how slowly they have changed in the era of smartphones and tablets. Alter explains why we tend to binge watch things on streaming services, how games can become addictive, how social media has us hooked, and what this is doing to society as a whole. The book is well written and has some interesting insights but I also found it be unfocused in places. He skirts over the biggest culprit for screen addiction, social media, and chooses to focus on some slightly more niche ones instead. He also spends a lot of time explaining how and why these habits are formed and how to break them, but then goes on to recommend gamifiying good habits using apps. I much prefer Newport's way of replacing screen habits with hobbies that are technology free. This is a good book but if you are interesting in social media addiction then Digital Minimalism is a much better read. Up next, Silas Marner by George Eliot.
  6. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Thanks for the review of We, I've wanted to read it for years but never seem to get round to actually picking it up for some reason.
  7. I started a new book this morning, Irresistible by Adam Alter. it's a non-fiction book about the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked.
  8. I definitely felt the same about it being more sad than scary, it's a really well constructed analysis of part of being human.
  9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (2/5) Last October I decided to read a seasonal book for Halloween and picked up a copy of Dracula that had been on my bookcase for years. I absolutely loved it so I decided to do something similar this year and read Frankenstein. Similar to Dracula I had a lot of preconceptions about this book based on the pop culture that has emerged related to the monster. I kind of expected a Herman Munster type character brought to life by lightning. It turns out that I was very wide of the mark but sadly I didn't particularly enjoy the book either. I found it painfully slow and the 'flowery' language made it very hard to get on with at times. It is remarkable that this was written when Shelley was 18 and it isn't without merit but it's not a book I will be re-reading in the future.
  10. Autumn 2019 Supporter Giveaway

    This is an awesome giveaway haul Hayley.
  11. Read-a-thon 2019

    I'm working over the weekend but hopefully I'll manage to get some reading in. My spooky read is currently Frankenstein and I may dig out something else Halloween related afterwards.
  12. I'm up to 45 now somehow, I don't feel like I've had a great reading year so far.
  13. Suicide Club by Rachel Heng (3/5) I don't recall where I came aware of this book but I have a vague recollection of reading about it online. The basic premise is that sometime in the future people with the right genetic makeup are given the chance to live forever due to medical advances. Our story focuses on Lea, one of the 'Lifers' who seemingly has everything she could want out of life. All that is turned upside down when she has a chance meeting with her estranged father. This book had so much potential but by the time I had finished reading it I couldn't help but feel let down by it. By no means is it a bad book, it just could have been so much more. I know that we don't need to like a character for that character to be a good one but Lea really didn't work for me. She seemed to go back on everything she believed in (for 300 years) very quickly and her back story is bizarre at best. After this I made a start on Frankenstein so hopefully I will have that fnished by this weekend
  14. While I’m not against the idea of reading other stuff by Christie I cant say I will be in a rush to find more of her books to read.
  15. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (4/5) I'll start this mini review by saying that I probably wouldn't had read this if it hadn't been for two things. Firstly, its in the '1001' list, a list that I don't think I will ever complete but I do enjoy working my way through it. Secondly, it always seems to get mentioned on this forum in a favourable light. I can't really think why I have avoided it up to now apart from a bit of bias brought on by memories of my grandmother watching Christie's work on TV and my bordeom brought on by it aged 10. At 200 pages the book is short so I thought it was worth a go as I had nothing to lose. Initially I found it a little slow going and I also found that I had to concentrate while reading otherwise I wouldn't take in what had happened. Despite this, as the book progressed I got really involved in what was going on and constantly changed my mind as to who the guilty party was. By the end I was 70% sure it was who it ended up being but I hadn't picked up on all the clues dropped in throughout the book. I'm away for the next 5 days so have a kindle loaded with reading material. Next up, probably Frankenstein.