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      May Supporter Giveaway   05/03/2019

      It's May! The height of spring and a truly beautiful time of year so, when I saw this beautiful book cover, I knew we had to have it for the giveaway! May's winner will also receive the very first, completely unique, BCF bookmark!     As always, supporters will be entered into the giveaway automatically and a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month. If you want to enter the giveaway but aren't currently a supporter, you can become one at https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.

vodkafan

Advanced Member
  • Content count

    5,968
  • Joined

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About vodkafan

  • Rank
    TBR now out of control
  • Birthday 01/27/1961

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Deepest England
  • Interests
    Jack Vance, George Gissing, Sarah Waters, Victorian England, Old sailing ships, anything about Norway, anything about London, sci fi films, what makes women tick, going to the gym, swimming, walking, travelling, art galleries,drawing, buying something really good cheap from a charity shop, theatre, writing my first novel.

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  1. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Quick update. Had to give up on the Atlan saga, it was getting a bit stale for me. I read Holes by Louis Sacher instead in one day, that was very good, and have now started Oryx And Crake. Will catch up on my reviews tomorrow.
  2. There have been a few times lately I have wondered why I had children! If they could just go from 12 straight to 20 and miss out the teenage part.....
  3. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Devoted Ladies 4/5 Molly Keane My first 4/5 book this year! Molly Keane (a pseudonym) was a name I kept hearing as a good author so ages ago I picked up a couple of her books. In the move, when most of my books got packed away in boxes, this one and a couple of random others (Oryx and Crake, Just Six Numbers) somehow didn't get in with the rest. So I decided it was fate and took these three to work to put in my locker. But I couldn't get into Devoted Ladies immediately. I had to try three times. I didn't initially like any of the characters, who seemed small minded and deliberately nasty, jaded and decadent. Almost gave up but then hit a part where one of the characters is trying to write a novel and is using every excuse not to actually do any writing. It was hilarious. From then on I was hooked and devoured the rest of the book. It is wicked observational writing . The characters are often vicious to each other for their own amusement, but despite I started to warm to some of them and felt sympathy for their sad lives. The ending is brilliant and unexpected.
  4. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    They are a weird blend. Both unexpectedly adult (the sexual content would not be allowed to be published now, I feel) and at the same time in some ways a childlike fantasy. Can't knock the writing, good descriptions of places and action.
  5. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Might look out for those, then. Thanks Madeleine.
  6. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Just finished The Dragon by Jane Gaskell. Second part of her Atlan series. I read the first last year but have not reviewed it yet, I will wait until I have completed all four. The most remarkable thing is she was only 16 when she wrote them.
  7. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Nice! Hope you will get around to reading it soon and we can compare. What are the other Victoria Holt titles you have enjoyed? Are they set in Victorian times?
  8. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Thanks yes It's all been a bit middling so far in....
  9. Hello!

    Hi Mostonian, welcome! I have only been to Manchester once, to see United play . I could recommend you some good Fi without too much Sci in it if you want.....
  10. Introducing Paperback Bliss

    Ha, great name! Welcome to the forum. You won't find a nicer place on the internet. Not read any Outlanders but someone here will have for sure...
  11. Hallo

    Welcome to BCF scarfacedude!
  12. New User

    Welcome!
  13. Hayley's Reading 2019

    Melmoth sounds good! I think...
  14. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    The Shivering Sands 3/5 Victoria Holt Another charity shop find, an old Gothic Romance from 1969. I was attracted by the cover art and the fact that it was set in the Victorian period. A young widow takes a position as a music teacher to a disparate group of young girls at a grand house in Cornwall. She takes the position mainly to try to discover the reason for the disappearance of her sister, who had a connection with the same house. I enjoyed this story, it was well written and the plot was full of clues and red herrings ( a couple of which had me looking in the wrong direction right till the end). The romance is slow burning and a bit predictable, but the mystery had more than enough interest to keep me reading.
  15. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    The Bloody Ground 3/5 Bernard Cornwell A friend passed me this paperback and said it was a good read. It is the fourth in a continuing series about a fictional character in the American Civil War, Nathanial Starbuck. He is very much like the Richard Sharpe character in the author's other more famous series of books; he is not a superman and has contradictory traits that make him interesting. I haven't read any of the previous books in the series but that didn't matter. In this novel Starbuck is taken away from the Southern Confederate Brigade he has been fighting with and placed in command of a Punishment battalion, the "Yellowlegs". This formation got it's unfortunate nickname because it ran away in it's first battle. This appointment is also a sort of punishment for Starbuck, who is not well liked by some senior officers (another parallel with the Sharpe books) . He finds the battalion depot is being run by officers that are corrupt, cowardly and in some cases criminal and the men's morale very low due to bullying and mistreatment. Even though this scenario is a familiar and well-trodden trope I didn't mind . It was a fun read. Later on The Yellowlegs get to fight in the Battle of Antietam (which I didn't know much about before) and the author skilfully blends the characters into the real events and brings it to life so that the reader really understands the sequence of the battle. The descriptions of the ground are a strong point; you can clearly see it in your mind's eye. The battle chapters are rip-roaring stuff and depict terrible slaughter. The author is not making anything up: 23,000 men killed on a single day within calling distance of each other and at times by desperate hand to hand fighting with bayonets.
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