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    • Hayley

      April Supporter Giveaway   04/01/2019

        "If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden."   In honour of spring, the April giveaway is a print of this wonderful quote from The Secret Garden (thanks, once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk) along with a Secret Garden tea (Victoria Sponge flavoured!) from the  Literary Tea Company! (You can find them both at their own website theliteraryteacompany.co.uk and at their etsy store www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany ).   As always, patreon supporters will be entered automatically and if you don't support but want to be included in this month's giveaway you can join the patreon here: www.patreon.com/bookclubforum A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month!


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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    That's really interesting regarding boxes in supermarkets. The only supermarket I've ever known to provide boxes is Lidl and they've stopped doing it now, at least in the shop near me. I would definitely use a cardboard box, which I can either reuse or recycle when I get home, rather than buy a plastic bag if I don't have a bag with me. Also an interesting point about butchers. I think it's good to support local businesses and I would be sad to see my local butchers go, but I also like to check the origin of meat that I buy (whether it's free range etc.) and since not everything is labelled in the butchers you can't always tell without quizzing the butcher, which just feels awkward if there's a queue. I'm glad you enjoyed your last two books. I've never read a Maigret story but I think I would like them, I'll have to keep a look out for some. I assume you don't need to read them in order?
  2. Yay, new book blog at last! On My Shelf: Abercrombie, Joe. Best Served Cold Abercrombie, Joe. Half a King Abercrombie, Joe. Half the World Abercrombie, Joe. Red Country Adams, Douglas. The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams, Douglas. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Adams, Douglas. Life, The Universe and Everything Arden, Katherine. The Girl in the Tower Adams, Douglas. So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish Ballantyne, R.M. The Coral Island Banks, Iain. The Bridge Banks, Iain M. The Algebraist Banks Iain M. Excession Banks Iain M. Feersum Endjinn Banks Iain M. Inversions Banks, Iain M. Look to Windward Banks Iain M. Matter Banks Iain M. The Player of Games Banks Iain M. Use of Weapons Barker, Clive. Weaveworld Brennan, Marie, A Natural History of Dragons British Myths and Legends vol. 1: Marvels and Magic. ed. Richard Barber British Myths and Legends vol. 2: Heroes and Saints. " British Myths and Legends vol 3. History and Romance. " Brontë, Anne. Agnes Grey Brontë, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Brontë, Charlotte. The Professor Brontë, Charlotte. Shirley Brontë, Charlotte. Villette Burton, Jessie. The Muse Butcher, Jim. Blood Rites Butcher, Jim. Dead Beat Butcher, Jim. Proven Guilty Byatt, A.S. The Children's Book Christie, Agatha. Murder on the Orient Express Clarke, Susanna. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Clarke, Susanna, The Ladies of Grace Adieu Connolly, John. The Book of Lost Things Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories Vol. 1 Dickens, Charles. Nicholas Nickleby Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop Dickens, Charles. The Pickwick Papers Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Sign of Four Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Return of Sherlock Holmes Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Valley of Fear Doyle, Arthur Conan. His Last Bow Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Musketeers Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose Evans, Claire. The Fourteenth Letter Faulks, Sebastian. Birdsong Gaylin, Alison. Into the Dark Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows Grossmith, George and Weedon. The Diary of a Nobody Hardie, Titania. The Rose Labyrinth Hardy, Thomas. Under the Greenwood Tree Harkness, Deborah. Shadow of Night Hill, Susan. The Woman in Black Hoving, Isabel. The Dream Merchant Jemisin, N.K. The Obelisk Gate Jemisin, N.K. The Stone Sky le Carre, John. A Most Wanted Man Lynch, Scott, The Lies of Locke Lamora Marston, Edward. The Iron Horse Marston, Edward. Murder on the Brighton Express Marston, Edward. The Railway Viaduct Miéville, China. Kraken Miéville, China. The Scar Mirless, Hope. Lud -in-the-Mist More, Thomas. Utopia Morton, Kate. The Distant Hours Mosse, Kate. Citadel Owen, Lauren. The Quick Peake, Mervyn. Titus Groan Peake, Mervyn. Gormenghast Peake, Mervyn. Titus Alone The Penguin Book of English Short Stories Ed. Christopher Dolley Perry, Sarah, Melmoth Pratchett, Terry. I Shall Wear Midnight Price, Steven, By Gaslight Purcell, Laura. The Corset Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ruickbie, Leo. The Impossible Zoo: An Encyclopedia of Fabulous Beasts and Mythical Monsters Russel, Craig. Brother Grimm Setterfield, Diane. The Thirteenth Tale Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men Taylor, Jodi, And the Rest is History Taylor, Jodi. A Trail Through Time Tolkien, J.R.R. Tree and Leaf, Smith of Wooton Major, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Vance, Jack, City of the Chasch Vance, Jack, The Dirdir Vance, Jack, Emphyrio Vance, Jack, The Eyes of the Overworld Vance, Jack, The Gray Prince Vance, Jack, The Green Pearl Vance, Jack, The Houses of Iszm Vance, Jack, Madouc Vance, Jack, The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph Vance, Jack, Rhialto the Marvellous Vance, Jack, Servants of the fiddleh Vance, Jack, Showboat World Vance, Jack, To Live Forever Vance, Jack, Wyst:Alastor 1716 Verne, Jules. Five Weeks in a Balloon Verne, Jules. From the Earth to the Moon Verne, Jules. Round the Moon Verne, Jules. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Wells, H.G. The Time Machine Wells, H.G. The Island of Dr. Moreau Wells, H.G. The War of the Worlds Wells, H.G. The First Men in the Moon Wells, H.G. The Invisible Man Acquired in 2019: Fforde, Jasper. Early Riser Littlewood, Alice. The Hidden People Martin, Andrew. Soot Last year I acquired 47 new books and read 14 of them. Since they have now all been moved to the 'on my shelf' list, I really need to start clearing those shelves and not getting more books!
  3. Thanks @Athena I don't mind being able to guess what happens next sometimes, as long as it's just because you've worked it out and not because the story is unoriginal, if that makes sense. I might see if they have the series in my local library next time I'm there, to give the first one a try. Although I do have a very large tbr pile at the moment...
  4. Great reviews! I've looked at the Wayward Children series myself and the main thing that put me off was the length to be honest. I saw a few reviews on Goodreads that suggested the books had a wonderful concept but the potential wasn't fulfilled because they were so short. So it's good to know that you enjoyed them anyway. One of the other things I read was that the plot became very predictable, did you find that in the series? The Weight of Stars sounds like a really interesting concept too, I agree that the cover and the page edges are really nice!
  5. Hayley's Reading 2019

    This month has been a very slow one for my reading so far. I've been away from home a couple of times (although one of those was a trip to Hay-on-Wye, which is always exciting because it is literally a town full of books) and had a lot of work to get finished at the same time. I did buy a couple of books, both ones I've been looking at for a while: The Princess Bride by William Goldman and the first five books of the Earthsea Cycle by Ursula Le Guin. I've heard very good things about both so I'm looking forward to reading those! I finished Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin over the weekend, so a quick review of that: Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin 3.5/5 - I liked it This book imagines a future (2198 to be exact) in which Earth has been destroyed by wars relating to overpopulation. Humans now either live on colony worlds, which were hastily established and have very little of the technology previously available on earth, or in the ships which originally transported people from Earth. The ships have all of the technology and they use their knowledge to trade with the colonies. As part of the ships policy to avoid overpopulation, children aged fourteen are dropped off on a random colony world to fend for themselves (the Trial). If they can survive for a month, they come back to the ship as adults. The book is written in first person from the perspective of Mia Havero, who lives on a ship and is approaching her own Trial. Mia isn't always very likeable. She's actually a bit of a bigot and, although this is intentional and related to her early life on the ship, it's sometimes a bit frustrating when she fails to see the obvious because of her own prejudices, especially when she's supposed to be very intelligent. However, maybe the book wouldn't have had the same impact if Mia didn't have the personality she does. There's a strong philosophical element to the story, but it doesn't come across as didactic and it still has good pacing and enough detail about the ship and the colonies to keep things interesting. Shakespeare's Sonnet 94 is printed at the end of the book (the one with the last two lines 'For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; / Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds') clearly showing where the inspiration for the concept came from. I like the idea of exploring one of Shakespeare's sonnets in science fiction form, I think that's a really interesting concept and I'd definitely read something like that again (if it exists). A good, interesting, read overall. While I wouldn't count it with my absolute favourites, I would recommend giving it a try. I think I'm going to read Melmoth by Sarah Perry next.
  6. What's Up in April? - 2019

    I hope your back is better now @Madeleine! Easter already! It's my nan's birthday on Sunday too so I'm going for lunch with her and some other family members, which should be nice. I also saw the first bluebells of the year this week! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend too!
  7. Read-a-thon 2019

    I had a really chaotic weekend for the read-a-thon but I did manage to finish Rite of Passage. It was only a total of 70 pages but I'm glad I finished it Glad you both enjoyed what you read too!
  8. Amazon Ratings/Reviews

    I'm not sure if it's funny or worrying that they occasionally publish this story as though it's a problem they've only just discovered!
  9. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    I'm glad you've enjoyed your last few books. Land of Plenty sounds really interesting. I do think we're quite disconnected from the whole process of where our food comes from and that definitely doesn't help with larger environmental issues. I'm not surprised that Morrisons came out a little better. My local supermarket changed from Sainsburys to Morrisons last year and I would definitely say that they seem to be more openly concerned about the environment. The bags for loose fruit and vegetables are all paper, there are reusable boxes to buy for your fresh meat and fish, local eggs you can put in your own carton and (I noticed this one recently) a slightly more expensive bottle of milk, where the extra money goes to the farmers. I'd be interested to know if you do find a more in-depth book on the subject. That's a nice set of books acquired in March too!
  10. Hello!

    Hi Kevin, welcome to the forum I think there are a few Arthur Conan Doyle fans here (me included!), what other types of books do you like?
  11. Giveaways - Have Your Say

    Thanks @Chrissy, it’s really great to know you’ve liked the giveaways so far All member giveaways would definitely be as well as, not instead of, supporter ones. I’ve had an idea for an all-member one for a while though so I might put that plan into action soon!
  12. Giveaways - Have Your Say

    When I started doing monthly giveaways for supporters I said I would give it a six month trial because I didn't know if it would work. This month is the sixth (how fast has that gone!?) so I want to know how you all feel about the giveaways (and giveaways generally, this is a question for all members, not just supporters) now that trial period is over. If you don't want to post your opinions publicly, just send them to me as a personal message and please be totally honest! I promise I won't be offended if you don't like my ideas or if you'd like things to be done a bit differently. I want the forum to be the best it can be for all of us. Don't feel obliged to answer all of these, but these are the main things I'd really like to know... How do you feel about the items featured in the giveaways? Are they generally things you would like to have? Is there a thing you would like to see more of? Would you like to have giveaways open to all members, not just supporters? Would you enter, if we did have open giveaways? What type of thing would you enter for? If you wouldn't enter a giveaway, why not? Would you prefer giveaways to be less frequent? (For example, they could be seasonal, rather than monthly) Do you have any ideas for the giveaways? Even if you don't think they'd be possible, I'd love to know what you think!
  13. Giveaways - Have Your Say

    Thank you @vodkafan! Those are really great ideas and I didn't know you could get literary action figures! I now really want some quirky desktop toys myself though... The only one we couldn't really do is tickets to events, because I'd have to make sure there was a suitable event for every supporter and that would be very difficult to organise with members in different countries! I actually really enjoy putting the giveaways together and I've been lucky to speak to some really lovely people in the process, so I don't mind at all doing them every month! I've been getting all our prizes from small business too so it's nice to support them. I'll definitely put some thought into books we could do
  14. What's Up in April? - 2019

    April has come so fast! There seems to be a lot of Birthdays in April, it's my nans birthday, my birthday and then my sisters birthday at the end of this month! Hope you have a great time with your family @Athena
  15. What are you eating just now?

    @muggle not I didn't realise beans on toast is a British thing! They're baked beans, in a tomato sauce (not like ketchup tomato sauce though, these are orange.) I'm including a stock image because I think I'm just making them sound weird... They're lovely with the crunchy toast. Chips and beans is also a personal favourite... as is sausage, mash and beans
  16. I actually thought we already had a thread of this but I can't find it so maybe I imagined it! I see the question on twitter sometimes and always find it interesting to read the answers, so what's the first line (sentence) of the book you're currently reading? Mine's: 'My sainted mother taught me the seven acts of corporeal mercy: to feed the hungry; refresh the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the traveller; comfort the sick; visit those imprisoned; and bury the dead.' (The Corset by Laura Purcell) (which I think might win the prize for most semicolon's in a first sentence )
  17. "If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden." In honour of spring, the April giveaway is a print of this wonderful quote from The Secret Garden (thanks, once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk) along with a Secret Garden tea (Victoria Sponge flavoured!) from the Literary Tea Company! (You can find them both at their own website theliteraryteacompany.co.uk and at their etsy store www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany ). As always, patreon supporters will be entered automatically and if you don't support but want to be included in this month's giveaway you can join the patreon here: www.patreon.com/bookclubforum A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month! (As long as I remember that it is the last day of the month this time )
  18. March Supporter Giveaway

    Apologies for the delay on this one, April really crept up on me! The winner of the March giveaway is... @vodkafan! Congratulations
  19. So March has crept up on us and I'm thrilled to finally show you the GREAT (he he...) March giveaway! This time we have a gorgeous print of The Great Gatsby's most famous line from thestorygift.co.uk AND a Great Gatsby tea from the Literary Tea Company! This particular tea is Peach Blossom (which sounds delicious and I kind of wish I could keep it myself...) and the tin features another Gatsby quote. If you'd like to see the other literary teas available (there are lots, I spent ages looking) you can find them both at the Literary Tea Company's etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany) or at their own website, theliteraryteacompany.co.uk . As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and if you're not a supporter but want to be included in this months giveaway but you can become a supporter on patreon here... https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum . A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month. Good luck!
  20. The Gaming Box

    I know that a few people at least on here play video games, and although there is a thread for favourite games, I thought it might be fun to have a more general discussion area. So... for a start, since we're all book lovers here, what about games with a literary theme? I know there's a pc game based on Terry Pratchett's discworld novels called 'discworld noir' (which I own but can't get to run... still waiting on boyfriend to fix it!) Today I tried 'Alice the madness returns' on xbox, which is based on Alice in wonderland, but has a freaky twist to it (at the beginning I thought a little too freaky but it got better). It's very good so far though, I love finding all the links to the book, it's very cleverly done. I also just found out that Terry Pratchett's daughter is behind writing the upcoming tomb raider game, which I already thought looked like it had a really interesting story line. Does anybody know of any more? And what do you think of books as games? (feel free to throw in any other game related topics by the way! )
  21. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Great review of Bellman and Black, I agree completely. I really can't understand why so many synopses refer to this book as a ghost story, and even make out that it's tense or scary, because it just isn't. Very little actually happens and it's very metaphorical. I think if I'd known that when I started reading I would have liked it more.
  22. Hey!

    Hi, welcome to the forum! I assumed, before I read that it's your nickname, that Moonie was a reference to the Harry Potter books. It's a great nickname though! What kind of books do you like?
  23. New Bookworm.

    Hi Jaymer, welcome to the forum! I haven't read the Throne of Glass books but I have heard from others that they're good. What other books do you like?
  24. Hayley's Reading 2019

    Thanks @muggle not I haven't been reading as much for the last couple of weeks but I do have two reviews to catch up on. Firstly: The Corset by Laura Purcell 4/5 - I really liked it The Corset is divided between two narratives, one from a wealthy young woman (Dorothea Truelove) and one from Ruth Butterham, a poor girl who's in prison awaiting trail for murder. Along with the Victorian setting, this instantly reminded me of Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, which I loved. It's actually quite different, apart from the prisoner / prison visitor relationship and the question of insanity. The tone is much more gothic horror in The Corset. This is one of those books that I'm finding it really hard to review without giving anything away... without saying anything that isn't already in the blurb: as Ruth reveals her story to Dorothea, she starts to wonder whether Ruth really is a murderer after all, because Ruth believes she has killed with nothing more than a needle and thread. In the mean time, we start to discover that Dorothea's life is more complicated than it appears on the surface. Both characters are brilliantly crafted. At the beginning I thought Dorothea was just there as a device for Ruth to tell her own story, but she really develops as her own very unique character throughout the book. There are some really shocking moments in the stories of both women and some very dark scenes. It really draws you in, both with the brilliant mystery of Ruth and the perfectly gothic atmosphere that Purcell creates. The one reason I didn't give five stars is I wasn't sure about the ending. I'm still not sure about the ending and I actually finished this book weeks ago. Partly this is because I think there's a point in the plot that's a little bit 'but why wouldn't they just have...'. The second thing is harder to say. So as not to give anything away, I'll just say this... I literally did not understand the ending until I read the author's explanation of it. And I'm not completely sure that's a good thing. Overall though it was a really enjoyable read and, whether the ending was good or bad, it certainly stuck in my head! Blood Rites by Jim Butcher 3.5/5 - I really liked it, but it had some problems I feel like I'm starting to develop a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Dresden Files. I really love the concept, the world, all the crazy characters and the unlikely supernatural scrapes that Dresden gets himself into but sometimes it just makes me want to cringe and roll my eyes. I don't want to say they're sexist but... at one point a female police officer has to have her trousers taken off to disarm a bomb that's potentially going to blow up some children, and afterwards she muses about how she felt in that moment because "it's been a really long time since a good-looking man took my pants off. I sort of forgot how much I enjoyed it" (see what I mean about the cringe?). It doesn't really help that in this particular book, a lot of it is related to the porn industry. And, of course, there were those unnecessary times, present in every book, where Dresden has to point out how much he can't stand to see women get hurt and how this triggers his protective instincts. But, apart from that, these are genuinely good books. We get to find out a little bit more about Dresden's past and his mysterious mother in this one, which was great because that mystery's been building since the first book. There are plenty of the great tense 'how's he going to get out of this one...' moments and a sufficiently tricky mystery to be solved. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book.
  25. What's the weather like?

    It's been really lovely here today and was yesterday, I didn't even need a coat! Here's a picture I took of the sunset last night as evidence