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      Signing Up   11/06/2018

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    • Hayley

      February Supporter Giveaway   02/07/2019

      February already! And with February comes the next supporter giveaway. This month, with great thanks once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk , we have a brilliantly bookish set of 'storyteller' pencils (featuring famous first lines) and a retro library card notebook!      As always, you'll be automatically entered into the giveaway if you support the forum on patreon, or if your pre-patreon membership is still active. If you want to be involved in the giveaway but don't currently support, you can join the patreon at any point in February here:  www.patreon.com/bookclubforum . 


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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. Hayley's Reading 2019

    I’ll read every last bit, I don’t want it to end! Early Riser is worth the wait, can’t wait to see what you think of it
  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. Hayley's Reading 2019

    @muggle not I just read the first 50 pages of The Winter of the Witch and I'm hooked already …
  4. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    Was there a particular reason The Way We Live Now didn't make it to the favourites list, or was it just a matter of not quite loving it as much as the others on the list? I hope you enjoy your new book just as much!
  5. Hayley's Reading 2019

    I bought the third book last week and I was going to save it for a while, but now you've made me really want to read it! It's a shame you didn't like it. You might enjoy the second one more though, it does have more of a sense of urgency and purpose than the first book. Thank you! I don't have the other Big Planet book but I'll keep a look out for it. Showboat World does give the impression that there's a lot more to explore about Big Planet (I love the guide book the captains keep, telling them about the different rules and customs of each area so they know how to adjust the shows and not cause offence). I have two reviews to catch up on... Early Riser by Jasper Fforde 4.5/5 - I loved it The only reason I'm not giving this 5 is because I like Fforde's Thursday Next and Nursery Crime books just a tiny bit more. This is still a fantastic book. Essentially it's set in an alternative world (well, an alternative Wales, specifically) where the winters are much harsher and most humans hibernate until spring in specially designed dormitories. Hibernation has its dangers though and not everyone survives. A drug exists that hugely improves your chances of survival, but not everyone is entitled to it, a few are immune to it, and the drug itself can have some pretty dramatic consequences. We see this crazy new world from the perspective of a man who's just started a new job with the winter consul (who basically stay awake during the winter to make sure the hibernating humans are safe) and they have a new problem, a viral dream. As ever with Fforde though, there's so much more than that. There are secret societies, obsessive stamp-collecting villains and creatures of folklore that seem too real for comfort. It's a brilliantly mad adventure with the perfect balance of humour and emotion and I fully recommend it. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 4/5 - I really liked it Although I'd only heard good things about this book, when I first started it I was expecting it to be a potentially slightly cliched metaphor for the second world war. Jacob's grandfather, the only member of his Jewish family to escape from Nazi Germany, tells tales of a home full of peculiar children and the monsters who are out to get them. When his grandfather dies, Jacob struggles to come to terms with the fantastical stories his grandfather told him and the mysterious final message that he left. I honestly suspected that this would be the kind of book where Jacob would wake up from a dream of monsters and the children who escaped with a better understanding of his Grandfather's past and the atrocities of the war. That probably would even have worked, but in actual fact it's nothing like that. It's much better. It's sort of part adventure, part fantasy, part horror, part time travel. The world it creates is exciting, fun and creepy in equal measure. Even without the quirky photographs that are included throughout the book, it's unique. I do wish I had known at the beginning that the photographs were all original, because I had been assuming they were (at least mostly) staged for the book, and I think I would have appreciated them more if I knew they were actually vintage images. Overall though, a fascinating concept with a great variety of characters and I'll definitely be looking out for the next book (since I realised it's actually the first in a series).
  6. I love the read-a-thon vlog idea! There were some great illustrations in your read-a-thon books and it's nice to get to see that. It's a shame you felt so rubbish on the Sunday, I'm glad you're feeling better now!
  7. Andrea's reading in 2019

    I'm glad the book got there safely Great review of Rachel's Holiday. I've always avoided Marian Keyes for the same reason as you, I assumed they were going to be twee romance novels, mainly based on the covers. It's a shame, really, that she doesn't have more say in the cover designs, because they obviously are putting off potential readers.
  8. Even better . I've been thinking of doing that with Goodreads too. I read something recently on twitter (I think it was from a publisher but I can't remember who now) about how much reviews help authors and how you should post reviews in multiple places if you can and that got me thinking. I might even go back and paste in reviews of the books I've read so far this year. I hope you're still enjoying it! What was the first book you got?
  9. Busy reading

    Thanks @Athena and @Busy_Bee, I’ll definitely start with ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ then!
  10. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    I love Dickens, particularly for his multifarious subplots, so this sounds like just my type of book! Extra satire and more realistic characters can only be a good thing.
  11. new here!

    Hi Polly, welcome to the forum! Do you have any particular favourite authors (other than Joyce )?
  12. Ulysses by James Joyce

    I didn’t love Ulysses, to be honest, but I would say it depends on how you want to read it @Angury. To appreciate it purely for the way it’s written, the way that it flows and how experimental Joce was being, even by modernist standards, you wouldn’t need a guide, I think it might even get in the way a bit. To get a good understanding of what’s actually happening, a guide is a good idea because it is really challenging. I didn’t have a guide and I ended up re-reading sections quite a lot, trying to work out what I was missing, and that probably didn’t help me to like it.
  13. Hayley's Reading 2019

    Heroes of Welsh History by David Oates 2/5 - It was okay I found this book on a market stall in Hay-on-Wye, I loved the cover and I know there are some great Welsh myths and legends, so I had to get it. It's really not what I expected at all though, which I suppose isn't really the books fault. Essentially it is a book that was printed for school age children to learn about the history of Wales. This edition was printed in June 1928 and the age definitely shows. The heroes are all considered notable for battles, or at least the way they influenced battles (some of which just seemed like they were a bit petty all round and could have been avoided - but they're presented as heroic anyway). There are no women, only as briefly mentioned wives, or Ceridwen, who is mentioned in the only story to feature anything magical or mythological at all, but only because she's necessary to the beginning of the story of Taliesin. I'm not sure how accurate the overall history was either, the sources being a bit sketchy to say the least. There are a lot of heartfelt comments about the spirit of liberty and the final chapter finishes with 'the last hero of Welsh independence.' I found this unusual, but interesting (probably the most interesting thing about the book, actually). There's a definite sense of loss, even though Wales had been part of the UK for a very long time before this book was published, and I wouldn't have expected that from a text book. So, overall, from a historical point of view, it had some interesting features, but it wasn't actually a great book to read and I did struggle through it. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden 4.5/5 - I loved it I'm only taking 0.5 points away from this book because I loved the first one just a tiny bit more. Being the second book in a trilogy, this one did feel a bit like an in-between, like it was setting up what's to come in the final book (exciting things, by the sound of it!). I just love the mix of folklore, magic and medieval Russia in these books. I love discovering new features of folklore and fairytale as they appear in the world, never seeming out of place despite the otherwise realistic settings. Vasya is a great character, with the right balance of fierceness and vulnerability to make her relatable but heroic. In the same way, although there's a powerful message about fighting against expectations, the book has a realistic approach to the consequences of choosing to fight back. The world is a harsh place, and things don't just fall into place in a fairy-tale way. Also, look how pretty the cover is! It's just a beautiful book, inside and out.
  14. Busy reading

    I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick but feel like I really need to. Do you think Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? would be a good place to start? You've given me new motivation to pick up Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, great review
  15. That's exactly the same thing I was most surprised about! I thought it made the book feel very different in the end too.
  16. Great reviews Gaia! The second book is definitely better visually, even the front cover looks a lot more appealing. I'm glad you enjoyed them Regarding your 'black and white thinking' question, I've never heard it used in terms of the mind before, but it's a common expression in the UK to say 'it's not black and white' when talking about a problem. Like you said, it's about extremes, so it's meant to mean essentially the same thing as 'it's not one extreme or the other.' I don't think this is in any way a comment on race as it's not referring to skin colour, but to the literal extremes of the colour spectrum, neither of which could be skin colours. I do understand why the phrase made you feel uncomfortable though, and I think maybe it's because it was being applied to people, or at least to people's thoughts, and when we think of black and white in terms of people we do associate it with skin colour, even if that's not what the author meant. And if we think of the term 'black and white thinking' in terms of race, it would become awful and definitely racist. On a non-book related note, your dog is gorgeous and I love your 'chemistry is awesome' top
  17. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    How are you finding The Way We Live Now? It's a book that's been on my to-read list for quite a while.
  18. I agree completely with your Frost Fair review. I've read some of Marston's 'Railway Detective' books since I read Frost Fair and they're quite similar, good mysteries, fun to read but don't have a great deal of depth. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was surprised to learn that there are actually two Little Women books, both of which are included in the film version. I think the book is worth reading, because it's interesting in its historical context (when Jo actually seems a lot more rebellious) but I agree it is painfully twee by modern standards.
  19. Hi, good to see you back! 1 ‘loved it’ and 3 ‘liked it’ books isn’t a bad start to the year. It’s a shame about Cuckoo though, it must have been really bad for you not to even give it an ‘it was okay!’ Life’s Library sounds interesting, I hope you get some good books from it!
  20. Shakespeare

    It's a comedy!? I mainly remember the 'pound of flesh' parts and that wasn't what I'd call comedic!
  21. I can't wait to read The Winter of the Witch but I also don't want the trilogy to be over! I haven't read Where the Crawdad's Sing yet either. I'm planning to try to get The Winter of the Witch from Waterstones on Sunday, so I'll see if they have Where the Crawdad's Sing while I'm there
  22. I would say that perhaps the only difference between Burns' detachment from the personal and your own example is that the first represents a detached perspective of the public world, while the latter is a detached perspective of the private and individual life. Interesting from a psychological point of view in both cases though. Does detachment help us to see things more clearly, with less distraction, or is it a coping mechanism in the face of complex and potentially painful issues? It could be both, I suppose. I like your poem, it has a really satisfying rhythm that helps give a real sense of movement, and a great representation of texture and sound
  23. February already! And with February comes the next supporter giveaway. This month, with great thanks once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk , we have a brilliantly bookish set of 'storyteller' pencils (featuring famous first lines) and a retro library card notebook! As always, you'll be automatically entered into the giveaway if you support the forum on patreon, or if your pre-patreon membership is still active. If you want to be involved in the giveaway but don't currently support, you can join the patreon at any point in February here: www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .
  24. The book I'm reading at the moment has a lot of food descriptions that make me feel hungry just reading them, which made me think about food in books generally and how the descriptions make us want to eat certain things. So, are there any books that make you feel hungry? Here's mine: 'We shuffled along the food queue and picked out some corn on the cob that oozed butter, then helped ourselves to rice and chicken' then 'After the jam roly-poly, apple crumble and bread-and-butter pudding had been consumed with about two gallons of custard […]' (Jasper Fforde - Early Riser) Mmmm, buttery corn on the cob and jam roly-poly with custard
  25. Books That Make You Hungry

    Oh yeah, I definitely agree with the Harry Potter books, I forgot about those. The hot buttered toast at breakfast always sounded particularly good for some reason! @Chrissy I'm going to have to google making your own butterbeer now! The corn, under the butter, was healthy I didn't think of illustrations, that's another good point. I do remember reading a book as a child that always made me want to eat jam tarts, because there was a picture of them laid out on a table. I think it was one of the Spot books by Eric Hill but I have no idea which one. I like that the Geronimo Stilton books even have recipes!