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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…     

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Found 9 results

  1. “(S)he sat in the darkest corner of the waiting room...” ... is the first line of a book I read in about 1973. This book is a real mystery to me, as I have a very vivid memory of it being called "Captives of the Web", yet I can find no trace of such a title, or anything similar, Like "Prisoners of the Web". So, I guess, memory fail! It’s about a criminal mastermind who runs a drug network, and was set in contemporary (late 1960s/early 1970s) London. The cover was dark, with a shadowy figure on the left and a brighter tunnel opening on the right. At least, that's what my memory insists! Any help very gratefully received Many thanks Mike
  2. Oscar and Meg are best friends. Their houses are right beside each other and they can chat from their rooms windows. But then Meg has to move to New Zealand with her parents for half a year, and the friends come apart for a bit. Then suddenly Meg gets informed that Oscar has vanished and is presumed dead, a suicide case. She moves back home with her parents prematurely and tries to figure out where Oscar has gone to and what has happened to the formerly happy, popular boy. I have to admit, I did not like the book much. I felt both main charaters did not act as teenagers. You could has easily called them students or young adults and probably would not have noticed anything amiss. Only in their written communication you get some small glimses of teenage slang. As a contrast you get a villain so stereotypical high-school mean girl she's basically just a cut out, not an actual person with likes and dislikes, strength and weaknesses. She's just all bad. Also, the book throws in some magical, fairy-tail like elements in the beginning, but then kinda denies they exist and arguments them away. It has to do with Oscars habbit of baking apple tarts and giving them to people how are having a hard time and feeling down. It makes them instantly feel a lot better. They even mention he can smell their despair and delivers his tarts to people he doesn't even know. But then they do a backflip and just explain it away with logical means. It's a bit strange, since it kinda changes the overall tone of the book in diferent places. All in all, I found I missed some kind of meaning in it. There is a lot of talk about love and friendship, popularity and mobbing, secrets and lies, but nothing seemed to be meaningfull, personal or deep. Oscar is very distant throughout the whole book, Meg is a little better, but she hasn't anything relevant to say either. The autor uses a lot of flowering, sweeping language to talk about emotions and revelations, but they just seems meaningfull and deep until you looked at the actual content of the words and found that there's nothing there. It's just nice words and platitudes made to sound important. And that's sad, because I could see it as a pretty good book, if they just stuck to the magical realism, the fairy tail elements and actually found something emotional to say about it all. As it is I give it a 2 out of 5.
  3. I recently finished reading The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida. This book is one of the most excellent works of non-fiction I have ever read. It is very short, definitely no more than two hundred pages, and incredibly compelling. I read the entire book in a little over an hour. It is written primarily in Q&A style, with Naoki answering questions about living with autism. This is augmented by several beautifully written, fictional stories by Naoki, with one longer story at the end. Naoki, the author, who was only thirteen at the time he wrote the book, is so articulate for his age it is mindblowing. I would definitely recommend!
  4. I've never really gotten into YA literature, even when I was in high school, but I've found that some can be pretty nice, even insightful, light reading. Some I've enjoyed include: The Distance Between Lost and Found - Kathryn Holmes Every Day - David Levithan An Abundance of Katherines - John Green Someone Named Eva - Joan M. Wolf The Hunger Games trilogy & Ellen Hopkins for sure! What are some that you all have enjoyed?
  5. Hi!

    Hi! My name is Amira and I love books a whole lot. I recently started a blog so I could spill my thoughts about the books I read in the form of reviews. I only started recently, but I try write at least an article a day. c: But I'm a little lost on what kind of book-related posts to write besides reviews (which I enjoy a great deal), upcoming releases and 'to be read' posts. What kind of book-related things would you guys like to read about on a book blog? Also, should I add a rating system? I've already figured one out but I personally don't know if people actually find this helpful. Anyway, I'm always open for a chat!
  6. James Frey offers $500,000 in gold

    I thought this was kind of cool: From Asia One.com, edited by me, for more see: http://news.asiaone.com/news/world/solve-puzzle-book-win-640000 The American writer is offering US$500,000 in solid gold to the first reader to solve the complex puzzle in Endgame: The Calling, out on shelves today. The book, co-written with fantasy writer Nils Johnson-Shelton and published by Harper Collins, has 12 young adults from India to America decoding their own sets of puzzles on a worldwide scavenger hunt to find hidden objects and save the Earth from total destruction by alien forces. Readers of the book do almost the same: Sentences, number strings, patterns and even links to online websites are scattered in the text, meant to lead readers towards the location of a hidden "key" that will "unlock" a case of gold coins in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Tied in is a massive online multi-player game - the mobile app designed by Google will be out within the next two months - that allows players/readers to "fight" one another for more clues to the location of the key. "Anybody in the world can win it," says Frey, 45, in a telephone interview from Connecticut, where he lives with his family and runs his production company Full Fathom Five. "We will know when somebody has solved the puzzle and we will make sure he is in a position to get to Caesars Palace."
  7. Deadlands is a YA book set in South Africa, somewhere in the near future. Most of Cape Town is now infested with zombies, and those unaffected live in enclaves, protected by the mysterious Guardians. It starts with Lele attending the funeral of her grandmother, which takes a unusual turn when the Guardians arrive to take the body out to the Deadlands, where she will turned into a zombie by the existing ones. In addition, a lottery is held yearly, when teenagers are chosen to be taken by the Guardians, although no one knows why. Lele now has to go and live with her father and step-mother, and start attending a new school, all of which provides some of the usual YA storylines. As the story develops she also has to deal with her attraction to two different boys. It’s interesting to see these usual YA themes wrapped up in a dystopian zombie story, but it works well. When Lele is chosen by the lottery, she decides to escape, and find her way through the Deadlands – during this time she makes some new friends who teach her how to fight the zombies, and show her that there is a different way. Meanwhile things are changing within the enclaves, and she has to decide which path is the right one. The level of threat is just right from the zombies – whilst it’s always there, it’s not too scary or gory for teen readers. As an older reader, I found it a pleasant change from other zombie books I’ve recently been reading, and I found myself captured by the story. The relationship aspect is well done, and isn’t too overpowering, and there are some interesting characters to explore. Lele’s story continues in Death of a Saint later this year, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
  8. Kim's debut book Shift has just been released, and you can read my review here. I've chatted to her on Twitter and met her at a signing, and she's kindly answered a few of my questions. Q. Let’s start with your book, which has just been published, what’s it about? A. My book is called, Shift, and it’s about a 16-year old boy called Scott Tyler who realises he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first he thinks that’s going to be pretty awesome. But as his undone decisions start to unravel his world he realises that it might just get him killed. It’s got action, secret government divisions, brain-eating nut jobs, exploding trains, exploding brains!, a touch of romance and, I hope, a lot of fun! Q. It’s a fascinating idea - where did the inspiration for shifting come from? A. Thank you! I can track the exact moment when the idea came to me. I was on a bus on my way home from work, looking at everyone scurrying around, and thinking about all the decisions we make and where they lead us. At the same time, I was thinking about a book I’d just read about quantum physics, in particular something called the double slit experiment. And BAM! The idea hit me. What if we could undo our decisions the way light changes from wave to particle? Everything else came out of that one thought. Q. Did you always intend to write it as a YA book, or did it just evolve that way? A. When I first started to write I hadn’t heard the term YA. But I did always want to write for, or rather about, teens. For me, those teenage years, where you’re caught between two worlds, is rich with possibility. And so that’s why I was drawn to it. Q. Shift is your debut book, what was your road to publication like? A. Mine was a pretty standard journey, in that it was a crazy rollercoaster! I had written one book, also for teens, which got a fair amount of attention but was never loved quite enough to get me a publishing deal. Dealing with rejections with that book was both crushing and toughening. After I finally decided to put that aside, I wrote Shift in about 5 months, it was picked up by the first agent who read it, and it was out within 8 months of me getting the book deal. So it went from lots of slow noes, to lots of very, very fast YESSES! Q. Have you always enjoyed writing? A. I have. And equally, I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. I loved nothing more as a kid that holding the attention of my family with a puppet show or the like. As I got older, the writing became more private, and in my teens I mostly wrote terrible poetry about heartbreak! I’ve been a copywriter for 15 years and I love that sort of writing too. I’m really faddy and I have a new favourite interest each month. But writing is the one thing that hasn’t lost its shine for me. I’m going to quote Gloria Steinem on this: “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” Q. How does it feel now it’s actually sitting on the shelves? A. I don’t actually know how to express it. Amazing, weird, wonderful, terrifying. It’s sort of everything at once. But I’ll say this much, I know now that I don’t want to do anything else with my life! Early review copies are quite common now, how did it feel to start getting reviews in before the book was officially published? That was tough, actually. Not so much the reviews as my terror of them. Especially as I was in the middle of writing the sequel as they started to come through. The idea that my baby was out there being picked over by reviewers who really knew what they were talking about… well, it gave me a few sleepless nights! Q. You’ve said you’re going to avoid looking for reviews because you worry about the bad ones.. are you sticking to that, or giving in to curiosity? A. I’m still sticking to that. I just haven’t developed a thick enough skin yet to let the bad ones wash over me! The deal is that my editor sends me the good ones. Which is sneaky, I know, but I really just have to focus on the writing for the moment. Perhaps when book two is out I’ll look back over the comments for book one! Q. What lies ahead for you, is there going to be more books about shifting and/or are you working on something else? A. Yes, as I’ve hinted above, I’ve already written Shift 2, which is called Control. And hopefully, there will also be Shift 3, which – if things go to plan – will be called Delete. I am also just about to finish writing another YA book, currently called The Network, which is sort of about our desire to belong and the insidious powers of social networks. It’s still action-packed though. Q. Finally, tell us a little bit about you as a reader, what do you like, and what are you reading at the moment? A. I’m a very varied reader. I leap from genre to genre and even from medium to medium, as I love comic books as much as books. I love gripping stories with exciting characters, and I also love books that make me think and gasp at the beauty of the language. Sci-fi, fantasy, history, crime, thrillers, romantic comedy: I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s good! In fact, the only thing I won’t read is misery memoirs, as it just doesn’t do it for me.
  9. Hi, I am looking for something rather specific. I'm trying to find a good YA fiction novel that has a character with bipolar disorder. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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