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      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…     
Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2014

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Willoyd will be here in a minute telling you not to watch them at any price :D

:lol:

 

With Dickens I think it's often worth doing. The books are so detailed that it's still a joy to come to them after seeing a dramatisation as there's so much more back story etc and a much more extensive cast of characters. I did that with both Martin Chuzzlewit and Our Mutual Friend and I'm glad I did because I might have been a bit bamboozled otherwise. Possibly with Great Expectations or David Copperfield (or Nicholas Nickleby) it's not necessary but they have all had great adaptations.

 

I've got quite a few of them if you want to borrow them (why don't I live around the corner Janet :mad: .. I'd so love to watch them with you :hug:

It's a pity we're not closer.  :(  We still haven't watched War of the Worlds yet.  :blush:  We will endeavour to watch it soon, I promise!    I might borrow something from you next time we meet - thank you.  :)

 

I put this and this on my Amazon Wish List before Christmas - but I don't actually know which adaptations are good and which aren't.  (Peter and I saw Great Expectations with Gillian Anderson and Ray Winstone last Christmas - which we both enjoyed).  :)

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Both of those collections look great, I think they've got all the ones I'd recommend. The Great Expectations I really liked was a bit earlier than the Gillian Anderson one (though I liked that too) .. Ioan Gruffudd plays Pip .. it looks to be on one of those collections.

 

The ones I'd recommend are:

Martin Chuzzlewit (Paul Schofield, Tom Wilkinson)

Our Mutual Friend (Keeley Hawes, Paul McGann)

David Copperfield (Maggie Smith, Daniel Radcliffe)

Great Expectations (Ioan Gruffudd, Charlotte Rampling)

Bleak House (Gillian Anderson, Dennis Lawson)

Little Dorrit (Claire Foy, Tom Courtenay)

 

I'm not sure about Nicholas Nickleby ... the one with Gregor Fisher and Charles Dance in is probably the best one I've seen but I think I've yet to see the definitive NN.

 

There's a really old b&w Pickwick Papers (James Hayter) which is a joy (actually I think they've colourised it now .. I saw it over the holidays on TV) and the old A Tale of Two Cities (Dirk Bogarde) is good too (though I wish they would make a new version.)

 

There looks to be a version of A Christmas Carol with Michael Horden in it according to those boxsets. Ooh!! .. I haven't seen that one  :blush2:  

 

Truly don't worry about The War of the Worlds .. we're in no hurry at all  :hug:

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Thanks for the suggestions - I'll check them out.  :)

 

 There looks to be a version of A Christmas Carol with Michael Horden in it according to those boxsets. Ooh!! .. I haven't seen that one  :blush2: 

That's how I came across the box-set, trying to find the Michael Horden version.   I'm tempted to buy that set for that alone, even though I haven't seen the version before! :blush:

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Interesting TBR list you have, Janet. There aren't too many that I have on my list (some of the Dickens), but I notice you have Life of Pi on Kindle. I bought it when it was £0.20 as well - bargain! It really is a wonderful book, and I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it.

 

The Making of Tesco: A Story of British Shopping by Sarah Ryle, caught my eye, so I have added it to my wishlist.

 

Happy reading in 2014! :smile:

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Happy reading in 2014, Janet  :smile:

Thanks, Steve.  :)

 

Who knows, I might read another fantasy/sci-fi (sorry if the latter is the incorrect wording!) in 2014.  :P

 

Interesting TBR list you have, Janet. There aren't too many that I have on my list (some of the Dickens), but I notice you have Life of Pi on Kindle. I bought it when it was £0.20 as well - bargain! It really is a wonderful book, and I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it.

 

The Making of Tesco: A Story of British Shopping by Sarah Ryle, caught my eye, so I have added it to my wishlist.

 

Happy reading in 2014! :smile:

Something has been putting me off Life of Pi (I can't remember now what it was!) so it's good to hear you enjoyed it. 

 

I'm currently reading the Tesco book - it's very interesting.   :)

 

I'm trying to catch up with everyone's 2014 blogs!

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Janet

 Best of luck in 2014. You have lots of good books on your lists ,so you're in for some treats. 

I'll also take some blame for the bad comments on Life of Pi . YEK .  Other than that one, the rest sound good !

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Willoyd will be here in a minute telling you not to watch them at any price :D

LOL!

 

Oh dear - I can be rather strident when it comes to things like that!

If seeing Oliver Twist on film helped previously, then I see no reason why it shouldn't help again. I think you're right Kay about Dickens being such a rich read that there's plenty to be going at even if you know the story outline. However, I'll stick to reading the book first for me!

 

(BTW, I enjoyed Life of Pi too. However, even if you don't like it, it's certainly thought provoking, so I'd suggest it's worth having a go at anyway.

Edited by willoyd

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Happy reading! Hope you enjoy all the Dickens :)

If seeing Oliver Twist on film helped previously, then I see no reason why it shouldn't help again. I think you're right Kay about Dickens being such a rich read that there's plenty to be going at even if you know the story outline. However, I'll stick to reading the book first for me!

Thanks, Tim and Will. :)

 

I have a copy of Bleak House that the BBC did - the one Kay mentions above. I'm guessing it might be slightly shorter than the original showing because it came from a newspaper and I discovered that the newspaper's copy of Pride and Prejudice had bits cut out when I bought the 'proper' version on DVD - so I think I will try to watch that.

 

I think it was me who put you off Life of Pi.... Sorry about that!

Janet

Best of luck in 2014. You have lots of good books on your lists ,so you're in for some treats.

I'll also take some blame for the bad comments on Life of Pi . YEK . Other than that one, the rest sound good !

(BTW, I enjoyed Life of Pi too. However, even if you don't like it, it's certainly thought provoking, so I'd suggest it's worth having a go at anyway.

I will certainly give it a go at some stage.  :)

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I'm behind on 2013 reviews but thought I'd make an effort to keep up to date with this year's before trying to catch up with last year's ones!

001-2014-Jan-06-TheMakingofTesco_zps9ff4

The Making Of Tesco: A Story Of British Shopping by Sarah Ryle

The ‘blurb’
From one man's Hackney market stall to a company serving fifty million customers in thirteen countries every week, this is the extraordinary story of one of Britain's most remarkable companies. Told by those who themselves feature in it - Tesco's own employees - it relates a fascinating social history as well as an epic business venture.

Drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with Tesco staff, collected by National Life Stories at the British Library, these personal accounts from across the decades are frank, insightful, sometimes funny and, above all, very human.

How, then, did Tesco grow from Jack Cohen's barrow in Hackney to the hypermarkets in Hungary and Thailand and a home-delivery service to customers from Cheshire to the Czech Republic? Why and how did Tesco survive and (mostly) thrive where other British companies stalled? And what impact has Tesco's success had on its employees and consumers? Here is Tesco's authentic story, carefully researched and engagingly written by Sarah Ryle, told for the first time by the people at the very heart of the business.


I guess it must be about 20 years ago that my Dad bought me a copy of The Best Butter in the World by Bridget Williams – a largely pictorial history of the UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s. Although I haven’t read it since that first reading so long ago, I love books about social history and I do remember how much I enjoyed it. I read an article about this – which sounded like it might be the equivalent but about Tesco so I thought I’d take a chance on this too.

This is far more thorough than the Sainsbury’s book. It’s as much about the company as it is a history of people’s shopping habits and it also goes into much more detail about Tesco’s progress from Jack Cohen’s original barrow in Hackney Market, set up with £30 ‘demob’ money from the Army, to today’s worldwide presence and hi-tech systems (in Korea you can simply point your smart phone at images of products pictured on a wall to add them to a home delivery order!).

It tells of Tesco’s failures and successes in the business world. Tesco have always had a bit of a downbeat reputation. Their original “pile it high, sell it cheap” philosophy meant that it was looked down on my most people unless they were working class. Over the years it has worked hard to turn round this reputation and has become the UK’s largest retailer in terms of sales, number of stores and number of staff employed – although it has never quite managed to fully shake of the downmarket reputation.

I think that on reflection the two books cannot be compared. The Sainsbury’s one is much more of a coffee table book than an in depth read like this one. I preferred the chapters about the earlier history of the company, especially before Jack Cohen retired. He was such a character (he regularly gave his staff badges with “YCDBSOYA” on them – an acronym for ‘You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Arse”) and his was a real rags to riches story.

Love it or hate it, Tesco has a huge place in the UK with it being said that in some towns £1 in every £10 spent is done so in a Tesco store. Whether Tesco remain at the top, especially with the rise in popularity of stores such as Lidl and Aldi, and with Sainsbury’s continuing rise in profits in these still challenging times is anyone’s guess but for now Tesco shows no signs of slowing down in its march to open as many shops as possible and retain its position at the top!

The hardback edition is 384 pages long and is published by Bantam Press. It was first published in 2013. The ISBN is 9780593070444.

3/5 (I liked it)

(Finished 6 January 2014)

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That sounds interesting! I'm glad you enjoyed the book :). I had no idea there were books about the history of supermarkets.. it sounds like something I might enjoy reading when in the right mood.

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I'm trying to catch up with everyone's 2014 blogs!

 

Me too  :smile:

 

I was thinking of you the other day Janet, i remember you saying that you wanted to read more about the underground slave railroad after reading The Last Runaway, my youngest brought home his school reading book & it was all about Harriet Tubman who was born into slavery but later escaped to the North via the railroad but went back risking her own life & freedom 19 times to help other slaves escape, the book only gave the bare facts but we were both fascinated by her story, she came across as being a really inspirational woman. I've sent off for a more detailed children's book on her but plan to get her biography for myself - anyway thought you might be interested in her story too  :smile:

 

Re Dickens - i enjoyed Bleak House & like you i want to read more of his works 

 

Happy Reading in 2014 Janet  :friends3:

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That sounds interesting! I'm glad you enjoyed the book :). I had no idea there were books about the history of supermarkets.. it sounds like something I might enjoy reading when in the right mood.

Thanks, Gaia. :)   I might actually reread the Sainsbury's one at some stage.

 

Me too  :smile:

 

I was thinking of you the other day Janet, i remember you saying that you wanted to read more about the underground slave railroad after reading The Last Runaway, my youngest brought home his school reading book & it was all about Harriet Tubman who was born into slavery but later escaped to the North via the railroad but went back risking her own life & freedom 19 times to help other slaves escape, the book only gave the bare facts but we were both fascinated by her story, she came across as being a really inspirational woman. I've sent off for a more detailed children's book on her but plan to get her biography for myself - anyway thought you might be interested in her story too  :smile:

 

Re Dickens - i enjoyed Bleak House & like you i want to read more of his works 

 

Happy Reading in 2014 Janet  :friends3:

Thanks for the info about Harriet Tubman. I will go and Google her. 

 

I'm still a bit daunted by Dickens, but I *will* read at least one new one this year!  :D

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I'm still a bit daunted by Dickens, but I *will* read at least one new one this year!  :D

You're not alone on that one by any means, if posts on this forum alone are anything to go by. I have to say that once past his rather gushy approach, which means that 5 words are used where some would employ but 1, I've actually found him to be incredibly easy to read - much more so than any number of more modern and nominally 'popular' writers. If you take your time, and let yourself become immersed in the incredible atmosphere he generates, there is none more involving. I now find him one of the easiest of writers to read. What IS daunting is going back to some of those popular writers afterwards!

Edited by willoyd

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I'm determined to read Nicholas Nickleby soonish, but I have marked 2014 as the year I try my first Austen, having knocked down two Dickens! :D

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I'm determined to read Nicholas Nickleby soonish, but I have marked 2014 as the year I try my first Austen, having knocked down two Dickens! :D

Just started (NN)! Hope you enjoy your Austen - which one first?

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You're not alone on that one by any means, if posts on this forum alone are anything to go by. I have to say that once past his rather gushy approach, which means that 5 words are used where some would employ but 1, I've actually found him to be incredibly easy to read - much more so than any number of more modern and nominally 'popular' writers. If you take your time, and let yourself become immersed in the incredible atmosphere he generates, there is none more involving. I now find him one of the easiest of writers to read. What IS daunting is going back to some of those popular writers afterwards!

Thanks, Will.  :)  I have decided that I'm not worrying about how long it takes to read Dickens (as long as it's not so long that I can't keep up with what is happening!) - hopefully that approach will help.

 

Pride and Prejudice... I think! :D will look forward to seeing what you think of NN then!

I loved P&P although it took me a while to get into it (it was my first Austen too).  Have you seen the BBC version?  If not then I can heartily recommend it - I watched it as soon as I'd read the book as I missed it when it was shown on TV in 1995.

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003-2014-Jan-20-Moonfleet_zps692eda7a.jp

 

Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner

 

The ‘blurb’

Orphaned John Trenchard grows up in the village of Moonfleet with his aunt, entranced by the local legend of the ghostly Blackbeard, who rises each winter night to search for his lost diamond. While conducting his own hunt for the treasure, John is trapped in the church crypt and discovers the true secret of the village: smuggling. Taken under the wing of the gruff innkeeper and chief smuggler, Elzevir Block, John begins a dangerous adventure which will see him in a hair-raising chase along a precarious cliff path and deciphering a hidden code in an ancient castle. Moonfleet is thrilling story of revenge and betrayal, of loyalty and great sacrifice, but it is above all a story about friendship.

 

This novel is free as an eBook.  I downloaded it recently after seeing a poster advertising a new Ray Winstone TV production of it... only to discover it's already been broadcast, and was on Sky, which we don't have!

 

The ‘blurb’ pretty much sums the novel up so I won’t elaborate, but suffice to say that Moonfleet is a rollicking read and one that I enjoyed! :D  It’s generally marketed as a children’s book but it wasn’t written as such and can definitely be enjoyed by all ages.  

 

After finishing it, I had a look at the trailer of the Sky production on You Tube and was surprised to see that John is clearly in his early 20s - he's about 14 or 15 in the book!   I also saw a tiny bit of the 1955 version starring Stewart Granger, but sadly neither version remains true to the book, which is a shame as it’s a great story the way it was written.

 

The paperback edition is 272 pages long and is published by Vintage.  It was first published in 1898.  The ISBN is 9780099541127.   [i read it on Kindle]

 

3½/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 16 January 2014)

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Yeah, thanks for the review, Janet  :smile:   I'd be more tempted to read the book than to watch the second part of the tv version, that's for sure  :D

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Moonfleet sounds really good! And it free! I guess I'll just have to download it :P

Well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it!  :giggle2:

 

Yeah, thanks for the review, Janet  :smile:   I'd be more tempted to read the book than to watch the second part of the tv version, that's for sure  :D

I don't feel I missed anything by not seeing it!  :giggle:

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