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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…     
Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2014

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I love the sound of the C S Lewis book. And the Bridget Jones one (great review btw :D) I'm glad you enjoyed My Cousin Rachel. I read it some years back and remember loving it though like others I can't remember it clearly.

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Thanks, Kylie.  :)  I'm a bit daunted too - I know once I start It'll be fine, but it's getting going that's the problem!  :giggle:

 

I started keeping a note of cost a few years ago as a deterrent - I'm not sure it works though! 

 

It's funny isn't it.  I guess it's that they're so wordy - and I think that's because they were written in serial form originally?

 

I do hope you manage an Austen this year.  :)  I'd hoping to read another this year.

 

Actually, little Dickensian fun-fact, he was paid by the word, so it was in his best interest to be extremely descriptive.  I suppose it withstood the test of time, though!  It always takes me a while to settle into his stuff, but I never regret it; it's always worth the extra effort!

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010-2014-Feb-24-MurderatWrothamHill_zps7

 

Murder at Wrotham Hill by Diana Souhami

 

The ‘blurb’

Murder at Wrotham Hill takes the killing in October 1946 of Dagmar Petrzywalski as the catalyst for a compelling and unique meditation on murder and fate.

 

Dagmar, a gentle, eccentric spinster, was the embodiment of Austerity Britain's prudence and thrift. Her murderer Harold Hagger's litany of petty crimes, abandoned wives, sloughed-off identities and desertion was its opposite.

 

Featuring England's first celebrity policeman, Fabian of the Yard, the celebrated forensic scientist, Keith Simpson, and history's most famous and dedicated hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, this is a gripping and deeply moving book.

 

I was sent this by a friend after I commented on a post on his Facebook wall.  He thought I might enjoy it, being originally from Kent and not far from where the murder took place. It’s the factual but embellished account of the murder Dagmar Petrzywalski, a quiet-natured private woman who lived in a ramshackle hut on the Hever Estate in West Kingsdown.

 

The estate grew out of Hever Farm which was purchased by an enterprising land agent who carved it up and sold it off as building plots.  In the days where planning permission was freely given with little thought to the outcome of such higgledy-piggledy building schemes, Dagmar’s parents had bought a plot and had eventually had a bungalow built on it which they called Houston after the street they had lived on in London. 

 

Their daughter, encouraged by her parents, bought a plot next door to their dwelling in 1930 to use as an occasional retreat.  However, ill health meant she had to give up her job as a ‘hello girl’ on a London switchboard and she moved permanently to her little hut in 1941, living a frugal life on a small pension.  Although she wasn’t particularly close to her parents, she spent a lot of time with her mother after her father’s death.  Her mother didn’t venture into Dagmar’s house but Dagmar visited ‘Houston’, and always left a note in her mother’s post box saying either ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’ to let her mother know if she was at home.   On the morning of the murder the note said OUT.  As soon as Mrs Petrzywalski got to the Stop Press section of her newspaper and read of the finding of a body she knew it was Dagmar – she recognised the description of the distinctive coat that her daughter had made.

 

Diana Souhami takes the facts of the murder and weaves them into a fascinating account, not just of the murder itself, but also of the lives of all those involved in the case and of police procedures in the aftermath of World War Two.  This has led to some criticism on Amazon of the book being padded out, but I found the whole book really interesting, even those bits that veered off the original subject of the book.   I had not heard of “Fabian of the Yard”, the man in charge of the investigation, before reading this, but he became quite famous as a brilliant detective, even spawning a TV series in the 1950s, considered to be one of the first of the Police Procedural type of TV show that became, and still are, very popular.

 

I would not have read this thoroughly enjoyable book if it wasn’t for a passing comment on Facebook and I’m very grateful to Geoff for sending it to me. 

 

The paperback edition is 320 pages long and is published by Quercus.  It was first published in 2013.  The ISBN is 978 0857382856.   

 

4/5 (I really enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 24 February 2014)

 

 

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Actually, little Dickensian fun-fact, he was paid by the word, so it was in his best interest to be extremely descriptive.  I suppose it withstood the test of time, though!  It always takes me a while to settle into his stuff, but I never regret it; it's always worth the extra effort!

I'm sure that will be the case. :)  I have very much enjoyed the two I've read so far.

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That Diana Souhami book sounds great Janet - it's gone straight onto my wish list but at £2.57 on kindle it might be moving into the acquired list at some point soon.... ;)

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I'm always a little nervous when someone says that based on one of my reviews!   :lurker:  I hope you enjoy it.  :)

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Unfortunately I’ve had a few things going on in my life recently which meant I wasn’t able to write areview of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾  before it disappeared from my Nook – so I’d marked some passages to mention and now I can’t.  :rolleyes:  I've posted it in the challenge forum anyway. 

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012-2014-Feb-28-MoreAwkwardSituationsfor    DannyWallacerebrandedMoreAwkwardSituatio

 

More Awkward Situations for Men  by Danny Wallace

 

The ‘blurb’

A husband and now a new father, Danny Wallace is a man who struggles to understand the unspoken rules of society...

 

For example, when do you hug? And when do you NOT hug?  How do you react when you realise that yesterday's underpants might still be in your trousers?  What do you do if you think you might have a man-crush?  And what happens when you think you may have accidentally ordered your wife a prostitute for her birthday?

 

Following the bestselling Awkward Situations for Man and based on his incredibly popular columns, Danny Wallace entertains us with more stories from his often embarrassing and bewildering life.

 

No one said it was easy being a man. And Danny is finding it harder than ever.   

 

For some reason this book has been rebranded in the UK as What Not to Do (And How to Do It) - I know from reading the reviews on Amazon that some people have tripped up over this and ordered it not realising, although its former title is mentioned on the front cover.  It’s frustrating when publishers do that!

 

This is the follow on from Awkward Situations for Men which I reviewed a couple of years ago.  It’s more of the same – Danny’s observations of social situations and faux pas.  Not as funny as some of his other books but a perfect light read which I enjoyed and it came along at a time when I needed something that didn’t need concentrating on.   I’ve said it before, but reading Danny is like chatting with a friend over a pint in your local.   I suppose a criticism is that it’s rather 'samey' now, but I did enjoy it and I’m sure I shall read more by him.  I haven’t tried one of his works of fiction yet, so maybe I’ll try one of those.   :)

 

The paperback edition is 288 pages long and is published by Ebury Press.  It was first published in 2013.  The ISBN is 978 0091941314.  

 

3/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 28 February 2014)

 

 

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Sometimes a light read is exactly what is called for!  I actually.enjoy reading this sort of thing (especially after a stressful day) and will definitely check it out.  

Edited by dtrpath27

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Unfortunately I’ve had a few things going on in my life recently which meant I wasn’t able to write areview of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾  before it disappeared from my Nook – so I’d marked some passages to mention and now I can’t.  :rolleyes:  I've posted it in the challenge forum anyway. 

x

Awww :(.

 

I haven't read anything by Danny Wallace before though I have one of his books on my wishlist. It sounds like a nice lighthearted read :).

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I like the sound of the Souhami  book.  I have one of hers on the shelf, unread yet.  :blush2:

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Sometimes a light read is exactly what is called for!  I actually.enjoy reading this sort of thing (especially after a special day) and will definitely check it out.

I haven't read anything by Danny Wallace before though I have one of his books on my wishlist. It sounds like a nice lighthearted read :).

If you haven't read Danny Wallace before then I think Yes Man is the one I've enjoyed the most. :)  (The film that is based on it is very different from the book).

 

I like the sound of the Souhami  book.  I have one of hers on the shelf, unread yet.  :blush2:

I'd like to read some more of her work.  Edith Cavell: Nurse, Martyr, Heroine sounds really good.  :)

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If you haven't read Danny Wallace before then I think Yes Man is the one I've enjoyed the most. :)  (The film that is based on it is very different from the book).

x

Yes Man is on my wishlist so that's great to hear! I haven't seen the film yet, good to know it's quite different from the book.

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I'd like to read some more of her work.  Edith Cavell: Nurse, Martyr, Heroine sounds really good.  :)

 

 

That's the one I have....I was particularly interested in this one because my Maternal Grandmother was a nurse/Matron at the front lines in WWI, in France.

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x

Yes Man is on my wishlist so that's great to hear! I haven't seen the film yet, good to know it's quite different from the book.

I'm not a fan of Jim Carrey really - he's a bit too OTT for my taste, but I think I watched the film some time ago.

 

That's the one I have....I was particularly interested in this one because my Maternal Grandmother was a nurse/Matron at the front lines in WWI, in France.

It definitely sounds good.  So many books, so little time...  *sigh*

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I need to write a review for The Color Purple (see what I did there!  :giggle: ) by Alice Walker which I finished a few weeks ago.
 

Yesterday I finished On The Beach by Nevil Shute, and I've just started The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend, which I have downloaded from the library.  :)

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I have acquired 13 new books so far this year! 

 

2014NewBooks1_zps9d385395.jpg

 

This is my most recent book haul.  Going clockwise from the top left...

 

The Seventeenth Child by Ethel George is an autobiographical work about a woman who had sixteen siblings!  She lived in Norwich and this covers the period of her life from 1914 to 1934.  A friend who lives in Norfolk sent it to me (because she said it was the only way she could send something she though I might not have read already!).  The family were very poor and it sounds right up my street.

 

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery which is my next Book Club book.

 

When the Green Woods Laugh by H E Bates.  This is the third of the Larkin Chronicles.  The first was great - the second good so I think I'll carry on with them.  This was only £1 in the Bookbarn and it has the Beryl Cook cover so it matches my copies of the first two books in the series.

 

Letters to my Grandchildren by Tony Benn.  I came across this in the library and with him having been in the news recently after he sadly died I thought I'd give it a punt.

 

 

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I hope you like your new books :)! The Elegance of the Hedgehog is on my wishlist after reading about it in a book, I look forward to hear/read what you think of it when you've read it.

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I bet the Tony Benn book will be interesting .. I do love letters and intelligent fellow that he was .. I bet he wrote good letters (though I'm confused now by the sub-title .. are they actual letters or just thoughts Janet?)

Hope you get on with The Elegance of the Hedgehog more than I did. Not that I hated it but I did find it difficult in parts .. still, it'll be ideal for a book club discussion I think. You can chew it all over.

I can't imagine having sixteen siblings :o .. though I guess it wasn't that unusual back then. I love the sound of the book anyway .. hope you enjoy it :smile: 

13 new books so far this year is just the right amount I think :) You've indulged a bit without being greedy :D

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The Seventeenth Child by Ethel George is an autobiographical work about a woman who had sixteen siblings!  She lived in Norwich and this covers the period of her life from 1914 to 1934.  A friend who lives in Norfolk sent it to me (because she said it was the only way she could send something she though I might not have read already!).  The family were very poor and it sounds right up my street.

This made me wonder if you've read any of Helen Forrester's books. I found her a fascinating person.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/dec/02/helen-forrester

 

 

 

 

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I bet the Tony Benn book will be interesting .. I do love letters and intelligent fellow that he was .. I bet he wrote good letters (though I'm confused now by the sub-title .. are they actual letters or just thoughts Janet?)

I started it in bed last night and finished it this afternoon. More thoughts to follow (oh, how I'm behind with my reviews!) but it was rather a let-down in that it wasn't letters at all. The book is written as a letter to his Grandchildren. I gave it a 3/5 ('I liked it') but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

 

Hope you get on with The Elegance of the Hedgehog more than I did. Not that I hated it but I did find it difficult in parts .. still, it'll be ideal for a book club discussion I think. You can chew it all over.

Oh dear. Perhaps I'd better start it sooner rather than later! I know nothing about the book (I can't even remember what the 'blurb' says it's about) but Jess who chose it said she's loving it, so maybe it'll be okay! :)

 

I can't imagine having sixteen siblings :o .. though I guess it wasn't that unusual back then. I love the sound of the book anyway .. hope you enjoy it :smile:

I don't have any siblings, so the thought of one, let alone 16, is very alien to me! It's a short book. I believe it was dictated by Ethel and the written up so I expect it'll be very... colloquial in style but I'm looking forward to it. :)

 

13 new books so far this year is just the right amount I think :) You've indulged a bit without being greedy :D

It'll be 14 when May's RC book arrives, but I'm really trying not to buy too many books. It's not easy though, is it!   :D

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