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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…     
Chrissy

Chrissy's Reading

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Methinks I need to learn more about this author Jonathan Stroud... Just in time for my shopping this weekend! ;)

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Methinks I need to learn more about this author Jonathan Stroud... Just in time for my shopping this weekend! ;)

 

It's always good to be reminded that I am not alone in my complete lack of self control when someone has recommended a book series!  :D

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Haha!  Oh believe me, I will!  When it comes to books, lack of self-control is always a good thing ;)

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In the non book world I have had a funny ol' nine months or so. This usually sends my reading abilities either out the door or into overdrive. What I found this time around is that I have done mainly re reading of books (especially series) with some new books thrown in randomly. The great thing is that I have managed to keep reading throughout - losing the solace of reading when life gets wonky has always been awful. I won't re review.

 

1) Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

This quote from an Amazon review sums up my feelings on this first-in-a-trilogy book, 

It is not often an author kills off their protagonist in the first fifty pages, but it is this bravery that makes the story so compelling. The edge and brutality of the story combined with the author's unerring determination to harness the fantastical subject in the "real world" gives it a coldness that is not only refreshing but in my opinion welcome. Surprising, inventive and remarkably though provoking.

2) Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine

This 2nd books continues the story of Bryn, this time dealing with the disturbing disappearances of members from her un-dead support group.

3) Terminated by Rachel Caine

The third and final book of the Revivalist Trilogy

 

The three books are certainly an original concept - they are not the zombie stories that one would expect. They are full of action, but equally they ask the questions that one would regarding definition of humanity and the concept of being alive. A weird combination of ideas and threads that somehow work to bring a story to the reader that they cannot predict. I wouldn't necessarily read them again, but I'm glad I read them the once.

 

Rachel Caine is good at developing characters that are rounded, with flaws and faults as well as charisma and cleverness. In series she maintains tensions and action, but doesn't shy from asking the tough questions of her characters. It was because of this that I dived later on back into her Morganville Vampire series as a re read later on.

Edited by Chrissy

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4) The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor

Having read and adored Jodi Taylor's St Mary's Chronicles (ongoing) series, I was bound to buy her other works, The Frogmorton Farm series. I read The Nothing Girl last year and loved it, then the short story Little Donkey (and again loved it), and so was looking forward to reading the next The Something Girl. I was not disappointed.

 

Jodi Taylor takes the quirk and makes it work. Any attempt to describe her writing makes her sound wacky and clumsy, yet she it absolutely not these things. Her books are charming, thought provoking, humorous and observant. They bring you to tears of laughter, and tears of genuine heart ache. The characters are well developed and the reader gets to see their tender underbellies as Taylor seeks to expose their foibles and motivations. The central character of Jenny Dove is the Nothing / Something Girl of the titles, and it is through her that the story is told. Things have moved on since the last book, and Jenny is certainly in a much happier place now, yet there remain a number of unresolved issues and new developments in old situations. 

 

The book will not blow your socks off (if that is what you are after), but it is a book worth reading and enjoying just because it is well written, with a curious plot and well drawn central characters. Oh, if for no other reason than Thomas! :D

 

5) Spirit Legacy by EE Holmes - RR

 6) Spirit Prophecy by EE Holmes  - RR

7) Spirit Ascendancy by EE Holmes - RR

 

A re read of the enjoyable Gateway Trilogy. Ghosts, destinies, prophecies, long lost siblings, friendship, danger and drama and a hint of romance. YA comfort food!

 

 8) Glass Houses by Rachel Caine - RR

 9) Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine - RR

10) Midnight Alley  by Rachel Caine - RR

11) Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine - RR

12) Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine - RR

13) Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine - RR

14) Fade Out by Rachel Caine - RR

15) Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine - RR

16) Ghost Town by Rachel Caine - RR

17) Bite Club by Rachel Caine - RR 

18) Last Breath by Rachel Caine - RR

19) Black Dawn by Rachel Caine - RR

20) Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine - RR

21) Fall of Night by Rachel Caine - RR

22) Daylighters by Rachel Caine - RR

 

Bullied teen finds room off campus in Morganville town. Once there she discovers and enters the heart of Morganville's dark and toothsome secrets. The 15 books that make up the series merge into one big ongoing story when read in sequence in a immersive reading session. This is not a bad thing, but means that the reader flows through the time and town without hesitation of pondering the who and what of the series. Rachel Caine is able to maintain a strong story arc across a series (as evident in her Weather Warden series) as well as making each book a 'proper' story. 

I checked out the webisodes of the series, and would advice avoiding - despite the inclusion of a couple of decent actors they are pretty dire, and by the end I wanted them all to get eaten! :blush:

 

Edited by Chrissy

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23) And The Rest Is History by Jodi Taylor

When an old enemy appears out of nowhere with an astonishing proposition for Max – a proposition that could change everything – Max is tempted. Very tempted. With an end to an old conflict finally in sight, it looks as if St Mary’s problems are over with. Can they all finally live happily ever after? As everything hangs in the balance, Max and St Mary’s find themselves engulfed in tragedies worse than they could ever imagine. (Amazon)

 

A more sombre outing in many ways for Maxwell this time around. Light relief is found through the R & D department, and from the unexpected arrival of a tea pot. Nuff said! 

 

After the first book of this fabulous series, I now begin each one pondering where we will end up; on the timeline, which dimension, with whom, and how. This pondering gets me nowhere at all, but I can't stop my mind from trying. I won't even look at the characters stories here - too much to be told, and I'm not sure I could or should touch on it. I will however mention Harold, William the Conqueror and The Battle Of Hastings. I was delighted that they were included as husband and I will be in Normandy for a couple of nights next month and plan (among other things) on visiting Bayeaux and Caen. I feel like this author reads my mind!  

 

24) A Bachelor Establishment by Jodi Taylor 

Elinor Bascombe, widowed and tied to an impoverished estate, has learned to ask little of life. With no hope of leaving, the years have passed her by. Lord Ryde, exiled abroad after a scandal, has returned to strip his estate and make a new start in America. A chance encounter changes their plans, plunging Elinor and Lord Ryde into adventure and not a little peril until, finally, they are forced to confront the mystery of what happened on That Night, all those years ago. (Amazon)

 

A delightful story, and not at all as I expected. Described as 'High adventure and dark mystery combine in a sparkling historical romance',  I was expecting fluffy and inconsequential, but actually discovered a beautifully written Regency story, with meaty and meaningful characters, a proper unfurling mystery and peril. A surprising read.

 

25) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - RR

26) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - RR

27) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - RR

 

I had remembered a part from one of this trio, so decided to re read them. I love the steam punk feel to the books, the misty Victorian London setting and the well handled not too over-the-top romance aspects. The peril is taut, and the mystery is genuine. Cassandra Clare's big message is always that family is often found outside of blood bonds. Love, loyalty, friendship and redemption can all be found when sought out. Not a terrible message to find in a supernatural story. 

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28) City Of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - RR

Having re read the Mortal Instruments 'prequels' I just had to read the last MI book to catch a glance of two of the Infernal Devices characters. I couldn't face reading through the whole series again (7 or 8 books), but wanted to indulge myself with this particular aspect.  For those who have read the two series, you will know to what I am referring, and for those who will be reading them, you will find out what I mean! :P

 

29) The Things We Learn When We're Dead by Charlie Laidlaw

Oh boy, how do I review a book my mind hasn't quite got itself around yet? 

 

On the way home from a dinner party she didn't want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. (Amazon)

 

This is an intriguing, unfurling story of Lorna, her past, her immediate past, and her present. A clever and beautifully wrapped story. The story sets its own pace, and as you read you make little connections, a phrase here, a scene there. You just know you are headed somewhere, but you cannot fathom where until the final pages. 

I will most definitely read this book again. It deserves that. Hell, I deserve that! 

Edited by Chrissy

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Glass Houses looks good ; off to take a looksie on Amazon. :)

 

BTW, have you read books 4 ,5 from EE Holmes ? I`m waiting for a price drop before succumbing. :)

Edited by Little Pixie

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I was lucky enough to get the Morganville series on special offer a couple of years ago. They make a good escapism read - so long as you enjoy vampire stories and their associated mythology. 

 

Do you mean the Gateway Tracker books? They are surprisingly pricey at the moment, aren't they? I'm waiting too. :D Again, I nabbed the Gateway trilogy when they popped up on special offer (99p each on kindle) this time last year. I have the GT books on my wishlist, so if they do drop in price I should see straightaway. 

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I haven't read any of those books, Chrissy.  I just wanted to give you a hug ( :hug: ) and say I hope things have improved now.  :)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Janet said:

I haven't read any of those books, Chrissy.  I just wanted to give you a hug ( :hug: ) and say I hope things have improved now.  :)

 

 

 

Oh, me too.:)

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5 hours ago, Chrissy said:

I was lucky enough to get the Morganville series on special offer a couple of years ago. They make a good escapism read - so long as you enjoy vampire stories and their associated mythology. 

 

Do you mean the Gateway Tracker books? They are surprisingly pricey at the moment, aren't they? I'm waiting too. :D Again, I nabbed the Gateway trilogy when they popped up on special offer (99p each on kindle) this time last year. I have the GT books on my wishlist, so if they do drop in price I should see straightaway. 

 

I'm looking for something urban fantasy-ish to read while waiting for the next Jim Butcher, so those Rachel Caine ones look fun ( plus, not dissimilar to EE Holmes ?)

 

And yes, that's the EEH ones I meant, the ones which haven't had a price drop yet !! I just can't buy the amount of books which I treat myself to , and have a book splurge. :)

 

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Thanks for the good wishes. All is well, just busy and muddled and far too real life'sh! :D

 

@Little Pixie I really enjoy YA urban fantasy - I like the taking of something familiar (ish) and throwing in supernatural creatures and whatnot. Makes for a good escape read - not too worthy, no lesson learning as such, just escapism! Rachel Caine does a good job of this, with healthy doses of action and reflection. There isn't a 'destiny unfolding' aspect to the Morganville books, they are more of an in-one-location (town) events take place and our protagonists must react kind of thing. Escapism! 

 

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:hug:

 

It sounds like I have something nice to look forward to, reading the rest of the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices series. I'm glad you enjoyed (re)reading them :).

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@Athena I have enjoyed the Mortal Instruments series, and their prequel Infernal Devices. I am not the world's biggest fan of angst ridden love situations, but found that despite their appearance in both series,  they are pretty much balanced out by all the other stuff going on; battles, the supernatural, demons, friends, family, shadow hunters myths and legends.

 

I also understand why in a lot of YA fiction that the parental figure has to be diminished - but it doesn't stop me occasionally muttering "For goodness sake, go and tell someone - they can probably help!". Blooming youngsters - they always have to do it all themselves!! :rolleyes: :D

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19 hours ago, Chrissy said:

@Athena I have enjoyed the Mortal Instruments series, and their prequel Infernal Devices. I am not the world's biggest fan of angst ridden love situations, but found that despite their appearance in both series,  they are pretty much balanced out by all the other stuff going on; battles, the supernatural, demons, friends, family, shadow hunters myths and legends.

 

I agree! So far anyway :).

 

19 hours ago, Chrissy said:

I also understand why in a lot of YA fiction that the parental figure has to be diminished - but it doesn't stop me occasionally muttering "For goodness sake, go and tell someone - they can probably help!". Blooming youngsters - they always have to do it all themselves!! :rolleyes: :D

 

I agree! Sometimes you'd think something could be solved much simpler had the teenager just told their parent(s) the problem(s) (provided they're a reasonable adult). But it does make sense in some books to have the parents unavailable for certain reasons.

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On 5/15/2017 at 10:37 AM, Chrissy said:

4) The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor

 

I haven't read this series from Jodi yet, but it's definitely on my radar!  Glad to hear you enjoyed them, Chrissy, and as soon as I've reduced my TBR a bit, I'll be looking to these as my reward. :lol:

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30) Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

31) Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets by JK Rowling

32) Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban by JK Rowling

33) Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire by JK Rowling

34) Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix by JK Rowling

35) Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

36) Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

 

Yep, I've been Pottered again. I was looking for my next read, and in the meantime wanted to check a minor detail from the first HP book.It felt churlish to not read on. :D

Enjoyed them as always, and even found three things I hadn't previously picked up on / registered - although for the life of me I cannot remember two of them now! :rolleyes:

 

37) The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullman

A mature novella by Mr Pullman, centred around a chance meeting, fractured families, truth and personal morality, It was a short but compelling read, the first page sets up the books premise and from there you want to know the why and how. 

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I'm glad you enjoyed re-reading the Harry Potter series :)! It's nice you picked up on a few more things (though unfortunate you can't remember two of them). There is so much in the Harry Potter books, it makes sense to pick up on more details upon re-reading the books. I re-read the series a few years ago (with books 6 and 7 being new to me but I had seen the movies). I have to say, I've seen the movies more often than I've read the books, I think, which is probably scandalous to say for a reader :P. I just re-watch a movie more quickly than I re-read a book. I generally need at least a few years for a book, whereas I'm sometimes okay to re-watch a movie after one or two years. I'll probably re-read the Harry Potter series in a few years or so, I guess :).

 

I didn't know Philip Pullman had written for adults too. I'm glad you liked the novella :).

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18 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

 

: giggles : :D 

 

Don't you go making it sound saucy! :o :blush:

:D

 

3 hours ago, Athena said:

I have to say, I've seen the movies more often than I've read the books, I think, which is probably scandalous to say for a reader :P. I just re-watch a movie more quickly than I re-read a book. I generally need at least a few years for a book, whereas I'm sometimes okay to re-watch a movie after one or two years. I'll probably re-read the Harry Potter series in a few years or so, I guess :).

 

I didn't know Philip Pullman had written for adults too. I'm glad you liked the novella :).

 

I actually watched the Deathly Hallows Part Two movie on Sunday morning. I like some of the changes that were made in the film, although I think the final fight between Harry & Old Voldy is a little out of place.

 

I understand the watch vs. read thing, although I re read quite often I can more 'easily', and more often re watch a film. It's the passive of movie watching against the active of book reading. That's my theory anyway! :D

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38) Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

 

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life, she must remake herself as the ultimate warrior mom. (taken from Amazon)

 

Rachel Caine has written about Vampires, Zombies and Djinn, and I was curious to see what she would make of a thriller.

 

This woman can write! I was hooked from the off, and found the book hard to put down, and impossible to not think of. It has only taken me a few days to make my way through to the end. A comparable author would be Linwood Barclay or Harlan Coben. Awash with tension, the book nudges and cajoles you to the edge, guessing every which way on route. This is apparently the first of a series - it better bloody be! 

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2 hours ago, Chrissy said:

I understand the watch vs. read thing, although I re read quite often I can more 'easily', and more often re watch a film. It's the passive of movie watching against the active of book reading. That's my theory anyway! :D

 

That makes sense, it's a valid theory :). I'm sure that applies to multiple people, I've heard others say similar things :).

 

I think for me, I like to re-watch or re-read something when I can't remember a lot of the details anymore. For me movies contain more input than books, and I cannot take everything in on first watch (like, there'll be something interesting in the background that my boyfriend picks up on, and I won't have seen it because I was taking in the dialogue and the character speaking).

 

With books I need a good few years before re-reading or the story will feel too familiar. I like re-reading but I like reading new books even more, just under 10% of my reads this year are re-reads. My autism side wants familiar input and my ADD side wants new input, so I compromise and read a new book. I'm familiar with 'book' (and reading) but not with 'new', if that makes sense (or familiar with the author for example, so I know a bit about what to expect, or familiar with the genre and type of book). You won't see me trying a new hobby soon, trying something completely new is hard because of my autism and costs a lot of energy. But my ADD needs somewhat new input to help my concentration - if something is too familiar, ie. re-watching a movie I recently saw or a book I recently finished - it gets very hard to concentrate. I would honestly get bored if I started to re-read the last book I read (which was a re-read, coincidentally).

 

With a movie I like re-watching them, because it means some of the input is familiar to me so I can watch it while not spending as much energy as when I watch something new, while I can then take in things I missed the first time around. Movies contain much more input for me than just words on a page in a book.

 

Hmm, I don't know if I'm making any sense, hopefully?

 

1 hour ago, Chrissy said:

38) Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

 

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life, she must remake herself as the ultimate warrior mom. (taken from Amazon)

 

Rachel Caine has written about Vampires, Zombies and Djinn, and I was curious to see what she would make of a thriller.

 

This woman can write! I was hooked from the off, and found the book hard to put down, and impossible to not think of. It has only taken me a few days to make my way through to the end. A comparable author would be Linwood Barclay or Harlan Coben. Awash with tension, the book nudges and cajoles you to the edge, guessing every which way on route. This is apparently the first of a series - it better bloody be! 

 

Sounds interesting, I'm glad you enjoyed it :). I've yet to try a book by Rachel Caine, I plan to do so someday!

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@Athena It makes COMPLETE sense.

 

If I get an urge to re read a certain book there is a part of my brain that will say "Too soon, I remember everything" OR "I remember the story, but not the details - go ahead". This little head voice will decide for me. 

With films (unlike books) you cannot control the stream of input - there is a bombardment of information (story, dialogue, characters, scenes, etc). If I have enjoyed a film enough at first viewing I will go back to it at some stage to try and catch stuff I may have missed.

 

I have found in the past 5 years that my reading ability goes through cycles, and I can get very wobbly. Reading and writing is so fundamental to who I believe myself to be that I have had to become philosophical about this, while also finding ways to manage things - so re reading serves a proper purpose in that regard. 

 

To have to deal with the competing desires/requirements of the autism and ADD must be exhausting, and I am blown away by the compromise you have found - just so brilliant! 

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