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      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
poppyshake

Poppyshake's Reading Year 2017

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Thank you Ben  :hug: Hope you have a fabulous 2017 too!  :smile:

 

Fingers crossed. :P

 

Those 'Five...' books have really been a great success haven't they? Immensely popular. I haven't read any yet, but rather fancy the Five Go to Brexit Island one. :lol:

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Those 'Five...' books have really been a great success haven't they? Immensely popular. I haven't read any yet, but rather fancy the Five Go to Brexit Island one. :lol:

Someone bought Peter (my husband) that one for Christmas.  I'm definitely planning to read it!   I think I'd have preferred one of the other titles though - Brexit is so last year!  :D

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Ooh, can I ask you about Village Christmas, and other notes on the English Year

 

I kept looking at this (it has Christmas in the title, so of course I did!) before Christmas and trying to decide whether to buy it, but wasn't sure if it was just essays from other books by him in a different volume.  Do you know if some of the articles have appeared in his other books?  :)

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:doowapstart: Hoorah...you are up and running.... :doowapstart: hope you have great year of reading and filling your wee hoosie with lots of new books... :doowapstart: 

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Thank you, bless    I was saved by audiobooks last year really .. I 'read' more of them than usual. Also, if I had to have three months of virtually reading nothing then they were the best three months as I hardly ever read much, if anything, in December and November can be a bit lean .. and October for that matter. The worst three months would have been Jan, Feb and March when it's so drab outside and cold and one can think of nothing better than to curl up with a book. I have great hopes for the first three months of 2017. Just watch me zoom off into the distance and then flag! 

 

Oh yes, I'd forgotten about how the last few months of the year are always your worst reading months, and that the first ones are the best. It was really good timing, after all! I just hope you come up for air in between books in the next months and come and say hello :D 

 

Haha .. one of the main reasons for culling was to provide variation and stop me being bored to death with all the copying and pasting and looking at the same old lists a thousand times over 

 

 Indeed! :yes: I did some culling of my own yesterday. I'm not exaggerating when I say I removed about 50 titles from my wishlist, and I only got as far as the letter d! 

 

 

 

I love the cover but that first review doesn't inspire .. 'utterly awful' 

 

I went back to read the review... :D Not very promising! Yes, probably best to borrow it from the library... I did think you'd like the cover, though :D 

 

 

 I'm all for egging .. and can you get a bit pushy, shovey, as well .. when egging won't do? 

 

As long as there's no hair pulling or scratching, I'm up for it! :D Or pulling the other's trousers down! 

 

The cushion Claire made for you is simply gorgeous! :wub: I hope you enjoy all your Christmas books! :) 

 

 Oh yes, and the Five Give Up the Booze! :D I saw this on your Goodreads account and had I been drinking coffee, a catastrophy and a damaged computer would have ensued! :D I'll have to see if the library has any copies, by any chance :D Doubt it... 

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I have to say I'm liking your short wishlist. I've been entertaining the idea of culling my own wishlist for a while now... There are many titles whose existence on the list makes me yawn. In my own wishlist that is!!

 

Oh my lord, I could kick myself! :thud: I can't believe I missed the perfect opportunity to ask you why your wishlist is so short these days. Did the infantry not help you this year? 

 

:thud:

 

Edit: Ooooh! Are they standing guard after and because of Brexit??  :lurker:

Edited by frankie

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Great to see you here again, Kay! :friends3:

 

Some books from your TBR pile that I have really enjoyed:

 

Atwood, Margaret - The Blind Assassin

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath

Michel Faber - The Crimson Petal and the White

Michel Faber - Under the Skin

Alex Garland - The Beach

Stephen King - The Stand

 

And on your wishlist you have Ham On Rye, which I read and enjoyed last year.

 

I hope you have a great reading year! :smile:

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Fingers crossed. :P

 

Those 'Five...' books have really been a great success haven't they? Immensely popular. I haven't read any yet, but rather fancy the Five Go to Brexit Island one. :lol:

:lol: It's a genius idea. They all sound hilarious .. I like the thought of Five Go Gluten Free .. :lol: .. that's got to play havoc with their picnics!  :D 

Someone bought Peter (my husband) that one for Christmas.  I'm definitely planning to read it!   I think I'd have preferred one of the other titles though - Brexit is so last year!  :D

:lol: Sort of .. not over yet though so might still be topical. You can borrow this one if you want Janet, nice little read and what's more, a laugh.

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Ooh, can I ask you about Village Christmas, and other notes on the English Year

 

I kept looking at this (it has Christmas in the title, so of course I did!) before Christmas and trying to decide whether to buy it, but wasn't sure if it was just essays from other books by him in a different volume.  Do you know if some of the articles have appeared in his other books?  :)

I'm not sure if the essays have been printed elsewhere. They might have been. I was familiar with the Village Christmas one but he seemed to be telling it from a slightly different angle .. not quite as it was in Cider With Rosie. The other essays I hadn't read before at all. It says on the back that some of them are 'newly discovered'. Again, you're welcome to borrow it Janet  :smile: It's not really about Christmas, apart from that one piece. It's about the seasons. 

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:doowapstart: Hoorah...you are up and running.... :doowapstart: hope you have great year of reading and filling your wee hoosie with lots of new books... :doowapstart: 

Hello Diane! :cows: thank you  :hug: This wee hoosie may well collapse under the weight of books this year :lol: 

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Oh yes, I'd forgotten about how the last few months of the year are always your worst reading months, and that the first ones are the best. It was really good timing, after all! I just hope you come up for air in between books in the next months and come and say hello.

Hello frankie! :D It's a great temptation to spend all my spare time reading but I must spend more time here. Eleven measly pages last year in my book blog :o That is shameful for someone who gabs as much as I do .. must do better! :yes: (I'll probably do ten this year .. this is Goodreads all over again! :lol:

Indeed! I did some culling of my own yesterday. I'm not exaggerating when I say I removed about 50 titles from my wishlist, and I only got as far as the letter d!

:lol: I bet you felt better for it, it's like having a hair cut .. one feels all light and refreshed afterwards. Until one looks in the mirror :lol:  

I went back to read the review...  Not very promising! Yes, probably best to borrow it from the library... I did think you'd like the cover, though.

They might be wrong but then again they might be right :lol: 

As long as there's no hair pulling or scratching, I'm up for it! :DOr pulling the other's trousers down!

:o:lol: No, you're alright, I don't think we need go that far! :lol:

The cushion Claire made for you is simply gorgeous! :wub: I hope you enjoy all your Christmas books!

Thank you lovely  :hug: I'm going to enjoy my books and cushion as much as possible :)

Oh yes, and the Five Give Up the Booze! I saw this on your Goodreads account and had I been drinking coffee, a catastrophy and a damaged computer would have ensued!  I'll have to see if the library has any copies, by any chance. Doubt it...

You'll crease up with laughter when you read them or this one anyway. If you can't find it at the library I'll send you a copy .. I know it'll cheer you up! 

Oh my lord, I could kick myself! I can't believe I missed the perfect opportunity to ask you why your wishlist is so short these days. Did the infantry not help you this year? 

 

Edit: Ooooh! Are they standing guard after and because of Brexit??  

:lol:Oh, you rotter *shakes fist* I'll never live it down!!

I am coping with things myself this year and so don't need to engage the militia to help me out .. I might ask them if things get tight :D 

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Merry new reading year, Kay!  Two books down already ... looks like a good start :D

Merry reading year to you too Claire  :hug: Hmmm, one of those two books is extremely short :lol: .. still, I am encouraged :D 

Great to see you here again, Kay! :friends3:

 

Some books from your TBR pile that I have really enjoyed:

 

Atwood, Margaret - The Blind Assassin

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath

Michel Faber - The Crimson Petal and the White

Michel Faber - Under the Skin

Alex Garland - The Beach

Stephen King - The Stand

 

And on your wishlist you have Ham On Rye, which I read and enjoyed last year.

 

I hope you have a great reading year! :smile:

Thanks bobbs, you too  :hug: It's interesting you should list The Blind Assassin as it nearly got culled! :lol: Something stayed my hand ... you must have sent thought waves  :D

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I did cull Possession though :( It is a beautiful looking book and I did sort of enjoy The Children's Book by Byatt but I heard a bit of Possession on Radio 4 recently .. (dramatised)  .. and I found it hard to keep engaged with it. I drifted off something terrible and I just thought, if they can't keep me interested then my voice droning on about it definitely won't  :blush2: 

It hasn't left the house yet but it has left the bookshelf :( Oh dear, it is hard!  :blush2: 

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Happy 2017 poppy, hope it's a great one for you and Al, lots of lovely books there, hopefully you'll get to Jamaica Inn and The House at Riverton sometime this year, both fabulous reads in my opinion, I have a couple more of Kate Morton's on my TBR (one of the Kobo) that I really must have a go at, the only thing putting me off was how awful I found The Distant Hours, it was far too long and dull, but I did love The Forgotten Garden so she is winning 2:1 at the moment! :D

 

Perfect weather at the mo for sitting in a cosy room with a book, soon Spring will be here and we can venture outside and be a little more active!  :P

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I loved House at Riverton but was also bored stiff by Distant Hours, more like the Distant Ending!  I have Forgotten Garden somewhere and have bought The Lake House so hope they're better than DH!

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I remember really enjoying The House At Riverton when I read it years ago, though I don't remember anything about it now, and I own The Forgotten Garden but never got around to reading it.

 

I also had Possession and The Children's Book - I began the former, but just couldn't get anywhere with it. I think I sent them both to my parents house during my recent cull while moving house.

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I did cull Possession though :( It is a beautiful looking book and I did sort of enjoy The Children's Book by Byatt but I heard a bit of Possession on Radio 4 recently .. (dramatised)  .. and I found it hard to keep engaged with it. I drifted off something terrible and I just thought, if they can't keep me interested then my voice droning on about it definitely won't  :blush2: 

It hasn't left the house yet but it has left the bookshelf :( Oh dear, it is hard!  :blush2: 

 

I enjoyed Possession. It's quite demanding, but once in it, it is very absorbing.  I've got The Children's Book on the shelves, but am yet to tackle it.

 

I notice you're currently reading the first volume of Virginia's letters.  How are you getting on with them?  I've got complete sets of her letters, essays and diaries on the shelves, and really must at least make a start on some of the multitude of those volumes this year!  Where are you with the fiction at present?  I followed your Mount Virginia link, but it's back in 2012 as far as I can see.

 

Great to here you're back into reading properly.  I can't imagine not reading a word for three whole months - I'd go start staring bananas.

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I remember really enjoying The House At Riverton when I read it years ago, though I don't remember anything about it now, and I own The Forgotten Garden but never got around to reading it.

Snap!

 

I also had Possession and The Children's Book - I began the former, but just couldn't get anywhere with it. I think I sent them both to my parents house during my recent cull while moving house.

I read about 100 or so pages of The Children's Book in 2010 but didn't really engage with it, but my Mum loved it and we have quite similar tastes, so I might try it again some time.  On a shallow note, it does have the most beautiful cover!  :blush:

 

I'm not sure if the essays have been printed elsewhere. They might have been. I was familiar with the Village Christmas one but he seemed to be telling it from a slightly different angle .. not quite as it was in Cider With Rosie. The other essays I hadn't read before at all. It says on the back that some of them are 'newly discovered'. Again, you're welcome to borrow it Janet  :smile: It's not really about Christmas, apart from that one piece. It's about the seasons. 

Brilliant, that's very helpful.  :)  Thanks you for the offer of the loan ( :friends3: ).  As it's got Christmas in the title (even if that's a bit misleading!  :D  ), I'd quite like to own it because I really like his books.  I think I will buy it with some of my Christmas Waterstones vouchers.   :)

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Happy 2017 poppy, hope it's a great one for you and Al, lots of lovely books there, hopefully you'll get to Jamaica Inn and The House at Riverton sometime this year, both fabulous reads in my opinion, I have a couple more of Kate Morton's on my TBR (one of the Kobo) that I really must have a go at, the only thing putting me off was how awful I found The Distant Hours, it was far too long and dull, but I did love The Forgotten Garden so she is winning 2:1 at the moment! :D

 

Perfect weather at the mo for sitting in a cosy room with a book, soon Spring will be here and we can venture outside and be a little more active!  :P

Thanks Hayley, Happy Reading (and everything else :D) in 2017 too! 

I should get to read Jamaica Inn this year, the one thing against it (well .. two .. there's that terrible pub :D) is that I know bits and pieces of the story because I've seen or heard little bits of it. I like all stories to be fresh but then again, I don't really have a clue about it and I love Daphne's other stories so I should just dive in and see. I don't think I've read any Kate Morton yet (I get her confused with all the other literary Kates :D) so she's new to me. Again, the book has been on my shelves for too long so .. hopefully this year :) 

Yes, this sort of weather makes you feel like you should be staying in with a book, I need to get my audio books sorted out so that, if it does cheer up weather wise, I can go out for a walk and take a story with me :) 

I loved House at Riverton but was also bored stiff by Distant Hours, more like the Distant Ending!  I have Forgotten Garden somewhere and have bought The Lake House so hope they're better than DH!

She sounds a bit hit and miss :D Glad to know though that The House at Riverton is one of the hits! :D 

I remember really enjoying The House At Riverton when I read it years ago, though I don't remember anything about it now, and I own The Forgotten Garden but never got around to reading it.

 

I also had Possession and The Children's Book - I began the former, but just couldn't get anywhere with it. I think I sent them both to my parents house during my recent cull while moving house.

I did persevere with The Children's Book but it was a challenge .. and I drifted and struggled (though it left me with a lot of admiration for her as a writer .. parts of it were stunning!) Something has to give though .. I needed the shelf space :D  

I enjoyed Possession. It's quite demanding, but once in it, it is very absorbing.  I've got The Children's Book on the shelves, but am yet to tackle it.

 

I notice you're currently reading the first volume of Virginia's letters.  How are you getting on with them?  I've got complete sets of her letters, essays and diaries on the shelves, and really must at least make a start on some of the multitude of those volumes this year!  Where are you with the fiction at present?  I followed your Mount Virginia link, but it's back in 2012 as far as I can see.

 

Great to here you're back into reading properly.  I can't imagine not reading a word for three whole months - I'd go start staring bananas.

Thanks Will, I think I did go slightly bats .. hard to tell :D 

Possession is still in the house as I said, both it and The Children's Book have beautiful covers and that makes me loath to get rid of them  :blush2: .. I still might give it a go. 

I haven't made any headway with Virginia's fiction sad to say. I will definitely fix that this year. I'm enjoying the letters, I read Vintage's Selected Letters of Virginia Woolf in 2012 and loved them but obviously these editions are much more in depth. I saw Alan Bennett's Diaries on TV at Christmas and was tickled to see that he had the same set as I have on his shelf (all except for one of his editions .. which was different and not matching .. I felt a small victory over him there :D)

Do you listen to A Good Read on Radio 4? I was catching up with an old edition yesterday which featured Miriam Margolyes and Mark Haddon. Miriam was championing Great Expectations and Mark, To the Lighthouse (the presenter's choice was Breakfast at Tiffany's.) They were pretty universal in their love for Great Expectations and Breakfast at Tiffany's but Miriam wasn't a fan of To the Lighthouse at all (and the presenter wasn't all that enamoured :D) It does seem to be a book that polarises opinion  :D 

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I read about 100 or so pages of The Children's Book in 2010 but didn't really engage with it, but my Mum loved it and we have quite similar tastes, so I might try it again some time.  On a shallow note, it does have the most beautiful cover!  :blush:

:DIt is the most beautiful cover and the other one is lovely too .. that's why they had both stayed on one of the main shelves in the living room for such a long time  :blush2: 

Brilliant, that's very helpful.  :)  Thanks you for the offer of the loan ( :friends3: ).  As it's got Christmas in the title (even if that's a bit misleading!  :D  ), I'd quite like to own it because I really like his books.  I think I will buy it with some of my Christmas Waterstones vouchers.   :)

I like him too, I love the way he recounts his experiences .. you feel as if you're there. I can't get enough of reading about his family. I think I said to you before, if you can get hold of a copy of Kenneth Branagh reading Cider with Rosie then do (alas .. I only have it on cassette and haven't been able to find it on any other format :( )  It's brilliant!

 

Oh bother!! Goodreads are already telling me I'm one book behind schedule  :(:D 

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The Evenings - Gerard Reve
 
Synopsis:
Twenty-three-year-old Frits - office worker, daydreamer, teller of inappropriate jokes - finds life absurd and inexplicable. He lives with his parents, who drive him mad. He has terrible, disturbing dreams of death and destruction. Sometimes he talks to a toy rabbit. This is the story of ten evenings in Frits's life at the end of December, as he drinks, smokes, sees friends, aimlessly wanders the gloomy city streets and tries to make sense of the minutes, hours and days that stretch before him. Darkly funny and mesmerising, The Evenings takes the tiny, quotidian triumphs and heartbreaks of our everyday lives and turns them into a work of brilliant wit and profound beauty.

Thoughts: This was the book that I bought as soon as I got home from my mum and dad's. I thought it was the ideal book to get me back into reading .. I had a house full of books at home but I wanted to treat myself .. a reward for being kept away from books for so long. WHAT AN IDIOT!!! :D:lol:

What I should have picked up was one of the cosy comforting Agatha Christie's on my TBR or something by Jenny Colgan .. that was what I needed. It was coming up to Christmas after all and so reading time was still limited and concentration in short supply. But no .. I picked this (I did love the cover :blush2:  :D ) .. a book you have to immerse yourself in, not a difficult book but not a book to take lightly either and not one that you can easily get into. Needless to say, I didn't get far, I had to put it to one side until the last of the Quality Street had been eaten  :blush2: 

I thought I was reading a modern book and was astounded to see that it was written in 1947 :o (but not translated until now.) It's very experimental for a book written back then. I think this is key though, the war isn't mentioned much but I think Frit's behaviour is a direct response to having lived through WW2. 

He's not a very nice person .. not a great person to be spending the whole book with and certainly not someone you want to constantly read the thoughts of but he is fascinating. It is comic as the synopsis says but very, very, dark and disturbing. He is insidious, making the most of everybody's insecurities and being that horrible little voice in your ear which underlines and strengthens your fears. He does this out of boredom really. He lives with his mum and dad who he's exasperated with .. bleak house indeed! 

The ten evenings did seem like an eternity but for all that, once I gave the story space and time I started to really enjoy it .. though I was still constantly revolted by it. It is really a little masterpiece, but it's not easy and it's not pleasant :D Worth reading though. 4/5
 

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I tried this late(ish) last year (got a Netgalley copy) and found it... well, kinda' boring if I'm honest. Only got about a quarter of the way through and couldn't stomach the rest. I imagine that I probably wasn't in the mood for it, but hey ho. *shrugs* Judging from your review I should come back to it and give it the space and time it likely deserves. :yes:

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I read this Dutch book for my high school Dutch class (along with 14 others), and I have to say I didn't like the book much at all. I found it hard to get through it and only finished it because of school. But it's received lots of good praise from Dutch people back in the day, it's considered literature, a famous book and all that. So, Ben and I seem to be in the minority :shrug:. Maybe I'd appreciate it more being older than 16 or 17, I doubt I'll ever go back to it though. I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway, Kay :)! I enjoyed reading your review!

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Oof, I though I`d already posted in this, but I haven`t. A belated Happy Reading in 2017 ! :D

 

Do read the Affair of the Bloodstained Tea Cosy - it`s excellent. James Anderson only wrote three books ( a series) and they`re such good fun. :)

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