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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.
vodkafan

Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

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Beautiful                        3/5

Katie Piper

 

Katie Piper is of  course the  English TV presenter  who has appeared in lots of documentaries  and who helps  people who have been disfigured. or who have mental problems  about their own bodies.  I never actually saw the first couple of documentaries that were about her own  face and journey to rebuild it but I saw the ones where she helps others. I liked her in these, she is I think a very sincere and genuine person. 

So when I saw this on the charity shop shelf (another quick just-before-the-bus purchase) I thought I would give it a go.

I didn't actually know her back story and how she came to be attacked and doused with acid.  Those sections were very hard to read and I could only read them a bit at a time. Once past that though it is a very positive book about her rebuilding her life, coming to terms with stuff and  realising what is important.  I say positive, but it is by no means an easy read at times as what she went through can be upsetting.

She is not a natural writer and it shows in some passages, but a book like this cannot be judged on the writing .

I have read some books by famous people and actually disliked the person afterwards.

I am happy to say this is not one of those books!  I like Katie Piper  more now I have read  about her.  And that's not because I feel sorry for her, but because she is a worthwhile person who adds something to the world. 

Edited by vodkafan

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From Outside In                             3/5

edited by Nushin Arbabzadah

 

This book is subtitled Refugees and British Society. It was quite interesting because it shows that historically Britain has always been a place that took in refugees and , much more than that, took a pride in doing so and giving them a safe haven.

I am going to sidestep my review for a minute and digress: it is one advantage (and often a joy!) of reading widely that one will often be able to link or "back up" information from a book about a subject one may have thought was completely new by something one has read in another, quite unrelated, book. So it was with this one. Bill Bryson in one of his two books about the English language talked quite a lot about refugees learning English as a second language, giving statistics (very un-Bryson-like) to boot to prove his points. This actually primed me quite well for this book.

From Outside In is a collection of essays, short stories, memoirs and poems about the experience of being a refugee in Britain from the refugee's point of view.  (It is the nearest I am ever going to get to reading a book of poetry!) They could have actually made it four times as long and it would never have been boring. 

The book is actually almost apologetic in it's shortness, as if they worried that people might not pick it up and buy it  if it went on too long.

 It's shortness means it never gets too preachy but on the other hand there was nothing really profound in it either.  I admit most of the poems just went over my head. I recommend this if you are just interested in reading about people .   

 

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Just got back from a week's family holiday in (on?) the Isle Of Wight. Seen lots of nice Victorian history.

Picked up a few second hand books:

Inverted World  Christopher Priest . The cover got smeared in Barbecue sauce (don't ask) but I managed to save it

The Heroines Of SOE  Beryl E. Escott

The Time Traders (US 1958 copy) Andre Norton

Now And Then  William Corlett

The Man From Maybe  Leo P. Kelley  (Been looking for this book 25 years couldn't remember the title!)

The Railway Detective  Edward Marston

In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat  John Gribbin

Up And Down Stairs The History Of The Country House Servant  Jeremy Musson

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Ooh, would you recommend the Isle of Wight? It sounds like a nice place for a break.

 

I love finding gems in second hand shops, but I never buy from them because I prefer my books to be new (selfish, I know). Some of those books sound very interesting though. 

 

Which one are you reading at the moment?

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2 hours ago, Angury said:

Ooh, would you recommend the Isle of Wight? It sounds like a nice place for a break.

 

I love finding gems in second hand shops, but I never buy from them because I prefer my books to be new (selfish, I know). Some of those books sound very interesting though. 

 

Which one are you reading at the moment?

 

Hi Angury, I would certainly recommend the Isle Of Wight. If you have kids though you need a car to get around the island quickly.  We tried to do 2 major things a day. On your own or in a couple it is great to cycle around.

I am completely the opposite to you! I prefer the cheapest possible copy of a book as to me it's just the reading that's important. I don't mind if they are tatty.

I am halfway through In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat but I have dipped into Up And Down Stairs and The Man From Maybe

Edited by vodkafan

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Time And Time Again                                    4/5

Ben Elton

 

This book was a real surprise. Firstly, because I had to get over my prejudice against Ben Elton. I have no doubt laughed at sit coms he has written, but every time I have seen him in a stand up routine I am a bit turned off by his overtly political and rather sarcastic manner.

I also tried to read one of his other books a long time ago (can't remember which one) but didn't finish it.

However, this one was different.  It's about Time Travel, which got me half hooked before I even opened it. It starts off as a sort of rip-roaring adventure, very light on the pseudo-science, but the last few chapters it is unashamed conceptual Science Fiction. Couple of good twists. The protagonist can be ruthless which is refreshing. 

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The Ben Elton sounds interesting. I gave up reading his books a while ago, as I found they were getting a bit preachy, but your review has got me intrigued.

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1 hour ago, ian said:

The Ben Elton sounds interesting. I gave up reading his books a while ago, as I found they were getting a bit preachy, but your review has got me intrigued.

 

Hi Ian, I didn't find Time And Time Again at all preachy, it's like the author took a holiday from himself.

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September has been a pretty good reading month. Seven books completed, although I have at least four more on the go. 

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On 9/30/2017 at 1:47 PM, vodkafan said:

September has been a pretty good reading month. Seven books completed, although I have at least four more on the go. 

 

How's October been treating you? Hope it's been full of joyous reading!

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On 10/28/2017 at 3:32 PM, Angury said:

 

How's October been treating you? Hope it's been full of joyous reading!

 

 Hi Angury, I have read a few but neglected to update my reading blog, so I have forgotten the titles! Must have a think. The brain book was the best for sure... 

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I have been reading but lots of other things going on so I have completely forgotten the last half a dozen titles I have read...I don't stack them all in the same place when I have finished with them so they are spread all over the flat and some in the locker at work.

Had a mini purge and took about 20 unread books to the charity shop this week.

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