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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…     
Sazed

Sazed's 2017 Reading

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Haha, yes, and yes, my username is a reference :P One of my favourite series to date!

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I'm about to start listening to The Alloy of Law on audiobook, and I can't wait, it has been way too long since I read about this world =) Hero of Ages was great, but damn was I crying towards the end. The characters grew on me so much throughout the series, I was devastated when it was all over :(

 

This morning I finished Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead on audio. Again, it was nice to listen to on my way to and from work, but kind of boring, and I think I'll have to give it a bit of a break before I continue with the rest of the series. Ended up giving it 3/5 stars, although it's probably more of a 2.5 .

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The Alloy of Law - Brandon Sanderson (4 stars)

Wow, it took me so long to finish the first book of this month, uni has been crazy... But, after such a long time, I got to finally go back to the amazing world Brandon Sanderson creates in this series. It's set after the original trilogy (maybe a couple hundred years after? I don't really remember haha), but the world and the magic system are still the same. I absolutely adored being back in this universe, and I loved finally reading about the magic again, because I think the whole metal allomancy is such a great idea, but at the same time I felt like it could have done with a few more explanations. It's been a while since I read the original trilogy, and I have to admit I didn't remember what all the metals did. There is a detailed index in the back, it just kind of broke up the reading experience a bit having to go back and look all the time. The plot was a little bit disappointing as well, as I found it somewhat cliché. Of course I won't go into details, but the villain's motives and everything made me go "... really?" a couple of times.

The characters, on the other hand, were amazing, and are probably the main reason I gave the book 4 stars in the end. All of them have their unique personalities, and the dialogue between them is absolutely fantastic, clever and funny. Sanderson's writing style is outstanding, and he makes the characters seem so vivid, it's an absolute pleasure to read. I listened to this book mainly on audio, and the narrator, Michael Kramer, did a superb job as well. One of the characters in the book is really good at using different accents to disguise himself, and that definitely came across perfectly in the audiobook.

I can't wait to continue with the rest of the series =)

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Great review! I agree with a lot of what you say. I would also give the book 4 stars. I also love the allomancy in the series, but I didn't like the plot of this boko as much as the one in the Mistborn trilogy. I can imagine the accents work great with an audiobook!

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A Study in Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (4 stars)

I just finished my re-read of this book on audio, and I won't write much because I absolutely love the Sherlock Holmes stories and don't have much to say apart from endless gushing. I think this is a great start to the series, even though I have to say I really didn't enjoy the second part set in America as much. I'm glad Doyle didn't make much use of this style of narrative in the later stories.

Of course, Stephen Fry reading this was absolutely brilliant, and I can't wait to continue with the rest of the audiobook.

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Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie (2.5 stars)


I finally managed it! It took me over two months to read this book, but I have finally managed it. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one much at all. There were certainly passages that I found quite engaging, and there's no doubt that Rushdie is a talented writer, but the topic and density of the story just really wasn't for me. I'll admit that prior to reading this book, I didn't know much at all about the history of India and Pakistan, and I found the majority of the book to be incredibly confusing. Having a knowledge about the history would probably have been helpful, especcially because the story is told by an unreliable narrator who points out multiple times that it's entirely possible that some of the historical details he mentions aren't true at all. Because I couldn't really interest myself in the historic facts even while reading this book, they seemed a bit annoying and redundant to me - and seeing as the whole "point" of the story kind of is to see how the history of the entire country connects with that of an individual, I suppose the entire thing just completely went over my head. I'll have to see if I tackle this book again when I'm older, and if it will make more sense to me then, but this time round I'm pretty sure most of the analogies and metaphores and images just went over my head completely. It's true that after following the characters for such a long time, they do kind of grow on you, and I guess I'll be thinking about this book for a couple of days, it just wasn't an enjoyable read for me. However, it was part of my Man Booker challenge, and it is a modern classic, so I am glad that I read it. 


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The Sign of Four - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3 stars)


Because I had a lot of walking around to do today, I got a chance to finish the second book of the audiobook bind-up by Stephen Fry: The Sign of Four. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it very much, since the whole backstory didn't really interest me. I suppose I generally just prefer the short stories to the actual novels.


Now on with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes :D


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 Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it very much, since the whole backstory didn't really interest me. I suppose I generally just prefer the short stories to the actual novels.

Now on with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes :D

 

 

I've been a lifetime fan of Sherlock Holmes, ever since my father introduced me to them when I was 12, and I followed him round some of the guided walks that he led, but have to agree that I much prefer his short stories.  The only full length novel that worked for me was Hound of the Baskervilles, but even then it never felt much more than a filled out short story.  On the other hand, his short stories were so good that they had the same impact as full length novels.

Edited by willoyd

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I completely agree. The short stories are much more satisfying. I feel like both with A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four (it's been ages since I read The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear, so I don't remember how it is with them), they seem a bit dragged out just for the sake of making it a bit longer. In both audiobooks I thought at several points that the book was about to end, but then another turn happened and it went on for another 50 pages. They just don't flow as naturally for me...

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I didn't enjoy Midnight's Children either. In fact, I don't think I finished it. I wanted to like it because like you say, it's a modern classic, but it just didn't do it for me.

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I'm beginning to feel the same about The Book thief - am giving it til page 250, then it will be decision time.

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On 24.3.2017 at 9:15 PM, bobblybear said:

I didn't enjoy Midnight's Children either. In fact, I don't think I finished it. I wanted to like it because like you say, it's a modern classic, but it just didn't do it for me.

 

Yeah exactly, I appreciate that it'S a classic, but I'm just not much of a fan personally :/ 

 

On 25.3.2017 at 1:14 PM, Madeleine said:

I'm beginning to feel the same about The Book thief - am giving it til page 250, then it will be decision time.

 

The Book Thief is actually my favourite book of all time, did you end up finishing it? :biggrin:

 

I have been incredibly busy with uni stuff again and haven't really had a chance to post on here at all, but I have since read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, which I gave 2 stars, because I found Holden Caulfield to be so. Incredibly. Annoying. It was really driving me mad haha! I also finished listening to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I gave 5 stars. I bought and already read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, which also got 5 stars, what an incredible, emotional book. A coupld of days ago I needed a bit of a break from uni stress and I read The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket in one sitting. It got 3 stars, since it was entertaining and actually a bit different from the previous three stories in the series, but overall it was quite boring and... weird.

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