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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…     
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June's books 2018

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Last year I managed 100 books, a first for me, so let's see how many I can manage this year.


I started the Around the World Reading Challenge officially in 2012 (I was unofficially doing this long before as I have always read and loved world fiction) and have so far managed an incredible 171 countries. The country's name will therefore be placed in brackets next to books that qualify for inclusion in this. The first this year is then from Barbados.    


Previous lists


Around the World Reading Challenge










The Cost of Sugar: Gary Taubes

Caribbee: Thomas Hoover (Barbados) 

Angels of the Universe: Einar Mar Gudmundsson (Iceland)

Harvest; Jim Grace

Games People Play: Louise Voss

Pu'ukani's Song: Hannah Steenbock (North Marianna Islands) 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: Yuval Noah Harari 

From Dunes to Dior: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar (Qatar)

Jamila: Chingiz Aitmatov (Kyrgyzstan)

Eagle in the Fridge: Zenta Brice (Latvia)




Eskimo Folk Tales

No Is Not Enough: Naomi Klein

Loathe Thy Neighbour: James O'Brien

The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga

Memoirs of a Geisha: Arthur Golden (Japan)

Do Not Say We Have Nothing: Madeline Thien (China)

Why We Sleep: Matthew Walker




Marco Polo Guide to Andalucia (Spain)

The Woman at 1000 Degrees: Hallgrimur Helgasson (Iceland)

The Old You: Louise Voss

Straight Jacket: Matthew Todd

The Opposite of Hate; Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar (Laos)

Call it Courage: Armstrong Sperry (French Polynesia)

The Cypriot: Andreas Koumi (Cyprus)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan)

The Stranger in the Woods: Michael Finkel (United States)




A Question of Power: Bessie Head (Botswana)

Weep Not, Child: Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya)

The Reykjavik Confessions: Simon Cox (Iceland)

Daring to Drive: Manal Al-Sharah (Saudi Arabia)

The Hunger: Alma Katsu (United States)

The Moon is Following Me: Cecil Browne (St Vincent)

The Gender Game: Bella Forrest

Hired: Six Months Unercover in Low Wage Britain: James Bloodworth

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race: Reni Eddo-Lodge




Marco Polo Guide to Montenegro (Montenegro)

A Lesser Dependency: Peter Benson (Diego Garcia)

The Five Wonders of the Danube: Zoran Zivkovic (Serbia)

Giovanni's Room: James Baldwin (France)

From Tajkstan to the Moon: Robert Frimtzis (Moldova)

Gather the Daughters: Jennie Melamed

The Retreat: Mark Edwards

A Town Like Alice: Nevil Shute (Malaysia/Australia)

Beauty on Earth: Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (Switzerland)

The Hate U Give: Angie Thomas (United States)




Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Robert Pirsig (United States)

Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights: Dr Melanie Windridge

Damages: BK Bazhe (Macedonia)

The Shadow Killer: Arnaldur Indridason (Iceland)

The Blue Fox: Sjon (Iceland)

Exit West: Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan)

The Tunnel: Enersto Sabato (Argentina)

Animal Farm: George Orwell




How to Give Up Plastic: Will McCallum

USSR: Diary of a Perstroika Kid: Vladimir Kozlov (Belarus)

An Afternoon in Summer: Kathy Giuffre (Cook Islands)

The Orchid House: Phyllis Shand Allfrey (Dominica)

Hotel Silence: Audur Ava Olafsdottir (Iceland)

Best European Fiction 2014 - Various

The Last Days of My Mother: Solvi Bjorn Sigur (Iceland)

Lonely Planet Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia  




The Last Brother: Nathacha Appanah (Mauritius)

The Sickness: Alberto Barrero Tyszka (Venezuela)

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred and One Year Old Man: Jonas Jonasson (Sweden)

Un Complicated Life: Paul Daugherty

A Marker to Measure Drift: Alexander Maksik (Liberia)

Tears of the Desert: Halima Bashir (Sudan) 

Black Mamba Boy: Nadifa Mohammed (Somalia) 

Is a Transgender Woman a Woman? Felix Conrad

The Blunders of our Governments: Anthony King




Silver People - Voices from the Panama Canal: Margarita Engel (Panama)

The Colour Purple; Alice Walker  (United States)

Diversify: June Sarpong

Gate crashing Paradise - Misadventure in the Real Maldives: Tom Chesshyre (Maldives)

Belizean Nail Soup: Felene M Cayatano (Belize)

The Mother Tongue: Bill Bryson

Hola Amigo, Around Central America and Beyond: Jason Smart

The Darlness: Ragnar Jonassson (Iceland)

Death Row - The Final Minutes: Michelle Lyons (United States)




Unleashing Demons - The Inside Story of Brexit: Craig Oliver

The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs: Damon Galgut (Namibia)

Marco Polo Budapest Guide

The Brexit Poems: Alec Jackson

Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe: Thomas M Eccardt (San Marino, Vatican City, Malta, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Gibraltar)

Trap: Lilja Sigurdadottir (Iceland)

The Murder of Harriet Moncton: Elizabeth Haynes




Folklore and Tales from Lesotho: Various

Cold Comfort: Quentin Bates (Iceland)

Crimson: Niviaq Komeliusen (Greenland)

How to be Right - … in a World Gone Wrong : James O'Brien 

Parliament Ltd - A Journey to the Dark Heart of British Politics: Martin Williams

The Tenth Island: Diana Marcum

My Fathers Daughter: Hannah Pool (Eritrea)

In Her Shadow: Mark Edwards

Anything to Declare: Jon Frost




Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: Richard Carlson

Anatomy of a Scandal: Sarah Vaughan

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: Benjamin Zephaniah

Gallivanting on Guam: Dave Siegle (Guam)

The Ships: Roberto Quesada (Honduras) 

Silence in the Age of Noise: Erling Kagge

The Ballad of Brexit and Other Brexit Poems: Charly Bishop

Gather Together in my Name: Maya Angelou

Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas: Maya Angelou  

Edited by Talisman

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I hope you have a good year of reading again June.

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I am up to 6 books already which is not bad going in less than 3 weeks. I have always wanted to read Angels of the Universe, which is one of those Icelandic classics so was delighted to finally find an English translation - on Kindle as well. I can see why Icelanders rave about this book.


I also managed to find a book from the North Marianna Islands, a country that has proven extremely difficult to find. Goodreads though came to the rescue as they often do in recommending this one. It was one of the shortest books I have read at just 36 pages, so took all of half an our to read, which makes it even better! 

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I up to 10 books already and it isn't even the end of January. I have read some great ones already this year and continue to make good progress with the Around the World Reading Challenge, having got further with this than anyone else on here, most of whom seem to have given up! The most recent additions are Qatar, Kyrgyzstan and Latvia, a country I shall be visiting this summer.


The most interesting book so far has been Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I thought this would be a book on evolution, and it is in a way, but not just physical evolution, it is also about our spiritual and moral evolution and how that has impacted on other species. It is sort of thing that I love, as it is not only extremely interesting but also provides a wealth of material and food for thought for own writing, should I ever have the time to pick up that planned rewrite that I started and then didn't finish.   

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Have a great reading year in 2018, June.


I read Sapiens last year and really liked it. There were a lot of things to think about in there, but I recall struggling a bit towards the end. You have also read The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. I hope you liked it! I had no pre-conceptions when I started it so I was very surprised at how good it was. I also read his Last Man In Tower, which was possibly even better than The White Tiger

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I loved Sapiens too, although it wasn´t at all what I thought it would be. I thought it would be primarily about physical evolution, but only the first part was. It was really more about our emotional and intellectual evolution, which is different to the usual book on this subject. I will read the second one by the same author at some point I expect, and I think there is a third one as well coming out soon.      

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Well that wasn't a bad years reading in the end. I set myself a target of 100 books which for the first time I managed to surpass - I read 104 in total. Of these almost a third were non fiction which is not unusual for me, mostly on politics and social sciences, but a few biographies as well. The shortest was 36 pages and the longest about 550 pages. 


I also managed to clock up another 34 countries towards the Around the World Reading Challenge, namely, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Eritrea, French Polynesia, Guam, Honduras. Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, North Marianna Islands, Panama, Qatar, St Vincent, San Marino, Serbia, Sudan, Switzerland, Venezuela 


I look forward to many more great books in 2019.

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