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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…     
chesilbeach

Your Book Activity - April 2018

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This week I've finished four great books - The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin is a chilling mystery set in Victorian London, Dear Mrs Bird by A. J. Pearce is a charming World War Two story, A Sweet, Wild Note by Richard Smyth is a nature book about birdsong and An Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor is the ninth in the St Mary's Chronicles series (and probably my favourite since the very first one in the series). :D 

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Actually: I've paused my reading on Arthur Conan Doyle's A STUDY IN SCARLET; mainly so that I can concentrate on Charlotte Bronte's SHIRLEY: I've gone back to the start of SHIRLEY, again, having got about a quarter of the way through it, in the first attempt, which in turn was a while ago; I'm finding it a little bit tedious at this stage, but I'm determined to persist with it this time, as I love the writing style of Charlotte Bronte; Has anyone else had this experience with SHIRLEY?! 

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Read two fantastic books this week.  First was The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla, which was just lovely, although it does deal with death and grief too, and can't deny made me well up a bit.  

 

Also read a science book called A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford which is all about genes and genetics and was absolutely fascinating while being very entertaining too.  A bit out of my usual comfort zone for non-fiction reading, but I listen to a science podcast with the author and it's always a good fun programme to listen to, so thought I'd give his writing a go too. :D 

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Bought a few new books this weekend.  Firstly, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua is a graphic novel based on the real life Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage and the origins of the computer, then The Wild Robot by Peter Brown which is a middle grade story which has a lovely cover and couldn't resist on the offers table in the bookshop. Finally, The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett which is a science fiction book for my book group next month, although I wouldn't have chosen it myself, but we'll see how it goes.

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On 4/3/2018 at 12:31 PM, willoyd said:

Started Battle Cry of Freedom by James M McPherson, a classic history of the American Civil War.  At 800+ pages it should keep me occupied for a while; I'm about 70-odd pages in, and so far it suggests I won't find the task too onerous!  

 

I'm glad you are reading this! I hope you enjoy it. It didn't seem like 800+ pages when I read it.

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Oh! I just finished Pachinco by Min Jin Lee and started The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Pachinco was great.

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Reading Quiet Girl in a Noise World, An Introvert's Story by Debbie Tung. A graphic novel/comic, and it's lovely to read; very accurate for me as an Introvert :)

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I finished The Constant Companion by M. C. Beaton on Friday, so that means I've now read all of her romance novels penned under Marion Chesney of which I think she wrote 104 books!  On the whole, they've been fun and entertaining, and a perfect antidote to real life! :D

 

Last night, I also finished Touch Not The Cat by Mary Stewart, which is one of my Round Robin challenge books, so I've now read six out of the nine books I was challenged with. :smile2:

 

I think I'm going to take a break from reading just for today, and try and catch up with my reviews.  I've already written a couple but I'm still eighteen behind :weeping:

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On 22/04/2018 at 5:22 AM, Anna Begins said:

I'm glad you are reading this! I hope you enjoy it. It didn't seem like 800+ pages when I read it.

 

I'm now about 340 pages in, and, as you sway, it doesn't feel like it at all.  An enthralling, and enlightening, book; easy to see why it won a Pulitzer. Being a Brit, the American Civil War didn't feature very much in my education (although I did do US History as a topic for O-level, then the exams taken at 16, some 40-odd years ago, but much of that has vanished into the memory ether).  All sorts of vaguely familiar names and incidents (Harpers Ferry, Fort Sumter, Dred Scott, Missouri Compromise, John Brown etc etc)  are being nicely fleshed out and fitted together like a new jigsaw.  Absolutely fascinating - I can't wait to pick it up each evening!

Edited by willoyd

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22 hours ago, Marie H said:

Reading Quiet Girl in a Noise World, An Introvert's Story by Debbie Tung. A graphic novel/comic, and it's lovely to read; very accurate for me as an Introvert :)

 

I really liked Quiet Girl in a Noisy World :)! I could relate to quite a few of the situations (though not the work in an office ones).

 

I've been reading Virginia Andrews - M'n lieve Audrina (My Sweet Audrina) for the past few days and have finished it. I'm planning to pick my next read probably later today.

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I just read a non-fiction book about bats.  Bats by Phil Richardson.  It was fascinating, and I learned a lot.  Bats are wonderful little creatures.

 

I'm halfway through The Waves by Virginia Woolf.  It's taking me a while.  It's a stream-of-consciousness novel that demands full concentration, otherwise you might just as well be turning the pages with your eyes shut.  :lol:  This is not a book to pick up when you're distracted or tired.  I'm enjoying it, although so far not quite as much as VW's other works that I've read.

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On 04/04/2018 at 3:02 PM, willoyd said:

 

Just read first four chapters this morning - blown away.  Sooo frustrated at having to put it down!

 

 H is for Hawk is indeed superb. I found it hard to put down, too.

 

This month I read my first Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory, which I loved.. though I think a re-read might make it even better.

 

On recommendation I started Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, which I abandonded. It was a Reece Witherspoon book club choice...who knew there was such a thing, huh? Anyway, I thougth it was dreadful.

 

Next I read Educated - Tara Westover and I'm in two minds about it. Having checked out reviews it seems I'm not alone in wondering if it's fact or fiction. Either way, I enjoyed it.

 

I then read A Grand Old Time - Judy Leigh, which I was sent to review. I felt it was a waste of precious reading time and writing the review was a challenge.

 

I'm now reading Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson and i'm finding it wonderful.

 

In the background I'm reading Deren Brown's Happy, as my husband came across it on Amazon for 99p for the kindle and well, you have to, don't you? It's actually rather good, nothing new or enlightnening (yet) but I do keep nudging Mr M and saying "Listen to this bit..."

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I'm really struggling to pick my next read. :( I want to read something a bit different that I will definitely like, but it's so hard to know what to pick. Have a couple of fantasy and historical fiction fantasy books, might try one of those.

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On 4/22/2018 at 5:59 AM, willoyd said:

 

I'm now about 340 pages in, and, as you sway, it doesn't feel like it at all.  An enthralling, and enlightening, book; easy to see why it won a Pulitzer. Being a Brit, the American Civil War didn't feature very much in my education (although I did do US History as a topic for O-level, then the exams taken at 16, some 40-odd years ago, but much of that has vanished into the memory ether).  All sorts of vaguely familiar names and incidents (Harpers Ferry, Fort Sumter, Dred Scott, Missouri Compromise, John Brown etc etc)  are being nicely fleshed out and fitted together like a new jigsaw.  Absolutely fascinating - I can't wait to pick it up each evening!

Nice- it sounds like you're enjoying it :)

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I just can't get it in one post! grrr... :D

 

I finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and started Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa. It's about a life of modern day trash pickers in China.

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Currently reading a science fiction book The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett which is for my book group next month.  I'm no fan of science fiction by a long stretch, but the whole point of the group is to stretch my reading, so I'm giving it a good go and about a third of the way through.

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On 4/4/2018 at 3:02 PM, willoyd said:

 

Just read first four chapters this morning - blown away.  Sooo frustrated at having to put it down!

Such a great book. I heard her talking about it on Radio 4's Bookclub (on iPlayer) and she was just so interesting that I put the book on my wishlist straight away. Afterwards I knew I had to read Goshawk by T.H. White and so tracked it down at the library. 

 

I'm currently reading Madame Bovary of the Suburbs by Sophie Divry which is a bit of an odd choice for me as I absolutely hated Madame Bovary :lol: I did like Sophie Divry's book The Library of Unrequited Love though and so  thought I'd give this one a go. It was a bit slow to start and I'm not altogether a fan of the second person narrative employed here but all the same I'm hooked .. though large parts of it are tedious (in homage to the original I guess :lol: ) 

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Just finished a very satisfying gallop through Jo Baker's Longbourn (4 or 5*) as a bit of a break from Battle Cry of Freedom (where I'm up to page 550).  I 'm also ticking of another Maigret this weekend, Lock No. 1.

 

Will have to reread Pride and Prejudice very soon, after the stint with Longbourn, as need to piece the two books together a bit more precisely!  Fascinating how they are so closely interlinked, and yet how different the stories and characters are.  Goes to show how far apart the lives of employers and servants were.

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I’m halfway through another of my round robin challenge books (fifth to date) - Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and it’s entering unputdownable territory. I was most irate to get to work this morning and have to put it away :P 

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13 hours ago, Alexi said:

I’m halfway through another of my round robin challenge books (fifth to date) - Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and it’s entering unputdownable territory. I was most irate to get to work this morning and have to put it away :P 

that's so annoying isn't it!

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I don't remember when I last bought a book, past odd Kindle purchases, but today I picked up a print copy of Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat. I've heard a lot of good things about this, and am looking forward to reading it!

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I'm reading The Bear and The Nightingale by... someone, I forget who. Really enjoying it, though it's quite meandering.I was a quarter of the way through before I felt like the characters were settling into position for the plot to begin, and I feel like it's just starting now around the third way mark.

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I have read Love Handles by Gretchen Galway, and it became my first 1 star read of the year. I can say it was very fast paced and that helped a lot with me finishing  it. I’m not really too sure of what to say of it; the characters were so-so, the story line was so-so and the writing was okay. One thing that put me off was the over the top sex scenes. I am no prude and I think they are great in the right context, but when they are vividly detailed and using certain uncessary words to describe a female’s body part it really puts me off! Especially when it’s supposed to be a light hearted read that you shouldn’t be flustered about reading on a train in case somebody takes a peak over your shoulder. Another thing that annoyed me was the man meets woman and they dislike each other to oh no sorry they love each other. It works... sometimes. Not here. It’s the first book in a series, I don’t think I’ll be continuing with it.

 

Hendrick Groen: The Secret Diary Of...

This is about an 84 year old man who lives in a care home in the Netherlands and decides to write a diary. He is the founder and one of the six members of the Old but Not Dead Club in which himself and his friends go on adventures such as cooking classes and golf. This book made me laugh so much and a book hasn’t done that in a long time. I loved all the characters in this book especially Evert, Hendrick’s best friend with his witty sarcastic one liners. As the story is of people later in life and set in a care home, there are some very sad moments and we are taking back to a time in Hendrick’s life which is very heartbreaking. A very delightful read and I shall be looking out for the second book. 4 stars. 

 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I actually did finish this book on 1st May. I was disappointed with this, it stated of so well! I loved the email exhanges between Beth and Jennifer. I just got bored with Lincoln’s story. I thought he was great, I have to put that out there. I really warmed to him and thought he was sweet. It was the incessant need to tell us he is cute and big muscled and because If he wasn’t he would really be a creep? I also could not root for the characters that go together in the end. I did enjoy the writing with this one, If I did want the two characters to be together I know for a fact I would have loved the ending, but unfortunately not. I am going to read Landline but if I don’t like that one I think I will have to put myself as the lone person who is not a fan of this author. 2 stars. 

Edited by Lau_Lou

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