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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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bobblybear

Bobblybear's Book List - 2018

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I'm now listening to Wilkie Collins' The Woman In White, narrated by Ian Holm. I am struggling a little bit and I find it requires a lot of concentration, as it is written in a very old-fashioned style (I've only just realised it was written in 1859). Funnily enough, a couple of reviews of The Luminaries pay tribute to The Woman In White as the two books are apparently very similar (in style and language). I didn't realise this before I'd started listening to it (straight after having finished The Luminaries).

 

I'm also reading I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, about the microbes that live on and in us. 

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On 05/12/2018 at 8:28 PM, bobblybear said:

I'm also reading I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, about the microbes that live on and in us. 

 

I'll be interested what you make of this, as it's on my TBR shelf (as is The Luminaries).

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It's very good so far, easy to understand with some interesting sections. Fascinating to read how some theories suggest that microbes can affect the rest of our lives, depending on conditions at our birth. 

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The Miracle Inspector - Helen Smith

 

This is a fairly short dystopian novel (250 pages or so). Lucas works for the Ministry as a miracle inspector (any sort of miracle, from Jesus' face on a piece of toast to the healing of the sick). His wife Angela is stuck at home (generally women aren't allowed out of the house, except to see relatives) with nothing to do but dream of a better life. They both have plans to escape London and move to Cornwall in the hopes that things are better there. 

 

I felt this was a fairly weak novel...there just didn't seem to be much meat to it and the concepts weren't very original. There was no backstory as to how society became this way (aside from the allusion that all men are rapists and paedophiles - hence women and children need to be locked away), and very little about current society (except through the eyes of Lucas and Angela). There just wasn't any depth, and it has been done before by much better authors. Many parallels with 1984 and the ending felt like it was lifted straight out of Brazil

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The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarity

 

The setting is a small island in Sydney called Scribbly Gum Island. Seventy years ago, two of it's inhabitants - Alice and Jack Munro - vanished into thin air leaving their very young baby alone in the house. The kettle was still boiling and there was a marble cake waiting to be eaten when young Connie and Rose Doughty came across the scene. For seventy years they have held tours of Alice and Jack's house, while the baby (now a grandmother called Enigma) was raised as part of their own family.

 

Now, Connie has recently died and left her house to Sophie, a virtual stranger to the family but someone she felt had a strong connection to her house. Sophie (unlucky in love) moves to the island and befriends the remaining members of the family.

 

This book was a mixed bag of genres. There was the sappy romantic side, the humourous thread throughout, and bit of a mystery and also a very dark storyline around post-natal depression. I don't know if it hung together in right way for me, and each of those individual stories could have been left out entirely without impacting the rest of the book. Thinking about it now, I can't even see the point of Sophie's story, unless it was to prove that she could 'create her own fairy tale'. Definitely not a patch on Big Little Lies, and if I'd read this one first I wouldn't be in a rush to read Moriarity's other books. Not to say it was bad, it just wasn't all that original - except for a particular reveal at the end).

 

However the constant references to marble cake has made me print out a recipe which I may attempt during my holiday break. :lol:

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On 12/24/2018 at 10:38 AM, bobblybear said:

However the constant references to marble cake has made me print out a recipe which I may attempt during my holiday break. :lol:

 

Haha :lol:!

 

I haven't read any Liane Moriarty yet, but I'll probably start with Big Little Lies at some point :). Shame The Last Anniversary wasn't as great of a book for you.

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