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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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Late start for a book blog, but I'm reading a little faster than the last few years when my list would have been so short it wasn't worth listing!

 

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor The Chronicles of St Mary's Vol 1

 

First off, a favourite and recommendation of Chrissy's. I've read The Nothing Girl and The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor and absolutely loved them so was interested to see how The Chronicles of St Mary's compared.

These are quite differently paced, action packed but equally well written with plenty of witty and funny dialogue. Will certainly be reading more of this series.

★★★ ½

Edited by poppy

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The Disappearance of Mavis Woodstock by Rosalind Burgess

Val and Kit Mystery Series Book 1

 

OK, not memorable

Dressing Myself by Rosalind Burgess

 

Poor

 

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Still Life by Louise Penny

A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery. Book 1

 

Excellent. This was so kindly gifted to me by Little Pixie and I'm so grateful she introduced me to this writer and series.  Set in the village of Three Pines, Penny makes the characters very alive, Gamache being my favourite. Winner of several awards, it's easy to understand why. Highly recommend.

 

★★★★

 

 

Edited by poppy

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The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

 

I can never resist another in the Flavia de Luce series (thank you so much Muggle for recommending these to me originally). They are always delighful. Flavia and the ever faithful Dogger are some of my favourite characters ever. I don't rate this as the top Flavia book but it still gets a 3½ from me.

 

★★★ ½

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A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron

 

Set during WW1 this is a quick read, a bittersweet tale based on a Katherine Mansfield short story.

 

★★★

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A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 2

 

Good to see many of the same characters again from Book 1. I don't rate this one quite as highly as Book 1 but still an excellent read.

 

★★★½

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Blue Lightening by Ann Cleeves

Jimmy Perez Mystery

 

I've watched several of the Jimmy Perez TV series and enjoyed them very much so thought I'd try the books. A very good writer, the books are atmospheric and the Shetland Island setting is a wonderful bonus. I do miss Tosh from the TV series though, as she brings a light relief to the often brooding mood of the stories. Ann Cleeves said she wished she'd thought of her as a character ... I thought that was a very generous comment.

 

★★★½

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What's In A Name by Heather Holmes

 

I saw this book on display when I visited the vets one day, the proceeds going towards the local Cancer Society and I managed to purchase it as a ebook. Holmes is a NZ author.

This is a lighthearted, fun read, guaranteed to put a grin on your face.

 

★★★

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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, loved the Major's dry wit and his willingness to discard the conventions of his small village. I'm not sure how true the depiction of present day English village life really is, but I found the story quite delightful. I've also read Simonson's The Summer Before the War, but enjoyed this one more.

 

★★★ ½

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

Eleanor is an eccentric, socially awkward character you fall in love with. This is a delightfully funny book whilst at the same time dealing with the loneliness many experience when they don't fit in.

 

★★★★

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 

A simply wonderful book, beautifully and lyrically written. Is now one of my very top favourites of all time. It is up there with To Kill A Mockingbird, in my estimation. I very rarely give a book a five star rating, but this is one of them. Can't recommend highly enough. Thank you very much to Muggle for his insistence that I read this (he's never been wrong so far :)).

 

★★★★★

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A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St Mary's Vol 2

 

Another mad-cap adventure back in time. Very enjoyable and love Max's (the narrator) sense of humour. A great escapist book to read.

 

★★★½

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The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan

 

I usually love novels set in the WW2 era but this one annoyed me the whole way through. I was very surprised as all the reviews I read were glowing. The book is written using letters and diary entries by the different characters to tell the story. This could work beautifully but they were so contrived as to be unbelievable. They contained long passages of dialogue (who remembers long conversations verbatim??) and adjective filled, highly unlikely sentences you'd find in a diary or letter. ( eg. A diary entry ... ' She paused, turning towards a tall candle so that its flickers reflected thoughtfully in her eyes.'  Really??? Excerpt from a letter ... He was already there, crossly getting out his silver watch. 'You're late.' 'Am I ? I smiled politely. 'What a shame!' He snorted at the unmistakable irony in my voice. :irked: )The author would have been far better to have written it in the usual way. I found the characters hard to relate to and inconsistent.

I've seen this compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but as far as I'm concerned, It doesn't hold a candle to it.

I stoically read to the end, whilst grinding my teeth.

 

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8 hours ago, poppy said:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

Eleanor is an eccentric, socially awkward character you fall in love with. This is a delightfully funny book whilst at the same time dealing with the loneliness many experience when they don't fit in.

 

★★★★

 

I keep seeing this pop up with positive reviews, I may have to pick up a copy.

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21 hours ago, poppy said:

Blue Lightening by Ann Cleeves

Jimmy Perez Mystery

 

I've watched several of the Jimmy Perez TV series and enjoyed them very much so thought I'd try the books. A very good writer, the books are atmospheric and the Shetland Island setting is a wonderful bonus. I do miss Tosh from the TV series though, as she brings a light relief to the often brooding mood of the stories. Ann Cleeves said she wished she'd thought of her as a character ... I thought that was a very generous comment.

 

★★★½

 

I've read nearly all the Shetland series and just recently started watching the TV series.  The TV programmes are very different from the books, some of the events are in different places, and apart from the actual murders, sometimes it almost seems like a different series.  I'm finding it a bit confusing sometimes.  It is a good programme though, and it's nice to see the areas where it's set, so I'll keep watching.

 

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8 hours ago, Brian. said:

 

I keep seeing this pop up with positive reviews, I may have to pick up a copy.

 

If you like quirky characters, you'll probably enjoy this one Brian :)

 

54 minutes ago, bookmonkey said:

 

I've read nearly all the Shetland series and just recently started watching the TV series.  The TV programmes are very different from the books, some of the events are in different places, and apart from the actual murders, sometimes it almost seems like a different series.  I'm finding it a bit confusing sometimes.  It is a good programme though, and it's nice to see the areas where it's set, so I'll keep watching.

 

 

I've only read the one book and it wasn't one of the TV series I've seen, so it wasn't a problem. I can imagine it could be confusing though, although with my memory it would probably feel like a whole new experience :lol:

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I wish the makers of Shetland would film some of the books ,they would work well as a standalone story - Thin Air is a particularly good one.  I find the TV series good but too slow.  Worth watching though.  I agree about Ann Cleeves's comment on Tosh's character, that's the one thing missing from the books.

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On 6/23/2019 at 5:27 AM, poppy said:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 

A simply wonderful book, beautifully and lyrically written. Is now one of my very top favourites of all time. It is up there with To Kill A Mockingbird, in my estimation. I very rarely give a book a five star rating, but this is one of them. Can't recommend highly enough. Thank you very much to Muggle for his insistence that I read this (he's never been wrong so far :)).

 

★★★★★

I am glad you enjoyed the book. I also consider it one of my favorites. It is still ranked #1 in the U.S. after many, many months. 

I put the Eleanor Oliphant book on hold at the library. :)

Library copies: 26

People waiting in total: 319

People waiting per copy: 12

Edited by muggle not

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Yay for a Poppy reading (b)log :D!

 

It looks like you've been reading a mixed bag of books, with some really nice ones and some you really didn't like.

 

I look forward to follow your reading (b)log for the rest of the year :)!

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18 hours ago, muggle not said:

I am glad you enjoyed the book. I also consider it one of my favorites. It is still ranked #1 in the U.S. after many, many months. 

I put the Eleanor Oliphant book on hold at the library. :)

Library copies: 26

People waiting in total: 319

People waiting per copy: 12

 

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Muggle :)

 

1 hour ago, Athena said:

Yay for a Poppy reading (b)log :D!

 

It looks like you've been reading a mixed bag of books, with some really nice ones and some you really didn't like.

 

I look forward to follow your reading (b)log for the rest of the year :)!

 

Thanks Athena:hug:I'm probably getting a bit picky in my old age :blush:

 

22 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I wish the makers of Shetland would film some of the books ,they would work well as a standalone story - Thin Air is a particularly good one.  I find the TV series good but too slow.  Worth watching though.  I agree about Ann Cleeves's comment on Tosh's character, that's the one thing missing from the books.

 

I discovered the series on Netflix and confess to binge watching them with something bordering on addictiveness. :giggle2:

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Henrietta's War: News From the Home Front 1939-1942 by Joyce Dennys

A Bloomsbury Group book

 

Written in letter format, (in a similar way to The Chilbury Womens' Choir, but there the similarity ends) these were originally published in the Sketch and later put together in book form. This is absolutely delightful, light-hearted and funny. Henrietta writes to her childhood friend, Robert, who is fighting at the front. She regales him with amusing village affairs, often poking fun at herself. Dennys also adds her own illustrations to the book and was a well-known painter/illustrator. The character of Henrietta, who I imagine was very much based on herself, became very important to Dennys and she is said to have remarked, 'When I stopped doing the piece after the war, I felt quite lost. Henrietta was a part fo me. I never quite knew where I ended and she began.'

Am now reading the sequel Henrietta Sees It Through.

 

★★★★

(for enjoyment value)

 

 

 

Edited by poppy

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That sounds really good! I feel like it's a good sign that the author was so attached to the character she created :). Handy that she happened to be a great painter/illustrator too!

 

I hope you enjoy the second book as much!

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15 hours ago, Hayley said:

That sounds really good! I feel like it's a good sign that the author was so attached to the character she created :). Handy that she happened to be a great painter/illustrator too!

 

I hope you enjoy the second book as much!

 

Thanks Hayley. I am so far! :)

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On 25/06/2019 at 7:09 AM, Athena said:

Yay for a Poppy reading (b)log :D!

 

Hear hear!

 

Welcome to the book blogs Poppy!

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12 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

Hear hear!

 

Welcome to the book blogs Poppy!

 

Thanks Andrea!  :hug:Hoping it will give me the incentive to get through a few more books this year :blush:

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