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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…     
Raven

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I've been meaning to re-read those two A Mole books at some point too, and then move on to the later ones. I just hope the later ones don't disappoint as I loved the teenage diaries!

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 12:36 PM, ~Andrea~ said:

I've been meaning to re-read those two A Mole books at some point too, and then move on to the later ones. I just hope the later ones don't disappoint as I loved the teenage diaries!

 

I quite enjoyed re-reading them, but I don't know about what comes next. 

 

I looked up the next book online (True Confessions of) and it looks to be half a book about Adrian, and then the other half is split between the diaries of Sue Townsend and Margaret Thatcher!  After that, I think the series is exclusively about Adrian, but if you want to read the lot, there seem to be several different compilations you can read. 

 

See Wikipedia for more details!

 

Personally, I'm going to wait until I see the books pop up cheap on Kindle or if I see them second-hand.

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So the tally for 2018 came in at 27, so close to 30 which was my target at the beginning of the year (especially as I have two books nearly, but not quite finished...). 

 

Oh well, onwards with 2019 I suppose!

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13 hours ago, Raven said:

So the tally for 2018 came in at 27, so close to 30 which was my target at the beginning of the year (especially as I have two books nearly, but not quite finished...). 

 

Oh well, onwards with 2019 I suppose!

 

Well done! 27 is such a huge, wonderful number of books to read in one year!! (Didn't lay it on too thick, did I?)

 

But seriously, well done. Happy reading in 2019. :)

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On 01/01/2019 at 11:56 AM, Raven said:

So the tally for 2018 came in at 27, so close to 30 which was my target at the beginning of the year (especially as I have two books nearly, but not quite finished...). 

 

Oh well, onwards with 2019 I suppose!

 

That's twice as many as me. I've given up setting goals. Happy reading this year.

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On ‎02‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 1:32 AM, Kylie said:

 

Well done! 27 is such a huge, wonderful number of books to read in one year!! (Didn't lay it on too thick, did I?)

 

 

Enjoying the cricket?

 

Thanks for the best wishes, all!

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On 05/01/2019 at 6:10 AM, Raven said:

 

Enjoying the cricket?

 

 

Harsh. :( But yes, I enjoy watching it even when we lose!

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14 hours ago, Kylie said:

I enjoy watching it even when we lose!

 

Good job, really! 

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10 hours ago, Raven said:

 

No, you haven't, but you have gone for 36... ;) 

 

If it happened more than 100 years ago, it doesn't count. Everyone knows that. :P

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On 27/01/2016 at 11:05 PM, Raven said:

Thinking about doing a John Wyndham re-read.

 

Here's the list so far:

 

The Day of the Triffids (1951)
The Kraken Wakes (1953)
The Chrysalids (1955)
The Seeds of Time (1956)
Consider Her Ways and Others (1956)
The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)
The Outward Urge (1959)
Trouble with Lichen (1960)
Chocky (1968)
Web (1979)
Plan for Chaos (2009)

 

And three years later...

 

Seriously thinking about doing this now.  I need to slot The Secret People (1935) in there as well.  Not sure I have a copy of it.

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The above is on hold for the moment, until I can get a copy of The Secret People!

 

In the meantime, reading The October Man has led to me re-reading Rivers of London (again!).

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On 20/06/2019 at 5:38 PM, Raven said:

The above is on hold for the moment, until I can get a copy of The Secret People!

 

In the meantime, reading The October Man has led to me re-reading Rivers of London (again!).

Re-reading to work something out or just because it reminded you that you like them so much? I finally have a copy of The October Man :yahoo:. I was thinking of saving it for a bit longer, but I don't think I can wait.

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On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 3:17 PM, Hayley said:

Re-reading to work something out or just because it reminded you that you like them so much? I finally have a copy of The October Man :yahoo:. I was thinking of saving it for a bit longer, but I don't think I can wait.

 

It won't take you long to get through! 

 

Re-reading because The October Man is similar in a lot of ways to Rivers of London (both are introductions to new characters, but in the case of the former it is somewhat a mirror of the latter).

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A drive by review that might be of interest to some...

 

5d82775d70da5_trueconfessions.jpg.a3029516289843abe4e33b3b2472f009.jpg

 

True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole 

By Sue Townsend

 

Or to give the book it's full title, True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole, Margaret Hilda Roberts and Susan Lilian Townsend.

 

This is the third book in the Adrian Mole series, but unlike it predecessors (Secret Diary and Growing Pains) this isn't a continuous run of diary entries, but rather a compilation of diary entries, radio essay transcripts and letters from the erstwhile intellectual that cover a far longer period than the original novels, taking the reader from Mole's mid-teens through to his early twenties.

 

Also contained in the book are two additional sections; some diary entries written in the 1930's by a Margaret Hilda Roberts of Grantham and a section of pieces from Townsend herself covering a holiday in Majorca, writing for television, a writer's trip to Russia and a piece on why she likes England.

 

The Mole section of the book is pretty much more of the same from the earlier diaries, and although I haven't found anywhere that states it is so, I believe these are a collection of short works from other publications. 

 

The section on Margaret Hilda Roberts was taken from a series Townsend wrote for the Today newspaper, and is a satirical take on the life of a young future Prime Minister.

 

Both of these sections have their moments, but the section I enjoyed most - and left me wanting more - was Townsend writing about her own experiences. 

 

I've read a few travel biographies in the past and the best of them manage to conjure a picture of a place you have never been to and make you want to go there, and Townsend does a very good job of that.  The piece recounting a lone holiday taken in Majorca vividly describes the island and the people she meets, whilst the writers trip to Russia (which includes Alan Bennet) is hilarious. I don't know much about Townsend, but I was left wishing she did more travel writing because these pieces were a joy to read.

 

Recommended for the Townsend's own section. 

 

Edited by Raven

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ttss.jpg.542555c5ff5206c4166ede6fb6b40f5b.jpg

 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

By John le Carré

 

George Smiley has been forced out of the Circus and a new order has taken charge, but when an agent delivers news of a high level mole at the very heart of the organisation, Smiley comes out of retirement to track down the traitor...

 

This is the fourth le Carré novel I've read, and I find myself asking why have I left it so long since the last one? 

 

This is a meticulously written story, with an understated delivery that draws the reader in, but I think the thing that makes the book for me is the characters and especially Smiley himself; a flawed man trapped in a train crash of a marriage, but at the same time quietly brilliant when it comes to seeing what is going on in the world around him. A very British hero, in a lot of ways.

 

Highly recommended.

 

 

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Great review @Raven! I read The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and really liked it, but for some reason never got any of the other books relating to George Smiley. You've made me want to get this one now though! 

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Thank you! (I thought it was a little thin!)

 

Tinker is the first book in a series of three called the Karla trilogy (the other two are The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People).  I got the latter on Kindle for 99p recently, but didn't buy Schoolboy, which I thought was a standalone novel. 

 

Doh!

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On 23/09/2019 at 7:31 PM, Raven said:

Thank you! (I thought it was a little thin!)

 

Tinker is the first book in a series of three called the Karla trilogy (the other two are The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People).  I got the latter on Kindle for 99p recently, but didn't buy Schoolboy, which I thought was a standalone novel. 

 

Doh!

Oh! That's interesting because I thought all of the books featuring George Smiley in some way were part of the same series. Obviously the ones that are just 'George Smiley' on goodreads (like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) are a different series. I'm definitely going to be keeping a look out for Tinker though.

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There are quite a few George Smiley books, but he doesn't always feature prominently in them.  

 

He is the main character in the first two novels Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality (which are set in the early 60s), and the next two - The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and The Looking Glass War - only feature him as a background character.

 

(I've read all of the above with the exception of The Looking Glass War, and enjoyed them all). 

 

More here: George Smiley Novels.

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Thanks for the link :). I think I might start with Call for the Dead, in that case. I’d like to see more about Smiley as a character.

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