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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…     
Janet

Janet's Reading Log 2009

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I'm half-way through The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing. I've not read this author before.

 

London, 1838: the controversial practice of Mesmerism, with its genuine practitioners and its charlatans, has hypnotised the city. Miss Cordelia Preston, a beautiful, ageing, out-of-work actress terrified of returning to the poverty of her childhood, suddenly emerges as a Lady Phreno-Mesmerist. In her candle-lit Bloomsbury basement she learns to harness her talent - and to finally look towards the future.

 

But success is fragile when you have a past filled with secrets. On a wintry, moonlit night a body is found in Bloomsbury Square, and what began as an audacious subterfuge erupts into a scandal. Cordelia's past is revealed, bringing not only heartache but terror - and the mystery of a cloaked figure who waits for her in the shadowy London streets.

 

It got off to a bit of a slow start but it's picked up now and I'm really enjoying it. The frustrating thing is that I haven't had much reading time this week so I've been reading in dribs and drabs. I could do with a few hours to myself to get a good chunk of it read!

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Today I finished The Other Hand by Chris Cleave which I really enjoyed. One of my fave reads of 2009 - 10/10.

 

From one extreme to the other, I'm now about to start a book called The Xmas Factor.

 

I can't remember who it's by but I'm really not looking forward to it (how bad is the title?! :lol: ) - it's only the fact that it's our Christmas bookworms book that means I have to read it.

 

Oh well, I guess there is a slight chance it will be less vacuous than the 'blurb' makes it sound! :D

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I am going to try to approach it positively and hope I'm pleasantly surprised. :D I just can't imagine it'll give us much to discuss at our book club, but I could be wrong.

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Just jotting down some thoughts here as I have to discuss The Xmas Factor next week.

 

 

So far I have got up to the part where Beth has just phoned the woman in Portugal and asked her to cancel Carol's booking for the cottage.

 

I imagine that the woman will forget to do so and that Carol and her child will turn up anyway and perhaps stay with Beth and her husband (Jacob?), or will stay in the cottage as originally planned.

 

First thoughts. Beth is having to organise a Christmas 'do' which was previously arranged by her husband's now dead first wife. Shades of Du Maurier's Rebecca?

 

Beth's step-daughter Holly coincidentally works with Carol in London, although at the moment they're apparently unconnected. ( :D )

 

A book about Christmas. The publishing woman in London is called Carol. Beth's step-children are called Holly and Noel. Pur-lease! :)

 

None of the characters are likeable so far but hopefully things will improve.

 

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Carol wonders "whether to pack Calpol" when she's going away for Christmas with her 6 year old son! It's details like this that make me think that the writer(s?) don't have children!

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I'm about to start The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

 

I've not read this author before and have managed to avoid any spoilers about this book, which I've been waiting for patiently in paperback. I can't wait to get stuck in! :D

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Carol wonders "whether to pack Calpol" when she's going away for Christmas with her 6 year old son! It's details like this that make me think that the writer(s?) don't have children!

 

 

LOL, perhaps she's worried because of the liquids rule if she's flying :)

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Carol's trip away was to Oxford so flying wasn't the problem. I think the authors were trying to get across the problems of what to pack when going away - especially over the festive period when the shops might be shut.

 

From Googling, they do have children so Calpol seems an odd choice to me - not that it matters to the story! :)

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I finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman this afternoon. 8/10

 

I'm about to start A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens. I've read A Christmas Carol before, but none of the other Christmas stories.

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I've had to abandon Charles Dickens. :D

 

I read the first two (or was it three? My brain is a bit addled!) of the Christmas stories, and finished A Christmas Carol (which I still adore), but then I've been really ill and I haven't read anything at all for ages - now it's past Christmas, I've lost the enthusiasm, so I'll have to put this away for next December and make sure I start it earlier.

 

Silly sick bug. :friends0:

 

I was going to read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James next because it's being adapted on TV and I wanted to finish the book first, but I'm unlikely to read that before 30th as we're having our Christmas tomorrow as I was still feeling a bit too wobbly to eat yesterday.

 

So I'm not sure what to do now really...? :(

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Aw, sorry you didn't get to finish it, Janet. But you did better than me; I never even got started on A Christmas Carol :(.

 

I hope you're feeling better now. :friends0:

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Thanks Kylie - I'm feeling a lot better.

 

I've read the main Christmas one three times now but really want to read the others. Next year we'll have to spur each other on to get them read! :friends0:

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Just finished The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. A good job too, as the new BBC adaptation is starting in about 4 minutes! :D

 

ETA: The BBC adaptation was dreadful - I have up half an hour from the end!

Edited by Janet

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REVIEW OF 2009

 

Total books read - 65

 

Some cracking reads this year.

 

Books rated 9 or more

 

All These Lonely People [Quick Reads] by Gervase Phinn - 9

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