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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…     
BookJumper

Books about books/libraries/stories/etc.?

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I have just researched Alphabet of Thorn and man, DO WANT! Thank you Libri - that's exactly the kind of book I was hoping to discover via this thread.

 

@ Vanwa - the works of Zafon are already on my wishlist; I am waiting until I can afford the pretty edition of The Shadow of the Wind (the prequel to The Angel's Game, I believe, so you might want to put that on your own list if it's not there already).

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@BookJumper alas my list is too long already. I have ordered the entire Thursday Next series and one of those pretty Paperblanks because my old one is falling to pieces through overuse. To do this I was very clever: I transferred some money from my current account to my credit card because the bill came in, and then used the credit card to do my shopping :)

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When you do get a copy and read it, Bookjumper, I would love to hear your thoughts. Patricia McKillip is my favorite fantasy author. :irked:

If you get lost in her writing like I do, you will be happy to know that she writes single novels for the most part. I notice you prefer those to series. :)

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I thought of another book that might fit your criteria. I haven't read it myself, but it is on my bookshelf and my favorite book of all time is by the same author.

 

It's called Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land by John Crowley.

 

Here is the synopsis on the back of the book:

 

...John Crowley imagines the novel the haunted Romantic poet Lord Bryon never penned...but very well might have. Saved from destruction, read, and annotated by Byron's own abandoned daughter, Ada, the manuscript is rediscovered in our time - and almost not recognized. This is the story of a dying daughter's attempt to understand the famous father she longed for - and the young woman who, by learning the secret of Byron's manuscript and Ada's devotion, reconnects with her own father, driven from her life by a crime as terrible as any of which Byron himself was accused.

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I've just finished Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill, which is about her year of reading the books she already owned, and as soon as I finished it, it made me want to go back to the first page and start it all over again.

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There's a short story called L'Index by Grant Morrison which appeared in one of the collections of Best New Horror (or something - I don't have it to hand) which is kinda, sorta, not-quite-but-close to what you are looking for. It's about the creation of an index to a book... Of sorts. Saying any more would spoil the story.

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From old pulp magazines you'll find various stories set in libraries (private and public), though I really can't face going through the list again. There are dozens of great stories uploaded, and I'll be reading all night if I start looking. :welcome:

 

I found something else whilst rooting through some boxes which were blocking the entrance to the spare room, but it's a graphic novel. It nearly fits the criteria for your list though - Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks. It's a collection of his previous work that unfolds the story of a journalist who is trying to trace the truth about the world's most succesful comic book artist. It was published back in 1998 by Black Eye, so it shouldn't be hard to track down a copy.

 

There's also DMZ, which is about a journalist in a future America sorting out the truth from the lies as bullets fly around his head. Excellent storytelling and cool artwork, the first issue of which you can read here.

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There is also one book that I've just started, that deals with books and the main character owns a bookstore; it's "The Luxury of Exile" by Louis Buss

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That is indeed a good list - I've read one and a lot of the others are already on my wishlist, however there's several I've never heard of so I'll be definitely researching those.

 

The Luxury of Exile also sounds interesting... I'm a great fan of Byron, so do let me know if it's decent!

 

Thanks :D.

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Against the grain (also translated under Against nature) from Huysmans. A french aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he indulges his tastes for bizarre and decadent luxuries. Amoung those, he develops with pride his own transgressive library.

Proust's In search of lost time also idealises the character's remembrance of specific lectures and libraries.

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Against Nature I once saw in the British Library Shop and it did intrigue me; however the 'decadent' pleasures explored within are probably too 'decadent' for my taste (I don't like books with any amount, shape or form of sex in them).

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You would be surprised by Against nature. Sensuality is sweating all through the pages. And the promise of some sexual fantasies also happen. Probably the most sexual book I have ever read. That's maybe why Lord Wotton recommended this poisonous book to Dorian Gray. During his trial for deprivacy, Wilde was repetedly blamed for quoting such an indecent author.

 

"His eye fell on the yellow book that Lord Henry had sent him. What was it, he wondered. He went towards the little, pearl-coloured octagonal stand that had always looked to him like the work of some strange Egyptian bees that wrought in silver, and taking up the volume, flung himself into an arm-chair and began to turn over the leaves. After a few minutes he became absorbed. It was the strangest book that he had ever read. It seemed to him that in exquisite raiment, and to the delicate sound of flutes, the sins of the world were passing in dumb show before him. Things that he had dimly dreamed of were suddenly made real to him. Things of which he had never dreamed were gradually revealed.

It was a novel without a plot and with only one character, being, indeed, simply a psychological study of a certain young Parisian who spent his life trying to realise in the nineteenth century all the passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century except his own, and to sum up, as it were, in himself the various moods through which the world-spirit had ever passed, loving for their mere artificiality those renunciations that men have unwisely called virtue, as much as those natural rebellions that wise men still call sin. The style in which it was written was that curious jewelled style, vivid and obscure at once, full of argot and of archaisms, of technical expressions and of elaborate paraphrases, that characterises the work of some of the finest artists of the French school of Symbolistes. There were in it metaphors as monstrous as orchids and as subtle in colour. The life of the senses was described in the terms of mystical philosophy. One hardly knew at times whether one was reading the spiritual ecstasies of some mediaeval saint or the morbid confessions of a modern sinner. It was a poisonous book. The heavy odour of incense seemed to cling about its pages and to trouble the brain. The mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated, produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter, a form of reverie, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of the falling day and creeping shadows."

 

Hence, this decadency is not pornography. This is not Venus in furs. You have to read between the lines...

Edited by BookJumper

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I never said or implied that it was pornography - however, because of certain circumstances I find myself made anything between very uncomfortable and utterly miserable by the entire theme, so I'm sure you can appreciate how the most sexual book you've ever read is probably not a good one for me to be reading, particularly at this juncture.

Edited by BookJumper

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Also thought you might be interested in those:

 

D. Rowlinson - 'What's the Best You Can Do'

R. Brautigan - 'The Abortion: a Historical Romance'

R. Brautigan - 'Revenge of the Lawn'

G. Ronaldson - 'Books'

H. Stevenson - 'Mad Elaine'

C. Linklater - 'Reflections from a Bookshop Window'

S. Hill - 'Howards End is on the Landing'

 

I'm sure you can find a lot about those on Amazon, so I didn't write any descriptions..some of them are fiction, others quirky memoirs, diaries, etc...all of them sound really interesting. I have been looking for books on the same subjects for quite some time too

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^ Well frankie, I've read the book and I quite liked it. I would recommend it to people who like reading books about books and libraries! :)

 

 

I have a few other titles to throw in. 

 

 

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon. To those who enjoy chick lit. A woman takes over a bookshop in a small town (village?) and things happen. There's also a dog! (Loved it!)

 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A man with a bookshop and a child. Absolutely lovable book, heartily recommended!

 

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof. This one I haven't actually read yet but it's on my wishlist. 

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I have both The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin on my wish list but haven't got round to getting either of them yet. :D  I also have The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman on there as well which I think was Michelle who recommended it.  I'll get there … one day ;)

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Frankie!

 

I second The Storied Life of AJ Fikry (or The Collected Works of AJ Fikry, as my edition is titled). Lovely book!

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Oh! Funny you should bump this thread up, because only yesterday I noticed another book that goes under the heading: - . The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. Here's the synopsis on Amazon: 

 

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”
 
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.

 

Edit: I love the cover :wub: 

Edited by frankie

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I was browsing through the new acquired books for the library and came across How to Be a Heroine: Or, what I've learned from reading too much by Samantha Ellis.

 

From Amazon: 

 

 

"Cathy Earnshaw or Jane Eyre? Scarlett or Melanie? Petrova or Posy? A funny, touching, inspiring exploration of the role of heroines, and our favourite books, in all our lives. 

   
On a pilgrimage to Wuthering Heights with her best friend, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing about which heroine she liked best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She was all for wild, free, passionate Cathy, but her friend found Cathy silly, a snob who betrays Heathcliff for Edgar and makes them all unhappy -- while Jane makes her own way. And that’s when she realised that all her life she’d been trying to be Cathy when she should have been trying to be Jane.

So she decided to look again -- and harder –-- at all the heroines she'’d loved through her life, from her earliest obsessions with the Little Mermaid and Anne of Green Gables; and then on to Scarlett O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, the Dolls (of the Valley); and later Riders, Buffy, Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm and many, many more. Some of her heroines lived up to the scrutiny (she will always love Lizzy Bennet); some of them most decidedly did not (thought Katy Carr from What Katy Did was a carefree rebel? Think again. She’'s a drip). 

These were the girls, the women, the books, that had shaped her ideas of how to live, of what kind of woman she wanted to be. But had she always chosen the wrong heroines? Should she abandon them, or did they have more to teach her about being the heroine of her own life? How to Be a Heroine is her funny, touching, inspiring exploration of the role of heroines, and our favourite books, in all our lives."

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I picked up The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent because, well, it was a book about books :D (Although it's also a book about a book destroyer... :o)

 

This is from Amazon (I've made some changes so there won't be as many spoilers)

 

An irresistible French sensation - Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore meets Amélie - The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere.

 

Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life . . .

 

Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. And it's this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life.

 

For one morning, Guylain discovers a diary and he starts reading from these pages to a rapt audience.

 

The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature's power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives.

 

'The humanity of the characters . . . the re-enchantment of everyday life, the power of words and literature, tenderness and humour . . . The Reader on the 6.27 is a must' L'Express

 

'A beautiful testimony to the universality of the love of books' Livres Hebdo

 

 

I really enjoyed the novel, gave it a 4/5. Almost 5/5! Highly recommended. (It's a rather short read, 189 pages)

Edited by frankie

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A title I came across with by random. Haven't read it yet, have reserved it from the library. 

 

Death of an Avid Reader: A Kate Shackleton Mystery by Frances Brody. From Amazon: 

 

A lady with a secret

Kate Shackleton's sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.

A mysterious killing in the library's basement

But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton's past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and - much to Kate's surprise - the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!

The most puzzling case in Kate's sleuthing history yet

Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth. Who would want Dr Potter dead? Does Lady Coulton's missing daughter hold a vital clue? As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds Library, Kate is learning fast that in this case, she can't judge a book by its cover . . .

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