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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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Janet

Suggestions for my Bookclub please...

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...if it's not too cheeky! :blush:

 

I'm responsible for choosing our next Bookclub book and I'm after some suggestions from you clever people! :motz:

 

We quite often seem to end up with books set in the USA, which is fine and we've read some corkers, but I'd really quite like something set in either the UK or a different country altogether.

 

Ideally I'd like something either:

 

Gothic Horror

Historic (but not too historic - not Romans or anything like that!)

Thriller

 

None of these are my usual genre.

 

The only other stipulation is that I'd like it under 500 pages - some of our members struggle to get through the Bookclub book in four weeks, even if it's not a huge tome!

 

Please don't be offended if I don't pick something suggested this time round as there are only 6 of us so my turn will be here again before I know it!

 

Thanks in advance. :P

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I'd recommend Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth. It's a historical murder mystery, but it's very accessible, under 500 pages long, and it's the start of a series, so if people like it, they can read another one. I don't read a lot of either historical fiction or thrillers, but I really enjoyed the two of these books I've read, so I'd say it was a good choice for a book group.

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Well, I have two that pop into my mind immediately. Both are historic and one is set in Paris and one in London, both during the 20s.

 

Anna Davis' books The Shoe Queen and The Jewel Box.

 

My thoughts about the first can be found here, and I'm currently reading the latter one, and loving it. It's not fluffy, but not Tolstoy either. You know? Plus there's even these "if you've read this with your bookclub"-questions to ponder at the back, at least in my editions. I can check which that is (or just copy you the questions) if you go for this book. I heartily recommend, they do have things to discuss!

Edited by ii

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I'd like to suggest Sarah Waters's The Fingersmith, an extremely beautifully written novel. Here's the synopsis from Waters's homepage:

 

From the celebrated author of Tipping the Velvet and Affinity comes an extraordinary, ingenious tale of fraud, insanity and secrets

 

London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.

 

It's set in England, the wikipedia describes it as "Crime novel, Historical fiction, Gothic fiction" and it's 416 pages long.

 

The synopsis doesn't say much but I'd hate to say anothing more about the plot because I don't want to give anything away. There is an amazing twist to the story that you have to read for youself :blush: (I would highly recommend this book to anyone!)

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I hve just read The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and it is BRILLIANT. Would provide a LOT to talk about and is set in Italy, England, Japan. It is a mix of fantasy and romance.

 

It fits all of your specs... plus, it only has 499 pages :blush:

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You might like to look at Guernica by Dave Boling. I'm reading this at the moment and it is very thought provoking.

 

Synopsis below courtesy Amazon:

 

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This book presents an extraordinary epic of love, family, and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War. In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. Once there, he finds more than just a new life - he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets and the two discover a love they believe nothing can destroy ...Rich in the history of the region, the Red Baron, the Luftwaffe and even Picasso make appearances in Guernica as the fate of the Navarro family is traced through the early decades of the twentieth century

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I'm going to back Chesilbeach's suggestion of Oscar Wilde And The Candlelight Murders, I read and adored that book! Historical Fiction featuring Oscar Wilde and his friends, it's a murder mystery/thriller, very easy to read, slightly Victorian in it's writing style and quite funny in parts!

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The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld is a good'un. We read that for The POsh Club a while back and it was VERY well received.

 

From Fantastic Fiction:

In this ingenious, suspenseful historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan's wealthiest heiresses

Inspired by Sigmund Freud's only visit to America, The Interpretation of Murder is an intricate tale of murder and the mind's most dangerous mysteries. It unfurls on a sweltering August evening in 1909 as Freud disembarks from the steamship George Washington, accompanied by Carl Jung, his rival and protege. Across town, in an opulent apartment high above the city, a stunning young woman is found dangling from a chandelier

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Some others to consider...

 

Property by Valerie Martin:

(Fantastic Fiction) Manon Gaudet is unhappily married to the owner of a Louisiana sugar plantation. She misses her family and longs for the vibrant lifestyle of her native New Orleans, but most of all, she longs to be free of the suffocating domestic situation. The tension revolves around Sarah, a slave girl who may have been given to Manon as a wedding present from her aunt, whose young son Walter is living proof of where Manon's husband's inclinations lie. This private drama is being played out against a brooding atmosphere of slave unrest and bloody uprisings. And if the attacks reach Manon's house, no one can be sure which way Sarah will turn ... Beautifully written, Property is an intricately told tale of both individual stories and of a country in a time of change, where ownership is at once everything and nothing, and where belonging, by contrast, is all.

 

The Prestige by Christopher Priest:

(Amazon) Two 19th century stage illusionists, the aristocratic Rupert Angier and the working-class Alfred Borden, engage in a bitter and deadly feud; the effects are still being felt by their respective families a hundred years later. Working in the gaslight-and-velvet world of Victorian music halls, they prowl edgily in the background of each other's shadowy life, driven to the extremes by a deadly combination of obsessive secrecy and insatiable curiosity. At the heart of the row is an amazing illusion they both perform during their stage acts. The secret of the magic is simple, and the reader is in on it almost from the start, but to the antagonists the real mystery lies deeper. Both have something more to hide than the mere workings of a trick.

 

Perfume by Patrick Suskind:

(Amazon) Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill.

 

Carter Beats the Devil by GlenDavid Gold:

(Fantastic Fiction)

At the birth of the Jazz Age in San Francisco, the magician Charles Carter walks on to the stage of the Curran Theatre for the most daring performance of his life. Two hours later, President Warren G. Harding will be dead. The mysterious death of President Harding in 1923 is only the curtain raiser to this extraordinary novel of magic and science. Charles Carter is Carter the Great, a name given to him by the supreme showman, Harry Houdini. Carter was born into privilege but became a magician out of need. Only at the moment of the performance, when an audience is brought together by a single experience, can Carter defeat his crippling fear of loneliness. But with every step into the twentieth Century, the stakes are growing higher. Science and the cinema are fast out-stripping even the master magician and instead of that single magic moment, there is only a headlong rush into an uncertain future.

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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. ;)

 

I went with Guernica as suggested by SueK in the end... but when I got to book club, two people had already read it. :friends0:

 

We ended up deciding on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill instead! :( I slipped in in my bag at the last minute just in case this happened.

 

However, I like some of the other suggestions made so I'll either keep them in mind for next time I choose or I'll read them myself. I particularly like the sound of the Oscar Wilde Mystery so I'll probably look out for that one.

 

Thanks again all. :)

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Janet, I'm glad you asked in the first place because I've also liked some of the suggestions myself and wouldn't mind reading some of the books :friends0: Feel free to ask again for book suggestions :(

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How about Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova - great mix of history and thriller, can't recall whether that meets your criteria of 500 pages or less though...

Definitely doesn't - it's over 700 pages long. Excellent read though. Especially if the book group has already read and discussed Dracula by Bram Stoker. :friends0:

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Have you tried the True Blood series of books? They are way better than Twilight, which actually are also quite good when you give them a chance. Much better than the movie...as usual!

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Have you tried the True Blood series of books? They are way better than Twilight, which actually are also quite good when you give them a chance. Much better than the movie...as usual!

I've only read the first four and I enjoyed them, but I don't know if they'd be substantial enough to discuss in any depth in a reading group. ;)

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but teenage vampire books just don't appeal to me in the slightest. Sorry. :friends0:

I can guarantee there's WAY too much sex in them to be aimed at the teen audience - they get seriously raunchy at some point - LOL! :(

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Have you tried the True Blood series of books? They are way better than Twilight, which actually are also quite good when you give them a chance. Much better than the movie...as usual!

 

I could be wrong but are these True Blood books the ones that have been made into a TV series/movie recently?

 

I did read Twilight but since all the hype I kind of turn off when I hear about vampires. However, a LOT of my online friends have been raving about how good True Blood is.

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I could be wrong but are these True Blood books the ones that have been made into a TV series/movie recently?

 

I did read Twilight but since all the hype I kind of turn off when I hear about vampires. However, a LOT of my online friends have been raving about how good True Blood is.

 

The True Blood books are Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse -bookseries which have been made into the TV-series called True Blood :friends0:

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The True Blood books are Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse -bookseries which have been made into the TV-series called True Blood :(

 

thank you ;) I am adding them to my (ever growing) reading list :):friends0:

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thank you ;) I am adding them to my (ever growing) reading list :):friends0:

 

If you haven't already, you'll be soon finding out that joining this forum will make your TBR increase to ridiculous lenghts and you'll be poor from all the book buying :(

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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. :censored:

 

I went with Guernica as suggested by SueK in the end... but when I got to book club, two people had already read it. :eek2:

 

We ended up deciding on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill instead! ;) I slipped in in my bag at the last minute just in case this happened.

 

 

Thanks again all. :)

 

I've only just caught up with this thread and am pleased to hear, Janet, that you liked the idea of Guernica. If you get a chance, do read it as it really is an excellent book. Still, Woman in Black is great too, mind you don't all spook yourselves out at the bookclub:lol:

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My Mum has Guernica at the moment, although she's not reading it yet. I will definitely read it after her though. ;)

 

One of our members is really scared about reading The Woman in Black... so our meeting should be interesting! :eek2:

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