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    • Hayley

      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 2010

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Having given up on The Children's Book, I'm now reading a children's book by a local(ish) author - The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt. I'm loving it so far!

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I finished this earlier. What a brilliant debut, from a (fairly) local author. He was signing books at Waterstone's in Wells last week, but sadly I was unable to go. I thought this was great! 9/10

 

Review here :roll:

Edited by Janet

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Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

 

OMG - it has taken me three weeks to read one book! :D And of the 461 pages in this story, I've read just under 400 in two days! Hopefully this means the return of my errant mojo!

 

I really enjoyed it though. It's not a book I'd have picked up if it wasn't a 'Bookworms' choice. :D

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Started Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome this morning. I've only read a few pages but it's all ready had me chuckling out loud! :lol:

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What made you give up on 'The Children's Book' Janet? I want to start reading it soon but the size of it is daunting me a bit (that, and the fact that I know it's a bit complex with lots of different storylines).

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Thanks, Andrea. :D

 

I just don't think I was in the right frame of mind for it, Poppyshake. Also, there were lots of characters, I got quite confused at times by who was who (partly my fault for reading it so slowly, I guess).

 

I did read somewhere that Byatt herself kept a spreadsheet of characters whilst she was writing it to save herself getting confused, but whether that's actually true or not I don't know.

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Ah I loved Three Men in a Boat. Very light and amusing. Enjoy!

 

That's great to hear, Andrea. :D

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009-2010-Mar-03-SacredHearts.jpg

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

The 'blurb'
1570 in The Italian city of Ferrara. Sixteen-year-old Serafina is ripped by her family from an illicit love affair and forced into the convent of Santa Caterina, renowned for its superb music. Serafina's one weapon is her glorious voice, but she refuses to sing. Madonna Chiara, an abbess as fluent in politics as she is in prayer, finds her new charge has unleashed a power play - rebellion, ecstasies and hysterias - within the convent. However, watching over Serafina is Zuana, the sister in charge of the infirmary, who understands and might even challenge her incarceration.

Sent away by her family to a convent to become a nun against her wishes after falling in love with an unacceptable suitor, Serafina is understandably angry and anguished on her arrival at the convent, but is quickly taken under the wing of an older nun, Zuana, who looks after the convent's medical needs.

Serafina soon conforms, or at least, to the other nuns that appears to be the case, but in reality she's planning her escape with her lover - and Zuana is unwittingly drawn into the plans.

In the meantime, there is unrest in the convent and a conflict arises between Suora Umiliana, who wants the convent to become even more austere, and the Abbess, who likes things the way they are. Perhaps there is a way for Zuana to help the Abbess, and at the same time, help Serafina too?



I found myself rooting for Serafina. I don't profess to know much about the running of a convent, but from the bibliography it was obviously meticulously researched and felt accurate. Despite the setting, it felt like a place full of life and colour where the women in it were strong and independent, in spite of their secluded lives.

This was my March Bookworms book and I must confess I was putting it off a bit because I don't tend to 'do' novels set before the 1800s, and one set in a convent really didn't appeal.

Which is why I'm glad that I had to read this, because I really enjoyed it!! :biggrin:

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011-2010-Mar-15-Blacklands.jpg

 

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

 

The ‘blurb’

DEAR MR AVERY

 

I AM LOOKING FOR WP. CAN YOU HELP ME?

 

SINCERELY,

 

SL, 111 BARNSTAPLE ROAD, SHIPCOTT, SOMERSET.

He was only twelve, he reasoned; he couldn’t be expected to get stuff like writing to serial killers right the first time.

 

Twelve year old Steven lives a miserable existence at home. He and his Mum and younger brother have to live with his Grandmother - but his Grandmother is not a nice person and so the tensions at home mean that his Mum can never fully relax and be a proper, loving mother. It’s not entirely his Nan’s fault of course - her son, Steven’s unknown uncle Billy, disappeared when he was just eleven and his Nan spends her time staring out of the window in the vain hope that Billy will come home.

 

Steven knows that things will improve if he can just find Billy’s body so that his Nan can have the closure she needs and finally say goodbye to her son. So Steven decides to write to the killer - and so begins a game which could just turn out to be deadly…

 

It’s fairly simplistically written which means it’s a quick read, but the storyline is cracking. I suppose the peripheral characters aren’t very fleshed out, but I thought that Steven’s and Avery’s characters were very well written.

 

The heartache when Steven tries desperately to please his mother and grandmother, the exhilaration of when things are going well and the feelings of hopelessness when they call come crashing down around his ears again come across so well and make the reader really feel for Steven.

 

This is Ms Bauer’s first novel, and what a good read it is. I look forward to her next offering.

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Next up, Candide by Voltaire. I'd been fancying trying it for ages and came across it at the Bookbarn for

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I'm just about to start The History of Mr Polly by H G Wells.

 

I also bought Incendiary by Chris Cleave for

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Finished Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. Very amusing! :lol: Thoughts to follow.

 

I've always wanted to read this!

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I really enjoyed it. :lol: I know Kylie's just finished and enjoyed it too, Mona. :D

Edited by Janet
I'm a numpty!

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I hadn't actually got round to starting The History of Mr Polly by H G Wells, so I've put it to one side for now.

 

I've just read one of my Quick Reads - The Perfect Murder by Peter James! :)

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Finished The History of Mr Polly by H G Wells today. After a slow start I really enjoyed it. I think I'll look out for Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul on my travels as I think it might be similar. :D

 

Next up, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. :smile2:

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Now is that the same 'History of Mr Polly' that has been dramatised Janet? .. the old film with John Mills and a newer adaptation with Lee Evans? I like that story if so. I've only ever seen the film of 'Kipps' but again, good story.

 

I loved 'The Little Stranger' .. hope you do to.

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Yes, that's the one. :smile2:

 

I'm afraid I let my feelings get in the way of watching the Lee Evan's version when it was on TV, but having read the reviews on Amazon I was a fool to let that prejudice get in the way! :D I don't think I've ever come across the John Mills version on TV.

 

I love the musical Half a Sixpence! Sadly it doesn't appear to be available on DVD at the moment or I might have bought it.

 

I'm hugely looking forward to the Sarah Waters. I haven't read any reviews or the thread on here but I've read lots of people say they loved it, so that's encouraging! :smile2:

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Don't read the reviews till you've finished Janet, especially mine as .. though I think I've got spoiler wraps on it .. it gives some of the story away. But when you have finished it'll be interesting to see what you think ... it causes quite a lot of debate.

 

I enjoyed the Lee Evans adaptation of 'The History of Mr Polly' .. though not having read the book helps with that of course ... I'm terrible watching adaptations of books I've read. Keep your eye on the TV schedules for the John Mills film .. it's on quite a lot.

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Thanks Poppy. I will be sure to share my views when I've finished The Little Stranger. And I've found a site where one can search to see if a particular show is being shown on TV so I'll be certain to keep an eye out for ...Mr Polly. :D

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Hi Janet -

Oooh looking forward to your views on The Little Stranger as its on my wish list. I have Fingersmith by the same author so planning to read that first to ensure I like her style.

K x

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