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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 2010

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I thought I'd read the first few pages of The Little Stranger before I turned the light out last night but actually read up to page 33. I'm loving the writing style so far!

 

Up to about page 65 now. :D

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I read Traitors of the Tower [Quick Reads] by Alison Weir this morning. Short non-fiction accounts of the deaths of seven 'traitors' in the Tower of London between 1483 and 1601.

 

I knew of the seven (some of them from school - which is a long, long time ago! :lol: ) but didn't really remember much detail of them, so this was great. A good introduction to this fascinating period of history. Such a tricky time to live for those in the Royal courts, where life was like living on a knife-edge where one was in favour one minute, but could, literally, lose their head the next!

 

8/10 :motz:

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That sounds like a good read Janet. I think I'll be picking that one up when I can.

 

Can't wait to see your thoughts on Sarah Waters either. I've loved her books so far.

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It's very simplistic, Kat, but enjoyable and has made me want to read more 'tudor stuff'! :lol:

 

Okay, now to The Little Stranger.

 

I haven't read any other views about this book yet (I try not to until after I've read the book and gathered my own thoughts together). It's such a complex book that this 'review' doesn't really do it justice.

 

I'm afraid I've used a few spoiler tags. I know some find them irritating but I don't want to give anything away.

 

In 1919 when Doctor Faraday is ten years old, he attends a f

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Yes, Janet ... I'm sure you're right .. but it took me two reads of the last couple of pages to figure that out, I knew I had missed something but I wasn't sure what.

 

As you say

the last paragraph spells it .. out albeit in a subtle way

... I loved it, very atmospheric and creepy.

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The thing was that

we only had his version of events to show that he stayed in his car all night. But he had the key - he'd already said that he'd held on to it. The very last sentence made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle when I first read it so I read the last few pages again just to be sure. I thought it was so subtle. :lol:

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I loved the subtlety of it ... that made it all the better for me.

 

Again,

I started to think it was the doctor only around the time of his sleeping out in the car but then I talked myself out of it again. Sarah is clever in that she makes us think, with that last paragraph, that the 'little stranger' has gone away .. but then you realise why

 

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I totally agree, Poppy. :lol:

 

I'm just about to start Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett. I haven't read any of his work before.

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Have finished Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett - 7½/10, The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier - 8/10 and 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - 8/10.

I've nearly finished reading The Duchess of Bloomsbury, also by Helene Hanff.

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I haven't been sleeping so did a lot of reading in the early hours of the morning whilst I was staying at Mum's. It's not so easy to do that now I'm back home - for some reason my husband doesn't like me putting the light on at 3am! :D

 

I finished The Duchess of Bloomsbury, which I discovered at the back of 84 Charing Cross Road - the front cover of the book makes no mention of it at all!

 

I'm now reading The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit as part of my 'Decades' challenge but I'm reading it very slowly.

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You need to get one of those little book lights, that would be perfect wouldn't it? :D Sorry you're not sleeping though, that's not fun at all, hope you manage to get some rest soon :D

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Thanks Kelly. :D

 

I finished The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit last night. It was okay, but I much prefer The Railway Children!

 

On to The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson now!

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Books purchased in 2010

 

Once by Morris Gleitzman �6.99- finished 14.01.10

Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self by various contributors �6.99 - finished 25.01.10

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (�4.49 in paperback with a �10 spend!) (02.01.10 - Waterstone's) - finished 06.04.10

 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare - February reading circle book �2.00 - finished 03.02.10

The Chrisalids by John Wyndham �1.00 (16.01.10 - Bookbarn)

 

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant - March bookworms book �3.50 (22.01.10 - Asda) - finished 03.03.10

 

Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell �8.99 with Christmas money (25.01.10 - Waterstone's)

 

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh - �6.99 - finished 10.02.10

The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt - �5.99 - finished 07.02.10

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - �7.99 (these three BOGOF)

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer - �3.50 (Went halves with my Mum!(05.02.10 - Waterstone's) - finished 15.03.10

 

Cambridge School Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet - �3.00

Cambridge School Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors - �2.50 (17.02.10 - Kim's Bookshop, Chichester)

 

Candide - Voltaire - �1.00 - finished 17.03.10

The History of Mr Polly - H G Wells �1.00 (05.03.10 - The Bookbarn) - finished 29.03.10

 

Anna of the Five Towns - Arnold Bennett �1.99 (06.03.10 - Oxfam) - finished 16.04.10

 

Incendiary by Chris Cleave �1.39 (18.03.10 - Save the Children)

 

Life's Too Short [Quick Reads] (true stories about life at work) - by various contributors

The Perfect Murder [Quick Reads] - Peter James - finished 20.03.10

Traitors of the Tower [Quick Reads] - Alison Weir - finished 07.04.10

Buster Fleabags [Quick Reads] - Rolf Harris (20.03.10 - from Kell)

 

84, Charing Cross Road/The Duchess of Bloomsbury - Helen Hanff - �2.00 (19.04.10 - British Heart Foundation Shop) finished 23 and 28 April

 

The Enchanted Castle - E Nesbit - finished 03.05.10

The Wickedest Witch in the World - Beverley Nichols - 50p each (21.04.10 - Lion's Bookshop)

 

The Earth Hums in B Flat - Mari Strachan (28.04.10 - from the lovely Chrissy :D )

 

It's Not What You Think - Chris Evans - �4.99 delivered, but free as I had a gift card (06.05.10 - Waterstone's online)

 

Total new books acquired in 2010: 26

Number of these read: 15

Whoops!

 

Must. Stop. Buying. Books. disappear.gif

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:D

 

I know that's true!

 

I'm very apathetic at the moment about everything. *sighs* I usually read in bed for at least 30 minutes each night but I've been falling asleep as overall I'm not sleeping very well so my sleep patterns are all over the place! :irked:

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020-2010-May-03-TheEnchantedCastle.jpg

 

The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit

 

The ‘blurb’

Gerald, Cathy and Jimmy discover an enchanted garden and wake a beautiful princess from a hundred-year sleep - only to have her immediately made invisible by a magic ring! The quest to rescue her from her own magic proves difficult, funny and at times very frightening!

 

Originally published in 1907, I read this as part of my decades challenge. I’m a huge fan of Nesbit’s The Railway Children (book and film!) and have enjoyed some of her other works, especially the Psammead series which I read many years ago, so I had high hopes for this.

 

Although I enjoyed it, it didn’t come close to those for me; at times it felt a bit long-winded and some of her usual spark was missing. I’m not sure that it would stand up to reading by today’s 10 year olds - or that the synopsis is correct when it says that it’s ‘sometimes frightening’!

 

The paperback is 253 pages long and is published by Puffin. The ISBN number is 978-0140367430.

 

7/10 (I think!)

 

(Finished 3 May 2010)

Edited by Janet

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I'm about 1/3 of the way through Join Me by Danny Wallace and (just as I expected) I'm loving it! :smile2:

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Yesterday I finished Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier - thoughts to follow. 6/10

 

I'm now reading Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey, which I got for my birthday. :lol:

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How are you liking Tatty Janet? I'm about three quarters through and I really love it.

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024-2010-Jun-05-Tatty.jpg

 

Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey

 

The �blurb�

Tragic, funny and utterly unsentimental, Christine Dwyer Hickey's "Tatty" is a devastating, affecting journey into the mind of a child. With the brutal clarity and touching honesty of a child, "Tatty" tells the story of her alcoholic family. The result is a stunning portrait of a disintegrating family and the child lost within it.

 

I loved this book!

 

As the story begins, we are in 1964, and Caroline, known as �Tatty� to her family, is 4 years old. Her nickname is a play on the words tell-tale-tattler - she earns it because she�s unable to keep secrets. She lives near Dublin with her Mam and Dad and her sisters - Jeannie who is two years older than her and Deirdre who has learning difficulties - and her two younger brothers.

 

Tatty�s parents are drunks who have a volatile relationship. Tatty is particularly close to her Dad, and at times her Mam is very jealous of this closeness. As her parents� relationship breaks down, her mother�s drinking becomes steadily worse, and she becomes more aggressive towards her children as they witness their parents� unhappiness.

 

The story moves through the years to the early 70s and Tatty goes away to boarding school, but life continues to be difficult for the family and the reader follows the emotional rollercoaster, wondering if there ever be a happy ending for this optimistic, vulnerable child and her siblings.

 

The story is narrated by Tatty. There are no speech marks - it�s told in first person, which occasionally, but intentionally, slips into third person. This style of writing really helps to capture Tatty�s personality and adds to the overall feeling of her fierce independence mixed with childhood innocence.

 

If you like books that tie up all the loose ends then this book might not be the one for you, but personally I like to have a bit of something to think about and I really enjoyed it. :)

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