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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 2011

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Not read the book but I do remember the movie Kes which was very good, hope you enjoy it :)

 

 

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Hehe - I thought so too! :giggle2:

 

I'm going to Bristol on Monday, but I'm determined to walk past Waterstone's and save my voucher for another day. Well, I'll try to, anyway...

 

 

I was hoping The Screwtape Letters might have been here when I got home today, but sadly it didn't arrive. I'm not sure what to read next.

 

*Goes to peruse shelves*

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I've just finished Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, which was utterly brilliant! :D

 

Oh no! I dumped this from my TBR pile because I figured I could do without it. Are you now telling me I should keep it?

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I'm always worried about saying to people "yes, you must read this..." in case they then go on to hate it ( :lurker: ) but I really did enjoy it. I think it helps that it's set in 1982, which was the year I left secondary school, so the references to real life things (the Falklands War, for example, and the music talked about) just took me back to my teenage years.

 

It was probably as much a nostalgia thing as anything, but I thought the story was really good and the characters were so well written. Put it this way - I could see myself re-reading this in a few years time and I don't often read books a second time!

 

I must say that looking at the reviews on Amazon (after I'd read it) - the reviews are fairly mixed. It seems those that didn't like it are comparing it to some of Mitchell's other books (Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas...) but as I haven't read any of his other books, I had nothing to compare it negatively to. :)

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I went to the Jane Austen Museum in Bath yesterday. After being inspired by the 20 minute talk, I bought Mansfield Park for the princely sum of 40p in a charity shop today! :D

 

I'm probably going to Bath next week, so I clicked on the link, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm a bit tired, or perhaps because I'm currently re-reading the Thursday Next books, but the first thing I saw was the icon for the "Regency Tea Rooms" which I read as "Emergency Tea Rooms" - exactly the sort of tea room I usually need! :lol:

 

Excellent bargain, Janet, and for me it's probably her most accomplished book.

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I had tea in the pump room at Bath once and just to be in a place where Jane had visited was exciting. I went to the museum too and even partook of some bath water .. it was disgusting and far from making me feel well it made me feel decidedly dodgy.

 

That is a definite bargain Janet, what can you get for 40p? .. you can't even buy a kit-kat (WH Smiths are actually charging 75p for a kit-kat ... I needed smelling salts and aromatic vinegar when I saw that!)

 

It's a lovely read, hope you enjoy it.

 

'A Kestrel for a Knave' is one I've earmarked from the 1001 list .. I liked the film a lot so hopefully it will be as good or better.

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I'm probably going to Bath next week, so I clicked on the link, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm a bit tired, or perhaps because I'm currently re-reading the Thursday Next books, but the first thing I saw was the icon for the "Regency Tea Rooms" which I read as "Emergency Tea Rooms" - exactly the sort of tea room I usually need! :lol:

 

Excellent bargain, Janet, and for me it's probably her most accomplished book.

I like the sound of Emergency Tea Rooms! :giggle2: I have to say that whilst I enjoyed the museum enormously, the displays are as much about Bath in the period that Jane lived there as they are about Jane herself. The 20-or-so minute talk that started the tour was very interesting. The tours started at quarter past and quarter to the hour, for anyone considering going - but there is a gift shop you can browse if you turn up earlier.

 

As a resident of Bath and North East Somerset, I'm lucky to get in free. :)

 

I've only read Pride and Prejudice so far, so I'm looking forward to this. :)

 

I had tea in the pump room at Bath once and just to be in a place where Jane had visited was exciting. I went to the museum too and even partook of some bath water .. it was disgusting and far from making me feel well it made me feel decidedly dodgy.

 

That is a definite bargain Janet, what can you get for 40p? .. you can't even buy a kit-kat (WH Smiths are actually charging 75p for a kit-kat ... I needed smelling salts and aromatic vinegar when I saw that!)

 

It's a lovely read, hope you enjoy it.

 

'A Kestrel for a Knave' is one I've earmarked from the 1001 list .. I liked the film a lot so hopefully it will be as good or better.

'Bath' water is disgusting. Bleurgh - it tastes of sulphur!

 

A Kit-Kat is 75p?! :o I'm not surprised you needed smelling salts! Wow - they used to be 7p! :lurker: 40p is a definite bargain - especially as this is a Penguin (nice big print) and looks virtually new.

 

I'm looking forward to Kes too.

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I love bath I have been a few times and should go more often as its just a short train journey away. Have you ever been to Jane Austen's birthplace in Hampshire we used to go all the time when I lived near by, its a very lovely village, the signs into Hampshire in that area all say 'entering Jane Ausen Country' which is a lovely celebration of her.

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That is nice. :)

 

I haven't been, but I'd like to. I also want to go to Winchester Cathedral to see where she's buried. :)

 

Her father is buried in St Swithin's church in Bath - I've been there several times but had no idea! The Jane Austen society have put up some information about him in the church.

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Thanks for the extra info on Black Swan Green. :)

 

I spent a day in Bath on my trip to England and I adored it. I'm so jealous that you live so close, Janet!

 

I have huge regrets now, though. I hadn't read Jane Austen at the time so she didn't really mean anything to me. huh.gif I vaguely recall passing the museum but of course I had no interest in seeing it. Wow, what I wouldn't give to be able to go back now and see it!

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Thanks for the extra info on Black Swan Green. :)

 

I spent a day in Bath on my trip to England and I adored it. I'm so jealous that you live so close, Janet!

 

I have huge regrets now, though. I hadn't read Jane Austen at the time so she didn't really mean anything to me. huh.gif I vaguely recall passing the museum but of course I had no interest in seeing it. Wow, what I wouldn't give to be able to go back now and see it!

Awww. :hug: You never know - maybe one day you might be able to visit again? :)

 

I have a map of places that Jane mentions in her books based in Bath and also of the places that she lived and visited in Bath. One day I'm going to go and trace her steps and take pictures of as many places as I can! The 'Lower Rooms' that Catherine mentions in Northanger Abbey are no longer there as they were destroyed by fire in 1820, so obviously I can't snap those!

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I finally finished The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis today, in readiness for Giulia's Reading Circle in March.

 

Next up, a re-read of The Outcast by Sadie James for my Book Club. :)

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I finished The Outcast by Sadie Jones this morning. This is what I said about it in 2008...

 

Whatever you think about Richard and Judy (and personally I don't watch them - I always plan to watch the book reviews on Wednesdays but the timeslot is a bad one with children so I never quite get round to it) - they've picked some good books in their Bookclub, and The Outcast is another very enjoyable read.

 

I think you might like this if you liked The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - it has that feel about it, although it's maybe not quite so good.

 

Someone on Amazon described this as like watching a car crash unfold in slow-motion, and I think that sums it up rather accurately. It feels a bit long-winded in places, and yet I read it really quickly (for me) and overall thought it was very enjoyable - especially as it's her début novel. I shall certainly look forward to her future books

And I gave it 7½/10.

 

Well, I seldom re-read books (my 'to read' pile is huge enough, without putting them off to read something I've already read) but this is my latest Book Club choice and I wanted to refresh my memory.

 

I didn't realise how much of this excellent story I'd forgotten. I enjoyed it *far* more the second time around. She's captured everything so well. The tension throughout the novel, the characters, the feel of rural England in the 1950s... An excellent book. :D

 

I said at the end of my review that I was going to look forward to her future books, but I must admit I haven't thought about her as an author since reading, but I would definitely like to read her follow up, Small Wars.

 

Oh, and I think The Outcast would make an excellent Sunday night BBC1 serial! :)

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Another one that I have on my TBR pile :blush: I've read quite a few Richard & Judy recommends books & they're usually good , The Suspicions of Mr Wicher being the only notable exception , so I do tend to look out for they're stickers when I'm browsing the shelves in the charity shops.

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I've read a fair few of their choices and I think (from memory) I've enjoyed all the ones I've chosen. :) I'm looking forward to discussing this one at my Book Club - there is so much to talk about.

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I've just finished A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. Thoughts to follow... although I'm so far behind with my reviews!

 

This book counts towards my Decades Challenge, and also the 1001 Books... Challenge.

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007-2011-Jan-30-TheTripleEcho.jpg

 

The Triple Echo by H E Bates

 

The ‘blurb’

The time is England, during the Second World War, and Alice is struggling to keep a small farm going, in the absence of her husband, a Japanese Prisoner of War. As her lonely life is disturbed by a young deserter, Bates unfolds the strange and moving story of their love affair, of their intrigues and their deceptions and the elaborate web they weave to outwit the Military Police.

 

This was my first experience of H E Bates - I’ve wanted to read something by him for a long time (not a ‘Darling Buds’ book - Love for Lydia is the one I really fancy trying) and I found this for £1 in the Bookbarn, so it seemed as good a place as any to start.

 

It’s not a very long book, and consequently is a quick read. The blurb pretty much sums the story up and I don’t have much to add, apart from the fact that although the book is clearly set in WW2, for some reason it felt very 1970s to me (it was written in 1970 but I don’t think that’s the reason why - I can’t put my finger on it!). The ending was unexpected. For some reason, I felt rather unsatisfied by the end of it, but again, I can’t put my finger on why.

 

This version is illustrated by Ron Clarke and his little drawings add to the book.

 

The paperback is just 90 pages long and is published by Penguin. It’s currently out-of-print, but there are lots of copies available on Amazon Marketplace.

 

6½/10

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I bought book 12 of 2011 today! Somewhere, Home by Nada Awar Jarrar - it was £2 in the British Heart Foundation shop and the author was born in the Lebanon so it counts towards my World Challenge. :)

 

ETA: I didn't realise today was "World Book Day" - I haven't seen any of the Quick Reads anywhere this year! Anyway, as Michelle has said elsewhere, there must/should be a law about having to buy a book on WBD, so there's my justification for the above! :D

Edited by Janet

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I acquired three more books today. :(

 

I'm looking sad, because I was going to be better this year, but instead I've already acquired 15 books in 2011 at a cost of £21.97 and I haven't read all of the ones I bought last year yet, not to mention my 'to read' pile from pre-2010.

 

I've read 6/15 of 2011's books so far.

 

In the same period in 2010 I'd bought 13 so I'm already 2 up on that, despite my resolution.

 

I feel it's getting out of hand but I can't seem to stop. :( The trouble is, I keep finding bargains.

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If it helps any, you're in good company, Janet. friends0.gif I know exactly how you're feeling. I've been trying desperately hard to be good, but there are so many great bargains to be had!

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Thanks Kylie. :hug:

 

I'm seriously considering donating my pre-2010 books to charity and starting with a clean-ish slate. Part of me thinks I won't be able to do it, but on the other hand if they've been there that long unread then do I really need them? If I could get my pile down to manageable proportions, I might actually be able to read the ones I do buy!

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