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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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Have you seen The Help is being made into a movie? I saw the preview when I saw Water for Elepahants last week. It looks really good. :D

 

If you don't read Janet Evanovich soon, I will make my way to the UK and stare at you menacingly until you do. o.O

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Uh oh. I haven't seen Abby's menacing stare, but it doesn't sound very nice! Abby, did you know the next Stephanie Plum is coming out soon? Or perhaps it has already been released over there. I received an email today saying Smokin' Seventeen will be published on 21 June here. I think I'm up to To the Nines.

 

I should really try to read The Help before the movie comes out.

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For real? That's amazing, how many debut novels get such high marks. :huh:

On the American Amazon site, the book got 3,235 reviews! :o 2,586 of those were 5 star!

 

I loved 'The Help' too .. great choice Janet :)

:D It's such a good book.

 

Have you seen The Help is being made into a movie? I saw the preview when I saw Water for Elepahants last week. It looks really good. :D

 

If you don't read Janet Evanovich soon, I will make my way to the UK and stare at you menacingly until you do. o.O

I had seen it was being made into a film - a definite must. I would also like to see Water for Elephants - we read that for Book Club too so we might have a club outing!

 

:hide: I've put the Stephanie Plum book on one of my Amazon Wish Lists!

 

Uh oh. I haven't seen Abby's menacing stare, but it doesn't sound very nice! Abby, did you know the next Stephanie Plum is coming out soon? Or perhaps it has already been released over there. I received an email today saying Smokin' Seventeen will be published on 21 June here. I think I'm up to To the Nines.

 

I should really try to read The Help before the movie comes out.

Oh yes, do try. I always think it's better that way round! :)

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Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times

 

I've only read three books more than three times:

 

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Beyond This Place by A J Cronin and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I think the latter is probably my favourite of these, but it's hard to choose!

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Day 03 – Your favourite series

 

Whoops - this is still Wednesday, because I haven't been to bed yet! :P

 

I don't tend to read series books. Off the top of my head, in adult life I've only read the Harry Potter books, the Narnia books, all of the Wycliffe (bar one) books by W J Burley and the 'Mrs Pargeter' books by Simon Brett. I know what tomorrow's question is and I'm going to struggle to answer it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it and for now say that my favourite series is the Narnia Chronicles :)

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I'm so far behind with the Book Challenge thing on here - I haven't been around much recently as I've been so busy and I've hardly read a thing in the last few weeks. :(

 

I have managed to acquire three new books though, despite my lack of reading. :rolleyes:

 

Solomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson

 

My next Book Club book. I don't know anything about this author, but it sounds okay.

 

Thirty-eight year old Glory Solomon is struggling to come to terms with life on her Californian farm after the sudden death of her husband. The two lost souls walk into her life, Glory is completely unprepared for the changes they will bring. Juniper McGuire is a troubled, angry teenager from a broken family, in need of a home and the kind of emotional guidance that Glory herself is looking for. Help comes in the form of Joseph Vigil a wounded ex-police officer, who also bears scars from his past that he is trying to heal. Together these three survivors find in each other an unexpected solace, the bond of friendship, and a second change to see the miracles of everyday life

 

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons

 

I made a comment on Natasha's blog last summer after reading the excellent Mr Rosenbaum, and the publishers contacted me and said they'd like to send me this free of charge! How kind of them. It sounds lovely, I can't wait to get stuck in.

 

In the spring of 1938 Elise Landau arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay. A bright young thing from Vienna forced to become a parlour-maid, she knows nothing about England, except that she won`t like it. As servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn, Elise wears her mother`s pearls beneath her uniform, and causes outrage by dancing with a boy called Kit. But war is coming and the world is changing. And Elise must change with it.

 

At Tyneford she learns that you can be more than one person.

And that you can love more than once.

 

22. Sweet Poison by David Roberts

 

I don't usually look at reviews on Amazon, but I managed to see these - oh dear! :giggle2: Luckily this was given to me so I didn't pay for it! I've left it in the glove box of my car as an 'emergency book'! :lol:

 

It is August 1935 and the Duke of Mersham is hosting one of his influential parties, bringing together public figures interested in improving Anglo-German relations. One of his guests is General Sir Alistair Craig VC, who swallows poison in the duke's excellent port and dies just as latecomer Lord Edward Corinth and journalist Verity Browne arrive on the scene. The unlikely pair - the younger son of a duke and a journalist committed to the Communist Party find common ground as they seek for the truth behind the genera's murder and discover that everyone present - including the duke himself - had a motive for wanting Sir Alistair out of the way. First published in hardback in 2000, this classic detective story introducing Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne was much acclaimed.

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The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons

 

I made a comment on Natasha's blog last summer after reading the excellent Mr Rosenbaum, and the publishers contacted me and said they'd like to send me this free of charge! How kind of them. It sounds lovely, I can't wait to get stuck in.

 

Oh, you lucky thing! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :)

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Great choices Janet, I have 'Mr Rosenbaum...' on my tbr list, hope you enjoy 'The Novel in the Viola' just as much :)

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Thanks, guys. :) I read the first chapter last night and am going to like the writing style of it - I have high hopes for it!

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The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons

 

I made a comment on Natasha's blog last summer after reading the excellent Mr Rosenbaum, and the publishers contacted me and said they'd like to send me this free of charge! How kind of them. It sounds lovely, I can't wait to get stuck in.

 

That's amazing, good for you! :smile2: I already have the book on my wishlist too, it sounds like a great read, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it :)

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I am woefully behind on this! :blush:

 

Day 05 – A book that makes you happy

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - such lovely writing and such an uplifting book.

 

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - although a children's book and very simplistic, and although a few minor details irritated me, the book is brilliant and the ending, even though I saw it coming, sent shivers down my spine. I think this should be compulsory reading in primary schools!

 

Day 07 – Most underrated book

The Toymaker by Jeremy DeQuidt - it's another children's book and is very dark. I loved it but it never seemed to do much and it did have some criticism levelled at it for not being suitable for its target 9+ audience because of certain scenes.

 

Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Strange as it may seem, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I read this in 2006, a time when I mainly read 'chick lit' (a genre I've gone right off now) and so I was a bit nervous of reading such a 'serious' book. However, I loved it! The follow-up is even better! Come on, Mr Hosseini - where is your next offering?!!

 

Day 10 – Favourite classic book

It's a toss up between two, I'm afraid! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. If forced at knife-point to choose, I'd have to go with the latter as I read it every December, but P&P is just marvellous too!

 

Day 11 – A book you hated

I know this is popular - it's also a book that divides opinion - but I couldn't stand The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. I hated Holden - what a phoney. :irked:

 

Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t any more

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I did enjoy this a lot when I first read it years ago, but when I tried to re-read it again I found I didn't like it at all. Becky is too shallow. I think what put me off was that I read nearly all of the sequels (I haven't read the Baby one) and Becky didn't change at all - she didn't grow as a character.

 

Day 13 – Your favourite writer

George Orwell! Although Emily Barr is a close second (which is bizarre really, as the two are completely poles apart!!).

 

Day 14 – Favourite book of your favourite writer

Hmm, tricky! I think I'll have to choose Down and Out in Paris and London for non-fiction, and A Clergyman's Daughter for fiction!

 

Day 15 – Favourite male character

Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice- although I'm pretty sure Colin Firth's portrayal is helping this fact! I know he's stuck up at first (which is the whole point!) but I love the way he helps out Lizzy's family behind the scenes and the way they fall in love is just incredible.

 

Day 16 – Favourite female character

I'm not sure about this one. For now I'll say Liesel from The Book Thief - she's feisty, and I love that about her!

 

That's amazing, good for you! :smile2: I already have the book on my wishlist too, it sounds like a great read, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it :)

Thanks, frankie. I'll be sure to post here when I've finished it. :)

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Today I finished The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons and bought When God was a Rabbit

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I loved it! :) It's so beautifully written. She captured exactly how I imagine life would have been for Elise working as a servant when she'd been brought up to better things. Both this and Mr Rosenblaum's List have an easy reading style (that's not to say it's a lazy writing style, because it isn't) which made me feel transported to the place and time.

 

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I finished it yesterday at about 8am, and by 12pm I'd bought a copy for my friend for her birthday!!

 

It wasn't a heavy story, and part of it might have been predictable, but I couldn't wait to be able to pick it up again and I was sad when it ended - for me, that's always the sign of a good book. :)

 

ETA: Like Mr Rosenblaum... it's based on family members, and the village that the story is set in in Dorset actually existed - I won't say what happens to the village, but I really want to go there now!

Edited by Janet

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The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I did enjoy this a lot when I first read it years ago, but when I tried to re-read it again I found I didn't like it at all. Becky is too shallow. I think what put me off was that I read nearly all of the sequels (I haven't read the Baby one) and Becky didn't change at all - she didn't grow as a character.

 

I hate it but I have to agree with you on some of the things you said. I've read the first novel in the series three times and I really liked it each time, and the other books I've read once, I think. I think I'd still like the first novel if I read it (I've actually been thinking about re-reading it for a while), but I fear that I wouldn't enjoy it anymore. Shopaholic & Sister was such a bad novel, there were so many predictable events and some of the characters didn't feel believable at all, it was so bad I almost didn't read Shopaholic & Baby because of that, which would've been a shame because it was loads better than the Sister one (don't mean to say you should read it though, I don't want to risk our friendship :lol:). I'm not going to read Mini Shopaholic though, I'm terribly afraid the whole idea of the series has been throroughly gone through and there can't be anything new to write about.

 

The thing I agree with you on most is how Becky never changes. At first it was funny, but it gets really tiring when it's the basis of all the books. Sometimes I just want to slap her and go "what the F is wrong with you, woman!!". However, I find the different ways in which she copes with it and finds how to make everything all right in the end very creative and admirable. At the same time I also feel that if she can pull herself together and get out of the huge mess she's made, again, then there's hope for other people too. It's therapeutic :blush: I don't know if you know what I mean, but there it is.

 

I loved it! :) It's so beautifully written. She captured exactly how I imagine life would have been for Elise working as a servant when she'd been brought up to better things. Both this and Mr Rosenblaum's List have an easy reading style (that's not to say it's a lazy writing style, because it isn't) which made me feel transported to the place and time.

 

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I finished it yesterday at about 8am, and by 12pm I'd bought a copy for my friend for her birthday!!

 

It wasn't a heavy story, and part of it might have been predictable, but I couldn't wait to be able to pick it up again and I was sad when it ended - for me, that's always the sign of a good book. :)

 

ETA: Like Mr Rosenblaum... it's based on family members, and the village that the story is set in in Dorset actually existed - I won't say what happens to the village, but I really want to go there now!

 

Sounds great, I must order it for myself soon! Thanks for the review :smile2: It's funny, I'm smiling at the anticipation of reading this book. Is that cuckoo?

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I hate it but I have to agree with you on some of the things you said. I've read the first novel in the series three times and I really liked it each time, and the other books I've read once, I think. I think I'd still like the first novel if I read it (I've actually been thinking about re-reading it for a while), but I fear that I wouldn't enjoy it anymore. Shopaholic & Sister was such a bad novel, there were so many predictable events and some of the characters didn't feel believable at all, it was so bad I almost didn't read Shopaholic & Baby because of that, which would've been a shame because it was loads better than the Sister one (don't mean to say you should read it though, I don't want to risk our friendship :lol:). I'm not going to read Mini Shopaholic though, I'm terribly afraid the whole idea of the series has been throroughly gone through and there can't be anything new to write about.

 

The thing I agree with you on most is how Becky never changes. At first it was funny, but it gets really tiring when it's the basis of all the books. Sometimes I just want to slap her and go "what the F is wrong with you, woman!!". However, I find the different ways in which she copes with it and finds how to make everything all right in the end very creative and admirable. At the same time I also feel that if she can pull herself together and get out of the huge mess she's made, again, then there's hope for other people too. It's therapeutic :blush: I don't know if you know what I mean, but there it is.

I thought Mini Shopaholic must be the American name for Shopaholic and Baby - I didn't realise she'd written another. I think Shopaholic and Sister was the final nail in the coffin for me. Becky wasn't likeable at all, but neither was her sister! I do think I'd probably still quite enjoy the first one though, but I've given it away so I don't see me ever reading it again.

 

Did you see the film?

 

Have you read Save Karyn? Karyn's a real-life Becky. I read this several years ago and really enjoyed it. I've just leant it to me niece who wrote on FB that she'd enjoyed it hugely too. :)

 

Sounds great, I must order it for myself soon! Thanks for the review :smile2: It's funny, I'm smiling at the anticipation of reading this book. Is that cuckoo?

Nope, not cuckoo at all! I hope you love it as much as I did!

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Thanks for your thoughts on The Novel in the Viola, Janet. I'm definitely adding this to my wishlist.

 

Thinking back on Mr Rosenblum's List, I'm surprised at how much detail I can still remember. I only read it a few months ago, but that's usually more than enough time to make me forget most details of a story. I think it shows what a great writer Natasha Solomons is. :)

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That's exactly how I feel! :) Usually a novel only stays with me if it's been a Book Club read (and therefore been discussed) or has been something really special, and I, too, can remember details about Mr Rosenblaum!

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This week I have finished two books.

 

When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman.

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. Essentially it's about Elly's relationships - mainly those with her brother and her best friend. It was good and I enjoyed it... but it's in two parts and the first part (when Elly was a child) was really lovely - the second part really didn't have the same magical feel to it - I'm not sure why! (7/10)

 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

I expect this will be unpopular opinion! lurker.gif

 

I did quite enjoy it, but I wouldn't feel I could recommend it as a 'must read' and it certainly didn't seem as good as the hype.

 

It put me in mind of Candide by Voltaire (although that's a REALLY weird book!). I don't know. I do read quite a lot of children's books but I can't see today's kids raving over it - maybe I'd have enjoyed it better if I'd read it when I was younger?

 

It is part of the 1001 Challenge though, so that's good! :D

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The Little Prince[/b][/i][/color] by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

I expect this will be unpopular opinion! lurker.gif

 

I did quite enjoy it, but I wouldn't feel I could recommend it as a 'must read' and it certainly didn't seem as good as the hype.

 

It put me in mind of Candide by Voltaire (although that's a REALLY weird book!). I don't know. I do read quite a lot of children's books but I can't see today's kids raving over it - maybe I'd have enjoyed it better if I'd read it when I was younger?

 

 

D'accord! :D

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I do read quite a lot of children's books but I can't see today's kids raving over it - maybe I'd have enjoyed it better if I'd read it when I was younger?

 

I can't imagine that I would have enjoyed The Little Prince very much if I had read it as a child. I think I was able to understand/appreciate it more as an adult, especially with a bit of life experience behind me.

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I thought Mini Shopaholic must be the American name for Shopaholic and Baby - I didn't realise she'd written another. I think Shopaholic and Sister was the final nail in the coffin for me. Becky wasn't likeable at all, but neither was her sister! I do think I'd probably still quite enjoy the first one though, but I've given it away so I don't see me ever reading it again.

 

Ah, well I can't blame you for making that mistake, they do sound like two different titles for the same book, now that you mentioned it. I agree, her sister was really annoying and Becky was way too paranoid.

 

Did you see the film?

 

I watched the movie only a year ago and I really disliked it. I didn't like the storyline, or the characters, or the actor choices. It was a bloody waste of my time :irked: Have you seen it? I can't say I would recommend it.

 

Have you read Save Karyn? Karyn's a real-life Becky. I read this several years ago and really enjoyed it. I've just leant it to me niece who wrote on FB that she'd enjoyed it hugely too. :)

 

I haven't heard about the book or the person, but now I'm intrigued, since it's a true story and one you enjoyed reading as well. It will probably end up on my wishlist :giggle:

 

 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

I expect this will be unpopular opinion! lurker.gif

 

I did quite enjoy it, but I wouldn't feel I could recommend it as a 'must read' and it certainly didn't seem as good as the hype.

 

It put me in mind of Candide by Voltaire (although that's a REALLY weird book!). I don't know. I do read quite a lot of children's books but I can't see today's kids raving over it - maybe I'd have enjoyed it better if I'd read it when I was younger?

 

It is part of the 1001 Challenge though, so that's good! :D

 

We all have our different tastes, so you're definitely entitled to your opinion, and I don't think worse of you, but I have to ask: how does it make you think of Candide? :lol: I have to agree with Kylie, I don't think I would've made much of it as a child, but I enjoyed it immensely when I read it for the first time only a few years ago.

 

Anyways, like you said, at least you got to cross off this book from one of your reading challenges! :D

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Ah, well I can't blame you for making that mistake, they do sound like two different titles for the same book, now that you mentioned it. I agree, her sister was really annoying and Becky was way too paranoid.

I know the first Shopaholic had a different title in the US than it did in the UK - it seems quite common to do that.

 

I watched the movie only a year ago and I really disliked it. I didn't like the storyline, or the characters, or the actor choices. It was a bloody waste of my time :irked: Have you seen it? I can't say I would recommend it.

I haven't seen it. I had been looking forward to it but when they set it in the US instead of where it's set in the book, I decided not to. I don't think I'll bother now!

 

I haven't heard about the book or the person, but now I'm intrigued, since it's a true story and one you enjoyed reading as well. It will probably end up on my wishlist :giggle:

I lent it to my niece and got it back from her yesterday and she really enjoyed it. I might re-read it myself. I do recommend it.

 

We all have our different tastes, so you're definitely entitled to your opinion, and I don't think worse of you, but I have to ask: how does it make you think of Candide? :lol: I have to agree with Kylie, I don't think I would've made much of it as a child, but I enjoyed it immensely when I read it for the first time only a few years ago.

 

Anyways, like you said, at least you got to cross off this book from one of your reading challenges! :D

I really don't know what it was, I can't put my finger on it. It's not that the author is French, nor the writing style. I don't know... just a feeling I had. I was disappointed as so many people loved The Little Prince and I wanted to love it too - but that's they way it goes with reading! :giggle2:

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This week I have finished Solomon's Oak by Jo Ann Mapson - not really my cup of tea but it was a Book Club book. I've started a re-read of Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak and I'm also reading Delight by J B Priestley.

 

I bought book 24 of 2011 yesterday. :rolleyes: I, Coriander by Sally Gardner. It's a children's book. I've had it on my Wish List for some time and it was only £1 in a local charity shop - better still, my Mum liked the sound of it too so we went halves! :D

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