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      June Supporter Giveaway   06/01/2019

      For the June giveaway I chose the theme 'The Gift of Reading.' One that I think we can all appreciate! The winner will receive four books, including:     The Gifts of Reading by Robert MacFarlane - 'An essay on the joy of reading, for anyone who has ever loved a book.'   plus three little short but (hopefully) thought provoking reading gifts...   The Reckoning by Edith Wharton - 'Two moving stories of love, loss, desire and divorce, from one of the great chroniclers of nineteenth-century New York life.' Create Dangerously by Albert Camus - 'Camus argues passionately that the artist has a responsibility to challenge, provoke and speak up for those who cannot in this powerful speech, accompanied here by two others.' It Was Snowing Butterflies by Charles Darwin - 'A selection of Darwin's extraordinary adventures during the voyage of the Beagle.'    As always, supporting members will be entered automatically into the random draw at the end of the month. If you want to be entered into the draw but don't support yet, you can do so here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum   Good luck   
Janet

Janet's Reading Log 2007

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FICTION

 

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd - 9/10

Blue Water - Manette Ansay - 6/10

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell - 6/10

House of Orphans - Helen Dunmore - 4/10

The Soldier’s Return - Melvyn Bragg - 6

Edited by Janet
Updated list

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I read Buried Fire as one of the books sent to some of us here by Random House for discussion. It was okay, but not really my thing.

 

I've just read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (see here for my review). By comparison, this book was wonderful - a definite 9/10.

 

002-2007-15-January-TheSecretLifeof.jpg

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You've made me add Secret Life of Bee's to my list of books to read! Right now that list is at 54 Books. ;)

Lol - sorry!

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I've just finished Coram Boy (review posted in Young Persons Zone or whatever it's called!).

 

I'm going to read Blue Water next, but I can't remember who it's by! :friends0:

 

ETA: Manette Ansay!

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I love Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's such a great book.

I started it last night. I read it at school (before 1984!) but have only vague recollections about it. It's coming back to me as I'm reading it!

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I'm buying 'The Secret Life of Bees' next time I am in town..:D

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I've just finished Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (review posted).

 

About to start House of Orphans by Helen Dunmore, in readiness of seeing her at the Bath Literature Festival!

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I've been re-reading Richard III, A Woman of No Importance, The World's Wife and Wise Children for the last few weeks, so it's taken me ages to plod though my latest read - The Soldier's Return by Melvyn Bragg.

 

My choice for my real-life bookworms group for May. Should provoke some interesting conversation, I hope.

 

Not sure what to read next. Little Women, perhaps?

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I've just reread Animal Farm by George Orwell which I enjoyed - it was well written and very clever, despite being only about 112 pages long!

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Finished The Vanishing Acts of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell today, which was FAB! Another 8

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Finished The Amazing Mr Blunden (originally published as 'The Ghosts' and now out of print) today. Pure nostalgia! 8/10

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Finished The Amazing Mr Blunden (originally published as 'The Ghosts' and now out of print) today. Pure nostalgia! 8/10

 

That sounds familiar but can't recall it properly.

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Two teenage children, Lucy and Jamie, living with their mother and baby brother. Their father has died, and the family are very poor after paying off all the debts. They have to leave their home and move into a grotty flat in Camden.

One night, a solicitor called Mr Blunden calls, and tells the mother of a caretaker's job with a cottage provided. She doesn't have to do anything apart from live there.

Mother leaves the room, and Mr Blunden asks the children if they would be afraid if they met ghosts. He tells them that the ghosts would probably be children like themselves who need help.

They move to the cottage, and in the garden of the 'big house', they meet Sara and Georgie. Ghosts from 100 years earlier. They tell Lucy and Jamie that they are in danger.

Sara tells J & L their tragic story...

Sara and Georgie's parents have died, and Georgie's inheritance of �30,000 is held in trust until he is 21. Their uncle Bertie (their father's half-brother, and therefore not entitled to inherit unless Georgie dies) marries a girl called Bella, and Bella's parents, Mr and Mrs Wickens, move into the home and sack all the servants.

Mrs Wickens thinks it's very unfair that Georgie gets all the money, and realises that if he were to die, then Bertie, and therefore Bella, would get all the money.

She starts leaving the children's windows open at night, and not allowing them to have blankets and feeds them the minimum of food. She wants to kill them off.

Frightened, they write to their other guardian (Uncle Bertie being one), Mr Blunden, but instead of helping, he informs Mrs Wickens of their letter and their threat to run away, so she then nails the windows closed.

Frustrated that they are not starving or catching chills (Tom, who is in love with Sara, has been giving them newspaper to put under their sheets to keep them warm, and climbing up the guttering to close the window) Mrs Wickens tells her husband that they need to take a different tack.

Mr Wickens starts a fire in the library which is under Sara and Georgie's bedroom. Tom tries to climb the guttering to save them, but Mr Wickens sees him and brings the gutter crashing to earth, killing Tom.

Mr Blunden, who was at the house earlier for a dinner party, but ingnored another plea for help from Sara, sees the flames and races back to the house, but he's too late - the children are both dead.


Lucy and Jamie agree to help, and Sara shows them how to brew 'a charm to move the hands of time', so that they go back to the day before the fire to try to help. Mr Blunden, a ghost, appears and tells Jamie that he failed Sara and Georgie and that he has suffered in his guilt for 100 years, but that Jamie can change history - he has to trust Mr Blunden no matter what happens.

J & L agree to take the potion and go back in time. Before they go back in time, they find Sara and Georgie's graves in the local churchyard, and also that of Tom, the gardener's son and discover that three perished. They are unsure how they can help.

Back 100 years ago, history starts to happen the way Sara said it would. However, only the children (and Bella, who has the mind of a child) can see Lucy and Jamie.

To cut an already long story short, they manage to prevent Tom from being killed. Lucy pushes Mr Wickens, who can't see her and doesn't know what is going on, which means that Tom climbs into the bedroom where he meets Jamie, and they manage between them to get Sara out (she and Jamie have been drugged).

However, when Jamie goes back for Georgie, the staircase is already well alight and Jamie is scared. Then Mr Blunden turns up and tells him not to be afraid. Together they walk through the flames to get Georgie. Jamie doesn't feel a thing, but Mr Blunden dies - exclaiming as he goes "at last, at last!" - happy in the knowledge that he's finally done the right thing and the children are alive.

The potion fades, and Lucy wakes up back in her own time. However, Jamie hasn't come back. Lucy is cross because she thinks Mr Blunden has broken his promise to keep Jamie safe. However, Jamie eventually arrives back too.

Jamie is unconscious for a few days and only Lucy knows why, but of course she can't say! She goes to the churchyard, and Sara and Georgie's & Tom's graves have all gone.

Instead, there is large grave/memorial to Mr Blunden, "who died saving the children in his care".

Lucy goes back to the house to find Jamie awake. At first, neither of them say anything, both thinking they must have had some elaborate dream. However eventually they do discuss it, and Lucy tells Jamie that they succeeded.

Jamie tells her that he and Mr Blunden went to a trial, and Mr Blunden was telling the judges that he'd put right the wrong he did. They in turn do something to change Jamie's past...

A solicitor turns up, and informs them that after research, they've discovered that Sara married Tom and they moved to America. Lucy and Jamie's father is descended from them, and because Georgie had no children, they are the rightful heirs, and Langley Hall belongs to them!

The 'ghostly judges' changed Jamie's past to make Sara and Tom his great-great-grandparents. Of course, if Jamie had failed in his quest, then Sara and Tom would have died, and Jamie wouldn't be related to them (this is how Barber gets round the fact that 'the ghosts' couldn't have asked Jamie and Lucy for help, since they wouldn't exist!).



It's far-fetched, I guess, but then again, if it's a ghost story, then one must suspend all belief, since ghosts don't exist.

Or do they...? :tongue:


Phew! laugh.gif

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I tried reading Emma by Jane Austen because it's my r/l July Bookworms book. I found it to be dull, dull, dull.

 

Fortunately, I got a text from one of our members saying that most of them felt the same way, so I think we're giving up on it! (Yay!). Our meeting had to be cancelled anyway so we were only going to vote and not discuss it.

 

I'm currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and that's much better so far! :roll:

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I tried reading Emma by Jane Austen because it's my r/l July Bookworms book. I found it to be dull, dull, dull.

LOL! I agree, agree, agree! I found it almost unbearably tedious in parts - nothing ever seemed to happen! And I wanted to give that Emma Woodhouse a good, hard slap every five minutes! I've much preferred the other Jane Austen books I've read far more.

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And I wanted to give that Emma Woodhouse a good, hard slap every five minutes!

:roll:

 

I finished To Kill a Mockingbird today - I really enjoyed it!

 

8/10

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:roll:

 

I finished To Kill a Mockingbird today - I really enjoyed it!

 

8/10

 

I'm glad you enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird Bagpuss, it's one of my all-time favourites!

 

I hope I get along better with Emma than you did when I finally get around to reading it!

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Unfortunately 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was a set text when I was at school and I learned to loathe it (it was back in the days when I went through a phase of not being interested in reading). I don't think I would try it again, even though I'm older and my tastes have changed.

 

What are you reading next?

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