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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    I don't! Here are mine for 10-2: - 'The Voice of Saruman' chapter is very satisfying, when Saruman gradually unravels - realising his lies aren't working any more when Theoden stands up to him and then finding that Gandalf is more powerful and can control him now - it's a real 'ha!' moment. (I wish we had a real Gandalf!) - I could do with a bit more explanation of why the colours are important to the council. I'm guessing that might be in The Silmarillion? I assume white is the most powerful role but why was Gandalf Grey to begin with? And what about the other wizards? - I feel really bad for Pippin with the Palantir. Gandalf says that there's something about it that draws you to look into it, so it wasn't entirely Pippin's fault! Although it does mean that Pippin gets to be a bit of an accidental hero, throwing Sauron off the scent of Frodo. - I also really like Pippin's curiosity in the Palantir chapter (maybe that makes me feel extra sorry for him too). It seems as though they were really quite sheltered in the Shire but he really wants to know about things and the way they work. Maybe another sign that, given the chance, Hobbits can be more than they seem. - I agree with Sam about the rope being magical - It's interesting that elvish things burn Gollum Agree totally with this. I do pity him and I do think he's mainly just a victim of the ring but, at the same time, there's something so deeply unpleasant about him sometimes! Thinking back to when he first found the ring - was he already a little bit evil at heart? The ring immediately makes him do something terrible but it hasn't worked that quickly on anybody else. Although even if that is the case it's still hard not to pity him and wonder what would have happened if Smeogol had different chances!
  2. Need Book Suggestions

    I second this recommendation but you should know that it has some magical realism elements. I'd add The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (very beautifully written) and maybe The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman. Although the latter is very sad!
  3. Promoting the site

    I had completely forgotten about this thread but you're right, there are some good ideas. Putting stickers or flyers into books to be donated would undoubtedly attract a few people to the site, but it would mean getting members access to those stickers and flyers - I'd have to work out the practicalities of that.
  4. Your Hobbies, Collections, and Obsessions

    That’s exciting . I did love having our own tomatoes last year but we aren’t growing them this year because we’re not sure if Lilly would try to eat them (and apparently tomatoes are poisonous to dogs!). We did get a little (chest height) greenhouse type thing for Christmas though, so we’re growing three different chillies (jalapeño, lemon drop and chocolate habanero), as well as salad leaves in there. I also got a loganberry for my birthday but I’m not sure if we’ll get fruit from it this year! I can’t wait for strawberries. I have some strawberry plants coming back up from last year, so hopefully we’ll have plenty again
  5. Book Sales!

    I thought we could use a thread which is similar to our kindle deals thread, but for physical books… Inspired by this pretty amazing sale (unfortunately UK only) from Orbit Books - all books on their website are 50% off (for Star Wars day!): https://store.orbit-books.co.uk/
  6. Hello from Ireland

    Hi, welcome to the forum! I’m a paper book person too. I have a kindle but I find it harder to ‘get into’ ebooks. I liked Pride and Prejudice as well (although I didn’t really expect to like it as much as I did!). I’ve never read The Call of the Wild though. Might need to add that to my list!
  7. How to Remember What You Read

    That is interesting. I like the Matt Haig quote and the idea of books as treasure maps . I think most of the actual ideas are fairly obvious ways of studying though - most of us probably did them for exams at some point!
  8. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

    I felt exactly the same way about this book. Such a long book but I wanted it to be twice the length! Have you seen her short story collection ‘The Ladies of Grace Adieu’? All based in the same world as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and also excellent!
  9. Ask a Mod

    I guess the simple answer is yes, technically. It would really need to have a dedicated section though. We have talked about archiving posts before and organising by year is a good suggestion
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    This is me catching up because I forgot to come back to post on chapters 6-9! So... - Wormtongue is the creepiest character. He might not be the most evil, but he makes my skin crawl. - I really like Eowyn though, I think she's one of the most interesting characters. - The battle of Helm's Deep feels like the moment the good versus evil battle really expands into a world at war. I liked slight comic relief of the competition between Legolas and Gimli. - Tolkien shows his appreciation of trees again and I still love how epic the Ents are. - It's really nice that Legolas and Gimli promise to visit the places that mean a lot to each of them if they survive the war. Their friendship is a nice way of showing that deep-rooted prejudice against others is ultimately silly and meaningless. - You've got to love Merry and Pippin. The contrast between the previous few chapter's events and the two of them just relaxing with a pipe and plenty of food is funny and fitting. The fact that they immediately start playing host was also quite funny and very hobbit-like. - Their story also reinforces the 'trees/Ents are amazing' theory. - Flotsam and Jetsam is one of my favourite chapters because it feels like the tables are turning in favour of the heroes again and (nearly) everyone is back together. Definitely agree! And definitely think it's intentional, but becomes more important later... I guess if we see Lord of the Rings as following the medieval tradition of fantasy it does make sense for society to be structured that way. Although, does Hobbit society follow the same rules, do you think? There doesn't appear to be any Hobbit nobility or servants. That's a good point about merchants etc. though. They must have merchant routes, which is how the pipe-weed etc. got to Orthanc?
  11. What's for Dinner?

    These both sound absolutely delicious! I've never heard of jam on a hot cross bun though poppy! This is like the time Chrissy mentioned putting cheese on them, I'll have to try it now
  12. I actually found the writing more memorable than the plot of this one (although I did love it overall!). I thought it was very beautifully written, with the narrative cleverly weaving in the themes of the river and storytelling. Do you think that might be why you found it generally enjoyable, even though it's not the type of book you'd usually choose?
  13. Haha, they did, thank you! The worst thing I've done is papercut my thumb It was very shocking! This isn't even a very busy road! Getting back on track with my reviews: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke 5/5 - I loved it This book was not what I expected and I don't want to reveal exactly why because I think the sense of discovery is partly what's so great about it. For the first few chapters I was utterly confused. Clarke introduces us to a very strange setting; a house containing tides and clouds and crumbling statues. It's also told entirely through the diary entries of a character who's equally hard to make out - but it works so well. Being broken up into the smaller diary-style sections makes the overwhelming strangeness of the concept far more digestible, although it simultaneously adds to the mystery of what this place is and why our narrator is there. Strange hints and mysteries gradually build up until, desperate to keep putting the final pieces together, I literally didn't want to put it down. Clarke is an immensely clever author and I so hope she has more books planned!
  14. Welcome to my 2022 book blog! I'll be keeping things simple and up to date, using the same method of rating that I have for a while (out of five, where 5 is absolutely amazing, 4 is very good, 3 is good, 2 it was okay and 1 something I didn't really like). Last year, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I read far less than I usually do, with a total (I think) of 16 books. As always I'll be setting a goal of 50 and we'll see how close I can get! Thread now open! Let the reading begin
  15. Your Book Activity April 2022

    Oh yeah!! Actually I think there’s a part later that might back your theory up more. We’ll have to talk about it when you’ve finished! I’m still reading Kingsley’s The Water Babies but it is very slow going. I’m getting tempted to pick something else up and dip back into it later. [edit: no pun intended…]
  16. What's for Dinner?

    My mom has invited us for dinner and she’s making a lamb Sunday roast . Then I have a chocolate egg . How about you muggle, anything special planned?
  17. It was stolen but I have no idea how the thieves lost control of it so badly. There was no sound of screeching brakes or skidding or anything, just a terrible crunch! They went through a road sign and planter (which apparently took a lot of the impact) and then into the house and ran away. Luckily, nobody in the house was hurt. The impact shifted the wall though and they had to have their front door sealed up because it wouldn't close any more. They only moved in a few months ago too!
  18. Your Book Activity April 2022

    Oooh which part??
  19. Just a note to say that I am behind with my reviews here but I am having a weird week (seems to be life recently!) - containing everything from a car crashing into the house next to mine and a seemingly great work opportunity that turned out to be extremely morally questionable, to my laptop (which I use for all my work) freaking out and not letting me edit any files (thankfully fixed now!). Eventually I will sit down to write my review and nothing eventful will happen!!
  20. NOS4R2

    Um... I didn't I very rarely read horror but I am really intrigued by this one. I'm imagining it's quite psychological, supernatural horror, rather than being particularly gruesome?
  21. What are you eating just now?

    Thank you! I will definitely be making this, I'll let you know how it goes! I love bread and honey so definitely copying this part too
  22. Your Favourite Book when a Child?

    Glad it’s not just me! I think I mentioned earlier in this thread I can’t bring myself to read black beauty for the same reason! I definitely think of it as a pigs name too but I suppose French bulldogs do have a bit of a pig-like face!? Did you find the YouTube video? I did search it but clicked the first thing and it definitely wasn’t the right one (it was impressive but it wasn’t a regency dining room with a ham!). There seems to be a few programmes about miniatures!
  23. I wanted to start this thread to give you all a clear idea of what's happening with the forum right now and because I'm hoping you're all going to volunteer your excellent ideas . First Things First We are still getting niggling issues with loading, links etc. I know and I'm sorry it hasn't been sorted out already. We need to move to Invision's hosting plan to get this fixed and, as those of you who've been following this for a while know, our current hosts refused to give Invision the file they needed to make the switch. However, I have a web developer working on it at the moment (which is what Invision advised) and he's assured me that he's nearly done. He's been very sympathetic to the situation our hosts have put us in and has given us an amazing price. He's doing this alongside a lot of other (probably much better paid) work and I'm extremely grateful for it. So, with that on track... The Future of the Forum I'm very excited for the future of the forum and the possibilities that being hosted by Invision should open up. Once the move finally happens I'm going to be setting up a few threads where you can all have your say on possible changes. I promise I won't do anything you all hate but I want the ideas to be a surprise for now (the writers amongst you might want to start stretching your fingers though...). Teamwork It's really important to me that we develop the forum together. That's the only way we can continue to have a space that we all enjoy and can welcome new like-minded people to! So I want to know what your ideas are. What do you think would make the forum a better place for you, or help new people join in? BGO people, for example, I know a few of you have mentioned that you used the threads differently on your forum. Is that something you miss? Would you like to suggest that other members start using the genre threads more as well as their personal blogs? Please don't worry that I'm going to take suggestions as criticism. You would actually be being very helpful. Even if you have an idea you think is a bit crazy, just throw it out there! If it's literally not possible I'll let you know but it definitely won't happen if you don't say anything! Ok, start posting please
  24. What is the weirdest book you ever read? One that made you think ‘what on Earth did I just read?’. And what made it weird? Was it a weird unexpected twist? Or was it strange from the very beginning? I’ve been thinking about this a lot for the past couple of days, since describing Piranesi by Susanna Clarke as ‘weird’ - it’s definitely not the weirdest I’ve read though. I think that award would have to go to The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. It was absolutely right from the opening too. After all, can it get much weirder than: ‘One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.’ !?