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      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
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poppyshake

Poppyshake's Reading Year 2016

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I like frankie's idea of starting with books you've read but will not read again and putting some books in a box for a while then coming back to them and seeing how you feel later.  Much better idea ... :yes:

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I like frankie's idea of starting with books you've read but will not read again and putting some books in a box for a while then coming back to them and seeing how you feel later.  Much better idea ... :yes:

Yes .. I agree. I've boxed them up today. I daresay I shall forget all about them :D But say I'm caught in a siege or something, trapped in my house for months .. my sanity may be saved by my box of unread books. I don't know what I'd eat though .. we've eaten everything over Christmas .. the cupboards are bare  :blush2: I shall stock up on Aliona custard just in case :D 

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You must make an Aliona custard store to go with it ... can you sneak any tins in the boxes with the books? (Don't forget a tin opener if they don't have the ring pull openings!!!) :lol:

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bookhaulxmas2015.jpg

My Christmas Book Haul :wub: 

 

That is .. one of them is Alan's book :D The Guy Martin one .. I may give it a look (during the siege :D) but I'm not going to list it as .. first impressions are ... it's not for me :D

I realise the titles aren't very clear .. shoddy of me! :blush2:  I will list them.

From top to bottom ..

A Man Called Ove - Fredrick Backman (from niece .. Louise)

The Circus of Ghosts (Mesmerist 2) - Barbara Ewing (from Mum and Dad)

Lolly Willowes - Sylvia Townsend  Warner (from lovely Janet) 

Wild: A Journey From Lost to Found - Cheryl Strayed (from Sis)

A Boy Called Christmas - Matt Haig (from Alan)

The House in Norham Gardens - Penelope Lively (from lovely Janet)

A Year of Marvellous Ways - Sarah Winman (from niece .. Louise)

The Reader on the 6.27 - Jean-Paul Didierlaurent (from Mum and Dad)

Spectacles - Sue Perkins (from Alan)

Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson (from Alan) 

 

... Alan bought me The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan too but we're reading that together so it's a prezzie for the both of us and we didn't get it until after Christmas so it missed out on having its pic taken.

 

I also received two colouring books ... Lost Ocean and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and some colouring pencils  :smile: My sister has been doing adult colouring for a long time but I haven't done any as yet. Looking forward to trying it and seeing if it can help relax me (not asking much!! :D)

Also I've ordered a few books using my Christmas money .. just a couple .. I've not gone mad this year as am reining it in!! :o  :D Will list them when they come. 

 

Anyway, very lucky and very happy!!  :smile:  

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You must make an Aliona custard store to go with it ... can you sneak any tins in the boxes with the books? (Don't forget a tin opener if they don't have the ring pull openings!!!) :lol:

Oh gosh yes, you're right .. sometimes those ring pulls don't work or snap off!! I won't need a bowl of course .. straight from the tin will do but a spoon is fairly necessary (just the one!! :D .. don't want anyone else digging their spoon into my tin :D

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I forgot that I also bought Raymond Briggs' Notes from the Sofa  :) Oh dear! .. the book tally is mounting up  :blush2: 

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Ah my organisational skills are second to none .. I forgot to reserve the correct number of posts  :blush2: Never mind .. I'll just add this very important post here! :D;) 

 

My Favourite Books  :smile: (read them at your peril :D)

I've updated it from last year. Added some and subtracted some. Not for any reason really other than to keep my brain active :D Those I've left off are still jolly good and those I've added are of course awesome! There are plenty of others that I could have wearied you with, only, one has to keep a lid on it  :blush2: 

 

Progress 130/130 (Go me!  :giggle: 

 

Fiction
Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London series
Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy
Boris Akunin - The Winter Queen

Edward Albee - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Clare Allen - Poppy Shakespeare (my biography :D)
Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen - Persuasion
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
Julian Barnes - Arthur & George
David Benioff - City of Thieves
Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
John Connolly - The Book of Lost Things
Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens - Bleak House
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities

Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime & Punishment
Mark Dunn - Ella Minnow Pea
Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
Jasper Fforde - The Thursday Next series
Jonathan Safran Foer - Everything is Illuminated
Claire Fuller - Our Endless Numbered Days

Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
George & Weedon Grossmith - Diary of a Nobody
Joseph Heller - Catch 22
Jason Hewitt - The Dynamite Room

John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
Eowyn Ivey - The Snow Child
Shirley Jackson - We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Mette Jakobsen - The Vanishing Act
Thomas Keneally - Schindler's Ark
Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible
Andrey Kurkov - Death and the Penguin
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lauren Liebenberg - The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter & Jam

Karen Maitland - Company of Liars
Hilary Mantel - Bring Up the Bodies
Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Daphne du Maurier - My Cousin Rachel
Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca
Ian McGuire - The North Water

Herman Melville - Moby Dick
Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind
Nancy Mitford - The Pursuit of Love
Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus
Toni Morrison - Beloved
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, The Sea
Paul Murray - Skippy Dies
Irene Nemirovsky - Suite Francaise
Laline Paull - The Bees

Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
Annie Proulx - The Shipping News
Dan Rhodes - Gold
Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
Maria Semple - Where'd You Go Bernadette
Mary Ann Shaffer - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Lynn Shepherd - Tom All-Alones
Dai Sijie - Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Dodie Smith - I Capture the Castle
John Steinbeck - East of Eden

Bram Stoker - Dracula
Mari Strachan - The Earth Hums in B Flat
Donna Tartt - The Secret History
Voltaire - Candide
Sarah Waters - The Little Stranger
Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief


Young Adult
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Joan Aiken - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Eoin Colfer - The Artemis Fowl series
Roald Dahl - Matilda
Cornelia Funke - Inkheart
Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book

Sally Gardner - I Coriander
Kenneth Grahame - Wind in the Willows
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
C.S. Lewis - The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
A.A. Milne - Winnie the Pooh
Patrick Ness - A Monster Calls
Mary Norton - The Borrowers
Terry Pratchett - Wintersmith
Chris Priestley - Tales of Terror series
J.K. Rowling - The Harry Potter series
Robin Stevens - Murder Most Unladylike

Jonathan Stroud - The Bartimaeus Trilogy
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings
Sue Townsend - The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾
P.L. Travers - Mary Poppins
Catherynne M.Valente - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Non-fiction
Andrea Ashworth - Once in a House on Fire
Clare Balding - My Animals and Other Family
John Bayley - The Iris Trilogy

William Blacker - Along the Enchanted Way
Bill Bryson - Notes from a Big Country
Bill Bryson - Notes from a Small Island
Bill Bryson - The Lost Continent
Augusten Burroughs - Running with Scissors
Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl
Stephen Fry - Moab is My Washpot
Angelica Garnett - Deceived with Kindness
Susan Hill - Howards End is on the Landing
Nick Hornby - The Complete Polysyllabic Spree
William Horwood - The Boy With No Shoes
Brian Keenan - An Evil Cradling
Richard Kennedy - A Boy at the Hogarth Press
Hermione Lee - Virginia Woolf
Laurie Lee - Cider with Rosie
Mary S. Lovell - The Mitford Girls
Sarah Miles - Right Royal B*stard
Caitlin Moran - How To Be A Woman

Charlotte Mosley - Letters Between Six Sisters (Mitford's)
Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith - Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith - Van Gogh: The Life

George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London
Sylvia Plath - The Journals of Sylvia Plath
Nina Stibbe, Love, Nina

Oscar Wilde - De Profundis
Jeanette Winterson - Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal?
Elie Wiesel - Night
Virginia Woolf - A Room of One's Own
Virginia Woolf - Selected Diaries
Virginia Woolf - Selected Letters

Edited by poppyshake

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I hope you enjoy all your Christmas books! I love those shoes you're wearing (we'd call them 'sloffen' in Dutch) :).

 

That's a lot of favourites :D.

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Hooray! One of my favourite logs is here. :D I can't wait to read all of your reviews (and then curse you for making me add books to my wishlist :P).

 

I'll have to compare your new list of favourite books to the list I've been going by. :)

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I also received two colouring books ... Lost Ocean and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and some colouring pencils  :smile: My sister has been doing adult colouring for a long time but I haven't done any as yet. Looking forward to trying it and seeing if it can help relax me (not asking much!! :D)

 

I gave my niece the Secret Garden colouring book....the girl who designed them is from up our way. They are lovely and I'm sure you will enjoy doing them.

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Notes From the Sofa by Raymond Briggs

Synopsis:
From the beloved and bestselling author of The Snowman comes his first book in ten years: a charming and beautifully illustrated work for adults. In Notes from the Sofa, Raymond Briggs traces the course of his life in a series of wonderfully observed vignettes that take him from the awkwardness and embarrassment of growing up to the vicissitudes and frustrations of growing old. This collection features the best pieces from Briggs' regular column - 'Notes from the Sofa' - in The Oldie, Richard Ingrams' humorous monthly magazine. Amusing and touching by turn, these include his unwavering dedication to the arts and why he takes pleasure in being labelled a 'creative sociopath'; amusing anecdotes, such as how he became an accidental Winnie the Pooh tour guide to Japanese tourists; and general musings on life, including his confusion as a young child as to exactly where babies come from. This is Briggs like you've never read him before, with a newfound freedom to write and draw about whatever he wants, without the restrictions of children's books and sometimes without the happy endings.

Review: Ha ha, he's a grouchy old devil (if you've ever seen Raymond's book/animated feature Father Christmas .. then you'll have a fair idea of his personality :D) This is a book comprised of the best pieces from his column in The Oldie magazine and full of his unique illustrations.

The subjects vary but most of them deal with getting old .. and how Raymond has come to the conclusion along with lots of other people .. that everything is sh*t nowadays. Being over 80 .. he doesn't really mince his words .. I did cringe a bit from time to time. He's not polite :D I found a lot of it hilarious though especially the thought of Japanese tourists(I guess they were journalists or possibly fans) dragging him along to play pooh sticks at Hundred Acre Wood. I think a British person wouldn't dare .. one look at his face/body language would be enough (he's never even read Winnie the Pooh .. he just happens to live nearby to the famous wood/bridge) but the Japanese aren't worried about that .. and it works .. he goes along .. albeit in a less than happy temper! :D

 

Probably my favourite anecdote though was the one about a Hong Kong publisher who sent him a copy of an illustrated book said to be inspired by The Snowman. It was about a little pig who does a pooh which then comes to life .. giant sized .. and takes him on an adventure :D It's called The Excreman!! I kid you not!! I would have given anything in the world to have seen Raymond's face when he read it (it came complete with a musical score :D) He said it had been turned into an animated short and of course, I had to look it up :DSomehow it doesn't quite have the magic of The Snowman!!  :giggle: 

 

Very funny but also quite sad in places, Raymond lived through the war (as a child) and reflects on what it was like for the soldiers and the women left behind (so many spinster aunts .. who just didn't get a chance to marry or meet anybody during the war years.) Lonely people, the elderly and the sick .. friends with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's etc etc. All quite sobering. Lots too about the publishing and art world. It's a great book to dip in and out of which is what I thought I'd do but in the end I got used to his gentle (sometimes strident) grumbling and just carried on reading. He's a one-off. Liked it

Edited by poppyshake

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I hope you enjoy all your Christmas books! I love those shoes you're wearing (we'd call them 'sloffen' in Dutch) :).

 

That's a lot of favourites :D.

Thanks Gaia :) That's a great word for them .. I do sort of sloff about in them :D We call them 'slipper boots'. My sister bought them for me for Christmas which I was so glad of as the ones I had from last year had a hole in the sole and were becoming a hazard on the stairs! :unsure: 

Definitely need to have cosy toes at this time of year especially in this old draughty house  :cold: 

Hooray! One of my favourite logs is here. :D I can't wait to read all of your reviews (and then curse you for making me add books to my wishlist :P).

 

I'll have to compare your new list of favourite books to the list I've been going by. :)

:cows: :cows: Thanks Kylie! :D 

I don't think I've added/subtracted many. I came over all Peter Boxall and thought I'd do an update! :D 

I gave my niece the Secret Garden colouring book....the girl who designed them is from up our way. They are lovely and I'm sure you will enjoy doing them.

Thanks Diane! :) They're so pretty and she's so talented! I wish I could draw .. that and play the piano .. oh and write a book obviously. I'd be truly happy then. Happyish! :D 

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Alan and I got the DVD of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for Christmas and we just watched the last episode tonight :) So brilliant! We saw it when it aired but Alan was never here on the correct day of the week and so we always had to watch on iPlayer .. great so see it in high def! 

Some of the magic must have infected us though because afterwards we started re-enacting the dancing at Lost Hope! :D I say 'we' but it was me having to do most of the twirling .. Alan said it was just his job to keep still and provide balance :D He had a lot of ideas though about dance moves .. all of which devolved on me. Wish you could have seen it .. but if you've seen the hippos dancing in Fantasia .. you'll have an idea  :giggle:  :giggle:  :giggle: 

I'm quite puffed now  :blush2: 

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I still haven't watched it yet!  I downloaded the audiobook using one of my Audible credits as a way to remind myself of the book before I watched the series, but I haven't been in the mood for that either ... I'm wondering if it's going to be one of those books or films that I love but that once was enough.  It's a bit like The Shawshank Redemption film, watched it at the cinema and thought it was fantastic but have never once had the inclination to watch it again.

 

You did make me laugh though, I can imagine you dancing around Alan! :lol:

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I still haven't watched it yet!  I downloaded the audiobook using one of my Audible credits as a way to remind myself of the book before I watched the series, but I haven't been in the mood for that either ... I'm wondering if it's going to be one of those books or films that I love but that once was enough.  It's a bit like The Shawshank Redemption film, watched it at the cinema and thought it was fantastic but have never once had the inclination to watch it again.

 

You did make me laugh though, I can imagine you dancing around Alan! :lol:

:D

I know what you mean ... I've never felt the need to read/listen to Karen Maitland's Company of Liars again though I absolutely loved it. The audiobook of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is excellent though .. so brilliantly read. I've listened to it several times but that's because it's hard to take it all in in one go. There was a glimpse of Susanna on the extras of the DVD :) I shouted at the TV 'hope that sequel is in the bag Sue!' :D  

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reckless.jpg
Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Synopsis:
Jacob Reckless has discovered a world on the other side of a mirror: a place of dangerous enchantment. There, he's lived up to his name as a daring treasure-hunter, accompanied by Fox, a shape shifting girl. But when his younger brother follows him, dark magic strikes. His brother will turn to stone unless Jacob can think of a way to save him.

Review: Alan and I read this together :) I've read Cornelia's Inkworld books and enjoyed them though, like a lot of trilogies, I thought the first was the best and I struggled to keep interest with the rest .. the second one in particular. Great and imaginative writer though. This story was not as good as Inkheart but arguably as good as the other two. Interesting characters (though nobody as beguiling as Dustfinger) and gripping storyline which races along. We looked forward to picking it up each time (if we pick a book and it doesn't go well then Alan will either drop off or drop out of the readings altogether and it'll be left to me to continue .. if I can muster the enthusiasm which I normally can because abandoning books is still anathema to me :blush2:
 ) This is one of those stories that have bits of old fairy stories woven in .. purposefully. Cornelia was inspired by the Grimm's tales when she wrote it and several of the tales are referenced here including Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Jacob is a treasure hunter and it's part of his job to go searching for the precious artefacts synonymous with these tales .. such as the golden ball from The Frog Prince. But since his brother followed him through the mirror he's had more important things to think of because soon after Will came through .. with his girlfriend Clara in tow .. he was attacked by a Goyl (human like creatures with stone skin) and is rapidly turning Goyl himself.

The back story to all of this is that Jacob and Will's father first went through the mirror (which was in his study) .. and eventually didn't come back again. On looking for him Jacob then follows and eventually Will ... whilst looking for Jacob .. goes through too (all a bit Narnia :D) In all the time that Jacob has been in Mirrorworld he has been unable to discover his father's whereabouts though in this story there are signs of him having been there . Now of course, Jacob's priority lies with Will .. he needs help, magical help, probably dark magical help to stop Will from becoming a Goyl. The Goyl though are hunting them to claim him for themselves. There are definite parallels with The Lord of the Rings. It has that flavour. The Goyl reminded me of Orcs. Though this tale is nothing like as complex (or as brilliant) .. and thankfully there are no long poems .. hoorah!! 

Great fantasy story, we'll certainly read the next in the Mirrorworld series (I've had this book for eons mind you :D) Liked it!

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Glad you enjoyed Reckless - I have it on my shelf, where it's been for years, but I didn't get very far with it. I may have to give it another go. There will never be anybody quite like Dustfinger though, I adore him! Easily one of my all time favourite fictional characters.

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I'm glad you enjoyed Reckless, nice review :). I don't have this one, but I own a few other books by the author (I haven't read them yet :hide:).

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I think I have set free about 20 .. they're not exactly out of the house yet though.  That's a very good piece of advice re: the TBR and one I'm going to adopt. The other thing I thought I'd do is (if I can keep the box accessible) .. read a chapter or two of said book before finally parting with it. If it grabs me then I'll continue on with it .. if not then I'll take it to the charity shop and probably kick it all the way there for taking up shelf space for no good reason

 

20 titles is a great start! :yes: That's also a great idea, to read a chapter or two, to see if you think you'd want to read the book at a later time. However, this might be tricky if your going through a lot of books to give away: if you read the first chapter of, say, 50 books, and then find that you'd immediately like to start reading 10 of them... Where do you go from there :D 

 

The thing is .. all the titles are still in the jar. Although I do have the up to date list on here, chances are I'll still hunt high and low for books which I've since boxed up and shoved under a bed.  Happy days!! 

Ah yes, having to remove the titles from the jar :thud: Books are such hard work :D

 

I did have the feeling that I was talking to myself just now.  It's good to be random. Don't conform .. that's when the rot sets in. Write in a different font everyday!

 

Talking to oneself is quite alright with me :D You need to do that every now and then to get all the stuff out :D Although if you're thinking you are talking to someone else and then you think it was yourself after all, it might get a bit muddled! 

 

There are only two fonts on here that I like  :hide:  And I think they may have both been used by someone else.  I'd like there to be more to choose from, but hey, minor niggles. Don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer or a Meggie Moaner! 

 

Yes .. I agree. I've boxed them up today. I daresay I shall forget all about them  But say I'm caught in a siege or something, trapped in my house for months .. my sanity may be saved by my box of unread books. I don't know what I'd eat though .. we've eaten everything over Christmas .. the cupboards are bare   I shall stock up on Aliona custard just in case 

 

... I started to wonder if you meant you'd put Aliona custard on the books to make them taste better and go down more easily... :lol:

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Books

Daphne du Maurier - My Cousin Rachel

Dai Sijie - Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

 

Yay, I'm so happy that these two made the list! :wub:

 

Notes From the Sofa by Raymond Briggs

 

Probably my favourite anecdote though was the one about a Hong Kong publisher who sent him a copy of an illustrated book said to be inspired by The Snowman. It was about a little pig who does a pooh which then comes to life .. giant sized .. and takes him on an adventure. It's called The Excreman!! I kid you not!! I would have given anything in the world to have seen Raymond's face when he read it (it came complete with a musical score ) He said it had been turned into an animated short and of course, I had to look it up Somehow it doesn't quite have the magic of The Snowman!!  

 

LOL!!! I'm happy I wasn't drinking anything when I read that :lol: Priceless!!!

 

Edit: I need to of course now copy+paste your new 130 Books list on my reading log and see what's changed and stuff. Yay! And see if there are any new titles which we all share, Kylie included. I want to read more books from you two's 1001 Lists this year for sure! 

Edited by frankie

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Glad you enjoyed Reckless - I have it on my shelf, where it's been for years, but I didn't get very far with it. I may have to give it another go. There will never be anybody quite like Dustfinger though, I adore him! Easily one of my all time favourite fictional characters.

Thanks Noll :) It's probably aimed at a slightly younger audience than Inkheart etc but yes, Dustfinger is a hard act to follow. Great character! 

I'd had it on the shelf for ages too but picked it up after we'd finished Slade House and were scratching around for something to read over Christmas. The cover looked a bit wintry .. the story wasn't at all really but that's all it takes to spark interest sometimes and we did get into it.

When you're slumped in a chair .. chock-full of Quality Streets .. you don't want anything too taxing to read :D  It fitted the bill.

I'm glad you enjoyed Reckless, nice review :). I don't have this one, but I own a few other books by the author (I haven't read them yet :hide:).

Thanks Gaia :) Ah, we're all in that boat or most of us are anyway :blush2:  She's a great writer so I'm sure you'll enjoy the stories when you get around to them :) 

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20 titles is a great start! That's also a great idea, to read a chapter or two, to see if you think you'd want to read the book at a later time. However, this might be tricky if your going through a lot of books to give away: if you read the first chapter of, say, 50 books, and then find that you'd immediately like to start reading 10 of them... Where do you go from there.

:D I'm going to do it one at a time. Take a book out of the box and then give it ten minutes or so to convince me not to walk it into town :D If I'm convinced then I'll probably just carry on reading it. This is in theory .. in practice I'll forget all about them until we move house :D  

Ah yes, having to remove the titles from the jar :thud: Books are such hard work.

Sure are! It pays not to be organised or have any sort of system :D I practically wrote myself into a cramp putting those titles in the jar!! All for nothing!  Oh though .. the joy of being allowed a second pick :D What a delicious thought .. makes me want to pick from the jar right now! Only I know it'd be mean! 

Talking to oneself is quite alright with me. You need to do that every now and then to get all the stuff out. Although if you're thinking you are talking to someone else and then you think it was yourself after all, it might get a bit muddled! 

 

There are only two fonts on here that I like  :hide:  And I think they may have both been used by someone else.  I'd like there to be more to choose from, but hey, minor niggles. Don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer or a Meggie Moaner!

It would be nice to have more choice but then .. I'm best when only given a few choices. Faced with an aisle full of biscuits I'm all at sea .. Alan is the same with beer. If there were only seven choices then shopping would be a doddle. 

... I started to wonder if you meant you'd put Aliona custard on the books to make them taste better and go down more easily.

It might come to that! :D

Yay, I'm so happy that these two made the list! :wub:

Great books!  :smile: Hope I read something this year that's as good! 

LOL!!! I'm happy I wasn't drinking anything when I read that :lol: Priceless!!!

:giggle: Excreman had one green Smartie and one pink Smartie for eyes and a leaf for a nose which I think was meant to denote that the little piggy ate everything and anything. Also he had a chamber pot for a hat!! :D Fetching! 

Edit: I need to of course now copy+paste your new 130 Books list on my reading log and see what's changed and stuff. Yay! And see if there are any new titles which we all share, Kylie included. I want to read more books from you two's 1001 Lists this year for sure!

It would've been helpful if I'd said what I'd added and subtracted :blush2: Sorry!  :blush2: 

I need to read more from your's and Kylie's lists too plus more from all of my challenges. Goodness .. I did hopelessly with this last year!  :blush2: 

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xmasholiday.jpg
Christmas Holiday by Somerset Maugham

Synopsis:
At the age ot twenty-three, Charlie Mason is endowed with good looks, good manners and a cheerful disposition. Following three years at Cambridge and one working in his father's business, he is looking forward to a jaunt in Paris with one of his oldest friends. Yet Paris is not what he expects - in just a few days his young eyes are opened to the tragedies and ugly dramas of its underworld.

Review: I've been meaning to read more Maugham. I have a set of his books on my shelves which are there as a result of my throwing caution to the wind and being far too generous .. not to say greedy .. when putting books in my basket at The Book People (cautionary tale :D) I wasn't that impressed with the only book I've read from the set so far (I can't remember which one now :blush2:
 Cakes and Ale I think) it was okay but it didn't set my world alight and it made me regret the purchase and the shelf space :D but I'd not given up on him entirely.

In 2014 I thought I'd read this one at Christmas but of course, it passed me by and I forgot but last year I was determined it would be my Christmas read. I didn't forget but it did just sit on my bedside cabinet for almost the whole of December .. practically untouched. One reason for this was .. having read a bit of it .. it isn't about Christmas at all and it's not in the least Christmassy :o This may well recommend it highly to some people but I do like to get in the spirit (by force if necessary :D) so the first thing I had to do was overcome my disappointment. The second thing I had to do was prepare myself for quite a hard hitting story. It's not exactly a barrel full of laughs. I ignored it until January and then picked it up again as by then I wasn't in the mood for laughing anyway  :blush2: 

Charlie reminded me a bit of Bertie Wooster .. he doesn't have a butler and he's not particularly rich but he's very affable and good natured and is probably the sort of chap that would say 'toodle pip' on leave taking. As the blurb says, he fancies seeing a bit of life and so decides to go to Paris for Christmas and, among other things, catch up with an old chum .. Simon.

Simon turns out to be a bit of a killjoy to say the least. He would top most people's 'people to avoid over Christmas'  list. He wasn't always thus although he does sound like he was an acquired taste to begin with. He used to stay with Charlie when he was a boy (having tragically lost his parents) and always did make Charlie's mum a little uneasy but Charlie grew very fond of him. Charlie thinks Simon will be overjoyed to see him but this is far from the case. Simon is denying himself all pleasures these days in a bid to toughen up. He is training himself to be indifferent to insult, ridicule, neglect, hunger, friendship, kindness, love, sex etc .. so that he can remain single minded for some struggle to come (some rather violent, political, struggle, it would seem.) He takes Charlie to a club full of good time girls and introduces him (and you can't help thinking this is out of spite) to Lydia (Princess Olga as she is known there) and Charlie spends the rest of his holiday with her .. though not having a good time .. far from it. Lydia is Russian and is married to a murderer who is now serving time. She is devoted to him (husband) but also feels she must atone for his sins. Bit by bit she recounts her tragic tale. This is not the sort of Christmas holiday anyone would willingly have let alone pay for. What it does do though is wake Charlie up .. in just a few days he is irrevocably altered.

It's not the book I was expecting at all. There should be some sort of law against calling it Christmas Holiday and then filling it with all sorts of tragic, gloomy and downright sinister tales. It definitely had a touch of the Dostoevsky's about it. Yes .. Wodehouse mixed with Dostoevsky .. but without the laughs!! :D
 But for all that it was compelling, though I think a bit dated and of its time. A quick scout around the internet tells me that Frank Capra actually made a film version .. which stars Gene Kelly :o (I hope not dancing .. that would be inappropriate :D) .. well I never!! I'm definitely curious and will look out for it. Liked it!

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According to Goodreads I am one book behind schedule already!! :blush2: I knew they'd start nagging!!

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I'm hoping Goodreads will keep me on track! I'm ahead of schedule at the moment, but later in the year I will fall behind and I'm hoping seeing that I'm only one or two books behind will push me to keep up!

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I'm hoping Goodreads will keep me on track! I'm ahead of schedule at the moment, but later in the year I will fall behind and I'm hoping seeing that I'm only one or two books behind will push me to keep up!

Good luck with it Noll :) I set myself a high(ish) target .. I don't know why. I know I could change it .. but that would be defeatist :D  

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