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    • Michelle

      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.
Anna Begins

Anna Begins 2017

Recommended Posts

On 10/1/2017 at 12:30 AM, bobblybear said:

I've added No God But God to my wishlist, as I know next to nothing about Islam. 

Don't know how I missed these two posts! The Reza Aslan is great, I just finished his book about Jesus, review below :)

 

On 10/4/2017 at 10:23 AM, Little Pixie said:

Anna, I don`t know if you`d be interested in cosy mysteries set in the world of climbing, but there`s a vintage series by Glyn Carr ( I have one of them, not read it yet). :)

That sounds interesting :D, I'll check it out.

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Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (354 pages)

Equally as interesting as No God, But God, (his biography of Muhammad) Reza Aslan gives his views on just who Jesus was.  Using historical references and his own translations of original Greek texts, Aslan paints a different Jesus than the Christian Jesus. The Jesus Aslan portraits upset a Christian minister so much, he published a 95 page (!) rebuttal. The minister brags about his "4.0" from Lee University (private, religious college) and the rebuttal is laughable. In my knowledge and debating with my mother who knows way more than me, Reza Aslan's work is convincing. The notes at the end of the book count for about 100 pages, but I learned more from them, than the opinion of Aslan, as he justifies his research and views. I can't wait for his God: A Human History in November. 5/5

 

Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum ( 496 pages)

I've been interested in the history of Ukraine for at least 10 years, especially in the years of Stalin's genocidal famine of this country in the 30's. The Holodomor is one of the saddest chapters in modern times.  Red Famine is filled with the stunning impact of starvation- cannibalism, psychosis, hallucinations, murders- unbelievable terror. Applebaum gives a great account of the history of politics and government policies leading up to the Holodomor, an explanation of the background of the word itself, and why it isn't called a genocide by many Russians- in fact, few view it as a famine at all. 

 

Anne Applebaum is a Pulitzer Prize winning Polish journalist, known for her excellent book Gulag and also Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944- 1956. Both were good, Imo, Gulag is her masterpiece so far- but I expect lots more from Applebaum! All three are highly recommended, this one gets a 4/5

 

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk (304 pages)

Tender Branson is the last survivor of a cult that committed mass suicide. This is his story, as told to the black box recorder of Flight 2039, just before it crashes into Australia's outback.

 

Just like always, I read Palahniuk with a smile of glee on my face. This was a great book. 4/5

 

2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut (12 pages)

2BR02B (To Be Or Naught To Be) is an interesting little story, I love Kurt Vonnegut and enjoyed this one- as all so far!

2BR02B refers to to the telephone number future citizens dial to schedule assisted suicide with the Federal Bureau of Termination, which keeps the population in check. 5/5

Edited by Anna Begins

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57 minutes ago, Little Pixie said:

You`re really zipping though those books ! :)

I'm lucky that most of my reads this year have been good ones :) It's nice to be reading again :wub:

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On 10/20/2017 at 6:20 PM, Anna Begins said:

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk (304 pages)

Tender Branson is the last survivor of a cult that committed mass suicide. This is his story, as told to the black box recorder of Flight 2039, just before it crashes into Australia's outback.

 

Just like always, I read Palahniuk with a smile of glee on my face. This was a great book. 4/5

 

Is this the one where the pages count backwards down to 1?

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On 10/22/2017 at 11:37 PM, bobblybear said:

 

Is this the one where the pages count backwards down to 1?

Yes! It is! A great trick by Palahniuk :)

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Endurance by US Astronaut Scott Kelly (400 pages)

 

I can't say enough about this book! I found out about this book a few days before it's October 17th release and it didn't't take me long to get to it, nor to finish it. BTW- if you didn't know, astronauts are extremely brave and supremely intelligent (sarcasm). I am in awe of Scott Kelly. His words inspire a lot of heart stopping moments- and they are not particularly dangerous moments (some, I would not be first in line for, however!). In fact, that is yet another reason to admire Kelly- he has no emergencies. He is trained in every variable. It all comes naturally for Kelly, who struggles with the books but not the piloting.

 

Scott Kelly, and his twin astronaut brother Mark, took part in a NASA experiment which took Scott into space for a year. While at the International Space Station, he would compare vitals with his brother on Earth. All to some day, send humans to Mars. This is the story of Scott's year in space aboard the International Space Station and everything it took to get there. This is also not Scott's first venture into space, so you get to experience some of his past space adventures as well.

 

In the run up to the release of this book, I deliberately avoided interviews and reviews- I didn't want any surprises or experiences spoiled. It's a really good book- I did manage to read a cool part of the book in a headline though. While waiting and reading, I've come across everything from a Google news story about astronauts in the Space Station using figet spinners to an actual PBS documentary about the Scott Kelly flight that starts this month.

 

I came away with a deep appreciation of peace, actually. This book contains Scott Kelly's story and his amazing career in space. But I think even he would agree- as seems the message of the book, that all are equal in space, dependent on each other, helping each other in one of man's greatest accomplishments.

 

5/5 Definitely.

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Great review of Endurance :)! I'm glad you liked it a lot. I have An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield on my TBR (based on Nollaig's recommendation). I'm not sure how that compares or anything, but Endurance sounds good too :).

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I've added Endurance to my wishlist. Like Gaia, I also have An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth on my TBR pile. Glad you enjoyed it!

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Sorry you gave up on the first Longmire book.  I also found it slow going in the first half of the book but then it picked up and was an enjoyable read. I am hooked on the Longmire Series of books now.

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