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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.
Alexander the Great

Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2017

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6 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

My library's in my town as well. When I was a kid, I had to wait for my parents to take me or ask them. I think I was in primary school when I'd take my bike and go on my own, though. As soon as I was old enough to do that on my own! It's only a 10-minute ride by bike. 

 

My library is also on my way home from work, so I often stop after work ^^ They built a new library that opened last year and that's even more on my way.

 

That's quite nice :).

 

When I was a kid, my parents took me to two libraries. When I was older I used my bicycle too to get to the town's library. My parents would still take me to the library in another town nearby though, otherwise I didn't have enough to read :P (it was too far for me to cycle). When I was 15 we moved, and I went to the library in the (new-to-me) town for a while. But I found myself at the time gravitating towards fantasy books for a couple of years (between the ages of ~16-22ish I think), and our library at the time often didn't have fantasy complete series and this annoyed me. So I started to buy more books instead, I also had a bit more money. I started to read more in English, the library at the time didn't have many English books. I've become a member again since end of 2014, I'm reading lots of different genres nowadays and also for various age ranges, so it seemed to make sense to me to use the library more often. And I've loved it. In 2015 and 2016 I read more library books than owned books. This year I wanted to try to read some more of my own books.

 

That's so nice :)! It's nice to have one so nearby.

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On 4/29/2017 at 8:43 PM, frankie said:

Libraries can be really devilish... :blush:   I've been meaning to get back to my TBR this year, but then I go and look at the new titles at the library and always find 2-3 new books I want to read. :rolleyes:  

 

Yep, I'm stuck in this library cycle at the moment. :rolleyes: I have one more book to finish and then I'm desperate to hand it back in and not get any more out so that I can return to my own TBR.

 

The problem is I now regularly go in on a Monday with Ellie after I drop James off at school as it's a short walk into town from the school and she loves looking at all the books there (plus we get a stamp for her Bookstart record which gets her certificates and eventually a 'Bookstart Bear'). Even if I go straight to the kids section and don't look at the fiction shelves, there's still a risk I'll see something on the "new book display".

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5 hours ago, More reading time required said:

 

Yep, I'm stuck in this library cycle at the moment. :rolleyes: I have one more book to finish and then I'm desperate to hand it back in and not get any more out so that I can return to my own TBR.

 

The problem is I now regularly go in on a Monday with Ellie after I drop James off at school as it's a short walk into town from the school and she loves looking at all the books there (plus we get a stamp for her Bookstart record which gets her certificates and eventually a 'Bookstart Bear'). Even if I go straight to the kids section and don't look at the fiction shelves, there's still a risk I'll see something on the "new book display".

 

Ah, to be powerless in the face of books. :lol:

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On 4.5.2017 at 0:35 PM, More reading time required said:

 

Yep, I'm stuck in this library cycle at the moment. :rolleyes: I have one more book to finish and then I'm desperate to hand it back in and not get any more out so that I can return to my own TBR.

 

The problem is I now regularly go in on a Monday with Ellie after I drop James off at school as it's a short walk into town from the school and she loves looking at all the books there (plus we get a stamp for her Bookstart record which gets her certificates and eventually a 'Bookstart Bear'). Even if I go straight to the kids section and don't look at the fiction shelves, there's still a risk I'll see something on the "new book display".

 

May the force be with you! :ph34r:   :D

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On 4-5-2017 at 11:35 AM, More reading time required said:

 

Yep, I'm stuck in this library cycle at the moment. :rolleyes: I have one more book to finish and then I'm desperate to hand it back in and not get any more out so that I can return to my own TBR.

 

The problem is I now regularly go in on a Monday with Ellie after I drop James off at school as it's a short walk into town from the school and she loves looking at all the books there (plus we get a stamp for her Bookstart record which gets her certificates and eventually a 'Bookstart Bear'). Even if I go straight to the kids section and don't look at the fiction shelves, there's still a risk I'll see something on the "new book display".

 

It's the Eternal Curse! Such a familiar story... Even when I just return a book, I'm still at risk.

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Het hongervuur review

 

This is the second instalment in the Victoria Bergman trilogy.

 

The characters from the first instalment return and we meet some new people.

The entire novel, I felt that as a reader, you know the full truth of what had happened and was happening and you were just reading how Jeanette figures it all out. Then the authors manage it again - a whopping surprise near the very end, shaking everything you thought you knew. It makes you want to go back and read everything again with the new knowledge. Great job on the authors' part.

 

I do think there are a tad bit too many coincidences and people being linked/knowing each other. It just seems too coincidental to be credible at times. But it's a great story so far and with the surprises I've encountered, I wonder how the series will conclude.

 

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De laatste aanwijzingen review

 

This is the third and final instalment in the Victoria Bergman trilogy.


Again, the familiar characters return. Jeanette Kihlberg's development takes a bit of a backseat, but we get to know some others much better. Of the entire trilogy, this instalment focuses most on psychological insight and character development.

Once again, the authors manage to take everything you think you know happened and turn it upside down - yet it still makes a whole lot of sense. As in the previous instalment, I do feel there are too many coincidences - and the conclusion regarding Viggo Dürer was a bit too out of the blue and consequently, over the top. 

 

Wat Alleen Wij Horen review

 

Having read raving reviews, I was very curious about this novel.

 

We follow the lives of some inhabitants of an apartment building as they deal with the impending destruction of their home. They were all interesting in their own way and reading from these differents points of view made it very hard to put down.

 

The protagonists get their own chapters, but at the end of each part is a chapter on "The others", where we meet other inhabitants for a few paragraphs. Some people want to fight the destruction and convince others to fight with them, but it turns out to be more complicated. This novel felt very Flemish to me in the way the characters act and live - if this had been an American story, it would have been very different.

 

The strange mix of reality and fantasy, of realism and absurdism was also very intriguing.

 

It was an interesting, fluently written story and once again, I look forward to reading more by Saskia De Coster.

Edited by Alexander the Great

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Until I Find You review

 

This novel is classic John Irving - this is the first thing that comes to mind when trying to describe my reading experience. 

 

All the ingredients are there: wrestling, theater/acting, sexual ambiguity, coming-of-age, New England/Maine. This is the first Irving novel I've read, but the first one I felt was uninspired. I tried, but never really got into the characters as I have in his other novels. I felt Irving was entirely too harsh and vague on Alice and too admiring and forgiving of William. Some of Alice's actions were simply too unbelievable - especially the fact that so many people knew about it and nobody stopped her. 

 

The book was also too long - I think it would have been stronger without the ending. I also thought it could get quite repetitive.

 

However, I can't deny it's still a thrilling read. Of course Irving takes the reader on a journey and he's that kind of writer who couldn't write a bad book if he tried, but the feeling didn't seem to be there as much. Still, I didn't necessarily dislike it. I liked it - but those other Irving novels I've read, I adored.

 

I would recommend this to those who have read and liked Irving, but not as a first Irving novel to read.

 

 

 

-

 

On to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which my best friend gave me for my last birthday nearly a year ago. I'm sad I don't get to tell him I finally got to start reading it, but there's not much I can do. Maybe it'll help me feel close to him even when he's not there. (He's not dead -- he's just decided after 12 years I'm not worth the trouble and abandoned me.)

Edited by Alexander the Great

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Which other Irving novels have you read? I haven't read any yet, but I've wanted to for a while (mostly because my parents said they read and liked a few of his books). Ahh but I have a long TBR pile..

 

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your friend :(. That's not nice at all, kind of rude to be honest! I hope you enjoy the book though.

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I've read In One Person and The Cider House Rules - apparently Until I Found You was my third and not my fourth! I seriously adored In One Person though, it's an all-time favourite of mine.

 

I'm in Dordrecht in The Netherlands now because I saw Epica live yesterday (and they were even better than last time - just whenever I think they can't give a better show they somehow do). I stayed the night here, so even though I've been driving then saw a concert, I still brought my book and seriously had to stop myself from not bringing a second book just in case I finish the one I have... even though I only just started it.

 

It's not easy dealing with and coming to terms with what my friend did - I'm still very confused, he always says I'm his brother so we're really close. But I am seeing a therapist and she helped me get over the first extreme feelings and now the Epica concert put some stuff in its place in my head. So I'll survive 😊

Edited by Alexander the Great

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Thanks for the recommendation :).

 

I'm glad you had a great time seeing Epica!

 

I'm glad your therapist helps you dealing with your feelings (I have one too) and that you enjoyed the Epica concert :).

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I'm sorry to hear what happened with your friend :(  But I'm glad you're talking about it and have better tools to deal with it because of that. :empathy:    

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the Epica gig! And you only have a few more days till you see Rammstein, right? I bet you're getting pretty excited about that :D   They were great here in Finland!

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On 13-6-2017 at 10:13 PM, frankie said:

I'm sorry to hear what happened with your friend :(  But I'm glad you're talking about it and have better tools to deal with it because of that. :empathy:    

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the Epica gig! And you only have a few more days till you see Rammstein, right? I bet you're getting pretty excited about that :D   They were great here in Finland!

 

I saw Epica again on Friday at Graspop and they were really amazing. I saw on Thursday that there was a signing session, but they only announced the hour on the day at the festival itself, so not online. I had to see my therapist at 1, so I could only leave at around 1.45pm. It was a long drive especially with the horrible traffic jam I knew I'd be caught in, and I was super worried about missing it. As a last resort, I had sent a private message to the official Epica Facebook page to ask when they'd be signing. While I was on the way, to my surprise they replied it would be at 5pm. With parking and going through all the security things it was 5.15pm by the time I made it to the stand. It said "Signing next: Epica" and I saw they were on at 5.30 for signing, so I'd made it just in time! I cheated a bit on the last stretch of highway, overtaking the traffic jam by getting off the highway and driving through a gas station and then getting on again, but it was worth it!

 

So I got to meet the band again and it was awesome. They only had half an hour because they also had to do interviews and prepare for their show, and there was a bit of a line. I was with them at 6.03 pm so I think I was lucky to make it! I talked with Isaac, my favourite male band member. He's the only Belgian in the band and from my part of the country. He was super nice, we talked about the concerts I've been to and the ones I'm going to go to. Then with Simone, the singer, I was a bit star struck. She's really incredibly beautiful and even more so when you see her up close. But I talked to her, not much though because I was a bit speechless. I had read on Twitter a while ago that she was sad Penny Dreadful wasn't renewed and then somewhere else she'd said it's one of her favourite tv shows. It's my favourite too and I'd bought the comic that was released as a prequel a while ago. When I heard about the signing session, I wanted to take a gift. I only heard the day before, so it was too late to order it. So I took my own copy and ordered it again for myself. I also slipped a note in there to explain why I bought that - as reading material during the long hours on buses and planes - and with bit of an explanation what Epica means to me. She thought it was super cool and was thumbing through it and she thanked me, she thought it was great.

 

The Epica show itself was really awesome. I don't normally use Twitter, but I tweeted four pictures, saying it was a mind-blowing show & fun signing session. I'd mentioned EpicaSimone and Mark. I never use Twitter, so I had like three followers. Suddenly I'm getting all these likes and retweets and I thought it was odd, but maybe because of the mentions and hashtags. I go to Simone's account to see if she's tweeted about Graspop - and I saw she liked and retweeted my tweet! She usually retweets stuff about charity or make-up (her main hobby) and Epica stuff, but not normally fan tweets about shows. I saw she liked three other tweets about Epica at Graspop, but she only retweeted mine! I was through the roof, of course. I do know they love to play at Graspop and I'm sure she had a great time there.

 

I saw Rammstein too and they were great. I was very excited - I'd seen Tarja earlier. Epica played until 9.15pm and Tarja started at 9pm so I missed a bit of the show, but she was really good. She also did a Nightwish medley, which was super cool. But Rammstein, wow. Huge crowd too, awesome crowd. And their show was on point. Loved the stage set and the fireworks and the pyro and everything.

 

Because of Graspop and because I helped my friend move all day yesterday, I haven't read a page in my book for two days. This never happens!

 

 

 

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Wow, it sounds like you had lots of fun! How cool you got to talk to the band members :). I'm glad you had a great time!

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10 hours ago, Athena said:

Wow, it sounds like you had lots of fun! How cool you got to talk to the band members :). I'm glad you had a great time!

 

I had a great time! I'm sure if I stayed for longer than a day, I'd have taken my book onto the festival terrain. It was pretty cool to talk to them, even though it had to go pretty fast. But I'm grateful I got to meet them again, and I'm meeting them again in December :)

 

I'm also really happy I got to give Simone that book!

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children review

 

I saw the film a few months ago, but the book is very different. 

 

Obviously, the characters are very engaging and interesting. There is quite a number of characters, but I felt the author did a good job of not reducing the peculiar children to their peculiarity. They all had a distinct personality. Riggs mentions looking up to John Green, but I felt Riggs wrote a much more realistic teenager than Green does. Jacob is a likeable protagonist, but he's not perfect either, which makes him easier to relate to.

 

The book felt quite slow in the beginning, but I think that's because as a reader, you know you'll be going someplace special. It's kind of like the Harry Potter books - the start of each book in the Muggle world was necessary, but I could never wait to get past it. Once it got going, it really did get going. Riggs sets up a good pace, with a lot of things happening, but not all at once. In this respect, the book was definitely much better than the film, which suddenly moved much too fast. (I don't remember enough details about the film to compare the book and the film).

 

I liked Riggs' writing style too. It's not overly simplified and at times goes quite deep, but the story is always more important than the writing skills of the author. I can't wait to get started on the sequel!

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Great review, I'm glad you liked the book. I hope you enjoy the sequels too :).

 

I have yet to read the book or see the film. The film's trailer looked really interesting to me, but I'd like to read the book before seeing the film, ideally. But then people say the film is so different from the book and since I liked the trailer of the film, I'm not sure if I'll like the book as much.

 

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On 18.6.2017 at 3:32 PM, Alexander the Great said:

 

I saw Epica again on Friday at Graspop and they were really amazing. I saw on Thursday that there was a signing session, but they only announced the hour on the day at the festival itself, so not online. I had to see my therapist at 1, so I could only leave at around 1.45pm. It was a long drive especially with the horrible traffic jam I knew I'd be caught in, and I was super worried about missing it. As a last resort, I had sent a private message to the official Epica Facebook page to ask when they'd be signing. While I was on the way, to my surprise they replied it would be at 5pm. With parking and going through all the security things it was 5.15pm by the time I made it to the stand. It said "Signing next: Epica" and I saw they were on at 5.30 for signing, so I'd made it just in time! I cheated a bit on the last stretch of highway, overtaking the traffic jam by getting off the highway and driving through a gas station and then getting on again, but it was worth it!

 

Oh no!! I can totally imagine how anxious you were, to see if you'd get there in time! What a hassle! :D  I'm soooo happy you made it!! :smile2:

 

On 18.6.2017 at 3:32 PM, Alexander the Great said:

 

So I got to meet the band again and it was awesome. They only had half an hour because they also had to do interviews and prepare for their show, and there was a bit of a line. I was with them at 6.03 pm so I think I was lucky to make it! I talked with Isaac, my favourite male band member. He's the only Belgian in the band and from my part of the country. He was super nice, we talked about the concerts I've been to and the ones I'm going to go to. Then with Simone, the singer, I was a bit star struck. She's really incredibly beautiful and even more so when you see her up close. But I talked to her, not much though because I was a bit speechless. I had read on Twitter a while ago that she was sad Penny Dreadful wasn't renewed and then somewhere else she'd said it's one of her favourite tv shows. It's my favourite too and I'd bought the comic that was released as a prequel a while ago. When I heard about the signing session, I wanted to take a gift. I only heard the day before, so it was too late to order it. So I took my own copy and ordered it again for myself. I also slipped a note in there to explain why I bought that - as reading material during the long hours on buses and planes - and with bit of an explanation what Epica means to me. She thought it was super cool and was thumbing through it and she thanked me, she thought it was great.

 

That is so cool, and so thoughtful! :smile2:   She must've been so pleased!  You are such a nice person :)

 

On 18.6.2017 at 3:32 PM, Alexander the Great said:

 

The Epica show itself was really awesome. I don't normally use Twitter, but I tweeted four pictures, saying it was a mind-blowing show & fun signing session. I'd mentioned EpicaSimone and Mark. I never use Twitter, so I had like three followers. Suddenly I'm getting all these likes and retweets and I thought it was odd, but maybe because of the mentions and hashtags. I go to Simone's account to see if she's tweeted about Graspop - and I saw she liked and retweeted my tweet! She usually retweets stuff about charity or make-up (her main hobby) and Epica stuff, but not normally fan tweets about shows. I saw she liked three other tweets about Epica at Graspop, but she only retweeted mine! I was through the roof, of course. I do know they love to play at Graspop and I'm sure she had a great time there.

 

And when one thought it couldn't get any cooler, it does... :D    Lucky you :D

 

On 18.6.2017 at 3:32 PM, Alexander the Great said:

 

I saw Rammstein too and they were great. I was very excited - I'd seen Tarja earlier. Epica played until 9.15pm and Tarja started at 9pm so I missed a bit of the show, but she was really good. She also did a Nightwish medley, which was super cool. But Rammstein, wow. Huge crowd too, awesome crowd. And their show was on point. Loved the stage set and the fireworks and the pyro and everything.

 

:)   The Rammstein gig only made me want to see them again soon... I hope I'll get another chance to see them. There was a fan zone in front of the stage, so there was no chance I could get a close viewing of them. I was damned if I was going to pay 49€ just for that. (I didn't realize there would be a fan zone until the very day of the gig. I was so annoyed!)

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@frankie That fan zone sounds unfortunate... also a bit odd at a festival. If you're such a fan, why not just go to a regular concert if you want to get close? It sounds especially odd because at a festival, you're much further away and the stage is much bigger than it is at a regular show already.

 

Hollow City review

 

Hollow City does what a sequel should do - it's basically its predecessor, but bigger and better. We already know the characters and we pick up right where the first novel left off. The reader is thrown into a whirlwind of adventure, with enough reflective moments to really give meaning to the events. At times, I could see some links to Harry Potter, but I think that's mostly because Harry Potter's been in the new, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first book. This is in no way a copy of Harry Potter, though. 

 

I feel like I'll be rereading this trilogy later - it feels like a very rich world with endless possibilities.

 

I've started on the final instalment, Library of Souls.

 

Yesterday - on June 30th, 2017 - my goddaughter was born. Her name is Jeanne and she's brightened my world. I went to see her yesterday and held her in my arms - I'm completely smitten with her. Sadly, she's in the neonatal care unit at the moment. She has a yellowish colour and they haven't been able to make a diagnosis yet. She's a healthy baby, though, and they've ruled out many things already. In all likelihood, she'll be just fine. She's very calm as well, so that's good. But not knowing what's wrong, not being sure how much longer she'll be in the neonatal care unit, not being sure my sister and her boyfriend even get to take her home on Monday is taking its toll. I'm not sure I'll be getting much reading done. It's hard to focus.

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14 minutes ago, Alexander the Great said:

@frankie That fan zone sounds unfortunate... also a bit odd at a festival. If you're such a fan, why not just go to a regular concert if you want to get close? It sounds especially odd because at a festival, you're much further away and the stage is much bigger than it is at a regular show already.

 

I'd most definitely go to a regular concert of Rammstein's if they did such a thing here in Finland! But it was a festival they did this year. They may have performed in Finland a few times, but I've never lived in Helsinki before, at the time, so I've never had this easy-access opportunity to go and see them (I used to live further up north). My job doesn't pay that well, so I can't really afford to travel to another country just to go and see Rammstein, unfortunately. And Rammstein is by no means my most favorite band, it's just one that I've listened to for about 2 decades, so it was a big deal for me, being able to see them. 

 

 

14 minutes ago, Alexander the Great said:

Yesterday - on June 30th, 2017 - my goddaughter was born. Her name is Jeanne and she's brightened my world. I went to see her yesterday and held her in my arms - I'm completely smitten with her. Sadly, she's in the neonatal care unit at the moment. She has a yellowish colour and they haven't been able to make a diagnosis yet. She's a healthy baby, though, and they've ruled out many things already. In all likelihood, she'll be just fine. She's very calm as well, so that's good. But not knowing what's wrong, not being sure how much longer she'll be in the neonatal care unit, not being sure my sister and her boyfriend even get to take her home on Monday is taking its toll. I'm not sure I'll be getting much reading done. It's hard to focus.

 

I hope the staff figure out what's wrong with her ASAP and can fix it, and that Jeanne can go home with her parents soon enough. That's so nice, having a niece and a goddaughter :smile2:

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@frankie I just reread what I wrote and I came across so wrong!! I'm clearly out of it... I didn't mean if you yourself are such a fan just go to a concert - I meant the people who do the fanzone thing, they should go to regular concerts if they want to get close! I'm so so sorry!

 

Thank you, frankie and @Lau_Lou! My sister goes home on Monday, so we really hope they won't have to leave Jeanne behind. She's so tiny and cute and perfect. I guess she is at least to small to understand anything at all is going on. I hope things go to normal soon, I'm not good at handling this stress of worrying for her and for her parents.

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Just now, Alexander the Great said:

@frankie I just reread what I wrote and I came across so wrong!! I'm clearly out of it... I didn't mean if you yourself are such a fan just go to a concert - I meant the people who do the fanzone thing, they should go to regular concerts if they want to get close! I'm so so sorry!

 

Don't worry at all, I did have a feeling you probably meant a general 'you' and not me :D  I just think, like you, fanzones at a festival are a a rip-off :(

 

Just now, Alexander the Great said:

 

Thank you, frankie and @Lau_Lou! My sister goes home on Monday, so we really hope they won't have to leave Jeanne behind. She's so tiny and cute and perfect. I guess she is at least to small to understand anything at all is going on. I hope things go to normal soon, I'm not good at handling this stress of worrying for her and for her parents.

 

I'll keep my fingers crossed everything works out just fine :smile2:

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13 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Hollow City review

 

I'm glad you enjoyed Hollow City :).

 

13 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Yesterday - on June 30th, 2017 - my goddaughter was born. Her name is Jeanne and she's brightened my world. I went to see her yesterday and held her in my arms - I'm completely smitten with her. Sadly, she's in the neonatal care unit at the moment. She has a yellowish colour and they haven't been able to make a diagnosis yet. She's a healthy baby, though, and they've ruled out many things already. In all likelihood, she'll be just fine. She's very calm as well, so that's good. But not knowing what's wrong, not being sure how much longer she'll be in the neonatal care unit, not being sure my sister and her boyfriend even get to take her home on Monday is taking its toll. I'm not sure I'll be getting much reading done. It's hard to focus.

 

Congratulations on your goddaughter! I hope she will be okay and that she'll be able to go home very soon.

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@Athena Thank you! She's doing better now and she's drinking very well, so she'll probably be fine. They're just keeping her to run more tests so they can figure out the cause. We get to visit her later - we can only see her one at a time and not for very long, but I do feel better knowing I'll get to see her.

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