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      Late Autumn Supporter Giveaway   11/27/2020

      I know that winter is well on the way, but I'm sneaking the autumn giveaway in here, right at the end of the season...     I thought this giveaway seemed particularly appropriate for this year: Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink.  I'm sure some of you will have heard of this book. It came out in September and has had brilliant reviews. It's been described as a love letter to reading and I think all of us have truly appreciated 'the comfort and joy of books' this year.  It is also a really beautiful hardback. Please excuse my picture-taking skills, it's really hard to get a good picture of something that's shiny!   As always, patreon supporters will be automatically entered into the draw. If you're not a supporter but you'd like to join our patreon you can do so here:  bookclubforum.co.uk is creating a book community | Patreon
Hayley

Hayley's Reading in 2020

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On 14/08/2020 at 8:44 PM, Raven said:

The world done and got sick on us... (in oh so many ways...).

 

 

In the words of River Song, spoilers:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Ah, I had forgotten about that!

Spoiler

I just remembered Peter and Beverley having a conversation, right at the end of the book, I think, about Peter's job being dangerous and then about the baby. I had totally forgotten that he was suspended anyway. Although this does now make me ask more questions about him popping in to the Folly to look at the police database... was he not suspended by then??

I didn't expect him to leave his job either (even though I forgot he was suspended!) I knew he would be drawn back into it, I think I just expected more to be made of the difference... if that makes sense... Peter working for a tech company and Peter working for the MET felt exactly the same.

 

On 14/08/2020 at 8:44 PM, Raven said:

I may have said this in my review (can't be arsed to go and look!) but I found all the Hitch-Hikers references a massive distraction and, as you say, unrealistic.  Someone would have thrown the copyright hammer at the company for such flagrant commercial use of the IP, if nothing else!  If the company had to be a bit geeky, he could have gone with names of computer pioneers, like Babbage, Lovelace and Turing etc. 

 

Although I enjoyed it, I think with distance I would mark False Values down as well, and give it 4/5 (though that might go up again on a re-read!). 

 

At the end of Lies Sleeping it felt like there was going to be a massive change in direction for the series, but that never really happened.  False Values feels like a side story before what comes next, although I think there may be parts of it that will prove to be very significant later...

 

You did say it in your review, I remember reading it now that you've said it. I was glad it wasn't just me being picky! I think using the names of computing pioneers would actually have made far more sense, given the context.

Reviewing this later did change my rating. I always just leave a star rating on Goodreads to add the book to my 'read' list and I gave it five stars at the time. You have a point about re-reading. I really don't know if I'd feel like it was five stars again if I did re-read. If I look back at the first book and the last though I definitely feel differently about them. As you say, False Value felt a bit like an in-between, as though it was just laying the groundwork for the next book(s). 

 

On 15/08/2020 at 4:27 PM, Marie H said:

Wow, you have had a read fest! And a review fest too :boogie:

 

I’ve still got a couple of the Peter Grant series books, but always seem to falter at Moon over Soho.... I can’t get into it :unsure:.

 

It looks a lot more impressive when you save them all up for six months :lol:

I agree with Raven that you could skip Moon over Soho and go straight to Whispers Underground. I really liked the third one and I don't think you'd miss anything that would make it confusing. 

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15 hours ago, Hayley said:

 

I agree with Raven that you could skip Moon over Soho and go straight to Whispers Underground. I really liked the third one and I don't think you'd miss anything that would make it confusing. 

Thanks Hayley & Raven, I will give Moon over Soho a miss, re-listenen to Rivers of London (which I loved), then read the 3rd. 

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19 hours ago, Hayley said:

Ah, I had forgotten about that!

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Although this does now make me ask more questions about him popping in to the Folly to look at the police database... was he not suspended by then??

 

 

Spoiler

The way I read it, Peter has been reinstated by the time False Values starts, so he is able to go into The Folly again.

 

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7 hours ago, Raven said:

 

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Oh! But...

Spoiler

Why did Peter start working for that tech company if he’d been reinstated?

Maybe I do need to re-read False Value!

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22 hours ago, Hayley said:

Oh! But...

  Hide contents

Why did Peter start working for that tech company if he’d been reinstated?

Maybe I do need to re-read False Value!

 

Okay, now you have me wondering whether I read the book right! 

 

Spoiler

Peter never worked for Serious Cybernetics; he was undercover from the start!  I'm sure there is a piece that explains how he was hired, and that his suspension was actually used as part of his cover story.

 

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Hi Hayley I think if you go back and read Falling Creatures you'll find out how Shilly and Anna first meet (and what happened to Shilly's first love and to an extent why this shapes her character), also why Shilly stayed with Anna.  I'm not sure how old Anna is either, probably not that old as in those days you probably didn't need to be that old to have bad teeth!  There's a definite slight other worldly feel to both books.  I really like them.

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On 18/08/2020 at 9:14 PM, Raven said:

 

Okay, now you have me wondering whether I read the book right! 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I definitely read it differently... I think I actually need to re-read the last two! I thought...

 

Spoiler

At the end of Lies Sleeping we don't know whether Peter will get his police job back or not. He says something to Beverley about how he could lose his pension, she implies she would actually like him to stop working for the police and reveals that she's pregnant. Then False Value starts with him at the interview for the Serious Cybernetics Company. I thought he was getting that job because he knew he might be losing his old one, but then got drawn into the police investigation into that company when it turned out to have a magical connection.

 

I've just flicked through False Value and I'm thinking maybe I missed the fact that it goes back in time after the interview? So had Peter already got his job with the police back before he even interviewed for the Serious Cybernetics Company? Maybe that's why I was so confused about why he so seamlessly started doing police work again!

 

 

 

On 19/08/2020 at 11:01 AM, Madeleine said:

Hi Hayley I think if you go back and read Falling Creatures you'll find out how Shilly and Anna first meet (and what happened to Shilly's first love and to an extent why this shapes her character), also why Shilly stayed with Anna.  I'm not sure how old Anna is either, probably not that old as in those days you probably didn't need to be that old to have bad teeth!  There's a definite slight other worldly feel to both books.  I really like them.

Yes I definitely felt like I was missing a lot of context from not reading the first book. I wish there had been something to suggest it was part of a series! I just felt like Anna was so unnecessarily unkind to Shilly, it's put me off getting the first one to be honest, even though I know it might all make more sense then. By the end I was kind of hoping...

Spoiler

Shilly would go with Mathilda instead! 

 There was a point where I wondered whether Anna's bad teeth were a sign of her bad childhood, rather than her age, but there are a couple of times when Shilly actually says she sometimes forgets how much older Anna is than her. I did like the other-worldly feel, that's really what attracted me to the book in the first place. I also thought the way the magpies connected various elements of the story was clever.   

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On 8/24/2020 at 3:59 PM, Hayley said:

I definitely read it differently... I think I actually need to re-read the last two! I thought...

 

  Hide contents

At the end of Lies Sleeping we don't know whether Peter will get his police job back or not. He says something to Beverley about how he could lose his pension, she implies she would actually like him to stop working for the police and reveals that she's pregnant. Then False Value starts with him at the interview for the Serious Cybernetics Company. I thought he was getting that job because he knew he might be losing his old one, but then got drawn into the police investigation into that company when it turned out to have a magical connection.

 

I've just flicked through False Value and I'm thinking maybe I missed the fact that it goes back in time after the interview? So had Peter already got his job with the police back before he even interviewed for the Serious Cybernetics Company? Maybe that's why I was so confused about why he so seamlessly started doing police work again!

 

 

 

Spoiler

Yes, at the end of Lies Sleeping Peter is still suspended, but by the time the story gets to False Values he has been reinstated and gone under cover at Serious Cybernetics.

 

The blurb on the back of the book is misleading, as it implies Peter has got gainful employment outside the Police, and the beginning of the book keeps up that deception, but it doesn't last long and it doesn't really work very well for me either.

 

Edited by Raven

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14 hours ago, Raven said:

 

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That does make sense now that I think about it. It's weird though...

Spoiler

that the blurb is so misleading. I don't see the point in making the reader think Peter isn't undercover at the beginning. 

 

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On 14/08/2020 at 8:55 PM, Hayley said:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - 4/5

This book has sentimental value to me because my great aunt gave it to me when I was little. It has a local newspaper name on the inner fold of the dust jacket, so I think she probably saved coupons from the newspaper to get it. Sadly she passed away a few years ago after suffering from dementia, but I have lovely memories of her. One of the things I loved about going to her house was playing in the garden. She had a long garden with a stream at the bottom, which was where (the adults told us) the fairies lived. So this book doubly reminded me of her, as the little animals navigated their boat around the streams and the big river. I expected it to be a very simple and potentially not very entertaining book as an adult, but I was very pleasantly surprised! The loveliest thing was the language and Grahame's descriptions of the natural world and changing seasons. It is really beautifully written and I can see now why it's considered a classic.

So, thanks auntie Peggy :)

 

Awww that's so nice that you have that copy still and that you have lovely memories of your great aunt :).

 

On 14/08/2020 at 8:55 PM, Hayley said:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - 5/5 

If anybody ever doubts the importance of books to a society they should be made to read this book. It's quite hard to talk about the specific things I liked without spoilers but I thought it was very powerful and emotional, as well as being a very gripping story. The dystopian world Bradbury created has disturbing similarities to our own and I was particularly impressed by Bradbury's portrayal of human nature, both its good and bad sides. This is the kind of book that stays with you. The edition I had was an anniversary one (my sister bought it for me for my birthday) and I do think it's worth getting because it contains some interesting notes from Bradbury about what he would change about the book and how he imagined the background of one of the characters.

 

I bought this book some time in the recent months, glad to hear it was a good read for you!

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Shockingly I've only read three books since my last review. But, on the plus side, I suppose that does mean I'm not too far behind on reviews!

 

Ah, this year. I said in our 'fixes' update that I'd talk a bit more elsewhere about why I haven't been as active on the forum recently, so I'll put that in here. The basic reason is that things have just been really busy and stressful. I took on some work that had a really tight deadline (that's done now) and then things just went a bit mad. My niece has been having a difficult time at school since the schools went back and then her mom discovered that she'd been hanging around with some really not nice kids. I won't go into detail but you can probably imagine. I realise that might sound like an odd thing for me to be very stressed about but I've always been very close to my niece. I looked after her when she was little and she still comes to my house nearly every day after school (her school is just down the road from me and her mom is a teacher so she doesn't get home until later). I know teenagers have to make their own mistakes but it's really quite heart-breaking to see someone you love make the kind of bad decisions that you know will impact their future, and not being able to do anything. And scary knowing that they don't see the danger in things (and people) that are so clearly dangerous. Anyway, I've spent quite a lot of time, nearly every day, talking to my mom and my sister about the situation as well as racking my brain for solutions that I know don't really exist. I think all I can really do is be there for her to talk to, give her the best advice I can and hope. 

I've probably mentioned before that one of my sisters has aspergers and she suffers from very severe anxiety that she has to take medication for. Sometimes though she still has bad patches. Generally it's health anxiety. She sort of becomes convinced that she has a serious illness. It's really horrible and upsetting for her because she does know that it's irrational but it can take a long time to shake it off. On a selfish note it's quite frustrating to deal with, because we end up having the same conversation, with me answering the same questions about whatever it is she thinks is wrong every day, often more than once a day. Generally I just deal with it, because I'm quite used to it happening, but sometimes when it's already been a stressful day and it's late at night and I just want to sleep I do kind of want to put my head under the duvet and pretend it's not happening. But then I do feel terrible for feeling that way because it's really not her fault and I know it feels much worse for her having to deal with it. 

Then there are the sort of worries that I can't directly do anything about, but they're just on the edge all the time. One of my sisters best friends has been suffering from cancer and sadly passed away last week (nobody really knows what the new lockdown will mean for her funeral). I haven't been able to see my nan since the first lockdown (she's in a nursing home and they haven't allowed visitors at all) and she's not well with a temperature but the doctor won't come out because of COVID (which she's already had and recovered from - quite amazingly since she struggles with her breathing at the best of times). The career I thought I wanted to move into after I got my degree is just... not in a good place at the moment. So many people are losing their jobs and I know I have some big decisions to make about what I actually want and how much I want it. 

Together it's just been really emotionally draining. I'm sure all the depressing news hasn't helped. By time I finished doing all the things I really needed to do and got off the phone to all the other people around me who are worried about the things going on I was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed. 

 

But now the deadline has passed and I got the work done, it's been half term and I'm happy that we seem to be getting somewhere at last with the forum fixes!

I hope all of that doesn't just sound like a mass of complaining. I'm not really a complaining kind of person. I know things could be a lot worse and I really do have so much to be grateful for. But I also know I have really been missing for a while and I thought I should explain. 

 

Now I'm going to read The Witch House by Ann Rawson, about a ritual murder and a woman wrongfully accused, and then I'm going to warm up some cherry pie. 

 

I'll come back to the missing reviews and post them in a chunk like I did before :) 

 

 

 

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Sounds like you've had a lot on your plate recently and hopefully things will get easier from now on. I really sympathise with the career situation, this pandemic has really messed up a lot of people's career plans and as species we will feel the ramification for a long time to come.

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Holy macaroni Hayley! That is a right old melange of stuff you've been dealing with. I hope they are starting to pass / get resolved. 

 

And I can only agree with itsmeagain :he:

 

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34 minutes ago, Chrissy said:

Holy macaroni Hayley! That is a right old melange of stuff you've been dealing with. I hope they are starting to pass / get resolved. 

 

And I can only agree with itsmeagain :he:

 

Thanks Chrissy.😊

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Thanks everyone :hug:.  Things are still mad but I do feel more on top of things now I've had a bit more time to sort things out. I managed to book my sister in for a type of anxiety therapy that helped her before, for example. Luckily they can do it online via Zoom. 

 

I will actually get round to reviewing books on here again soon! I started reading two books this week, one is a book of short stories (The Other World, It Whispers) and the other one is part of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. I was originally planning to just finish the short stories first but they didn't hold my attention as much as I hoped they would. So far they've been more like snippets of stories than entire short stories, if that makes sense. I started to feel a bit like I was reading teaser chapters of a longer book. I always know I'm going to enjoy Jasper Fforde's weird book world though.

 

 

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