BOOK CLUB: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Happy New Year everybody! So December’s Book Club post is a few days (ahem, a week) late, but as one bud was out of the country over the holiday period and the others were passed out on their sofas after consuming insane amounts of Christmas food, we’ll let it slide this once…! This month we took on C.S Lewis’ classic high-fantasy tale, where four children climb through a wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia, filled with witches, talking lions, thinly veiled Christian mythology and Turkish Delight. Let’s get right to it!

 

SPOILER WARNING: The following post contains major spoilers for the plot of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

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BOOK CLUB: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

We’re one bud down for this month’s slightly delayed book club in which we look at Helen Fielding’s third book in the Bridget Jones series Mad About the Boy. Fielding’s iconic heroine is now a single mother in her fifties and just stepping back into the dating game in the internet age.

SPOILER WARNING: The following post contains major spoilers for the plot of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.

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BOOK CLUB: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

For this month’s book club we decided to get into the Halloween spirit by reading Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Regarded as one of the best 20th century ghost stories this story follows a group of paranormal investigators as they spend the summer in a supposedly haunted house with a dark past and begin to experience some seriously strange goings on.

As with last month’s book club we ended up with some wildly different opinions.

SPOILER WARNING: The following post contains major spoilers for the plot of The Haunting of Hill House.

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

For today, on the eve of Halloween I feel I’ve saved the best til last. I first bought Something Wicked This Way Comes last year with the intention to read it for that Halloween, however I found myself taking too long reading my previous book and ended up saving it for this year instead. So I had a year’s worth of anticipation built for this book and I’m glad to say it lived up to my expectations.

Something Wicked This Way Comes features one of the most famous examples of the creepy carnival as it rides in to town the week before Halloween and two boys, Jim and Will, try to protect the town and ultimately themselves from its malign influence.

SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains minor spoilers for the plot of Something Wicked This Way Comes. 

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Fangland by John Marks

For this, the penultimate Spooky Sunday, I read Fangland by John Marks which earns the not entirely complimentary honour of being the weirdest book I’ve read this year by far. Fangland is a sort of modern retelling of Dracula which follows Evangeline Harker, an associate producer on America’s biggest news programme as she goes to set up an interview with a mysterious man rumoured to be the head of crime in Eastern Europe and disappears in Transylvania. The book then splits between Evangeline’s experiences and those of her colleagues back in America as strange things begin to happen in their offices.

SPOILER WARNING: The below review contains moderate spoilers for the plot of Fangland.

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This week’s Spooky Sunday was a somewhat rushed affair as I actually ended up reading the majority of the book today due to a minor reading slump earlier in the week. Her Fearful Symmetry is a ghost story about twins which centers on a house bordering London’s famous Highgate Cemetery; it’s probably the least conventionally creepy book on my list but there’s still plenty to enjoy. The story centers on a pair of American twins who inherit a London flat which once belonged to their mother’s sister (themselves also twins) as well of the other residents of the house including their not quite departed aunt.

SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains minor spoilers for the plot of Her Fearful Symmetry

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Neverland by Douglas Clegg

Staying on task with my Spooky Sunday goals this week I read Neverland by Douglas Clegg. I found this book through a Halloween reads recommendation list and while it’s probably not something I would have picked up on my own it definitely made for interesting reading. Set during a summer vacation at their family’s ramshackle old mansion Neverland is a southern gothic horror story that follows the increasingly sinister games played by the narrator Beau and his odd cousin Sumter. Like the story from from which it draws its title this is a book about childhood and the price to be paid by growing up, albeit told in much darker way.

SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains minor spoilers for the plot of Neverland.

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Slade House by David Mitchell

Halloween is probably my favourite seasonal holiday and this year I thought I’d celebrate with some spooky reads. I’m hoping to get one of these up each Sunday but we’ll see how it goes.

Slade House is a book that can best be described as a science fiction ghost story. It’s set over a period of thirty-six years and follows the mysterious events surrounding the titular house and those who visit it through a series of interconnected short stories. Each of the stories features a different narrator and time period while following the same basic premise of the protagonist being drawn into Slade House then charting their experiences inside.

SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains minor spoilers for the plot of Slade House

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Book Buds Book Club

It’s our first Book Buds Book Club review!

Over September we read Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a gothic-style YA novel following Jacob Portman as he searches for meaning in the bizarre, twisted fairy tales he heard from his grandfather, Abe. With the Tim Burton film adaptation in cinemas now, we figured it was time we caught up with this eerie little world and share our thoughts with you.

It’s safe to say there were a few, uh, conflicting views. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.

Major spoilers below the cut!

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GROUP REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II at The Palace Theatre

Welcome to Book Buds! To commemorate our first post we’ve decided to do an extra-specially long group review. This summer we were all lucky enough to get to go see the production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II at the Palace Theatre in London. We’ve gathered together some of our thoughts and opinions on the experience below the read more.

SPOILER WARNING: The following review contains major spoilers for both the plot and production details of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well as the Harry Potter series in general. Read on at your own discretion.

Note: This is a review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as performed at the Palace Theatre not the published script of the play. While plot details found in the script are discussed, bear in mind our opinions are influenced by the experience of seeing the production on stage. 

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