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I can understand your alarm, Chris, but I think what many posters have demonstrated here is simply part of the whole British sense of humour. I would be surprised if anyone is actually very bothered about their posting status; it's just a silly thing, like looking in mild awe as the car's odometer passes 10,000 miles (thereby nearly running over a hapless old lady).

 

It's true the Anything But Books section is generally lit up like a Christmas tree whenever I log in, but I think that's partly because it's a quick and easy post that's usually about a little light-hearted fun more than anything else. Generally I'll scroll down the site looking at anything interesting then finish up with a post or two on ABB. Posts on books take longer and, of course, reading the book in the first place in order to have something to say is more time-consuming than thinking up a tool beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet, for instance. It's all a bit like a pub conversation - have a few deep moments then lighten things up a little.

 

That said, I didn't take part in voting and there are some discussions I haven't got round to participating in, which is daft, really. I've just stuck with those parts of the site's operation that I fell into at the start, which isn't terribly good, so I hope your comments will spur me into action!

 

Are there American online book groups that are very different from this one, Chris? Do you think American reading habits are similar to those you've seen this side of the pond? There's not enough to bash yet, so give us some material!

;)

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You have hit the nail (appropriately enough given the current A-Z Topic) on the head, David. I would be very concerned if anyone genuinely cared about my completely made up categories. It is part of the British sense of humour to pretend to take trivial things seriously.

 

However, Chris, you have important points to make about the BGO Book Group. I too am wondering why such a small proportion of members take part - in the votes and the discussions. As you know, I haven't been able to spend as much time as I've wished on this site over the past few months, and perhaps I ought to look at ways of publicising such things more, eg I haven't sent an email to all members in months.

 

Having said that, the response to The Lady Soldier offer certainly took the publisher by surprise. Or was it the word 'free' that swung that one?

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We do all post on the book threads but this tends to be in fits and starts (like the 'Pride & Prejuduce v Jane Eyre discussion a few weeks back). What I like the most about this site is that the literary side is there whenever you need it but in the meantime you've got a whole host of like-minded people to chat with, who don't think you're weird for thinking of ways to dispose of Big Brother contestants for example.

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The way I use this site is:

 

I switch my eMac on whenever I'm at home, and in odd moments (waiting for the kettle to boil, during TV ads etc.) I have a quick look at at my mail box, and a couple of message boards; including (primarily) this one.

 

I check to see if any of the recent posts are about books/authors I've read, and generally reply (until such time as I have run out of ideas). I read, and generally reply to, all posts in Central Library, and finally see if there is anything of interest in 'Anything but Books'. There's not much down there that I post on, but I post a lot on the ones I use because they are the ones that have usually been updated since I last looked!

 

If there were more posts about the books I've read, then I'd post more there!

 

Oh! and there's the poetry thread.

Fun though it is to post extracts from poems I like, and to be introduced to new poems/poets through the Poetry Chain, I'd like to see more input from BGOers on the Poetry Discussion thread. Sometimes I think I'm talking to myself.

 

Blast! Now the dinner is burning!!

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Are there American online book groups that are very different from this one, Chris? Do you think American reading habits are similar to those you've seen this side of the pond? There's not enough to bash yet, so give us some material!

;)

 

I moved over here before the whole book group craze got going so I don't know if it is as big there as it seems to be here. I must say that I had been working on starting one up around where I live, but then I saw the whole book group thing on Corrie Street and that scared me off that idea!!! :eek:

 

I must admit that I am still sometimes baffled by the British viewpoint on things - not always sure whether it is tongue in cheek or for real. But thanks to all of you for your responses.

 

Loved the Batmanesque bit, RR! I'm sure that I will probably provide more opportunities for bashing (intentional or unintentional). :P

 

PS Did I forget to mention that I was being facetious about the status bit? :o

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And, I hesitate to point out (as the outsider, here) that the Anything But Books section seems to get more play than the BGO section! :(

I've just looked at the list of all your posts, C.

 

Do you know the saying about the pot and the kettle? :rolleyes::P;)

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Don't keep your pot in the kettle or your mum'll find it? Don't put all your pots in one kettle? A bird in the pot is worth two in the bush? (actually that one kind of works.....) and not to make a big thing of it.......

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I've just looked at the list of all your posts, C.

 

Do you know the saying about the pot and the kettle? :rolleyes:

 

Yes, I do, but I am not allowed to say it anymore because it is not politically correct! Along with a whole lot of other stuff. :o

 

Thanks loads for your (original) feedback that showed genuine concern that I felt like an outsider (whyever did I put that bit of info about being from the US into my location info?) :confused::P

 

But I think the whole thing has been tainted by it - I have a very wry, ironic, sarcastic sense of humour (see, I even try to SPELL British - no 'u' over there) and have had some seriously outraged retorts to my posts! (Not by any of you, of course) So, can I maybe be an honourary (extra 'u', take note!) Brit? And, yes, I LOVE the Anything But Books section, because it is so much fun, so varied AND, so much more frequented!!! (Was going to put a wink smilie here but was told that I had too many images).

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Having said that, the response to The Lady Soldier offer certainly took the publisher by surprise. Or was it the word 'free' that swung that one?

 

Errrr ... May I be frank here? :o In my case, it was the description as 'historical fiction'. I thought that that meant a fictionalised ('s', 'z'? I'm lost on this one) version of the everyday life of a REAL lady soldier! What it turned out to be was a historical ROMANCE novel.

 

Kudos to you, Bill, that you got me to read a romance novel, which I LOATH! (But, at least, it wasn't a 'bodice-ripper', as we call them in the US) and I DID read the whole book after I figured out what it was (well, I had to, didn't I, after signing on?) And I did try to leave (tactful!) constructive feedback on the discussion thread. ;)

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I DID read the whole book after I figured out what it was (well, I had to, didn't I, after signing on?) And I did try to leave (tactful!) constructive feedback on the discussion thread. ;)

I didn't take part in 'The Lady Soldier exercise, and haven't been reading the thread.

 

I would be interested to know what percentage of those who got the book for free have actually posted a comment on it.

 

I have noticed that the number of people posting about the BGO Book club choices doesn't match the number who voted for them!

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I'm a resident, I'm a resident, I'm a r-r-res-i-dent! :D:):D

 

Well done!! - do you have to provide your own bedding, or do they provide it?

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I didn't take part in 'The Lady Soldier exercise, and haven't been reading the thread.

 

I would be interested to know what percentage of those who got the book for free have actually posted a comment on it.

 

I have the book - but haven't read it yet, thus not commented on it - main reason being that I have so many books that I borrow and have to read to give back, that any I acquire for keeps have to go lower down on the TBR pile. I've spained my ankle at the mo, and not been able to drive in to work this week so I've spent a lot of time just reading (read about 6 books). That puts "The Lady Soldier" in 3rd place on my pile! Nearly there.......

 

But that is books, not anything but books, so I'll shut up now (seem to be needing to do a lot of that recently!)

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just FYI Chris (and others) The Lady Soldier does have a strong romantic plot-line - I'd call it historical romantic fiction to be fair - but in genre terms it's historical fiction because

 

- the historical background is basically accurate

- the story of the heroine 'Jem - the lady soldier' overcoming her troubles is the primary plot line

(the romance is strongly interwoven but it's not the absolute core of the story)

 

Feel free to disagree... :)

 

NB My novel out next year is a romance for sure. A romantic comedy basically, set in the Regecny period.

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PS Did I forget to mention that I was being facetious about the status bit? :o

"I must admit that I am still sometimes baffled by the American viewpoint on things - not always sure whether it is tongue in cheek or for real."

:D

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I am, (almost), sure that the fact that I am identified as American contributes to the 'getting the back up' effect when I post something. Deino and David and My Friend Jack and several others seem to have the same sense of humour and facetiousness, (and not be offended by me) but don't seem to attract the same response. (By the way, think it's great so keep it up, please!) But I DO love it here and really love the whole sense of irony, etc. (when I 'get' it). Maybe Bill can give me a new, 'superhero type' secret identity? Then we can test the concept for clarification and validation. :P

 

In the meantime, as a reader of The Sunday Times, I am asking you all - can anyone here explain Michael Winner and AA Gill to me? Is MW, a seemingly pretentious, overbearing git, for real? Or is he supposed to be 'taken with a grain of salt' , as they say over the pond? And AA Gill, whom I have read and (previously) found very ironic and amusing - is he turning into a Michael Winner wannabe? Seems so in the last year or so. :(

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I'm afraid to say that Lucyb is right, Michael Winner is all too real. He is a pretty obnoxious man (doesn't stop him getting off with extremely young and attractive women though - can you smell the jealousy?) and was the director of the pretty obnoxious Death Wish films, so I guess we have to conclude that it's not really an act (I won't bother developing the irony of the film title; it's just too easy, frankly). Why people employ him to do anything confounds me. I'm only grateful at present that he appears to have been substituted in the E-Sure ads by a New Yorker mouse. He could have been replaced by dysentery and it would still have been a vast improvement.

 

Gill is just pretentious and now clearly lives in the sort of glass bubble where everyone tells him how brilliant his writing is and so he believes it and pushes the envelope even further. He's now become a parody of himself and with any luck will shortly be disappearing up his own back passage.

 

Have you really got people's backs up that much, Chris? Can't say I'd noticed, and it has to be said that some of the people you've mentioned have managed to achieve the same themselves.

 

That said, the superhero alter ego idea could prove interesting. How about 'Captain America'? ...Ah, no, I think I've spotted the flaw in that. Abe Washington?

 

Bugger; this is trickier than it seems...

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I'm afraid to say that Lucyb is right, Michael Winner is all too real. He is a pretty obnoxious man (doesn't stop him getting off with extremely young and attractive women though - can you smell the jealousy?)

 

Come on David, all you have to do is get famous and earn pots of cash...have you considered Big Brother? Or how about getting Bill to sell the idea of a (virtual) reality book group show to the Beeb? A few close ups of you typing frantically in your dressing gown and a pair of old socks and the next thing you know you'll be splashed over the Sun's front page telling your true life story of life and love on line....

 

Incidentally Chris - how about posting as Clark Kent?

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A few close ups of you typing frantically in your dressing gown and a pair of old socks

Oh God! Have you got a webcam, Lucy? That's uncanny (though the crumpled cans of Special Brew and inflatable woman must fortunately have been out of shot).

 

Good name suggestions. There's always Chuck from Chichester...

 

No, wait. Jeez I just can't do this...

 

What about you, Francine? Oh damn...a puncture!

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Special Brew? Now I'm disappointed. Don't you know that Port is the correct drink when you're in a dressing gown?

Tried it. The stains are too difficult to get out, even when you suck really hard.

 

I'm sorry I didn't get here in time to read it before the edit! I live for bad taste; take the corner of the dressing gown that fell into the carton of chicken bhuna, for instance...

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