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What #PassItOn is all about

So for all of those reading this blog that don't follow @crambookclub on Twitter here is a little explanation of #PassItOn. Basically you read a book, once you have read said book you leave it in some place random (on a bus, in a pub, in a dentist's waiting room) for someone to find. BEFORE you leave the book some place random you write a little note in the front cover to explain said concept to lucky finder and then if you are on Twitter let us know which book you have hidden. 

If you happen to find a #PassItOn book let us know on Twitter (@crambookclub), read it and then, wait for it this is the hard part, PASS IT ON (on a train, in a restaurant, in an opticians waiting room, wherever tickles your fancy.  
You don't have to be on twitter to take part and if you're not leave a comment on this post about any #PassItOn books you have found or hidden. Feel free to start your own if one of ours doesn't make it your way. 
One's hidden to date and not yet claimed (…
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The Big Inbetweeny Review 2017

In addition to the #BookOfTheMonths the group have read this year I have also blogged about every book I have read inbetween times (and called them #inbetweenys. See what I did there?) I therefore thought as well as posting a big review of the 2017 book of the months I would also post a big review 2017 of my inbetweenys. I haven't included all of them in this review, only the (for various reasons) standouts.

I'm going to start with a biography - Bess of Hardwick by Mary S Lovell. I don't read many biographys and was slightly daunted by the book at the beginning however Lovell did an excellent job and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

Of a similar theme (and also really enjoyable) was Scotland the Autobiography edited by Rosemary Goring. A different take on a historical factual book but very readable and covered something for everyone.

I don't think I could review 2017 in general without including a reference to Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran. This sl…

The Big Review 2017

Looking back over the books we have reviewed this year there seems to have been a lot of low scores. We usually have a plethora of 7's but so many books seems to have fallen below this 'average' score.

Our chosen books have certainly been wide ranging, from golden oldies such as Agnes Grey and The Thirty Nine Steps to our first ever hard back, Eleanor Oliphant. We've had the true story of a doctor tragically dying from cancer to the filming of a (fake) true story in 1940's England. We've been bang on trend with Thirteen Reasons Why and Big Little Lies airing at the same time as we were reading them yet nothing really hit the spot. That was until Eleanor. It's time once again for the Big Review and this time its of 2017!!!!!!!

January started with Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. A slim read to lead us into 2017 which scored a 6.8 by the group. The blog also features the book that wasn't actually reviewed - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

February was When …

The Kingsmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory #inbetweeny

I thought this was going to be the first inbetweeny of 2018 however The Kingmaker's Daughter was one of those books where you find yourself 'just reading one more chapter' and before you know it another hour has gone by. I don’t know why this book had hung round on my bookshelf for so long as I had really enjoyed the previous books in the Cousins' War series (The Lady of the Rivers, The White Queen and The Red Queen). I didn’t suffer for the break in reading though and can easily recommend it as a standalone to anyone who hasn’t read the other books previously (do read The White Queen though it is rather good). I remember really disliking the Nevilles in the previous books yet I easily found myself liking Anne the central character this time round. Similarly Gregory never dipped beneath the surface of Elizabeth's icy exterior in this book (as Anne never really got to know her) whereas in The White Queen Elizabeth was central and her inner turmoil was clear to all. I …

Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon #inbetweeny

I'm finishing off this year with quite possibly the worst book I have read in a long time. Bought last Christmas as a present (sorry Jacqui!) I didn't squeeze it in before January and it felt wrong to read a book based around Christmas at any other time of the year.

The premise of Mystery in White was perfect, a snowed in train, a 1930s house where tea is laid on the table yet no one is at home, a handful of strangers forced together on Christmas Eve, classic Christie combination if you ask me.

Yet about a quarter of the way through (still grasping to recall characters names) I realised Agatha Christie J Jefferson Farjeon was not.

I found Maltby's character (the would be detective) most annoying. He knew everything before it had happened

"You're going to tell us there was a body in the carriage next to you"
"how did you know that"
"you said you were escaping the train, you left in the snow and you are breathless"

I'm paraphrasing h…

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

I suggested this book last year as our #OneRuleOfBookClub whereby we must read a Christmas book in December. I was outvoted that time for The Santa Klaus Murder but suggested it again this year and was thrilled when it met with little resistance.

It intrigued me having heard about Matt Haig via his book about depression and then his very commercially successful How to Stop Time (not that Reasons to Stay Alive wasn't successful) why then would an author at the beginning of his career (or at least at the beginning of his career in the public eye) dip into children's books and not just any old children's books but Christmas children's books. Very risky.

The book is very much a children's book, I actually read it straight through in no time at all. Yet where children's books have sometimes floundered when put in front of the group in the past this one didn't. Was this because it was a Christmas children's book as opposed to just a children's book? I'…

The Girl With All The Gifts. M R Carey #Inbetweeny

I first heard about this when someone suggested it as a Book of the Month for book club. It didn't make the cut for the group however hearing a faint sniff of zombie I went and bought it from the Internet. 
I have to confess reading this straight after the excellent World War Z was probably not the best thing to do. However whilst the two were both about zombies they were extremely different. 'The Girl' was more of your typical 'it's the end of the world and we need to get to a safe haven' kind of book. In this respect it was more similar to the recently reviewed The End of The World Running Club than World War Z. 
Like with 'Running Club' humankind had gone to sh!t with people turning on each other left right and centre despite the main characters trying to put differences aside to reach a common goal. Like with Running Club there was the inevitable betrayal with a few characters lost along the way and also a surprise repeat occurrence of Jaffa Cakes (…