Farewell Brian Jacques 1939 – 2011

Take comfort in those old comrades, who have been companions some two decades, in a world that will last my lifetime, and many lifetimes after mine.

From the immortal Mossflower Country, words from High Rhulain…

“But the warriors true, the brave of heart
Who valiantly upheld the right
They are raised on high to the velvet sky
Bringing light to the darkness of night
They’ll stand there as long as they sky will,
their honour in brightness will glow,
a lesson to see, for eternity,
of where the real warriors go!
So ‘ere my eyelids close in sleep,
these are the words I will say,
may I have the courage and faithfulness,
that my spirit should join them someday”


The Further Adventures of Enid Blyton

I just finished the Sixth Form at St Clare’s today, a continuation in the original St Clare’s series which finished, somewhat abruptly (for me anyway) with the Fifth Form. I was quite happy to see that had written some more books to fill gaps in the series and continue the story on.  I found a second-hand copy a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t gotten around to buying them yet as the boxed set went out of print and I was waiting for them to do a new boxed set.

Genre Snobs and the Bloody Vampire Bandwagon

Bookseller lunches  consist of myself and my bookseller friends usually taking over a large table in a cafe with no prior booking because we’re unorganised and proceeding to blather on for hours. They are always a lot of fun, and usually divided into small camps. Some of the girls sell romance, some sell a bit of everything, I’m the only one who reads kids books, Dave is the only comic book collector.

I watch one camp trying to recruit others to read their preferred genre, which is always outrageously amusing, while the other camp scoffs. I’ll sometimes tell the scoffers off for being snobs. After all, I read about magic, wizards and talking mice with legendary swords. Who am I to point fingers?

The Week in Crickhollow and Random Things

Yes, there’s not been a lot of blogs lately. Computer problems, a new job, working two jobs while I finished up my old job, and more shenanigans from Telstra leading to internet problems, made December an even more difficult month than usual. I’ve spent the last few weeks attempting to recover. And while I had no internet the books managed to breed into uncontrollable amounts (hence walking in my study is again proving difficult) We’ve also been setting up the book room at the front, which won’t be finished until Craig finds the perfect desk. It will mean a huge study we can share, when we get it finished.  And I’d like to cram a comfy reading chair in there.

My 2011 Reading List

I am thoroughly ashamed of my reading efforts in 2010, I barely managed a book a month. Another year went by where I missed my annual re-reads (although I did squeeze in a Farseer Trilogy re-read after I read the new latest Robin Hobbs) So I will make a futile attempt at having a plan.

What I would like to try and get through this year

Annual “Re-Reads”

Books I have read every year for many years

Meljean Brook – The Iron Duke

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.
But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.


A week of laptop woes

Well, there is no new book reviews or other related shenanigans this weekend. The week started off simply enough. I was planning my work week which was coming along nicely

Now my laptop has bravely withstood a great deal of verbal abuse, the occasional physical abuse and the results of my outstanding clumsiness (being the in the unfortunate position of having a cord which I can trip over repeatedly) but on Wednesday night it finally decided that it had had enough. It stopped charging the battery. After some, er,  very calm…

On Enid Blyton and The Sanitising of Her Books (Or How to Not Condescend Children)

Enid Blyton once stated she was not interested in criticism from anyone over the age of twelve. How very Enid of her. I’m quite sure she would be somewhat baffled at the barrage of criticism thrown at her books since her death. Enid Blyton always thought as a child, clearly as a child of her era, but a child nonetheless.

I was looking through my Blyton bookcase the other day for some Rosemary Manning paperbacks I had tucked in there. It has not moved house with us yet, and I am in the process of covering all the fragile jackets in mylar, so it is somewhat of a mess at the moment. I came across my collection of various printings of The Three Golliwogs and took one out to have a peek.

On David Yates, The Order of the Phoneix and Two More Sleeps Until Deathly Hallows

I am (obviously) a huge Harry Potter fan They are some of my favourite books of all time, and they reside on my “shelf of honour”, the books that must be re-read each year. I am sure just as many other fans had the same trepidation I had when they first announced the movies.

Buckbeak VS The Happy Hippogriff

I was sorting through my many spares of Harry Potter books the other day (the shelves on my ‘good’ bookcase are starting to bow) as I had just purchased some to sell. I had some US editions in hardcover. While I don’t mind the US editions I was never a huge fan of the artwork. I also hate the fact they changed the text in them, but that’s another rant.

I have two American collectors editions, which are fantastic, leather, super-bound, gorgeous pictures including an insert facsimile of an orginal J.K Rowling drawing of the Harry Potter  gang. Those, of course, stay. Also, why didn’t they print them all? Seriously. The British deluxe editions pale in comparison.

Where Great Adventures Begin