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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 06:06 pm
Not many books finished this month, mainly because I was in Dublin for an academic conference for a week at the end of the month, and what with managing that, in addition to the MS-like illness, I was too tired to read. Plus I started a *really* long book: The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale by Oliver Potzsch. I'm enjoying it, but it's going to take me ages to finish.

First up was The Castle of Adventure by Enid Blyton. I read this as a child decades ago, and rereading it as an adult the story holds up surprisingly well. I always thought that the Adventure series of books was one of Blyton's better-written collections, and I still think that now. I have another one lined up to reread on my Kindle later this year. Appealingly they still have the original text, unlike for example the Famous Five books which in Kindle editions are modern rewrites.

My second completed book in June was a short hardback graphic novel: Delirium's Party: A Little Endless Storybook, by Jill Thompson. This is a spin-off from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, and features the Little Endless as appeared in the Sandman. The previous Little Endless book by Jill Thompson got often poor reviews, mainly because it was rehashing an existing story in the Sandman. This new book features a new story though, and it worked well for me. And the artwork was beautiful, and captured the characters of the Endless well.

Next up was Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. After he died recently most obituaries focused on his Martian-set works, but he also wrote dark fantasy horror too, and this is one. It's ostensibly for children or young adult readers, but is quite disturbing, and I think it works well for all age groups. Revolving around two children and what they find at a visiting carnival the story was atmospheric and gripping. I also appreciated the quality of the writing throughout.

When I was very young I only had a few Doctor Who Target novels. One I can remember reading is Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster by Terrance Dicks, a novelisation of Tom Baker's Zygons adventure. This has recently been reprinted, including a Kindle edition, so I reread it recently. It's gripping, and I enjoyed it probably as much the second time around as I did 30 odd years ago.

I learned about Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell through a post to the Guardian's book blog about what people were reading at the moment. It's written by a bookseller, and is full of quotes that she's overhead from customers, in various shops. It's very very funny. And if you like books, or bookshops, or libraries, or any of the above, do consider reading it. More of a book for flicking in and out of, because of the writing style which is quotes rather than extended pieces, but still well worth reading.

Goodness only knows when I'll finish The Dark Monk. I think July may see very few books finished!

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