First in the Apprentice Adept series, where Proton, a world of science and Phaze, a world of magic, exist in parallel. In certain circumstances, people may cross from one world to the other. Stile, a serf employed as a jockey on Proton, finds he is able to cross to Phaze after a number of attempts are made on his life, however someone on Phaze is trying to kill him as well. It would be maybe 10 years since I last read this. I seem to remember I liked the first 3 books – the original trilogy – better than the last four. I really like the concept of the Game, played on Proton, which was why I decided to reread this. (Rating: 4.5/6)
2. The Bumper Book for Girls Collins, probably 1940s hb (110 pgs; 485 total)
I'm not keeping this one as there are no 'good' authors in it (i.e. I only recognised Irene Mossop). I don't actually remember reading it before. There are no school stories; only tropes such as an English girl goes to live in India and is kidnapped by black men, young girl aviatrix who pilots plane for injured brother to win over big companies, Mossop's Jacobite heroine, mysterious ice-skater, factual articles on Bonnie Prince Charlie and ice-skating, amateur girl detective, some poems and a humorous tale about a vicarage fete.
It's a victim of my 'one book out of the house for every one book coming in' policy for 2010, which I'm already behind on. I don't have the urge to have a complete set of these annuals, unlike numerous other things I seem to need to collect 'for completeness sake'. (2/6)
3.Matthew, Christopher When We Were Fifty Poetry, hb (106pgs; 591 total)
I'm not actually keeping this one either as I bought it as a present for a friend. She's not getting it until December and it came from Trash'n'treasure (i.e. it's used), so I have no compunction about reading it first. We always give each other a pile of pre-loved books.
Based on the works of A.A.Milne, these poems are at once new and familiar. Mostly funny, some subversive, some touching, I found myself remembering quite a few of the originals, thanks to the rhyme and meter. (4/6)
4.Matthew, Christopher Now We Are Sixty Poetry, hb (105 pgs, 696 total)
Same as above! It's got one based on 'Rice Pudding', (What is the matter with Radio Four?) and two on 'Hoppity'.
5.Baxter, Cynthia Dead Canaries Don't Sing Crime, pb (371 pgs, 1,067pgs)
Dr Jessica Popper is a vet turned sleuth. I got the impression while reading this it was the second book in the series, but apparently it's the first of eight with a ninth due this year. From the blurb:
The sun is barely up and the day is already going to the dogs. Literally. As Dr. Jessica Popper embarks on a house call to a local horse farm, her one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max, stumble upon something unexpected: a corpse half buried in the woods. As Max happily digs up the dead canary planted near the body, Jessie realizes that this corpse was clearly about to sing. But about what? Or whom? Enlisting the aid of her on-again, off-again lover, PI Nick Burby, Jess applies the stubbornness of a bloodhound and the agile moves of a cat to identify a menagerie of suspects...including one who wants her off the case badly enough to kill again.
Not bad, not bad at all. I picked the murderer before the end, probably when the reader was meant to, and mostly figured out why. I like the animal-related quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy the rest of the series new, but if I saw them 2nd hand for a reasonable price, I'd pick them up. (4/6)