Here's the books I read in January. Eleven of them, not too bad, huh. Most of them were keepers.
King Ottokar's Sceptre by Herge is the 8th TinTin book. It was serialized in 1938-9 and my copy is the 1947 redrawn color edition. Tintin travels to some imaginary country and gets involved with some political intrigue. This story introduces Bianca Castafiore to the Tintin universe and the fake countries of Syldavia and Borduria. It's fun and there's a good reminder that fascists and dictators are big bags of shit.
Tarzan Of The Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs is the first of the Tarzan novels. It came out in All-Story Magazine in October 1912. I'm reading the Whitman version for younger readers. I read the original back in the 1970's. It's a good story with lots of stuff going on. Tarzan's parents were abandoned in Africa and they survive for a while. A female ape takes the little baby from the dead parent's cabin and raises it as her own. Tarzan grows up and becomes King Of The Apes. He'll have 23 more adventures as written by Burroughs and hundreds more by everyone else.
Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones starts off with Archer's goon coming to visit a family. The dad owes Archer some words and the goon won't leave until he gets them. That's start an entertaining fantasy story about the goings on in that universe. I really enjoyed it a few years ago and figured I'd start reading her books again. It's hard to cram everything in but there you go. Jones is a really great story teller and once I start one of her book I just can't put it down. It was sad when she died a few years ago but we still have a huge set of books to read and read again.
The Limpopo Academy Of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith is the 13th book in the series. The ladies of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency get a visit from Clovis Anderson. If you know the series you would know how important that is. If you don't you should go out and start readng them.
Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones is another of her fun fantasy stories. A couple of kids go to stay with their Aunt Maria when their father disappears. She's got some sort of hold on the town and the kids change everything. It's well worth reading and an entertaining story.
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by L Frank Baum is the first of the Oz books and it came out in 1900. I got a all in one collection of all 14 of the Baum Oz books and have it in my desk at work. When I haven't got a book I'm burning to read I read some Oz. I could have gotten them online for free but I still like books. I actually think I might have downloaded them off of Project Gutenburg but I'm way too lazy to go look. Either way it's still a pretty fun novel with lots of great stuff going on. I don't know that I read this for sure as a kid but I think I did. I think I read a few of the books but I don't know which ones, when, or how many. No matter, the story is entertaining and the prose pulls you along marvelously.
The Marvelous Wizard OF Oz: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman by L Frank Baum continues the series with a new novel 4 years after the first. As you can guess from the title the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman have an adventure of their own. It's here we get to meet the Sawhorse, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Woogle-Bug. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman make a good pair and they have a nice adventure with lots of interesting places and people. I'm planning on working through the series but might not want to read them again. Maybe when I get an eReader. Of course that just opens up the door. Boom! More to read.
Believing Is Seeing - 7 Stories by Diana Wynne Jones is a collection of short stories. I liked them for the most part, some are better reads than others. That's how it goes with story collections. Still it's not something I would get rid of. I would read them again.
Saddle Patrol by Carl Henry Rathjen is one of those Whitman kids books. It was about a kid who goes to stay on a farm with horses. There's a mystery and lots of horse riding. Probably not worth the effort. I just bought it because it's a Whitman. I'll keep it for a while but someday I'll dump the less liked Whitman's on ebay and this one will be going out the door.
Ozma Of Oz by L Frank Baum came out in 1907. It's the story of how Dorothy was returned to Oz. She had a new adventure with her Kansas born chicken Billina. They meet some new characters like the Wheelers, Tik-Tok, the Nome King and the Hungry Tiger. It's all pretty goofy and sily. I enjoyed it.
The Sisters Grimm 1 - The Fairytale Detectives by Michael Buckley is the first of a 9 book series. Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are orphaned when their parents disappear. They live in New York and the child welfare people place them with foster parents that turn out to be really awful people. They escape a lot but keep getting caught. Unexpectedly their Grandmother Relda Grimm comes to take them to her home in Ferryport Landing. It turns out the girls are the descendants of the Brothers Grimm The brother's were writing about real characters in their stories. They brought the Everafters to America and they all settled in Ferryport Landing. Things didn't go so well at some point and the Grimm's and Baba Yaga lock all the Everafters in the town with a magical barrier. There's tension after a couple of hundred years of being cooped up and Sabrina and Daphne have arrived just as things fall apart. I was really entertained by this one and have gotten more on order from the library. I like the two girls and there's usually something going on all the time. There's a good bit of humor and while all the jokes aren't boffo they don't roll over and die either. I'd recommend this one to those that like a good story that moves quickly.
Glad to get though that bunch. More next month.