Sunday, 27 December 2015

Bertie the Balloon and other books

 Here we are - the final book post of the year. And what a year it's been. We managed to trounce last year's total of 39 books read by an amazing 20 books!

 56. Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground, by Kim Robinson & Aneta Neuman

 OK, yes, this is a childrens' book (and a Christmas gift for Babyzilla), but I still read it, so it counts! And it's written by one of my best friends, so I just have to feature it here.
 It's a delightful little story of a red balloon named Bertie who get's blown away from his home with Clancy the Clown, and has a series of adventures throughout a fairground. At the end of the story, Bertie eventually ends up with a little boy and is ready to start a new adventure.

 The whole story is told in rhyme and is beautifully illustrated. The first production run of 500 copies has pretty much sold out, but Kim's having another 500 books printed, so if you know a little girl or boy who might like Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground, please message Kim at the Facebook link above (or contact me with your request and I'll sort it out for you).

 57. All That's Left (Star Trek: Seekers 4), by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore)

 I found this book felt like a longer, more polished, third season original series Star Trek episode. While I liked it, I didn't find it very gripping, and the characters didn't get much in the way of growth - In particular, it seemed like we saw very little of the USS Endeavour's senior staff. Plus, I felt the ending was rather rushed, amongst other little niggles.
 However, I liked the idea and the execution of the 'benign' mind-control by the Lrondi race. Oh, and it was great to see some thoroughly competent junior officers - especially from the security division!
Over all, an "average" from me.
 I'm also wondering if the USS Sagittarius would have been better to encounter the Lrondi so we could get Faro Dastin's Trill point-of-view of the Host/brain-slug situation - especially as he's unjoined himself?

 58. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

 A friend at work leant me this book as he knows I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors and Good Omens (co-authored with Terry Pratchett, and one of my very favourite books).
 After a slow start, I quickly got in to this story of how the world's gods adapted to life in America when their believers migrated to the new world, and how new gods were believed into being. 

 59. Saga, volume Five, by Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan

 The Saga story of Marko's quest to reunite with his wife and daughter, Alana and Hazel, continues in the collected volume. As before, it's chock full of weird creatures, magic and technology, and the lengths parents will go to to safeguard their children.
 Fiona Staples' artwork is as organic and stylish as ever, and Vaughan has managed to come up with ever more bizarre and ridiculous plots - like obtaining dragon spunk to cure an ailing bounty hunter.

 That's it bookwise for this year. I've already got a couple lined up to start in the New Year, but first I'm going to have a quick flick through Frigid Magazine from Periodically Anachronistic.  


  1. Impressive total! Well done sir!

  2. The Bertie book looks delightful!

    As far as kids’ picture books go, The Mistress recommends “Sweet Pea & Friends: The SheepOver.”

    Just look at the cover!

  3. Wow! You are just a reading machine... I think I've managed about 40 books this year but in very different genre's to your own tastes...
    Lots of Ludlum,Grisham and Archer. I didn't realise i was such a conspiracy theorist

    1. 40 is bloody good going. In other years, I've fallen way short. I must have managed to gain some extra time this year, but I have no idea from where? If I find out, I'll let you know!

  4. Congrats on reading some interesting books.

    Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground, by Kim Robinson sounds like a fun read. And it made me instantly think of a fantastic, classic, short film, The Red Balloon, which seemed so magical to me the first time I saw it as a child.

    The cover art of All That's Left (Star Trek: Seekers 4), by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, makes me think either the Federation uniforms are now one color, or the red shirts got smarter & have learned to avoid suicide missions.

    I loved Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics! He's an awesome storyteller. I'm actually motivated now to read the rest of his works.

    Saga, volume Five, by Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan sounds fascinating. But boy, that must be some really important bounty hunter for someone to go through the trouble of getting their hands on dragon semen.

    1. Do you know, I don't remember any of the redshirts dying in All That's Left - Their plan must have worked!

  5. Next year I will keep a record of all the books I read - one of my many resolutions.
    Season's Greetings, Mr Devine!

    1. I only keep a record so I can generate a few blog posts!
      Season's greetings to you too, Ms Scarlet!

  6. I'm having a bit of a book binge, too.Re-reading some Garth Nix "Old Kingdom" stories and then revisiting an old friend's book "Islands of Survival" about time spent on a research vessel around the Solomon Islands.And might try to write more of my own rubbish.Happy new Year.
    Does anyone have a spare flagellating wand...?

    1. Good luck with your writing! Remember: Rubbish is in the eye of the beholder. Or something. Anyway, let mem just have a hunt behind the sofa cushions for that wand...


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