More Than Just A Holiday Romance - Darby Brennan
Bad Science - Ben Goldacre
New Memories - Darby Brennan
BOLO 3: The Lab And The Boss - published by Carriage Hill Press
Who Is Ray Doyle? - Darby Brennan
Witches Incorporated - K. E. Mills
The Island Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Castle Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Valley Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Sea Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Mountain Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Ship Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The Circus Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
The River Of Adventure - Enid Blyton
03 were first time reads
11 were re-reads
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ THUS FAR in 2009: 74
Bad Science (which is non-fiction) is a fascinating book that if you read it will make you even more sceptical about things than you may already be. The author, a doctor, looks at the various myths surrounding both alternative medicine and indeed traditional medicine, in particular the so-called (in many cases) research and trials that are carried out. He also looks at the placebo effect and openly admits it works but he, nor fellow medics/scientists still have no idea why it works - but it does! You don't have to know anything about science to understand the book as he talks you through various things step by step, I guess that if you had a really strong science bent it may jar at times as he explains things. I found my psychology studies helped a lot with parts of looking at trials and research and how it's carried out and the importance of a control group, as we did all that.
I enjoyed the book, I found him a wee bit repetitive at times and got a wee bit irked at times as he seemed to put all the non-scientist people into one group, a few sweeping statements from a man who was dispelling them. But certainly now when I hear 'it has been shown that eating a banana every day for two years will significantly reduce your chances of strokes' (that's just me making something up, I hasten to add, but I'm sure everyone has heard these things) my sceptical side goes 'oh, yeah. Now what about the evidence - and not just eight in ten people found . . . I want the full details, e.g how many people underwent the trial, where was the control group, etc. etc.
A book that is well worth reading - unless you don't want things you believe passionately disproved and aren't prepared to or willing to accept your views being challenged.
Witches Incorporated is the second book in the Rogue Agent series. And this one picks up where the previous book The Accidental Sorcerer leaves off. Gerald has agreed to work as a 'janitor' for Sir Alec, and the book begins with him about to undergo tests and trials to see if he is able. Meanwhile the 'gels' Princess Melissande (whom Gerald met in the previous book), Gerald's closest friend's brilliant sister (Emmerabiblia, know as Bibbie) and Reg (Gerald's ensorcelled bird with a mysterious past) set up Witches Incorporated. It isn't doing too well to begin with, until a client arrives with a really odd job for them and the successful solving of that case, leads to another - and there the 'gels' case crosses paths with the one Gerald is investigating. Gerald is not meant to tell anyone about the work he's doing, but of course he does; he tells Monk (his friend) and the 'gels' and together the five of them solve the cases.
I thought the book was actually even better than the first, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and whilst it was really, really good from beginning to end, it really picked up and became excellent once the two cases did overlap and the 'gang' was once again together. The ending was a tad trite - but it was also necessary, because had it not ended as it did, the third book would have to have followed the second, which would have been silly. I don't mind trite when it's necessary.
I thoroughly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys mystery or fantasy or magic as the series, and this book in particular, combines all those elements, together with great characters, who are all individual and not very real. If I have one complaint it's this: why aren't they available in hard back!
BOLO 3: The Lab And The Boss Gibbs/Ducky in zine form - published by periwinkle27 of Carriage Hill Press - what more do I need to say? Excellent stories in book form. Lovely. There are stories by adriannacoylho, ashley_pitt, periwinkle27 and myself. Plus an 'extra' non-G/D story that in fact will also appear in the next BOLO - it's Ducky/Jimmy, and as yet I haven't got around to reading that story. However, Adrianna, Ashley and Periwinkle stories are all excellent (and of course I re-read my own story *g*)
The xxx Of Adventure books are childhood favourites and books I tend to re-read every couple of years. They tell the story of four children: Philip, Dinah, Jack and Lucy-Ann, Jack's parrot Kiki and their great friend Bill 'Smugs' Cunningham.
Simply put, the titles describe each book: the children fall into adventures. They are very much of their era, the children are polite, well mannered and can entertain themselves, spending a great deal of time out of doors, and using the 'C' word, they are middle-class - they are all at boarding school. Philip and Dinah are brother and sister as are Jack and Lucy-Ann, the latter siblings have no parents at all, the former no father, but Mrs. Mannering (who eventually becomes Mrs. Cunningham) in effect 'adopts' Jack and Lucy-Ann - two children aren't that much more work than four. I like them very much, but I was brought up on (amongst other writers) Enid Blyton. They won't be to everyone's tastes, but then, is any book? Indeed anything?
More Than Just A Holiday Romance, Who Is Ray Doyle? and New Memories are all The Professionals novels - and yes, they are my novels. I do re-read my own work and I'm not ashamed of doing so. After all, if I don't enjoy them, why should other people? They were all published a few years ago by Bast of what is now Requiem Press).
More Than Just A Holiday Romance and New Memories are both AU and both have a personal touch. The former is set in Ramsgate where I spent many childhood holidays and I can attest to the accuracy of the background and landmarks, etc. - at least I can for the time the story was set. It's a first time story, Doyle own and runs an exceptional large hotel and Bodie (a Civil Servant in London) following the end of his engagement goes to Ramsgate, the men meet and things develop from there - but it's not all straight forward and easy going, as at one point one of Ray's close friends (Thomas Murphy, a cop) accuses Bodie of drug related crimes.
New Memories is set in a hospital. Bodie is a orthopaedic surgeon and Ray Doyle is brought in following a hit and run - but he's lost his memory. As with the previous novel Pros characters (including Cowley, Murphy and Ann Holly) pop up. The pair grow close, very close and then a woman claiming to be Ray's fiancée turns up. The personal touch to this is the injuries (amnesia aside) Ray suffers, his treatment, his time in hospital and the beginning of his recovery.
Who Is Ray Doyle? is another amnesic novel - but with a difference. The difference being that following a blow to the head Ray remembers his past, back to his childhood and remembers what he'd forgotten some two decades ago. This novel is set within the CI5 universe.