The Annotated Alice – Lewis Carrol

982630Gee the Victorians were weird! We think adults having child friends is very iffy these days but maybe it wasn’t that strange in Victorian times. Carrol wasn’t a pedophile, just a very socially inept man who was more comfortable with children and his siblings. This is the first time I’ve read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and I wouldn’t have understood many of the references without reading the annotations. The logic puzzles were fun and I really enjoyed reading the annotations about these and other pieces of philosophy. The Annotated Alice has real value here.

I wouldn’t have realised that Through the Looking Glass is a chess game if I hadn’t of read the introductory essay either (I’ve only ever played chess once or twice). I don’t know if I would’ve enjoyed these books as a child, though I did like time travel via a looking glass (I loved Come Back Lucy – a TV series where a child goes back in time to the same house she is living in but 100 years earlier). Wonderland and Looking Glass are quite violent – there is lots of hitting, shaking, shouting and throwing things. Alice is quite petulant and bossy; a rather spoilt child. But! There are some pieces of nonsense and fun poems that still charm. ‘You are old father William’ is one and the other ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves…’. I’m in two minds about The Walrus and the Carpenter as it is about trickery. The introduction is worth reading and I had to chuckle at “the Bible and all other great works of fantasy…” Maybe these stories are better read aloud – that’s how they were first told anyway.


The Blood of Carthage – Christopher Golden

293576Hmmm, I don’t know about this comic / graphic novel. It is based on Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series (which I loved and still do). The story is a bit strange and I don’t think it was developed enough. So, big demon is an ancient being from a dark age cult and they are supposed to watch over an even older demon who is evil incarnate. But the ancient demon runs away from Buffy in the end. Hrummphh. Maybe I’m too much of a Buffy purist that I couldn’t see the fun in it??

The Infernal by Kim Wilkins

639895I started reading this early May but put it aside to deal with health issues. I had to have a tumour taken out of my face and was in hospital for a little over 2 weeks, so you can imagine I wasn’t in the mood for horror. Also, it was hard to read as my eyes were swollen and as they recovered, they got tired and on top of that, I didn’t have the concentration to read a novel. Magazines, short stories and collections of short journalistic pieces have been my latest reading materials. But I’m back (sort of) to novels! Hurrah!

I’m a fan of Kim Wilkins and own many of her novels. This is her debut novel and I chose this for the Read Harder challenge. I could even double-dip and count this for fantasy, but I think that would be stretching it as it is more urban horror. It is a good story and a really good debut. Plus I am glad to say that Wilkins novels has improved! This is a good scary story and even while it is a reread for me, I had forgotten who the reincarnated sorcerer was – I was sure it was either boyfriend or the would-be boyfriend, but it totally came as a surprise to me. Again!

I do have some quibbles (when do I don’t? Maybe I’m too harsh) but overall, a good story – atmospheric mixed with realism.


The White Mast – Philip Johns

800px-Celtic-knot-basic-edit.svgI bought this book at a library sale about 20 years ago so it has all the usual library markings on it. It is a children’s (or young adult) fiction which wasn’t obvious at the time when I bought it. What caught my eye was the title illustration of a white ship done in celtic style on a dark blue background. There was no Goodreads entry until I made one – not surprising though as it was locally published by an outer south-east Melbourne publisher. This is a story about a mysterious house that repels people’s attempts to climb the wall to see into the grounds. What is the mystery of the house? That description was on the back cover and that intrigued me too. It’s an enjoyable story with a good mystery but the ending is a bit weak and leaves all sorts of unanswered questions. This isn’t a reread for me so I’ve listed it on Bookmooch.

Dougal’s Diary by David Greagg

9659380Sigh! A friend lent me this and I have had it too long because … It took me ages to read it because it is so twee it is almost unbearable. I love cats, I really do but I can’t read stories about them (or any other animal apart from human) where the creatures have been anthropomorphised. One point I’d like to make about this novel is that you should never lie to children, even in fiction. A cat can see better at night than humans can and saying they don’t and that they are scared is dishonest. This novel is written for young adults. I have enjoyed novels written for the young adult audience so I am not against reading novels geared towards this age group.  I have read good cat stories, so I am not against reading stories where the cat is the main character. “The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr” by E.T.A. Hoffman is an example of a story where the main character, a cat, has written his autobiography that, unfortunately for him, has been mixed up with a biography of a human leading to hilarious results. If you want to read good animal stories, try Jack London or Farley Mowat. Even the animal tales in the 1001 Nights are good. This one – meh.

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