It’s been a whole year since I first posted on Roger The Reader and I’ve covered all sorts of book type subjects since then. Here’s a few that I really liked...
What’s That Coming Over the Hill?
(My first post) No birthday is complete without jelly, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing…
“The jelly began to grow. Soon it was too big for the bowl, and it flopped out onto the table. Soon it grew too big for the kitchen, and it burst out through the door. “WobblewobbleWobblewobble!” it cried. It had grown into a Jelly Monster, and it set off into the town to turn everything to jelly.
“Who can save the world from this terrifying monster?” (From the back cover)
The Jelly Monster by Mike Ratnett, Illustrated by Jonathan Bentley.
Life on Mars
From the back of the paperback:
“I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate.
If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst.
If the habitat breaches, I’ll just kind of explode.
If none of these things happen, I’ll eventually
run out of food and starve to death.
This pretty much sold me, so I read a few pages to make sure, then bought the book. I was pleased to find a year later that it had been made into a film...
The Martian by Andy Weir
Long Distance PlumbingA curious tale, my first piece of fiction in decades. Did you ever wonder what it was plumbers really did? Click on the link to find out. Meanwhile, here's an excerpt...
“Hey”, it said.
“Don’t mind us, just doing our jobs”
There was a pause.
“You’re in my toilet!”
“We know. You humans are just weird”
I looked closer. The creature was carrying what seemed to be a battered metal toolbox. It was wearing no clothes I think, and appeared to be male.
“Just doing what job?”
Geoffrey Wellum, Spitfire pilot
Within ten months of leaving school, Geoffrey Wellum was flying a Spitfire as the youngest pilot in 92 Squadron. Nicknamed ‘Boy’, he was posted to the squadron in May 1940 before his training was completed, aged just eighteen years and nine months. When he joined the squadron he had never even seen a Spitfire, but he soon saw action in the Battle of Britain.
Geoffrey Wellum had to grow up rather quickly. Fighting for your country, killing the enemy, risking death yourself, and seeing your friends and fellow officers die isn’t for boys; it’s for men...
First Light (2002) By Geoffrey Wellum
What I did on my holidays
I spent this early May Bank Holiday weekend on a campsite, on the South coast of the Isle of Wight. I took a couple of books with me. One was A Clockwork Orange, and this is from the back cover:
“Fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends start an evening’s mayhem by hitting an old man, tearing up his books and stripping him of money and clothes.
Or rather Alex and his three droogs tolchock an old Veck, razrez his books, pull off his outer platties and take a malenky bit of cutter.
For Alex’s confessions are written in ‘nadsat’ - the teenage argot of a not too distant future.
Horror Farce? Social prophecy? Penetrating study of human choice between good and evil? A Clockwork Orange is all three.”
But this post is about far more than just Alex and his droogs…
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Five Reasons to Visit Used Book shops
Instead of Going Online
It’s quick and convenient to buy old books online, but it’s not always the best, or even the most enjoyable way. Here’s five good reasons to make a plan, look away from the screen, (that's right, the one you are looking at right now!) go out, and look for yourself...
I had never heard of Terry Pratchett before.
In the early 1980s I started a new job in Aylesbury, Bucks. From then on I made frequent visits to the two book shops in Kingsbury square; Weatherheads and, er, the other one. Can anyone remember its name? The other one had a good science fiction section and I found quite a few good books there. One book was called The Dark Side of the Sun, and was by an author I didn’t know; Terry Pratchett…
Pulp science fiction
One glance at this table, and I knew I wasn't leaving without buying some books. The trap was sprung...
That's it; I’m replete with jelly now, I can hardly move. So I’ll see you again in a fortnight, when I should be in rather better form…