I'm reading Iris Rainer Dart's sequel to the glorious Beaches - a book that's been waiting for a while. Judgement's still out on this one. I'm still not sure whether it needed a sequel at all - but i do love the way IRD writes. It's one of those novels that feels like a really good gossip with a friend. Something that people *think* is so easy to write... and isn't anything of the kind.
My virtual read is the first in Michael Scott's series about The Immortal Nicholas Flamel and his centuries-long battle with his one-time appentice Dr Dee - involving more ancient gods and immortal elementals than you can shake a stick at. Its updating of myths and legends and the involvement of two 'modern kids' in contemporary San Francisco all feels a bit like stuff we've seen before (Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaiman, etc), but there's something very enjoyable about Scott's writing. A leanness and zippiness that reminds me a lot of the early Doctor Who books. Which, perhaps, is no coincidence, since Scott is writing this month's Puffin novella about Doctor Who. Perhaps a fan of Targets, then? The announcement of his Doctor Who story made me seek out his series, and I'm glad I did, and will probably go on to read the whole lot.
I'm enjoying the Puffin series so far, by the way. I thought Colfer's 'Big Hand for the Doctor' was enjoyably daft - a bit like a story from the old World Distributors' DrWho annuals in the old days. It had very little to do with the series as we know it - but i really didn't mind. I quite like the spectacle of Hartnell's irascible old fogey scrambling about on rooftops and being a bit swashbuckly... However, these Puffin things are much, much too short. Perhaps they could have invested in fewer authors than 11 and dragged more actual words out of them..?
I brought in a heap of vintage paperbacks from the summer house, and thought about series I'd like to resume. With Piers Anthony's Xanth I'm still only at book 2... and i feel like anything that combines humour with fantasy is something I need to know about. And this particular 1960s copy of Dune 4 has been waiting for me for a very long time. I read the first trilogy when i was 15, and a school prefect - reading indoors on long, rainy lunchtimes in the mid-eighties. And I've not really been back to Dune since... I wonder how I'll cope..? I hope I don't find it too solemn and mystifying...