First of all, an apology for my regular book-blogger readers. I have Fallen Behind with my blog reading and I haven’t been reading and commenting on your blog posts, and I’m very sorry. I have instigated a new early-to-bed programme, with no working after tea, because I’m in the end game of marathon training when the sleeping is just as important as the running. Combined with quite a heavy workload, this has meant simply no time for blog-reading if I want to have any time with my husband and my own reading. I really do hope to get some posts read soon, and sorry for abandoning you!

Christine Pullein-Thompson – “Adventure Stories from Black Pony Inn”

(22 August 2017)

The good-memoried among you will recall me buying this first volume to encourage myself to read the second volume which I’ve had sitting around on the TBR forever (for so long, it’s in a Separate Pile and not even in my official TBR photo!). I decided to pick it up after a run of books I really had to concentrate hard on and review very nicely, but then I found I couldn’t put each individual book in the omnibus down!

We’re right into the action in “Strange Riders at Black Pony Inn”, with the Pemberton family, in penury as all pony book families are, deciding to turn their house into a guest house and immediately taking in an old lady, a spoilt girl and an American boy who adores his pretty, if slightly dozy, pony. But disaster strikes, as rather heavy handedly predicted, when all the ponies go missing.

In “Mystery at Black Pony Inn”, everyone’s fooled by a fancy Commander who turns out, of course, to be not what he seemed, nd everyone ends up in danger, with guns being waved around and everything.

“Secrets of Black Pony Inn” features a family of very quiet children who are literally dumped on the Pembertons – who are their parents, what happened to Mum, and will they be there forever? This one has the classic gymkhana, though the centre of the action is very much the family home.

They’re eventful books, with kidnappings, the odd pony death and lots of peril, as well as he usual hacking and gymkhanas. There’s some rather odd updating for the omnibus, published in the 90s, so with mobile phones and GCSEs, but a Colonel with memories of India. It’s nicely illustrated by Glenn Steward and I finally know where I got my tendency for catastrophising from: having read a lot of these books in my childhood, I noticed the characters are always predicting terrible doom and gloom – if a pony goes missing for a moment, it’s all about how his poor hooves will be melted down etc! But really good reads and I am trying to restrain myself from reading the next omnibus immediately!

I’m also reading the second volume of Alexei Sayle’s autobiography, as that seemed sensible rather than starting Oliver Sachs’ then going back to Alexei. Of course, I could be avoiding OS because it’s going to make me sad. Who knows! Only the one book on the go at the moment, which is a bit odd. What are you reading? What childhood books gave you principles or opinions you still hold today?