Wednesday, the 4th of August, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is from a series for younger readers but one which I only read as an adult, and found to my surprise that I actually rather enjoyed. Biggles Flies Again by W.E. Johns is the fourth of (I think) nearly a hundred books to feature James Bigglesworth or ‘Biggles’, a pilot and adventurer, who serves in both the first and second world wars (Johns himself served in the first war), and also has numerous adventures in between, all of which involve flying, of course. The almost-100 volumes include both short story collections and full length novels. These were published between 1932 and 1999 (including some volumes published after W.E. Johns’ death in 1968). According to wikipedia (I didn’t know this from the few books I have read so far), Biggles is said to have been born in India in 1899, and has a gift for languages speaking Hindi, French and German fluently, besides also having a command over some others. His cousin Algernon Lacey ‘Algy’ and mechanic Flight Sergeant Smith usually accompany him on his adventures.

This collection, Biggles Flies Again (1934), has 13 stories, which seem at least from the titles to take us to different places–from Africa to Central America and the Orient. The book opens with Biggles stranded in British Guiana when the company employing him closes down. He begins to earn his living by taking various dangerous flying missions. Among this volume of adventures are a treasure hunt, a pearling expedition, the pursuit of a brigand, the trail of a Russian agent, and pearl trading with a sheikh.

When I first picked up Biggles, I wasn’t too sure I would enjoy it since flying and such isn’t that much of an interest but to my surprise I found I really enjoyed reading it; then I read a couple of others which were in war settings which also gave me an insight into the kind of experiences air force pilots would have had when serving. This one, Biggles Flies Again, is one of the early books, and does not as I can see from the description involve any war stories. It should be fun to see the kind of adventures he has in this one–the treasure hunt sounds rather interesting. So am certainly looking forward to picking this up.

Have you read any Biggles books? Do you like them? Any favourites that you’d recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Description and image from Goodreads as always.

Lisa’s pick this week is Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, the story of two young people dealing with loss and other difficult situations. This is from an author I have been meaning to try but of course haven’t yet.

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