Lazy Saturday Review(s): A few that got away…

I’ve fallen behind of late, so before I completely forget about these books I thought I’d do a quick catch-up in the shape of some teeny tiny reviews.

testimony
Title: The Testimony of the Hanged Man
Author: Ann Granger
Series: Lizzie Martin #5
Edition: Paperback, 400 pages
Publication Details: July 3rd 2014 by Headline
Genre(s): Mystery; Historical Fiction
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it!

Goodreads // Purchase

A hanged man would say anything to save his life. But what if his testimony is true? When Inspector Ben Ross is called to Newgate Prison by a man condemned to die by the hangman’s noose he isn’t expecting to give any credence to the man’s testimony. But the account of a murder he witnessed over seventeen years ago is so utterly believeable that Ben can’t help wondering if what he’s heard is true. It’s too late to save the man’s life, but it’s not too late to investigate a murder that has gone undetected for all these years.

Review

I initially picked this book up because it’s set partly on Putney Heath, which is where I lived when I was at uni. I like reading about places I know well, to see how the author portrays them, especially in another era. The Testimony of the Hanged Man is set in Victorian London, and is a classic mystery which unfolds at a slow pace.

I think if I read it all in one go, I would have enjoyed it more, but I only managed a few pages at a time. However, I still enjoyed it – and despite my pet peeve of alternating narrators too.

If you like traditional, light-hearted, Victorian detective fiction, give this series a go.

unicorn rating 3

kisskiss

Title: Kiss Kiss
Author: Roald Dahl
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 231 pages
Publication Details: October 26th 1987 by Penguin Books
Genre(s): Short Stories
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it!

Goodreads // Purchase

In these wickedly anarchic stories, Dahl explores the dark, sinister side of the psyche: the cunning, sly, selfish part of human nature that makes for unexpected outcomes and horrifying conclusions.

Review

I’ve wanted to read some of Dahl’s adult fiction for ages so I picked this up for my lunch-time read when I spotted it in the library. I read most of the stories in this collection, and came out with mixed feelings. The collection was first published in 1959, and you can tell; it hasn’t aged well.

The stories are not what I would call anarchic or horrifying in today’s meaning of the terms, but they were interesting, funny and slightly odd – as you would expect from Roald Dahl. I enjoyed Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat the most.

unicorn rating 3

badjelly
Title: Badjelly the Witch
Author: Spike Milligan
Series: N/A
Edition: Hardback, 64 pages
Publication Details: October 19th 2000 by Virgin Books (first published 1973)
Genre(s): Children’s; Picture Books
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it.

Goodreads // Purchase

Badjelly The Witch can turn children into sausages or chop them up to make boy-girl soup. She can turn policemen into apple trees or bananas into mice and she is the wickedest witch in all the world.

A charming fairy tale which has delighted children for many years, this edition is copiously illustrated with Spike Milligan’s own drawings which have been specially adapted and beautifully hand coloured.

Review

Spike Milligan’s Silly Verse for Kids was one of my favourite books when I was little, but I never read this one. I’m so glad I eventually got round to reading it! It’s exactly as bonkers as you’d expect – loved it!

Definitely a fun, wacky book to read to young children.

unicorn rating 4

Vintage Book Shop ~ Now Open!

As promised in my proposed schedule, I’m dedicating some posts to all the goings on in my Etsy vintage book shop. Because we all love vintage books, right!?

The past fortnight has been a bit slow, but then I wasn’t exactly expecting to be bombarded with orders so I’m pretty happy overall.

Items Sold:

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A friend of mine took a shine to Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall, and instead of selling it to her we agreed on a swap for an old SLR Camera she was going to put on Freecycle. Score.

I also sold the first Holmes & Watson story,ย A Study in Scarlet, so that’s 2/2 Penguin Classics gone. I knew they’d be popular but didn’t expect them to go that quickly. Must find more!

Items Added:

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Le Petite Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1951 (in French, illustrated).

I love this book. Clearly, I can’t read French, but it’s a beautiful edition of the Children’s Classic. I hope this gets snapped up by someone who will love it!

 

The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw, 1937

This is definitely a WOW book. The leather-bound cover complete with medallion on the frontispiece makes it look pretty grand. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of Bernard Shaw, so I want it to go to a home that will appreciate it more.

You can view my shop here.

If you have an Etsy store, link me and I’ll follow you ๐Ÿ™‚

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Was *Forced* to Read

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten books you were ‘forced’ to read, whether it’s required reading or books that friends or family have encouraged you to read.

I was never big on required reading, and would usually just pretend that I’d read the books I was supposed to at school. Such a rebel, yeah. But I did read some of the ones I was supposed to, and here are my favourites. Followed by the books I read, or was read to as a child…no forcing necessary there; they are all awesome!

Top 5 Books I had to read to for school

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  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: I would love to read this again. It was very affecting.
  • Hamlet: Probably my favourite Shakespeare play. ย I can still remember the first time I was introduced to Ophelia!
  • Of Mice and Men: I haven’t read this for years. So heartbreaking!
  • The Bloody Chamber: I’m not sure if I had to read this for college or Uni, but either way I’m glad I did.
  • Enduring Love: This was one of the stand-out books I read for my Eng Lit class in college.

Top 5 Books from Childhood

tttPicMonkey Collage

  • The Twits: This is the most memorable Dahl book for me. I still love it.
  • Naughty Amelia Jane: I read A LOT of Enid Blyton when I was little. This series was my fave though, closely followed by The Faraway Tree books.
  • Silly Verse for Kids: I did a Favourites Friday post on this here. Love love love. RIP Spike Milligan
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: I actually saw the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before I read these books. Words cannot express how much I love this series. In all its forms.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: I can remember loving this book so much, and thinking how gross green eggs sounded! I would love to read this again.

Favourites Friday #5: Silly Verse For Kids

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

Just a quick one today guys as it’s Semi-finals day @ Wimbledon and I am glued to it!!! (Mon the Murray).

Spike Milligan is a hero of mine and this book is the best collection of his ‘nonsense’ poems for young kids. When I look back on my early childhood, this book is what I remember. I remember my mum and dad reading it to me and being in hysterics. I still remember all of the words to my favourites ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ and ‘The Land of the Bumbley Boo’.

Every child who is read to is lucky, but I doubt that every child is as lucky to be read things as fun as this. It is something I will never forget!

In The Land Of The Bumbley Boo

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
The People are red white and blue,
They never blow noses
Or ever wear closes,
What a sensible thing to do!

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
You can buy Lemon pie at the zoo;
They give away foxes
In little Pink Boxes
And Bottles of Dandylion Stew.

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
You never see a Gnu,
But thousands of cats
Wearing trousers and hats
Made of Pumpkins and Pelican Glue!

Chorus
Oh, the Bumbley Boo! the Bumbley Boo!
That’s the place for me and you!
So hurry! Let’s run!
The train leaves at one!
For the land of the Bumbley Boo!
The wonderful Bumbley Boo-Boo-Boo!
The Wonderful Bumbley BOO!!!

ยฉ Spike Milligan. All rights reserved

Buy this for your kids!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!