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An Apple A Day: Old-Fashioned Proverbs and Why They Still Work [Hardcover]

Caroline Taggart
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

8 Oct 2009
Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Can beggars be choosers? Is it always better late than never? Proverbs are short, well-known, pithy sayings that offer advice or words of encouragement and are used in everyday English without much thought ever being given to their meanings, or indeed, usefulness. In An Apple A Day...Caroline Taggart explores the truth behind our favourite proverbs, their history and whether they offer any genuine help to the recipient. Did you know that "The Old Testament" has an entire book devoted to proverbs? Or that 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb from falconry that dates back to the Middle Ages? Many proverbs are still in use today, including the very famous 'slow and steady wins the race', which derives from one of the fables of Aesop, a slave in ancient Greece born in 620BC. Lighthearted but authoritative, An Apple A Day...proves that proverbs are as useful today as they ever were.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (8 Oct 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1843173921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843173922
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


Exploring well-known proverbs, their origins, meanings and relevance to life today, this is a fun and fascinating book to dip into, written by an author with a neat sense of humour (Choice Magazine)

About the Author

Caroline Taggart has worked in publishing for nearly 30 years, the last 18 of them as a freelance editor of non-fiction. She has edited innumerable natural history titles, notably Jonathan Scott's Big Cat Diary books and the tie-in to the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs, as well as books on gardening, cookery, health, witchcraft, pop music, the Blitz, the D-Day landings, the House of Commons and the English language. She has also written a handbook for mature students and an encyclopaedia of dogs. The first book Caroline wrote was I Used To Know That, a Sunday Times bestseller published in 2008. This was followed by My Grammar and I (also a Sunday Times bestseller), Answers to Rhetorical Questions, A Classical Education, An Apple A Day and Pushing the Envelope. Her books have appeared in the Sunday Times, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, the Times, the Sun and many other publications, and her frequent television and radio appearances include BBC1 Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing 7 Jun 2010
By Kim Fan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want to dip in for a few minutes while waiting for something or someone this will cheer you up. Very amusing and also informative.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much opinion and personality 28 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you like Caroline Taggart you will like this book. I don't know Caroline Taggart so I found this book which is full of personal observations to be too much like an extension of waffling newspaper opinion pieces. However, you may like the lighthearted almost gossipy manner.

I've noticed recently a trend for people to explain obvious things like they are uncovering forgotten truths. Starting off the book by deliberately conjoining 'Too many cooks spoil the broth' with 'Many hands make light work' and expecting us not to understand their different meanings I found insulting.

Still, it is sensibly laid-out and doesn't stint in revelation, and if it doesn't fulfil the promise of explaining why the proverbs still work then most are surely self-evident in any case. If it's just proverbs you're after it is easier to leaf through than Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and often more informative, if not as ultimately satisfying.
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3.0 out of 5 stars an apple a day 13 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
bought this for my grandsons hoping that it will improve their general education. the sort of thing you don't find on a computer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enough is as good as a feast 29 May 2013
By Hal Marshall TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
A friend of mine bought me this book, although I really can't understand why. Still, beggars can't be choosers can they? And, after all, knowledge is power. I suppose he probably thought I might appreciate it. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions and obviously, in this case, a fool and his money are soon parted.

I wish I could say it was an enjoyable read, as I usually love Caroline Taggart's very humorous writing style. However, this book just seems to be far too bogged down by literary quotes from people I thought I'd seen the back of when I left school in 1986. It is like being attacked from all angles by a demented Charlie Chan. After only a few pages, I found myself skipping anything written in italics completely. Mind you, I was warned about all that in her introduction. She threatens the reader with 'many references to Shakespeare and other poets, and to the Bible'. That has simply made me question whether the friend who bought this for me actually likes me because, if he does, he certainly has a funny way of showing it.

There are splashes of that wonderful humour in these pages but there are also far too many instances of pointless waffle for my liking. If the proverb itself seems to make perfect literal sense, why am I reading half a page of additional prose which merely serves to tell me what was totally obvious in the first place?

While I have found this book to be exceptionally hard work, I have been reading it fairly regularly. I have found it to be particularly useful around about bedtime. Personally speaking, it knocks any sleeping tablet I've ever tried into a cocked hat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Apple a Day 12 May 2013
By Kate
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bouught this book as a giftfor a Portugese friend who speaks really good English. She is very pleased with this book and enjoys reading the proverbs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 9 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great and different. For the person who wants to know why things happened, why they where said and all that stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars interesting, but seemed a bit long winded 11 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this book seemed to be a little long-winded when i was reading it. it is on the whole somewhat amusing, but most of this seems to come from the authors opinions of matters that seemed to be related to the proverb, although sometimes i was puzzled as to how they were. reading this was a good way to waste some time, but the reason for the 3 star review is that 3.80 seems a little bit steep for this book!
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