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4.6 out of 5 stars39
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 March 2011
This is a collection of Toksvig's columns from the Sunday Telegraph, running from 19 June 2005 to 5 April 2009, each about a thousand words long. They are light fare, cheery-yet-grumbly ramblings, laced with benign humour:

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It won't surprise you to learn that as a Dane I have had a long association with [Lego]. (Indeed, if you have the average British person's knowledge of Denmark, you might be equally unmoved to learn that I was brought up by herrings and once met Hamlet's father.)
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The pieces are composed of personal anecdotes and historical trivia. Sandi presumably trawls the internet for this stuff, but she succeeds in pulling up endless interesting factoids. Idi Amin kept films of "Tom & Jerry". Longfellow was the first American with indoor plumbing. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a coded Catholic catechism. Here's a story about a little girl visiting the studio of sculptor Gutzon Borglum as he chisels at a block of stone:

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Lincoln's face was becoming recognisable and the child stared at the piece in amazement. "Is that Abraham Lincoln?" she asked. "Yes," Borglum replied. The girl shook her head and breathlessly asked: "How did you know he was inside there?"
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The book is crammed with little smiles like that, and though they may all lie within the public domain, it is very pleasant to have them served up in snack-size nuggets like this. Attempts to retain all these oddities in your head are doomed to fail, as the book overflows with them. I give it 3 stars, since it's finally insubstantial; but it hovers towards 4 stars as a fun read.
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on 3 March 2010
I was given this book as a Christmas gift, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sandi is witty and well informed and every page of this book made me laugh.
I would definitely recommend this to take on a trip as it's very easy to dip in and out of. Buy it NOW!
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on 16 September 2010
I am sooo sorry to have finished this book - I'm lost now. Can't say that about many books. If it can make you smirk and snigger when waiting interminably for hospital apointments, there can't be much wrong with this book. I even read out excerpts to fellow patients - yes, they then asked who wrote that? The beauty of this is its short informative and really funny chapters. Ideal for train journeys etc. Thanks Sandi, I've loved your radio work and will now look our for more of your written 'oeuvres'!!
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on 17 February 2010
I am a fan of Sandi Toksvig and have enjoyed previous books by her. This collection of writings did not disappoint even though some of them were a few years' old. Easy reading.
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on 9 September 2013
As expected from Sandi Toksvig, this book is full of well written anecdotes and observations. Because it's a compilation of her Sunday paper articles, it's a good book to lift and drop when you only have five minutes, or maybe to take on the plane with you (but you might have to explain your giggles and sniggers if you are sitting beside a stranger!) Personally, I'm putting mine on the bedside table in the guest bedroom - once I have read it all.
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on 20 August 2012
Sandi Toksvig is someone who is so enjoyable to listen to because there is always that clever mixture of wit and intelligence. Reading her thoughts in this book is very entertaining and informative, and as you do so, you actually hear her voice delivering the words in your mind.
We have booked to see her forthcoming live tour in the knowledge that we will be amused entertained and enlightened. This book does that too.
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on 31 March 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, indeed I was so sorry when I finished it I want more. Whether you read it from cover to cover or whether you read a column or two at a time the writing is witty,clever and interesting. Sandi Toksvig is a new literary find for me, I have long been a fan of her television appearances but now I can't wait to read more of her musings
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on 2 March 2010
I love Sandi Toksvig's books and this is another which is just sheer genius. It is interesting and entertaining as she weaves through facts and adds her own humourous stories and anecdotes which link to each section. Anyone who reads this will not be disappointed in what they find when they peer inside the wonderful covers.
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on 7 February 2016
Fun, facts, great 'dipping' book, by which I mean you can dip in and out of it (not put it in hummus instead of carrot batons). I read this between agonising bouts of back spasm pain which was good- could read it in short bursts, and bad - kept laughing and nearly put another disc out. I loved the way she meandered from one point to another and then brought it back to the beginning. Well researched, witty and, despite the columns being written a few years ago, still makes points that are relevant today. If you think trivia is not trivial this is the book for you.
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on 20 April 2016
Sandi Toksvig strikes me as a rare and precious human being: funny, compassionate, clear-eyed and clear-headed, with a generous heart to go with a acutely intelligent head. Her humanity and warmth come across in this collection of journalism, which made me laugh out loud several times and cry once. Highly recommended.
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