Yet more changes !

Hello readers. I have decided to combine my two blogs into one. I am now blogging away at . It has a catchier name than this one. I have re blogged some of the posts from here and all my new blogs will be on that one now.

Thanks for reading.



It’s a small world.

Is it just me or does everyone seem to love the world when it is in miniature forms?

In the toy world you have Lego, Playmobil and Sylvanian Families which are great and have millions of obsessive fans who should of out grown out of them by now. I love them all. I will never out grow them. I love their tiny little accessories they come with….tiny little sandwiches, tiny little kittens, tiny little newspapers, tiny little…

  …er cash machines !  IMG_20160813_115318

Dolls Houses, Hornby train sets and Airfix models are just great. You might not be able to live in a fancy townhouse with an Edwardian style kitchen or fly a Spitfire or own a steam train but you can build a TINY model of them.

Every so often some lucky people get to turn their tiny building hobby into something special and just great, and recently I visited one of these places and that place is possibly is becoming one of my favourite places to go to.



In the small town of Beaconfield in Buckinghamshire is another small town. Yes a town within a town and that town is Bekonscot and it is a cute little model town. Not model as an amazing perfect utopia but model as in little models of buildings. Is it just me but doesn’t everyone have the fantasy of having a garden so big you can build loads of those models of thatched cottages and little shops and schools and airports and churches and fairgrounds and village greens with matches of cricket being played on it? Including of course a tiny railway track snaking round it all with little choo choo trains going round and round occasionally stopping at a station but never actually picking up those little passengers? Well one lucky chap who lived in the town of Beaconsfield got to do just that. Back in the 1930s he had one of these ‘what on earth shall I do with my giant garden? I know I will put some of the mini buildings I have built in it and fill it up that way’ moments and the miniature world of Bekonscot was created. That chap was Roland Callingham and his buddy James Shilcock gave him his large train set to go around this little world he had made.


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Like with all towns Bekonscot grew and evolved over the years and buildings got more modern but in 1992 it was decided that all this modern stuff wasn’t as nice and it was all got rid of and everything put back to it permanently being the 1930s. Well sort of, there is a few little hidden bits that aren’t strictly accurate for the era and it’s great fun spotting them*


Beaconsfield isn’t just well known for tiny homes (actually the real houses in Beaconsfield are big and posh). It is also famous for being the town that favourite English writer lived for about 30 years and wrote many of her million books. That writer was one Enid Blyton. She lived in a house called Green Hedges. The house is no longer there…unless you go to Bekonscot that is. The real house may be gone but a model version is there in Bekonscot. This amazing model includes a model of Enid herself ! She was sat on a bench in her garden with her cat, dog and typewriter ! Also in her garden is a group of four children and a dog looking for clues (it’s the Famous Five !). There is also a model of someone else sat outside her front door. He is one of those little surprises that may not be completely accurate for the 1930’s.




When people think of Enid Blyton they think usually think of the Famous Five books, but she had several little groups of crime solving kids. The Five-find-outers from the ‘Mystery Of’ series is one group. These meddling kids** spent their school days at boarding school, but the hols came back to their home village to solve all those crimes and their village was apparently based on Beaconsfield. To get to Bekonscot from the (real) towns train station you have to walk up a little path. When you come out at the top it is into a cul-de-sac of big houses probably from the 1920’s or so. If it wasn’t for a parked car and a wheelie bin you can almost feel that you have actually ended up in one of the books! When I went there was a poster up for a missing pet. It was for a missing tortoise ! How Enid is that !

*I’m not going to tell you where they are but some of those not very 1930’s characters include Bob the Builder, Herbie the VW beetle car and Noddy.

**I know, that’s Scooby Doo not Enid !

I love Bekonscot. There was also a little girl that loved it back in the 1930s. Do you recognise her ?


If you can’t tell it is HRH The Queen (Princess Elizabeth back then).

Yes I have changed the name.

Hello to my readers. I have decided to change the name of my blog. Originally I named it booksbooksbooks because I really like books and want to write about them. Already though in my few posts I have managed to end up writing about collecting small plastic animals and my love of comics and briefly (well there was a picture anyway) my love of plastic building toys aka lego and compatible with the leading brand but not actually lego . So I thought why not write a bit more of a variety of all the things that interest me. One of my biggest loves is children’s books so I will still write about that regularly* and ‘grown-up’ books to. Though maybe not John Grisham(see previous post ha ha). So there will still be book reviews and book chat and author bits and bobs, but now a few other things as well. My first actual proper post will be coming soon. To get you excited here is some random stuff I plan to write about…


Making crafty things

Playmobil vs Sylvanian Families

Car boot sales



And much more exciting randomly selected nonsense

Oh and cats.

*I have started a second blog called booksarebrilliant which will have most of my children’s book reviews. Find it at


Do I actually like John Grisham books?

Hello everyone out there. Before I start pondering on the above question I would just like to point out that this blog is meant to be light hearted and any opinions I write are all mine and should not be taken to seriously and I mean no disrespect to Mr Grisham at all !


This is the newest John Grisham that has just come out in paperback. When I see a new John Grisham I tend to go ‘ooh new John Grisham’ and add it to my mental list of books I want to read. So, ‘Rogue Lawyer’……I actually got my copy from the library. I have just returned it to the library. Did I finish it? No !

Until  about 4 years ago I had never read a John Grisham. For a long time all I read was ‘female saga’ fiction but eventually got bored and wanted something different. I came across in my supermarket a bunch of paperbacks 2 for £3. So I bought Tess Gerristen ‘Girl Missing’ and John Grisham The Associate. I enjoyed them both and began to seek out other books they had written. I churned through Ms Gerristen fairly quick, and as for John (do you think he minds me calling him John) I then read 2 more fairly quickly. About the 5th or so book of his I read was ‘Time to Kill’ which is his first book published. It was not long after that it’s sequel came out ‘Sycamore Row'( For big fans of his this must of been a very long wait if you read ‘Time to kill’ originally when it first came out). And this is where it went down hill. I didn’t like this book. The character of Jake who was I assume meant to be controversial or edgy in the original just read like a bit of an obnoxious jerk ! Plus the plot -old fella leaves his money to his maid not his family and there is meant to be a ‘big secret’ as to why. I never found out why because I never got to the end. All I could think was that if I was a family member I’d be a bit annoyed but if I was just a local listening to the local gossip I’d be more on long the lines of ‘meh, who cares? his money and he obviously liked his maid’ and I would be onto the next piece of gossip. Maybe in small town 80’s America there wasn’t much to gossip about ! !

Since then any JG book I have read, whether it is a new publication or an old secondhand I just haven’t been able to get to the end. In fact often I might pick one up and read the blurb and think ‘have I read this one?’ because quite often once I had got to the end of one I would instantly forget what I had just read. (other authors where I have this problem are James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman, Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele – not that I have read many of hers. Why is she popular? Debate for another day. Ha Ha.).

So as I seem to find JGs books so terrible why do I still want to read one when I see one ? I have no idea. In fact this whole post is a bit pointless really as I haven’t answered my question. Oh well it was fun to write.

I do sort of like his Theodore Boone series though. Sort of. I think ! I can never decide if Theo is kinda a cool kid or a bit weird.

Oh and the last Tess Gerristen that came out….that was weird. It was more like a Jodi Picoult.

This is all I have time for today. Bye for now.

It’s all a bit random !

This last couple of weeks my world of books has been a bit of a random mix of reading and buying. I had decided to cut down on the various different books I was ‘collecting’ and focus back onto girls comics and annuals as when I was going through my collection I got very excited about them all over again. I would very much like to use this blog as somewhere to write some history of them and the amazing characters that existed over the years. I have been doing a bit of research because I want to make sure I have everything just right. So that is a work in progress. It will be coming soon.

But even though I have made this so called decision to cut down on collecting it seems I have absolutely no self control when it comes to walking past charity shops. I must go in. Just to ‘check’ obviously ! And then of course I find things I just can’t resist. See, I’m useless at self control.

This week in my adventures of buying random books have made me have the excitement of now owning the following…..

101_1067       Another one of those spoof Ladybirds books.

When these spoof ladybird books came out last xmas I wanted to be a bit snobby about them and tut loudly about pointless stuff people buy for xmas pressies. And then I read some. They are very very funny.Very !

The thing is they are very very funny for all of about…..5 minutes. As a result many copies ended up in charity shops just a couple of weeks after xmas. I am doing pretty good at getting the whole set for not much money. This particular one cost me just TEN PENCE. Although I feel a bit guilty about this. Many charity shops (who are run by volunteers) can be a bit clueless about books and seem to put these aimed-at-adults books in the kids box. In the particular shop I got this from basically charges  10 or 20p for ‘small childrens books’ so that’s why it was so crazily cheap.

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Three Francine Pascal books !

Francine Pascal is the lovely lady who gave the world Sweet Valley High and it’s many spin offs. If you have been reading this blog you will know I used to read the ‘Twins’ series and briefly wondered if collecting the whole Sweet Valley world would be fun. I abandoned the idea when I found out how many of the books there actually are. And then I found these three. A trilogy of stories about a teenage girl called Victoria Martin. 2 are just typical teen stuff, the first one however young Victoria finds herself back in time where she meets a teenage girl – who happens to be the girl who will one day grow up and be her mother  (these books were written quite a while ago so the ‘mother’ was a teen in 1944) ! These books were apparently actually written by Ms Pascal, unlike the others that she just ‘created’. Not sure if that’s true. I did have copies of these books before, although those editions didn’t match and these do and you know about me and MATCHING ! I ‘had’ to buy these because they are out of print now here in the UK and if I do decide to go back to Sweet Valley…..well I need them. Obviously !



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Two Shakespeares, a Horrible History and a Jacqueline Wilson !

I can claim I bought these 4 childrens books for my daughter…..who am I kidding. She will read them, she will enjoy them but I am the one who feels the need to own all these books. Although I have learned more history in the last couple of years reading (and watching the telly version) of Horrible Histories than I ever did of 11 years of school.

Two American YA books. Don’t have pictures of these as I read them and them donated them back to a charity shop almost straight away. One was called ‘Empress of the world’ by Sara Ryan and the other ‘The beginning of everything’ by Robyn Schneider. Both were paperbacks and were the US editions. I later found another book in my library by Robyn Schneider and I thought ‘ooh I will read that’ only to discover it was the same book with a different title. The UK edition is called ‘Severed Heads, Broken Hearts’ ! Why the change? I’ve no idea. Personally I like the US title better.

And that is the random mix I have had this week. ” 2 YA, 2 Shakespeare, a bit of history, 3 old out of print US teen stuff, 1 sweet book by JW and a silly spoof.

And as for my actual reading….that’s been random too. But I will save that for next time, which will include me wondering the big question… I actually like John Grisham books?

101_1068     Is this book worth me finishing…..?

Oh and I don’t just buy books from the charity shops. Check this out. One of those ‘compatible with the leading brand’ lego that’s not actually lego. Never been opened. Just £1.50 ! Roar………101_1066

Bye for now.

Added later…..IMG_20160702_123231         built it !





Lost in translation ?

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Do you know these books? Do you get excited over them? Are you thinking “who in the world was Bunty”?

Yes or no….read on !

Hello readers of books and readers of this blog and, maybe if you are out there, hello fellow bloggers too. I have been writing this blog for a few weeks now and I am really enjoying writing it. I have wanted to do a blog for ages. Well, I have wanted to be some sort of ‘writer’ for years and years. For several years I was a diary writer, and I have had ideas on and off for years for various books and things I’d like to write, and now at long last I have finally got round to actually doing something about it…starting this blog.

It seems I have had quite a few people reading this blog – thank you all, however I haven’t had any comments. That makes me sound a bit greedy, that I feel I ought to, but I don’t know if any of you readers out there are actually finding my blog interesting.

I have had a read of a few other of my fellow bloggers out there in wordpress land, and it seems quite a few of you are American. I am English (British), writing my words in England and I was wondering if some of what I have been writing about has somewhat been ‘lost in translation’ as such. When I talk about car boot sales and charity shops do you fellow readers know what I’m on about? Did my post about the girls annuals/comics mean anything , because ‘Bunty’ and co are a very British thing. Is Jacqueline Wilson such a massive writer as she is here (in Britain) in other parts of the world. I hope you aren’t thinking that I am being a bit rude here, or even patronising. I apologise if it sounds like I am, I am just curious. It would be nice to have a few comments just so I can see where I am at. Thank you in advance if you do comment. And if you are reading/writing from a different country I would be quite interested in what is popular in the world of childrens books where you are.

Thank you again in advance !

Anyway, if you have been reading me and are wondering what I have decided to go for in my obsessive collecting, I have….well…kind of calmed down a bit and are putting any major collecting on hold. For now. I had got a bit random in the various books I was picking up second hand. Some of what I was buying was quite often impulse buys that could be ‘quite interesting’ to collect, but when I started doing some research I realised it could turn into a rather large collection. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books were two such types. I believe these are WAY more popular in the USA than they are over here in the UK and there are so many different editions, new versions, up dated versions etc that it was getting very confusing. I also bought a whole pile of Sweet Valley Twins (that I used to read/own) and thought the whole Sweet Valley world would be good, until I again found out how many there is out there. I don’t remember the ‘Sweet Valley Junior High’ series being out in the UK. So for now that type of collecting has been put to one side. Going through my comic and annual collection has got me quite excited about that world again, so I might start looking again as I had stopped on that. One of the plans I have had for years is to write a book about the history and my love for these wonderful British pieces of modern history (!), so  I am still going to be on the look out for a few more and see what I can do with them. Hopefully I can use this blog as a practice for writing about them. If I do, I hope you find it interesting.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Like I said earlier some feedback/comments would be very very much appreciated.

Bye for now.

PS I’m still going to be on the look out for Goosebumps and Point Horror books simply because I am enjoying reading them.

Collecting books part two.

Hello readers and collectors. In my last post I was writing about collecting stuff and my plan to be some sort of book collector. I already ‘collect’ books in the fact that I have loads of them, but I really want to find something that I can obsess over. However, I have already got a large collection of one type of book, so being ‘a collector’ is not new to me.

Since around the year 2000 or so I have been collecting girls comic annuals.

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Actually, to be technical I have collected annuals since the 1980’s, but it wasn’t so much of collecting them – it was just owning them !

I was a big reader of weekly girls comics back in the 80’s. I started reading Mandy in December 1983 when I was 8 years old, Although I had previously shared reading of Princess and Tammy with my sister. She also read Dreamer and then Girl, which I read too (I assume when she let me!). I also started reading Nikki when it started . Basically I had two comics bought for me a week. Lucky me. I loved those comics. Still do. Sadly none are in existence any more. But as well as weekly comics, then were the annual…er..annuals. These were bought out once a year (for xmas) and between me and sister we had several. I had at least 3 Mandy’s, and we had some Tammy’s and Girl ones too. (there was never a Nikki annual or Princess one. Probably not a Dreamer one either).

Rather sadly over the years the massive comic collection and not so massive annual one was Got Rid Of. Boo hiss. How I wish wish wish I had kept those comics. Not because I think they would be worth anything, but because I LOVED THEM.

At some point towards the end of the 90s and beginning of the 21st century I obtained a few of some of the old annuals. I cannot remember where I came across them. I’m guessing charity shop, but may have been a car boot sale. But it led to desire to start collecting. Girls annuals generally then didn’t sell for much secondhand. People often read about old Beanos or Dandys selling for thousands at auction , but this is quite rare. They have to be a really old one (ie pre war or 40s) to fetch a lot, usually because there aren’t many copies left.  But most of the girls ones didn’t start being published until the 60s and 70s, so there are usually more copies around.

The British weekly comic world of the 60s/70s/80s was pretty much divided by two publishers. DC Thomson who did Bunty, Mandy, Judy (and more) and IPC who did Tammy, Girl, Misty (and more). IPC annuals were published under the Fleetway name.

At first I started just going for the DC Thomson ones, simply because Mandy was my ‘main’ comic, and I found (in the pre internet for information days) DC Thomson were very helpful in assisting me in providing dates of when the various titles were published. (I wrote a letter, they replied – how quaint). But I soon starting going for others too because when you come across a pile at a car boot sale for ten pence each, you can’t say no. I wanted to collect the actual comics, but this is difficult to do, as very few copies survive. My lot was (thanks to mum) put in black bags and left out for the bin men. Didn’t even recycle them. Oh the shame. And it seems this is generally what happened to most peoples copies. Every so often I come across a few. But this is rare. Just recently I found 3 Nikki comics in a charity shop and I was so suprised I almost squealed with excitement. Possibly I actually did.

Back to the annuals. I got quite organised. Had lists of what I had, what I needed etc. Finally got some date details from IPC/Fleetway. And the pile got bigger and bigger. For a time they were piled under my bed. Now most of them are in my parents under the stairs cupboard. They went there ‘temporarily’ when I moved, with the plan of displaying them in lovely date order on a lovely big solid bookcase in my own place. That has not happened as I don’t have space for a lovely big bookcase to hold approximately 150 A4 size hardback books. I have about 30 currently in a pile in the corner of a room in my flat. Maybe one day the annuals will one day be reunited to live together neatly in order…one day. Sigh.

I don’t tend to obsessily go for annuals anymore. Simply because I think I’ve got most of the ones from the era I want. Which when I do come across them, they tend to be ‘got it’ ones. Also again with the people thinking that they might be ‘worth’ something, if they are going to charity shop them they tend to give them to Oxfam book shops, who do tend to put a high price on them. The fact that I often see the same copies of the books in various different shops means they aren’t that rare. I know charities want to make money but I have seen, for example a Judy one from the 90’s for sale for like a tenner. Nice book, but not worth that much.

So I have done quite well with the annuals, but I feel I have pretty much ‘done’ it. So time to move on to something else? But what? I don’t want to be too random. I went for the girls annuals/comics simply because I am a massive fan of them and I would love to write a book about them one day. I haven’t just collected them to ‘collect’ them. I do actually want to do something with them one day ! So, whatever I choose it has to mean something to me. And let’s be sensible. First edition 1920s school stories would be fun but that is more collectors fair type books than car boot ones. I have a few ideas, so I’m finding facts out, seeing whats out there….I will tell you what I will decide to go for another day in Collecting Books Part Three as I need to finish now ! Part 3 Coming soon !


Bye for now readers.

Oh, if you are curious the 2, 5 and 8 are Enid Blyton Famous Five 1970’s paperback editions!

‘I only need numbers 2, 5 and 8 then i have the set..’

People like to collect things. Why? I have no idea as I am not a human behaviour analyst. But people do. Art, cars, toy trains, antique furniture, stickers, moshi monsters, bus numbers, postcards, ornaments, vintage dresses, wine, beer mats, dolls, designer bags, tea pots, tea cosies, vinyl records, trading cards, chocolate packets, comics, beanie babies…..I could be here all day if I go on. Basically if there is more than one type of something, somebody out there will be collecting it. Small children seem to pick up on this behaviour pretty much once they are out of their buggy and let loose to toddle round the park. Suddenly you find shoved in your bag a random pile of pebbles, twigs and leaves which are ‘for my collection’ your small child will proudly tell you.

I have collected many things over the years. I had the panini sticker albums. I could do the whole ‘got got got need got’ as fast as the next child. Although I never completed a set except for the Garfield one which I did by sending off for what I needed and paying by postal order or whatever you had to do back then. I collected novelty rubbers (erasers). That was a popular thing back in the 80s, although they were banned briefly as some children it seems couldn’t tell the difference between a real strawberry and a rubber shaped like one that had a very slight sweet smell ! I also collected small plastic little animals. I have no idea who made these little plastic figures. They were usually sold at souvenir shops in touristy places. There was usually 6 in each ‘set’. I had (and still have…see picture) a lovely collection.

101_1019     Oh…there are 7 cats. I guess the 6 in a set is wrong !101_1020


Once upon a time this whole little gang all had individual names. Sadly gone from my memory.

Anyway, now I am a grown up and the collecting of rubbers and small plastic creatures has been passed on to the next generation. ‘Japanese building’ rubbers are popular, as are shopkins  (moshi monsters are over apparently). Stickers are still in (football ones seemingly the most popular) and trading cards. As soon as something becomes a bit boring the ‘new generation’ of characters is out. It’s a marketing mans idea of heaven. ‘Gotta catch ’em all’ as they say in the Pokémon world.

But as we know, grown ups do still collect things. Many many big piles of….stuff. I would love to be an obsessive collector. If I had the finances, time and space for storage I would. I would go to all those collectors fairs every weekend and do deals and trades and squeal with excitement when I see the one object to complete my collection. But I don’t. Have space, time and enough pennies to do that I mean. But however there is one thing I do like to collect and that is of course……books. (I expect you were wondering when I would get round to books as this blog is called booksbooksbooks!)

Lots of people collect books. Some even store them in a room they call ‘a library’. Oh how I would love to have a whole room just for books….! Some people collect books because they like the writer, some because they are obsessed with first editions, some because it makes their bookshelves look good because it’s full of posh looking Dickens hardbacks (that they never read). Some people just collect books simply because they buy a book, read it and put it on the shelf with all their other books and don’t even realise they have a ‘collection’.

I have had, over the years, collected various books. As a teen I read Judy Blume and Paula Danziger books over and over. I borrowed them from the library all the time, but I felt the need that I had to own all the books too. When I first starting reading Judy Blume all the books had just been republished with new covers. And I HAD TO HAVE THEM. There were times when I came across an old second hand copy, but no, they had to MATCH. (The Paula Danzigers were being published for the first time in the UK (or new) so that was no issue.) The Little House series was also being reprinted and it was the same for that. Ironically I really like the editions that came before mine, they have lovely simple covers. But when it came to books/authors that I liked I wanted them all! I wanted them to match! Maybe I’m just a bit fussy, but the whole matching covers thing is a clever marketing trick. Publishes do it all the time. Take the book ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. massively popular so the published re issued her previous two books in almost identical covers so fans of Gone Girl will easily spot them and buy/read them. Which is a bit of an insult really as inside most books is usually a list of ‘other novels by’ and do they think we are all to thick to think ‘ok, I will have a go at Ms Flynns other books, where will I find them? oh under F for Flynn’ But it works. Suckers we are.

My Enid Blyton school stories are a mixture of secondhand and bought new and they just Do Not Match.I stare at them on my bookshelf I think ‘no, don’t look right’. I also, as a teen and having Saturday job money, wanted to complete my ‘Ramona’ collection as I hadn’t got all of them in my own copies. However they too had been reprinted, but these covers were quite terrible. They had photos from a Canadian TV programme based on the books, and were just done quite badly. I have 4 of my Ramona books in these editions and I just don’t LIKE THEM. But I bought them because I wanted to complete the set. (Interesting fact time….the little girl who played Ramona is Sarah Polley now an award winning film writer/director.) Recently I did come across a 2nd hand copy of a newer edition of one, a much nicer cover. I bought it, but for some odd reason cannot bring myself to actually get rid of the old copy. Bit weird ? Yeah probably.

In the childrens book world it is very easy to collect books as often it’s never just a single book that is bought out. Oh it’s well planned. Many books are written to be part of a trilogy. Although some people may say the story could often be done without book one ending on a ‘cliffhanger and having to wait a year for the next instalment. (Latest trend…rewriting the whole trilogy in another characters point of view. If that can be done in one book, why can’t the original eh?). And then there are those that are a stand alone story but part of a series. Like Wimpy Kid. You could just read one, the story has it’s beginning middle and end. It doesn’t end with a exciting cliifhanger. You can just read that book and that’s that. Yeah right! That’s not gonna happen. You don’t just read ONE Rainbow Magic book – you have to read them ALL ! ALL! ALL! ALL 3684million in the series! Even books that aren’t part of a ‘one new every month type series’ they are always part of a series.I have just mentioned Wimpy Kid, but there is also Tom Gates, Alex Rider, The Cherub Series, Dirty Bertie etc are all part of that You Must Read Them All (or else?) type.

Even if you don’t go for these modern books there is still plenty out there to get collecting. Enid Blyton and Ladybird books are fairly popular. Classics are a good one, because you could go for the actual old copies type or slightly easier (and cheaper) is to get them all in the Puffin Classics paperbacks. Back in the 80s/90s there were lots of the ‘1 or 2 a month released’ type series. Sweet Valley, Babysitters Club, Goosebumps etc. There is a lot out there if you want to get collecting. And I have started to collect. Sort of. At the moment I am a bit all over the place in deciding what to go for. I am addicted to charity shops so I buy a lot of ‘that looks interesting’ and ‘I used to have that’. I need to actually pick a genre/series and go for it because at the moment I have various piles of randomness.

Anyway, I am afraid this is all I have time to write today so I am going to have to end this post on the dreaded cliffhanger….

What books shall I collect? What have I already got? What series is it that I need 2, 5 and 8?……..find out next time……!

Bye for now.

Oh, and speaking of cliffhangers. I finished reading book 2 of Robert Muchamores  ‘Rock War’ series. Now that ending was a cliffhanger to the max.  A drop the book in shock cliffhanger… long till book 3? Arrrrrrgh !


An interesting thing I learnt this week !

Hello again readers. I read a lot. I hoped you had figured out that by the fact I am writing a blog about…er…books. But as much as I have favourite authors, illustrators and characters that I obsess over and like to think I know whats what and whats trendy and ‘in’ at the mo in the book world….it seems I don’t actually know EVERYTHING ! Shock horror to my brain. Anyway, here is the interesting thing I learned this week…..

Ok, so you know the film ‘The Parent Trap’ ? Well actually two films. The 1961 one with Hayley Mills and the other one with Lindsey Lohan (1998). Two identical twins, separated when babies, one living with mum, one with dad. Don’t know the other one exists, meet at camp, decided to swop places and get mum and dad back together? You know that film, right? (If you don’t then this interesting fact isn’t going to excite you that much and what do you mean you don’t know. It’s Disney. On telly a lot. The Lindsey one anyway. Usually Channel 5 on a sunday afternoon.)

Ok, where was I?  Oh yes, The Parent Trap. The films are American. Although the twins have English accents as a: Hayley Mills is English and b: not sure why in the other version. I don’t know if I knew the film was based on a book, I have a vague feeling I did, but I had just assumed that the book would of been either English or American. But it isn’t. The book is actually German !

It was published in 1949, also known as ‘Lottie and Lisa’ and was written by Erich Kastner the chap who wrote the fairly well known book Emil and the Detectives. I believe I read Emil and the detectives during my first year of secondary school ( age 11). I think I did . My sister insists I did as ‘all first years read it’ at my school, but I cannot actually remember the story. What I do remember is learning that Erich Kastner was one of the writers that Hitler didn’t like and his books ended up on a big bonfire. I was always a bit baffled as to what Hitler had against a children’s detective story. It was ‘anti-german’ or some such nonsense that Hitler thought. (If you try to analyse what on earth Hitlers brain was all about you’d be there forever). Anyway, apparently Erich Kastner was there to watch his books burn but he survived the war and went on to write (among many other books) ‘The Parent Trap’. And that is the interesting fact I learned this week. It stuck in my mind as I learned that Emil and the Detectives is being done as the Year 6 play at my local school this term, and as that was in my mind when browsing in a charity shop, I was fairly pleased to find a copy of the sequel called Emil and the three twins. Erich Kastner died in 1974 aged 75. His books are still popular today, published in over 50 languages and made into various films and plays. So Yay for Mr Kastner .

101_1011        I love this cover.

Also, when I have something in my mind that I find interesting it sometimes leads to noticing things I hadn’t thought about in years. Thinking about Lindsey Lohan’s remake of the Hayley Mills film reminded me she (Lindsey) also did a remake of Freaky Friday, a film based on a book that came out in the 1970s (both book and film) that had Jodie Foster in. I can remember there being of copy of the book in my primary school library and everyone used to laugh at it because it had a photo on the cover from the film that had Jodie wearing the worlds biggest flares ! (not that funny, but when you are 9 and flares are soooo dated it is). On another of my charity shop rummages I came across a copy of that book. Slightly newer edition, so it doesn’t have Jodie and her hilarious trousers on the cover. It’s a very funny story, bit different to what I remember the film to be. I enjoyed reading it. Shame I didn’t actually read it when I was 9 instead of just going ‘flaaaaaaarrrrres’ everytime someone picked up the book.

That’s all I have time for today. I think I might go and see if I can find out what other live-action Disney films from the 60’s and 70’s were based on books. (lots I expect).

Bye for now and happy reading.

Added later…..after writing this I realised that almost all Disney films are based on books/fairy tales etc. I may be wrong but I think Finding Nemo might have been the first story that wasn’t based on somebody else’s story ! ! !

Added later again….I got a copy of Emil and the Detectives from the library and read it. It seems I didn’t read it at school as I previously believed as I didn’t recognise any of it. But it was great. Very funny. I also read the sequel Emil and the three twins which was great too. Gave me an interesting view of pre ww2 German life. Read them if you can !