Posted by: billpurdue | October 26, 2009

72 What did you read as a child?

What did you read when you were very young? As a young lad I was hooked on Thomas the Tank Engine books by the Rev. Awdry and these are still kept alive by the many “Thomas” weekends at preserved railways across this country and beyond. There are lots of Thomas titles still available, including a Thomas the Tank Engine Manual by Chris Oxlade written in the style of the Haynes manuals [J H Haynes & Co £9.99 978-1844258352]  I never really liked the Noddy books and books about Winnie the Pooh probably passed me by completely. Later I moved on to the William stories by Richmal Crompton.

Return to 100 acreWell, for those who did read Pooh, there’s a brand new Pooh book just published this month and it’s by David Benedictus. The new book – a collection of new Pooh stories – is called Return to Hundred Acre Wood [ Egmont Books £12.99 978-1405247443] and is the authorised sequel to the original Pooh stories by A A Milne. If you’re a Pooh aficionado, this may or may not match your expectations, but to get an idea of what to expect, listen to an interview with Benedictus on the BBC News website. Winnie himself has two websites – the Disney one and “Just-Pooh”.

Mr Benedictus, Eton educated, has, according to his website “been almost everywhere and done almost everything”. He has certainly met a wide range of celebrities of one kind or another and he writes about them in his autobiography Dropping Names [Ernie Books £16.99 978-0955033001].

Book Bonanza

Jo Brand2This month has seen a plethora of new titles published in good time for the Christmas market. Prominent amongst these is Look Back in Hunger, the autobiography of Jo Brand [Headline Review  978-0755355235 £20,but expect big discounts]. In it she describes her relationship with her father and her time as a psychiatric nurse, plus many more aspects of her life so far. She also promises that there are “some funny bits” – I don’t doubt it. The paperback is due out in April. Click here for a lengthy Daily Telegraph interview with Jo.

Alan bennettAlso just out is a new book from Alan Bennett A Life Like other People’s [Profile Books £12.99 978-0571248124] in which he writes about the life of his parents and his aunties, Kathleen and Myra, as well as recalling some of his childhood. It’s already received rave reviews. However, if you already have Untold Stories [Faber and Faber £9.99 978-0571228317], you won’t need this, as this latest offering is lifted straight from Untold Stories. However, if you don’t already own it, buy this – you won’t be disappointed.

Ripley'sFinally in the new book category (and with Christmas presents in mind): do you know anyone who will only look at a book if it is the Guinness World Records- and nothing else will do? Well for a change why not try them with Ripley’s Believe it or Not 2010 by Robert Le Roy Ripley ?[Random House, 978-1847945853 £18.99 but there should be a hefty discount] Now in its second year, it’s described as a “feast of bizarre facts, fiends and freaks – all guaranteed to fascinate, surprise and amaze” and looks as if it could rival the Guinness book.


  1. I love William series, I also enjoyed Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree and the mystery books.

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