Category Archives: Olga’s Bookshelf

Noel Streatfeild Far to Go

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I’ve developed this great delight for finding Noel Streatfeild books at random. I have yet to actually try and look up a list of her books unless I am marking them off on Goodreads, because I enjoy discovering new ones on my travels. A couple of months ago I read (and loved) The Growing Summer, which I decided was my favourite so far. I’ve just found a copy of Far to Go, a sequel to Thursday’s Child featuring the indomitable Margaret Thursday. I forgot how much I loved Margaret, and as I had no idea there was a sequel to her book I was over the moon. Hopefully I can squeeze this one in soon.

Enid Blyton and the Mary Pollock Subterfuge

The Children of Kidillin by Mary Pollock
The Children of Kidillin by Mary Pollock

I clearly remember finding this book and laughing when I opened it to the title page. I was just doing an annual tidy of the bookcase when I came across it and it made me smile again. As you can see the former owner has quite emphatically crossed out the author’s name “Mary Pollock” and carefully pencilled in “Enid Blyton”, complete with the two strokes under the “d” in Enid.

In 1940’s, George Newnes published two books by Mary Pollock, Three Boys and a Circus and The Children of Kidillin. The books became so popular that one reviewer was prompted to remark “Enid Blyton had better look to her laurels”.*

50 Years of C.S Lewis and Growing up in the Land of Narnia

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“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis

On this day, 50 years ago, C.S. Lewis passed into the land of Narnia. He will be honoured with a plaque at Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner this year, a well-deserved tribute. I don’t know many people who grew up without having read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The C. S. Lewis: 50 Fans, 50 Years Later Pinterest board has a collection of quotes from authors and other celebrities on what C.S. Lewis has meant to them. The Chronicles of Narnia have been a huge part of my life. I have lost count of how many times I have read them and they are, without a doubt, one of the most beloved children’s book series of all time.

The Lament of a Fantasy Geek: Mismatched Covers

This is my first set of of the Song of Ice and Fire series. The first four books are my first edition trade paperbacks. I bought A Dance with Dragons in hardcover when it was released, but when I went to buy the paperback, they had stopped making trades. Resulting in this

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And if you are a mega-nerd like me and need matching covers and same-size books, then this is what happens

Magician First Edition by Raymond E. Feist

Magician 1st UK Edition
Magician 1st UK Edition

Last week I met one of my favourite authors Raymond E. Feist for the first time. We had a lovely talk and I got three books signed, two of them were special edition copies of Magician published by Voyager. This week I found a first British edition of Magician from 1983. My timing is spectacular. Of course this hasn’t diminished my excitement at finding a first edition of Magician one bit. This is the first time I have seen any of the first three Midkemia titles in hardcover in ten years of serious book collecting.

Penguin’s Science Fiction – A Brief Trip Through Time

Philip K. Dick's Time out of Joint
Philip K. Dick’s Time out of Joint. Cover illustration by Peter Tybus

From the iconic orange and white covers to the amazing modern art and superb children’s illustrators, Penguin Books has always been the leader in cover art. There is even a Penguin Collector’s Society, their aim to conserve and preserve vintage Penguin books.

The first Penguin paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935 and included works by Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie. They were colour coded (orange for fiction, blue for biography, green for crime) and cost just sixpence, the same price as a packet of cigarettes. The way the public thought about books changed forever – the paperback revolution had begun.

The Complete Uncle by J.P Martin and Quentin Blake Coming Soon!

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The Kickstarter campaign started by Marcus Gipps to fund The Complete Uncle Omnibus by J.P Martin and Quentin Blake smashed it’s target of £7000, with 540 backers raising £29,177.

UncleSo who is Uncle? Uncle is an elephant. He is immensely rich, and he’s a B.A. He dresses well, generally in a purple dressing gown, and often rides about on a traction engine, which he prefers to a car. read more

Enid Blyton and “As Big Ears Said to Noddy Yesterday”

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Enid Blyton has, as she so often does, tip-toed into my carefully planned reading pile this month. Rather than my old favourites, though, I’ll be reading some old and some new books on Enid.
The most comprehensive biography is by Barbara Stoney, and while there are actually very few biographies, and books about Enid tend to lean more towards the literary criticism type, this is by far the best and is still in print after almost 30 years.

I Can’t Believe You’ve Never Read…

little_womenI have long since lost count of how many times I have heard this. Last year I remember deciding to read Little Women, to the shock of several people I know who all said the same thing “I can’t believe you haven’t read it” Well I hadn’t, never seen the movie either, so I read the book. I also spent most of the book waiting for Beth to die, because at least three people told me “Beth is so sad” Well, she didn’t die, she got sick, and recovered.  I won’t say I felt cheated though. Only a bit baffled. I haven’t read on yet.