I’m getting this one organised in advance so hopefully I won’t forget to schedule it this week!
Here’s what I did for my displays in weeks 8 and 9 of the lockdown.
Enid Blyton reference edition
The caption I wrote on Facebook was:
I can’t believe that a) I’ve been off work for (more than) 50 days now and b) that I’ve come up with 50 displays in 50 days. I’m not out of ideas yet but I think I will run out before the lockdown does.
Today is my Enid Blyton reference collection. Mostly biography type books plus her autobiography “The Story of my Life”, written for children, obviously. There are a few books about her books as well. The best biography has to be the one by Barbara Stoney as she put in a phenomenal amount of research and most biographies since don’t contain anything new. Saying that the ones I have all look at different aspects of her life or career.
George Greenfield was her literary agent, and Imogen Smallwood her younger daughter. That’s Imogen’s autograph sticking out her book as I was lucky enough to meet her at my only Enid Blyton day in 2012.
The books from the back left are:
- The Enid Blyton Story – Bob Mullen
- The Enid Blyton Dossier by Brian Stewart and Tony Summerfield
- Who’s Who in Enid Blyton (the revised second edition) – Eva Rice
- The Story of My Life – Enid Blyton
- Enid Blyton – George Greenfield
- Looking For Enid – Duncan McLaren
- Enid Blyton: A Biography – Barbara Stoney
- So You Think You Know the Famous Five? – Clive Gifford
- Enid Blyton at Old Thatch – Tess Livingstone
- Who’s Who in Enid Blyton (the first edition) – Eva Rice
- The Blyton Phenomenon – Sheila Ray
- A Childhood at Green Hedges – Imogen Smallwood
- The Famous Five Everything You Ever Wanted to Know – Normal Wright
- Enid Blyton and Her Enchantment With Dorset – Dr Andrew Norman
- Tell Me About Enid Blyton – Gillian Baverstock
Shamefully I haven’t read as many of these as I should have!
The beginnings of many a series
As the title says these are all the first in their respective series.
They are from the back left (and working from top down in the stack) the first in the series below:
- Adventure Island– Helen Moss (14 books)
- Wells and Wong Mysteries – Robin Stevens (9)
- Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries – Sara Sheridan (7)
- Sookie Stackhouse – Charlaine Harris (13)
- Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling (7)
- Nightingales – Donna Douglas (11)
- Jackelian – Stephen Hunt (6)
- Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton (4)
- Famous Five – Enid Blyton (21)
- Dark Tower – Stephen King (7)
- Secret Seven – Enid Blyton (15)
- All the Wrong Questions – Lemony Snicket (4)
- Magician’s House – William Corlett (4)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket (13)
- Harper Connelly – Charlaine Harris (4)
- Noddy – Enid Blyton (24)
- Lone Pine – Malcolm Saville (20)
- Adventure – Enid Blyton (8)
- Evelyn Prentis’ Memoirs – Evelyn Prentis (5)
- A Song of Ice and Fire – George R R Martin (7)
- Call the Midwife – Jennifer Worth (3)
More book for your buck
When I uploaded this to Facebook the caption was:
Get more book for your buck by picking up an omnibus!
Get up to five books in one (cumbersome) volume!
Max out your library card and you could have up to fifty books at once! (And very long arms if you try to carry them all home at once).
I then pondered the plural of omnibus. Google suggested omnibuses is the standard but I quite liked omnibi and that would separate the books from the vehicles.
One of my first omnibi was a three in one Red Fox edition of The Naughtiest Girl books, and I asked what an “on-my-bus” was.
Reading in ten easy steps
Books with 1-10 in the title, but I had to cheat as I had nothing for 8!
- The Family from One End Street – Eve Garnett
- Two Points to Murder – Carolyn Keene
- Man with Three Fingers – Malcolm Saville
- 4 Blondes – Candace Bushnell
- Five Go Mystery Moor – Enid Blyton
- The Six Bad Boys – Enid Blyton
- Seven White Gates (the radio play script) – Malcolm Saville
- The ‘eight’ page from Ten Little Superheroes – Mike Brownlow
- A Mystery for Ninepence – Phyllis Gegan
- Ten Little Dinosaurs – Mike Brownlow
The magic of reading
Books with a magical connection.
The Enid Blytons are:
- The Magic Faraway Tree
- The Brownie’s Magic (and other stories)
- Noddy and the Magic Rubber
- The Spell that Went Wrong (and other stories)
- The Conjuring Wizard
There are also a few J. K. Rowlings, some Buffy and Charmed titles (the one with the pentagram at the back is a newish Buffy companion; The Official Grimoire), the Angel book is called Bruja which is witch in Spanish, Stardust by Neil Gaiman is set in a world full of magic, Wicked is what the stage play of the same name was based on, and tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Plus The Witches by Roald Dahl.
Read the rainbow
Title shamelessly stolen from the Skittles tagline.
- Red: The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger, In the Fifth at Malory Towers – Enid Blyton and The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly.
- Orange: Claudine at St Clare’s,, Well Done, Noddy and The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters – Enid Blyton.
- Yellow: Mischief at St Rollos, The Mystery of the Strange Messages and Noddy and His Car – Enid Blyton
- Green: Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens, Pea’s Book of Holidays – Susie Day and Come to the Circus! – Enid Blyton
- Blue: The Rise of the Iron Moon – Stephen Hunt, Noddy and the Aeroplane – Enid Blyton and The Children of Primrose Lane – Noel Streatfeild
- Purple: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling, Home Improvement Undead Edition – Charlaine Harris and Tony L.P. Kelner and Russian Roulette – Sara Sheridan.
- Pink: The Goddess Experience – Gisele Scanlon, Sue Barton Student Nurse – Helen Dore Boyleston and The Shuddering Mountain Game – Stephen Thraves
Books that say “Enid Blyton” on the cover but are not in fact by her at all.
A slight clue would be them being first published years after her death. These at least have the real author on the cover or inside, there are some out there who don’t credit the real author at all! (They’re mostly god awful so maybe that was deliberate…)
I’m really annoyed that I forgot to include the ‘Famous Five For Grownups‘ books by Bruno Vincent, but I did include books by Jean Willis, Anne Digby, Stephen Thraves, Elise Allen and Hugh Morgan amongst others.
That’s no moon
As you might have guessed these are books with moon in the title, including The Secret of Moon Castle. The title is from Star Wars when Obi Wan Kenobi realises that what they’ve thought was a moon is in fact a space station, aka the Death Star which is the ball at the front there (a tin full of mints, in reality).
I love Point Horror books as a teen and had a pretty big collection. I think the rest are still at my parents’ in the loft, these are my favourite ones which I took when I moved out.
April Fools absolutely terrified me the first time I read it. The Nightmare Hall series and the omnibus are all by Diane Hoh, one of the best Point Horror writers in my opinion, but my absolute favourites were the Forbidden Game Trilogy by L.J. Smith (who also wrote the Vampire Diaries books). I reread these not too long ago and they were just as good as I remember.
Not very inspired after the previous display but these were on the same shelf! I didn’t love Point Crime as much as horror, so I had a lot less. Again more are probably in my parents’ loft but these were the favourites, by Malcolm Rose and Anne Cassidy.
These all have either family or relatives in the titles.
Plenty which might interest Blyton fans so I’ll do a list again. Starting with the back left:
- Dead in the Family – Charlaine Harris
- The Family at Red Roofs, The Four Cousins, Four in a Family, The Caravan Family, The Seaside Family, The Queen Elizabeth Family, The Buttercup Farm Family and The Pole Star Family – Enid Blyton
- Darth Vader and Son – Jeffrey Brown
- The Parent Trap – Eric Kastner (upon which the two parent trap movies, starring Hayley Mills and Lindsay Lohan respectively, were based)
- One Thing or Your Mother – Kirsten Bayer
- The Family from One End Street – Eve Garnett
- Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss (turned into a great film with John Mills)
- The Saucy Jane Family – Enid Blyton
- Gemma and Sisters – Noel Streatfeild
- Little Sister: The Great Sister War – Allan Frewin Jones
- Swiss Family Robinson – Ladybird abridged version
- Six Cousins Again and Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm – Enid Blyton
- Sorority Sister – Diane Hoh
- Ramona and her Father – Beverley Cleary
- Little Sister: Summer Camp – Allan Frewin Jones
Cops and robbers
A few books about cops and/or robbers. Plus three of Brodie’s “nangs” as props. Nangs are any and all emergency vehicles as they (in his words) go nang-nang-nang on their way to emergencies.
Books set on islands, though not all have island in the title.
From back left:
- Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton (Kirrin Island)
- Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss (an East Indies island they name New Switzerland)
- Five on Kirrin Island Again – Enid Blyton (Kirrin Island, again)
- Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie (Neverland)
- The Island of Adventure – Enid Blyton (Isle of Gloom)
- The Coral Island – R. M. Ballantyne (a Polynesian South Pacific Island known only as The Coral Island)
- Jaws – Peter Benchley (Amity Island)
- Treasure Island – R. L. Stevenson (an island known only as Treasure Island)
- The Mystery of the Midnight Ghost – Helen Moss (Castle Key)
- Mysteries of Ravenstorm Island: The Lost Children – Gillian Philip (Ravenstorm Island)
- Kidnap in the Caribbean – Lauren St John (Antigua and Montserrat)
- The Island of Adventure – Hugh Morgan (Isle of Gloom)
N.B. Enid Blyton has said she read and loved The Coral Island as a girl.
A story of book titles
I’ve seen various stories and poems made up of book titles on social media, and it’s taken me ages to come up with one of my own. It’s really hard! The story I created was:
Hello, Mr Twiddle I’ll tell you a story by special request. I’ll tell you another story, the story of my life. Don’t be silly, Mr Twiddle! Never touch a dragon! Well really, Mr Twiddle! Definitely dead…
It rather sounds like something Mr Twiddle would do, while Mrs Twiddle shakes her head in despair at her foolish husband.
Nearly caught up now, as I’m in the mid 80s currently. I’m aiming for 100 displays then I think I’ll have to stop as I will have absolutely run out of ideas.