Discovering Surnames: Their Origins and Meanings by J.W. Freeman

As this week’s Random Book of the Week I chose an old book of my Nan‘s, Discovering Surnames, as I wanted to show you the very cute retro 80s book cover. I thought I’d better actually read it before posting. No fraudulent activity on Brontë’s Page Turners. Well I’m glad I spent Sunday afternoon with…

Yosl Rakover Talks To God by Zvi Kolitz (1946)

On Holocaust Memorial Day, this week’s Random Book of The Week is both a classic of Holocaust literature, and a curious literary phenomenon. Zvi Kolitz (1919-2002) was a Lithuanian Jew who left his homeland in the thirties to live in Italy and then Palestine, where he led recruiting efforts for the Zionist Revisionist movement and…

Les Tres Riches Heures Du Duc De Berry (1416)

This week’s Random Book of the Week was a beautiful bargain find at one of the legendary basement sales at Any Amount of Books in Charing Cross Road. These basement sales tend to turn London bibliophiles into madder versions of their already mad bibliophile selves. I once got chatting to a very old man who,…

The Englishman At War, edited by John Freeman (1941)

I must start this week’s Random Book of the Week with a confession: a long line of theft led to me possessing this book. I ‘borrowed’ it from my parental abode a few years ago, my dad had himself ‘borrowed’ it from his own parental abode many years before that, and we think my Granddad…

The Fairy Flute by Rose Fyleman (1921)

This week’s Random Book of the Week is a 1920s poetry collection for children, all about the little fairies that might live at the bottom of our gardens. Through writing about the ‘fairy folk’ for children, Rose Fyleman became one of the most successful children’s writers of her generation. This collection (there were others, including…

The Humour of Charles Lamb

This week’s Random Book of the Week is false advertising but enjoyable nonetheless. Look at this picture: does this chap seem like a humorous man to you? Poor sod. To be fair, Charles Lamb didn’t have a particularly enjoyable life (have a look here if you want to know why) so I suggest cutting him…

The History of Myddle by Richard Gough (1701)

This week’s random book of the week flavours social history with a Heat magazine vibe. So in 1701 this fella Richard Gough (1635-1723) compiled the history of every family which held a pew in the church at Myddle, a small village in Shropshire. On first appraisal, he is rather like Paul Whitehouse’s character on Harry…