Toksvig’s Almanac – Sandi Toksvig

Published by: Orion Publishing
Pages: 360
Date released: 12/11/2020
Date read: 20/11/2020

Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record.

These stories are interspersed with instructive tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia’s World Testicle Cooking Championship?

I absolutely adore Sandi Toksvig, and anyone who disagrees needs to revisit their priorities. Sandi needs to be protected at all costs as the national treasure that she is.

She manages to get all her love, passion, wit and knowledge into her Almanac and reading it is very much like what I imagine chatting to her is like.

I didn’t know what to expect when I pre-ordered it, mainly ordering it because of my love for her, and the cover looked pretty (a terrible reason I know, but I admit I often judge a book by its cover).

This Almanac follows important women in history; an important topic as I have recently finished writing a book about British women seemingly forgotten by history, and it was fascinating to find some of them in her book. One thing I will say though, is I didn’t know it was going to be 95% concerning female history (but as I’ve admitted earlier, I didn’t do much research on the book before buying it). I don’t have a problem with this at all, female historical figures need to be put on the map, but it would have been interesting to read about a mixture of historical figures, men and women. Maybe she needs to write Toksvig’s Almanac 2022 and include a more diverse group of people. This isn’t’ a negative on her choice of figures as such, but more a point of me wanting more!

I’m not sure who I would recommend this book to or who its intended audience is, except for anyone and everyone.

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