Listellany: A Miscellany of Very British Top Tens, From Politics to Pop
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Which are the books that people buy but never read?* Discover the answers to this and other essential questions in Listellany. This is NOT a fact-based compendium. It's purely opinion - the opinions of John Rentoul, his readers - and, yes, Twitter. Eccentric and eclectic, this is a book for pub debaters, list boffins and language lovers up and down the land: come inside and join the debate. Every week in the Independent on Sunday John Rentoul publishes a top ten based on suggestions from the great British public. Now collected together for the first time, and featuring previously unpublished lists, Listellany provides the answers to such quintessential arguments as: which are the top ten overrated 1960s bands; meaningless words found on modern menus; films panned as turkeys that are actually quite good; most beautiful British railway journeys; stupid car names; unsung villains; political heckles; words that ought to be used more often; British place names; great bands with terrible names; best prime ministers we never had; visual cliches; political myths; anagrams; misquotations; worst Beatles songs; most interesting politicians. But who knows best? You, John, or Twitter?Pick up this book and decide. *The list includes books by both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
award-winning portion,’ said Paul T. Horgan. Fine new rolling stock, too. 5. Cambrian Coast Line in West Wales. 6. Hope Valley in Derbyshire. 7. West Highland Line from Mallaig to Oban in Scotland. 8. North Cotswold Line Andrew Adonis’s favourite. 9. Carstairs to Lockerbie on the West Coast Line. 10. Taunton to Penzance Including Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash and the Dawlish coast, now repaired. NEW CLICHÉS THAT SHOULD BE BANNED I have written a whole book, The Banned List,
a separate category for people’s names. In Nepal Alexander the Great is called Sikander. Cedric was an alteration or misspelling by Walter Scott in Ivanhoe of the Anglo-Saxon Cerdic. But the best example comes from the great Francis Wheen: I nominate Oprah Winfrey, who was originally called Orpah, after Ruth’s sister-in-law in the Old Testament (see book of Ruth, chapter 1). Here’s Oprah’s own account: ‘I was born, as I said, in rural Mississippi in 1954. I was born at home. There were not a
as a complete ‘ten’. Mathematical proof of Rentoul’s Theorem: If at first you don’t succeed, try something else. Ways to outwit Sherlock Holmes I thought it would be easy to come up with ten of these, given how slapdash Arthur Conan Doyle was about the original and those ridiculous mixed-up Tube trains in Steven Moffat’s tribute television series. Besides, Conan Doyle’s Holmes seemed to supply a fitting aphorism for this book: ‘It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are
Dartmoor to help with the investigation, Holmes mentions that on Tuesday evening, the horse’s owner and the police had telegraphed for his assistance on the case. Watson says, ‘Tuesday evening! And this is Thursday morning. Why didn’t you go down yesterday?’ To which Holmes replies, ‘Because I made a blunder, my dear Watson – which is, I am afraid, a more common occurrence than anyone would think who only knew me through your memoirs. The fact is that I could not believe it possible that the
Rapid Transit.’ Fred Walker, who thought this may be an invitation to charity. 18. Fire Fighting Lift. ‘Sign above a lift in my office. The idea of the lift fighting the fire has tickled me ever since I noticed it,’ says Peter Shearman. 19. Baggage trolleys must not be taken onto the platform for safety reasons. Heathrow Terminal 4 (Piccadilly Line), and at Gatwick Airport (National Rail). Taking them onto the platform for other reasons is, of course, fine. 20. Post No Bills. ‘I always thought