#amreading – What, Why, While : Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig

What (am I currently reading)?

I am currently listening to the audio book Between the StopsThe View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus, by Sandi Toksvig, and narrated by Sandi herself.  The paperback has been available for nearly a year, and the audio book for a little longer.  The publisher is Virago. 

Book Blurb (taken from  www.audible.co.uk )

This long-awaited memoir from one of Britain’s best-loved celebrities – a writer, broadcaster, activist, comic on stage, screen and radio for nearly 40 years, presenter of QI and Great British Bake Off star – is an autobiography with a difference: as only Sandi Toksvig can tell it.  

Between the Stops is a sort of a memoir, my sort. It’s about a bus trip really, because it’s my view from the Number 12 bus (mostly top deck, the seat at the front on the right), a double-decker that plies its way from Dulwich, in South East London, where I was living, to where I sometimes work – at the BBC, in the heart of the capital. It’s not a sensible way to write a memoir at all, probably, but it’s the way things pop into your head as you travel, so it’s my way’.    

From London facts including where to find the blue plaque for Una Marson, ‘The first black woman programme maker at the BBC’, to discovering the best Spanish coffee under Southwark’s railway arches; from a brief history of lady gangsters at Elephant and Castle to memories of climbing Mount Sinai and, at the request of a fellow traveller, reading aloud the Ten Commandments; from the story behind Pissarro’s painting of Dulwich Station to performing in Footlights with Emma Thompson; from painful memoires of being sent to Coventry while at a British boarding school to thinking about how Wombells Travelling Circus of 1864 haunts Peckham Rye; from anecdotes about meeting Prince Charles, Monica Lewinsky and Grayson Perry to Bake-Off antics; from stories of a real and lasting friendship with John McCarthy to the importance of family and the daunting navigation of the Zambezi River in her father’s canoe, this Sandi Toksvig-style memoir is, as one would expect and hope, packed full of surprises.   

A funny and moving trip through memories, musings and the many delights on the Number 12 route, Between the Stops is also an inspiration to us all to get off our phones, look up and to talk to each other because, as Sandi says, ‘Some of the greatest trips lie on our own doorstep’.

©2019 Sandi Toksvig (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

Why (have I chosen to read it)?

I’m reading it because I’m a great fan of Sandi Toksvig, and was interested to know a little more about her. 

While (I  am reading it) 

I visited Kufstein, with its magnificent fortress  (I must look up the difference between a fortress and a castle!).  At mid-day the organ from within the fortress grounds is played and the music resounds over the town – a very memorable experience.  Situated on the River Inn (think Innsbruck), the town is a mixture of old and new, and a lovely place to stroll around. 

My review of Between the Stops will be up soon, for other biographies/memoirs I have read, and reviewed, take a look at my Biographies / Memoirs page on EmmabBooks.com

All the best, Emma

1 reply »

  1. I just loved Sandi Toksvig in The Great British Bake off! This sounds like a lovely memoir.

    Your photo of the fortress is spectacular, what a wonderful place to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

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