The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz cover

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was one of those children’s classics that I hadn’t got around to reading, until last week. Of course I have seen the film umpteen times, but the book is quite different which is just as well as it would have to have been double the length otherwise.

The first time I saw Toy Story it struck me that it was just a remake of The Wizard of Oz. It had the same moral.

There’s not much else to say about the book other than it’s well written and an enjoyable read and I will read the sequels. I was surprised that the book was first published in 1900, I hadn’t realised it was that old.

Otherwise I was really chuffed to discover that Baum was of German/Scottish/Irish and English ancestry. I have a theory that the vast majority of children’s classic literature has been written by people with Scottish blood in them, a consequence of what happens to people when they are brought up in a strict Presbyterian atmosphere, the imagination goes into overdrive. In Baum’s case he was brought up a Methodist, a similarly strict variety of Christianity.

I read this one as part of the Classics Club Challenge. I wasn’t sure if I should count it towards it as it’s a children’s book – but then I thought – why not?!

Book Purchases

We were in Edinburgh on Tuesday, right in the middle of the city – Princes Street, we don’t often go there but I wanted to visit the Habitat store. It was a bit of a shock to discover that Habitat has gone from Edinburgh, I knew the one in Glasgow had closed. I suppose we have the internet to blame for that, apparently it closed about five years ago and I’ve only just found out, so obviously they never made much money from me.

Anyway, we rarely go to Edinburgh without visiting Stockbridge, the secondhand bookshops are far more my cup of tea than the shops in Princes Street, or Shandwick Place for that matter. Stockbridge is about a 20 minute walk from the centre of Edinburgh and it’s like a wee separate town, with lots of independent shops – and charity shops of course. You can see some images of parts of Stockbridge here.

I was lucky bookwise as you can see.

books

A lot of them are childrens books, but I like to catch up on what I missed out on as a child. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Nancy Drew book, but I know that Joan @ Planet Joan is a big fan so I couldn’t resist buying:

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene.

The Marvelous Land of Oz by Frank Baum. I’ve yet to read The first Oz book although I have the second.

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff. It’s about Britain just after the Romans left, a dark time of change and upheaval. (Does it remind you of anything?!)

Once Upon a Time by A.A. Milne. This book was first published in 1917 but my copy is a 1962 reprint. It’s a series of hilarious adventures apparently – involving a cloak of darkness, magic swords and seven league boots. It sounds like fun – for children of all ages.

A Folly of Princes by the Scottish author Nigel Tranter is set in Fife where I live and involves some of the local castles and King Robert III, it should be interesting as although Tranter wrote fiction his books were well researched.

Crime at Christmas by C.H.B. Kitchin was first published in 1934 but this one is a 2015 reprint by Faber and Faber. I’m going to keep this one fro Christmas reading.

Lament for a Maker by Michael Innes – another Scottish author – was first published in 1938 and it was recommended to me by a blogger yonks ago. I have read a lot of his books, including the ones he wrote under the name J.I.M. Stewart and I always enjoy his writing.

I think you’ll agree that I had quite a successful day in Edinburgh – despite not being able to do my planned shopping in Habitat.