The Chain of Curiosity, By Sandi Toksvig

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The Independent Culture

This rumination on life's flotsum and jetsum reads like a voiceover of Toksvig's reassuringly whimiscal Radio 4 programme, Excess Baggage, complete with her lilting delivery, and inspires much the same wonderment and gentle chortles.

The collection of columns, originally written for the Sunday Telegraph, read as pithy diary entries but often contain a factual nugget or discussion at their centre.

She ranges her topics from starry tidbits about the likes of Jeffrey Archer (on Call My Bluff, shamefully) and Alice Walker ("I've been in the presence of so many literary women this week I feel about as articulate as a lorry"), to eccentric riffs on underwear and chaos theory - though she tempers the latter debate with an initial apology: "At the risk of giving you a headache on what may be your day off..."