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Peas and Queues

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  851 ratings  ·  116 reviews
How do you get rid of unwanted guests? What do you do if there's a racket in the quiet carriage? How should you eat peas, and behave in queues? How to behave, like how to punctuate, is an aspect of life that many are no longer taught. Thankfully, Sandi Toksvig has come to the rescue with her entertaining guide to modern manners, with characteristic wit and perceptiveness.
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by W F Howes Ltd (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  851 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Faith Spinks
I'm considering starting a new book shelf titled "whatever possessed me!" with this one first to join it. I thought this book might be an amusing look at the things we take as good manners and where they stem from. I was wrong... it was not! I was disappointed and bored throughout. Why I did not give up earlier I am not sure, but by the time I'd reached the latter stage of the book I was determined to finish it. I only managed this by already choosing my next book as something I really wanted to ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review first posted on BookLikes:

Usually, I try to start my reviews with a quote that I think encapsulates what either what the book is about, or the mood, or something else that strikes me about the book.
I was having a hard time to find a quote from Peas & Queues that would encapsulate any of this.

When I went out for breakfast with a friend on Sunday, he - who likes Sandi Toksvig when she's on tv - asked me what the book was about, and for the first time
This is a book about modern manners/etiquette for a 21-century average person. Which means that it needs Sandi Toksvig's lovely dry sense of humor. If you get this in audiobook format you won't regret it. It was great!

What I did was get a bundle: I got the ebook from Amazon which gave me a discount on the audiobook. I had a chance to annotate on the ebook while listening to Sandi Toksvig while she imparted wisdom about forks and their origin.

That's another thing I liked about this book, you get
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not sure what other people were expecting with this: luckily, I approached it for exactly what it is, a book which offers advice on all sorts of situations and how to navigate them with dignity and politeness. Sort of like Captain Awkward, but more formal, and less tailored to a specific individual or situation. It contains all sorts of advice from dealing with family life to what to do at weddings and funerals.

It even touches on some etiquette that seems obvious when you hear it, but which
The introduction to this is excellent; several lines made me laugh out loud. The bulk of the book, however, is - well, it's an etiquette guide. In fairness, it doesn't pretend to be anything else, and it is presented with Toksvig's usual clever dry wit. I suspect if anyone was going to write an entertaining book about protocol and good behaviour, it would be her, but I suspect there's a fairly low limit for how much of a page-turner any guide to manners can be.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, mind the gap, don't jump the queue, clean up after yourself, change the toilet rolls, don't steal others' milk or cookies and I don't know what else...maybe don't try to invade Russia during winter?

I don't really know why adults have to read this book?
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 26%

I love Sandi Toksvig. Just want to get that out the way first.

I thought this would be an interesting and quirky book about the history of formal manners, how they developed and whether they are relevant to the modern age etc. Instead it's just a list of instructions that are either obvious (don't be rude to your waiter, it's rude to check your phone at the table) or unlikely to come up in most people's life unless you are attending some really fancy parties (e.g. how to use a finger bo
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I know the author from her work on radio and the 'voice' of this book was destinctly hers. I'm sure many will say that this covers what is only common sense, but if that were true they possibly wouldn't be so commonly disregarded. Manners make life easier for everyone; if we grasp that we can make life a little happier for ourselves and those around us.
Caroline Cormack
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Delightfully entertaining and educational read, even if your manners are already impeccable.
Gary Leach
Mar 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tedious, dull, dreary, unfunny. That enough warning? :) Don't bother reading in other words.
Sandi Toksvig takes us on a gentle, polite tour through a subject that's rife with pitfalls and faux pas: manners.

I adore Sandi Toksvig, and hope I get to meet her someday, if only to get one of her highly-prized hugs and to see that smile in person. She always makes me laugh, and she offers pert, and pertinent, commentary on most subjects that either feeds my confirmation bias or gives me a new way to look at an old subject. Case in point - manners.

Scattered throughout this primer on everythi
Sharon Terry
I was disappointed in this book. I'd enjoyed watching Sandi Toksvig on QI, when she took over from Stephen Fry (hard act to follow!) and she did so well I was looking forward to the same humour in her writing. Unfortunately, I didn't really find it. It's there in small pieces, but the text quickly deteriorates into a list of Do's and Don'ts. It also seems mainly oriented to young adults, yet my library (I borrowed rather than bought it, thank god) has classified it as "adult non-fiction".

I thin
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a lot of us I am quite angry, quite a lot of the time right now. I wanted something light and amusing and this certainly fit the bill on that front- however it also underlined a lot of the things that are making me cross at the moment, so many of the ills of the world would be solved if we just paid a little more attention to being considerate to the feelings, rights and lives of those around us. It don't think everything would be fixed if we all knew which fork to use at dinner, but I do t ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will admit right off the mark that I am a huge fan of Sandi Toksvig, which has probably coloured by opinion of this book.

Regardless, I enjoyed the deep dive into the etiquette of various situations, even if I can't say that I necessarily agree with all of it.

Sandi's narration of her book was stellar; I always enjoy it when an author reads there own book as there is something about hearing a book exactly as the author intended it that makes it extra special.
Rakie Keig
valiant attempt at doing an updated etiquette book for the current times, however some of the advice is already sounding a little dated (the section about Twitter, where she notes Lady Gaga has many more followers than Barack Obama, feels like a whole other era now), and other bits don't seem to take neurodiverse folks into account (for example, the insistence that you should always look people in the eye when talking to them, and you should teach your kids to do the same). The anecdotes are qui ...more
Ruth Brumby
This seems a bit like a book designed to be sold as a Christmas present, but I think Sandi Toksvig may have taken it rather seriously. It is full of interesting facts and humorous anecdotes, but I think there is a flaw with the basic premise: if you needed the information on courtesy you probably wouldn't read the book. I quite enjoyed it, but wouldn't particularly recommend it.... Quite a few 'but's!
Tracey Mooney
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the unabridged audio version which is read by Sandi Toksvig. Very enjoyable and funny. I suspect that most of the entertainment value is in her can not help but be amused by her dry and witty social observations. I'm not sure I would appreciate it in the same way if I were reading the book. I highly recommend the audio book version, each chapter is like a Radio episode. (less)
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-e-reader
This is a mixture of sound advice about manners concerned with everything from womb to tomb and beyond. It would be fairly dull if it were not interspersed with Sandi's humorous comments and frequent quotations from historical sources. I enjoyed reading it and might even refer back to it for occasional advice.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In someone else's hands, this would have been a drab and condescending manual but Toksvig really does make you want to read on: not just because of her wit and humour but because of the anecdotes and etymology that the book is littered with. A pick up, put down browsable book but, boy, do you get caught up in it.
Put simply : "Mahabharata of Hinduism declares, ‘This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others what would cause pain if done to you’, while the Jewish Talmud instructs ‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary’ and the Christian Bible follows on with ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to get along with your fellow human beings

This book is an enjoyable exploration of the dos and don't s of daily life, well explained in clear terms that everyone should be able to understand. The trick is to remember them and put them into practice. This book is well worth reading and learning from.
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thought I might achieve some advise as to how you might react in awkward situations and such but throughout it was a list of (what ought to be at least) instinctive reactions, and if not this posh manners of which I have no interest for.
What was slightly interesting was the historical facts.
Wouldn't recommend
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book's content was really helpful and in fact, quite amazing. However, the narrator's voice was so overly dramatized throughout the entire book that I couldn't hear with good comprehension even at 1.5x the speed. Excessive dramatization of the voice made the whole experience overly annoying. Seems like a great book to read but not worth it if you're going to listen to it.
Nikki Chee
Sandi is smart and hilarious, but I couldn't personally quite find a place of interest for her no nonsense book. Perhaps I will pick it up again when it's more relevant to where I am, or pass it on to someone who could benefit from its reading.
Caroline Magill
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy going, fun read.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Disappointing. All seemed pretty obvious and common sense.
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
A fun instructive on proper behavior. History and some fun quotes from myriad sources make this book more than just a "how to" on manners.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
I adore Sandi Toksvig and would read pretty much anything by her, so I saw this one through to the end even though it was a bit silly.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ì found this entertaining, light funny and made me think again about some unthinking habits.
Stephanie Mortimore
Light and entertaining in parts - I enjoyed the anecdotes especially if I imagined Sandi retelling them
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Danish/British writer, presenter, comedian, actress and producer on British radio and television. She currently presents The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4 and 1001 Things You Should Know on Channel 4. In October 2012 she succeeded Sheila Hancock as Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.

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