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  1. I have been gifted a wonderful book by a good friend, and it turns out to be the best book I have read in a long, long time. In fact, it's better even than the recently acquired 'Crap Taxidermy' - a head-turner in every way - and even outstrips 'Haggard Hawks and Paltry Poltroons', a thorough treatise on the origins of words. No, the winner is a fine tome named 'How to Sharpen Pencils' by David Rees, and it is simply astonishing in its breadth. So far I have learned the merits of different types of pencil sharpener (electric ones are evil and must be destroyed) and the injuries that can be sustained if exposed to incorrectly sharpened pencils. Also, I now know the correct warm-up exercises that must be carried out pre-sharpening. It is, I have to say, a masterpiece. And it makes a point.
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