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Our new Humour / Light-hearted section is the perfect fiction category for lifting your spirits, so have a giggle or a chuckle with the latest releases.
A quirky, smirky, entertaining slice of fabulous. Covert ops detective Jan Nyman finds himself investigating a death in a holiday village in Finland and a rather striking lady just happens to be the suspect. I will admit to being rather excited about this novel, Antti Tuomainen’s last offering was the wonderful The Man Who Died which was shortlisted for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. The first paragraph of Palm Beach, Finland is beautifully written, it quite literally slapped my attention and I settled in with something approaching ghoulish glee! A wonderful wave of dark humour rolls through this novel gathering raised eyebrows and snorts. The cast increases, the action builds, and oh how my tummy and mind tied themselves in knots as the story spun in ever decreasing eccentric circles. I just want to applaud David Hackston as I completely forgot I was reading a translation. I thoroughly, completely and totally recommend Palm Beach, Finland, do grab yourself a copy and pop a do not disturb sign on your door!
The most hilarious debut you will read this year. Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what's best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a 'normal' family Christmas. They can't agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did - and it's too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He's a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends - where this story starts - with a tearful, frightened, call to the police... But what happened? They said they'd all be adults about this...
A bang up-to-date, bright, hugely entertaining read set in the world of social media. Digital marketing agency owner and ultra competitive Annie and her business may be up for three awards, however they still need their clients to pay on time, otherwise the business may be over before it can really establish itself. A rather demanding bet, to make a stranger famous on instagram in just 30 days, leads Annie into a Pygmalion dance of discovery. Lindsey Kelk really does have the most delightfully amusing and engaging writing style. I often found myself smirking and at several points actually snorting with laughter. The supporting characters surrounding Annie are wonderful in their own right, and help create an all-embracing world. The romance element forms beautifully, in no particular rush, allowing time to get to know Annie and friends and really care about them. ‘One in a Million’ is lively, lovely, friendly and absolutely perfect if you like your romance served with wit and humour.
An absolute belter of a novel, amusing, poignant, and hugely entertaining. This is a follow-up to the bestseller I Don’t Know How She Does It, however it could be read without prior knowledge of Kate Reddy's earlier life. Kate herself is fast heading towards 50 and invisibility, life however refuses to listen and keeps setting devious traps. I don't believe that you have to have passed or be nearing 50, to be a parent or even a woman, to be captivated by this tale of family drama. Allison Pearson writes with a witty, exceedingly realistic pen and I found myself nodding along, both smirking and wincing as I read. How Hard Can It Be captures life, proper gutsy, difficult, yet wonderful life, and while making you smile, also makes you think, I loved it.
Warm, enticing, and hugely enjoyable, ‘A Summer Scandal’ is a perfect summery read to take a moment for yourself and relax into. Oh what a joy of read this was, deliciously entertaining and just so easy to just sink into and become a part of. 25 year old vintage costumer Violet follows her heart after receiving an inheritance and moves to Swallow Beach to breathe life back into an abandoned pier. Meeting resistance from some locals, she also finds friends, including the rather lovely Calvin. Kat French has a wonderfully light touch, crafting entertaining, welcoming books with a beautiful heartbeat. I loved getting to know Violet, discovering her background, and what made her tick. The romance is heavenly but not the be all and end all, Violet’s family, friends and the exquisite pier ensures even more meaning and satisfaction. Warm, enticing and hugely enjoyable, ‘A Summer Scandal’ is a perfect summery read.
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 For fans of David Nicholls and Richard Curtis movies, this is an observational, tender and heart-warming drama about the trials and tribulations of spending a week with your family at Christmas. What a beautiful, perceptive, absorbing read this is. Family drama… yes, yet it’s more. Relationship tale… yes, yet it’s much more. Incredibly readable… oh yes yes yes! The Birch family are due to spend the seven days over Christmas at their holiday home in Norfolk in strict quarantine, as doctor Olivia has been in Liberia treating a serious epidemic. The prologue and first chapter take hold of this family, and toss their lives sky-high, I was well and truly hooked, and found myself reluctant to put the book down, even for a second. Francesca Hornak writes with empathy yet she cuts through to the heart of things, creating a believable, relatable, touchable family. As events spiralled out of control, yet in ever decreasing circles, and relationships unravelled, I wondered where on earth we were all going to end up. The ending is as satisfying and emotionally enthralling as the journey to reach it. ‘Seven Days of Us’ is a terrific read, I savoured every word, and I can’t wait to see what Francesca Hornak offers next. ~ Liz Robinson
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | October 2017 Book of the Month An absolute belter of a novel, amusing, poignant, and hugely entertaining. This is a follow-up to the bestseller I Don’t Know How She Does It, however it could be read without prior knowledge of Kate Reddy's earlier life. Kate herself is fast heading towards 50 and invisibility, life however refuses to listen and keeps setting devious traps. I don't believe that you have to have passed or be nearing 50, to be a parent or even a woman, to be captivated by this tale of family drama. Allison Pearson writes with a witty, exceedingly realistic pen and I found myself nodding along, both smirking and wincing as I read. How Hard Can It Be captures life, proper gutsy, difficult, yet wonderful life, and while making you smile, also makes you think, I loved it. ~ Liz Robinson
April 2017 Debut of the Month. Oh my word, this is an eyebrow raising, mouth openingly good read. A contemporary tale about three women, muddling and battling their way through this world as best they can. Emotional growing pains can occur at any age, life doesn't run smoothly, and these three women hold out the hand of friendship to all of us. We see and feel deeply hidden thoughts, witness shockingly embarrassing moments, and I found myself wincing at their pain, snorting with laughter, and cheering them on. Dawn O’Porter has written a stonkingly good read, I stayed up well past my bedtime into the early hours in order to finish it in one sitting. My feelings went into free fall and occasionally tied themselves up in knots as I read. ‘The Cows’ slams with impact, slaps adversity in the face, and offers supportive understanding in our modern world. Highly recommended! ~ Liz Robinson
This is a book for parents to share with their children and indeed for parents to indulge in themselves as they bring back memories of their childhood adventures with the irrepressable Rupert Bear. This is a complete history of Rupert, beautifully presented that provides a fascinating story of how one little bear became a national treasure. It begins with Rupert's first appearance in The Express newspaper and charts his journey to the present day, paying particular attention to the writers and artists who have brought him to life over the years. In his ninetieth year, Rupert Bear is still one of the most popular characters in literature, beloved by generations of children. This book gives a unique insight into the secrets of his success.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 November 2009. Always topical, Ben Elton centres his new book around the credit crunch. Following his characters from their days at university, through the highs of their careers and domestic lives and up to the point where financial crisis hits and turns their pampered, blissful lives around. Brilliantly crafted characters and Elton's scathing wit make for another very funny and well observed novel.
This feels more like the Ben Elton from the days of Gridlock and Stark so if you are a fan you’ll know that this is going to give you a bit more to get your teeth into than perhaps the last few of his modern satires have. There will be inevitable comparisons to Orwell’s 1984 but Elton writes with his own inimitable style and humour. This storyline is a scary idea that doesn’t seem too far from a possible reality.
The story is told in a series of emails. Not a new phenomenon and perhaps quite reflective of the way people tend to communicate with each other nowadays but this is a very funny book and for anyone who does communicate via email it will all seem very familiar. Due to the format this will be a quick read but thoroughly enjoyable
The third novel in the “Merde” series is the best one yet. You don’t have to have read the first two to thoroughly enjoy Paul West’s exploits as he and his French girlfriend travel across the States. English, French and American points of view all clashing together make for a brilliantly funny read and his cheeky style makes for a refreshing read.The books so far in this series are as follows:-1. A Year in the Merde2. Merde Actually3. Merde Happens
A good read for all those grown up naughty school boys who wish they could have got away with everything. Imagine being sent to a school where you are encouraged to hone all those mischievous skills you were previously punished for demonstrating. You will find yourself routing for the characters even though you know you shouldn’t but just enjoy the guilty pleasure.
Back to his modern satires, for his last novel The First Casualty was historical, very special and unusual. With this one he returns to the familiar social territory of Dead Famous and Past Mortem. It centres around the TV Pop Idol shows and the backbiting celebrity world surrounding it. Some quirky characters and amusing ideas, but not his best, although very clever, and as a Ben Elton fan it’s a ‘must read’.Similar this month: None but try Kevin Sampson.Comparison: Stephen Fry, Rupert Morgan, Christopher Buckley.
Another wacky collection of irritating letters covering such diverse subjects as purchasing, filteration “heads” for filteration of ant seed, getting sponsorship for the world’s biggest quiz, (all participants to be over seven feet tall), to enquiring what tennis whales might be. It’s all good Christmas giggle stuff that should end up in the loo for the rest of the year.
A brilliant portrayal of growing up and being young, about sex and love and rock and roll and about the dreams of youth colliding head-on with the grown-up world. A pivotal moment in many a young person's life and for the author, this time in question was 1977, the year Elvis died. And yet, the youth of today will find much in the book that resonates with their life now just as it will for the youth of the '70s and '80s.
Very early on we learn that boring, frightened Murray has only a few months to live. Have you thought about it? I have, and in many ways Iâd do what this character does â€¦ live a bit, only I hope I donât attract his problems! This is wacky stuff, written with rip-roaring pace, full of hilarious and unlikely scenarios and weird but lovable characters, a true comic novel of style. Catch his email novel, e, too and an equally crazy media one, The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt.Comparison: John OâFarrell, Mike Gayle, David Nicholls.Similar this month: Frank Schaeffer, Alistair Beaton.
The king of social satire with a tale of gruesome murders linked to the new craze of retracing one’s past through the web – Friends Reunited. He writes beautifully, a very clever man. You must try him. Comparison: Stephen Fry, Rupert Morgan’s Let There Be Lite, David Nobbs.Similar this month: None but do try William Nicholson or William Sutcliffe.
To have or to have not, baby or no baby? Tony Parsons tackles the burning question from the different points of view of three couples and discovers Mother Nature can be one hell of a bitch! Heartwarming, sensitive and oh so true, this is modern living to a tee. Comparison: Nick Hornby, John O’Farrell, John Harding.Similar this month: Matthew Sharpe, Pauline McLynn.
A hip, slick, fast, fun first novel, a romp lampooning the shallow world of daytime television as our rather sad protagonist fights to be recognised.
A powerful tale of crudity and violence as a seventeen year old, recently released from reform school for murdering his abusive foster father, searches for the truth about his real dad. It's raw, moving and tough and interestingly is written by a world famous wrestler.
Read, Learn & Laugh!