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Titles to make you laugh out loud. Or just smile. Or both.
In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney and his Japanese wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village. Even after more than a decade living in Japan and learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age – and they have two things in abundance: time and curiosity. Iain’s attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening and DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours and wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes and earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes and bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain’s garden. Told with self-deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen and affirms the positive benefits of immigration for the individual and the community. It’s not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.
488 Rules for Life is Kitty Flanagan's way of making the world a more pleasant place to live. Providing you with the antidote to every annoying little thing, these rules are not made to be broken. 488 Rules for Life is not a self-help book, because it's not you who needs help, it's other people. Whether they're walking and texting, asphyxiating you on public transport with their noxious perfume cloud, or leaving one useless square of toilet paper on the roll, a lot of people just don't know the rules. But thanks to Kitty Flanagan's comprehensive guide to modern behaviour, our world will soon be a much better place. A place where people don't ruin the fruit salad by putting banana in it ... where your co-workers respect your olfactory system and don't reheat their fish curry in the office microwave ... where middle-aged men don't have ponytails ... Other rules to live by include: 1. Men must wear shorts over leggings The gym is no place for people to discover whether or not you are circumcised. That's a private discussion for another place and time. 2. Team bonding activities should be optional Some people love it when management decides that an afternoon of bowling or paintballing or (god forbid) karaoke will help everyone work better as a team. Others would rather be dead. 3. Don't ever mention your 'happy place' To me, this sounds less like a pleasant, fun state of mind and more like some kind of utopian wank palace you've had built in the basement. What started as a personal joke is now a quintessential reference book with the power to change society. (Or, at least, make it a bit less irritating.)
The Private Eye Annual 2019 presents the year's best cartoons, jokes, parodies and topical sketches from the UK's most successful satirical news and current affairs magazine. The Private Eye Annual remains a perennial Christmas bestseller, the perfect secret Santa gift for under a tenner!
A surgical-stocking-filler from the author of record-breaking million copy bestseller This Is Going To Hurt Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
A stimulating, fresh, and thoughtful read that ponders and wanders through some of the big questions in philosophy. When I initially picked this book up, I did wonder whether it was a quirky guide to training your dog, I very quickly realised that it is in fact an interesting introduction to philosophy (for humans). The author Anthony McGowan is an award winning writer for children and young adults, and has lectured widely on creative writing and philosophy (he has a BA, Mphil and PhD in philosophy). He has joined the two together to produce the most fabulous book for anyone who has questions about the way we humans think and act. The author and his dog Monty chat about philosophy on their daily walks. And so we join them as they take a humorous light stroll through some really pretty big subjects, including happiness and ethics. It made me consider and think about some of the things I take for granted, the discussion between the two helps stimulate thoughts. There is one part where I simultaneously wanted to berate and hug the pair, you’ll know what I mean when you get there! At the end there are suggestions for further reading, including on logic, and the meaning of life. If you’re at all curious about philosophy and want a fascinating introduction, then look no further than How To Teach Philosophy to Your Dog as it is a wonderfully inspiring read.
Modern Toss: Work is Shit is a book of hilarious cartoons by Jon Link and Mick Bunnage, who together make up Modern Toss. Some of the cartoons have appeared previously in The Guardian or Private Eye but most are to be seen here for the first time. Set in the workplace, as the title suggests, and containing some bad language, they are extremely funny because they are so true, putting into words what so many of us are thinking and have wanted to say on finding ourselves in similar situations. So well-drawn too, with expressions and body language conveyed in just a few pen strokes. My very favourite takes place at the water cooler (as so much does!), where a male colleague is telling his female counterpart that he has 'been really enjoying working here since I started pretending it was some ropey reality TV show'. On a slightly more serious note, the changes brought about by the introduction of more technology and issues like sexual harassment, health and safety and stress are also addressed in a humorous way. Utterly irreverent and often absurd, these clever satirical cartoons will have you in stitches...I just wish there were more of them. Guess I'll just have to wait for the next edition. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life? She decided to test one book a month for a year, following their advice to the letter. What would happen if she followed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could she unearth The Secret to making her dreams come true? What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life - but not necessarily for the better . . . Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who's ever dreamed of finding happiness.
A sharply amusing and captivating memoir based on the attempt of the author to make a new life in France. Tommy Barnes and his girlfriend escape the 9-5 of the UK after being made redundant. Surrounded by animals, friendly locals, and stunning countryside, Tommy struggles to start a micro-brewery in the heart of the Loire Valley. The author is more than happy to poke fun at himself, he is also incredibly honest. His writing ensured I didn’t feel too badly as I chortled, smirked and raised my eyebrows as he somewhat stumbles through life. Rather stealing the show is Burt the dog, described by Tommy as squat, surly and defiant, Burt makes it his life mission to cause chaos wherever he is. I also just have to mention the gorgeous cover, which most definitely called out to me. ‘A Beer in the Loire’ is an engaging, ever so entertaining read, oh, and there are several recipes for beer too, how fabulous!
The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder! Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the podcasting world. In Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being 'nice' or 'helpful.' They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness. My Favorite Murder started as a way for Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark to work through their fears. Now it's a worldwide community.... Even its darkest moments are lightened by Karen and Georgia's effortlessly funny banter and genuine empathy. - RollingStone.com Praise for My Favorite Murder: Wildly popular.... In many ways, the subversive charm of [My Favorite Murder] is today's answer to riot grrrl, the D.I.Y. feminist punk movement of the 1990s. -The New York Times [My Favorite Murder] empowers listeners by offering practical advice for survival and self-care and by using comedy to deflate the scariness of these topics. -TheAtlantic.com Morbid [and] mirthful. -Entertainment Weekly Truly next-level.... hilarious, brutally honest, and totally addicting. -Nylon.com Wildly entertaining. -Refinery29 One of the most successful podcasts in history. -TheWashingtonPost.com Known for her biting wit and musical prowess, Karen Kilgariff has been a staple in the comedy world for decades. As a performer, she has appeared on Mr. Show, The Book Group and Conan. She was the head writer for the first five years of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, then transitioned to scripted, writing for shows like Other Space, Portlandia, and Baskets. Her musical comedy album Live At The Bootleg was included in Vulture's Top 9 of 2014 and in Stitcher's Top 11 of 2014. Georgia Hardstark has enjoyed a successful career as a food writer and Cooking Channel on-camera personality, including co-hosting a travel/adventure/party show called Tripping Out, and a regular gig on Cooking Channel's #1 show, Unique Sweets. She caps that off as a frequent guest narrator on Comedy Central's hit show Drunk History.
A devastatingly hilarious satire that cuts closer to the truth of than any nonfiction account: The creator and star of Comedy Central's acclaimed The President Show opens the vault and imagines Donald J. Trump's presidential archives, exposing documents from his childhood in Queens to his toddlerhood in the Oval Office. The Presidential Archives. Every other president has made a mess of it. Barack Obama is currently spending millions of dollars (probably trillions, if you want to know the truth) building a monument to himself. And they don't even charge admission at these places! No wonder this country is a zillion dollars in debt. And what's the point?!: These guys are already out of office and old news. We hate to say it, folks, but the presidential library is totally broken and needs to be made great again. America, we herewith present the FIRST AND ONLY presidential library to be released in real time, while the president is still in office. (Why delay?) But wait, THERE'S MORE! Who wants the hassle of having to go to some boring building in the middle of nowhere? (The Eisenhower Library is in Abilene, Kansas - yikes!) What if you could have your favorite president's library delivered to your home, today! THAT'S NOT ALL! What if you could carry that library with you EVERYWHERE! Introducing THE DONALD J. TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL ARCHIVES: VOLUME 1. It's all here: the 45th U.S. president's letters, diaries, Oval Office recordings, Moscow hotel tapes, grand jury testimony, sealed indictments, financial records, subpoenas, dossiers, Michael Cohen recordings, AND SO MUCH MORE! Never has wisdom been so accessible! It's the last book you will ever need to buy. Or maybe just the last book published, period. Get yours NOW before the first amendment is abolished! Don't miss VOLUME 2: THE PRISON YEARS - coming soon! Hopefully!
What's the worst that can happen? Are there aliens out there somewhere? What happens when I die? In Do You Know What?, our favourite sportsman-turned-comedian-slash-leftfield-thinker Freddie Flintoff expels an eclectic and entertaining smorgasbord of anecdotes, impressions, reflections, ruminations, musings, cogitations, observations, rants, confessions and pearls of wisdom on all aspects of life's rich tapestry. As a prolific philosopher of life's most unfathomable questions, Freddie uses his own inexplicable experiences - from the sublime: giving up booze, shopping in Poundland with his family, exploring the wonders of the universe with his mates; to the ridiculous: wrestling with WWE's finest, singing in a musical on the West End, pranking teammates - to help us all gain the comfort of his life mantra: What's the worst that can happen? Do You Know What? is an unexpectedly helpful, occasionally silly and absorbing brain dump on life and everything it holds, from one of Britain's most-loved national treasures.
Discover the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi alongside the wit of Groucho Marx in a collection of the greatest and most memorable quotations from across the centuries: an entertaining compendium of themed quotes from the greatest minds, orators, celebrities, writers and politicians that ever lived. Funny and profound, there are gems here for everyone. Struggling to recall those elusive quotes and sayings? With this thematic approach, The Times has the answer with a selection of the best one-liners across multiple topics and including a people index to help you find who and what you are looking for. Marvel at the wisdom of the ancients and laugh at the outrageous quips of the great and good Philosophy, politics, sex, marriage, humour all in one condensed package A full list of themes and people index make finding your way through the book so much easier Quotations include contributions from: Jane Austen, Simone de Beauvoir, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Truman Capote, Confucius, Charles Darwin, Horace, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Olga Korbut, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, George Orwell, Pablo Picasso, Plato, Ronald Reagan, Bertrand Russell, Mother Teresa, Oscar Wilde.
Edward Estlin Cummings knew a thing or two (take a look at our Poetry Section if you don’t believe us!) and we have to agree with him. Humour is at the heart of human life and you’ll find it in fine form in this section. From favourite TV shows to quirky memoirs; hilarious novels to witty verse; books to dip into, books to devour. We know that humour is subjective and so we’ve spread the net pretty wide as we trawled the comedy oceans for the funniest fish. Un’shellfish’ly, we’ve compiled monthly lists of eclectic recommendations so that you can easily find whatever tickles your fins. There are books here to give as gifts, to savour on your own, or to enjoy with others. Books of laugh out-loud jokes and anecdotes to make you smile on the train, plane, bus or any other public place. After all, laughter is infectious. Spread it around.