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Titles to make you laugh out loud. Or just smile. Or both.
'Obscene Genes: The Ride of a Lifetime' is Steve O'Grady's third book of entertaining scientific theories. As a graduate in bio-science, the study of which he undertook as a mature student after a variety of jobs, the author uses his life experiences and great sense of humour to try to explain what it is that makes us tick. His conclusion is that our genes are the things that drive everything we do throughout our lives. They alone are responsible for our behaviour, whether that be deemed good (such as caring for babies, appreciating grandmas and being loyal friends), bad (from being greedy, inventing and using guns, to getting disgustingly drunk) or downright ugly (indulging in extreme pornography, racism and violent revenge). We should, therefore, not be surprised or shocked by nor too critical of any of these behaviours, as they are being forced upon us by our genes' relentless need to replicate themselves. Even the apparent disregard by many younger people of the current Covid-19 restrictions can be put down to this over-riding force compelling us to give in to basic instincts and share our genes. By the author's own admission, however, this was not the book he had set out to write, so, after discarding most of his original work, he amalgamated the remainder with the section just described. The following few pages then proceed to explain the very complex workings of the human gene replication system by way of an even more complex analogy of train carriages, passengers, platforms and timetables! The reader will soon get the gist though. The final section is a veritable romp through some very funny and/or poignant personal experiences from the author's childhood family life, his single-sex Catholic school career and from his work as a prison officer. It may seem that the author is condoning all manner of behaviours, as, according to him, we could rightly claim that 'it wasn't my fault, my genes made me do it'. But no. The reader is left in no doubt that Mr O'Grady believes in free will and urges us, at all costs, to use it as often as possible and thwart our genes, which would have us do things that, in the cold light of day, we know to be wrong. The world of education has long pondered the question of 'nature versus nurture', in which our genes' need to be copied is pitted against the society, shaped by laws, culture and religious beliefs, that we all have to live in. This extraordinary book provides much food for thought and should help the reader to a better understanding of him/herself and the world around. A very rewarding read. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Forget scarves and bobble hats. Here are some woollen wonders that will really blow your mind...For the last four years, Gabrielle Grillo has been scouring the web for the most bizarre knitted items she can find. In this hysterically funny book, she has collected the very best of her finds. From a knitted Christmas turkey cosy to woolly vomit, they have to be seen to be believed. After you've read WTF Knits and stitched your sides back together, you might just be inspired to dust off your needles, dig out your balls of wool and knit something downright odd yourself.
How do you apologise when you're not sorry? Where can you make a fortune out of pretending to know the future? What's the best way to steal credit and avoid blame? These are the vital life skills that people need if they're going to make their way in the world. And they all involve one ingredient: flannel, the art of not saying what you mean. It's not exactly lying, but it's definitely not telling the truth. In Romps, Tots and Boffins, Robert Hutton brilliantly 'laid bare' the true meanings of the words we read in the papers. Following popular demand, he now turns his razor-sharp eye to the best, worst and most outlandish examples of waffle, fudging, obscurity, blame-shifting and point-scoring. In areas from politics to sports, academia, religion and self-help, it seems that glory, money and power flow far more freely to those who sidestep bald, ugly realities. You can steer a truck through the gap between a lie and the simple truth. This book tells you how to load the truck.
Beautifully illustrated by renowned cartoonist Dorrance, this book is a welcome slice of light relief from all the fretting mums are expected to do these days. Francesca Hornak has taken a light-hearted, humorous look at the concerns and worries of the modern mother. You know, those kind of thoughts that just pop in to your head (usually at 3 in the morning whilst trying to grab a few precious moments sleep) and make you feel ever so slightly crazy. Well fear not as there is an anecdote for everyone within the pages of this book. Relax in the knowledge that your craziness is most definitely shared and enjoy a giggle as you consider everything from the ludicrously long list of hospital bag labour ‘essentials’ to late night stakeouts awaiting the return of teens. Not only will this make you smile (and possibly occasionally grimace) but it will also help bring a little perspective to those moments when you feel like the worst parent ever. A wonderful gift for all mothers old or new, expectant or even for the just plain exhausted.
Based on Time Out magazine's most popular column, Word on the Street brings together the best of the most ridiculous, bizarre, near-the-knuckle and sweet utterances by Londoners as heard by Londoners. The collection of over 200 quotes will cover such topics as Family & Parenting, Fashion & Style, Eating, Sex, London and feature insights such as: On London - How would I describe Wimbledon Village? It's like Jack Wills threw up; Everywhwere - Herne Hill is great except you can't get a Diptyque candle south of the river West Ham isn't short for West Hampstead? Are you sure? Croydon is like a horse. It smells, everybody thinks it's dangerous, but ultimately it's Incredible On Food - Going to McDonalds for a salad is like going to a prostitute for a hug. Even Delia says it's okay to cheat. Pre-chopped onions, my friend. No more tears. White bread is like the ninja of the food world. It's a silent killer. Isn't cauliflower just the ghost of Broccoli? On Fashion & Style - That guy was obviously a drug dealer. Nobody wears white shorts like that anymore She seems like a nice person, but she smells like a Fisherman's Friend It's hair suicide weather. There are a bunch of Tina Turner's walking around Covent Garden.
Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize| February 2018 Book of the Month. A perfectly formed absolute treat of a book, containing 300 aphorisms by Robert Eddison, journalist, playwright, public speaker, and aphorist. The foreword by Gyles Brandreth salutes the skill of Eddison. These pithy, witty, thoughtful one-liners at times burst onto my consciousness, while others made me think, ponder, consider. Two favourites of mine are “Deep thoughts take time to surface”, and “Throwaway remarks are not always caught”. This little book would make the perfect gift for anyone with an appreciation for words, written or spoken. It can be picked up and dipped into, become a topic of conversation, revisited and evaluated. Wisdom and Wordplay contains some wonderful one-liners, they tease, fence, pierce, creating a fabulous addition to any bookshelf. ~ Liz Robinson
Have you ever watched a man angling in the rain, building a shelter when there's a bed waiting for him at home or peeing as high as he can up a wall? In Why Men Skim Stones, Chris Windle provides an amusing and indispensable insight into why men do the things they do. Here, finally, is a guide that tackles the big questions: why do male friends express their affection by subjecting each other to casual acts of violence? Why is it common for a man to have more of an idea of what he might do in the event of a zombie apocalypse, than what he might buy his mum for Christmas? If you've ever been dumbfounded when faced with a man who would rather talk to an inanimate object than read the instruction booklet, this is the book for you.
Greetings citizens! Can you spot Boris? In an array of crowded scenes, from zip wires and bikes to Beijing and the Bullingdon Club, search for Boris amongst the masses. Anyone for wiff-waff? With oodles of in-jokes and bonus material to find, plus cameo appearances from some old chums, this book provides hours of fun for both the lovers and loathers of the blonde-mop-topped phenomenon that is...BoJo. A classic and fun gift book, tracking Boris down around the world will be endless amusement for all the family.
A witty compilation of entertaining literary spoofs mocking the great and good of British writing. This alternative history of English literature is a perfect Christmas gift for any book lover.
Evidence of the Queen's strong sense of humour in Thomas Blaikie's collection of anecdotes revealing her amused reaction to some of the clangers she's been subject to. Taken from commentaries, histories and auto/biographies it's a portrait of the Queen from her childhood showing a sharp, funny and very knowleagable woman. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Not in Front of the Corgis: Secrets of Life behind the Royal Curtains, Brian Hoey At Home with the Queen: Life Through the Keyhole of the Royal Household, Brian Hoey
Portraits of any number of dogs undergoing their regular shampoo and set. Some long-suffering, most resigned and just a few enjoying the whole thing. A lovely array of dogs, some very high maintenance but with a good number of streetwise dogs too. All wet, all gorgeous with many a why me and what now expression on their faces. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like ReadingDogs Hanging out of Windows, Various Plumdog , Emma Chichester Clark
As its nine hundredth episode approaches, Just a Minute has consistently entertained BBC Radio 4 listeners, and many others around the world, since its first broadcast in December 1967. Inspired by a punishment handed out at school, the show's creator Ian Messiter devised a deceptively simple and versatile set of rules that has allowed the game to adapt and thrive as each new era of comedy entertainers emerges. Over forty-seven consecutive years, fans have laughed along with Kenneth Williams' outrageously funny 'battles' with Sheila Hancock, Paul Merton's imaginative flights of fancy, Clement Freud's acerbic wit, Julian Clary's flagrant innuendos, Graham Norton's celebrity 'gossip', Jenny Eclair's brutal honesty, Gyles Brandreth's extravagant monologues and Sue Perkins' infectious enthusiasm to name only a handful of the more than two hundred star entertainers who have braved the Just a Minute panel. In this official celebration, chairman Nicholas Parsons, the only person to have appeared in every programme, recalls the very best, occasionally awkward and often hilarious, moments that have lit up the comedy airwaves over six decades. Magical minutes, verbal dexterity, sharp one-liners and witty challenges can all be marvelled at once again as Nicholas tells the Just a Minute story from its inauspicious pilot episode, through television and stage versions, and on to the present day, without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Well, not too much deviation...
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.