Bill Bryson - At Home
Starred Review. Bryson (A Short History of Everything) takes readers on a tour of his house, a rural English parsonage, and finds it crammed with 10,000 years of fascinating historical bric-a-brac. Each room becomes a starting point for a free-ranging discussion of rarely noticed but foundational aspects of social life. A visit to the kitchen prompts disquisitions on food adulteration and gluttony; a peek into the bedroom reveals nutty sex nostrums and the horrors of premodern surgery; in the study we find rats and locusts; a stop in the scullery illuminates the put-upon lives of servants. Bryson follows his inquisitiveness wherever it goes, from Darwinian evolution to the invention of the lawnmower, while savoring eccentric characters and untoward events (like Queen Elizabeth I's pilfering of a subject's silverware). There are many guilty pleasures, from Bryson's droll prose--"What really turned the Victorians to bathing, however, was the realization that it could be gloriously punishing"--to the many tantalizing glimpses behind closed doors at aristocratic English country houses. In demonstrating how everything we take for granted, from comfortable furniture to smoke-free air, went from unimaginable luxury to humdrum routine, Bryson shows us how odd and improbable our own lives really are. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Refe Tuma - Susan Tuma - What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night
From the parents who brought us the web sensation "Dinovember" comes photographic proof of what toys do at night. Since Toy Story (and maybe since the very first toys!) children and their parents have wondered what it would be like if toys came to life. Refe and Susan Tuma take this wonder several steps further in WHAT THE DINOSAURS DID LAST NIGHT. Every November, writer and social media master Refe Tuma and his wife, Susan, work into the night to bring their four children scenes from the secret lives of their toys — specifically the nighttime antics of their plastic dinosaurs. The dinosaurs wreck bathrooms, destroy vases, rock out, encounter terrifying hot irons, even do the dishes with hilarious, magical results. Each scene is photographed in meticulous detail, letting viewers joyfully suspend disbelief and think to themselves — just LOOK what the dinosaurs did last night!
Nick Offerman - Paddle Your Own Canoe
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book. Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman—who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking—he runs his own woodshop—Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman’s childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois—“I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield”—to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally. It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees. A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even hand craft (and paddle) their own canoes.
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
Jim Toomey - Sharks Just Wanna Have Fun
Jim Toomey is "a breath of fresh water." --Washington Post Lauded for sparking dialogue on topics relating to marine life, Sherman's Lagoon appears in 250 newspapers in 30 countries in 6 languages. Collecting more than 42 weeks of Jim Toomey's Sherman's Lagoon, this collection transports readers to an imaginary lagoon near the South Pacific island of Kapupu, where a cast of coral reef critters live a charmed aquatic lifestyle. Commenting on such timely issues as rising sea levels, degrading water quality, and environmental pollution, inhabitants of Toomey's nautical neighborhood include Sherman, an always-hungry, but otherwise typical kind of great white shark, and his witty pearl-wearing wife Megan, along with friendly Fillmore the turtle, geeky fish Ernest, macho hermit crab Hawthorne, and salty old Captain Quigley, who remains vengeful after loosing his leg to Sherman. This is the 13th Sherman's Lagoon cartoon collection, in addition to two treasuries.
Wendy Northcutt - The Darwin Awards 2.
_The Darwin Awards 2_ - legendary true tales from www.DarwinAwards.com - commemorate the remains of people who have improved our gene pool by killing themselves in spectacularly stupid ways. One of the most popular manifestations of modern-day pessimism, the Awards are known and loved by practically everyone with access to email. This sequel to the bestselling _Darwin Awards_ book brings together more true stories on the universal themes of death and stupidity, including: * Femme Fatalities * Engines of Destruction * Male-Functions The Darwin Awards: true stories that will make you glad to be alive!
Wendy Northcutt - The Darwin Awards 3.
Evolution takes another giant leap forward with this brand new collection of magnificent misadventures. _The Darwin Awards_ 3 honours those selfless individuals who continue to improve our gene pool by removing themselves in staggeringly stupid ways: - the parachute instructor who forgot to strap on his own parachute - the commuter who put his ear against the tracks to listen for the arrival of his train - the sheriff who inadvertently shot himself... twice With over 100 all-new Award winners, Honourable Mentions and Personal Accounts, this new compendium of hilariously macabre mishaps proves once again that when it comes to stupidity, no species does it better.
Jess Walter - The Financial Lives of the Poets
Meet Matt Prior. He's about to lose his business, his wife, his house, and maybe his sanity too. Financial journalist Matthew Prior quit his job to set up a website which couldn't fail. Only now he's woken up to the biggest crisis since the Great Crash, and it has. He's got six days to save his house. It's hard to focus when you think your wife's having an online affair with her childhood sweetheart, but there are the children to think about... So when he gets hold of some high-grade dope and finds he can sell a piece on at a profit, he begins to think this might be his salvation. A fabulously funny, heartfelt novel about how we can skate close to the edge of ruin - and pull back.
Brian Crane - Still Pickled After All These Years
"This is the second fan letter I have written in my whole life. The other one was to Hopalong Cassidy, when I had a great crush on him at about six years old. But I did want to let you know how very much both my husband and I have enjoyed "Pickles" from the very first strip. Would you please consider putting a collection together in book form?" - Lois F. in Nevada As its loyal fans will gladly tell you, "Pickles" has been a zinger-filled, laugh-out-loud gem since its debut in 1990. Since then, it has steadily climbed in popularity, and today appears in over 400 newspapers worldwide. "Still Pickled After All These Years" collects strips from this sweet intergenerational comic that alternates point of view between an older married couple, a 30-something married couple, and their son. The strip centers on Earl and Opal Pickles, who have been married over 50 years but inject plenty of spunk and insight into everything they do. Whether they're taking a wry but sympathetic glance at their divorced daughter, Sylvia, laughing at their faithful but feckless canine, Roscoe, marveling at their dictatorial feline, Muffin, or just commenting on the little things in life, Earl and Opal's good-natured wit and dry humor is brilliantly on target. "Pickles" is about growing old and keeping your sense of humor but never forgetting what it's like to be a child. The strip's inaugural AMP collection, "Still Pickled After All These Years," encapsulates the importance of staying close to those who bring you the most joy and reminds everyone about the incalculable value of the unconditional love of pets, family, and friends."
Arina Tanemura - The Gentlemen's Alliance 2.
In return for a business loan of 50 million yen, the prestigious Kamiya family gave their daughter Haine away to the Otomiya family. Haine, now an Otomiya, is appointed to the student council of the exclusive Imperial Academy, a private school for the aristocracy. Even though Haine is of proper lineage to be on the council, she finds herself struggling to find her place among the many secrets of its elite members, especially those of the president who holds her heart--Shizumasa Togu, aka "the Emperor." Haine has been introduced to the entire academy as "Platinum," the title granted to Shizumasa's (albeit fake) girlfriend. Haine must now adapt to her newfound popularity among the students, as well as get along with the jealous Maguri Tsujimiya--the boy Shizumasa jilted in favor of her!
David Wong - This Book Is Full of Spiders
From David Wong, the writer of the cult sensation John Dies at the End, comes another terrifying and hilarious tale of almost Armageddon at the hands of two hopeless heroes. Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fear-mongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fear-mongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection -- the creature stimulates skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That's just as well, since the "cure" involves learning what a chainsaw tastes like. You can't feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You won't even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I'm just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it. Either way, I won't hold it against you if you're upset. I know that's just the spider talking.
Jonathan L. Howard - The Necromancer
A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice. Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
Hiro Mashima - Fairy Tail 36.
A DRAGON KING'S GRUESOME CORONATION Natsu has shut out Rogue and Sting, and Fairy Tail catapults to the top of the rankings! But victory brings with it shocking revelations about the origins of Acnologia, the black dragon that nearly destroyed Fairy Tail seven years ago. Meanwhile, the Eclipse Plan nears completion, and the dark side of the Games threatens to spill into daylight...
Matt Haig - The Humans
The critically acclaimed author of _The Radleys_ shares a clever, heartwarming, and darkly insightful novel about an alien who comes to Earth to save humans from themselves. _“I was not Professor Andrew Martin. That is the first thing I should say. He was just a role. A disguise. Someone I needed to be in order to complete a task.”_ The narrator of this tale is no ordinary human—in fact, he’s not human at all. Before he was sent away from the distant planet he calls home, precision and perfection governed his life. He lived in a utopian society where mathematics transformed a people, creating limitless knowledge and immortality. But all of this is suddenly threatened when an earthly being opens the doorway to the same technology that the alien planet possesses. Cambridge University professor Andrew Martin cracks the Reimann Hypothesis and unknowingly puts himself and his family in grave danger when the narrator is sent to Earth to erase all evidence of the solution and kill anyone who has seen the proof. The only catch: the alien has no idea what he’s up against. Disgusted by the excess of disease, violence, and family strife he encounters, the narrator struggles to pass undetected long enough to gain access to Andrew’s research. But in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.
David Lodge - A David Lodge Trilogy
Changing Places - Small World - Nice Work This omnibus lines up David Lodge's trio of brilliantly comic novels that revolve around the University of Rummidge and the lives of its role-swapping academics. When Philip Swallow, lecturer in English at Rummidge, changes places with flamboyant Morris Zapp of Euphoric State University, USA, trouble ensues. Then, ten years on, older but not noticeably wiser, they are let loose on the international conference circuit - a veritable academic carnival. And finally, Dr Robyn Penrose becomes part of a scheme to learn about industry instead of reading about it, with hilarious results. David Lodge exposes the dizzy pursuit of knowledge - literary, commercial, romantic and erotic - with unparalleled wit and insight.
David Lodge - Paradise News
Agnostic theologian Bernard Walsh has a professional interest in heaven. But, when he travels to Hawaii with his father, Jack, it is not in quest of a vacation paradise; it is to visit Jack's dying, estranged sister. The hand of fate and family tensions frustrate the planned reunion, however. And surrounded by quarrelling honeymooners, girls looking for Mr Right, a freeloading anthropologist, and assorted tourists all determinedly pursuing their humdrum visions of paradise, Bernard finds Waikiki more like purgatory. Until, that is, he stumbles upon something he had given up hope of finding - the astonishing possibility of love... _'Amusing, accessible, intelligent ... the story rolls, the sparks fly'_ - Financial Times _'Lodge could never be solemn and the book crackles with good jokes ... leaves you with a mild, and thoughtful, glow of happiness'_ - Sunday Telegraph _'Funny and clever'_ - Independent on Sunday _'An appealing addition to the line-up of accomplished novels in which Lodge puts humour to humane purposes and intelligence to instructive ends'_ - Sunday Times _'Extremely funny and sharply perceptive about the way we live now'_ - Evening Standard _'Further proof that Lodge is master of ... subtle, scintillating satire'_ - Daily Mail
David Lodge - Therapy
A successful sitcom writer with plenty of money, a stable marriage, a platonic mistress and a flashy car, Laurence 'Tubby' Passmore has more reason than most to be happy. Yet neither physiotherapy nor aromatherapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy or acupuncture can cure his puzzling knee pain or his equally inexplicable mid-life angst. As Tubby's life fragments under the weight of his self-obsession, he embarks - via Kierkegaard, strange beds from Rummidge to Tenerife to Beverly Hills, a fit of literary integrity and memories of his 1950s South London boyhood - on a picaresque quest for his lost contentment, in an ingenious, hilarious and poignant novel of neuroses.
P. G. Wodehouse - Aunts Aren't Gentlemen
Wooster withdraws to the village of Maiden Eggesford on doctor's orders to 'sleep the sleep of the just and lead the quiet Martini-less life'. Only the presence of the irrepressible Aunt Dahlia shatters the rustic peace as an 'imbroglio' develops -destined to be famous down the long years as the 'Maiden Eggesford Horror' or 'The Case Of The Cat Which Kept Popping Up When Least Expected'. For however generous or kind-hearted they may be, there is one thing that can be said of Aunts as a class: they are not Gentlemen.
Fredrik Backman - A Man Called Ove
In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon; the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbour from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents association to their very foundations. A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Fredrik Backman's novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.
David Lodge - The British Museum is Falling Down
The Rhythm Method is the curse of young Adam Appleby's life and the cause of his children's. While Adam gestates his thesis in the British Museum, his wife worries at home because her period is late and a fourth little bundle of (expensive) joy seems to be on the way, thanks to 'Vatican Roulette'. Though Adam’s experience is constantly coloured by the authors he is studying, one distinction remains clear: 'Literature is mostly about having sex, and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.'A sharply perceptive comic novel, 'London Bridge is Falling Down' brilliantly captures the absurd, pitiful dilemma of Catholics in the days when the Pill was just an enticing rumour.