Dawn French is one of the greatest comedy actresses of our time, with a career that has spanned nearly three decades, encompassing a vast and brilliant array of characters. Loved for her irreverent humour, Dawn has achieved massive mainstream success while continuing to push boundaries and challenge stereotypes. Here she describes the journey that would eventually establish her as a perhaps unlikely, but nevertheless genuine, national treasure. Dawn began her career as part of the groundbreaking alternative comedy group, the Comic Strip, marking a radical departure from the more traditional comedy acts of the time. Later came the all-female Girls On Top, which teamed Dawn with Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and Tracy Ullman and firmly established women in British comedy. As part of the wildly successful and much loved duo French and Saunders, Dawn helped create a repertoire of brilliantly observed characters, parodying popular culture and impersonating everything from “Madonna” and “Harry Potter” to “The Exorcist”. Dawn’s more recent role in the “Vicar of Dibley” showcased not only her talent but also her ability to take a controversial and topical issue and make it mainstream – and very funny. From her early years as an RAF child and her flat-sharing antics with Jennifer Saunders, to her outspoken views on sizism and her marriage to Lenny Henry, “Dear Fatty” will chronicle the extraordinary, hilarious rise of a complex, dynamic and unstoppable woman.
Russell Brand - My Booky Wook
Russell Brand grew up in Essex . His father left when he was three months old, he was bulimic at 12 and left school at 16 to study at the Italia Conti stage school. There, he began drinking heavily and taking drugs. He regularly visited prostitutes in Soho, began cutting himself, took drugs on stage during his stand-up shows, and even set himself on fire while on crack cocaine. He has been arrested 11 times and fired from 3 different jobs - including from XFM and MTV - and he claims to have slept with over 2,000 women. In 2003 Russell was told that he would be in prison, in a metal hospital or dead within six months unless he went in to rehab. He has now been clean for three years. In 2006 his presenting career took off, and he hosted the NME awards as well as his own MTV show, 1 Leicester Square, plus Big Brother's Big Mouth on Channel 4. His UK stand-up tour was sold out and his BBC Radio 6 show became a cult phenomenon, the second most popular podcast of the year after Ricky Gervais. He was awarded Time Out's Stand Up Comedian of the Year and won Best Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards. In 2007 Russell hosted both the Brit Awards and Comic Relief, and continued to front Big Brother's Big Mouth. His BBC2 radio podcast became the UK's most popular. Russell writes a weekly football column in the Guardian and is the patron of Focus 12, a charity helping people with alcohol and substance misuse.
Ellen DeGeneres - Seriously... I'm Kidding
I've experienced a lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?
Lynn Messina - The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies
Hattie Cross knows what you're thinking: Zombie sex? Ewwwww. But she also knows that since a virus turned 99.9999 percent of human males into zombies, it's statistically impossible to meet--let alone date--the remaining 0.00001 percent. So she writes "The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies" to help her fellow single women navigate the zombie-relationship waters. Her practical how-to impresses the CEO of the largest drug company in the world, and before she knows it, Hattie, a reporter for a downmarket tabloid that specializes in conspiracy theories, is sitting down with the woman who single-handedly invented the zombie-behavioral-modification market. Granted access to the inner sanctum of zombaceuticals, she meets an actual, living, breathing M-A-N. Now Hattie, the consummate professional, is acting like a single girl at the end of the twentieth century: self-conscious, klutzy and unable to form a coherent sentence without babbling. Worst of all, the human male appears to have impaired her ability to think clearly. Because all of a sudden she's convinced a conspiracy is afoot at the drug company and it seems to go all the way to the top!
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.
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.
Greg Behrendt - Liz Tuccillo - He's Just not that Into You
Everyone can use a daily wake-up call. Now in bite-size mantras, the abridged empathetic wit and wisdom of the number one New York Times bestseller He's Just Not That Into You will recharge and inspire your dating outlook one wake-up call at a time. For ages women have come together over coffee, cocktails, or late-night phone chats to analyze the puzzling behavior of men. Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo are here to say that---despite good intentions---you're wasting your time. Men are not complicated, although they'd like you to think they are. And there are no mixed messages. The truth may be, He's just not that into you. He's Just Not That Into You---based on a popular episode of Sex and the City---educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn't like them enough, so they can stop wasting time making excuses for a dead-end relationship. This book knows you're a beautiful, smart, funny woman who deserves better.
David Lodge - Nice Work
Vic Wilcox a self-made man and managing director of an engineering firm, has little regard for academics, and even less for feminists. So when Robyn Penrose, a trendy leftist teacher, is assigned to "shadow" Vic under a government program created to foster mutual understanding between town and gown, the hilarious collision of lifestyles and ideologies that ensues seems unlikely to foster anything besides mutual antipathy. But in the course of a bumpy year, both parties make some surprising discoveries about each other's world's - and about themselves.
Catherine O'Flynn - The News Where You Are
Frank Allcroft tells terrible jokes. To millions of people. As a presenter on Midlands TV's regional news, Frank is a long way from journalism's cutting edge, and he knows it. Fifteen years ago, Frank hired gag-writer Cyril to inject some humour into his thoroughly unremarkable reports - of pie-baking contests, local crime and spectacular non-events. Cyril's gags turned out to be as pitiful as his CV, but the worse the jokes have got, the higher Frank's ratings have climbed. To his co-presenter Julia's intense annoyance, Frank is now officially 'the unfunniest man on god's earth' and a certified local legend. It's a strange sort of success, but it seems to work, perhaps because Frank's ambitions have never extended much beyond his family and home: his wife, Andrea, who makes him feel comfortable in his skin (most of the time); and his daughter, Mo, whose questions bring the world alive. But as Frank reflects on his late father's legacy and what he in turn will leave behind, one news report of a particularly sad and lonely death catches his eye. Digging further into the past, he uncovers a story of thwarted hopes and a friendship tested with the ultimate request. Both brilliantly funny and heartbreakingly sad, The News Where You Are is a blisteringly sharp satire on modern Britain, a moving exploration of loss, and an uplifting portrait of what makes us human, which shows that what remains of us is love.
Marian Keyes - Under the Duvet
Few writers in a generation achieve the consistently extraordinary sales of a Maeve Binchy or Catherine Cookson. now there is a new name to add to the superstars of womens fiction - Marian Keyes. Critically acclaimed, her novels "Watermelon", "Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married", "Rachel's Holiday" and "Last Chance Saloon" have sold over the world in their millions. Setting the record straight about her life as a novelist (less glitz and glamour than sitting alone in a darkened bedroom with a laptop in front of her) Marian Keyes here presents a selection of her articles. These regular bulletins from a woman under the duvet include unpublished pieces.
David Lodge - Small World
The unbridled greed, pettiness, buffoonery and intellectual gobbledegook in the world of higher scholarship are the topics of this thorough and thoroughly funny "roman à English department". It's interesting for a couple of reasons, aside from its humour and lampoonery: it's an insider's view of things--always the best kind--and it takes its old- fashioned time telling a story, complete with reasonable digressions about the state of literary criticism and what may or may not be a realistic view of the academic life.
Michael Palin - The Python Years
Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for the Two Ronnies, David Frost etc). Monty Python was just around the corner. This first volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys - Jones and Gilliam - and Eric Idle, came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort - as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime. Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are pager-turners), the at times extraordinary goings on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent a American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on US trasmission, and much more - all this makes perceptive, funny and rivetting reading.
Brunella Gasperini - Mi és ők
"...Ma van az utolsó este. Szeptember, minden gyerek elutazott már, a levegőben olajcserje illata. Holnap visszamegyünk Milánóba. Képzelem, micsoda utazás lesz, öt macskakölyökkel, nyolc kutyakölyökkel - a szüleiket és a gazdikat nem is számítva -, a szent és sérthetetlen mancsokkal és farkakkal, valamint nyavalyás és mindent elárasztó tengeribetegségükkel egyetemben. Anyám a rémes utazási migrénjével, apám a rémes utazási neurózisával. Már áll a bál a csomagok miatt, a szokásos dolgokon folyik a vérre menő vita... ...A dolgok, ahogy jönnek, el is múlnak, menthetetlenül... Bruna menyasszony, Maurizio egyetemista (még nem tudja, anatómus, fizikus avagy matematikus lesz-e, persze azon kívül, hogy jazz-zenész, bodhisattva és tűzisten), megint vége egy nyárnak. És én? Se kicsi, se nagy, félig szerelmes, félig nem, és még mindig a csillagokat kérdezgetem, de nem tudnak mit mondani..." Bizony, felnőnek a gyerekek: a bohém család Nicolettája, a "Kicsi" sem selypít már, és kevesebbet verselget. Csak a tóparti nyarak varázsa örök - és változatlanul mulatságosak és meghatóak a bohém Gamberini család aprajának-nagyjának viszontagságos mindennapjai; annak az olvasónak is, aki már ismeri Csupacsont mamát és háza népét, annak is, aki most ismerkedik velük.
Brunella Gasperini - Ő és mi
".. a hétvége mindazon dolgok felhánytorgatásával telik el, amiket nem csináltam meg, a szemrehányással, hogy mi ez a rendetlenség, mért olyan ütődöttek a gyerekek, kótyagosak a barátaink, utálatosak az állataink, és így tovább és így tovább, aztán mire elmúlik a mérge, addigra én gurulok dühbe, és közlöm vele, hogy elegem van, hogy önző, hálátlan, felelőtlen és csak azért jön fel, hogy tönkretegye a vasárnapomat, és jobb, ha a városban marad, és így tovább, és így tovább, aztán az én dühöm is elmúlik, de addigra már a vasárnapnak is vége, indulnia kell; a kapunál búcsúzkodunk, s az utolsó pillanatokat már igyekszünk élvezni, és közben azon tűnődünk, mi az ördögért fecséreltük az időt veszekedésre, s kölcsönösen megfogadjuk, hogy soha többé. És a következő héten menetrendszerűen kezdjük előröl." Ha valaki úgy érzi, ismerős a fenti idézet - ez nem a véletlen műve. Brumella Gaperini írónő és családanya, vidám trilógiába foglalta imádott környezetének hányatott életét: az első kötet - Én és ők - "egy férj feljegyzései"-nek formájában számolt be a kelekótya család viszontagságos mindennapjairól - az önmagában is érthető és élvezhető folytatásban - Ő és mi - a feleség adja vissza a kölcsönt és tudósít az Ő (avagy "férjuram") és a többiek (=feleség, avagy Csupacsont, három gyerek, a jó öreg házibútor, Rosa; az immáron hatfőnyire gyarapodott állatsereglet, és az Öreg nyomába lépő, illetve guruló új kocsi: a Bestia) mulatságos kalandjairól.
Jennifer Crusie - Faking it
Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who have run a respectable art gallery for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch, who sedates herself with Double-Crostics and double vodkas; Eve, the oldest daughter, who has a slight identity problem (she has two); and Nadine, the granddaughter, who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. Holding everyone together is Matilda, the youngest daughter, who’s inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, a secret that she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, including breaking into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past. Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that, he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including breaking into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future. One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hit man, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a jukebox stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, a painting of three evil fishermen closing in on a dyspeptic tuna, multiple personalities, miscellaneous Goodnights and Dempseys, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be... or the people they were born to love.
Avery Monsen - Jory John - All My Friends Are Dead
If you're a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you're a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you're a tree, all of your friends are end tables. Each page of this laugh-out-loud illustrated humor book showcases the downside of being everything from a clown to a cassette tape to a zombie. Cute and dark all at once, this hilarious children's book for adults teaches valuable lessons about life while exploring each cartoon character's unique grievance and wide-eyed predicament. From the sock whose only friends have gone missing to the houseplant whose friends are being slowly killed by irresponsible plant owners (like you), All My Friends Are Dead presents a delightful primer for laughing at the inevitable.
Roald Dahl - Felicity Dahl - Josie Fison - Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes
A collection of recipes based on food and drink featured in Roald Dahl's books. They include mudburgers, hot frogs, lickable wallpaper, stinkbugs' eggs and crispy wasp stings. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by colour photographs and illustrations of every dish.
Jennifer Weiner - Good in Bed
For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.