Well hello to you dear browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn’t tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence? Does everybody struggle with the hazards that accompany, say, sitting elegantly on a bar stool; using chopsticks; pretending to understand the bank crisis; pedicures – surely it’s plain wrong for a stranger to fondle your feet? Or is it just me? I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences – from school days to life as an office temp – and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you too dear reader) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life’s rocky path. Because frankly where is the manual? The much needed manual to life. Well, fret not, for this is my attempt at one and let’s call it, because it’s fun, a Miran-ual. I thank you.
Stephen Fry - The Liar
The spirits of Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh glower benignly over this very funny first novel by Stephen Fry. The novel has an ingenious plot filled with surprises and glittering with hilarious, often indecent inventions: a pugnacious faculty meeting that collapses into an exchange of obscenities, the fabrication of a 'lost' pornographic novel by Charles Dickens, and an exercise in intellectual gamesmanship that engages some of the finest minds and blackest hearts in England. Stephen Fry's sympathetic portrayal of his defiantly unconventional hero makes for an outrageously entertaining debut.
Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys
God is dead. Meet the kids. When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts his father bestowed - before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life. Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is to day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun...just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie. Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion -- he is able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Exciting, scary, and deeply funny, Anansi Boys is a kaleidoscope journey deep into myth, a wild adventure, and a fierce and unstoppable farce, as Neil Gaiman shows us where gods come from, and how to survive your family.
Bill Watterson - The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. More than 30 million of the 17 Calvin and Hobbes books (all published by Andrews McMeel) have been sold. And now, we're pleased to announce that the entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons will be published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon. Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition will include all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans will seek.
Jen Campbell - Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
'Can books conduct electricity?' 'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok...isn't it?' A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to 'Excuse me...is this book edible?' This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top 'Weird Things' from bookshops around the world.
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!
Charlie Brooker - Screen Burn
Cruel, acerbic, impassioned, gleeful, frequently outrageous and always hilarious, Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn collects the best of the much-loved Guardian Guide columns in one easy-to-read-on-the-toilet package. Sit back and roar as Brooker rips mercilessly into Simon Cowell, Big Brother, Trinny and Susannah, Casualty, Davina McCall, Michael Parkinson...and almost everything else on television. This book will make practically anyone laugh out loud.
Woody Allen - Side Effects
A humor classic by one of the funniest writers today, SIDE EFFECTS is a treat for all those who know his work and those just discovering how gifted he is. Included here are such classics as REMEMBERING NEEDLEMAN, THE KUGELMASS EPISODE, a new story called CONFESSIONS OF A BUGLAR, and more.
Emma Campbell Webster - Being Elizabeth Bennet - Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
A wonderfully pleasurable and playful paperback, which makes an ideal summer read for Jane Austen fans. In this innovative book, the reader stars as Elizabeth Bennet, from )Pride & Prejudice(, and must decide what to do when faced with delicate challenges and dangerous choices. It includes 5 stages, based on all of Austen's novels, and sold over 12,000 copies in hardback. Features gorgeous newly commissioned illustrations.
David Mitchell - Back Story
David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in That Mitchell and Webb Look, has written a book about his life. As well as giving a specific account of every single time he's scored some smack, this disgusting memoir also details: • the singular, pitbull-infested charm of the FRP (‘Flat Roofed Pub’) • the curious French habit of injecting everyone in the arse rather than the arm • why, by the time he got to Cambridge, he really, really needed a drink • the pain of being denied a childhood birthday party at McDonalds • the satisfaction of writing jokes about suicide • how doing quite a lot of walking around London helps with his sciatica • trying to pretend he isn’t a total **** at Robert Webb’s wedding • that he has fallen in love at LOT, but rarely done anything about it • why it would be worse to bump into Michael Palin than Hitler on holiday • that he’s not David Mitchell the novelist. Despite what David Miliband might think
Douglas Adams - The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams's beloved Hitchiker series. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat. Life, the Universe and Everything The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky- so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak. Mostly Harmless Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?
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.
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.
Woody Allen - Complete Prose
Comprising the classic bestsellers Getting Even, Without Feathers, and Side Effects, this definitive collection of comic writings is from a man who needs no Introduction. Really - this book has no Introduction. The Insanity Defense reveals many sides of Woody Allen as he holds forth on the most human of urges (“Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only for food: frequently there must be a beverage”); reflects on death (“I don't believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear”); and notes the effect on history wrought by trick chewing gum, the dribble glass, and other novelties. There is also an inspiring story of the futile race to beat Dr. Heimlich to the punch: “The food went down the wrong pipe, and choking occurred. Grasping the mouse firmly by the tail, I snapped it like a small whip, and the morsel of cheese came loose. If we can transfer the procedure to humans, we may have something. Too early to tell.”
Woody Allen - Mere Anarchy
Here, in his first collection since his three hilarious classics Getting Even, Without Feathers, and Side Effects, Woody Allen has managed to write a book that not only answers the most profound questions of human existence but is also the perfect size to place under any short table leg to prevent wobbling. In hysterical flights of inspirational sanity we are introduced to a cast of characters only Allen could imagine: Jasper Nutmeat, Flanders Mealworm, and the independent film mogul E. Coli Biggs, just to name a few. Whether he is writing about art, sex, food, or crime, he is explosively funny. In “This Nib for Hire,” a Hollywood bigwig comes across an author’s book in a little country store and describes it in a way that aptly captures this magnificent volume: “Actually,” the producer says, “I’d never seen a book remaindered in the kindling section before.”
Tina Fey - Bossypants
Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.
Nick Hornby - Fever Pitch
In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field. Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom - its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens' coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.
Jen Campbell - More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Customer (holding up a book): What’s this? The Secret Garden? Well, it’s not so secret now, is it, since they bloody well wrote a book about it! Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops was a Sunday Times bestseller, and could be found displayed on bookshop counters up and down the country. The response to the book from booksellers all over the world has been one of heartfelt agreement: it would appear that customers are saying bizarre things all over the place - from asking for books with photographs of Jesus in them, to hunting for the best horse owner’s manual that has a detailed chapter on unicorns. Customer: I had such a crush on Captain Hook when I was younger. Do you think this means I have unresolved issues? More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has yet more tales from the antiquarian bookshop where Jen Campbell works, and includes a selection of ‘Weird Things...’ sent in from other booksellers across the world. The book is illustrated by the BAFTA winning Brothers McLeod.
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror? Here are just a few things on Harry's mind: - A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey. - A venomous, disgruntled house-elf - Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team - The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams . . . and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling's seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew, boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice. Though thick runs the plot, listeners will race through these tapes and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back.
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?
Shel Silverstein - Where the Sidewalk Ends
Including 12 New Poems! If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, A wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, A magic bean buyer. . . Come in . . . for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. You'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.