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
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.
Dawn French - Dear Fatty
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.
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years.
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.
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.
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.
Miranda Hart - Is It Just Me?
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.
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.
Neil Gaiman - Don't Panic
'It's all devastatingly true - except the bits that are lies' Douglas Adams Don't Panic celebrates the life of an ape-descended human called Douglas Adams who, in a field in Innsbruck in 1971, had an idea. This is also the story of what that idea became: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - the original radio series which started it all, and the five book 'trilogy', the TV series, almost-film, computer game, towel and website that followed. Acclaimed author Neil Gaiman also tells the whole story of Liff, the Universe of Dirk Gently, and everything else Douglas ever worked on, including his posthumous collection The Salmon of Doubt. As Douglas himself said, it is 'certainly the most outstandingly brilliant book to have been written about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy since this morning.'
Douglas Adams - So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
There is a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. It's not an easy thing to do and Arthur Dent thinks he's the only human who's been able to master this nifty little trick - until he meets Fenchurch, the girl of his dreams. Fenchurch knows how the world could be made a good and happy place. Unfortunately she's forgotten. Convinced that the secret lies within God's Final Message to His Creation they go in search of it. And in a dramatic break with tradition - actually find it...
Douglas Adams - Life, the Universe and Everything
Join Arthur Dent, earthling, "jerk", kneebiter and time-traveler; sexy space cadet Trillian; mad alien Ford Prefect; unflappable Slartibartfast; two-headed, three-armed ex-head Honcho of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox... and learn to fly. Is it the end? With Douglas Adams it's always up in the air!
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.
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.
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?
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.
Patrick Swayze - Lisa Niemi - The Time Of My Life
In September 2009 movie star Patrick Swayze lost his long and bravely fought battle against pancreatic cancer. His was a life richly led and this memoir, completed just weeks before his death, is a testament to the strength and passion of this remarkable man. It was January 2008 when Patrick Swayze was given the worst news of his life. What he hoped was just a stomach ache was actually stage four pancreatic cancer. This book isn't just the story of Patrick's fight against cancer, it's the story of a remarkable life and career. Intended as a low budget, straight-to-video production, Dirty Dancing became a cult hit and remains one of the most enduring films of the 80s. Ghost cemented Patrick as a hugely bankable star, and most recently Patrick returned to the public's adoring arms in TV's The Beast. This book will chronicle Patrick's personal life, too -- including his treatment for alcoholism following the death of his father and sister's sudden death. What remained a constant in Patrick's life was his marriage and Patrick and Lisa's love story is inspiring, honest, heartfelt and transcends the typical celebrity marriage.Lisa and Patrick have shown the world that cancer isn't just a diagnosis given to one individual, but a disease that can bring a household together or pull a family apart. Bold, honest and inspiring, Patrick Swayze's memoir is the story of a remarkable man's life and career and of his refusal to give up without a fight.
Jill Shalvis - Simply Irresistible
Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover. In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too. The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.