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Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.
Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn't altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain's occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.
Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
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'Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle' The Times
A year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions:
What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Why are there no health warnings on French nudist beaches? And is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress?
Paul opens his English tea room, and mutates (temporarily) into a Parisian waiter; samples the pleasures of typically French hotel-room afternoons; and, on a return visit to the UK, sees the full horror of a British office party through Parisian eyes.
Meanwhile, he continues his search for the perfect French mademoiselle. But will Paul find l'amour éternel, or will it all end in merde?
MERDE ACTUALLYIn his second comedy of errors, Paul West continues to sabotage the entente cordiale.
Author's apology: 'I'd just like to say sorry to all the suppository fans out there, because in this book there are no suppositories. There are, however, lots of courgettes, and I see this as progress. Suppositories to courgettes - I think it proves that I'm developing as a writer.' Stephen Clarke
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a story about love, life and lobster every Tuesday...
'Marvellous' John Boyne
'Original, clever and perfectly written' Jill Mansell
'Adorable' Marian Keyes
'An upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read' Chris Cleave
'I'm not good at understanding what other people want.' 'Tell me something I don't know . . .'
Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?
'Don Tillman is one of the most endearing, charming and fascinating literary characters I have met in a long time' The Times
'Hilarious, unlikely and heartbreaking' Easy Living
'Touching and laugh-out-loud funny - think The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time meets Silver Linings Playbook' Stylist
'Funny, endearing, and pure, wonderful escapism' Independent
'A sweet, funny rom-com . . . You'll be willing Don and Rosie on every step of the way' Marie Claire'Original, charming and very funny' Woman & Home
'A comic triumph: clever, humane and tears-in-your-eyes funny. But best of all, The Rosie Project is a madly romantic love story' Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture
'I couldn't put this book down. It's one of the most quirky and endearing romances I've ever read. I laughed the whole way through. And now I want to meet Don' Sophie Kinsella
With the charm of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the romance of David Nicholls' One Day, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is both funny and endearing - and is set to become the paperback of 2014.
Graeme Simsion is a full-time writer. Previously an IT consultant and educator, he wrote his first book in 1994 (the standard reference on data modelling, now entering its fourth edition), and is married to Anne, a professor of psychiatry who writes erotic fiction. They have two children.
There's an epidemic sweeping the nationSymptoms include:
*Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss'*Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake *An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology
Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS.
VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS are highly contagious. There is no known cure.
Rob Temple's hilarious new book reveals all the ways in which we are a nation of socially awkward but well-meaning oddballs, struggling to make it through every day without apologising to an inanimate object. Take comfort in misfortunes of others. You are not alone.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Julian Henby. For some time now, Julian, the Bridget Jones of letter writing, has been badgering decent, hard-working celebrities with a barrage of frankly absurd correspondence, often relating to his dysfunctional family and pets. Dear Celebrity is a compilation of some of his finest work and includes many of the best celebrity responses.
So, can Matthew Kelly find Henby's mother a job as a Bearded Lady? Will Professor Lord Robert Winston be able to do anything to help Julian's hamster, David, whose locomotion is severely impaired by his erection which drags along the floor like a fifth leg? Will Joanna Lumley find the time to visit Julian's elderly uncle to talk about her career? And why does Sir Jimmy Savile insist on being the Loch Ness monster?
The answers to these and many more questions are to be found here...
All tense even dramatic situations Media Guy turns to happy end. For the same reason he is fired and he is at the same time awarded as the 'Funniest journalist of the Year'.
Welcome to the twisted world of anagrams ...
What's in a name, like Jeremy Clarkson (Only Cars Jerk Me) or Gordon Ramsay (My Gonads Roar)? A few vowels and some consonants - or a whole new identity just waiting to burst free?
In My Gonads Roar, expert wordsmith Richard Napier rearranges hundreds of famous names to create a parallel universe - like the world we know, but funnier, ruder, and much more vitriolic.
'These days, watching television is like sitting in the back of Travis Bickle's taxicab, staring through the window at a world of relentless, churning shod ... '
Cruel, acerbic, impassioned, gleeful, frequently outrageous and always hilarious, Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn collects the best of the much-loved Guardian Guide columns into 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 elso on television.
This book will make practically anyone laugh out loud.
Polite, pensive, mature, reserved ...Charlie Brooker is none of these things and less. Picking up where his hilarious Screen Burn left off, Dawn of the Dumb collects the best of Charlie Brooker's recent TV writing, together with uproarious spleen-venting diatribes on a range of non-televisual subjects - tackling everything from David Cameron to human hair.
Rude, unhinged, outrageous, and above all funny, Dawn of the Dumb is essential reading for anyone with a brain and a spinal cord. And hands for turning the pages.