Category Archives: Comedy

Literature to make you laugh

Tips for entertaining this holiday period

Christmas is over and we’re now in the middle of the crazy week where it’s okay to not know which day of the week it is. Many of us spend the week hanging out with friends and extended family, but to keep you from twiddling your fingers and making small talk we have found books with some great ideas that are sure to fill your afternoons and evenings until it’s time to head back to the office. 

Guinness World Records 2019 by Guinness World Records

The world’s most popular record book is back with thousands of new categories and newly broken records, covering everything from outer space to sporting greats via Instagram, fidget spinners and all manner of human marvels. Inside you’ll find hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and countless facts, figures, stats and trivia waiting for you on every action-packed page. Guinness World Records 2019 is the ultimate snapshot of our world today. Plus, this year it celebrates the incredible “Maker” movement with a special feature devoted to the inventors, dreamers, crafters and creators who devote their lives to amazing record-breaking projects such as the largest water pistol, a jet-powered go-kart and an elephant-sized hamburger (think you could eat a whole one!?). Take a sneak peak into their workshops to explore these epically big builds, and ask them what inspires them to go really, really large! And if you like creating, and you like LEGO®, then you’ll love the “Making History” pages that use the world’s most famous interlocking plastic bricks to illustrate and explain an important record-breaking object – such as the Statue of Liberty or the Apollo mission’s Saturn V rocket. Finally, you can jump into both the making and record-breaking action with a “Do Try This At Home” section. Challenge yourself and your family with five fun record-breaking maker-inspired records you can attempt involving origami, balloon sculptures, ring pulls and rubber bands. Who knows, your creation might just make it into the record books!

 

Genius LEGO® Inventions with Bricks You Already Have by Sarah Dees

Sarah Dees’ first two LEGO® books have launched into bestseller status, with over 80 thousand copies sold combined. Her latest book hits on the popular subject that draws many kids into LEGO® in the first place—tinkering, engineering, building, experimenting, solving problems and inventing. This book shares fun and exciting new science-powered creations, following the storyline of two fictional LEGO® mini figure kids who are inventors. As the mini figures explore LEGO® world and go on adventures, kids at home learn to build the scenes and amazing inventions step by step. The projects are fun toys that kids can play with, but they also teach the important science concepts at work behind levers, pulleys, suspension bridges, skyscrapers, gears, motorised machines, magnets and more. Kids will love that they are creating cool and unique gadgets all on their own. And parents will love that their kids are learning important science facts that help them in school, developing critical thinking skills, and, let’s be honest, keeping themselves entertained for hours on end!

 

Smart Riddles For Smart Kids by Linda Nguyen

Get ready for some unforgettable family fun with this massive riddle collection for children of all ages!

It’s been said that questions are signs of an active mind, which is crucial for children growing up to be intelligent, smart, and wise adults. Riddles are one of the best – and fun – ways of stimulating the mind so that it continues to become better and smarter. 

This book contains 400 fun and smart riddles that can provide very good mental stimulation for you and your kids, and help make your minds develop even more. I hope you enjoy them! 

 

We have even found a few titles to inspire something tasty after all of the the fun and games… 

 

Savor: Entertaining with Charcuterie, Cheese, Spreads & More by Kimberly Stevens

Serving boards possess an uncanny ability to mirror the mood of a host and transform a room’s ambiance as friends and family gather around them to both eat and enjoy time together. Savor lavishly details how to create memorable and delicious serving boards, no matter the season or the occasion. Expert advice and insights provide strategies and approaches for composing boards that balance flavour profiles and textures, using elegant and inventive recipes. Inside  this fab title, you’ll find expert advice and recipes from Murray’s Cheese, Publican Market, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Lady & Larder, Mike’s Hot Honey, Blake Hill Preserves, Esters Wine Shop & Bar, and Vermont Creamery along with guides on how to pair cheeses, meats, condiments, and an array of other ingredients that can be used on serving boards.

 

On Boards: Simple & Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering by Lisa Dawn Bolton

Sharing food on boards is the perfect way to entertain family and friends. With minimum effort and maximum impact you can casually host in style and focus on spending time together, rather than being stuck in the kitchen. 

In On Boards, food stylist Lisa Bolton has put together 50 ideas for instantly approachable boards, all with effortless entertaining in mind, as well as 52 recipes for delectable savory and sweet additions like Beet Hummus, Bourbon Bacon Jam, Mashed Potato Dip and Chocolate Salami. All of the boards can be pulled together in very little time, and all include presentation and styling tips to make them (and you!) shine. Lisa also shows you how to style any assortment of food into a beautiful board so you can transform whatever is in your fridge and pantry! 

With chapters on Everyday Boards, Holiday & Special Occasion Boards, Seasonal Boards and Around the World Boards, you will find inspiration for every gathering. Whether you are looking for a breakfast or brunch board; a board for a picnic, potluck or playdate; for Thanksgiving, Superbowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve; for a huge celebration or a cozy date night for two, it is included in this collection of gorgeously curated boards.

 

and for those planning on partying into the wee small hours…

 

Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks by André Darlington

Booze and Vinyl explores the intersection of timeless music and mixed drinks with a spotlight on 70 great records from the 1950s through the 2000s. From modern craft cocktails to old standbys, prepare to shake, stir, and just plain pour your way through some of the best wax ever pressed. Wickedly designed and featuring photography throughout, the book is organised by mood, from Rock to Chill, Dance, and Seduce. Each entry has liner notes that underscore the album’s musical highlights and accompanying cocktail recipes that complement the music’s mood, imagery in the lyrics, or connect the drink to the artist. This is your guide to a rich listening session for one, two, or more. Among the 70 featured albums are: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, Purple Rain, Sticky Fingers, Born To Run, License to Ill, Appetite for Destruction, Thriller, Like a Virgin, Low End Theory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Hotel California, Buena Vista Social Club, Back to Black, Pet Sounds, Vampire Weekend, and many more.

 

Enjoy!

The Best Books for First Time Dads this Father’s Day

In the lead-up to Fathers Day, we are celebrating Dads of all ages and levels of experience.  If you know a First Time Dad, here’s how to help them celebrate their first Father’s Day – they need all the laughs, encouragement and sympathy they can get!

 

How to Dad: Volume 2 by Jordan Watson

Once upon a time, Jordan Watson made a spoof video teaching his mate How to Hold a Baby. That video went viral, and a new YouTube-and-Facebook star was born.  How to Dad now offers advice and solidarity in hundreds of “instructional” videos and two How to Dad books.  How to Dad is great because he’s so ordinary – experienced parents will recognise all his tips and tricks – and his deadpan goofiness will make you snort with laughter.  Lots of reassurance and inspiration for newbie dads who want to be hands-on but don’t know how.

The Lost Dads Home by Eric Veille and Pauline Martin

The creative team of Eric Veille and Pauline Martin also excel in deadpan humour.   Team Booko loves their take on Mums, and now they turn their attention to Dads.  When a little boy accidentally loses track of his dad, he heads to the Lost Dads Home to try to find him. Here he finds dads of all shapes and sizes – but will he find the right one?  The Lost Dads Home celebrates dads in all their weird and wonderful glory.

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks

You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest or smartest to be amazing. In Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different, Ben Brooks challenges gender stereotypes by profiling 100 boys and men who have made important contributions to society, despite not being “prince charming, dragon slayers or mischievous pranksters”.  The subjects came from many different countries and eras; some are famous, such as Roald Dahl, Barack Obama and John Lennon, while the lesser-known are no-less impressive for their selflessness, perseverance and sense of humanity. Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different is a powerful read-aloud for Dads to share with their children.

Family: New Vegetable Classics to Comfort and Nourish by Hetty McKinnon

Foodie Dads can show their culinary flair – and their love for their families – by cooking some delicious, family- friendly meals; and Hetty McKinnon’s latest book is here to offer some fresh inspiration.  Through her previous bestsellers Community and Neighbourhood, Hetty has become known for vegetable-based salads and meals that are hearty, flavourful and great for sharing; now she puts her own spin on a multicultural range of comfort foods. If you love foods that are simple but generous, and if you love the idea of creating family rituals, then Family is definitely a book for you.

A Life Less Stressed: the Five Pillars of Health and Wellness by Dr Ron Ehrlich

Now that you are responsible for a tiny, vulnerable human being, maintaining your health (both mental and physical) is more important than ever.  Dr Ron Ehrlich, a dentist and holistic health advocate, sets out to understand what stress means and how it impacts our health and wellbeing.  Based on his holistic outlook, Dr Ron argues that problems in one area will have repercussions over our entire body.  He shows how we can take control of our health by strengthening the “five pillars” of sleep, breathing, nutrition, movement, and thought – which will help us become more resilient, and able to be the best selves and parents we can be.

Illuminae (audiobook on CD) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Parenting a newborn involves spending a lot of time holding the baby – and sitting around. Make the most of that downtime by listening to an audiobook.  Catch up on a recent release, such as the Illuminae trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – it is a huge, magnificent and acclaimed space opera.  The audiobook version has appeared on many “Best Of” lists – with a cast of twenty narrators, this is more a performance than a simple read-aloud. Illuminae is also available for instant download from Audible. Volume 2, Gemina, is also available as an audiobook.  Alternatively, rediscover a classic, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as read by Stephen Fry.

Exploring the world with Bill Bryson

He’s sharp and witty and regarded as one of the world’s best writers of travel. Bill Bryson has penned numerous books that have made readers snort out loud and laugh until tears were streaming down their faces. He’s been a favourite in our household for years and we always look forward to his next release. Bill Bryson is one of those authors who sparks the reading bug where once you turn the last page in one of his books you’re instantly looking for his next.

Here are a few of our favourites…

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island

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. In 2015, 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 recognise any more. 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.

 

 

Bill Bryson’s African Diary

Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of humankind, is a land of stunning landscapes, famous game reserves, and a vibrant culture, but it also has many serious problems, including refugees, AIDS, drought and grinding poverty. It also provides plenty to worry a nervous traveller like Bill Bryson: hair-raising rides in light aircraft, tropical diseases, snakes, insects and large predators. Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains all his trademark laugh-out-loud wit, wry observation and curious insight. All the author’s royalties from this book, as well as all profits, go to CARE International.

 

 

In a Sunburned Country

Turning his attention to Australia, Bill Bryson takes a truly outrageous tour Down Under, revealing hundreds of entertaining eccentricities about the world’s largest island and about himself. Leaving no Vegemite unsavored, readers accompany Bryson as he dodges jellyfish while learning to surf at Bondi Beach, discovers a fish that can climb trees, dehydrates in sweltering deserts, and tells the true story of the rejected Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House. Definitely worth a read.

 

 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world’s best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs Bryson and his family and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth. Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, ‘Put the gun down, Vinnie, I’ll do anything you say.’ Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena – the American way of life.

 

 

…and finally the book that prompted our love of Mr Bryson…

 

Notes From a Small Island

This book was voted the nation’s favourite book on modern Britain in a World Book Day BBC poll. After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while, to let his kids experience life in another country, to give his wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week, and, most of all, because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, and it was thus clear to him that his people needed him. But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation’s public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, people who said ‘Mustn’t grumble’, and Gardeners’ Question Time.

…and once you’ve read all of the above treasures you may want to have a look at these

Enjoy!