Archive for January, 2010

bookseller comedy review


Humour has been the most fluid, responsive and adaptable genres in the recent times. Comedy publications strives to widen interest and reflect tastes beyond the impulse buyer. Readers expect humour more pointed and to have a level of sophistication tailored to their own tastes with a greater detail than before. As such books are now released with an emphasis on capturing a specific sub-culture rather then directly competing with other publishers. The breadth of titles released, and the growth in humorous miscellany’s show a move towards catering to the needs of the modern consumer,making them accessible to the browser. Jokes and humorous writers have come into their own with distinct personalities emerging and flavouring their work, in turn building a following and establishing readerships as loyal as any prose writer.

While parodies of new films and novels continue unabated, there is a distinct move towards relating experiences and giving genuine advice though humour. The worst case scenarios and how to be an action hero hand books have both been successful. A rise in etiquette and a focus on sub-groups show a keen understanding of an attempt to become more pro-active in capturing imagination of the general public. The internet, often feared and cited as the death of text, has been assimilated. Whereas once the concern that any joke told would be chain mailed, losing readership and crucially sales, the success of the onion among others reflects the preference of the printed form. It has also allowed for political responses to appear faster and highten the commentary of current political situations.The success of Bushisms, among others show that the genre will adapt for audience without needing rebranding beyond its purpose.


Lynne’s Truss, Talk to the hand October £6.99 1861979797

A book not so much about good manners but her frustrations with the lack of them and is more accessible than the previous work that brought her such acclaim, sure to sell well and plenty should be kept in reserve as the inevitable word of mouth passes through readers.

Mia Wallace and Clint Spanner How to get an ASBO, October, 1852273313,

The CHAV phenomenon continues to be a source of social concern and satire. This market continues to grow with unstopping abandon as a slew of titles are scheduled through to the end of this year is the most notable having been created by the writers of the original Chav handbook.

ASBO broadens the spectrum and alert us of its meaning, bringing to bear all aspects, a sharp insight into the absurdities of ASBO’s with great and original detail pushing the humour far beyond the notions of Chavs and hoodies.

The design itself is somewhat striking with ‘Gorillaz’ style illustrations and a sharp orange cover that stands out. Along side its sister books the Chav handbook, can be quite prominent and eye catching. The book is topical as, socially, a relatively new concern with ‘little book of Chav gags’ and the like still selling well.

Terry Prattchett’s Wintersmith, Doubleday September, 0385609841,

With the growth in the mainstream popularity of fantasy books for ‘readers of all ages’ this story of the wee-men established in earlier book continues an attempt to bring the Discworld to a younger generation of readers. Sure to be a bestseller this Christmas placed well it can also help move the back catalogue that Pratchett has developed over twenty years in print. The cross over appeal should not be underrated,


best of my guy,

Publisher: Robson Books Ltd (28 Sep 2006)

ASIN: 18610597959

There is a definite growth in the nostalgia market following the unprecedented sleep hit success of the best of Jackie. This market looks to be increased with the collection, it has kept to the original design and layout, and will appeal to fans of the cancelled magazine.

Perhaps more so given the emphasis on the 80’s celebrities many of whom are still readily recognisable on our screens

Various, The encyclopaedia of guilty pleasures 1001 you hate to love, November £12.99 0719561388

Packaged and edited in a similar format to ‘Is it me or is everything shit? This collection deals with both the simple pleasures and current concerns, much like its predecessor

Its styled in a similar a-z format with a great deal of emphasises given to our day to days changes and challenging in quite a slick style and rather jaunty style and design.


Massino Fenati’s Gus and Waldo’s book of love, October £6.99 0752875655

A surprisingly affectionate tale of two male penguins in love. More than collection of images the story unfolds slowly and leaves a great deal to the reader’s imagination.Despite the innocuous design it should be emphasised this book is not for children but the sentiment involved could see this do well as a contemporary version of Love is…



Augustus browns why pandas do handstands Bantam Press (6 Nov 2006) ISBN: 0593056930

An encyclopaedic selection of some of the most shocking aspects of the animal kingdom, the details and breakdowns allows the information to convey quickly, irreverent and entertaining manner, as such should do well given the colourful cover. A perfect companion to what eats wasps

Burton Silver, Why paint cats, October £6.99, 1580088015, Ten Speed press

Photo-books of cats are not a product in short supply , however this collection invigorates the genre.The Photography here is eyecatching and distinct.

Visually there is a great deal of detail of cats that should appeal on both cat fans and body artists as each of the cats depicted have been died or cosmetically painted in some fashion creating a truly colourful and sumptuous visual collection. The text to explain the cultural significance of these transformed felines gives extra level of mewling amusement for feline fans.

Kitty Bunton, Mad about cats, £4.99 August, 1840245182 Summersdale press,

A simple and elegant set of observations not of cats, but the obsessive symptoms of their owner’s sensibilities. Laudable and appropriate for cat lovers with a sense of humour. It’s a small collection and a strong till point addition with the style almost Parisian, demure with the humour surprisingly cutting.



Tom Cox’s collection of observer articles the lost tribes of pop: Portrait (26 Oct 2006)


Tom’s collection of observer articles is not so much a guide not to genre, but to the fans that surround them. The kitchen sinks snippets of each of these portraits allows for a lot of social commentary to be weaved within his characters and insures a contemporary touch to the oldest forms of fan. The collection will include previously unpublished portraits of audio aficionado’s and will give most readers a laugh or recognition and perhaps embarrassment. Likely to do well with recognised broadsheet support

David Whittle, a boy called Pete, September, 1905548095, Friday project Limited

The pop justice brand continues to broaden its line with a new range of characters to bemuse with its innocent language and sordid sentiment.

A contemporary target at the beginning of his career, marking a bolder move than the more usual suspects.




Tom Moore null points, October, £12.00, 0224077805 jonathan cape

With Finland’s win in the Eurovision instigating some controversy. This is joyous relief from the usually self-congratulatory Eurovision books, delving beyond the usual statistics to the political ramifications of the event a truly insightful cultural review.

While an event often dismissed this year has seen some remarkable changes in the spectacle that may well reinvigorate interest, albeit on a level of kitsch.


Stephen Clarke’s talk to the snail, £9,99, October 0593057228 bantam

Clarke’s take on the merde continues with this surprisingly applicable phrase book. While a small pocket book it follows the traditional format albeit, imbued with Clarke’s his own notion’s of ‘Franglais’. This will sell as a small guide to Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

Don’t tell mum Simon Hoggart, November, £9.99, 184354539X

A contemporary compendium of internet confessions from the growing number of gap year travellers, Simon’s work has been confident sellers in the past and this looks to fulfil a gap in a modern trend of younger people going abroad, a gift for the student and the parent in a nascent yet rapidly growing trend.

Viva san sombrero

From the success of their previous two volumes Viva san sombrero is a continuation of fictional countries with a level of detail you may only expect book by Tolkein. Photos and commentaries still excite and fascinate a perfect companion to the armchair traveller,

Dan Kieran and Ian Vince, The my way code,BOXTREE, November £9.99, 0752226207

The 75th anniversary of the high way code my seem like a strange item to commemorate but the support and interest in the history of public transport may see this becoming quite regarded. Laid out exactly like the Highway Code replete complete with signage and humours illustrations which would be the perfect stress release drivers, particularly in city based stores.

Monica E. Gregory, £9.95, October,185894337x, Merrell, Toilets of the world,

Travel tends to focus on the differences of cultures but the role of the waste room unites all nationalities it’s a photo-book allowing for some of the strangest loos to grace the pages. While toilet humour may seem a common theme in humour this selection are eclectic and a touch risqué.


Roger Schaeffer, What are the odds, Orion, September £9.99 0752875973,

While covering more than sport, this collection appeals with a mix of facts and figures broken down into multiple choice, a neat device to draw readers on and should entrap the casual browser. The knowledge inside is quite diverse and would also appeal to any fans of Pub quiz books, and can be cross-promoted effectively

Pat Sullivan Golf quotations, ebury September £7.99 0091912040

With the rise in golf magazines and more people taking up the sport. This release coinciding with the Ryder cup this book will do well, moreso given the dearth of humour on the subject.

Richard Benson The book of wicket wit September £8.99,summersdale 1840245417

A relaxed attitude to cricket, highlighting the eccentricities of the jargon and the manner in witch cricket fans obsess .More than a commentary on the game it reflects the social mores of the cricket ground and the peculiarities of a particularly English institution. The slim hardback should appeal to the older fans of the game and the cricket club ethos that surrounds it.

Barney Romey STUDS greatest football annual the world has ever seen, £9.99 October 0091913640, ebury

A collection of shoot magazine articles including the lifestyle and fashion of the 70’s. Footballer’s, their cars and wives. This is a fascinating read for not just the football greats but also the sheer dedication taken with Shoot magazine. With an appropriate emphasis from stores on the source material would ensure additional sales from fond memories of avid readers.


Geoff Tibbells, Mammoth book of jokes

Sure to sell well among aficionados of the joke form. The original selection covered everything from solicitors to shaggy dogs in its subject’s and with a joke count of other 7,500 it would be hard for any fan of gags not to find something they enjoyed. A Huge collection with enough new material to bear mentioning as a distinct book, and practically definitive resource

David Rose They call me naughty Lola, November £7.99, profile books 1861978294,

As an eclectic and light-hearted selection from the most eccentrically verbose lonely hearts to have appeared in the personals of the London review of books. Lola brings a whole new meaning to the term bibliophile with the assured wit of the paper and its readership, a broad sheet and broad minded audience should find this quite diverting and pushed in conjunction with private could do quite well.

A Book addicts treasury, Frances Lincoln Publishers (1 Aug 2006), 0711226857, £9.99

is a wonder through bookish behaviour as diagnosed and discussed within books themselves, this collection of quotations is artfully selected and crafted to create an almost seamless narrative of its own with a great deal of elegance.

Tony Husband’s, the world’s worst jokes, £9.99, ebury, 009191230X

To be the worst book is not a great selling point, but its bright design and hardback cartoon format catch’s the eye by denoting an easy read and the truly groan inducing quality of the gags really does bring the reader along , albeit in disbelief.

Richard Benson, Old Git wit, October, Summerdale publishing, 1840245425 £8.99

The collection of old git wit is a broad selection about the aged from the ages by the aged and could be targeted at anyone who has to make a speech for someone’s golden years. With the success of the grumpy old men and women selections and now we are 60 and a bit there seems a growth in the market but in the audience and their interest. A handy addendum to the previously mentioned titles that could be a factor in typically mid-week clientele.

Paul Ross, Small book of grave humour, September, £4.99, Little Books, 1904435653

The book’s a collection of witty epithets as found on a variety of grave stones. Quite involving while simple, the headstone design could do well as a centre piece of a Halloween display bridging the gap for fans of Emily the strange into the more humours aspects of gallows humour.


Thomas Fink, The man’s book, 0297851632, September £9.99

The success of Dad’s stuff and Dangerous things for boys surprise success among older reader’s has established a market for men’s lifestyle books beyond the magazine market.

This simple pinstriped cover draws on a more sophisticated and classic look and could be the next lifestyle guide for those post-loaded, matured metro sexual. From the details about spirits to a comprehensive summary of the life of James bond, a collection that’s level of detail is sure to appeal to all men.

Ed West, How to Pull Birds, £7.99, October, Summersdale, 184024545X

While seduction techniques are not a new subject, the book is styled and promoted with illustrations alluding to the popularity of Neil Strauss the Game. Given the growing popularity of these books and the media interest with it, coupled with the writer’s reputation from working on mens weekly Nuts, should see some sales in conjunction with the earlier work.


Sarah J Hedley,Sex by numbers, Piatkus,£7.99, 0749926961, October is quite a distinctive blue package and takes a more flippant approach to the development of a sexual relationship, although heightening it would be more appropriate it s stylish design and should sell as the innocent illustrative technique keeps it away form the fogginess that can spoil such discussions.

Mitchell Symons, Where do nudists keep their hankies,

A book bridging the cap between the sexual advice of the other books and the innocent curiosity of what eats wasps, Mitchell Symons is a self confessed prude investigation is humorous dealing with the social mores of a very personal issue, quite expansive and cultured this should appeal on many readers.


Mark Reynolds Why do men fall asleep after sex,orion 075288218X, November £6.99

Following from why men have nipples and continues with the funnier functions of the human body, co-inciding with a re-release of the first book, should do well as word of mouth has established a solid sales base for the first one.

Nigel Crawthorne,The amorous antiques of old England,Portrait, 0749951001.

Colourful both in illustration and subject, this should appeal to history buffs that have. A quaint collection of tradition and superstition coupled with enough anecdotes and eccentricities exclusively English in its character.


Lynne Truss, eats shoots and leaves for children, September £8.99, 1861978162, Profile

Lynne’s grammatical crusade against misplaced commas continues with illustrating them to humorous effect, an informative book targeted at parents who strongly believe in some level of edutainment for their kids. It’s colourful and simple in design appealing to children’s imagination.

Andy Reilly’s Loads More lies to tell small kids, October £7.99,0340899646, hodder & Stoughton

The success of his bunny suicides proves his humour more in the life is hell vein of Matt Groening, the bright hardback stand out well and could be done with a slight push at the till points as his animated style belies a much darker wit then expected.

Joan Prictchett, Not all grannies Knit How to be a bad grandmother, Michael O’Mara books, £9.99 1843172097

Brightly illustrated and aimed at the more active nanny is fresh take on a subject that I is often treated in such a staid manner as to lose the very people it’s built towards appealing too

Stephanie Calman’s, Confessions of a failed grown, September £12.99, 1405092130, Macmillan

A sequel to her bad mothers hand book sees Stephanie calman continuing the chick lit styling may be biographical but if sold in tandem with Helen fielding should do well. Her style is flippant and likable and she is renowned as quite a raconteur

Phil Ball’s, The hapless teacher’s handbook, £10.99 0091908965 August.ebury

should also do well with the growing amount of graduates within teacher training, coming out in august it should be the perfect gift for an academic first jobber and as teacher made a strong occupational demographic of most stores should also be pushed within education.


Ed, warren Larkin, The Essential Linda Smith Hodder and Straughton November £17.99


A Book both formidable in its comprehensive nature and the breadth of comedy, fans will flock to this post-humus releases of one the sharpest wits to grace radio 4. Comprehensive sales points to fans of her work on radio and anyone interested in the role of women in comedy. The recent sold out theatrical tribute continues to show a great deal of support from many comedians of calibre who will be continuing to keep her name in the public eye throughout the rest of the year.

Box 18 The unpublished spike Milligan , Ed Norma Farnes , October £18.99 Fourth estate, 0007214278

A collection of Milligan’s musings, drawing as they occurred. The books sales are assured as more people come to Milligan’s mind from his earlier works.

Graham Chapman, Jim Yoakum Calcium made interesting, August £7.99, 009191230X

The paperback release of Graham Chapman’s musings and articles throughout his time both with and bond python, a strong seller in hardback this paperback edition is sure to do well with many fans still hungry for any additional material they can get and the density of material is truly immersive

Pam Ayers, Surgically enhanced, September £14.99, 0340922788 though her mixture of poetry and essays however gives a broad scope from everything to holidaying and parenthood and the worries of weight.

John O’Farrell’s I have a Bream, October 0385610882,

The final collection from his run as the opinion of The Guardian. At turns domestic and worldly this should do well with the fans of private eye and those who wish to complete journey through his views.


Julian Hall, Rough Guide to British cult comedy, Penguin October 1843536188 £9.99

The rough guides have become an imprint synonymous with accessibility and detail, Julian’s time within comedy ensures a thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide for enthusiastic fans and those even those who wish to enter the industry. The book itself will do well with budding writers and stand up’s.

Mike O’Brien the Best stand-up and comic routines. Constable and Robinson, £14.99

November 1845294424

This book contains some of the most highly recognised pieces of comedy and having an accompanying CD allows for some of the lesser known lights to be introduced to a new audience. The inclusion of the CD doubles the appeal as budding stand ups can delight in the scripts while the laymen can enjoy some underrated comedians otherwise unavailable


Stuff the turkey: Simon & Schuster Ltd (6 Nov 2006) ISBN: 0743295145

Designed to evoke imagination and activity during the season of good will. Humour often takes a traditionally cynical approach as the pressures of the family within the festive season begin to rise within the forced good will. Like its predecessor full of anecdotes and activities that should see the book gaining a lot of use and extend its coverage beyond the normal season spirits.

I’m dreaming of a Shite Christmas Boxtree Ltd (6 Oct 2006)

ASIN: 0752226266

From the anti-climax of advent calendars to the Christmas movie being Zulu, you get the impression that each of the twelve days will be receiving its own traditional turkey roasting.

For those wanting to extend their views into 2007 diaries are hard inventions to improve on. However the mind behind last years

Benrik, this diary will change your life 2007 (6 Oct 2006) ISBN: 0752226177

Deidre Dolan, Curb your enthusiasm the companion.07432965048 November, Simon and Schuster £14.99

A Bright and detailed piece with a greater level of detail than one would expect from a tie in.. While its fan base is loyal Curb your enthusiasm is still one of TV’s best kept secret’s and it would be easy to underestimate the appeal of this companion. Covering more than the show but Larry David’s own career as a stand up and his contributions to Seinfeld, this book is a more a biography then a script book. It’s a book sure to find repeat sales as awareness grows of the show