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Buster's Secret Diaries

Buster's Secret Diaries

Diaries celebrating a dog’s joy at owning a human, by the most famous dog in Britain.

Buster has written these diaries himself – whenever he could remember where he hid the manuscript in his garden. In it he lays bear the truth of how The Man has held Buster back, pretending to protect fur and feathers. Buster’s last book was an instant bestseller and, outrageously, The Man took all the credit. To add insult to injury, there were no extra biscuits. Worse, The Man forced Buster to eat low-fat ones, while he himself continued to eat lots of chocolate ginger nuts.

Despite The Man’s best efforts, Buster still gets into lots of scrapes, and, although his sight and hearing are failing somewhat, he still wants to ‘go courting’ – especially in springtime. Buster remains unaware of what happened that day at the vet’s, and no one will explain it to him, but they continue to allude to something.

On a visit to Ireland a gentleman tapped his nose and said to The Man, ‘You can’t fool me. I’ve worked it out. You wrote the book.’ Buster was so upset by this vile calumny that he wanted to give the gentleman a good nip. Then he remembered the words of someone called Robert Kennedy who The Man goes on about: ‘Don’t get angry. Get even.’ And he has. And this time it’s personal.

As Buster says, ‘No more Mr Nice Dog.’
Dangerous Days in Elizabethan England

Dangerous Days in Elizabethan England

The reign of Elizabeth I – a Golden Age? Try asking her subjects…

Elizabethans did all they could to survive in an age of sin and bling, of beddings and beheadings, galleons and guns. Explorers set sail for new worlds, risking everything to bring back slaves, gold and the priceless potato. Elizabeth lined her coffers while her subjects lived in squalor with hunger, violence and misery as bedfellows. Shakespeare shone and yet the beggars, doxies and thieves scraped and cheated to survive in the shadows.

These were dangerous days. If you survived the villains, and the diseases didn’t get you, then the lawmen might. Pick the wrong religion and the scaffold or stake awaited you. The toothless, red-wigged queen sparkled in her jewelled dresses, but the Golden Age was only the surface of the coin. The rest was base metal.
Don't Go There!

Don't Go There!

Get to know ‘Not-so Great Britain’ in this crackingly acerbic collection of insulting and downright offensive quotations about cities, towns and other locations in the British Isles.

Towns, cities, counties and constituent countries all come in for a lambasting in this bad-tempered and thoroughly entertaining journey round the British Isles (or, as the Irish insist on calling them, the Hibernian Archipelago), from the nauseatingly Nordic Shetlands to the suspiciously Froggy Channel Islands, from ‘the arse end of the world’ (Wigan) to the ‘heaving Sodom of the south coast’ (Brighton).

And it’s not just the places that come in for a hammering – the people too are mocked and reviled, from the imbecilic, dimwitted folk of County Kerry to the inbred, turkey-fancying natives of Norfolk, from the tight-fistedness of the inhabitants of Aberdeen to the light-fingeredness and incessant whinings of the Scouser.

And – unlike Boris Johnson of The Spectator – Mr Plinth will not be saying ‘Oops. Sorry!’
Grumpy Old Christmas

Grumpy Old Christmas

The highly successful ‘Grumpies’ return full of the Christmas spirit.

So – ’tis the season to be jolly is it? Well, not in the household of the Grumpy Old Man it isn’t. In the case of the GOM, ’tis the season to have to put up with even deeper layers of vexation than usual, and the only thing worth celebrating is that it looks as though you might after all be surviving to the end of what has been another crap year.

Everything about Christmas gets up our snitches. Everything. From the breakfast telly presenters who tell us it’s now just 120 shopping days to go, to the annual festive strike by airport baggage handlers. From office parties where drunken juniors have waited the whole year to tell you what ‘the trouble with you is…’, to parents videoing their precocious brats at the atrocious school nativity play where your kid is playing the part of the donkey’s rear end. From the woman next door who drops in to show your wife the diamond ring her prat of a husband has bought her, to the 150th opportunity to see ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ on the telly.

And speaking of wind, there’s the festive Xmas turkey that tastes like blotting paper soaked in a puddle and sends your digestive system to hell. And how on earth are we really supposed to look happy when someone buys us a tie with a picture of xxxxing Santa on it? Eh?
Grumpy Old Couples

Grumpy Old Couples

From that first date – and how it’s all downhill from there

We all know about the jungle of ‘dating’. But once you’ve found your ‘special’ friend you’ll have to pretend you like their taste in music, be nice to their mother and pick up their socks, and that’s only year one.

By the time you get into grumpy old middle-aged land, you’re firmly on farting terms and over-familiarity has bedded in. The only thing to do with the whole business is to laugh over it, which is the idea of this book.
Grumpy Old Holidays

Grumpy Old Holidays

Welcome on board – holidays the Grumpy way!

As every Grumpy Old Man and Woman knows, holidays are another way of keeping you all house-trained. They are civilised society’s reminder to you that the tedium of everyday life is actually preferable to a fortnight spent in the company of nagging partners, other people’s brats, bombastic in-laws; and – worse still – people who can’t speak English. As soon as you check in at the airport you are marooned in a sea of screaming babies, dull-faced reps and bland airport food.

Count yourself lucky if your optimistic expectation of a good holiday is even remotely fulfilled. Don’t be fooled by the glamorous air-brushed photos of American models with tippexed teeth sitting by laguna pools, cocktail in hand. There may be beautiful sunsets by the beach in the brochure, but you’ll inevitably find that a) you should have booked the neighbouring hotel (and if you’re lucky she’ll tell you so, ‘ad nauseam’) b) you picked the rainy/religious holiday/mosquito/plague infestation season – and wonder why it was so cheap and c) you’ll have had too much sex or food by the third or fourth day and be bored of each other, but there’s no-one else to talk to, apart from monosyllabic waiting staff and the ubiquitous Russians.

A holiday is supposed to be a lovely break, isn’t it? This book proves that it is the stay-at-homes who have all the fun.
Grumpy Old Workers

Grumpy Old Workers

‘I owe, I owe, so off to work we go.’ A Grumpy perspective on the daily grind.

Whether we are celebrity chef or hapless waiter, engineer or oily rag, commissioning editor or TV producer, all of us have a whole daily wagon-load of s**t to deal with in the name of work. From boardroom to boredom, from ‘what’s the point?’ to Powerpoint, from 9 to 5 to P45. And that’s what this new book from uber-grump Stuart Prebble is all about; the utter everyday relentless crapulence of working for ‘the man’, or indeed ‘the woman’. The workplace is a piece of cake for someone of his curmudgeonly quality.

It’s not possible in a book of this size to include ALL the grumps arising from the working day – the office politics, the shortcomings of IT, the interminable meetings and some of your colleagues’ weirder habits, but he is giving it a go. Grumpy? I’ll say we are …
How To Raise A Jewish Dog

How To Raise A Jewish Dog

You don’t have to own a dog and you don’t have to be Jewish… A humour title about using guilt, shame and passive aggression to raise your dog that will have you barking with laughter.

A ‘Not Missing Yet’ sign informs neighbours that dog is not missing. Some trainers call this precaution unnecessary. We say: It couldn’t hurt.

Finally! The dog training techniques and tips developed by the renowned Rabbis of the Boca Raton Theological Seminary are available in book form. Look out, monks. Step aside, whisperer. Rabbi Monica and Rabbi Alan show, step by step, how you can use guilt, shame, passive aggression, sarcasm and Conditional Unconditional Love to create an unbreakable bond with your dog. It’s all here, including:

– The five ways of commanding ‘Sit!’ (‘What, would it kill you to sit down for one lousy second?’)
– A useful list of Advanced Commands (‘Don’t stare at Cousin Edith’s hair when she comes over.’)
– How to use Situational Martyrdom when the dog disobeys (‘Fine. Do what you want. I hope you have a nice life.’)

The rabbis have been training dogs – and their owners – for 20 years. Now they bring the fruits of their vast experience to dog owners everywhere. And the best part? You don’t have to be Jewish to benefit from the programme. Just neurotic. Or crazy about your dog.
Mail Obsession

Mail Obsession

‘FASCINATING’ Daily Mail
‘FULL OF AMAZING FACTS’ The QI Elves

Each of the United Kingdom’s 124 postcode areas has a story to tell, an unexpected nugget to dust off and treasure.

Mark Mason has embarked on a tour of the country, immersing himself in Britain’s history on a roundabout journey from AB to ZE. On the lookout for interesting place names and unusual monuments, along the way he discovers what the Queen keeps in her handbag, why the Jack Russell has a white coat and how Jimi Hendrix got confused by the M1.

At the same time Mason paints an affectionate portrait of Britain in the 21st century, from aggressive seagulls in Blackpool to ‘seasoned’ drinkers in Surrey. And his travels offer the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the Royal Mail, complete with pillar boxes, posties and Penny Reds – plus Oscar Wilde’s unconventional method of posting a letter.

A playful mix of fact, anecdote and overheard conversation, MAIL OBSESSION pays homage to Britain’s wonderful past and its curious present.
Pure Drivel

Pure Drivel

‘A mix of urbane wit and surreal extrapolations – Douglas Adams meets Flann O’Brien’ Independent

Who else but Steve Martin could combine irrefutable evidence that Mars is populated by kittens with a treatise on sledgehammers? In this brilliantly witty collection of pieces Steve Martin takes a subversive glimpse at the world and a sideways swipe at the conventional. From memory tips for the over-fifties to his insightful exposition of ‘Wittgenstein’s Banana’, never has ‘pure drivel’ been so entertaining.
Question Time

Question Time

Which major UK retailer has the same name as Odysseus’s dog in Greek mythology?
In the original version of the Band Aid hit ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, who sang the opening line?
Which is the only US state whose name can be typed on a single row of a QWERTY keyboard?

Travel writer and quiz fan Mark Mason decided to combine two of his greatest loves by setting off on a tour of Britain’s quizzes. From a pub quiz in Edinburgh to a charity quiz in Hampshire, from a corporate quiz in Birmingham to a journalists’ quiz in Parliament, he finds answers aplenty while asking some questions of his own. Just what is it that attracts us to these tests of our knowledge? What are the ingredients of the perfect quiz question? And which is the only English city whose official name begins with H?

The only travel book ever to discuss Winston Churchill’s use of language and reveal Donald Duck’s middle name, QUESTION TIME is an affectionate tribute to Britain and one of its most cherished institutions – the quiz.
The Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships

What to do with the fragments of a love affair?

A postcard from a childhood sweetheart. A wedding dress in a jar. Barbed wire. Silicone breast implants. Red stilettos, never worn. These objects and many others make up the inspiring, whimsical, sometimes bizarre, and always unforgettable population of the real-life Museum of Broken Relationships.

A decade ago, two lovers were struggling through their own painful breakup, desperate to heal their heartbreak without destroying the memory of the love they had shared. Then, an idea struck: they would create a communal space, a kind of refuge for – and cathartic celebration of – the everyday objects that had outlasted love. These items, along with the anonymous, intimate stories each piece represented, quickly captured hearts and imaginations across the globe. As word spread, the tiny museum became a worldwide sensation.

Collected here are 203 of the best, funniest, most heartwarming and thought-provoking pieces that offer an irresistible experience of human connection. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a poignant celebration of modern love – and a must-read for anyone who has ever loved and lost.
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