Christmas Lit Gifts 2017: Humorous reads that gladden the heart

Laughter is the best medicine, as the wise saying goes. Prescribe it by the bucketful, we say. Get started with our pick of books to tickle the funny bone.

Why Mummy Drinks
By Gill Sims
Gill Sims, the author of the online sensation Peter and Jane, has written a laugh-out-loud funny, immensely relatable book. It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you having another glass?’ But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who “live for their children” and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements, and boasting about their latest holidays. Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering “FML’”over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had… (Paperback, RM72.90)

The Emotionary: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do
By Eden Sher, illustrated by‎ Julia Wertz
All her life, Eden Sher has suffered from dyscommunicatia (n. the inability to articulate a feeling through words.). Then, one day, she decided that, whenever she had an emotion for which she had no word, she would make one up. The result of this is The Emotionary, which lives at the intersection of incredibly funny and very useful. Chock full of words you always wanted/never knew you needed, often accompanied by illustrations of hilarious and all-too-familiar situations by acclaimed graphic novelist Julia Wertz, this book will be a cherished tool for you or the world-class feelings-haver in your life. (Paperback, RM46.95)

 

Ladybird for Grown-Ups series
By Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris
This series of Ladybird books have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them. The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. Featuring original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, brand new text, the series featured here are The ExThe Sister, The Nerd, The Big Night Out, The Quiet Night In, and The New You. Perfect as stocking stuffers! (Hardcover, RM43.95 each)

Scorn: The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History
By Matthew Parris
There’s no pleasure like a perfectly turned put-down (when it’s directed at somebody else, of course) but Matthew Parris’s Scorn is sharply different from the standard collections. Here are the funniest, sharpest, rudest and most devastating insults in history, from ancient Roman graffiti to the battlefields of Twitter. Drawing on bile from such masters as Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth I, Donald Trump, Groucho Marx, Princess Anne, Winston Churchill, Nigel Farage, Mae West and Alastair Campbell – which form an exchange between voices down the ages – Scorn shows that abuse can be an art form. Encompassing literature, art, politics, showbiz, marriage, gender, nationality and religion, Parris’s collection is the perfect companion for the festive season, whether you’re searching for the perfect elegant riposte, the rudest polite letter ever written, or a brutal verbal sledgehammer. (Paperback, RM53.90)

Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables & Problems
By Adam Ehrlich Sachs
A son receives an inheritance from his father and tries to dispose of it before it destroys him – this book tells this elemental story in over 100 hilarious, witty variations. It is a rueful, absurd, and endlessly entertaining look at a most serious subject – the eternally vexed relations between fathers and sons. In a 117 shrewd, surreal vignettes, Sachs lays bare the petty rivalries, thwarted affection, and mutual bafflement that have characterised the filial bond since the days of Davidic kings. Keenly inventive, but painfully familiar, these surprisingly tender stories signal the arrival of a brilliant new comic voice – and fresh hope for fathers and sons the world over. (Paperback, RM62.90)

 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
By Balli Kaur Jaswal
At turns charming, hilarious and heartwarming, this novel revolves around Nikki, who takes a creative writing job at her local temple with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager. She’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals. Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger. East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life. (Paperback, RM69.90)

Spoonbenders: A Novel
By Daryl Gregory
Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all. Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind – Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.

Decades later, the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie’s in serious debt to his dad’s old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there’s any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene’s son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn’t told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves – if it doesn’t tear them apart in the process. (Paperback, RM75.90)

 

Mr Men for Grown-Ups series
By Sarah Daykin, Lizzie Daykin and Liz Bankes
Mr Men for Grown-Ups series now gives adults the chance to laugh along as the Mr Men and Little Miss try to cope with the very grown-up world around them. Featuring Roger Hargreaves classic artwork alongside hilariously funny new text, the four parody titles are Little Miss Shy Goes Online Dating, Mr. Greedy Eats Clean to Get Lean, Mr. Happy and the Office Party, and Little Miss Busy Surviving Motherhood. Perfect as stocking stuffers! (Hardback, RM33.90)

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