Why We Love Music
By John Powell
Did you know that . . .carrying a musical instrument makes you more attractive?music can cure insomnia?music can change the taste of wine?the Mozart effect has nothing to do with Mozart?Barry Manilow songs can be used for crowd control?Why does music affect you so profoundly? It impacts the way you think, talk, feel, behave and even spend money. With his conversational style, humour, and endless knowledge, scientist and musician John Powell showcases fascinating studies - for example that shoppers spend more money in stores that play classical music and, even more astounding, they are more likely to buy German wine in stores playing German music. With chapters on music and emotions, music as medicine, music and intelligence, and much more, Why We Love Music will entertain through to the very last page. A delightful journey through the psychology and science of music, Why We Love Music is the perfect book for anyone who loves a tune.
Growing Up With Comedians
By Roger Lewis
A collection of portraits of some of the finest comedians of our time. From the author of the acclaimed The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, as made into an award-winning film by HBO, and the dark and scabrous Seasonal Suicide Notes, which everybody loves, here at last comes the definitive book about comic genius by a man whom the Sunday Times has hailed as 'brilliantly funny... a comic genius.'Growing up in South Wales, the precocious Roger Lewis longed to lock himself away from the world and listen to bootleg cassettes of The Goon Show and count the fucks (144) and cunts (89) uttered on the Derek and Clive Live LPs. He screamed with horror at Jimmy Clitheroe. He was a connoisseur of Norman Wisdom and Terry-Thomas. He lapped up Marx Brothers films, Ealing films, and On the Buses, which to him was as sinister as Strindberg.Once he reached university, Lewis' love for the art of comedy never waned, and he could never fathom why the grisly hairy-nosed academics considered comedy trivial, comedians frivolous. In Lewis' view, comedy has more lasting significance than tragedy - the supposed pinnacle of art - because comedy, like real life, admits to misrule and incapacity, accepts the inconsequential, harbours extravagance and eccentricity, and endorses the fact that, in the end, nothing quite adds up.This book contains incisive portraits of the world's most treasured performers and complicated personalities - from Chaplin to Tati, Hancock to Hawtrey, Laurel and Hardy to Spike Milligan, Terry Gilliam to Barry Humphries, and Arthur Lowe to Benny Hill, amongst many others. The chapters comparing Kenneth Williams with Francis Bacon, Leonard Rossiter with John Reginald Christie, Groucho Marx with A.J. Ayer, Morecambe and Wise with Gilbert and George, and Joyce Grenfell with Kathleen Ferrier, in particular, will be heralded as criticism and commentary at their most profound and creative.Growing Up With Comedians asks what lurks beneath the public face; where does talent end, ego begin, and periods of madness take over? From pompous control freaks to unpredictable originals, Lewis, as only he knows how, examines the strangeness and hidden sorrow found behind the excrutiating facades.By turns lyrical, poignant, and always insanely perceptive, Growing Up With Comedians is another unforgettable high-heat masterpiece by Roger Lewis.
From Cradle to Stage
By Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Virginia Grohl, mother of Dave Grohl, had not seen any of it coming. Not the arenas of screaming fans, not Nirvana or the Foo Fighters, not the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and certainly not her son, Dave, performing with Sir Paul McCartney at The White House. Theirs had always been a life full of music - the Grohl family sang together on long car trips, harmonising to Motown and David Bowie - yet Virginia never expected her son to become a musician. But when Virginia saw Nirvana play for the first time to crazed applause from thousands of screaming fans, she knew nothing would ever be the same. She was the mother of a rock star.And as Virginia watched her son's star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children's fame? Virginia often wondered about the mystical force that urges some of us to listen, to play, to surround ourselves with music. She wanted to talk about it with the other mothers whose sons and daughters were sharing stages with Dave, and she decided to seek them out wherever they were. So began a two-year odyssey, where she had conversations with such women from all over the world as Verna Griffin, Dr Dre's mother, Carolyn Williams, Pharell William's mother, Janis Winehouse, Amy Winehouse's mother, Patsy Noah, Adam Levine's mother, Donna Haim, mother to the Haim sisters and Hester Diamond, Mike D of The Beastie Boys' mother, to name just a few. From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers everywhere, but particularly to those with children who march (or play) to the beat of their own drum; and it's for those children who have their mothers to thank for everything. For music lovers and rock fans, it's the ultimate backstage pass-for anyone who has wondered what it's like to be on the inside...looking out at a packed arena. Featuring a foreword by Dave Grohl and exclusive family photographs, interviews are interwoven with the Grohl family story and the resultant book is a very intimate portrait of what makes a rock star.
By Ali Almossawi
What's the best way to sort your laundry?Why is Facebook so good at predicting what you like?How do you find new music?Readers around the world have embraced Ali Almossawi's whimsical illustrations and his funny, clarifying explanations of complex subjects. In Bad Choices Almossawi demystifies a new topic of increasing relevance to our lives: algorithms. This is a book for anyone who's looked at a given task and wondered if there was a better, faster way to get it done. What's the best way to organize a grocery list? What's the secret to being more productive at work? How can we better express ourselves in 140-characters?Presenting us with alternative methods for tackling each scenario, Almossawi guides us to better choices that borrow from same systems that underline a computer word processor, a Google search engine, or a Facebook ad. Once you recognise what makes a method faster and more efficient, you'll become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges.
The Owl at the Window
By Carl Gorham
The Owl at the Window is a dramatic, moving and funny memoir. An emotional, ultimately uplifting tale of loss and hope.'Amazing and completely compelling...both funny and sad, and so moving, I couldn't put it down.' - Alison Steadman'Devastatingly moving and hilarious in equal measure. I have laughed and cried during the reading of a single sentence.' - Caroline Quentin'She is dead. She was here just now and she was alive. How can she suddenly be dead? People in history are dead. Old people are dead. Grandparents are dead. Other people are dead. Not people like me. Not this person. The person I was married to. Had a child with. Not the person who was standing next to me. Chatting. Laughing. Being.'Shock is just one of many emotions explored in award-winning TV comedy writer Carl Gorham's account of his bereavement which is by turns deeply moving and darkly humorous.Part love story, part widower's diary, part tales of single parenting, it tells of his wife's cancer, her premature death and his attempts to rebuild his life afterwards with his six -year old daughter. Realised in a series of vivid snapshots, it takes the reader on an extraordinary journey from Oxford to Australia, from Norfolk to Hong Kong through fear, despair, pain and anger to hope, laughter and renewal.The Owl at the Window is a fresh and original exploration of what it means to lose a partner in your forties, and how Carl learned to live again.
Cheer Up Love
By Susan Calman
'HEARTBREAKING AND HEART-WARMING: UNMISSABLE' Damian Barr, Metro'DEEPLY HONEST, SURPRISINGLY HILARIOUS AND UPLIFTING' The PoolSusan Calman is a well known comedian and writer who has appeared on countless radio and television programmes. Her solo stand up show, Susan Calman is Convicted, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and dealt with subjects like the death penalty, appearance and depression. The reaction to the show she wrote about mental health was so positive that she wanted to expand on the show and write a more detailed account of surviving when you're the world's most negative person. The Crab of Hate is the personification of Calman's depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion in her life, the Crab has provided her with the best, and very worst of times.This is a very personal memoir of how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, she has embraced her dark side and realised that she can be the most joyous sad person you'll ever meet. CHEER UP LOVE IS FUNNY, POIGNANT AND (HOPEFULLY) INFORMATIVE.IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK.
Born A Crime
By Trevor Noah
The New York Times Top 10 BestsellerThe compelling, inspiring, (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.One of the comedy world's brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him. Noah was born a crime, son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away.A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man's fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother - a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah's own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must read.
Say Ja to Hygge!
By Dr Magnus Olsensen
'Dr Magnus Olsensen has done the decent thing. He has punctured the smug hygge bubble. He has written a parody of hygge and he has blown out all the flipping candles.' The Times 'a hilarious pastiche of the hygge phenomenon...the cool humour gift book of 2016' Get The GlossThis little book of hygge came about after a particularly hyggeligt evening in December 2015. I had just lit my pleasing contemporary wood-burner and was sitting back, gløgg in hand, listening to Terj Dørk's classic drøn jazz album "Tepid in Taarstrup'. I found myself reflecting on the fact that we are the World's Happiest PeopleT. Wasn't it time, I thought, we shared our secret? I immediately called around three of the Institute of Wellbeing's brightest young researchers: Freja, Olaf and Sofia. We sat together snug in my pure wool foursie, bathed on soft fire-light, and talked long into the evening. The idea came over us unexpectedly. We would publish a book, explaining hygge for the betterment of all mankind. I'm delighted that we have succeeded. And I hope our efforts will help you to find your own hygge-topia. Held og lykke!"Dr Magnus OlsensenDirector, Institute of Wellbeing, Aarhus***The Danish hygge (pronounced 'huhhpg-ghuhrr') lifestyle is all about feeling snug, safe, warm and satisfied - ideally self-satisfied.But how should you go about finding your special cosy place?Let Dr Magnus Olsensen be your guide to finding hygge in every area of your life - from the office to the bedroom. Hygge is derived from the Old Norse words hig, meaning cosy, and ger, meaning fire hazard. It is, in essence, a state of mind. (One that is heavily dependent on candles.) For some, achieving hygge will come easily. Others may have to work a little harder. But if you put in the hours - and follow the guidance in Say Ja to Hygge! - you will find your own hygge-topia. You will have become, in spirit, Danish. And - as the old song goes - there is nothing like a Dane!This truly hilarious send-up of hygge culture is a work of timely comic genius.
By Marty Feldman
Completed before he died, thirty years ago, this is the newly discovered autobiography of one of the most influential comedians of recent times, Marty Feldman. Marty Feldman was one of the most essential creative forces in British comedy embodied also by his close friends and creative partners from Beyond the Fringe (especially Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) and Monty Python (especially John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle).Marty played the fool, often very happily and with tremendous talent and volcanic, anarchic energy, for his entire life. Marty finished, and set aside eYE Marty soon before travelling to Mexico to shoot his final film. He did not know that he would die there, although he certainly felt he might die soon, and was haunted by the notion. The book is exactly as Feldman wrote it, with even the photos inserted where Feldman had noted they should go. Hilarious, deeply charming, aphoristic, ironic, charged throughout with lust for life and filled with scenes of great vanished eras and and portraits of other performers and friends, eYE Marty is the amazing discovery of the story of a man who was at the heart of the British comedy revolution.
The Virgin Mary's Got Nits
By Gervase Phinn
A touching and hilarious gift book of poetry and prose on the subject of children and Christmas from the Yorkshire school inspector and bestselling author of the Dales series and Little Village School series.
You'll Grow Out of It
By Jessi Klein
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER'Jessi Klein is a brilliant comedic mind and this book is a perfect reflection of that. It's like having a glass of wine with the best friend you wish you had' - Amy Schumer'Miranda July meets Tina Fey' The PoolAs both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity.In YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called 'ma'am' and 'miss' ('Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds').Raw, relatable, and consistently hilarious, YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT is a one-of-a-kind book by a singular and irresistible comic voice.
By Joe Lycett
The mischievous and hilarious bulletins from comedy's fastest rising star. Dear Reader,Using letters, emails, tweets and telegrams I will show you how the things in your life that make you sad, low or anxious can soon appear trivial, insignificant and like a fish. In short, I will butter your parsnips. Life is hard. We are a bombarded generation: Facebook, billboards, Twitter, Instagram, taxes, newspapers, watches monitoring our sleep, apps that read our pulse, terrorism. There's such an onslaught to the senses these days it's a marvel any of us manage to get out of bed. I love bed.While we are overwhelmed and confused by the miasmic cloud of information, there are those that seek to take advantage: there are parking fines, hate Tweets, Nigerian email scams and Christmas newsletters from old school friends about their ugly kids. And just as we're getting round to doing something about it, we're distracted again.I, Joe Lycett, comedian, wordsmith, and professional complainer, am here to help. During my short life of doing largely nothing I've discovered solutions to many of life's problems, which I impart to you, dear Reader. Containing a centurion of complaint letters to unsuspecting celebrities, companies and anyone brave enough to clog up my phone, as well as illustrations, one-liners , jokes and life hacks, this little gem offers you a collection of tips and advice* for all manner of modern woe. By the time you have finished reading this book you will have learnt how to:- Reverse a parking fine - Manipulate the tabloid press - Navigate social media - Respond to hate mail - Out-weird internet trolls - Contest a so-called ripe avocado - Send the perfect Christmas newsletter - Defeat ISIS - Take down multi-national companiesAND MUCH, MUCH MORE!Joe Lycett x* If you are looking for guidance with taxes, quitting smoking, moving house, love, divorce, education, healthcare or anything actually important may I recommend speaking to friends or family members and not consulting a book by a comedian who eats halloumi at least twice a day.
Sidemen: The Book
By The Sidemen
Billions of you have watched their videos and millions of you have followed them on social media.So here we go; it's time to back up because YouTube superstars, The Sidemen, are finally here in book form and they're dishing the dirt on each other as well as the YouTube universe. There's nowhere to hide as KSI, Miniminter, Behzinga, Zerkaa,Vikkstar123, Wroetoshaw and Tobjizzle go in hard on their living habits, their football ability, and their dodgy clobber, while also talking Fifa, Vegas and superheroes. They'll also give you their grand house tour, letting you in on a few secrets, before showing you their hall of fame, as well as revealing some of their greatest shames.Along the way you'll learn how seven of the world's biggest YouTube stars started off with nothing more than a computer console, a PC and a bad haircut before joining forces to crush the internet. And they'll tell you just how they did it (because they're nice like that) with their ultimate guide to YouTube while also sharing their memories of recording their favourite videos as well as a typical day in the life of The Sidemen.You'll feel like you're with them every step of the way, smelling the 'sweet' aroma of the boys' favourite dishes in the kitchen, stamping your passport as you follow them on their trips around the world and kicking every ball as the boys gear up for the biggest football match of their lives. It's going to get personal. It's going to get intense, and JJ is going to have lots of tantrums, so take a moment to prepare yourself, because this is The Sidemen book you've been waiting for!