If you're here in the States, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you don't know about Ladybird Publishing. Please forgive me if I'm too presumptiveIf you're here in the States, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you don't know about Ladybird Publishing. Please forgive me if I'm too presumptive; despite my long association with and journeys to the UK, I was only vaguely familiar with them myself.
If you click the link above for Ladybird, you'll see that they publish books for young children. But Ladybird has been around in some form or another since 1867, and in the process has accumulated a back catalog of illustrations from their publications.
And they've transformed those lovely treasures into The Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups:
My Christmas gift to myself last year was to special order Spectacles from Book Depository. As an aside, please allow me to strongly recommend Book DeMy Christmas gift to myself last year was to special order Spectacles from Book Depository. As an aside, please allow me to strongly recommend Book Depository if you often can't wait for European or UK books to be released in the States (or simply can never get them here). I used to obtain such books from Amazon UK but always had to swallow the steep shipping costs and typical 3 weeks + waiting time (though I must admit the couple of times my packages got lost, their customer service was excellent). Book Depository has become my new go-to.
I would pay top dollar for whatever media outlet (PBS, I assume?) to make the past seasons of The Great British Bake Off available here in the States. I absolutely adore everyone one there - the bakers, the judges, the hosts (which includes Perkins, if you and I are not symbiotic and you somehow don't know this already). Even when someone irritates me, it's usually just enough that I start lobbying for them to get eliminated, not that I start hating them.
It's been too long since I've read Bryson! And Notes from a Small Island is certainly one of my favourites, so when Penguin Random House offered the oIt's been too long since I've read Bryson! And Notes from a Small Island is certainly one of my favourites, so when Penguin Random House offered the opportunity to read this sequel of sorts, I jumped up and down at the chance. Bryson lives in England again, and in this memoir he makes a few visits along the "Bryson Line".
The Road to Little Dribbling is classic Bryson, and I mean that in a glowing way (other readers sometimes complain about what seems like discrimination or at least too much grouchiness in his work). I've said it before (here) about Bryson that he is certainly cutting, disdainful... but he's pretty much that way about almost everyone he meets. Regardless of your race, gender, size, or age, you can't escape Bryson's judgmental gaze. I never really read him as judging on one of those categories quite so much as if you irritate him and he describes you, he'll do so starting with a physical description. He doesn't spare himself, either.
Anyway, the thing about Bryson is that he he very cleverly conveys irritations that likely almost all of us think at some time or another - perhaps some or more than others but we all have behaviours from other people that make us frustrated or angry. Bryson is just excellent and often hilarious at describing his simmering emotions.
A perfect definition of irony is that when you're feeling stressed or unhappy, an excellent place to go is The Bloggess' site. Lawson is honest and stA perfect definition of irony is that when you're feeling stressed or unhappy, an excellent place to go is The Bloggess' site. Lawson is honest and strong and deeply funny while sharing her experiences with depression and a number of other mental and physical ailments.
I didn't discover The Bloggess until I stumbled across her first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I have never laughed so much as I did reading that book; it was painful. I regularly visit the bathroom and worry about a psychotic serial killer on the other side of the door.
I’m not sure what to tell you if you don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell you that I adore The Oatmeal.
Other than to express my sorrow that yI’m not sure what to tell you if you don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell you that I adore The Oatmeal.
Other than to express my sorrow that you’ve lacked the joy of The Oatmeal in your life (and that you probably ought to set aside a few hours when you start clicking the links to his site), here are some of the places you should start:
I’ve been pretty damn busy lately and getting nothing done in my life, basically, but when Andrews McMeel Publishing gave me the opportunity to read The Oatmeal’s new collection of comics all about running there was simply no way not to. This is the guy who brings you such beauties as I Drew Spider-Man Like the New Spider-Woman.
As with his previous books, The Terrible And Wonderful isn’t new material, or at least much of it isn’t anyway. This is a collection of running stories mostly previously published on The Oatmeal. He covers why and how he started running, and why he continues to do so despite The Blerch, and RoboCop.
And, of course, the flesh-melting Japanese giant hornets.
If you think that this is hyperbole, an imagined creature created by The Oatmeal, go ahead and google it. The pain and horror you’ll experience is all your own fault.
This collection doesn’t exactly inspire the reader to take up running, but as he explains in the book, that’s not what he’s trying to do. He’s just relating his own experiences with running and why he loves (and sometimes despises) it....more
Goodness, I thought I was going to like this book a lot more.
And through most of listening to it (and the audiobook is a great way to go, by the way)Goodness, I thought I was going to like this book a lot more.
And through most of listening to it (and the audiobook is a great way to go, by the way), although I wasn't enjoying it as much as I'd anticipated, I still imagined giving it three stars. But then I didn't finish it, so... two, I suppose. Much of that is due to the cameos and Poehler's narration on the audiobook.
I didn't hate it or anything. It just didn't live up to what I anticipated/expected and despite reading a bunch of reviews saying it was hilarious when it was released last year, I only ever smiled (I listen two about 3/4 of it) and never laughed.
Brosh seemed to take such a hiatus from the site for so long (it was pretty scary there, for a while, that her last entry for months on end was the inBrosh seemed to take such a hiatus from the site for so long (it was pretty scary there, for a while, that her last entry for months on end was the incredibly insightful entry about depression), that I'd sort of forgotten how very much I love her.
If you like Hyperbole and Half as much as I do, you really can't go wrong buying the book, despite that probably at least half (?) of the sections are previously published - it's lovely and hilarious to revisit them. Also we have what is, to my knowledge, a new dog story.
But Thoughts and Feelings definitely wins, hands down....more
Fun and far too easy to see myself in some of these, like:
"Feeling you need a change in your life, so treating yourself to a completely new type of cFun and far too easy to see myself in some of these, like:
"Feeling you need a change in your life, so treating yourself to a completely new type of cheese."
"The disappointment of finding the train company has reserved you a seat next to another human."
"Tripping over nothing and turning to stare furiously at the floor."
"Attempting to deal with a queue-jumper by staring fiercely at the back of their head."
"Thanking people under your breath as punishment for them not thanking you."
"Telling someone to help themselves, then feeling your chest tighten when they take more than you think they should."
"Being told to enjoy your meal, flight, stay or birthday and replying, 'Thanks, you too!'"
"Accidently saying 'you're welcome' too loudly when someone hasn't thanked you, and smiling politely when they look straight at you."
"Feeling utterly devastated when you say to the barman, 'I think this guy was next' and you're not thanked."
"Dropping five pence: Pick it up and look desperate or leave it and look like a snob?"
As others have noted, and as one can tell just by reading the lines above, there is some repetition throughout the book, which can feel less forgivable when you consider how brief it is.
I wanted this because I've been following the Twitter feed for a few months and frequently laugh out loud over lines there, but there were less laughs here. I have to wonder of the material is older, so less developed, before they hit their stride or whether perhaps witticisms like this are best encountered in the brief world of Twitter instead of gathered together like this - even though I did try to nip in and out of it over the course of a couple weeks, instead of reading it all at once (which definitely wouldn't be advised).
Anyway, still fun and insightful, and nice to know that I'm not always the only one to have such thoughts and reactions to others around me. ...more
One of the drawbacks, I suppose, to being a hyper-aware Sedaris fan, is that when a new collection of his work is released, I find I've already read aOne of the drawbacks, I suppose, to being a hyper-aware Sedaris fan, is that when a new collection of his work is released, I find I've already read about a third of the book.
Although I've been excited for this release for months, I became a bit concerned as the day approached because many of the reviews I read were critical of the inclusion of many fictional pieces with the essays - pieces so cleverly written that apparently many reviewers had issues with believing they were one of Sedaris' fact-based pieces for several pages before realizing they are not. After not really enjoying Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, I was nervous about these inclusions. But perhaps because I'd read these reviews, perhaps because I'm very familiar with Sedaris' work, perhaps because Sedaris is skilled at subtly alerting us to such pieces, I only read more than a page or so without identifying one of these pieces one time. And I enjoyed them, anyway, feeling that they only added to the collection.
As always, Sedaris is simultaneously hyper and depressing, simultaneously cutting and heartbreaking. I sense, amongst my friends, that Sedaris is typically either beloved or dismissed, and it's easy to see why; it takes a certain kind of person to appreciate and not be annoyed. I remain, with almost all of his essays, an admirer. ...more