5 New Humour Books

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How to Die in the Outdoors: 150 Wild Ways to Perish (1 May 2017)
The Book That Makes Dying by Heart Attack Seem Downright Boring Simply by living a normal life, you have an excellent chance of becoming yet another statistic on the list of leading causes of death. But Buck Tilton prefers to ponder the alternatives. In How to Die in the Outdoors, he presents 150 more interesting and unique ways to perish, from snake bite, elephant foot, rhino horn, and more! With witty prose, Tilton describes not only the details of how you can die-some intriguingly gory, yet all based on facts-but also ways to avoid death should a life-threatening situation arise before you’re ready to leave this world for whatever afterlife there may be.

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Walt Whitman’s Guide to Manly Health and Training (4 May 2017)
TO YOU, IDLER. UP!

Though your limbs may be corpulent and weary from your sedentary repose, your head a-thunder from an evening of indulgence, your spirit weary from the wretched nine-to-five – fret not, dear man, for within these pages are strategies to replenish and rejuvenate your manly health and well-being.

Heed not those who would have you join a house of muscled exertion and toss your technological flim-flam into the long grass. Attend instead to the most gentlemanly of guides, esteemed man of letters Walt Whitman, who will advise on the most vital qualities of health and training for fellows of all ages and inclinations.

Undiscovered and unutilized for more than 150 years, here are the choice extracts from Mr Whitman’s manifesto, which will provide you with a complete and exact science of manly virtue and vigour.

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The Best American Emails: RE: a Collection of the Finest Party Planning Threads, Accidental Reply Alls, and Pharma Spams (6 Jun 2017)
A collection of the greatest writing in the American literary canon: email correspondences. From the eerily foreboding chain letters forwarded from your aunt, to the slyly persuasive emails of Russian black market pharmacists, we scoured your inbox for this satire of literary collections and flagged these threads as timeless gems. The messages selected for Best American Emails are the platonic ideals of “I’m running late” messages, vet appointments, freelance gigs queries, awkward breakups, and impotent death threats. This collection is edited by author and renowned email receiver Amanda Meadows.

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Be a Unicorn: and Live Life on the Bright Side (12 Jun 2017)
Escape the real world and enter into the magical realm of unicorns with this little book of positivity.

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Hurrah for Gin: A book for perfectly imperfect parents (13 Jul 2017)
This book is not a how-to-guide. It won’t tell you how to get your baby to sleep, how to deal with toddler tantrums, how to be a good parent, a cool parent or even a renegade parent. It is a book about parenting that contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever.

Instead it shares beautifully honest anecdotes and illustrations from the parenting frontline that demonstrate it is perfectly possible to love your children with the whole of your heart whilst finding them incredibly irritating at the same time.

From pregnancy to starting school, Hurrah For Gin takes you through the exciting, frustrating, infuriating and wonderful whirlwind of parenthood, offering solidarity and a friendly hug after a tough day.

Best served with gin.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven tells the stories of three characters and how their lives intersect during the tumultuous years of World War Two. Mary is a socialite who decides to volunteer for the war effort more to shock her parents than from any sense of duty.  Tom works in education administration and crosses paths with Mary when she is assigned to teach the children who haven’t been evacuated.  Finally, Alastair is an art restorer who decides to enlist, much to the horror of his best friend, Tom.

This started as an almost light-hearted look at the beginning of World War Two, when nobody took it too seriously, especially London’s bright young things. The language is arch and reflects the attitudes of the time, which takes a bit of getting used to.  As we follow these three young people, we see the way in which the war changed the lives of those who lived through it.  This book is wonderfully written and I found the storyline gripping.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #112

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
Humans of New York meets The French Cat in this carefully cultivated, gorgeous full-color collection featuring New York’s iconic felines and the stories behind them.

They inhabit New York City’s most legendary and coziest spots—the Algonquin Hotel, a whiskey distillery, Bleecker Street Records, and a host of yoga studios,  bookstores, and bike shops in between. True New Yorkers—masters of people watching—they perch on wine crates, piles of books, and a classic hotel countertop, taking in the activity around them. Depending on their mood, these cats will ignore enthusiastic admirers, offer a few delightful purrs, or occasionally even take a swipe. Some even find a mouse or two to chase.

Shop Cats of New York introduces forty of New York’s favorite felines—all who have an extraordinary story to tell. Popular cat blogger Tamar Arslanian and Instagram pet photographer Andrew Marttila capture these deeply loved and well cared for animals in their city habitat and reveal how they came to reign over their urban kingdoms.

A celebration of some of the city’s most revered citizens and a unique look at New York life, this enchanting illustrated volume is a must for every cat lover, and every Big Apple devotee.

Brilliant Book Titles #111

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
Ever since its invention, aviation has embodied the dream of perpetual peace between nations, yet the other side of this is the nightmare of an unprecedented deadly power. A power initially deployed on populations that the colonizers deemed too restive, it was then used to strike the cities of Europe and Japan during World War II. With air war it is now the people who are directly taken as target, the people as support for the war effort, and the sovereign people identified with the state. This amounts to a democratisation of war, and so blurs the distinction between war and peace. This is the political shift that has led us today to a world governance under United States hegemony defined as ‘perpetual low-intensity war’, which is presently striking regions such as Yemen and Pakistan, but which tomorrow could spread to the whole world population. Air war thus brings together the major themes of the past century: the nationalization of societies and war, democracy and totalitarianism, colonialism and decolonization, Third World-ism and globalization, and the welfare state and its decline in the face of neoliberalism. The history of aerial bombing offers a privileged perspective for writing a global history of the twentieth century.

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

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It’s 1746 in New York and a young man, fresh off the boat from England, rocks up to the door of Mr Lovell’s counting house in Golden Hill Street. He introduces himself as Mr Smith and produces what appears to be a note for one thousand pounds.  As you can imagine, this causes quite a stir and Mr Smith himself does nothing to lessen the suspicion with which he is greeted.  News of this mysterious young man spreads and so begins Mr Smith’s adventures in this young city.

This book is written in the style of a historical novel and yet it is eminently readable and quite often humorous (I particularly liked when the narrator abandoned trying to describe a card game on the grounds that it was too complicated!). The plot itself is a bit meandering but curiosity about Mr Smith and his motives made sure I finished it.  The ending was not at all what I expected but it was nonetheless thought-provoking and satisfying.

I think Golden Hill is a masterful piece of writing and a deserving winner of the 2016 Costa First Novel award.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Self-Help Books to Watch Out For

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There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowall (3 May 2017)
The creator of the viral hit “Empathy Cards” teams up with a compassion expert to produce a visually stunning and groundbreaking illustrated guide to help you increase your emotional intelligence and learn how to offer comfort and support when someone you know is in pain.

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation.

Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear.

There Is No Good Card for This features workbook exercises, sample dialogs, and real-life examples from Dr. Crowe’s research, including her popular “Empathy Bootcamps” that give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. Whether it’s a coworker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident, or a friend who is seriously ill, There Is No Good Card for This teaches you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need.

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365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-Care Tips for Embodied Well-Being by Eve M Cunningham (30 May 2017)

This book will transform your life. Radical self-care in easy baby steps, what’s not to love? Suzy Greaves, Psychologies Editor ‘Eve has done a remarkable job of pulling together 366 daily steps to help you live a happier, healthier, freer and more fulfilled life. Let her be your inspiring guide for your year ~ Nick Williams, best-selling author of fourteen books including The Work We Were Born To Do It s hard to imagine a more useful book than the one you re holding in your hands ~ Barbara J. Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job ‘Rich, extensive content covering a wide range of holistic principles and practices made very attainable for anyone to use. A wealth of options for managing being human’ ~ Gill Fennings-Monkman MBE, Past Chair of BACP Coaching This is a fabulous book. So very well thought out, planned and executed and with a wonderful accessible yet respectful style. Buy yourself this book and sit down and devour it in the way that suits you best. Then buy a copy for someone else ~ Debra Jinks, co-author of Personal Consultancy: A Model for Integrating Counselling and Coaching If living a happy, loving and healthier life is of interest to you then pick up this book. Something here for everyone ~ Steve Ahnael Nobel, author of The Prosperity Game A book that many will find of value ~ Gladeana McMahon, Chair Emeritus, Association for Coaching UK and author of books including Resilience: A Practical Guide Eve Menezes Cunningham is a journalist, accredited psychosynthesis counsellor, integrative coach-therapist, clinical supervisor, yoga therapist, NLP (neuro linguistic programming) Master Practitioner, accredited and certified Advanced EFT (emotional freedom technique) Practitioner, crystal therapist and Chair of BACP Coaching.

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What I Told My Daughter: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women by Nina Tassler and Cynthia Littlelton (1 Jun 2017)
Empower yourself and the latest generation of girls with this collection of inspiring reflections from notable, highly accomplished women in politics, academia, athletics, the arts, and business, including Madeleine Albright, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more.
In What I Told My Daughter, a powerful, diverse group of women reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.
A college president teachers her daughter, by example, the importance of being a leader who connects with everyone—from the ground up, literally—in an organization.
One of the country’s only female police chiefs teaches her daughter the meaning of courage, how to respond to danger but more importantly how not to let fear stop her from experiencing all that life has to offer.
A bestselling writer, who has deliberated for years on empowering girls, wonders if we’re unintentionally leading them to believe they can never make mistakes, when “resiliency is more important than perfection.”
In a time when childhood seems at once more fraught and more precious than ever, What I Told My Daughter is a book anyone who wishes to connect with a young girl cannot afford to miss.

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The Grief Survival Guide: How to navigate loss and all that comes with it by Jeff Brazier (1 Jun 2017)
Jeff Brazier has experienced bereavement in many forms: In his childhood, helping his two boys through the devastating death of their mother, Jade Goody, witnessing the anguish of his own mum when she lost both of her parents, and hearing the stories of his coaching clients who are coming to terms with loss.

No one can be an expert on grief, but within this book Jeff provides support and guidance from someone who has been there. Accessible and hands-on The Grief Survival Guide offers practical advice on everything from preparing for the eventuality of death, managing grief, how best to support family and friends, and moving forward. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach so instead Jeff teaches us that the best we can do is understand, cope and survive.

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The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to Make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa (1 Jun 2017)
Author, illustrator and comic book artist Yumi Sakugawa shares a wide range of useful and unexpected tips for looking and feeling better, streamlining and improving your home life, and creating fun and artsy DIY projects that can brighten your living space. Inspired by her popular Secret Yumiverse tips originally posted on WonderHowTo.com, The Little Book of Life Hacks offers a wide range of practical advice and fun tips for everything from how to:- Remove dark circles from under your eyes – Make cold brew iced coffee at home – Throw the perfect apartment party on a budget – Work out at home without a gym membership – Take the perfect afternoon power nap…and more!Featuring Yumi s signature hand-drawn illustrations throughout, The Little Book of Life Hacks is a distinctive and perfect gift for recent graduates and young working women who want to learn practical ways to organize and improve their daily life while still having fun

The Night We Met by Rob Byrnes

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You’ve heard the term ‘romp,’ right? That describes this book perfectly.

Andrew is a book editor who’s managed to publish two novels to absolutely zero notice and no acclaim. Frank is a gangster, who has just opened a new gay bar called Benedick’s (which throughout is constantly mispronounced by people as Benedict’s, perhaps so they don’t have to realise that the original name, well, Frank is Italian and ‘bene’ in Italian means ‘good…). After being harangued into drag for the first time on Halloween, he stumbles through the wrong door in Benedick’s and meets Frank. They have a lovely evening, but of course, Frank is straight, right?

Well, kinda.

What follows is a madcap rollercoaster romp including book tours, gangsters with names like Crazy Anna Franco (who just happens to be Frank’s fianceé) and Big Pauline Macaroni. Andrew’s hum-drum life is completely turned upside and he ends up on the run from the cops, two families of gangsters, the FBI and the grande dame of literary crime. It’s ridiculous at times but it’s that kind of book. The book has the great supporting characters of Denise and David, Andrew’s two best friends who throughout are trying to talk sense into Andrew and make him drop Frank who has, intentionally or otherwise, completely wrecked his life. But Andrew can’t, he’s in love, and having been recently dumped at the start of the book, he never thought he’d find it again.

With shades of Armistead Maupin, this book is the right blend of clever and silly, and had me reading to the very end, and even had me worried if Andrew and Frank would get their Happily Ever After.

(Postscript: I absolutely hate the cover, and the blurb on the back is pretty crap too. It was a friend’s review that actually spurred me onto read this – I don’t think I would’ve picked it up, so it just goes to show important reviews can be *koffkoff*)

Brilliant Book Titles #110

in-the-long-runYou can reserve a copy online from South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
In the ruins of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, self-proclaimed progressives the world over clamoured to resurrect the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes. The crisis seemed to expose the disaster of small-state, free-market liberalization and deregulation. Keynesian political economy, in contrast, could put the state back at the heart of the economy and arm it with the knowledge needed to rescue us. But what it was supposed to rescue us from was not so clear. Was it the end of capitalism or the end of the world? For Keynesianism, the answer is both. Keynesians are not and never have been out to save capitalism, but rather to save civilization from itself. It is political economy, they promise, for the world in which we actually live: a world in which prices are sticky , information is ‘asymmetrical’, and uncertainty inescapable. In this world, things will definitely not take care of themselves in the long run. Poverty is ineradicable, markets fail, and revolutions lead to tyranny. Keynesianism is thus modern liberalism’s most persuasive internal critique, meeting two centuries of crisis with a proposal for capital without capitalism and revolution without revolutionaries. If our current crises have renewed Keynesianism for so many, it is less because the present is worth saving, than because the future seems out of control. In that situation, Keynesianism is a perfect fit: a faith for the faithless.

Brilliant Book Titles #109

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
Official companion to the BBC2 primetime series. The Great Pottery Throw Down brought the messy and marvellous world of pottery to life, introducing the nation to the passion and drama of turning lumps of clay into beautiful objects. Now it’s back, with more amateur potters limbering up to throw the perfect pot. Meanwhile, viewers and the British public have responded in kind, with pottery evening classes oversubscribed and sales of clay and artisan ceramics soaring. Now enthusiasts and fans of the series can fill in all the gaps with this must-have companion book, which perfectly captures the passion and creative energy of the series. Combining a vibrant and compelling narrative with striking photographs and illustrations, this book offers readers a complete introduction to ceramic art, craft, manufacture, history and culture, bringing the artform and its rich heritage to life on the page. Learn fascinating details about the materials, processes and skills involved, from the alchemy at its core to magical transformations at the potter’s wheel. Discover how the history of pottery runs parallel to the evolution of mankind, from terracotta warriors to your coffee mug on the breakfast table. And be inspired by human stories of creativity and craftsmanship, via tales of ancient dynasties, scandals of the Industrial Revolution, midcentury trailblazers, and pottery as modern ‘art’ thanks to contemporary figures like Grayson Perry and Antony Gormley.

Scandinavian Comfort Food by Trine Hahnemann

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Blurb:
The Scandinavians excel at comfort— family, friends, a good atmosphere, long meals, relaxation, and an emphasis on the simple pleasures. They even have a word for this kind of coziness that comes with spending quality time in hearth and home when the days are short: “hygge”. Trine Hahnemann is the doyenne of Scandinavian cooking, and loves nothing more than spending time in her kitchen cooking up comforting food in good company. This is her collection of recipes that will warm you up and teach you to embrace the art of hygge, no matter where you live.

Review:
This cookbook was so beautiful to look at, the pictures where stunning. The recipes where easy enough to follow and the food is real comfort food. It was nice as I’ve never been to an Scandinavian country but it was delightful to try foods from there. I’m really into soups at the moment, nothing better then a bowl of yummy soup on a cold evening. I cooked the Mushroom soup which turned out really well. I also gave some of the salads ago as well. This is definitely a cookbook I’d go back to again and again.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.