Everybody Is Awful: (Except You!)
By Jim Florentine
Twitter Trolls. Facebook Freaks. Instagram Exhibitionists. These are just a few of the creatures our technology-obsessed culture has spawned in its quest to simplify our lives. The madness is so universal now that everyone has dealt with it. You login to Facebook, read a stupid post, and immediately want to tell your "friend" to go have relations with himself. Sure, social media may keep us connected, but it is a breeding ground for idiots, and these idiots have crowd-sourced a storm of useless information, corny jokes, and douchebag drama that's wasting our time and screwing with our peace of mind.Thankfully, popular comedian and television host Jim Florentine has a solution for those of us on the verge of bashing our iPhones to bits. In Everybody Is Awful, Florentine attacks awful people and awful situations with the same biting satire and cringe-worthy humor that made him famous on television shows like Crank Yankers, Meet the Creeps, and That Metal Show.Along the way, Everybody Is Awful takes readers through the author's formative years, a time filled with rebellion and horrible behavior, to the crazy early days of his career as a stand-up comedian. Florentine also recounts how he developed an obsession with pranks that morphed into his uniquely vigilante style of comedy and made him one of the most legendary prank callers of all time.Florentine excels at channeling the core rage we all feel at the seemingly small annoyances of life and his fans love the cathartic experience hidden within his hilarious ranting and raving, a tradition continued in Everybody Is Awful. Acting as a de facto therapist, Florentine diagnoses awful behavior, shames awful people, and offers comedic takes on how to reclaim our lives from it all.
Edinburgh: A Traveller's Reader
By David Daiches
Edinburgh is a city whose history is written on its face. The Old Town on its crowded rock, sloping down from the Castle to Holyroodhouse, has not significantly changed its atmosphere since the turbulent fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when riots, processions, or public executions jammed the High Street. And the very different era that followed the bloody religious wars of the seventeenth century is epitomized by the elegant streets and squares of the New Town - the eighteenth-century Enlightenment whose writers, philosophers and lawyers made Edinburgh famous. This anthology of extracts from letters, memoirs, diaries, novels and biographies of interesting visitors and inhabitants, including the writings of Scott, Boswell, Cockburn, John Knox and many others, recreates for today's visitors the drama, the history, and the life of the city in buildings and places that can still be visited. The daring Scottish recapture of the Castle from the English in 1313; the confrontation between Calvinist John Knox and Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in Holyroodhouse; an eye-witness account of the execution of Montrose at the Mercat Cross in 1650; reeking slop-pails in the wynds and polite manners in the ballrooms. . .
Easy as Pi
By Liz Strachan
If you're brilliant at everything else, but lack confidence when it comes to maths, join Liz Strachan, a maths teacher with many, many years of experience, on this magical tour through the seeming mysteries of numbers, algebra and geometry.In the same inimitable, entertaining way she did in her previous bestselling books, A Slice of Pi and Numbers Are Forever, Liz will take readers from number-phobics to mathematical know-it-alls in no time at all. Peppered with absolutely terrible maths jokes and quirkily illustrated by Steven Appleby, this light-hearted but informative book will appeal to anyone with an enquiring mind.
By Running Press
People of all ages love emoji. This officially-licensed kit includes a 56-page book and 50 magnets of the most widely used and popular emoji so you can create fun messages on the fridge or any magnetic surface!
By Andrew Stevenson
Twelve years after his classic travel narrative Annapurna Circuit Andrew Stevenson returns alone once again to the Himalayas on a deeply personal quest, a journey both corporal and spiritual. Narrowly escaping paralysis after shattering his spine in a motorbike accident weeks after his younger brother's untimely death, Stevenson's hike up to Everest Base Camp is as much introspective passage of healing as intriguing depiction of his fellow backpackers and the Sherpa people. Lying in a hospital bed in a morphine-induced state of hallucination after his accident, Stevenson promises himself to go back to the Himalayas, to heal. Five months after his mishap, and against all the odds, this recuperative solitary climb into high mountain valleys provides a spectacular backdrop to an emotional acknowledgment and acceptance of a lost sibling. Interlaced with the hardships of pushing to the edge of personal physical endurance and beyond, The Envelope: Walking up to Everest Base Camp is a richly rewarding read on every level.
By Mark Leigh
What's wrong with Europe?Ignoring the fact that the EU is a grotesque, officious money sucking totalitarian machine that devours national sovereignty and pukes out unwanted, unwelcome and intrusive legislation, there's a whole variety of other reasons including:Shops that open at 10am and close at 4pm - with a two-hour lunch break in between.Oompah bands.Restaurant staff with the manners of a gibbon and the sense of urgency of a sloth.Parisians.Police forces who are the bastard offspring of the Gestapo and the Stasi.The whole concept of 'mañana.'National costumes that are as preposterous as they are pointless. Polish spelling.Drivers who view speed limits as targets rather than warnings.Yodelling.Bouzouki music. Street signs that are a homage to small typography rather than an actual guide to your location.Donkey abuse.Women who act under the misguided idea that armpit hair is remotely sexy.The 24hr clock.Using a comma as a decimal point.Father Abraham and the Smurfs.Eurodisco.Eurozone.Eurotrash.Eurovision.Anything else preceded by the word 'Euro' (apart from Euro sceptic).The Cheeky Girls. This is less of a guidebook and more of a warning...
The Education of Hyman Kaplan
By Leo Rosten
Leo Rosten wrote his first tale of Hyman Kaplan when he was 24 and it was published to great applause by the "New Yorker". Over the next two years the magazine ran all 15 of the original stories that were eventually published in 1937 as "The Education of Hyman Kaplan".
By Charley Boorman
Charley Boorman is back on his bike exploring the world's second largest country - home to some of the most stunning and challenging terrain known to man. Canada is a country of extremes, and Charley knows all about pushing the limits. He goes dirt biking in New Brunswick, dives through old shipwrecks in Tobermory and rides along Butch Cassidy's old Outlaw Trail. He also meets a fascinating mix of people on his journey. As he heads across Canada, he plays ice hockey with a legend of the game; spends a day as a Mountie cadet and nearly meets a ghost in Winnipeg . . . Written with Charley's trademark enthusiasm and humour, Extreme Frontiers is fast-paced, hugely entertaining and packed with adventure (and rather a lot of mosquitoes).
By Lea Aschkenas
Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and one of its compatriots. Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U.S.-Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotions, devotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehension that she develops toward the country. Her tale is filled with beautifully woven descriptions of Cuba and the customs and habits of its people. Aschkenas is a discerning observer, taking in the innocence, isolation, contradictions, and resolute optimism of a people who have persevered against the collective disappointment bestowed upon them by a government that has been unable to deliver the utopia promised by socialism. Aschkenas, already a seasoned traveller by the time she arrives in Cuba for the first time in 1999, is overcome by her own passion for Cuba and her unraveling affection for Alfredo as she comes to appreciate his naïveté, sincerity, and ability to live for the moment, something she comes to realize is the effect of growing up in a culture where nothing is ever certain.
By Christina Henry de Tessan
For generations, literary figures from Ernest Hemingway to Frances Mayes have fueled our fantasies about the romance of expatriate life. But it's one thing to dream about living abroad and quite another to actually do it. In Expat a diverse group of women explores in vivid detail how the reality of life abroad matches up to the fantasy. Tonya Ward Singer craves a roasted chicken in China and must buy it alive and kicking. Karen Rosenberg reevaluates both her family's Judaism and her own when invited to a Passover seder in a remote Japanese village. Mandy Dowd tries to teach the French about Thanksgiving. Emily Miller admits that in Italy she craves the Hollywood entertainment she generally deplores when on U.S. soil. Tall and fair, Meg Wirth tries hard to blend in, in Borneo,to no avail. Expat taps into the bewilderment, joys, and surprises of life overseas, where challenges often take unexpected forms and overcoming obstacles (finding Drano in Ukraine, shrimp paste in Prague) feels all the more triumphant. Featuring an astonishing range of perspectives, destinations, and circumstances, Expat offers a beautiful portrait of life abroad.
Elements Of Italy
By Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
The turnstile into Italy has clicked continually for centuries - Lord Byron loved here and continues to draw romantics in his wake, Stendhal concluded: 'The charm of Italy is akin to that of being in love'. Yet Italians love their country more than any foreigner ever can, it is a place where labourers do hum Verdi, quote Dante and find their lunch delicious. Italians love of art, architecture and life itself is what drew Lisa St Aubin to this beautiful country. She extracts the work of, among others, Dante, Edith Wharton, Leonardo da Vinci, Rosetta Loy, Mary McCarthy, Goethe, Primo Levi, Turner, Shelley, Claire Sterling, Truman Capote, Cecil Beaton, Elsa Morante, Molly Lefebure and Keats. 'Italy is mostly an emotion' - Henry James'All the dreams of my youth I now behold realised before me' - Goethe'They make love a great deal - and assassinate a little' - Byron