Funny books for Christmas 2013: something to smile about
Spread some mirth with your present-giving this year. We've picked some of the best funny books for adults and children - funny ha-ha, funny clever and funny ridiculous, but all merrily mirthful.
Reasons My Kid is Crying collects together the photos sent to Greg from parents across the globe, documenting the many, completely illogical reasons why small children cry. ('I let him play on the grass'... 'We told him the pig says "oink"... 'The neighbour's dog isn't outside'). But it is also a poignant reminder, for burned-out parents (and grandparents!) everywhere, that they're not alone, and that not all toddler tantrums are tragedies - that it is, in fact, OK to laugh at the universal, baffling logic of toddlers! You can see a picture gallery from the book here.
A big celebration of the work of the late, great Nora Ephron, America's funniest - and most acute - writer, famous for her brilliant takes on life as we've been living it these last forty years. This collection includes reporting, screenwriting, columns blogs and memoirs as well as the full bestselling novel Heartburn in its entireity. There's also some incredibly moving blogs written as she reached the end of her life. A wonderful gift which shows Nora's incredible diversity as a writer and reminds us that whatever the format, her wry humour was always spot on.
This was our October non-fiction giveaway and is a history of the world in 100 limericks, with accompanying text and illustrations. Mumsnetters said: "A lovely little book, which I'm sure will fill many a Christmas stocking." "Each limerick has a title which is just as carefully-considered and witty as the limerick itself (eg the one on Cleopatra's entitled Mine's a Snakebite)." "This is the kind of book I would give my dad for Christmas." "Looks very funny and learned, and I can spot it as a brilliant Christmas present for my history grad SIL."
From Active Birthing through to Zumba, H is for Hummus is all the pain and joy of modern parenting packed into a wonderfully entertaining and beautifully illustrated ABC (and Mumsnet gets a special mention). A great stocking filler for sleep-deprived parents this Christmas.
Collected here are some of Jon Ronson's best adventures, from going on patrol with America's real-life superheroes, to attending a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams. Fascinated by strange behaviour and the human mind, Jon spends his life exploring mysterious events and meeting extraordinary people. Frequently hilarious and sometimes disturbing, these fascinating stories illuminate the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives.
Daft jokes, crazy pictures, utter nonsense: the strapline says it all. Tim Vine fans will LOL as he shows demonstrates some great new tricks and games: Popcorn Boxing, Where's Wallaby and How to Catch a Pen Behind Your Ear, in a dangerous school for boys-esque format.
Ever spilled a Farrow & Ball tester pot down your jumper? Or sprained your wrist on an extra-stiff jar of pesto? The author of the bestselling Now We Are Sixty brings you the dangers and pitfalls of being middle-class. From Pilates to gastro-tourism in Tuscany to pushing a trolley in Waitrose, the comfortable life of the privileged and middle-aged is actually fraught with danger and humiliation. Perfect for anyone who's chipped a tooth on a sun-dried tomato.
Ben Schott, the undisputed King of Christmas books, returns with a handy dictionary of German Words for the Human Condition. Like Douglas Adam's classic The Meaning of Liff, this excellent stocking filler allows your friends and family to succinctly express their shameful love of bad foods, Sunday afternoon depression, delight at the changing of the seasons or the ineffable pleasure of a cool pillow,
Gyles Brandreth inherited a love of games from his ancestors: his great-great-grandfather published a book of games in 1865 and his parents met over a game of monolopy. He himself is European Monopoly Champion. Who better to put together the ultimate book of games? It covers all eventualities - rainy day games, car journey games, party games, seasonal games and more. Perfect compendium for when it's time to "turn off the television set and do something more interesting instead".
Samuel Stewart's clueless yet confident explanations of history - from cavemen to the present day - is a giggle-inducing collection of half-remembered facts, cobbled together and presented with hilarious misunderstanding. Yet he inadvertently hits the nail on the head every time. For example, he sagely observes that the Suffragettes' hunger strikes paid off "in the name of Female Emaciation, which has continued to this day". It's a no-brainer stocking filler, and an ideal present for budding historians or humorists.
If you're able to recite Bear Hunt from memory, backwards, on your head and in Mandarin, then maybe it's time for a variation. In Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Reese's parody, two parents set off for a night on the tiles, and encounter a series of watering holes and bars before an alarming encounter with a 'bear' sends them running home to their children. A perfect stocking filler for all parents.
In the form of self-help book, Hadley Freeman cover topics vital for any modern woman to consider (from How to read women's magazines without wanting to grow a penis to Beyond the armpit: a guide to being a modern-day feminist) and dispenses tips and advice on dating, fashion and friendship with her own inimitable attitude and wit.
A charming book which offers 97 ways 'guaranteed' to make your baby laugh. The games, tricks, gags and practical jokes require no special talent and use simple household items as props. Irregardless of whether the tricks do actually work, the book itself offers some delightful images of babies laughing; enough to put a smile on any face.