Category: HUM000000

Contraptions: a timely new edition by a legend of inventive illustrations and cartoon wizardry

A timely new edition featuring the brilliant work from among the most inventive minds in illustration and cartoon wizardry.

Heath Robinson was one of Britain’s most successful graphic artists. His work has had a huge influence on comic art in this country, but also on the image and self-image of the British.

As the champion of pragmatic man, Heath Robinson presented a vision of the British as an unflappable, ingenious and slightly demented breed of inventors that persists to the present day. The British are still a nation of garage-haunting amateur engineers who will recognise the inhabitants of Heath Robinson’s world, with their pot bellies and pots of tea, archaic faces and sturdily commonsensical approach to the problems of existence.

How to hunt tigers by elephant, how to get an even tan, rise with the sun or put out a chimney fire, these and many more pressing questions are answered in the pages of Contraptions.

With illustrations salvaged from the family archives and commentary by Heath Robinson expert, Geoffrey Beare, Contraptions is the best possible introduction to the work of one of Britain’s great comic talents.

The Secret Diary of a New Mum (aged 43 1/4)

The touching, honest and laugh-out-loud account of what it’s like to become a first-time mum after 40

Whatever your age, becoming a mum for the first time brings excitement, anxiety and numerous challenges. But how do you cope when, to top it all off, you discover you are almost old enough to be the mother of everyone else in your birth prep group? As one in five babies is born to a mum over 35, and the number of women over 40 giving birth has doubled, The Secret Diary of a New Mum (Aged 43 1/4) is Cari Rosen’s timely and hilarious account of becoming a first-time mother in her 40s.

Whether it’s deftly side-stepping questions about your age and baby number two, weeping as younger counterparts ping back into their size ten jeans within thirty seconds of giving birth, or your doctor suddenly referring to you as geriatric, Cari approaches the shared experiences of an ever-increasing number of mothers with insight, humour and honesty.

***Praise for The Secret Diary of a New Mum***

‘Hilariously candid.Daily Mail

Brilliantly observed… funny, embarrassing and yet cruelly honest. It feels good to laugh about it, now the stitches are out.’ Fay Ripley

Warm, witty and very, very wise the perfect antidote to all those po-faced pregnancy books. As a fellow ”Geriatric Mother” I found myself constantly laughing and nodding along in agreement.‘ Imogen Edwards-Jones

Repeat Prescription: Hilarious True Stories from a Country Practice

Dr Sparrow is back, coping with more bizarre, macabre and hilarious situations. Following his successful debut with Country Doctor, he once more guides us through the daily rounds of the weird and wonderful in his practice on the Devon/Cornwall border.

What would you do if faced with the unsuccessful resuscitation of the wrong patient, being held at gunpoint as a suspected terrorist or confronting a blind man who refuses to stop driving? And what about the little old lady who presents you with a supermarket bag stuffed with £20 notes? Add to this, jets crashing on the runway, fleeting glimpses of the Royal Genitalia and the haunting tale of the suicidal stranger and an abducted child – and you will start to have some idea of the unpredictable life of Dr Sparrow.

Country Doctor: Hilarious True Stories from a Rural Practice

Have you ever had to decide what to do with an unidentified corpse by a Devonian cowshed when the herd is due in for milking? And how would you react if one of your patients was abducted by aliens?

If you are a GP it seems these are routine matters. From coping with the suicide of a colleague to the unusual whereabouts of a jar of Coleman’s mustard, this is the story of one rural doctor’s often misguided attempts to make sense of the career in which he has unwittingly found himself.

Dr Sparrow’s adventures would be utterly unbelievable were they not 100% true stories. His bedside manner may sometimes leave a little to be desired but, if you’re in dire straits, this doctor will have you in stitches.

Diary of a Rural GP: Hilarious True Stories from a Country Practice

Recently retired, Dr Sparrow reveals with refreshing candour and dark humour the most memorable experiences of his career as a rural GP. From sewing back on a patient’s chiselled finger on a call-out, and the emergency countryside delivery inspired by James Herriot, to suddenly remembering the body left in the back of a Volvo, and a small oversight that blew up the local crematorium, Dr Sparrow spares no blushes.

Ingredients

Cheese puffs. Coffee. Sunscreen. Vapes. Hand sanitiser. George Zaidan reveals the weird science behind everyday items that may or may not kill you, depending on whom you ask.

If you want easy answers, this book is not for you. But if you’re curious which health studies to trust, what dense scientific jargon really means, and how to make better choices when it comes to food and health – dive right in!

Zaidan makes chemistry more fun than potions class as he reveals exactly what science can (and can’t) tell us about the packaged ingredients we buy in the supermarket. He demystifies the ingredients of life and death – and explains how we know whether something is good or bad for you – in exquisite, hilarious detail at breakneck speed.

 

PRAISE FOR INGREDIENTS

‘If you ever thought that chemistry might be really interesting (it is), but your eyes glazed over in high school chem class, this is the book for you. George Zaidan will keep you laughing out loud as he shares the wonders of our most useful, practical science, with brilliant analogies that even an 11-year old can understand.’ Daniel J. Levitin, author of Successful Aging and This is Your Brain on Music

If you crossed Bill Nye with Stephen Colbert, you’d get George Zaidan. Ingredients is a masterful piece of science writing.’ Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive

Ingredients lifts the film from our eyes with humour and reassurance.’ Hank Green, author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

At last, a book on nutrition that tries to make you understand how little we know instead of offering blanket prognostications. If instead of a simple solution, you want a guide to how to think about health, this is it.’ Zach and Kelly Weinersmith, New York Times best-selling authors of Soonish

Ingredients, is everything that should lead you to expect: funny, edgy, fascinating, dismaying, reassuring, and overall just incredibly smart.’ Deborah Blum, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Poison Squad

You should buy Ingredients because it teaches you how to think better – like a smart, informed, and wickedly funny scientist.’ Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon

Omfg this book is FABULOUS! It’s hilarious, insightful, sassy, and reassuring. A delightful roller-coaster of science communication.’ Kallie Moore, Co-host of PBS Eons

 

Flirting with French

William Alexander is not just a Francophile, he wants to be French. It’s not enough to explore the country, to enjoy the food and revel in the ambiance, he wants to feel French from the inside. Among the things that stand in his way is the fact that he can’t actually speak the language. Setting out to conquer the language he loves (but which, amusingly, does not seem to love him back), Alexander devotes himself to learning French, going beyond grammar lessons and memory techniques to delve into the history of the language, the science of linguistics, and the art of translation. Along the way, during his travels in France or following his passion at home, he discovers that not learning a language may be its own reward.

Layer Cake

Layer cake (n): a metaphor for the murky layers of the criminal world.

Smooth-talking drug dealer X has a plan to quietly bankroll enough cash to retire before his thirtieth birthday. Operating under the polished veneer of a legitimate businessman, his mantra is to keep a low profile and run a tight operation until it’s time to get out .

When kingpin Jimmy Price asks him to find the wayward daughter of a wealthy socialite who’s been running around with a cokehead, he accepts the job with the promise that after this he can leave the criminal world behind with Jimmy’s blessing. Oh, and he needs to find a buyer for two million ecstasy pills acquired by a crew of lowly, loud-mouth gangsters, the Yahoos. Simple enough, until an assassin named Klaus arrives to scratch him off his list, revealing this job is much more than it seems at first.

From the glitz of the London club scene of the 1990’s to the underbelly of its criminal world, Layer Cake is the best in British crime fiction.

Viva La Madness

Hiding out in the Carribean until the heat dies down from his last job, X is thinking it’s time to ditch the resort life and calls up his old friend Morty to plot his return to London.

But he’s hardly stepped off the plane when his associates, Sonny King and Roy ‘Twitchy’ Burns, get on the wrong side of a feuding Venezuelan drug cartel on the hunt for a sensitive package. Suddenly he’s thrown into a stand-off between rival mobs and with so many players in the game it’s tough going making out who wants to cut him a deal and who’s trying to kill him.

Darkly comic, fast-paced and full of twists Viva la Madness is packed with sex, scams, drugs and enough dirty money to fill a few offshore bank accounts.

Rest in Pieces

In the long run, we’re all dead. But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs and nether regions have embarked on voyages that criss-cross the globe and stretch the imagination.

 

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy – which they drank. From Mozart to Hitler, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes towards death.