Posts Tagged ‘march 09’

The Naked Jape by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves

Another non-fiction book so I’m not doing too badly with that goal.

This book is an exploration of humour and, specifically, jokes. It’s a good overview of a subject that I don’t think anyone’s ever really got to grips with and covers history, psychology and contemporary politics, among other things. Each chapter follows a particular theme, and at the end there are a few pages of jokes illustrating that theme. A nice touch is that there’s also a joke at the bottom of each page.

This is kind of a short review, which is no reflection on the quality of the book. As my degree was in psychology it did cover some familiar ground but nevertheless kept me interested (and amused), and I learned some new stuff too which is always good! Recommended.


Conjugal Rites by Paul Magrs

I’ve been waiting for this to come out in paperback for ages, and I rushed out to buy it at the first available opportunity, which was yesterday, and finished it today. It was definitely worth it.

Conjugal Rites is the third in a series of books starring Brenda and Effie, two formidable old ladies who live in Whitby and find themselves drawn into solving mysteries, usually involving supernatural goings on. Throughout the books you learn more about Brenda’s mysterious past along with the mysteries, and get to watch Brenda and Effie’s friendships develop, and there’s a lot of humour alongside the supernatural stuff.

The three books are very different. The first does have a story running through it, but each chapter is also a mystery in its own right. I often describe it as being structured a little like the Treehouse of Horror episodes of The Simpsons. It sounds disjointed but actually works very well to introduce Brenda, drop some hints about her and prove that Whitby really does attract some odd things. Books 2 and 3 revolve much more about one central story, with 2 delving much more into Brenda’s history and 3 more on her future.

This book has been my favourite with 2, although very good, probably the weakest in the series. There is the return of some familiar love-to-hate characters, some old friends and one long-awaited appearance. I can’t go into too much detail without giving a lot away but it’s a brilliant adventure and Whitby is the perfect setting, with Brenda (especially) and Effie being some of my favourite characted ever. I can’t wait for the next one (but I’ll have to).