Dave Gorman Vs the Rest of the World

Dave Gorman

What do you do when you get bored and have time to kill? Dave Gorman asked his followers on twitter if they fancied playing a game.
This book chronicles his travels all over the UK to play strangers, acquaintances and friends at various games from Monopoly to Darts with odd pub and board games thrown in.
Gorman has previous when it comes to taking on insane challenges - see Are You Dave Gorman? and Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure which are both very funny books (I've read them but they escaped being reviewed on the blog).
Gorman has a pleasing style and the book is genuinely funny but there's just something tired and bored underlying the adventures.
Something screams "I want to stop doing crazy stuff and to settle down!"
Recommended if you liked his earlier books.

Rating: B+



Where the Hell Am I? Trips I have survived.

Ken Levine

Levine is a hugely successful sitcom writer (his resume includes MASH, Cheers and a couple of Simpsons episodes) and this is a collection of short travelogues he initially wrote as emails to friends and family that ended up becoming a staple of his blog (which I recommend reading by the way).
It's pretty lighthearted jokey stuff but it never really lights the heather on fire.
I got it for nothing, but certainly worth it's normal low price if you particularly like his blog.

Rating: B-



How To Be A Woman

Caitlin Moran

Moran's book is a funny autobiographical feminist polemic.
Each chapter illustrates an aspect of growing up and living as a woman using events in her own life.
Her anecdotes are usually hilarious, occasionally moving and nearly always enlightening.
I found much to admire in her take on feminism, but that's not too surprising given how well it chimes with my own views.
It's currently available as a cheap paperback or ebook and is well worth buying.

Rating: A-



Coffee At Luke's

Jennifer Crusie

This book collects a very unimpressive selection of essays about the TV show The Gilmore Girls.
I could not, in good conscience, recommend it to someone who is not utterly obsessed with the show.
I may be a little obsessed myself. After all I bought all seven seasons on DVD, the soundtrack CD, this rubbish ebook and I've read countless message board posts and reams of fan fiction.
Actually, having written that down, it appears that I'm definitely obsessed with the Gilmore Girls.
So rather than spend any more time talking about "Coffee At Luke's", I'm going to follow the book rating with an essay on the show. It's a long one.

Rating: C-

A rather lengthy essay follows...



How To Leave Twitter

Grace Dent

Grace Dent is a columnist for the Guardian. She took over from Charlie Brooker as one of their TV critics. She's a very funny person and also happens to be utterly addicted to Twitter.
This book is a light hearted look at the whole twitter phenomenon and user experience.
There's not much to say about it other than Dent really does know what she's talking about here. However to be honest, unless you're in the market for a mildly funny book about twitter and happen to like Grace Dent's style, there's not much about this book that's going to appeal to you.

Rating: B



The Hell Of It All

Charlie Brooker

The Hell of it All by Charlie BrookerThis is the third volume of Brooker's collected Guardian columns.
I'm very much a fan of his sense of humour and I thoroughly enjoy his work.
I was already familiar with about a quarter of the book as I'd read the columns as they appeared on The Guardian's website.
A couple of the pieces in this book are among the best things he's ever written, and yet, it also has some of the bleakest which can be disquieting among his firework displays of invective.
I'm happy to recommend this (and Brooker's other collections, particularly if you come from a vaguely lefty, media obsessed and net savvy background.

Rating: A-



It's Lovely To Be Here

James Yorkston

Pleasantly enjoyable jaunt through Yorkston's tour diaries as he travels the world playing solo shows as headliner and support act.
He's a fine raconteur with a nice line in self-deprecating yarns but to be honest there's nothing more to the book than that.
Worth it only if you're already a fan of his music.

Rating: B



The Book of Basketball

Bill Simmons

Huge, revealing book about the game of professional basketball, it's stars and teams.

Rating: A



My Shit Life So Far

Frankie Boyle

My Shit Life So FarOf the comedian's biographies I've read this year, this is closest to an actual biography. True it contains substantial chunks of his stand up routine, but it also feels like you're getting some insight into what makes Boyle the man he is.
It is of course very funny in places.
I'd say it's worth picking it up dirt cheap someplace - no need to encourage him too much.

Rating: B+



Tuesdays With Morrie

Mitch Albom

Sentimental, touching and occasionally escapes cliches and triteness

Rating: B