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Humour
Title Awkward Family Pet Photos
Author Mike Bender, Doug Chernack
Publisher Bantam
Binding PB
ISBN 9780593069349
incGST $24.95

The creators of the Awkward Family Photos website (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) have followed their first, hilarious book of the same name with this tribute to the unbreakable and sometimes uncomfortable bond between people and their pets. Awkward Family Pet Photos shows just how strange people’s relationships with their pets can be. The bizarrely awkward poses adopted by the human subjects are entertaining enough, but it’s the animals who are the true stars of the show here. Whether it’s rabbits with their naked owners, monkeys dressed like babies, or cats balanced on the kids, their expressions all say the same thing: ‘Why me?’

 
Humour
Title Boganomics
Author E Chas McSween et al
Publisher Hachette Australia
Binding PB
ISBN 9780733626708
incGST $29.99

From the bestselling authors of Things Bogans Like (Hachette Australia. PB. $24.99) comes a not-quite scientific study of all things bogan. Described by its authors as ‘An in-depth historical, sociological, geographic and cultural study that traces bogan culture back to society’s very foundation, as well as identifying prototypical and stereotypical bogans through time’, the book opens with a brief discussion of the bogan of the 19th century, morphing to pre-war, then to the bogan of the ’80s – characterised by heavy metal music, flannel shirts and Victoria Bitter. After exploring this stereotypical example they then track the leap to 21st-century bogans, clad in garish garb, holding their nationalism close to their chest, and slavishly following every celebrity trend in magazines.

 
Humour
Title Hipster Puppies
Author Christopher R Weingarten
Publisher NAL
Binding PB
ISBN 9780451233295
incGST $16.95

You’ve seen them sniffing around your local farmers’ market, pawing through stacks of vinyl at the record store and making biting remarks at your local cafe. They’re hipster puppies – and they’re always snarky, impeccably accessorized and adorable. From the creators of the hilarious website hipsterpuppies.tumblr.com comes this compilation of never-before-seen photos of these pupsters at play, as well as some of the website’s most popular shots. With their oversize egos-and sunglasses, these pampered pooches run the gamut from music festival fauxhemians to ironic trucker-hatwearing vegans (yes, really).

 
Humour
Title The Household Tips of the Great Writers
Author Mark Crick
Publisher Granta
Binding HB
ISBN 9781847082527
incGST $24.99

Like Mrs Beeton, but with metaphors! This bumper omnibus edition of Mark Crick’s three sparklingly funny books of literary pastiche (Kafka’s Soup, Sartre’s Sink and Machiavelli’s Lawn) covers all your household needs, indoors and outdoors – from pruning a rose bush with Pablo Neruda to mending a dripping tap with Jean-Paul Sartre. Throwing a tea party? Irvine Welsh has the recipe for the perfect chocolate cake, though that’s not all he’s cooking. Brilliant, hilarious, and always pitch-perfect, The Household Tips of the Great Writers will inform and entertain all erudite householders.

 
Humour
Title The Man Who Scared a Shark to Death
Author Noel Boivin, Christopher Lombardo
Publisher Penguin
Binding PB
ISBN 9780143052111
incGST $19.95

A British comedian, drunk on a gallon of wine, takes a one-pound bet to jump, completely naked, into an aquarium filled with sharks and stingrays, causing one of them to die of stress. And Russian troops get so wasted that it seems like a good idea to make a little extra cash by selling off their tank…to Chechen rebels. The true stories in this collection, taken from news reports around the world, serve as cautionary tales and also impart some comforting perspective (however cringe-making your own most embarrassing drunken moment might be, at least you’re not the man who caught his privates in a mousetrap – twice).

 
Humour
Title You'll be Sorry When I'm Dead
Author Marieke Hardy
Publisher allen & Unwin
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742377261
incGST $29.99

Controversial columnist, blogger and coscreenwriter of recent TV comedy series Laid, Marieke Hardy is straight-shooting, fearless and witty. Her memoir isn’t for wowsers – it features lurid tales of awkward threesomes with prostitutes, a visit to a swingers’ orgy, and many alcohol-fuelled escapades. But it isn’t all hedonistic shenanigans. A close friend battles cancer, a beloved football team folds, a stint as an unofficial stepmother is cut short, difficult relationships fizzle out and, with the aid of social networking, a long-lost childhood friend asks a thorny question. From someone who’s bared all – literally, in naked photos on the internet – this is a voyeuristic, mind-bending and entertaining jaunt through the life and times of a 30-something Melburnian, former child actor and shameless Bob Ellis fangirl.

 
Humour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Funny Buggers
Subtitle The Best Lines from Australian Stand-up Comedy
Author Karl Chandler
Publisher Penguin
Binding PB
ISBN 9780143566250
incGST $19.95

Extract
Foreword

Thanks for buying this book. I say that because I can tell you're not someone browsing in a bookshop. Why would anyone pick up a book about jokes, and start reading the foreword? A fool, that's who. You're no fool. Are you? You're probably not. You've bought the book, and damn it, you're going to get your money's worth. Even if you have to plough through a dullish, unnecessary chapter-thingy to feel like you're getting value out of your purchase. Good for you, you shrewd (and bored) customer.

Honestly, I think the foreword is a bit of a weird part of a book. Particularly in this one. I mean, it's taken me a fair while to write, but if you skipped this section and went straight to one of, say, Tom Gleeson's jokes, that'd be fine by me. I guess it'd just be everyone else who'd discover the location of the hidden treasure that I'll reveal in the next few pages. I mean, where would you even keep all those dubloons? You're better off without them. Forget it.

This aim of Funny Buggers is to be a time capsule for this talented (as well as generous) generation of Australian stand-up comedians. All of the contributors to this book have provided some of their favourite lines, which have then been sorted into categories. And if there's a favourite comedian of yours who's missing from, it's probably because they were too busy to respond to my emails. Or, they hate me. So if there's a well-known comedian absent from these pages who doesn't seem to be that busy at the moment, you can figure out their feelings towards me.

There is a great new breed of comedians coming through in this country, evidenced by the strength of material here. Not only are there many famous TV and radio personalities littered throughout these pages, but those same pages also contain a lot of new talented names on the rise. If you're reading this book ten years after it was printed, some of those names may even be well known by now. Then again, some may also be using this book as bedding in a park somewhere. But, hey, I'm not their mum (in most cases). They can work out their own careers. I put them in this book; I can only do so much.

Funny Buggers aims to showcase the strength of Australian comedy at the moment. But then, humour has always been at the core of who we are. As a nation, we don't take our­selves too seriously. We're optimistic in the face of adversity. Maybe it's just too hot to think about it.

Having a laugh is as important to the typical Australian as sunshine, mateship and beer. Well . . . it's as important as sunshine and mateship, anyway. Some say our humour evolved from our origins as a convict colony. That being stuck in a barren, harsh new land, shackled in chains, led to our brand of self-deprecating humour. In a way, humour allows people to release the tension brought about by terrible experiences. This would also explain the anti-authoritarian, ironic and dry qualities our humour is known for. Plus all those classic manacle jokes we still know and love today.

These origins led to a fine humour culture being created. From the pantomime, burlesque, vaudeville, musical comedy and circus of the nineteenth century, through to radio plays, comedy revues and cabaret, into the boom time of stand-up comedy in the 1980s and our world-famous comedy festival in Melbourne, then on to all the hilarious sketch comedy, sitcoms, panel shows and public transport timetables that entertain us currently.

There's a great live-comedy scene in this country. Whether it's at big clubs or at little boutique comedy nights, there are hundreds desperate to get on stage, make people laugh and get as many free drinks as they can.

After you've been through this book, the talent of this cur­rent crop of comedians should be obvious. If you like their work, reward them. Go and see them at your local comedy club. Buy tickets to their show at the closest comedy festival. Send them a dirty message on Facebook. Do your bit.

I'd like to thank all of the lovely comedians who contributed to this book. Not only are they very funny, but they are all genuinely nice people to have helped form a great snapshot of Australian comedy.

Australians love to laugh. At ourselves, at others, whatever. And Funny Buggers proves that we love to make each other laugh, and we do it bloody well.

I hope you enjoy the book.

Karl Chandler

P.S. That treasure is in the ocean. To the left. No, I said LEFT.

Note: December release.

 
Humour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Go the F*** to Sleep
Author Adam Mansbach
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding HB
ISBN 9781921758843
incGST $17.95

Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland.

Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortés, Go the Fuck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive and pants-wettingly funny—a book for parents new, old and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

The cats nestle close to their kittens,
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear.
Please go the f**k to sleep.

The windows are dark in the town, child.
The whales huddle down in the deep.
I’ll read you one very last book if you swear
You’ll go the f**k to sleep.

The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep.
I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying.
Lie the f**k down, my darling, and sleep.