A thumping good book does your head good.
No. 1: Teach Yourself Geek
Little Brown Jug, £45
Caught on the bloody beach without your AK47, what you need is a joystick that can move mountains. Spirol Agenue's Teach Yourself Geek was written in a corkscrew elevator stuck on the switchback, forcing its author to face his own existential nightmare. The result is a tome you'll read hiding under your chaise longue, or between gulps of air as you drift slowly out to sea covered only by a sagging Lilo. Bundled free with Kindle Waterproof.
Random Bag, £9.04
In last summer's fast foodie fest, Fat For Free, Sally Bumkick's pendulum swung on benefits. Now she's after share issues. Cabinet Miser Ruddy – Great Food Bank Swindle - Rottweiler sheds a few miserable pounds & claws back several million with stock options on charity shops. Just as VAT cashbacks became dole to the rich, Rottweiler's Poverty Bonds are set to reach investment slot No. 1. Sandpaper-backed & cash-strapped for staleness.
*nffs in The Channel Islands, Isle of Gods or Canvey.
No. 3: Dr. Amstrad Pfaertkettle's Bunion Mix
Callard & Bowser, 6/- a pound
An MD with fifty years service on her pegs at nostalgic Woolworth's sweet counters, Dr Pfaertkettle knows what tastes good to eat between snacks. Varicose veins in red liquorice, aniseed toe nail scratchings, marzipan verucas & candied heels all dusted with sherbet foot-rot mean Bunion Mix isn't much of a novel or even a work of fiction. It isn't quite a book either, but at one shilling & sixpence for four ounces, who's reading the tin?
No. 4: Grow Your Own Carbuncles by Cameron Worstcase writing as Beverly Undercoat
DIY part works, free with paint & screws
Jewel in the crown or boil on the forehead? Third Eye Sore or just a wonder to behold? Controversy rages not over the SASCO (size, age, shape, colour & origin) of these controversial gimcracks but the cores of their crabby apples. Which god has given them respite, eh? Fish or goat? Anyhow, with a creaking good plot, writing that is sour-cherry ice-cream & a twist at the end - shampoo corks will be popping out of your ears.
No. 5: Pumpkin on the Couch
What constitutes therapy nowadays? Piranha spas for flaky feet, porcupine combs for teeth & gums, bad haircuts for Greek waiters, stolen cheese hats for Guardian readers & English for travellers with second hand luggage? So what's the dose for the psychotic pumpkin? To whom can catatonic cucumbers be taken in a crisis? At which mooring does one tie-up the marrow boat that has lost its canal route? Indeed, few squashes are served buttered. Lydia Hotbathnot's third attempt to novelise Pumpkin On The Couch syndrome should never have left her agent's ash-tray. There is no plot & no characters, beyond a sack of old spuds - tickled pink to their author's whim.
No. 6: Kick Out The Preservatives by Aska Chum
Little Brown Jug, 40 guineas
Natural family planning gets back in mode with a salacious augmentation of the Rhythm Method. Aroused already, eh? Then be a jammy blighter & read this rollicking good yarn of life outside the scum bag. Of course, KOtP is not for the squeamish - or those who require a high fibre content in their moral diet. But anyone seeking a dose of carnal laxative will enjoy this rude romp through the forecourts & alleys of Gotham, Knotts.
No. 7: The Cure For Snoring by Thorp Spinotorque
Cockroach Press, £15
Doubtless the definite article entitling this massive, eleven hundred page bildungsroman, a tome owner/readers are not recommended to hit themselves over the head with, can be used as a pillow. A cure, in fact, is that notwithstanding reference to indie bands of the 1980s still standing... and other even longer, unfinished sentences, hijacked half way through and, like the proverbial key down the back (or is that hiccups?) works or doesn't work either by magic, as if. And there you have itzzz... ZZzzzzzz... ZZZzzzz... Of many, many good tunes, clever lyrics and ¡Free Cherry Lipbalm!
No. 8: Unlearn Redundant Lines by Wolfram Belcher
Random Bag, £9.04
This semi-automated novel parser deletes excess CTRL & REM terms & purges the system of ageing 8- and 16-bit words. Includes options to wipe source directories of outdated, superseded & side-kicked PEEKs; plus prompts to edit out anomalous POKE & empty LOOPs. Machine codes ALL statements up to go-faster mode.
Secret Hill, 60p
Disaster for colonists on Mars has alarm bells clanging on Canvey. Who called what from where? Grab the mike, Wilco. Now hear this. There ain't no coming back. Hic. Last orders please. Line 'em up. Can't split a note that big this time of day. No tick - what d'you fink this is, a gas giant? Are we ready, boys? Four, nine, three, eight, none. Stick your head between your knees and kiss Uranus goodnight.
No. 10: Parrots of the Carob Bean
Little Brown Jug, £85
The only graphic novel on this year's list doubles as a colouring book & rainbow number therapy vol.. Winner of all seven Grimm dwarves & children of advanced age, Mariella Pussyfoot's costume romp stars a crew of one-eyed, one-legged, single-minded wing-&-a-prayer ceiling gazers. Contains walk-on parts for lap-tankards, strip-plasterers & bottle-top croupiers. 70S retro riffs by Mat The Hippie.
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