Books from Mark Thomas, Emma Kennedy, Jon Richardson, Andy Riley and Paul Barker

Comedy books round-up: Mark Thomas, Emma Kennedy, Jon Richardson, Andy Riley and Paul Barker

Mark Thomas. Photo: Idil Sukan

Comedy books round-up March 2011

With the annual Glasgow comedy beanfeast having its last laughs, there are a bunch of opportunities to seek solace in book form. Extreme Rambling (Ebury) by Mark Thomas is the paper version of his current touring show in which he walks the entire length of the Israeli West Bank ‘separation barrier’ in order to understand what is happening on both sides. Along the way he meets a Jewish dub reggae band and Arab ale brewers. Emma Kennedy undertook an equally exhaustive voyage for I Left My Tent in San Francisco (Ebury) as she recalls the year (1989) when she headed to the US with her best buddy to make their fortunes. And if you thought her journey might not be as peril-laced, think again as she encounters earthquakes, snakes, voodoo and dogs with dodgy bowels.

Jon Richardson is not a comic who immediately springs to mind as someone who would willingly venture into danger, but with It’s Not Me, It’s You (HarperCollins), he may well be taking the biggest risk of them all. Can an OCD-afflicted control freak and quarrelsome perfectionist ever find the perfect partner? This is his search for ‘The One’.

Andy Riley, the chap behind bunny suicides, selfish pigs and DIY dentistry (in cartoon form only, we hope) returns with the easily-digestible Wine Makes Mummy Clever (Hodder) while Paul Barker brings us an updated version of his 2007 classic paean to fatherliness, The Book of Dad (Fourth Estate). Chapters include ‘Dads Through the Ages’, ‘The Dad-to-Be’ and ‘Know Your Dad’. This book is top of the pops. Sorry, bit of a dad joke, that.

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