Humour

For a wry smile or a hearty laugh,

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Adrian Plass and the Church Weekend



by Adrian Plass


I read the first Sacred Diary when it came out 26 years ago and found it side-splittingly funny. This one, for me, doesn't quite rise to the same levels of hilarity. It occasionally made me smile and even chuckle but for the most part it didn't have me laughing out loud. Adrian certainly says some stuff that I found helpful e.g. that "God... is not looking for wonderful Christians, but for inadequate followers with a willingness to be obedient". He brings out the truth that in all things God works for the good of those who love him in a conversation he has with a character called Polly. When she asks, "...do you think God sometimes uses these disastery sort of things to make something good happen?", Adrian replies, "There's not much hope for me if he doesn't...". For readers going on holiday and looking for something light-hearted, entertaining and easy-to-read, and who don't mind the sacred being made the subject of humour, this might be a good choice of book to take.

Review by Brian Kerr  (10/07/13)
Jacket
Hardback
Price: £14.99
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-444-74544-3

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What did I come upstairs for?

- Thoughts and blessings for the muddle-aged!

by Judith Merrell & Anna Caddy


A light-hearted look at the joys of growing older and not necessarily wiser. Do you find yourself saying... What was I in the middle of doing? or What did I come upstairs for? Do you sometimes feel baffled, bewildered or bemused?

Review by Publisher's notes  (02/07/13)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £5.99
Publisher: TLM Trading for The Leprosy Mission
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-909-09201-3

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So A Comedian Walks Into a Church

- Confessions of a Kneel-down Stand-up

by Paul Kerensa


This unusual book consists of 175 pages of tightly packed wry observations of the worlds of stand-up comedy and church life in the UK.

Don't let the page set-up (cramped sans-serif font and almost non-existent top margin) deter you from buying this enjoyable book.

The sub title - Confessions of a kneel-down stand-up gives an apt description of the author, Paul Kerensa who tours the country doing his comedy turns in the week but enjoys worshipping on Sundays wherever he is staying, and in whichever church, chapel or hall is the most convenient.

He attends each service with an open mind and by the end of the book the reader will have enjoyed a "Kerensan" tour of several Christian denominations and wide ranging worship styles.

His spoken skill of injecting humour translates well to the written word. Not only will you gain insight into the varied church life of today, but you will also be given an insider's look into the world of comedy, cabaret and clubs, and have many laughs along the way.

Paul comes across as a thoroughly sincere and likeable man, and if he ever came to my neck of the woods I would go out of my way to hear him.



Review by Margaret Walker  (31/05/13)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £8.99
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: 25 March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-232-52979-1

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Peculiar Goings On

- Even More Dave Walker Guide to the Church Cartoons

by Dave Walker


Dave Walker, known to many through his weekly cartoon in the Church Times, knows church life inside out and this is reflected in the cartoons gathered in this book.

"Untapped Talent" (page 42), conveys a message that is both funny and poignant and will reward time spent reflecting on attitudes towards visitors.

Advice is offered on how to behave during church; other cartoons highlight some of the irritating habits of those we worship with, as well as they way we possibly irritate others.

There is plenty of advice for visitors, parents, treasurers, vicars, etc.. It would be a mistake to think that this book is just about laughs, or that it trivialises church life. Humour used correctly has the ability to make us think about our own attitudes and behaviour.

Cartoons like all good humour have an element of truth about them that is then pushed into absurdity. This collection will make you smile, chuckle and have a good belly laugh, whilst at the same time making you think about what church is supposed to be about.

Dave Walker's web site is a good place to sample his take on life and faith if you are still unsure.

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Review by John Macaulay  (07/03/13)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £6.99
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
ISBN: 978-1-848-25236-3

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You Canít Keep a Good Tune Down

- .....No Matter How Hard the Choir tries

by Reginald Frary


More grossly exaggerated and distorted choir stories that have just sufficient truth as their basis that you can almost believe them to be true. Reg Frary has entertained us with his stories year after year, but sadly this is the last of them, as he died in 2011 at the age of ninety-one. Ideal as Ďstocking fillersí these books have been published before Christmas year after year and have raised many a wry smile, You Canít Keep a Good Tune Down follows the usual pattern of stories about the different choirs he encountered as he travelled among his friends and sang with them in their various churches.

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Review by Mary Bartholomew  (12/09/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £7.99
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: Summer 2011
ISBN: 978-1-848-25084-0

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Stand Up and Deliver

- A Nervous Rookie on the Comedy Circuit

by Andy Kind


'Truly laughter without truth is empty,' so pens Andy Kind in a year long stretch that is engagingly summarised here in grit and graft of the world of comedy. This is a personable and authentic story. The twelve formative months of a fledgling comedy career shoe-horned neatly into a paperback. Stand Up & Deliver is sure to be a revelation to many and a relief to others. A revelation to those that think comedians appear fully formed on television without years of toil, triumph and heartbreak. It's a 'warts and all' account of the side of stand-up comedy that few see or understand.
The final third of the book, I found particularly moving and surprising in equal measure, with Kind, unafraid to tackle some of life's big questions head on. Kind is living his dream and the unique calling God has entrusted to him. Warm, compelling and full of soul!

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Review by Johnny Douglas  (03/06/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £7.99
Publisher: Monarch imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: April 2011
ISBN: 978-0-857-21025-8

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Pigís Progress



by Jeanette Sears, illustrated by Adela Slomski

ISBN: 978-1-903-68973-8
Price: £6.99

Published: Spring 2011
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The Exciting World of Churchgoing

- Even More Cartoons

by Dave Walker

ISBN: 978-1-848-25029-1

Published: 24 August 2010
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I Know a Young Woman Who Swallowed a Lie

- God Songs from Odd Songs - black & white edition

by Hazel Butler

ISBN: 978-1-907-50904-9
Price: £9.99

Published: 2010
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At Our Age

- Humorous and Insightful Reflections on the Ageing Process

by James A. Simpson

ISBN: 978-1-904-24634-3
Price: £5.95

Published: 30 September 2010
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Silences and Nonsenses

- Collected Poetry, Doggerel, and Whimsy

by Adrian Plass

ISBN: 978-1-850-78876-8
Price: £10.99

Published: August 2010
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Seriously Funny

- Life, Love and God...Musings Between Two Good Friends

by Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas

ISBN: 978-1-850-78869-0
Price: £8.99

Published: 09 April 2010
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The Lost Chords

- The Parish Choir Tries Itís Best

by Reginald Frary

ISBN: 978-1-853-11977-4
Price: £7.99

Published: Autumn 2009
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A Basket of Gems

- A Collection of Wise, Witty and Wonderful Quotes and Anecdotes

by Mark Stibbe

ISBN: 978-1-854-24922-7
Price: £8.99

Published: 2009
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Losing the Thread

- Joyful Wit and Wisdom for Today's Woman

Compiled by Alie Stibbe

ISBN: 978-1-854-24907-4
Price: £8.99

Published: Autumn 2009
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Lucas Unleashed

- Wisdom for Life on the High Wire

by Jeff Lucas

ISBN: 978-1-850-78823-2
Price: £8.99

Published: Autumn 2009
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The Bells! The Bells!

- A Collection of the Finest Stories, Jokes, QuotesÖ..About MarriageÖ..

Compiled by Mark Stibbe

ISBN: 978-1-854-24893-0
Price: £8.99

Published: January 2009
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If You Think My Preaching is Bad, Try My Jokes



by David Pytches

ISBN: 978-1-854-24868-8
Price: £4.99

Published: 2008
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We Donít Do That Tune Vicar

- More Disharmony in the Choir

by Reginald Frary

ISBN: 978-1-853-11837-1
Price: £7.99

Published: October 2007
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Laughter Lines

- Family Wit and Wisdom

by James A. Simpson

ISBN: 978-1-904-24628-2
Price: £4.95

Published: October 2007
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The Gospel According to Canon & Ball



by Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball with Chris Gidney, illustrated by John Byrne

ISBN: 978-1-853-11792-3
Price: £8.99

Published: Summer 2007
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A Clean Camel is Happy Camel

- The story of Jesus as told by the men and women and livestock whose lives he touched

by Paul Symonds

ISBN: 978-1-846-94036-1
Price: £7.99

Published: Summer 2007
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Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation

- An A-Z of the Christian Life

by Adrian Plass

ISBN: 978-1-850-78723-5
Price: £7.99

Published: 29 January 2007
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The Dave Walker Guide to the Church



by Dave Walker

ISBN: 1-853-11779-X
Price: £5.99

Published: 2006
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