Mystery Groups – Discount Book

Do YOU have trouble putting IKEA furniture together? Yes? Here’s a Buddhist group who can help

40 odd groups that are surrounded in mystery. Little is known about them, hence the shortness of the book and the low price.

Buddhists for Peaceful Ikea Furniture Assembly (BPIFA)

Buddhists belonging to this group can be phoned by purchasers of Ikea flat-pack furniture and asked to come along to the purchaser’s home to provide a peaceful environment when the furniture is being put together. BPIFA have discovered a more harmonious environment promotes more peaceful furniture assemblage and encourage IKEA customers to use their services.

The BPIFA even bring along spare Allen keys just in case there aren’t enough provided. One satisfied customer, George T Trent of Oklahoma said, “Without those Buddhists, why that furniture might still be unmade to this day – those Oms really calmed me down, especially when I felt like shooting the instructions with ma shotgun. Those Buddhists really made things easy. They were non-threatening in every way, but I am not sure I could wear orange all day.”

This is just one example of the fictional groups covered in this book at a discount.

How the Yeti was named and other funny stories.

I have written eleven funny stories including the obituary of a former flying ace who died along with his guide dog as they free-climbed Mount Robson. There’s a rejection letter to William Shakespeare for his play “Hamlet” and an explanation for the building of Silbury Hill in England. I also researched, from ancient texts, the story of how the Yeti received its name.

Discover these stories in this book – available at a discount between 11th January and 18th January.

You can also read an updated rendering of the Three Musketeers and discover the true meaning of words such as aroma, portfolio, and drastic. 

Freddie the Buddhist Cat

Do you need something to smile about in these dark days?

Meet Freddie.

Freddie treats everything with respect. People, animals, birds, plants, even his breakfast.

Freddie finds Buddhism. Saved from the shelter by John and Mary a new life begins. Then he meets Gemma.

She regards humans as oppressors as they took her kittens.

Gemma thinks Freddie is soft in the head but sees his approach brings rewards as Freddie wins friends, gains knowledge, stops thieves, and helps a squirrel fly further from a children’s slide.

A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories – Book Review

Maigret is in the first of these three stories by Georges Simenon, but not the other two. In these two stories, his ‘supporting’ cast come to the fore, people such as Janvier, Lognon, and Lecoeur. The second story, Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook, is the best. All the story is set in a control room with the action taking place at the end of the phone and in your imagination, accompanied by the deductions and logical reasoning of the police.

A Maigret Christmas is also set in a small area, namely in Maigret’s apartment and in another apartment opposite where Father Christmas has been sighted by a child and when Maigret starts asking questions, the child’s mother starts acting suspiciously.

Indeed, care and protection of the young is a pattern in all three stories. In the third story The Little Restaurant near Place des Ternes, a young woman is out and about on Christmas Eve and needs saving from herself, before she gets into trouble. A slightly older version of herself, it seems to me, almost like a ghost of Christmas future, comes to her rescue in an inelegant and scruffy way.

Once again, Georges Simenon or The Postman as he should be called, delivers a first-class package of beautiful, simple writing.

She’s Coming For You

She’d loved animals her whole life.

When her friends expressed their sadness that no one was hunting the hunters of animals, she decided to rectify the situation. She was the ideal candidate. In her normal job, as a soldier behind enemy lines, she’d killed animal abusers when given the chance and the animals were given some respite from their ordeals.

Now she was not undercover. She was on holiday, travelling on the trains in Spain and Portugal.

There were no colleagues to back her up. She would have to take risks.

She doesn’t keep a diary of the deaths, but does like to write about the history of the places she has visited. This makes her seem like a normal human being – even when she isn’t.

This book is available at a discount here between 1st January and and 8th January.

Office Life

Office Life is the story of 5 Days in the life of an English office

There’s lots of banter and insults flying around. One person goes to the wrong place for the weekend and another has horrible personal habits. Some characters are quiet and others aren’t.

The main character undergoes a transformation after losing a race and feels better for it although he is loathe to admit it. However, he does become the unlikely hero when he finds some information that will help save his company.

Office Life is available here at a reduced price from 6th January to 13th January.

Feet of Clay book review

The City Watch books are all brilliant and this one is probably the best of the three I’ve read so far. It’s genuinely funny and all the wonderful characters are ones to treasure. Lord Vetinari (The Patrician – the top person in Ankh-Morpork) and Sir Samuel Vimes (Head of the City Watch) don’t get along but tolerate each other. Vetinari knows Vimes loves walking around the city feeling the stones beneath his feet, but gives him a Sedan Chair as a present – it’s that kind of relationship.

Two of the officers of the City Watch, Carrot and Angua, complement each other wonderfully. Angua is always conscious of who she really is or what she really is and can’t believe how honest and sincere Carrot is, and that he seems to know everything about everybody and treats them all the same. Carrot admires Angua even though he knows what she is really like in her nature.

Without giving anything away, this book contains golems galore, a vampire Dragon King of Arms ah-ha, and a superb character called Wee Mad Arthur who deserves a book of his own. Wee Mad Arthur is a rat catcher who helps members of the watch at just the right time. There’s also Corporal Cheery / Cheri Littlebottom who gradually discovers her feminine side as the book progresses.

Two people are murdered at the beginning of the book and Lord Vetinari is poisoned though not fatally. These two whodunit themes intertwine throughout the book, making it a murder / mystery story as well as an imaginatively humourous book and a voyage of discovery for some of the characters and for the reader. Highly recommended. Reading ‘Guards! Guards!’ and ‘Men At Arms’ first would be a great introduction to this book.

This book is as good as Truckers which for me says it all – it was a shame it had to end.

Mr Stone and the Knights Companion – Book Review

This is a thin book by VS Naipaul that is slightly difficult to read as it contains a lot of self-contemplation by Mr Stone on how he’s reacting to the presence of other characters. Rather than showing us, the author tells us, often in turgid details so it’s like wading through a small bog, you can get through it but it’s an effort. This seems to be a feature of certain writers such as Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, and now VS Naipaul.

At the age of 62, Mr Stone is a confirmed bachelor and enjoying life. Then he meets a recent widow and decides he wants to wed her. They call each other ‘Doggie’ as a term of affection, a way of accessing each other’s loving feelings if they’ve had a falling out. This marriage seems to change Mr Stone and he conceives an idea ‘the Knights Companion’ for his company and puts the plan into action with the help of a man called Whymper who ends up trying to take the credit and getting the daughter of Mr Stone’s sister in the family way.

I’m glad I read the book, but I’m not sure I’ll read any other books by VS Naipaul, even though he did win the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature.