David Crozier reviews Hands of History, Filthy Shakespeare and more ...

PUBLISHED: 14:06 20 July 2007 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 September 2010

THE HANDS OF HISTORY by Simon Hoggart Atlantic, £8.99 It s been barely a week since Tony Blair ceased to be Prime Minister and here s a collection of Simon Hoggart s funniest Guardian sketches to create a portrait of the man who s been PM for the past 10

THE HANDS OF HISTORY

by Simon Hoggart

Atlantic, £8.99

It's been barely a week since Tony Blair ceased to be Prime Minister and here's a collection of Simon Hoggart's funniest Guardian sketches to create a portrait of the man who's been PM for the past 10 years.

It's a cracking chronological collection which had me laughing out loud on the train (never a good idea). Clive James, no less, once said of Hoggart that "no parliamentary sketch-writer has ever been funnier". Coming from him, that ranks as a huge compliment.

FILTHY SHAKESPEARE

by Pauline Kiernan

Quercus, £7.99

If ever there was a book to leave on your coffee table when the vicar comes round for tea, this isn't it.

Kiernan, apparently a distinguished Shakespeare scholar, presents more than 70 sizzling examples of the Bard at his raciest going from F****** and C*** to Virginity and Pimps via all manner of other filth

It's packed with everything you really didn't need to know about the real meanings of the Bard's bawdiest lines and I'm sure will provide much sniggering entertainment for teenage English students for years to come.

QUEEN BEE MUMS AND

KINGPIN DADS

by Rosalind Wiseman with Elizabeth Rapoport, Piatkus, £7.99

In her bestseller Queen Bees and Wannabes, Wiseman revealed the subtle social pitfalls of Girl World.

Now, in Queen Bee Mums and Kingpin Dads, she reveals the unspoken rules of Perfect Parent World, a place in which a few parents set the standards and most of the others feel frustrated. I always find self-help books patronising but this one will no doubt be lapped up by those parents who don't.

AMAZING DISGRACE

by James Hamilton-Paterson, Faber, £7.99

Cooking With Fernet Branca, the misadventures of Gerald Samper (ghostwriter to the illiterate stars), was a huge hit and in this sequel, Gerald is now writing the autobiography of a one-armed, around-the-world sailor but wants to write the memoirs of Max Christ - the celebrated conductor.

If all that sounds completely and utterly ridiculous, don't worry: it is. But there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way.

David Crozier


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