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Linda Se Boekpraatjies

Linda's Bookchat

Laughter and gaiety

Click on book covers to buy

Don't know about all of you, but around about this time of year I get very depressed. It could possibly have something to do with the fact that the Easter long weekend is over for another year and egg consumption has exceeded reasonable limits yet again. Or else it could be related to that large envelope I received last week from Trevor Manuel and which I'll probably send in two months late again and pay a penalty on again. Perhaps it could have something to do with the fact that the yearly visit to the parents up country is around the corner and I'm already rehearsing answers and facial expressions for those cute questions: "Haven't you put on weight?" and "How is your friend, dear? Oh, and how about those Stormers?"

So I'm in need of a little pick-me-up, and seeing that I don't drink anymore and have already ODed on chocolate, I have had to resort to books to make me feel better. There are three little numbers on the shelves at the moment which are guaranteed to raise a laugh - and let's face it, when nothing else is rising, a laugh can defuse a delicate situation.

Is your cat gay?
Author: Charles Kreloff; Patty Brown
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 64
Format: Hardcover
Price from R114.95

This is a little hardcover gift book with a fabulous leopard-print retro type jacket. Inside are divinely droll cartoons with just the most delicious captions to help any bewildered pet owner answer burning questions like: "Is the tom next door your cat's 'special friend'?" and "Is kitty a bit too catty?". Any cat lover who has strolled into his or her apartment and wondered why the Judy Garland CD is playing on the stereo or caught an unexpected whiff of Chanel no. 5 from the kitty litter, will find this book illuminating and entertaining. The ideal gift for all your refined feline-loving friends.

The Funny Thing Is...
Author: Ellen Degeneres
Pages: 177
Format: Trade paperback
Price on R123.95

You may remember Ellen's first collection of comedy sketches titled My point Ö and I do have one. I bought a copy when it came out about eight years ago and chuckled my way through it. I have always been a fan of her kind of humour (deadpan, silly, clean fun is about how I'd describe it) and am keen on supporting her, especially after all she went through with that traitor, Anne Heche. So I jumped on this latest offering, which, like the last one, consists of short meditations on profound issues such as why prison wouldn't be so bad and the things that are bothering me this week. The ideal book to keep by your bedside or in the loo and enjoy a bit at a time.

Queer facts: the greatest gay & lesbian trivia book ever
Author: Stephen Tropiano, Scott Michaels and Michelle Baker. Foreword by Graham Norton
Pages: 232
Format: Hardcover
Price on R140.00

DSTV watchers will know Graham Norton, the funny Irishman who has his own highly successful breakfast show. He's put together a delight of a book (and it's shocking pink dahling!) that will keep you amused for hours. Coming down after a night at the club? Relax in the bath and read the 10 greatest myths about the male homosexual or a list of unlikely lines spouted by celebrities who are adamant that they are not gay. Bored while waiting for that special date? Read up on the first gay activists and then impress your date by reciting all Barbra Streisand's films in chronological order. I was fascinated by titbits about the length of the female orgasm and the different euphemisms for masturbation, but that's just me.

This compact book contains about 220 pages' worth of historical, political, cultural and comic trivia and is a must for the gay household and, for that matter, the loo in the gay-friendly restaurant. Gay pride has gone somewhat out of fashion, so it's as well to be reminded of what those who came before us had to suffer so that we can prance about openly buying gay books in mainstream bookshops today.

LINDA NELL gaan voortaan dikwels Afrikaanse en Engelse boeke aanbeveel. Sy sal skryf in die taal van die boek onder bespreking. Uit haar lewensbesonderhede blyk dit duidelik waarom ek haar gevra het vir so 'n rubriek:
"Ek is gebore in Pretoria, maar het gelukkig snorloos daarvan afgekom. My hoŽrskooljare was een lang soektog na 'n seksuele ontwaking, sonder veel sukses, maar wat anders sou 'n mens verwag van 'n klein dorpie in die Natalse Middelland? Lekker verengels en nog steeds in die kas, ontsnap ek toe na die Groot Stad Durban, waar ek my BA Honneurs verwerf en uit die kas gekruip het. NŠ 'n jaar se nagraadse Selfsoek op Stellenbosch, het ek via die biblioteekwese in die BoekwÍreld beland en in verskeie winkels gewerk, onder andere Wordsworth Gardens en Exclusive Books Bloemfontein. Vandag, tien jaar en 'n paar liefdesteleurstellings later, is ek gelukkig 'getroud', bestuurder van Exclusive Books Tygervallei en woon in Durbanville."

LitNet: 28 April 2005

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