X MARKS THE BOX (2010)
'A colourfully-written, user-friendly manual... crisp and humorously written.' Yorkshire Post
Politics sets the agenda. Climate change, education, crime, housing - these are political issues, but for many, party politics is still a turn-off. Daniel Blythe negotiates the political maze from the citizen's point of view. Why should we vote? What do politicians do and why does it make a difference? Are you a Diehard, a Bloody-Noser or a Tactical? What can your MP do for you? And just why do they avoid answering direct questions? Along the way, we examine the most fun general elections and the under-rated politicians; the sauciest scandals and the bizarre sexiest MP polls; the biggest political victories, the U-turns and betrayals; the issues on the street, the part played by your choice of newspaper and what manifestos really mean; how to make your vote count, how to protest, and why you should care about by-elections.Whether you are disenchanted or a ballot-box regular, an activist or a floating voter, this is a book to amuse, inform and entertain. Irreverent, topical, skeptical and packed with useful facts and trivia, "X Marks The Box" takes you on a journey through apathy to activism - and everything in between.
DADLANDS (2006, Capstone-Wiley)
Alias: The One With My DNA.
A baby has arrived. Now, your life is nothing but midnight feeds, crying, screaming and incontinence. And that's just you.
But help is at hand with Dadlands. The author, a father of two, explores the secrets, hints, dodges and wheezes of being a first-time dad and not having a nervous breakdown in the process.
Read up on the best way to swear in front of toddlers, the perplexing variety of baby meals (just who invented Chicken Tikka Masala for 8-month-olds?) and the secrets of Toy Decommissioning. Learn the best tips for getting out of children's parties. See what happens if you call your child Chardonnay, and learn how to barge your way through a crowd with a pushchair. Find out why your kids need to come last in the egg-and-spoon race and answer all those odd questions from non-parents who just don't understand.
The ultimate antidote to all those worthy-but-dull parenting manuals, Dadlands finally tells it all like it is: the trials and tribulations of the first five years, from labour ward to Reception class.
This book won't guarantee you'll become a Superdad, but it ought to help you have a lot of fun trying. An ideal book for all new fathers, fathers-to-be and their long-suffering partners.
‘Midnight feeds and nappies from hell can be a new dad's worst nightmare. A good resource for the first-time father, this handbook is packed with practical tips on feeding, safety, playing and teaching, and how to answer the curly questions.’
I HATE CHRISTMAS (2005, Allison & Busby)
Alias: The Grumpy Old Man One.
Does the sight of a house festooned in glowing coloured bulbs with an illuminated reindeer in the garden bring you out in a cold sweat? Or is the thought of days of endless cold turkey sandwiches enough to make you become a vegetarian? And what of the adorable little carol singers – does their out-of-tune wailing and screeching set your teeth on edge?
And the oh-so-annoying Christmas albums constantly on playing in every crowded shop you visit... the jumper-knitting relatives pouting to be kissed under a poisonous plant... the freezing, dark mornings that make you wish you could stay under the duvet forever...
If all these things make you want either to jump aboard the next plane to Timbuktu or stick your head in the oven along with the roast tatties, then this is the must-have survival book for you.
Find comfort in the curmudgeonly comments. Laugh at the ludicrous festive facts. And pity those about you who are taken in by the silly-season madness!
‘Should be enough to turn even the merriest reveller into an instant Ebenezer.’
London Evening Standard
‘You’ll love this book!’ Bella
THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF CLASSIC EIGHTIES POP (2002/ 2004, Allison & Busby)
Alias: The Self-Indulgent One.
Do you still remember what you were doing the first time you heard ‘I Should Be So Lucky’? Do you pine for the days when Bananarama ruled the airwaves and Duran Duran were the epitome of style and glamour? Do you recall who your favourite member of Five Star was? Perhaps you’ve found yourself lying awake at night, tortured by an inability to remember what a ‘Dutchie’ is, and exactly why it should be passed on the left-hand side? Perhaps you have an inexplicable desire to know which eighties star made a triumphant comeback after being declared clinically dead...
Whatever your reason - here is a book for anyone who fondly remembers a fantastic decade in pop history. An indispensable volume for winning bar quizzes or settling ugly disputes between people who should be old enough to know better. Hilariously funny and packed with bizarre information, it is an essential buy for any child of the eighties.
... or ‘Classic 80s Pop’, if you go with the paperback. Actually, it's ‘Classic 80’s Pop’, but I think Lynne Truss would have a word or two to say about that apostrophe, which I'd like to point out was nothing to do with me. It's not definitely wrong - the jury's still out - but it just... doesn't look right to me.
‘Here in its full glory is Eighties pop, compiled in rib-tickling style by Daniel Blythe. The beauty of this book is that it works on two levels – a great slice of witty nostalgia for thirtysomethings and an indispensable source of trivia for pop quiz buffs.’
South Wales Argus
‘The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop is indispensable for anyone who adores that fantastic decade.’ Southern Daily Echo
‘I can't stop looking at it. The book is great nostalgia, and fun for just about anybody who was there.’ myshelf.com Link to full review
‘Knowledgeable, funny and intelligent… Great fun and just the thing to brighten 2003.’ Hampstead & Highgate Express
‘Wildly funny… Daniel Blythe runs through the big stars from the era veering from A-Ha to ZZ Top and The Bangles to U2, scattering a hefty dose of sarcasm and wit in his wake.’ Huddersfield Daily Examiner
‘If you have fond memories of passing the Dutchie on the left-hand side or the Pogues brightening up Christmas with Kirsty MacColl and “Fairytale of New York”, you’ll get a lot of pleasure from it.’ Bristol Evening Post
‘A tongue-in-cheek but evidently affectionate look at a largely under-rated decade.’ Sheffield Star
‘If - like us - you're obsessed with all things 80s and enjoy a touch of trivia to boot, you'll want to get your hands on Daniel Blythe's Encyclopaedia Of Classic 80s Pop. It's a must have for all music fans and is as comprehensive as it gets.’ www.bbc.co.uk
‘Daniel Blythe’s playful scrapbook of trivia and snapshot profiles… lively, nostalgic, tongue in cheek.’ York Evening Press
It also gets a mention on the Kirsty MacColl fansite Freeworld. (The correction they mention was indeed made for the paperback.)
If you're still struggling with that Dutchie Dilemma, you'll find enlightenment here.