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RSH Book Club: Get laughing with some April Fool’s rail reading

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1 April might have been the day to celebrate foolishness – but we’ve managed to come up with some chortle-inducing rail reading recommendations that will keep you laughing throughout the month. Read on to find out which books we think will have you tee-heeing on the train and sniggering on the platform.

And don’t forget to check out our journey planner for cheap tickets – you could save enough money to keep you smiling all day.

Our top 5 funny train reading picks:

Snuff – Terry Pratchett

Fans of Terry Pratchett certainly won’t be disappointed with this latest addition to the hugely successful Discworld series.

In ‘Snuff’, the 39th Discworld novel, we follow His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh: Commander Sir Samuel Vimes – one of the series’ most popular characters – as he heads off to the countryside for a family holiday.

But a policeman is never really off duty. And crime doesn’t just happen within the walls of the city of Ankh-Morpork. Someone’s killing the goblins and Sam needs to find out who before even more bodies are added to the pile.

Whether you’re heading off by train for a city break or travelling to the countryside yourself, make sure you pick up a copy of ‘Snuff’ before you jump on the train – and escape into rural Discworld for a few hours.

I Partridge, We Need to Talk About Alan – Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect travel companion but his new ‘autobiography’ certainly is.

In ‘I Partridge, We Need to Talk About Alan’, Norfolk’s favourite radio host, TV presenter and broadcaster – and long-running creation of comedian Steve Coogan – shares his life story with us.

In this fantastic book, Alan talks candidly about every aspect of his life, from the exact moment of his birth, through to his sports reporting years, his time presenting a prime time chat show, his breakdown (during which he became addicted to Toblerone and drove to Dundee in his bare feet), and how he came ‘Bouncing Back’ to present ‘Mid Morning Matters’ on North Norfolk Digital.

And don’t forget to take your MP3 player with you too. Alan has helpfully included details of the soundtrack that he’s prepared to accompany his writing in the back of the book so you can fully immerse yourself in the Partridge experience.

Vampire Haiku – Ryan Mecum

Vampire fans and haiku lovers alike will love this beautifully illustrated book by Ryan Mecum. Sit back in your train seat, relax and open this book to take a peek into the journal of William Butten.

Butten’s plan to record his journey on the Mayflower and adventures in the New World in the form of haiku takes an unexpected turn when he meets a beautiful woman. The rest of the blood-splattered pages take us into the thoughts of the lovelorn poet – and newly turned vampire – for 300 years, as he searches for his long-lost maker.

William’s haikus include his thoughts on historical events like the Boston Tea Party, the Great Depression and Woodstock, as well as some digs at the shimmery vampires in the recent vampire flick ‘Twilight’.

And, if you want more – or if vampires just leave you cold – you can also try Ryan Mecum’s other supernatural journals: ‘Zombie Haiku’, ‘Dawn of Zombie Haiku’ and ‘Werewolf Haiku’.

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell

You’ll have to hang on until 5 April before you can pick up a copy of this brand new release, but we’re sure it’ll be well worth the wait. Its author, Jen Campbell, is a London-based bookseller and writer, and this is her first published book.

Jen began including ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ posts – featuring about the strange questions that people ask bookshop staff, as well as snippets from overheard conversations – on her popular literary-themed blog, ‘This is Not The Six Word Novel’. Her posts caught the attention of publishers Constable and Robinson, who asked her to put together a collection of these amusing (and sometimes bewildering) customer conversations for publication.

Comedy-loving bibliophiles should put this at the top of their ‘must read’ list. Grab a copy when it comes out, take it on your next train journey and wonder at some of the questions booksellers are faced with – like “Did Anne Frank write a sequel?” and “Excuse me…is this book edible?’.

Horrid Henry’s Jolly Joke Book – Francesca Simon

This book will keep your kids entertained for hours, so it’s ideal choice if you’re taking them on a train journey. And, despite the statement on the cover that it’s ‘too rude for parents’, the jokes contained in it are perfectly suitable for primary school children.

Whether your little ones are already fans of Francesca Simon’s ‘Horrid Henry’ books or are being introduced to this hugely popular character for the first time, they’re sure to love this book – and they’ll be mini-comedians in no time.

If your kids like ‘Horrid Henry’s Jolly Joke Book’ as much as we think they will, they’ll be clamouring for more. Luckily, there are another 7 Horrid Henry joke books available, so you can get them a new one for your next train trip too.

What are your favourite comedy train reads? Or your favourite jokes for sharing with a fellow commuter? Please leave a comment and let us know …

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