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What's Brown and Sticky?: Dad Jokes from Our Favourite Authors

Fathers, as we all know, are natural comic geniuses and love nothing more than to regale their privileged friends and family with their timeless wit and guffaw-inducing one-liners. These glorious gags have been collected in volumes such as Dad Jokes and Dad Jokes: The Punny Edition for the benefit of humanity as a whole, and we thought that, with Father's Day fast approaching, it would be fitting to ask some of our favourite authors for their very best dad jokes. These solid gold nuggets are what we got back. You're welcome.

Oh, and the punchline to the joke in the title is, of course, a stick. 

Funny Fiction for Fathers

Funny Fiction for Fathers

Posted on 11th May, 2022 by Mark Skinner

With Father's Day fast approaching what could be a better gift than a really good laugh? In the selection below you'll find hapless everymen, hopeless institutions and hilarious misadventures penned by the likes of Nick Hornby, P.G. Wodehouse, Paul Beatty and Martin Amis. From wry chuckles to full-on guffaws, treat dad to a cracking comic novel.      

Kiran Millwood Hargrave on the True Story Behind The Dance Tree

Winner of both the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Waterstones Children's Gift of the Year for The Girl of Ink and Stars and Julia and the Shark respectively, the multi-talented Kiran Millwood Hargrave is also an accomplished adult novelist. Following 2020's acclaimed The Mercies, The Dance Tree is a tour de force of historical recreation based on an astonishing true event that took place in sixteenth-century Strasbourg. In this exclusive piece, Kiran discusses the historical background to her latest bestseller.  

The Waterstones Podcast - Talking

The Waterstones Podcast - Talking

Posted on 9th May, 2022 by Mark Skinner

Why conversation and talking about the hard things is so important.

Deesha Philyaw's Love Letter to the Short Story

In her immersive, beautifully crafted short story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw shares moving, funny and rebellious tales of a group of Black women as they navigate life filled with expectations, passions, secrets, and longing. In this exclusive piece, the author declares her love for her chosen form, reflecting on what makes short fiction so special.

The Waterstones Podcast - Consequences

Connections, premonitions, influence and consequence.

Ben Hinshaw on Islands and the Myth of Isolation

Populated by a cast of extraordinary characters grappling with loss of innocence and the unexpectedness of life, Ben Hinshaw's captivating debut Exactly What You Mean moves from Guernsey to London to California, intricately mapping the territories of loving, leaving and growing up. In this exclusive piece, the author reflects on life as an islander and what counts as isolation.

Chris Pavone on the Origin of Two Nights in Lisbon

Plotted with precision and pace and crafted for maximum page-turning potential, Chris Pavone's Two Nights in Lisbon is a kidnap thriller with a difference. In this exclusive piece, Chris discusses how he came to write the story and the message that he wanted to convey in the narrative. 

All By Myself: Top Reads on Loneliness and Solitude

All By Myself: Top Reads on Loneliness and Solitude

Posted on 5th May, 2022 by Anna Orhanen

Being alone can mean many things. Sometimes it's a source of loneliness, sometimes a welcome respite from the world. Time spent alone can also mean time spent reading, enjoying what Marcel Proust called 'that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude'. With this in mind, we have put together a selection of stunning books that explore being alone from different angles, ranging from captivating fiction filled with unforgettable characters to brilliant non-fiction that reflects on our relationship with time, our surroundings and other people. 

Laure van Rensburg on Her Top Novels that Depict Female Rage

A fantastically twisty psychological thriller steeped in duplicity and dark secrets, Laure van Rensburg's Nobody But Us has become a word-of-mouth publishing sensation. In this exclusive piece, Laure discusses her top 5 novels that involve themes of female rage and empowerment.   

The Waterstones Round Up: May's Best Books

Boasting the evocative second adult novel from the award-winning Kiran Millwood Hargrave, as well as the return of Mick Herron's maverick spook Jackson Lamb and a gripping new fantasy inspired by The One Thousand and One Nights, May is awash in compelling new fiction. But there is also heavyweight history courtesy of Antony Beevor, delicious - and nutritious - recipes from The Hairy Dieters and something truly unique from the pen of Sam Knight. Discover your next favourite read from our selection below.    

Meg Mason Recommends Her Favourite Bittersweet Novels

Utterly original and beautifully crafted, Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss - our Fiction Book of the Month for May - tackles themes of mental health and family dynamics with a wicked wit and tremendous empathy. In this exclusive piece, Meg recommends her favourite stories that capture the singular emotion of the bittersweet.