EDIT: Patroclus is also in the acknowledgements, but as this is the second set of acknowledgements she has been in this year, I think that's less exciting news, frankly.
Continuing the theme of 'people I know what have got books out this Christmas', Young Gareth May, who I first knew as a tiny wee student on Falmouth College's Professional Writing M.A. is having his first book published this Christmas, and it is a good 'un.
"Do you know how to change a tyre? Give a speech? Or shave without leaving a nasty rash? How about ironing a shirt? Urinal etiquette? Or how to know if you are falling in love? Neither did 24-year-old author Gareth May until he started to gather centuries-old male wisdom for the 'metrosexual' generation.
Stuck on the verge of a major motorway with a punctured tyre after swerving to avoid a low-flying pigeon, Gareth was confronted with the fact that he had no idea how to mend his puncture and get back on the road. Later, after the excoriating diatribe and accusations of uselessness from his father, he reflected that it wasn't just practical, manly skills - tying a tie properly, wielding a power drill, changing a leaky faucet - that had passed him by. Gareth was clueless about just pretty much every skill perceived as the key to coming of age as a modern man. Sophisticated stuff, like how to hold a baby or how to end a relationship without being a complete git...
While girls share magazines with dog-eared problem pages, the modern boy has no such manual, no instruction leaflet to ease their transition into manhood. Until now. Gareth May has written the essential manual for young men across the world. From stubborn spots to slow dancing dos and don'ts, the perfect fry-up to putting on a condom in less than ten seconds, witty, brilliantly honest and down-to-earth, "150 Things Every Man Should Know" tells you all those things your best friend can't."
Gareth's website also contains a number of videos showing the in-depth research done for the book. Here, he spares no expense on stunt coordinators, lighting or direction to show how best to defend yourself in a pub fight:
In the interest of full disclosure, although at the risk of shattering the coolly macho facade he has painstakingly built up for himself, I should state that Gareth is also a regular attendant of our regular Monday night Dungeons and Dragons game, where he plays the unfortunately-named Shergar, a human wizard. And yet UNACCOUNTABLY, his book specifically recommends not using phrases like 'I play Dungeons and Dragons' on a first date! IT MAKES NO SENSE.
Any-old-way, you can order Gareth's book (I'm sure the target demographic is obvious, but just in case, t'would be idea for a young male teenage relative) from Amazon here:
"150 Things Every Man Should Know: Telling You the Things Your Best Friend Can't" Priced
ALSO: for reasons best known to himself, Gareth has been recording our most recent sessions and edited them into podcasts, now available for free, ob'sly, on iTunes thusly: Cornish D&D Podcast. I suspect they make little or no sense even if you do understand the rules of D&D, but if you've ever wondered what a D&D game sounds like, WONDER NO FURTHER. Personally, I'm slightly freaked out at how much I sound like Mark Lawson (the sound's a bit quiet though, so you need to listen with headphones).