New non fiction: Picked Up, Patched Up and Sent Home: Why I Love the NHS by Carl Walker

Picked Up, Patched Up and Sent Home: Why I Love the NHS

‘One of the things that has been missing during the debate over the NHS is something that speaks to the experiences of normal folk and reminds people just what an amazing thing a public national health service really is. Like so many British people, I have used the NHS for a number of reasons throughout my life – some serious, others less so – but where would I be now without it? I honestly don’t know.’

Iso - NHS

This book represents the real-life stories of all of us who are routinely and often unnoticeably held together by the people who work in the NHS. These are the people who patch up, sew back together, irradiate, advise, scan, plaster, console, repair, inject and support us, before delivering us back home to carry on our lives.

A sharply observed collection of sometimes outrageous, often excruciating but always entertaining accounts of different interactions with one of Britain’s greatest treasures.

Nothing about the savaging of the NHS makes me laugh. Until this book. Carl Walker mounts a timely defence of our National Health Service that just happens to be laugh out loud funny. Ideal for fans of ‘not dying’ everywhere.’ Rufus Hound, Comedian

‘A thoroughly enjoyable antidote to much of the nonsense peddled about the NHS these days….lively, sharp, informative.’ Oliver Huitson, Co-Editor, openDemocracy

Carl Walker
Carl Walker is a principal lecturer in psychology at the University of Brighton and has fifteen years’ experience researching and publishing academic work on human behaviour. He is uniquely qualified to write this book on account of having embarrassed himself more times in a medical setting than any other human being alive.

Get your copy here.

What We’re Reading in… February

recent article in The Bookseller told us what we already know: reading is good for us.

So, what are we at Robert Hale currently reading?

Esther, Editorial Controller:

9536900_Zola_LadiesParadise.indd“I tend to read a couple of books at the same time but for the last few months, my main read has been Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise (Oxford World’s Classics). This French classic captures Victorian Paris very well; fashionable ladies, ambitious members of staff of the Ladies’ Paradise shop, and a desire to love and be loved are all prominent features, not to mention the rise of commercialism that was sweeping through Europe at this time. It’s a good read so far. The reason I read 19th century literature is because these books have the power to pull us back to an earlier period in history to let us experience what we don’t know – entertainment, politics, and industry – and imagine what life could have been like had we been there at the time.”

 

catherine - pile of booksCatherine, Design and Production Manager:

“I’ve had to promise myself not to buy any more books until I’ve got through the pile on my bedside table (see photo). I’ve been a fiend for buying books but not having enough time to read them!

cathering - broadchurchI’m currently enjoying Erin Kelly’s Broadchurch (Little Brown: Sphere) which gives extra background on the characters in the TV series. She’s written the book based on the first series with its creator Chris Chibnall. The stories are only available as eBooks at present but it’s a genius marketing tool. I’m a big fan of Erin Kelly’s books – her latest, The Ties That Bind (Hodder & Stoughton), being among my book pile. In addition, I’m about two thirds of the way through Jo Nesbo’s The Bat (Vintage). It’s the first Harry Hole case but issued in translation somewhat after his other books in the series. I have found previous Jo Nesbo books take a while to get into but worth persevering with!”


Sarah, Marketing and Publicity Manager:

“I’m reading The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (Bloomsbury).Sarah - signature of all things
It tells the story of a fictional female botanist, born in 1800, who has dedicated her life to her science, but finds this life turned upside down when she falls in love with a man whose beliefs run contrary to her own.

The book fuses together the Victorian concerns of science, divinity, magic and exploration. It’s very engaging and beautifully written for a story laced with science, and I’m enjoying learning about botany and related historical events, such as the foundation of Kew Gardens.”

 

Isobel, Marketing and Publicity Assistant:

“I’m reading Picked Up Patched Up and Sent Home: Why I Love the NHS by Carl Walker (Robert Hale). It’s a nice way to look at a subject that is veryIso - NHS topical, but can be a little morbid/ overwhelming. Carl’s tales of his many encounters with the public health service reminds me how fragile our bodies are, but somehow this isn’t done in a depressing way. Carl humanises the people who work for and use the NHS, and makes fun of sensationalist headlines that have turned the acronym into a political buzzword of horror. His style of writing is silly and clever at the same time, and makes me laugh loudly while I sit in Pret on my lunch break.”

 

Author Carl Walker on Why It’s OK to Laugh at Men With Combovers

Wearing Combovers by Carl WalkerCarl Walker is a senior lecturer in psychology and he has ten years’ experience researching and publishing academic work on human behaviour. He is uniquely qualified to write this book on account of being the only man who considers himself a world authority on men who juggle. He lives in Sussex with his family and his hobbies include avoiding men who wear comedy ties and thinking up innovative new ways to hide his man boobs.

Here he looks at why he decided to write Wearing Combovers and why he feels it’s OK to laugh…

I’d like to pretend that I wrote this book out of some kind of antiquated notion of providing a public service to my fellow man. To help other men out there steer their way through the various and many trials of modern day living. I’d like to say that when I implored men not to shout at their dogs in public, jump over gates that they could easily walk through and wear combovers, I did it out of an urge to help people to correct behaviours that presented them as curiously hapless in the eyes of their peers. I’m afraid I didn’t. I wrote it to laugh at them. Just to make fun of them plain and simple. And laughing at those less fortunate than ourselves has really come to receive a bad reputation in recent years. We spend so long teaching our children that it is wrong to laugh at those less fortunate than ourselves.

But really, is it so wrong to laugh at a man whose combover has been mauled by the wind? Is it so wrong to laugh at men who walk into friends new houses and knock on their walls to confirm, with staggeringly little authority, that the walls are, indeed, fine. Of course it’s not, its great fun.

I wrote this book for people who like laughing at stupid men. If, when you see men cycling with no hands hit a bump and then panic as they grasp for their handlebars then this book is for you. If you laugh like a drain at that ‘gradual grooving’ bit between a man getting up to dance and their actual dancing then this is for you. If your favourite clips from You’ve Been Framed are the ones where clinically dim skateboarders give themselves DIY vasectomies on hand railings then this is for you.

I see the fact that I myself do many of the things in this book as no impediment to laughing at these varied forms of male idiocy. I hope you don’t either.

Carl Walker

Wearing Combovers and 49 Other Things That the Modern Man Shouldn’t Do by Carl Walker is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

OUT NOW: Wearing Combovers by Carl Walker

Wearing Combovers by Carl WalkerCarl Walker is a senior lecturer in psychology and he has ten years’ experience researching and publishing academic work on human behaviour. He is uniquely qualified to write this book on account of being the only man who considers himself a world authority on men who juggle. He lives in Sussex with his family and his hobbies include avoiding men who wear comedy ties and thinking up innovative new ways to hide his man boobs.

Wearing Combovers and 49 Other Things That the Modern Man Shouldn’t Do by Carl Walker – Official Blurb

Modern men have a tendency to do a lot of unusual things. Some wear comedy socks and ties. Others labour under the curious misapprehension that cycling without using ones hands constitutes a social achievement. You may see a man in the street throwing a sweet up in the air with the sole purpose of trying to catch it in his mouth. You may have met a man who has managed to convince himself that his combover could be mistaken for a lustrous body of hair.

In a moment of historical literary significance matched only by the Doomsday book and the first edition of the King James Bible, this book finally brings together an account of the strange and frankly unacceptable habits of modern men with the clear and obvious reasons why these habits must, for the sake of the future of the human race, be cast aside.

Wearing Combovers and 49 Other Things That the Modern Man Shouldn’t Do by Carl Walker is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Wearing Combovers by Carl Walker