Six books arseholes always recommend to you

IF you’ve ever asked your friends for book recommendations, then you will almost certainly have had some prick suggest one of these titles.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Usually just an opportunity to prove how intellectual they are. They’ll say things like ‘fascinating’, but won’t be able to actually describe any specific sections of the book as they started skim-reading on page six and gave up on page 22. 

12 Rules For Life

Someone has decided to take the life advice of Jordan Peterson, a man whose views on gender roles would make a 1950s Northern dad tell him to ‘be more open-minded’. Apparently eating beef cures depression, in which case why bother with antidepressants and just fry up a rump steak instead?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This person is trying to prove they’ve mastered a guide to success. But they’re not successful, and successful people don’t waste hours reading bullshit books, preferring to use the time to make money and spend it.

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell

While the books themselves are entertaining, this person is simply doing more intellectual dick-swinging. Gladwell came up with the theory that you need to spend 10,000 hours mastering a skill like the piano. Still, your friend has put in plenty of hours toward becoming an expert dick.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If someone recommends this book to you, be prepared to listen to a long, rambling diatribe full of New Age jargon. The go-to coffee table book for people whose coffee tables also feature a bong and a dream catcher.  

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Many people owned a copy in the 90s but didn’t actually read it because it is boring and pretentious in a dull arty-farty way. Possibly worth reading if you’re male and an arsehole and need a pseudo-scientific argument for why men frequently act like dickheads.

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'No probs!': Five phrases to hide your crushing disappointment

LIFE not going your way again? Feel yourself slipping into a pit of despair? Put on a happy face by using these feelgood phrases.

‘No probs!’

Annoyingly bubbly when uttered after a minor setback, but quietly tragic after something serious like being fired. Saying ‘probs’ instead of ‘problem’ isn’t kidding anyone that you’re not totally gutted either.

‘I actually wanted this to happen’

This is an effective but also pathetic way to try to re-establish control when something terrible happens, eg. your partner leaving you for your best mate. Maybe don’t actually say it to anyone because it’s obviously not true and you’ll look a bit mad, and instead just chant it while looking at yourself in the mirror until you believe it.

‘It’s probably for the best’

Maybe there’s a hidden silver lining to whatever shit has just happened to you? The universe works in mysterious ways and it probably wants you to be happy. Although if that were true then life would be showering you with random success, hot partners and delicious takeaways delivered by mistake. So this is actually bollocks.


Rock bottom stuff. When you don’t get the outcome you want, it’s just a feeble mouth noise to gloss over being pissed off. Also horribly dated, so people may wonder why you’re talking about being sidelined at work as if it’s the new MC Hammer album. 

‘I’m fine’

The F-bomb of false happiness. Drop it into conversation through gritted teeth when talking about your divorce. Then reassure concerned friends you’re perfectly cheerful by partying on with a litre of vodka. You are, after all, fine.