Desperate times require desperate measures, and there are few so desperate as Christmas shoppers in the throes of a guilt induced buying frenzy. The Christmas book market caters for this community, and while I have no intention of reviewing my Christmas book consumption this holiday, for the record I have scanned the pages of:

Viz – The Bill-Poster’s Bucket – the toilet book par excellence, but not for the squeamish or prudish.

Pointless – 100 Pointless things – definitely the cream of the crop, (is that a dead metaphor by the way, or does it still bring to mind cream, or crops?) – it appears to have genuinely been written by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman from the TV show of the same name, and contains several moments of real wit. It recognises its own emphemeral nature in a good humoured way, and is not utterly disposable.

QI – 1,227 facts. Bends the meaning of the word “fact” to breaking point, and gives the impression of being thrown together – very little trouble has gone into this to make it anything other than a long list of the curious, gleaned from research for the programme. With each fact being a sentence or two long at most there is little to make the facts interesting, or even quite interesting. The value of the television programme lies in the patient explanation which comes with each question, rather than the bald fact itself.